Posts tagged ‘baked’

December 2, 2015

Crock-Pot Lasagna


There’s something about the crock pot that makes it just so amazing. Maybe it’s the part where you throw everything in and leave it alone to do its thing, and when you come back hours and hours later after forgetting about it, it’s transformed those hard noodles into something edible.

(It’s funny though, sometimes my mom’s weird Asian-English language mix-ups happen, and I heard her once ask me where the “crack pot” was. We had a real good laugh)

I make a good crock pot lasagna, if I do say so myself. Even if I am sick.

  • 5-7 uncooked lasagna noodles (oven ready or not, doesn’t matter)
  • 1lb beef mince, browned, drained
  • 700ml tomato sauce or pasta sauce
  • (Spices: oregano, Cajun, cayenne, salt, pepper, all to taste)
  • 500ml cottage cheese
  • 1 egg
  • Half a bundle of spinach, chopped, squeezed (will use more next time)
  • Mozzarella cheese

Mix cooked beef, tomato sauce, and spices together. In another bowl, mix cottage cheese, egg, and a handful of mozzarella cheese.

In the crock pot, add a layer of meat sauce to the bottom. Then a layer of uncooked noodles (break them if you have to), then all of the cottage cheese mix, then spinach, another layer of noodles, and the rest of the meat sauce. Top off with cheese (as much as you want), and sprinkle on some paprika for colour.

Set on low for 4-6 hours. I did mine for about 4.5, and the noodles came out super soft, as if you can strain it without much effort. So really, cook for as long as you want because the meat is already cooked. You just want non-crunchy noodles, and melted cheese. Use a thermometer to ensure proper internal temperature of 74C or higher.

Serves 5-6, one helping. Or if you are like my family, there’s never leftovers from my cooking. #fatties (me included)

#slowcooker #lazydinners #onepotwonder #pasta #dinner #cheese #badattags #cooking #food

December 2, 2015

Scalloped Potatoes


So I’ve been posting on Instagram about my food adventures in the kitchen, so I’ve done this a few weeks ago, and am just transferring the post to here. So here you go. I’m trying to take out all the hashtags, but if I miss one, I’m sorry!

Tonight’s dinner: scalloped potatoes.

  • 6-7 medium small potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1-1/2 cup of 2% milk (recipe called for cream or evaporated milk, I forget, but this is all I had)
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Whatever cheese you like (I used Armstrong pizza cheese, white)
  • Paprika


Set oven to 350F.

Melt the butter and flour together in a pot. Add 1-1/2 cup of milk. Add half a handful of cheese and mix/melt. Add Cayenne pepper to taste.

Lightly oil an oven-safe ceramic or glass container and lay out the potato slices. Pour the sauce mix over the potatoes and mix it in (doesn’t have to be perfect, just so you get it generally throughout). Layer cheese, and sprinkle paprika to make pretty.

Heat for 35 minutes (more or less. My recipe said 1h, my cheese would have burnt to crisp. Could be white cheese vs yellow cheese, because white cheese burns easier. RACIST). Next time: No cheese in the mix. Just have it on top. A bit too much dairy for my Asian gut. This fed 4 people, with second helpings. Also will not have a second helping next time.

Coffee with a mate, Outrigger canoe, grocery shopping in paddle gear, home for dinner, and crashing in to bed.

July 25, 2014

Ground Beef Rice Vegetable Bake

Ground Beef Rice Vegetable Bake 1

So I just made some random thing tonight again. It’s a casserole. I don’t know how else to describe it. I LOVE baked pastas and rices, so the starting idea was definitely there. I’ve now budgeted about $50 a week for food, and since I went shopping already on Sunday and yesterday, I’m done for the week. I also figured $50 because then I could get 2 Fly Buy points a week. 😀

So I used what was in the fridge, really. I had some pasta bake sauce, cauliflower, mushrooms that were on sale ($8.99/kg…….), defrosting ground beef, garlic, and cheese. I’ve had the cheese for almost two weeks now, so I figured I’d either have to eat it now or it will just go bad like my landlady’s cheese. I saw a little bit of mold on it, and I don’t know what to do with it. If my EHO kicked in, I’d just throw it out, but because it’s not mine, and I know her habits are quite out there compared to mine… She might just eat it.

Anyway, the way I put it together was a real mess and I measured nothing, so I’ll try to line it all up here. I really wish I had a program to make a flow chart like I do as a health inspector.


  • 1 cup of uncooked medium grain white rice (cook as directed)
  • 4 white mushrooms, diced, uncooked
  • 3 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups of cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 500g beef steak mince, pan fried thoroughly (0.482kg says the package! I dug it out of the garbage…)
  • 7-8 spoonfuls of your favourite pasta sauce
  • 300g Colby cheese (a mild white cheese. I’ve never seen this in Canada, so I don’t know where else this is available. Might just be a New Zealand thing)
  • Sprinkle of garlic salt (or table salt)
  • Sprinkle of Italian spice mix (optional)
  • Pepper

Directions: (The hardest part to write for this recipe. I had 3 pots/pans going at one time)

Heat the oven to 350F.

Put together the rice, garlic slices, a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and cook the rice as directed. At the same time, simmer the cauliflower florets until tender. Set aside. Stir fry the ground beef until thoroughly cooked, and season with salt, pepper and spice mix to taste. (Here, my ground beef was a bit dry, so I added some oil, and 2-3 spoonfuls of pasta sauce and mixed it.)

In an oven-safe dish, add a little bit of oil on the bottom to prevent sticking. Layer in the meat, then the rice (I didn’t use all of it because my dish was a little smaller than expected), then diced mushrooms, and cooked cauliflower.

(Here I messed up a bit. I put the cheese on before the sauce, but I fixed that.)

Layer on as much cheese as you like.

(This step can be completely skipped. I only did this part because my pasta sauce was waaaaay too thick: Now in a bowl, put the other 3-4 spoons of pasta sauce and add some water and stir. It shouldn’t be too watery that when you pour it over the dish, it’s not going to run straight through to the bottom. It should easily be spread over the dish without there being any chunks.)

Spoon the sauce over the cheese, and then add a thinner layer of cheese on top of the sauce.

Put the whole dish in to the oven for about 30 minutes (I think….??), or until the cheese has turned a golden brown.

This is a step I NEVER do: allow to rest for 10 minutes before eating. I just eat it straight out of the oven after I’ve taken pictures! It is pretty hot though, and quite delicious.

Ground Beef Rice Vegetable Bake 2

May 20, 2014

Baked Seafood Pasta

I think this is my first attempt in making a baked pasta other than lasagna. It’s pretty simple: make sure everything is cooked before throwing it into the oven, then put it in the oven to heat and baked the cheese. Really, you can put anything you want in there, but all I had was some frozen shrimp and leftover imitation crab. It was quite delicious!

Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 1

3 lasagna noodles, cooked
300 mL Classico tomato & pesto pasta sauce
2 sticks of imitation crab, sliced
a handful of shrimp, cooked, peeled
1 clove of garlic, minced
Cheddar and Asiago cheese for topping

Set your oven to either broil or 350F. I tried it with broil but the layers underneath the cheese weren’t hot enough. I like it hot! Otherwise, put it in the oven at 350 for 20 minutes or so, or until desired internal temperature. At this point, it doesn’t matter if the internal temperature reaches 74C — all of the ingredients are already ready-to-eat!

Cook the lasagna noodles until al dente, or desired softness. Don’t break them up before cooking them or else it just gets messy. Slice them in to 1 inch segments and set aside.

Cook the shrimp if they’re raw. They don’t have to be in the water long, otherwise they turn rubbery.

Put the crab, shrimp, garlic and sauce together in the oven-save container and mix well. Add the noodles and mix. You may add more sauce if you’d like to cover the dish.

Top with as much cheese as you’d like. I like to have a thicker layer because I love the gooeyness.


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November 24, 2013

Baked Salmon and Vegetables

Baked Salmon and Vegetables

So I was left with dinner tonight again, which is perfectly fine. I already figured I was going to make rice to finish some of that awesome sticky chicken sauce, and find some vegetables. Then Mom told me before she left to take my youngest sister to tutor that she had defrosted some fish. FISH. I’ve never done fish before! So of course I Googled it and came across this super handy website at Though I brought out my thermometer, I ended up not using it.

So what I did was heat up the oil in the pan medium-high. Once it was hot, I lay the fish skin down and it immediately started to sizzle and stick to the pan (not non-stick). Let it sit for 10-15 minutes at medium-high. Also find a thin, flexible spatula that can get between the salmon skin and the pan.

Do not scrape the salmon off the pan. It will come off when it is ready (or if you’re like me, you’ll have cut some awkward looking pieces. Then I turned the small one over after I peeled up a corner and found that it was very dark and scraping it off wasn’t all that hard). Then I waited a few more minutes and then separated all the others from the pan. Success!

I let it sit for another 5-10 minutes and had the oven turned to 350F. By the time the oven was fully heated, the top side of the fish was still raw. I put the whole pan (fish and pan) in the oven for 5-7 minutes, keeping an eye on it. Just make sure it turns light pink!

Side note: All I put on it was some Kosher salt and cracked black pepper.

And that’s it!

And for the vegetables, all I did was steam broccoli and Chinese cabbage.