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Have you heard the one about the homeschooling family that lives on less than $22K a year in an area that costs above 100% (116%) of the National CoL Index?

I haven't quite figured out why so many people still persist in perpetuating the myth that living on a single income and homeschooling on a dime aren't possible. I can only suppose these are people who can't imagine life without a daily trip to Starbucks and dinner out several times a week. The people who actually shop at malls (*shudder*) and think "Brand Name = Best". The people who really live by the "Keeping up with the Joneses" mentality.

That? Would not be us!

Welcome to our world. We cook from scratch. Buy from thrift stores. Find 95% of our homeschool materials for free. This is my blog and this is how we do it.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Random Recipe 2 - Crock Pot Lasagna

This is recipe I frequently serve when we have guests. It's always well-received and it makes a complete meal just by serving a salad and breadsticks along with it. Since I do try to also offer dessert when we have visitors, I will generally serve a chocolate cake or ice cream as well. If you make your breadsticks (and dessert, if serving) ahead of time, it's a simple matter to toss the salad just before serving dinner and have everything to the table with minimal effort, allowing you to actually enjoy your company, rather than leaving you stuck in the kitchen right up until meal time.


1 container ground beef starter mix* OR
   1 lb. ground beef
   1 medium onion
   2 cloves garlic, minced
29 0z. can tomato sauce
1 cup water
6 oz. can tomato paste
1/2 tsp. salt**
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. basil
8 oz. uncooked lasagna noodles
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 cups cottage cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

1. Thaw beef starter mix overnight or in microwave and place in large saucepan, OR: brown beef, onion, and garlic in saucepan, drain well, return to pan.
2. Stir in tomato sauce, paste, salt, oregano, and basil; heat just until bubbly.
3. Combine cheeses in a separate bowl or container.
4. Spread 1/4 of the meat sauce in bottom of slow cooker. Top with 1/3 of uncooked noodles. (May have to be broken to fit.)
5. Spoon 1/3 of cheese over noodles.
6. Repeat layers twice, then top with remaining meat sauce.
7. Cover and cook on low for 4 - 5 hours.

* I make a master mix of ground beef when I buy it in bulk - EXPLAINED HERE. Also, when I find ground turkey on sale for cheaper than the beef, I will use it in my master mix instead and no one has ever noticed the difference.

** original recipe called for a full teaspoon of salt, so use at your own discretion.


Blogger Jenn @ Frugal Upstate said...

I made crockpot lasagna for the first time 2 weeks ago while camping (in an RV). It came out great. I just made my regular lasagna recipe with the following additions:

#1 I didn't cook the noodles, just layered them in dry.

#2 because of the dry noodles I added about 1/2 can of water to the sauce. It came out fine but could have been better if a little saucier-next time I'll add a whole can!

Make sure if you use dry noodles that you cover them completely with sauce-any little bits sticking up turn into rocks!

July 14, 2007 at 7:58 AM  
Blogger Just Me, Jenni said...

Hey, Jenn! I searched your blog and didn't see anything lasagna specific, but I was just curious about the 1/2 can thing. Did you use a can of tomato sauce? 8 Oz - 15 oz? Would you be willing to share your recipe?

July 14, 2007 at 2:37 PM  
Anonymous PeakmoreAcademy said...

thanks for the recipe! We love lasagna here, and i've never made it in the crock before. printing the recipe right now. I'll add it to my "recipe binder" for future use. I just blogged about our next menu of meals that I'll be using from foods "found" here at home, so this will be AFTER those! thanks again!

July 16, 2007 at 5:29 PM  
Blogger Marsha said...

Oh, thank you for sharing this recipe! I live in the desert southwest, and for many months of the year, it's simply too hot to use the oven. Therefore, crockpot recipes are ideal for me.

I'm happy with making up beans or soups, but it's lovely to have an alternative like lasagna to make, too!

September 29, 2007 at 11:48 AM  

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