It’s been a year. Really?

I just got notification from WP that I have had a blog for a year. Hmmm. A year. Really does not seem like a year. I think even if I posted everyday it would not feel like a year.

1st Anniversary

Wow, one whole year.

If that is not encouragement to see what year two looks like, I’m not sure what is. Then again, I’m an achievement hound. Just ask any of my gamer friends. Year two huh? Your on!

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Who’s your kitty?

I found this on the side of a stairwell while I was waiting for the bus the other day.

Who's Your Kitty

Kitty of Mercy? Kitty: Alien Hunter. You decide.

A very interesting collage. Can you think of a great caption for this? Drop me a comment and let me know.

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A Photo a Week Challenge: Shy

The weeks nancy merrill photography challenge is: shy.

Shy Dinah

Is that a camera? Put your phone away, I know your not talking to someone.

 

Sam in her carrier

Is she gone? Just step away from the phone…

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Filed under Animals, Images, Weekly Photo Challange

Be at peace Old Man Cat

Merlyn Face

You are all so beneath me.

A few weeks Merlyn’s age started to catch up to him and he started to go down hill and as the weeks progressed it became obvious that it was time to consider euthanasia. I hate the idea of out beloved pets being in any major discomfort.

Last Friday Merlyn’s  mommy and I took the fuzz ball to the vet and held his paw as the vet helped ease any discomfort he may have been in.  While I am very sad, I am relieved that he had no major health issues, just a bad case of old.

Even at 19 he was still jumping up on the furniture. He missed a couple of times or fumbled his dismount, but still managed for the most part.

He was friendly and loving and I was blessed to be his personal assistant these last three years while he lived with me and his feline roommate Dinah (the Editor in Chief). Its been a week now and Dinah is starting to seek my attention again.  She seems to be feeling more herself again. I know this has been stressful for her as well and she has been a real champ and a great comfort to me.

 

Love and miss you buddy.

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Slow Cooker Gluten Free Lasagna

Yesterday I made lasagna in a the slow cooker. I have been told that this works out really well and based on how the au gratin potatoes came out I’m more than willing to attempt this. Heck I even picked up a couple of slow cooker cook books with non-traditional recipes from the library to play around with.

My sauce is really not much more than a down and dirty red sauce made from diced tomatoes, onions, garlic, meat, and basic Italian seasonings. You could use a commercial sauce if you don’t want to make your own. I really like using beef/pork blends even though today its plain beef as well as mixing up my cheese selections so for this dish we are using a Colby/Jack and a 90% lean beef. I also used Tinkyada gluten free lasagna noodles. These noodles held up well, but had they cooked any longer they would have been mush.

Lasagna Plated

The finished meal. It was a bit dry, but excellent non the less.

I was very happy with how this pleased with this method of cooking lasagna.  I really love the thought of not turning on the oven in the summer or at all for that matter. 

I look forward to trying this lasagna with a bechamel (white) sauce. Nummm.

Divider Bar

Slow Cooker Gluten Free Lasagna

Prep Time: 60-ish min
Cook Time: 4-5 hours
Total Time: 5-6 hours
Servings: 8-10

 

Ingredients

  • 1 box Gluten Free Lasagna Noodles, ucooked

Sauce:

  • 1 lb Ground Beef
  • 3 (14oz) cans Diced Tomatoes
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, smashed
  • 1 small Onion, cut in half & thinly sliced
  • 1 packet of Sugar/Stevia/Splenda
  • pinch of Cinnamon
  • pinch of Coriander
  • Red Pepper flakes to taste
  • Herbes de Provence to taste

Cheese Filling:

  • 1 (32oz) container of Ricotta cheese
  • 16oz Colby/Jack, grated with 6oz set aside
  • 1/2 TBLS Celery Seed
  • 1/2 TBLS Dill
  • 2 Eggs

Directions

1. Sauté onions and garlic in a frying pan over med-high heat till onions start to become soft and translucent. Add the beef and cook till meat is done. Drain off any excess grease if you choose. Add in tomatoes and seasonings, simmer to the sauce starts to cook down and get thick. Remove from heat.

Lasanga Sauce

Still a little wet, but just about there.

2. While sauce is cooking mix all filling ingredients together in a bowel.

Lasanga Cheese Eggs

This picture was not really necessary to the instructions, but it looked cool.

Lasanga Filling

Ricotta, eggs, seasonings, and Colby/Jack cheese.

3. Start assembling your lasagna by placing just enough of the sauce in the slow cooker to cover the bottom.

Lasagna Meat Layer

Just covered.

Cover the sauce with a layer of uncooked noodle strips.

Lasagna Large Noodle

If the noodles are to long for your slow cooker, but break them down to size.

On top of the noodles you want to spread out a layer of the cheese filling.

Lasagna Cheese Layer

Spread out as thick or thin as you like.

Next add a layer of the meat sauce. Just spread it around till it covers the cheese. Repeat the layers one or two more times as desired. Top with reserved cheese.

Lasagna Cheese Top

Top with the cheese you set aside.

Cover with lid and set temp to low. Cook for 4-5 hours, till noodles are tender.

 

Lasagna Done

Nice and gooey cheese top.

Tips & Variations

  1. Your cooker may not be big enough to lay out one whole noodle, thats ok, just break them down to size and fill in as much as you can. Its lasagna, not rocket science.
  2. I use a large serving spoon to scoop filling and the back of the spoon to spread it across the noodles. The filling is thick and moves the noodles about a little, I found that this was minimized if you dropped the filling the ‘seams’ where two noodles met.
  3. This dish is great for variation, try different meats, cheeses, vegetables or seasoning styles. Just add the vegetables in layer rotation. Other goodies can be placed it the sauce as well.

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Filed under GF Cooking, Recipes, Sunday Rituals