Friday, June 11, 2010

martha moments: mama's crockpot lasagna

so easy you don't even have to cook the noodles.
makes house smell yummy.
requires little to no cooking skill.
but yet tastes like you have tons of cooking skill.
perfect for entertaining.

mama's crockpot lasagna

you'll need:

1 lb. ground beef
1 onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 (29 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 (12 ounce) package lasagna noodles
12 ounces cottage cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
16 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese


  1. In a large skillet over medium heat cook the ground beef, onion, and garlic until brown. Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, salt, and oregano and stir until well mixed. cook until heated through.
  2. In a large bowl mix together the cottage cheese, grated parmesan cheese, and shredded mozzarella's easiest just to mix it with your bare hands.
  3. Spoon a layer of the meat mixture onto the bottom of the slow cooker. add a double layer of the uncooked lasagna noodles. break to fit noodles into slow cooker. top noodles with a portion of the cheese mixture. repeat the layering of sauce, noodles, and cheese until all the ingredients are used.  meat sauce mixture should end up on top.
  4. cover, and cook on LOW setting for 4 to 6 hours.

    bon appetit!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

painting cabinets 101

as promised, here's my cabinet painting 101, and how fitting, with this being the 101st post!

now, this is how i painted my cabinets. please know that just because i did it this way does not make it the right way to do it.

first, let me just say that my objective in this project was to obtain crisp, white cabinets:
1.  ...without taking them down
2.  ...without sanding them like crazy and drowning my house in sawdust
3. as little time as humanly possible* without hiring someone to do it
 *this translated to not painting the insides of the cabinets...didn't bother me one bit to leave that step out!

and yes, i would do it this way all over again.  it wasn't hard, just time consuming and frustrating because having the kitchen in shambles affected my psyche.  by no means am i o.c.d.; in fact most people who know me well know that i'm about as laid back as it gets.  my clothes are not hanging in color code, nor would i encourage anyone to eat off my floors,  but i do like my kitchen to be in order because it's the heart of our home. this little project taught me that as much as i love and admire exposed shelving in kitchens versus traditional cabinets with doors, it is just not for me. i'm just not that neat.

here's how it all went down.

1.  draw a diagram of cabinets.  label each door on the back as you take them down with the number corresponding on the diagram.  (yes, i swear i'm really not o.c.d....!) but this little trick made it so much easier to figure out which door went where when putting them back up.

my codes:

B--bottom cabinet door
T--top cabinet door
genius, i know.

2.  clean all doors and all cabinet frames thoroughly with greased lightning.

3.  degloss everything with this better-than-magic stuff.
this liquid deglosser came by recommendation of a cabinet professional who came out to assess the farmhouse sink "situation."  follow directions on the bottle just as they say.  this step essentially takes the place of sanding, praise God!

4.  choose your paint.  i used sherwin williams pro classic acrylic latex in alabaster.
5.  then add Floetrol (can be purchase at any paint or home improvement store).  mix into paint according to directions on the bottle.  it eliminates brush marks completely and works GREAT.

5.  cover up floors and countertops with plastic or a drop cloth.

6.  paint, paint, paint.  we first painted the frame of the cabinets with a sponge roller, then did the doors last.
i did 3 coats.

7.  once dry, rehang all doors according to your handy-dandy diagram and add new hardware if you like.

8.  pour yourself a big 'ole glass of sweet tea and enjoy the view!

Monday, June 7, 2010

post 100: the kitchen reveal



we are loving the new kitchen. it's been a work in progress pretty much over the past year.  we upgraded the appliances last summer and then upgraded to this fabulous new granite (thanks, Trey Sandifer!) this spring. 

painting those cabinets was something else, let me tell you! my chiropractor has benefitted greatly from this re-do!  i'll do another post on the repainting process in the next few days. it certainly was a lot more budget friendly than buying all new ones, that's for sure. 

and i just had to include a pic of my hydrangeas.  we've lived here almost 7 years now and i don't think they've ever been prettier.