Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Cafe Lucca in Orange, California

One of my most favorite places to eat breakfast in Old Towne Orange, CA is Cafe Lucca.  Start with a lovely latte - beautiful leaf design on top. It is a charming place to dine with friends.
I love their what I call their 'Seasonal' omelets - Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter - this is a Summer with spinach and other delicious ingredients.  One piece of thick cut multi-grain toast and a bowl of fruit.  Yum.  A great way to start the day.  106 North Glassell Street, Orange, CA

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Best Lasagna

The World’s Best Lasagna

My husband makes this every year at Christmas, and enlists our kids to help!  A labor of love for everyone involved.  It is truly the best lasagna that I have ever eaten.  It is from allrecipes.com

Prep time - 30 minutes
Cook time - 2 hours, 30 minutes
Serves 12

1-lb sweet Italian sausage (bought at our local Italian market)
2/4 lb lean ground beef
½ C minced onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
2-6 oz cans tomato paste
2- 6.5 oz cans canned tomato sauce
½ C water
2 T white sugar
1-1/2 t dried basil leaves
½ t fennel seeds
1 t Italian seasoning
1 T salt
1/4 t ground black pepper
4 T chopped fresh parsley
12 lasagna noodles
16 oz Ricotta cheese
1 egg
½ t salt
3/4 lb mozzarella cheese, sliced
3/4 C graded Parmesan cheese

In dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat, until well browned.  Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water.  Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 1 T salt, pepper and 2 T parsley.  Simmer, covered, for about 1-1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.  Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 - 10 minutes.  Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water.  In a mixing bowl, combine Ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and ½ t salt.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

To assemble, spread 1-1/2 C of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish.  Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce.  Spread with one half of the Ricotta cheese mixture.  Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices.  Spoon 1-1/2 C meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 C Parmean cheese.  Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.

Cover with foil; to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.  I make a foil tent over the lasagna.

Bakes in a preheated oven for 25 minutes.  Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes.  Cool for 15 minutes before serving.