Did someone say Lasagna?!

OK friends, who doesn’t love a GOOD Lasagna. Yes, I know Lasagna is pretty simple and that most people can throw one together, but who can make a truly GREAT Lasagna…. I believe that I can! This post won’t necessarily give you exact measurements and ingredients, but a good basis on how you can transform your Lasagna from blah to wow! I want to offer you all a few different options for your dish, since everyone has different taste buds!

A little backstory on lasagna for me! I always loved to cook, but I rode horses professionally for a long time, so I really lacked in the time area! I LOVE spaghetti and meat sauce, but nothing I made in that department ever beat my moms meat sauce! So I started making lasagna. I made it for a few reasons, one being it was easy to eat as leftovers and take with me places… spaghetti isn’t always super clean and not the most easily traveled food! I would make lasagna and it would last me for 2 days lunch and dinner! (This was before Shane, because now it lasts MAYBE through lunch the next day!) After that I started playing with the recipe and finding the best sauces, meat, cheese, spices…. mixing and matching…. and making my lasagna truly delicious!

So let’s start with the basics!

You will need the following ingredients:

  • Oven ready lasagna noodles (I use Barilla)
  • 80% lean Ground Beef log (1 lb for a 2 quart baker)
  • Italian seasoning spices (about 1 tbsp)
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • Ricotta Cheese (15 oz container)
  • Sauce

Alright guys, so my first chat is about sauce. Everyone likes different red sauces, but I have found the KEY to a delicious lasagna…… “Creamy Rose” sauce from Kroger’s private selection(Or just a creamy red sauce such as a blush sauce or 3 cheese sauce). The creamy rose is gold, absolute gold. I use one jar of this and 1 jar of normal run of the mill tomato sauce. ***If you like SPICY! use Arrabiata sauce and red pepper flakes!***

*I have linked the creamy rose sauce at the bottom for your ordering pleasure!*

  • Cheese

Cheese is the next big one…. I LOVE Parmesan, I could use parm on literally everything. But lasagna needs some depth, so mix other cheese in! I like to use a nice 3 cheese blend and a bag of Parmesan.

Alright now it’s the fun part!

Preheat your oven to 375. In a cast iron skillet cook your onion until it is soft, then add your beef. Brown your beef, while browning, season with your Italian seasoning and some salt/pepper. While your meat is cooking combine your ricotta cheese and 1 cup of your “creamy rose” sauce with 1/2 cup tomato sauce. Mix your cheese and sauce mixture until smooth. Then, in your baker (I love my Pyrex for lasagna) coat the bottom with tomato sauce and put your first layer of lasagna noodles down, set aside. One your meat mixture is cooked, drain it and set it aside. Now you start your layers!!!

So fun… I start with my ricotta mixture, spread evenly with a large metal spoon over that first layer of noodles. Next up is your meat, be sure to cover your ricotta, it doesn’t have to be even (I like a lot of meat so my meat layer is thick!). Next up is your creamy sauce, spread a generous layer over your meat and top with your 3 cheese blend! Cover that layer with a new layer of noodles and repeat! In my square Pyrex baker I can usually get 2 layers. On the top of the second layer I finish the dish with one more layer of noodles, ricotta sauce and my bag of Parmesan! Cook for 30 minutes and check, I usually poke 3 holes with a knife, cook for 5 more minutes, then pull it out and let it sit for 7-10 minutes to finish cooking.

Serve with garlic bread and ENJOY!


Link to my favorite PYREX bakers! https://amzn.to/33L2nf7

Creamy Rose Sauce: https://amzn.to/34PVIBn

Pumpkin Bread!

Alright guys… I know the season of pumpkin is over… but this stuff is SO good. It’s moist(yes, that word again) with white and semi sweet chocolate chunks, and just enough pumpkin… but not too much! Personally, I really dislike anything pumpkin, but this bread is nothing short of delicious! I will play with it more and post some variations I come up with, but for now, try this, you won’t be mad about it!

This recipe came about when I was trying to brainstorm a sweet recipe like banana bread- but no bananas…. I bake a lot for my brother and the guys who work at my family’s brewery because Shane (my husband) is more of a savory person. My brother is also not a pumpkin fan, but he really liked this recipe and ate probably 80% of what I brought in that day!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup(pure)
  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup semi sweet or dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Pre-heat your oven to 300. In a stand mixer cream your butter and both sugars on medium for 3(ish) minutes, until light and fluffy. While creaming combine your dry ingredients in a bowl, flour, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, cinnamon, baking powder, salt. Dry whisk those ingredients until mixed well. Once, your butter is creamed add your vanilla and maple syrup, mix until butter mixture is smooth, then turn to low and add eggs. Once combined, add your dry ingredients into the mixer slowly! When your batter is just mixed add your chocolate chips! Grease a loaf pan and pour your mixture in! Bake for 50 minutes, depending on the oven your loaf should be ready by then, but make sure you toothpick test it! If it needs more time check it every 5-7 minutes. I have a gas oven and my bake time depends on which loaf pan I am using!

Let cool and enjoy!

If you love the loaf pan I used in this photo… follow this link!

https://amzn.to/2r19qD8

Creamy, Cheesy…Tomato Soup


Oh my YUM guys…. Seriously I have never tasted a tomato soup that I crave more than this… literally my husband ate the entire stock pot before I got home from work! Luckily, I took some for my cousin, Kat, to taste test… and she agrees, this recipe is a winner.

With the cold weather coming you just have to have that go to soup recipe for nights you want to curl up on the couch and watch movies. This tomato soup is the definition of cozy! Think a fuzzy blanket, fire in the fireplace, watching Disney plus while eating a cup of this soup in your cutest winter themed mug…. yeah sounds like a great life right there.

This recipe was inspired by the fact that I don’t like the average tomato soup. I like a tomato soup with depth, that feels like it is inspired! I have been playing with my recipe for over a year now and I think I hit the jackpot!! As with the chili, I use my Le Creuset Stock Pot (linked at the bottom) to make this, you can prepare this in ONE POT- so minimal clean up!


Ingredients:

  • 1/2 stick salted butter
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tsp chicken boullion
  • 1/4 Worchestershire sauce
  • 3 roasted red peppers (jar- Mt. Olive has good ones!)
  • 7 roasted garlic cloves
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 ounces sour cream
  • 1 tbsp cream cheese
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 5 thyme sprigs
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 1/2 rosemary sprig
  • 1/2 sage sprig
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 goat cheese
  • 1 cup grated parmesan

In a stock pot brown your butter, once golden add onion. Cook onion until soft then add worchestershire, boullion, and milk(make sure your milk is room temp or even warm!) – simmer for 5 minutes. Add herbs (you can tie them together or just throw them in – do know you will have to pull them out! Simmer for 5 minuted with the herbs then add crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, sour cream, cream cheese, curry powder – simmer for 10 minutes until the herbs are fragrant! After 10 minutes pull the herbs out and add 1 tbsp salt/pepper, goat cheese, and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Using an immersion blender, blend the ingredients until almost smooth, add the rest of the Parmesan, simmer 5 more minutes, stir and serve!


Link for the Le Creuset stock pot I use! https://amzn.to/2QRicOC


Cheesy Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken with Crispy Brussels Sprouts

The first word out of my husbands mouth tonight after inhaling this dish was “WOW” followed by “This may be the best dish you’ve ever made”. I have been refining this dish over the last month or so trying to find the perfect combination of vegetable, side, cheese, etc. This dish is going to become a staple at our house because it is SO easy and feels like 5 star dining when you’re eating it! It’s SO simple, not a lot of prep, and can really be prepared and cooked with minimal dishes-my favorite!

Ingredients:

  • 3 Cups clean Brussels Sprouts (halved)
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp salt/pepper
  • 4 Chicken Cutlets
  • 2 Packs of Boars Head Prosciutto
  • 2-3 tbsp Apple Butter per cutlet
  • Brie
  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 1 box garlic & herb Rice Pilaf or Brown Rice

Preheat your oven to 350. Lightly salt and pepper your chicken on both sides. Prepare your chicken on an aluminum foil lined cookie sheet by spreading apple butter directly on chicken(I use about 2-3 tbsp per chicken cutlet), slicing your brie into thin slices, put your sliced brie on top on apple butter to cover entire chicken cutlet. Wrap your chicken breasts with prosciutto – 2/3 pieces per chicken breast! Put your chicken breasts in the oven for about 20-25 minutes. Next, put your halved brussels sprouts in a bowl, combining your maple syrup, light brown sugar, honey, and salt/pepper with the Brussels sprouts. Combine until all Brussels sprouts are covered, then pour into a cast iron skillet . Bake in oven with chicken for 20-25 minutes. While the chicken and Brussels sprouts are cooking caramelize your onions and cook your rice! Cut your onion in half, then slice into medium thin pieces. I LOVE browned butter, so I start by lightly browning the butter, then adding the onions. Be patient while the onion is cooking, you want the onions to be browned to a deep golden! Once the onions are starting to turn golden add in the apple cider to de-glaze, then simmer on low until the sauce is thickened and the onions are soaking the juices up – this takes 5-7 minutes – be patient it’s worth it! Once your chicken and Brussels sprouts have cooked for about 20 minutes turn your oven over to broil – broil your Brussels sprouts on the top rack for 3-5 minutes(until crispy) while the sprouts broil the chicken can stay on the bottom rack. Next remove the sprouts and move the chicken to the top rack and broil for 3 minutes the prosciutto will be slightly browned and crispy.


Serve your chicken over rice, topped with the onions, spoon the sauce over the chicken combination! Add a heaping scoop (or 3) or Brussels Sprouts and enjoy!


My favorite cast iron skillet is the brand “Lodge” with this recipe I used the 13.25 inch!Find it here: https://amzn.to/35tiM8X


“The Wurst” Chili

Who doesn’t love a good chili on a cold winter day?! This chili is the perfect combination of spice and sweet, with plenty of veggies to make your meal complete! I love using local products, so for this recipe I used a beer from Streetside Brewery in Cincinnati, Ohio! I also love cooking chili in my Le Creuset stock pot! You are able to keep this recipe to just one cast iron pan and your stock pot so clean up is SUPER easy!

The Wurst Chili

1 Log ground beef
1 Red Pepper
1 Yellow pepper
2 Serrano Pepper
2 Jalapeno
1/2 stick butter
1 can beans
2 Cans fire roasted diced Tomatoes
2 Cans crushed tomatoes
1 can Tomato Paste
1 Can corn
1 onion diced
5 cloves garlic diced
3 Bay leaves
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp paprika
1/2 tbsp ground pepper (or to taste)
1/2 tbsp ground white pepper
1/2 tbsp garlic powder
Salt to taste
1 tbsp oregano (or to taste)
1/2 cup Worcestershire
32 Oz of The Wurst Amber(or any light to medium colored beer)
1/4 cup dry red wine

Start out by searing the peppers in a cast iron skillet, sear until slightly browned and the peppers start releasing aroma. Follow this by de-seeding and dicing peppers, onions, and garlic. Melt butter in a large stock pot, once butter is melted add the peppers, onions, corn, and garlic. Cook until softened. While the peppers, onions, corn, and garlic are cooking brown the ground beef in your cast iron pan. Once browned add 1/4 cup Worcestershire, 1/2 tbsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp salt (I use “Crazy Salt”). Once combined de-glaze the meat with your beer, I use “The Wurst” from Streetside Brewery in Cincinnati, Ohio, but any amber will work great. Once meat is de-glazed keep simmering on low. Occasionally add more beer to the meat until you’re ready to add the meat into the stock pot. Don’t let the meat sauce get too thin, keep simmering until the sauce is a bit thick. In your stock pot add your beans, diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, and tomato paste into the stock pot. Stir to combine then add 1 Tbsp chili powder, 1 tbsp paprika, 1/2 tbsp ground pepper, 1/2 tbsp ground white pepper, 1 tbsp oregano, the rest of the Worcestershire, 1/4 cup dry red wine. Add your meat and bay leaves to the stock pot and any remaining beer(Feel free to pour yourself a glass while cooking!) Cook the combined ingredients on low for an hour, stirring occasionally. I cook this on my stove, but you can also combine the ingredients in a crock pot and cook on low for ~3 hours. Ladle into bowls and top with shredded cheese!

During the cooking process feel free to taste your chili! This recipe is a guideline, but everyone likes different tastes – I make this chili to be pretty mild as I am not a spice person. If you like spice I recommend using more peppers, and adding red pepper flakes to the recipe! I always start with 1/2 tsp of salt, but add more throughout cooking. Always feel free to add or take out ingredients based on your own taste buds! If you have any variations that you LOVE share in the comments!

Here is the link to my favorite stock pot! If you like to make chili or any type of soup and do not have a stock pot, you need to get one… Game Changer!

https://amzn.to/37umbGE


“The Jimmy” Cakey Chocolate Chip Cookie

Don’t you just LOVE a basic, moist (hate that word), and delicious chocolate chip cookie? Yeah, me too… and so does my husband( I made these this morning and he has already eaten like 5 of them). These cookies are EASY, minimal prep time, quick to bake, I made a batch before heading to work this morning! I think what makes these cookies are the chocolate “jimmies” (sprinkles for those of you who aren’t from the Midwest). My FAVORITE jimmies are from Graeters Ice Cream, a Cincinnati local ice cream shop, if you haven’t had it go to your grocery NOW and check the ice cream aisle to see if they carry it! Anyway, rant about Graeter’s is over now to the recipe!

Ingredient List:

  • 1 3/4 stick unsalted butter(softened)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed LIGHT brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup chocolate chips ( I use dark or semi sweet, but milk chocolate works too!)
  • 1/4 cup chocolate “jimmies”

Directions:
-Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl whisk together flour and baking soda, set aside. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (My go-to is Kitchen Aid): Combine the softened butter with both sugars on medium until light and fluffy. Once combined and fluffy, mix in salt, vanilla, and eggs. Beat this combination on medium for 30 seconds, stop your mixer to scrape the sides, then turn it back on low until the mixture is completely combined and smooth! On low mix in the flour and baking soda mixture, slowly! Once all of the flour has been combined mix in the chocolate chips and jimmies-be sure to add these slowly so they are evenly spread throughout the cookie dough!

I like to use an old school ice cream scoop to scoop my cookie dough! If you don’t have one use a spoon! On a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, scoop out the dough, you should be able to fit 12 on a cookie sheet using a small ice cream scoop, 9 using a large ice cream scoop!

Bake 12-15 minutes, or until they are just barely turning golden! Don’t cook these babies for too long, remember you want them a little soft to keep the moisture for the CAKEY goodness!

I recommend using a lighter colored cookie sheet, the darker ones tend to cook the bottom of the cookies too fast and burn the bottoms! This goes for any cookies I make!

My go to product to make life easy making cookies is the old school ice cream scoop! These specific cookies I don’t weigh because they are too gooey, but I will share another cookie recipe that I do weigh, and using the scoop helps keep their weight consistent(and using and ice cream scoop makes it look like an ice cream scooped shape cookie-so that’s fun!

One alteration I have made for this recipe is using peanut butter AND chocolate chips- this is SO delicious- just split the chips it in half- so 1/2 cup chocolate and 1/2 cup peanut butter!
You can also add nuts if your heart desires!

Y’all… this mixer is FIRE and comes in some GREAT colors!

Find it here: https://amzn.to/2QIxPYf


How The Baker’s Table began…

Hi All!

Let me introduce myself, my name is Erin Kelly and I am from Cincinnati, Ohio! I have been wanting to create a cooking blog for over a year now, but could never come up with a name! After a lot of deliberation, I finally decided to bite the bullet and get on it! I grew up eating amazing food that my mother cooked, I never really had an interest in cooking or baking, except for decorating Christmas cookies with my mom and friends. I REALLY loved boxed Mac & Cheese( you know, the big shells with white cheese… YUM). My mom was always coming up with super cool recipes and making the most delicious food, as I got older and started cooking I got a bit competitive(maybe just in my head) always trying to make my food as good or better than my Mom! Now I have my own kitchen, my love of cooking, and a few pretty dang good recipes of my own! I LOVE to cook, bake, and of course…eat so I am super excited to share my recipes and favorite kitchen products with you!

Please be patient while I get this blog up and running, this is new for me and I want to make it absolutely PERFECT!