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As you guys know, I’m not much of a cook. In fact, Finn does 95% of the cooking in our household. I thought that might change when I went full-time with the blog, but he is still the one making most of our meals. And honestly, it works for us! Cooking relaxes him after a long day of work, and I don’t mind cleaning up the kitchen when he’s all done making dinner. He cooks…I clean…and we’re both happy campers by the end of the night!
Today, I thought it might be fun to give you guys a glimpse into one of our weeknight dinners. Finn will share the recipe for his family lasagna recipe (HOLY SMOKES, IT’S GOOD!) and I’ll share my step-by-step routine to get our kitchen back in shape after he
destroys uses it.
Finn’s Family Lasagna Recipe
- 2 large cans Hunt’s Tomato Sauce
- 1lb Ground Beef or Ground Turkey
- 1 Package Lasagna Noodles
- 1 lb Provolone Cheese
- 1 lb Mozzarella Cheese
- Grated Parmesan
- 1 T. Oregano
- 3 cloves chopped garlic
Brown beef (or ground turkey) in a large skillet until fully cooked. Begin to heat up the tomato sauce in a large pot and add the beef when it is done. Add garlic, oregano, and parmesan to sauce.
Stir the sauce regularly for about 1.5 hours on very low heat until it thickens. You can continue to add more garlic, parmesan, and oregano to taste if needed. The parmesan is really what makes the sauce. It will melt into the sauce and cut the sweetness of the tomato sauce. So you can be liberal with it.
Begin to boil the noodles when the sauce is almost done. When all the noodles and sauce are cooked, it’s time to start layering the lasagna (the best part!)Here’s how that goes down…
- Sauce at bottom of dish to prevent sticking
- 3 noodles side by side (you won’t use all of the noodles you cooked, so use the “good” ones that are still all together and intact)
- Layer in the cheese over the noodles (peel apart the provolone and sprinkle the mozzarella)
- Dribble the sauce on top and spread evenly with spatula
- Cover the layer with grated parmesan
- Repeat until completed and push down the noodles with a spatula to make it thicker and to distribute the sauce throughout. You’ll have about 4-5 layers of noodles.
- The final layer is sauce topped with grated parmesan
- After you are done prepping the dish, rolling up cheese in leftover noodles and dipping in the sauce is a nice reward! As a kid, Finn used to love doing this and it was one of his favorite memories…he still does it as an adult!
How I Clean Our Kitchen Each Night
I’m always mad at myself when I leave a dirty kitchen at night and wake up in the morning to the mess. Quite possibly the worst feeling to start your day with a sink full of dirty dishes. So taking the 10-15 minutes to get our kitchen in tip-top shape at the end of the night is a must for me.
Finn isn’t known for being the tidiest cook in the world, but hey…I can’t complain when he is the one keeping us well-fed. Somehow he manages to use about every single dish in the household (no joke, he admits to it too!) and every surface is usually sticky and covered with ingredients by the time he is done.
This lasagna recipe takes all of that to the next level. With that sauce bubbling all over the stove and the layers of cheese all over our kitchen counters…things are a bit of a mess by the time it’s my time to swoop in and clean. Here’s how I get things back in working order for the evening.
Clean & Put Away Dishes
First up, gathering every dish that Finn managed to get dirty. I load the dishwasher with what I can and then get to work on the bigger pots & pans, and other dishes that didn’t fit in the dishwasher. I put them all in a sink full of hot soapy water and get to work scrubbing. I actually don’t mind washing dishes (am I crazy?!), but there’s something satisfying about scrubbing away and getting everything clean again. I then towel dry and put away right then and there, or else they will sit on the counter for the remainder of the night…
Run the Dishwasher
We used to have a really noisy dishwasher and we never wanted to run it at night when hanging out watching TV because it was sooooo loud. Our new one is much quieter, so I always try to run it right after dinner, or else we’ll forget and I hate waking up to a full dishwasher of dirty dishes.
Wipe Down Counters
Every week when I clean our entire house (more on that process here), I do a really good scrub of the kitchen counters where I take everything off and put it back in place. But after dinner, that’s just way too much work, so I really just take a rag and some countertop cleaner and get all the crumbs and spills outta there.
Tackle the Stove (& Backsplash)
Now, onto the stove…which can be the hardest part of kitchen cleanup. This space is always the worst, especially after making a meal like Finn’s family lasagna recipe. But I recently tried out Krud Kutter Kitchen Cleaner and Degreaser on this tough spot and it has made a world of difference!
It’s powerful enough to remove grease & grime, while being non-toxic and safe for food prep surfaces. I’m always a bit wary of the products we use in the kitchen since that’s where we eat, so it’s good to know that this cleaning product is Safer Choice Certified. Plus, both Bridget & I are trying to be a bit greener in our households so every new product helps us on that mission!
To clean the stove well, I remove the grates (I wash those well every other week) and then spray the Krud Kutter on some of the tough spots and get to work scrubbing! In a few minutes, things are looking sparkly and clean. Oh, so satisfying! I also scrubbed our white subway tile that was covered in sauce, and it came off so easily using this product.
Sweep the Floors
If I’m feeling really ambitious (& Finn was extra messy), I’ll give the floor a sweep to get rid of crumbs. With this meal, there was shredded cheese all over the ground. There’s nothing fun about walking around barefoot and stepping on a crumb. No thank you!
Light a Candle & Relax for the Evening
Finally, I turn off our overhead lights, turn on the lamps in our family room, light a candle, and relax on the couch with my husband!
A full stomach + a clean kitchen = the best feeling ever.