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Darbi’s Cooking Challenge: Homemade Lasagna

Darbi Townsend


Feb 28th, 2015

Darbi's Cooking Challenge

When I received a challenge to create a homemade lasagna (complete with an entire lasagna kit!), one problem lingered…my daughter HATES lasagna!  I have attempted in the past to make lasagna, using leftover spaghetti sauce, and each time you would have thought there had been a global catastrophe from the fit my daughter threw when I said, “Just try three no thank you bites, then you can have your noodles and cheese with no sauce!”  You can understand why I would be both excited and terrified at the same time.  But, if my challenger thought this would be a winning recipe, maybe my perfect little angel would too.

I planned this meal for a Sunday so I would have plenty of time for it to simmer to perfection.  Terrified of the pre-fit that would surely ensue when I was asked what was for dinner, I began.

First, the browning of the hamburger and sausage.  I chose to use hot sausage instead of mild since we prefer a little heat to our food…perfect choice!  Once brown I dumped in the chopped onion and garlic. 

Beef Onions


A few notes on this step…I realized that my chopped onions were not quite as chopped as they should have been.  I believe this is due to laziness of the chopper…me.  I will continue to work on and perfect my chopping skills.  Another note…I had a jar of chopped garlic instead of an actual clove of garlic.  Not knowing how much of the jar stuff a clove equals, I just dumped a spoonful in and hoped for the best.  I actually think it worked because it seemed to have the right amount of garlic flavor for my taste. 


Then came the spices and sugar…yes, I said sugar!  Consider my mind blown.  Adding sugar to lasagna seems to me to be the most insane thing a person can do.  It must be my non-chef like mind, because when I told others of this crazy ingredient they didn’t seem to have quite the shocked reaction I had.  Side note: It was about this time that my precious little girl asked what we were having for dinner.  I clenched when I said the word “lasagna” and waited for the stomping and crying.  Instead, I received the following statement, “Um, you shouldn’t put sugar in meat stuff.  I don’t think you know what you’re doing.  I’m NOT going to like this.”  She then walked away without raising her voice or tears flowing.  She simply laughed to herself knowing her mom didn’t have a clue.  I’ll show her!!!

I then dumped in the tomato paste, canned tomatoes and water.  This is when I got confused.  The directions said to simmer for 1 to 2 hours.  This doesn’t work for someone who does not cook.  I need an exact time.  I stared at those words for a good ten minutes trying to decide the right thing to do.  Finally, I decided this was a time for compromise.  I simmered for exactly 1 hour and 30 minutes!  WIN!


Sauce complete

Here is a tip: Just because you have a full package of lasagna noodles, does not mean you need to cook the full package of lasagna noodles.  I felt sick after I realized I only used nine of the noodles and had no use for the rest.  Such a sad waste of noodles.  So, if I could offer one bit of advice, cook only nine for the 3 layers…it should work perfectly. 


I layered as directed and put it in my preheated oven.  It smelled amazing!

Finished Lasagna

Now for the thumbs up/thumbs down test.  I very quietly and gently told my kids to try three bites before they made up their minds and to give it a fair shot.  I received…drum roll please…TWO THUMBS UP!  Not only did they BOTH like it, they both went back for more!  Never, in the history of my house have my kids honestly enjoyed lasagna.  I was amazed.  Conclusion: My kids didn’t like MY lasagna. 



To get the full recipe, click here.


One Response to Darbi’s Cooking Challenge: Homemade Lasagna

  1. Aishia 25/08/2015 at 5:06 pm

    Wow, looks delicious and not to time consuming, plus there’s happy kiddos!

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