Now, I cut myself a little more slack in the summer. My husband is out of town every summer for typically at least a month and I have a much harder time cooking for one. So I have a few prepared meals I will buy. I strongly prefer planning well so that it doesn't come to that and I like making meals in advance.
Today, I made a large lasagna and enough cannelloni for 3 dinners. Sasha also got in on the action and made pork tenderloin wrapped in puff pastry with a mushroom-cream sauce wrapped up with it. You'd think we spent hours and hours doing this but each of us took under an hour each. We also made our dinner for tonight in between...but that was just grilled sausages :)
I only took sporadic pictures since I was pretty busy :)
Here is some of the prep work for all the dishes.
I like to do all the prep at once, I find it saves time.
On the stove, I have tomato sauce and ground beef sirloin. To the beef, I have added some onion, garlic, basil, oregano, crushed chilies, kosher salt and pepper. I also add a spoonful of tomato sauce and a couple tablespoons of tomato paste.
Tomato sauce to cover bottom
A little sauce; zucchini & mushrooms
I was using dried noodles that don't need to be pre-boiled but do better if there is more liquid in the lasagna. After layering the noodles, I also drizzled some of the liquid that comes off the spinach and also some of the mushroom soaking liquid over them. Better to add flavour at the same time! I often will add a splash or two of red wine but didn't have any I was willing to part with today :)
I then wrap the dish in plastic wrap followed by aluminum foil and freeze it.When I'm ready to make it, I defrost it, I remove the foil and plastic wrap, put the foil back on and bake it for about an hour. Keep an eye on the moisture level in there. If it has been 40 minutes and it's really liquid, remove the foil. About 10 minutes before you think you want to pull it out, add grated mozzarella and Parmesan to the top and allow to cheese to brown (you might need to broil for a minute). Remove from oven and let rest for at least 10 minutes. It's hard to wait but it's worth it!!
On to the next...
Assembling the cannelloni. I REALLY must remember to get a piping bag! It would make this so much easier and faster. I did try using a ziploc baggie with a corner cut out but it only lasted for about 10 fills before breaking.
Here is my completed work. The white dish of cannelloni was already put in the fridge for tomorrow night's dinner. I thought I got a picture of the lasagna before wrapping it up but I was wrong.
Finally, here is what my hubby has to show for his efforts (one of them was already wrapped up good when I came in for a picture).