Posts filed under ‘Things I’ve Learned from My Fiance’

Things I’ve Learned from Shawn: Lasagna For Dummies

Shawn is much more comfortable in the kitchen than I am, and – believe me – I exercise this fact regularly. When he moved to New Hampshire, little did I know that I would get not only a live-in boyfriend, but a great cook (err personal chef) as well! One of his best dishes (thanks to his mom, I believe) is this easy lasagna recipe. Ever since my short bout with the South Beach Diet, I haven’t been much of a pasta eater, but I will always have room for this lasagna. This is the kind of dish where the leftovers are better than when it’s fresh from the oven.


  • 15 lasagna noodles
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 small yellow onion
  • 1 lb. ground turkey (with seasoning to taste – basil, salt, pepper, etc.)
  • 1 jar tomato sauce (our fave: Prego Three-Cheese Pasta Sauce)
  • 1 container low-fat ricotta cheese
  • 1 block of mozzerella cheese, cubed


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Bring a pot of water to boil, and cook noodles as directed. When they’re al dente, take them off the stove and strain. Set aside.
  2. In a pan, sautee the onions and garlic for a few minutes, then add the ground turkey until cooked through. Add some seasoning to taste (ours usually consists of the pre-mixed Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, a little bit of basil.. you know, whatever you’re in the mood for).

ground turkey

3. Add a thin layer of sauce to the bottom ofthe baking dish, and layer 3-4 noodles across the bottom (enough to cover the bottom).

first layer

4. Layer on the ground turkey mix and top with chunks of mozzarella cheese and random dollops of ricotta cheese. Continue to layer the ingredients like this 5-ish times, depending on how deep the dish is. Sauce, noodles, turkey, cheese. Sauce, noodles, turkey, cheese.

second layer

5. Cover in tin foil and bake at 350 for 45 minutes, then uncover and bake for another 10-15 minutes.


Mmmm.. this serves 8 to 10 if you’re normal, or 2 if you have leftovers for lunch and dinner throughout the week. I don’t have nutritional information, but if you use low-fat cheeses and ground turkey instead of beef (and even use whole wheat noodles, if you want), you are erring on the side of a healthier version. Never in my life did I think I would make lasagna, but I didn’t realize how easy it is.


May 10, 2009 at 7:30 pm 2 comments

Things I’ve Learned From Shawn: Part I

I have to give Shawn credit – he has done a great job getting me accustomed to domestic life. For some reason, he’s just better at this stuff than I am! Aside from the fact that I am significantly more aware of my finances (doesn’t mean I spend much less), he has done wonders to expand my cooking acumen, introduce me to gadgets like the spoon rest and has shown me the glory of taping before you paint.

He was certainly the driving force behind us getting our condo – something I’m incredibly thankful for. If we had followed the little life plan I thought I put together for us, we’d be paying rent in an apartment in somewhere outside of Boston. I realize now that it was a smart move for us to save money and buy property – especially in this market. I realize we’re incredibly lucky to have purchased a home at our age and still be financially comfortable. I can’t wait to share the lessons learned with our friends who will be looking for their own houses soon enough.

I’m also learning a lot about being handy. Don’t get me wrong – he’s no general contractor, but he knows a ton more about power tools that I ever would. I had never heard of a butterfly screw before we installed the floating shelves (and thanks to My Favorite Drywall Anchor, we’ll always know which kind to use). And I’ll admit it now, but I just needed him to verify that a “stud” in the wall was in fact a piece of wood that was flush against the drywall. I admire his enthusiasm when we talk about doing our own bathroom renovations, and though I’m kind of frightened by the possible outcomes, with a little help from my dad and YouTube, I think we’ll be alright.

There are so many reasons that I am excited to marry Shawn, but his ability to teach me little “under the radar” habits for running a household is really special to me – he probably doesn’t even realize he does it. I know I’m no Martha-in-training, but I appreciate his patience while I pretend!

April 18, 2009 at 9:34 pm Leave a comment

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