Red Gold’s All-In-One Lasagna Recipe

Red Gold Lasagna

I love a good lasagna recipe.  It tastes delicious.  It’s a one-dish meal.  It’s savory and hearty.  And, it’s fairly easy to make.  With Red Gold’s All-In-One Lasagna Recipe, it’s now even easier.

Last week, Red Gold sent me an All-In-One Lasagna Kit that included 2 cans of Red Gold 14.5 oz Diced Tomatoes with Basil, Garlic and Oregano, 1 can Red Gold 28oz Crushed Tomatoes, 1 box of Traditional Lasagna Noodles, 1 Custom Red Gold Spatula and a lasagna recipe card for Red Gold All-In-One Lasagna.

All I needed was mozzerella cheese, ricotta cheese and water.


Plus, I did not have to boil noodles!

Here is the basic lasagna recipe from Red Gold.



2 cans of Red Gold 14.5 oz Diced Tomatoes with BasRed Gold Lasagna Recipeil, Garlic and Oregano

1 can Red Gold 28oz Crushed Tomatoes

1 box of Traditional Lasagna Noodles

1/2 cup of water

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

salt to taste

15 oz container ricotta cheese

3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

**I added a pound of browned ground beef and some asiago cheese with the parmesan.  We love the flavor of asiago!



  • Preheat oven to 350º F.
  • In large mixing bowl combine water, 2 cans of Red Gold 14.5 oz Diced Tomatoes with Basil, Garlic and Oregano, 1 can Red Gold 28oz Crushed Tomatoes, Italian seasoning and salt.  Add browned ground beef at this point if you are using it.
  • Cover the bottom of a 9x13x2 inch baking pan with 1½ cups of sauce mixture.  Arrange 1/3 of noodles on top of sauce, slightly overlapped.  Top with ½ of ricotta cheese, 1 cup of mozzarella cheese and 1 cup of sauce.  Repeat layers and top with last 1/3 of noodles and the remaining sauce.  Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 1 to 1½ hours; until noodles are cooked. Let stand for about 10 minutes before serving.

I love this basic lasagna recipe because you can make it your own.  Eliminate the ground beef and go for spinach to make it vegetarian.  Or, use ground turkey instead of ground beef for a lighter version.  For more ideas, visit Red Gold’s recipe page!


Disclaimer:  Red Gold sent me an All-In-One Lasagna Kit to try in return for this review.  All opinions are my own. 


Menu Plan Monday: Chili, Tacos, Red Beans and Rice


This week’s menu plan features hearty chili, easy beef tacos, and delicious red beans and rice.  Finally, we are back in the swing of things, now that Christmas Break is over and the snow days have stopped.  This is a busy week so we need an easy menu plan.

Steak and Vegetable Stir Fry with Rice

Vicky and Jen’s Truck Stop Chili

Beef Tacos and Corn with Chopped Salad

Skillet Red Beans and Rice with Kielbasa from the Kentucky Fresh Cookbook

Pizza and Cabbage Steak

Some tips for your menu plan:

I like to cover my steak in coarse salt.  When I say cover, I mean cover.  Coat the steak thoroughly, all over, with coarse salt and let it sit in the refrigerator for an hour.  Then rinse it in the sink and sautee it with a little butter.  Slice it and throw it in your stir fry vegetables toward the end of cooking.

To make my taco and chili meat ‘go further’, I cook lentils separately and add some to the mix.  No one has noticed!  It’s great added fiber and cheaper.

Cabbage Steak?  Sounds gross, but it was delicious.  And cheap!  Try it!

Enjoy your week and your menu plan.  If you need more ideas, check out the Organizing Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday!


Menu Plan: Dumplings, Vegetable Beef Stew, Butternut Squash Soup

I have a delicious, hearty and easy menu plan this week with vegetable beef stew, dumplings, stir fry and more.  Great for a cold day and healthy too!

Luckily, we had some of our farm vegetables frozen from the summer and used them tonight in our stir fry…carrots and sugar snap peas…and then bok choy and green onions from the store.  These vegetables stir fried with grilled steak from last night and some Colonel De’s Far East Seasoning made for a delicious meal.

Here is our menu plan for the week:

Vegetable Beef Stew with Homemade Whole Wheat Bread

Chicken and Dumplings, Salad and Green Beans

Chicken Fajitas with Roasted Broccoli

Steak and Vegetable Stir Fry and Fried Rice

Butternut Squash Soup and Grilled Cheese

Beef Tacos, Beans and Salad

Easy and the kids will love it.  Do you have a special New Years meal or menu plan?

Need more inspiration for your menu plan?  Check out Menu Plan Monday on The Organizing Junkie.  Find a menu plan you may love!

Happy New Year!

Unique Handmade Note Cards: Cards by Katie


My friend Katie of the little things journal and Cards by Katie makes the most beautiful handmade note cards.  These handmade, carefully created, note cards often capture both large and small landmarks in Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati.  She takes the pictures herself for her photo note cards, often with her kids in tow, as she goes on adventures in Covington, Cincinnati and other cities in the area.

She can also personalize your handmade note cards for custom orders. Want a different color scheme?  Let her know.  Want you name on the note card?  Just tell Katie!  Need lots of invitations or thank you note cards for an event?  Cards by Katie can help!

I love getting a handmade thank you note card or just a note to say ‘hi’, ‘thinking of you’, or ‘it was great to see you.’  I also love sending these types of notes, and I prefer to do it with a cool and unique note card, not something off the bargain rack at Target.  It is so much more personal than an email, facebook message or form letter.  This morning as I sat down to write a teacher a note before Christmas break, I used some of the cards I ordered from Katie’s last sale.  My favorite is the gnome (from Katie’s parents back yard!), but the beautiful fairy is a close second (taken at Baker Hunt Art and Cultural Center in Covington Kentucky).

I especially love Katie’s handmade note cards that capture something familiar in the Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati area.

Check out this gorgeous note card capturing the Cincinnati skyline and Roebling Suspension Bridge at night.  It’s beautiful!

Though many of her cards are photographs, there are lots that are sweet and thoughtful, handmade designs without using photography.  I love this simple “Cheers” note  card, especially to send a quick thought to someone at the first of the year!

Make sure you check out Cards by Katie’s Facebook Page to keep in the know about sales…rumor has it there will be a huge note card sale in January!  Won’t you need to tell everyone how much you loved their Christmas gifts?  Think…Thank You note cards!




Sneaky Chef Review and Giveaway :: Get Kids to Eat Vegetables!


The Sneaky Chef pasta sauceDo you have a hard time getting your kids to eat vegetables? Check out The Sneaky Chef, where vegetables are already mixed in the food you are cooking. Missy Chase Lapine’s “The Sneaky Chef” line is now at Remke in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Missy will be visiting the Florence Remke on December 7th.

“Sneaky Chef”, Missy Chase Lapine, shares tips on how to ‘sneak’ great food into your children’s meals. Saturday, December 7th 2013 12-2pm. Remke Markets at 6920 Burlington Pike in Florence. FREE and Open to the Public! There will be a cooking class, Q&A, demos, activities.

I was lucky enough to get to try some of The Sneaky Chef products this week and I even have a give away so that you can try some of these tasty treats! This week I received pasta sauce, pasta and No-Nut Butter.

The Sneaky Chef No-Nut Butter

I started with the No-Nut Butter, which is not made from soy beans like I originally thought. It is made from golden peas and is soy free, gluten free and dairy free—making it great for kids with allergies. I was excited to try this because my daughter goes to a peanut free school and I have to pack peanut butter alternatives. She was ‘starving’…aren’t they always…so I quickly slapped together a No-Nut Butter sandwich while I perused the recipe for Dreamy No-Nut Butter Cookies. I love peanut butter cookies, so I thought this was a great place to start.

I made 2 dozen of the cookies that evening and they were gone by noon the next day. The kids loved them, and even my husband, as well as the neighbor who stopped by the next morning. They taste distinctly different than traditional peanut butter cookies rolled in sugar and criss-crossed with a fork, but they are tasty in their own right.

The Sneaky Chef Cheesy Red Pasta Sauce and Whole Grain Veggie Spaghetti

Next we gave the pasta sauce and pasta a try. I browned a pound of ground beef and added the Cheesy Red Pasta Sauce and let it simmer. Then I boiled the Whole Grain Veggie Spaghetti, which looks brown in the box, but turns the color of regular spaghetti once cooked. My spaghetti and meat sauce was topped with grated parmasean cheese and served to the kids! What would they think?

Test passed. They ate it all and loved it. I thought it tasted delicious also.

The pasta is made with 51% whole wheat and has nutrients from 6 different hidden vegetables in it. The sauce has 8 hidden vegetables.

Cheese Tortellini with The Sneaky Chef Turkey Meat Flavored Sauce

The day before Thanksgiving was a crazy day of baking, chopping and going to the theatre. I had to bake a pumpkin cake, make a fruit tray and get ready to take the kids to the Aronoff Center to see The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. The Musical!

It was a great day, but we were so hungry and wanted a hot lunch. I remembered I had frozen tortellini and a jar of pasta sauce. I boiled the tortellini and topped it with The Sneaky Chef Turkey Meat Flavored Sauced and served it with grated parmesean cheese. It hit the spot and the sauce was awesome.

One of the claims The Sneaky Chef makes about the smooth pasta sauce is that there are ‘no icky green flecks’. I found this funny because the one thing Middle Child complains about is “Ew!! What’s that black thing?? What’s that chunk??” when he eats something different. So, true to their statement, there are no flecks! It is truly smooth.

Would you like to try some of these products for yourself? Here’s how you can try to win: (Please leave an email address with your entry)

Entry #1 Check out The Sneaky Chef Facebook page. Share a recipe if you’d like!

Entry #2 Share this giveaway with friends on Facebook or Twitter. Be sure to tag I’m Living the Good Life in your post or tweet.

Entry #3 Comment below why you’d like to win products from The Sneaky Chef.

A random winner will be announced Monday December 9th at 8:00pm. The winner will have 24 hours to respond or another will be chosen.

Want another chance to win? Check Katie’s blog The Little Things!

Disclaimer: I was provided with products from The Sneaky Chef line to review for this giveaway.All opinions are my own.

Menu Plan Monday: BzzAgent Chicken Florentine Skillet Meal is a Hit!

Tonight, thanks to BzzAgent, we tried Kroger Skillet Meal Chicken Florentine.  It was surprisingly delicious.   I am not a big fan of processed bagged or boxed meals but thought we’d give this a try since I had the chance to review it on BzzAgent. It took 10 minutes to make and tasted fresh. The chicken was white meat and the sauce was super creamy and delicious. You should definitely give it a try. And, it’s on sale this week at Kroger!

Here is our complete menu for the week.  Super easy and fast. 

Kroger Skillet Meal Chicken Florentine, Salad and Garlic Bread (thank you BzzAgent)

Truck Stop Chili  (again, because it was awesome)

Bean Soup (using dried navy beans and ham)

Keilbasa and Cabbage

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff

If you need more inspiration, check out The Organizing Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday.

Happy menu planning!

I am a BzzAgent and get to try products for free or at a deep discount to review. All opinions are my own and all reviews are honest!

Menu Plan Monday: Goulash, Chili and More!

Last week I was a little busy. 

Putting kids in jail.

Locked up for ‘Crimes Against Cleaning’…or maybe just for singing that stupid ‘What Did a Fox Say’ song a bazillion times.

Actually, that was for the school Fall Festival.  But, I’m considering building one of my own.

Anyway.  We were busy last week so we ate out a lot.  But, we are back on track and here is our menu. It’s really simple.  I also write for Family Friendly Cincinnati and did a compilation post of some great Fall recipes earlier this season.  From that post, we are eating:


We’ve already had the goulash and chili.  Both were fantastic.  Even my picky chili eatin’ husband loved the Truck Stop Chili.  Today we are trying the Tortilla Soup and I’m roasting the chicken as I type. 

These are great recipes for cool Fall weather.  I hope you enjoy them.

If you need more inspiration, check out The Organizing Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday. 

Happy menu planning!


Menu Plan Monday: Farm Vegetables, Eggplant, Cabbage and Quiche

The next couple weeks mark the end of our delicious farm share vegetables. 

Tomorrow we should be getting some great stuff…cabbage, broccoli, sweet potatoes, carrots and more.  I’ll miss picking up my fresh vegetables every week and have enjoyed learning new recipes and trying some different crops. 

I had no idea what celeriac was until a few weeks ago, but loved it in our beef stew.  I also had never made edamame but now cannot wait to make more of this salty, nutty snack! 

Here is what we are having this week, with lots of our farm vegetables!  (Thank you Rains & Sun Hilltop Farm for the Quiche and Heuvos Ranchero recipes!)

Quiche with Farm Vegetables
(sautee 2 cups of vegetables, mix with 1 1/2 cup milk and 3 eggs, bake in a crust until done) 
and Salad
Huevos Ranchero
(roast some peppers and onions, then sautee with a couple eggs, put in a burrito)
Beef Tacos and Salad
Broccoli Enchiladas and Sweet Potatoes

Remember my “What to do With Eggplant” post?  Well, last week I had more eggplant and I was a little tired of hummus. 

Check out the babaganoush I made.

I made mini pizzas using eggplants as the crust.  Just peel the eggplant and slice about a half an inch thick.  Sprinkle on salt and pepper and bake at 400 until just toasted.  Then cover with a little pasta sauce and cheese.  Bake again until cheese is melted.  The kids loved them and surprisingly, so did my husband.

If you need more menu ideas, check out the Organizing Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday for hundreds of other menu plans. 

Happy menu planning!


Menu Plan Monday Featuring Quiche, Pizza and Beef Stew


We are picking up another great selection of vegetables from our farm share this week and I am so excited!  Pictured above is last week’s share and I snuck a lot of it into a quiche…even my husband who does not like okra ate it and loved it…including the okra.

Here is what we are having this week:

Vegetable Beef Stew (using okra, celeriac and chard from our share) and Crusty Bread
Pasta with Fresh Basil, Garlic and Olive Oil with Salad
Chicken Strips with Mac and Cheese and Veggies
Homemade Pizza with (sauce from our tomatoes) and Salad
Vegetable Quiche (use 2 cups of chopped vegetables, 3 eggs and 1 1/2 cups milk)
Ravioli with Pasta Sauce and Shredded Cheese

For the quiche last week I used shredded potatoes, okra, chard and celery.  Just sauté in a little butter or olive oil and then add milk and eggs.  Pour in a pie crust and bake at 400 until done.

If you haven’t checked out my recipe for babaganoush (hummus using eggplant), check it out here.

If you need more menu ideas, check out Menu Plan Monday at the Organizing Junkie.  There are hundreds of other menu plans!

Happy Menu Planning!

Got Eggplant? Make Hummus or Babaganoush!

Do you ever buy eggplant? 

If you are like me, the answer is no. 

I remember in fifth grade we grew eggplant from a seed.  I brought it home and planted it next to the bird bath in the back yard.  Only one eggplant grew and it got so big that the plant tilted and the eggplant laid on the ground.  It ended up rotting because, like me, my mom had no idea what to do with it.

I bought eggplant once to make Eggplant Parmesan, and was not impressed.  It could have been my cooking skills, but I wasn’t about to try again. 

Of course, an eggplant was included in our share from the farm the other week and I did not want to waste it.  I am always determined to use every bit of vegetables we get out of our share. 

What to do?

I discovered you can make hummus…or babaganoush!  My friend told me about it and I had no idea what it was.  I thought it was a pastry.  Or just Vince Vaughn’s nickname in Wedding Crashers. 

It is like hummus!  I made my own version and we all loved it. 

Here’s how:

First, roast the eggplant.  Cut it in half lengthwise, like the picture at the top of this post, lay it face down on a backing sheet sprayed with cooking oil, and bake on 400 degrees until tender.

Next, scoop out the insides, seeds and all, and put in a food processor.  Add the remaining ingredients, one at a time, and blend.

Remaining ingredients:
1 can of chickpeas (do not rinse)
2 cloves of minced garlic
Cumin to taste
Sea salt to taste
Juice of about half a lemon
1-2 Tablespoon of olive oil

You want it creamy, just like you see in the store. 

Enjoying our eggplant with some peppers from the farm!

Unlike most hummus recipes, I do not add tahini oil.  This eliminates a lot of the extra calories.  Sometimes I do add a little olive oil, but that’s only if I remember or feel like it needs to be thinner.  Also, I do not measure my cumin, salt or lemon juice.  Just add it slowly and taste it as you go. 

If you don’t have eggplant but still want to try to make your own hummus, use a can of white kidney beans, rinsed.