Monday, November 1, 2010

November Blog Feature - The Culinary Couple

Like I mentioned here, I'll be doing a blog feature every month.  More details at the end.

In the meantime, this month's blog feature is the Culinary Couple.  I found Emily's blog a few months ago while surfing the blog world and was immediately drawn by her website and then stuck around for the next hour or two because of the recipes.  Once I've finished drooling over the existing recipes and catching up on her posts, I immediately added her to my Google Reader.  There was no way I was missing anything in the future!

But enough about me.  I'll let Emily do the talking, so-to-speak.

Thank you, Kat, for inviting me to post on Living like the Kings! Let me introduce myself to your readers.

I’m Emily, a central Pennsylvania native who met the love of my life in a science lab. On 08.28.09 we stood in a garden on the banks of a river and promised to honor and cherish each other in sunshine and in rain.

Pic by Robert Winton
I’m a writer. I love summer strawberries, bitter dark chocolate, and my red KitchenAid stand mixer. I scribble notes in cookbooks and organize my grocery list according to the layout of the store.
Nick is a scientist. He loves pistachios, microbrews, and his red Le Creuset Dutch oven. He bakes bread, he can’t resist the combination of chocolate and peanut butter, and he makes a mean German meal.

Together we are The Culinary Couple.

We began to chronicle our kitchen adventures together in 2007. At first, we tried to impress one another with sweet potato soup and lasagna. We woke up to baked French toast and strong hazelnut coffee. We shared brie with cranberries and almonds and sips of pumpkin ale. We told stories over glasses of Pinot or Chianti while simmering, sautéing, and stirring.

Now we make it a priority to eat locally grown produce and locally raised meat when possible, and to harvest what we can from our humble front porch garden. (Heirloom tomatoes and fresh basil leaves make pesto pizza taste so much better.) We’re proud to live in Pennsylvania – home to hardworking farmers, railroads and covered bridges, and changing seasons.

In the fall, we curl up together on the couch with bowls of hot soup flavored with onions, zucchini, carrots, and sweet potatoes. And during the summer, we can’t get enough cherries, plums, peaches, and sweet corn.

To us, cooking isn’t just about preparing delectable dishes; it’s about laughter and gratification. It’s about making memories in bites bursting with flavor, taking pleasure in other cultures, and raising our glasses to another day together.

I’m so fortunate to have found a mate who can match my love for food!

I hope you try this recipe for our favorite hearty lasagna because there’s nothing more satisfying than the sweet and spicy aroma of simmering meat sauce. The recipe calls for two kinds of meat, three types of tomatoes, and three varieties of cheese. It’s time consuming to prepare, but it’s well worth the wait. It’s easily consumed in its entirety by a full family, or it can be divided between two 9x9 foil baking dishes and stored in the freezer.

If you take the freezer route, assemble the layers, cover tightly, freeze, and then bake an additional 15 minutes. Enjoy!

• 1 pound sweet Italian sausage
• 3/4 pound lean ground beef
• 1/2 cup minced onion
• 2 cloves crushed garlic
• 1 – 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
• 2 – 6 oz. cans tomato paste
• 2 – 6.5 oz cans canned tomato sauce
• 1/2 cup water
• 2 tablespoons white sugar
• Fresh basil
• 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
• 1 tablespoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon pepper
• 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
• 12 lasagna noodles
• 16 oz. ricotta cheese
• 1 egg
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 3/4 pound sliced mozzarella cheese
• 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


1. In a large pot, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. (As always, the longer it simmers, the better!)

2. In a separate large pot, bring lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water.

3. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

5. To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil. (To prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.)

6. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Here's some info if you want to be featured:
Each month I will pick a blogger to answer some questions and include a sample post about a topic of their choice. In addition to the feature post, I will include your button on my blog for a month (I can do a picture of your choice if you don't have a button) with a link to your blog and the feature post.
To enter you have to be a loyal follower and let me know that you're interested (contact info here).


  1. Recently met Emily on a Laurel Highlands food tour and am now hooked on her delicious recipes and blog posts! Perfect choice for your monthly highlight! Cathy

  2. I am always on the lookout for a good food blog! That recipe looks wonderful :)

  3. Recently met Emily on a Laurel Highlands food tour and am now hooked on her delicious recipes and blog posts! Perfect choice for your monthly highlight! Cathy

  4. That recipe for your lasagna has my mouth watering already! Hmm, it might not be too late to change my dinner plans and surprise my wife with a home cooked meal ;)


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