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Fast & Easy Lasagna

Everyday lasagna 2 Dining In logo

Everyday Lasagna is the next recipe in my collection of Favorite Weeknight Dinners.  I made this yummy dish last night and, as always, it was a huge hit!  It takes about 15 minutes to assemble—not a bad investment of time for such incredible results!  The baking time of 55 minutes total leaves a nice period of down time for relaxing or (sigh) grading papers.  Add a simple salad and some garlic bread to this main dish and you’re set!  Enjoy!

Everyday Lasagna

1 pound lean ground beef
4 cups tomato-basil pasta sauce
6 uncooked lasagna noodles
1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese
2 ½ cups (10 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese

¼ cup hot water


1.    Preheat oven to 375° F.

2.    Lightly grease an 11 x 7-inch baking dish. 

3.    Cook beef in large skillet over medium heat, stirring until it crumbles and is no longer pink; drain.

4.    Stir in pasta sauce.

5.    Spread one-third of meat sauce in baking dish.  Layer with 3 noodles and half each of ricotta and mozzarella cheeses.

6.    Repeat procedure; spread final one-third meat sauce over mozzarella cheese.

7.    Slowly pour ¼ cup hot water around edge of dish.

8.    Cover tightly with 2 layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil.

9.    Bake for 45 minutes; uncover and bake 10 minutes more.

10.    Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Yield:    6 to 8 servings

This recipe is featured in Four Course FACS, our FACS literacy resource based on the young adult novel Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous.

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FACSessorize It Friday

Facsessorize logoHappy FACSessorize Friday, Everyone!  Today our FACSessory topic is log cabins.  Everyone is familiar with this symbol of Americana, but here are a few FACS facts the you and your students might not know.  Feel free to share! 

lincoln logs 

Fascinating FACS Fact:  2016 marks the 100th anniversary of one of the most iconic and enduring of all American toys, Lincoln Logs.  Did you know that Lincoln Logs were invented by Frank Lloyd Wright’s son, John?  Who knew, right?  This would obviously be an interesting fact to share in a child development or parenting class, but it has connections to other FACS content areas as well.

Here are some related FACS facts:

  • The log cabin is one of the oldest forms of shelter.  Historians believe that the earliest log cabins were built in Northern Europe around 3,500 B.C.  This sturdy structure was probably brought to America by Scandinavian settlers.  History of the log cabin.
  • Several American presidents claim to have lived in a log cabin.  This list includes Andrew Jackson, Zachary Taylor, Millard Fillmore, James Buchanan, Ulysses S. Grant and James Garfield.  Of course, the president most closely associated with the log cabin is Abraham Lincoln.
  • The Log Cabin Quilt block became popular in the 1860s.  A simplified version of this iconic quilt pattern is a great introductory sewing project because it uses all straight, short seams and can be constructed from fabric scraps.
  • The Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder was published in 1932.  This book and the others in the series that followed it are an excellent depiction of home life on the American frontier.  This would be a good novel to incorporate into a FACS literacy program.
  • Cooking in a log cabin presented many challenges.  Many of the recipes from this era produced  colonial recipes that have become American classics.

Hope you will share some of this information with your students! 

FACSessorize 1

This blog entry is an example of the content you will find in FACSessorize!, the latest resource from Fresh FACS, available January 2016.

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May Day!

daisy chain quote gold bgThis quote from comedian Steve Martin is one of my favorites!  In my opinion, it’s also a mandate for what FACS professionals need to do to improve and expand programs across the board.  This quote will always appear as part of the blog posts in this new series and I hope it will serve as a reminder of our need to constantly be striving to make our programs better and stronger.  I hope that the information in this post will be useful in helping you all do just that.

The month of May has been designated as:

National Barbecue Month

National Strawberry Month

National Egg Month 

National Beef Month

National Hamburger Month

National Salad Month

National Physical Fitness and Sports Month

National Asparagus Month


A Brief History of the Hamburger

1763—First reference to a hamburger sausage is mad in English book Art of Cookery, Made Plain and Easy.

1885—Charlie Nagreen places a meatball between two slices of bread at a county fair in Wisconsin.

1916—Walter Anderson opens the first White Castle.

1948—The McDonalds brothers cut the entrees on their menu down to just burgers.

1952—George Stephen invents the Weber Kettle Gas Grill, key to the outdoor burger craze.

1984–"Where’s the beef?" Wildly successful Wendy’s advertising campaign.  The catch phrase was used in every venue from burgers to politics.  The commercial is a classic!

2006—The Palms Hotel in Las Vegas added a $6,000 burger to their menu.  The restaurant threw in an ultra-rare 24-year-old bottle of Bordeaux.

FACS By the Numbers

Since May is National Physical Fitness and Sport Month, let’s take a look at how far you’d need to walk to burn the calories in a few common fast food menu items.

Money Talks—What Items go on Sale in May?

credit cards

  • Cookware
  • Electronics
  • Mattresses
  • Televisions
  • Vacuum cleaners

Facs word of the day

Commis:  The apprentice at a food service operation following the kitchen brigade system.

I selected this word because it’s a term that I learned while reading Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous.  Thought if it was new to me, it might also be new to some of you.

I’d love some feedback on the new format!  Please let me know what you think!  FYI—Today was heavily skewed toward food and nutrition.  I plan to include all content areas in upcoming posts.