Valentine’s Day is truly what you make it. For me, it is an opportunity to check in with my Hubby, and make sure he knows how much he is truly loved. This is not done in our house with big bouquet’s of flowers (although that’s not all bad), or by creating undue pressure to manifest the perfect night out. It is in fact done by doing the complete opposite. Valentine’s Day in our family is a day and an evening to give a little extra hug, wink a little more, and as of late, create a date night at home.
When the girls were a little younger this meant creating a special dinner just for them. Perhaps their favourites served on fancy dishes and yes of course, a very decadent desert. Then once those girls were safely tucked in bed, a late dinner by the fire for two. This quickly become the tradition in our house. Two Valentine’s Day dinners, and everyone was happy. The only problem now? Those girls of mine have gotten a bit older and I can’t wait for them to go to bed for my special Valentine’s Day dinner. The solution this year, a dinner we can all appreciate. Truthfully from what I’m hearing it may be a dinner Hubby and I will enjoy, as well as my girls and about 7 of their closest friends. LOL Oh have times have changed, and I am so okay with that!
So this year instead of dinner for 4, it’s dinner for 11 or more and I needed to think outside the box. Something I can jazz up for the adults and something the little’s will adore; enter Lasagna Cupcakes for the win!
Here’s the plan!
Whip up some amazing Lasagna Cupcakes and have them ready and waiting for when anyone in our Valentine’s Night Dinner Party for 11 is ready to eat!
- 1 large jar of your favourite pasta sauce
- 2 packages of Olivieri Lasagna sheets
- 1 small package lean ground beef
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 cup cottage cheese
- 1 cup of mozzarella cheese
- one clove of garlic
- salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- non stick cooking spray
- You will also need a large muffin tin!
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
2. Cut lasagna sheets into 18 circles using a round 2 ½-inch cookie cutter or a small juice glass and a sharp knife. They don’t have to be perfect!
3. Combine ricotta cheese and cottage cheese and set aside.
4. Brown ground beef adding salt and pepper and garlic to taste.
5. Thoroughly grease the muffin tins with cooking spray.
6. Time to start layering! Spoon a generous tablespoon of sauce into the bottom of each muffin tin. Add your first lasagna noodle. Scoop in beef, followed by cheese mixture, a sprinkle of mozzarella and repeat! Start all over again with that second round. You should be able to squeeze two layers in before topping with more sauce and some freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
7. Cover with Aluminum Foil and bake for approximately 25-35 minutes, removing foil for the past 10 minutes.
8. Remove and allow to sit for 5 minutes, then carefully remove. *Hint you can loosen the edges with a sharp knife and then use a spatula to lift and plate.
Add a side of garlic bread and Caesar salad and you are Mother of the year!
*This recipe will make about 6 yummy portions. (you can make some basket style portions with the leftover bits) My new fave trick. I make extras, going a little heavy on the sauce on tray two and freeze some for quick weekday dinners when my girls are on the go!
The young partiers in our house will enjoy the lasagna cupcakes with all the fixings downstairs with a very scary movie. (Mom approved of course) Hubby and I will enjoy our upstairs with some jazz playing in the background to drown out the noise of our many blessings laughing in the basement! Wishing you all a Happy Valentine’s Day!
Heads up! Olivieri® Pasta is currently running a Valentine’s Day contest, the grand prize is a spa retreat trip for two and there is still time to enter!
Looking for some more dinner inspiration?
Disclosure: I am participating in a campaign with Olivieri and received compensation for my post; however as always all opinions expressed are my own.