Hubby cooked this for my birthday. It's the best lasagna recipe that he's tasted. Last year, he made the same thing for my birthday, with chocolate cake that he made with the help of Betty Crocker and Duncan Hines. However, this time, I told him I'd bake my own cake, because I wanted to try the Crema de Fruta (thanks to Celia Kusinera for posting on this). I also baked biscuits to go with it. He felt uneasy that I had to do something on my birthday...haha...he's so sweet.
2 lbs ground beef (they call it hamburg)
2 cloves minced garlic
1 6-oz can tomato paste
1 qt raw-packed tomatoes (which I canned; you may substitue with stewed tomatoes)
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp oregano
2 12-oz cottage cheese
2 16-oz pkg Aged Swiss cheese
Brown ground beef. Drain excess fluid. Add the garlic. Add tomatoes (if using tomatoes packed raw, drain the excess juice first), add a can of tomato paste and the spices, salt and pepper. Add more to taste.
Cook lasagna according to package directions. Place first layer of lasagna on bottom of 13 in x 9 in baking dish. Then divide the ground beef into two parts. Place the first layer of ground beef on top of the lasagna noodles,
then top with 1 package of cottage cheese, then top with 1 package of Aged Swiss cheese.
Repeat the layers.
Finalize with a double layer of lasagna noodles; the topmost used as a guard to avoid drying up the noodles below, and has to be discarded after baking (they will be tough and toasted, unsuitable for eating). Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes.
We (hubby, me and the boys) ate it with freshly-baked biscuits.
This is how we traditionally celebrate birthdays in our family, not quite different from what I had been doing in the PI before we moved here: I would cook to prepare for a special dinner usually consisting of lumpia, fried chicken, and spaghetti or pancit bihon, complemented with bought ice cream and cake. No luxurious and extravagant parties. No big and numerous gifts. I am glad my hubby and I agree on this. Our relatives would come later during the day to greet the birthday celebrant (me) and give their gifts and share the dessert (ice cream and cake) and chat.
There was not much left after the day. I divided this leftover into 4 serving portions and hubby had one for dinner the next day, and we had it for supper as well (as per kids' request).
The boys told me that "Papa's lasagna tastes yummier than yours." Funny, but I don't recall making lasagna, and neither did hubby when I told him about the boys' comment. They liked his lasagna so much that they (all 3 of us, actually, while hubby was out to bring my stepdaughter back to her other house) had it again for supper. While Ting-aling froze her leftover lasagna, I did not have the need to. Hubby requested it for dinner-at-work the next day; the boys requested to have it again for supper the next day (spared me from cooking!).