just a smidgen

Big Bucks Lasagna Bites

lasagna tart 2most parents cherish memories of our child’s

First Day of School

photos are taken to capture the moment,

a few tears shed

(most often ours)

hands kissed and folded shut to keep the kiss from blowing away..

some small hands detached from legs with reassurances that

“you will love school”


“wait ’til you meet your teacher”

with both of my kids now graduated
from high school

i thought these moments would be fewer

and farther between

well, parents with young children,

you will be happy to know…

i was (not sadly) mistaken!

now i get to cherish memories of their

First Day of Work

of course, we had to shop for new clothes..

(something a little more appropriate for a “grown-up” job)

appointments were made to get hair just right
for this new and exciting world…

where they actually get paid “big bucks” for their “chores”

…and they actually do them!

schedules are rearranged

bus stops found and routes planned out

oh.. but there was one more detail…

someone needed to make lunch


some of you remember this post.. “Strawberry Fields Forever”

i wrote long ago, celebrating the end of

making school lunches

long before I became known as “Smidge”;)

yes, i know…

they do make their own lunch most days

except when they’ve slept past their alarm and

“i’ve” neglected to wake them up

i guess i’m making lunches again

apparently my job never ends

and i have to admit

…I’m so glad it doesn’t

I think a version of these little lasagna lunches have been floating around cyberspace for a while.. I’ve wanted to make my own version for some time, ever since I found these adorable little mozzarella pearls at Mercato West!

These Lasagna Bites are meltingly soft and cheesy straight out of the oven, but really “set up” nicely and that makes them really portable for travel. Add a green side-salad and you’ve got a great lunch!

I had a few left-over won tons.. so I just had to try them in my tart pans…

I knew they were a winner when my son checked to see how many more were baking in the oven…

“Big Bucks” Lasagna Bites
  • 454 g pkg won ton wrappers
  • (fresh vegetable section of our grocers)
  • vegetable cooking spray
  • 650 kg (1 1/2 lbs) extra-lean ground beef
  • 1/2 onion, chopped fine
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 400 ml tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pink peppercorns, crushed
  • 2 tbsp flat-leaf Italian parsley
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 500 gm ricotta
  • 2 tbsp flat-leaf Italian parsley
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 380 gm part-skim mozzarella
  • (you will have left-over)
  • medium chunk parmesan Reggiano, grated
  • 200 g pearl bocconcini
  1. In a large skillet, fry ground beef, onions, and garlic over medium-high heat until beef is thoroughly cooked and onions are lightly browned. Remove any additional accumulated fat. Stir in the remaining ingredients in order. Simmer over medium heat until mixture has thickened somewhat. Set aside once this is done.
  2. While the meat is simmering, lightly whip the egg with a fork in a medium-sized bowl. Stir in the ricotta. Add the parsley, salt and nutmeg and stir to blend thoroughly. Set aside.
  3. Line 24 muffin tins with won ton wrappers, using two wrappers for each cup. Try to “off-set” each of the two wrappers so that the sides of each cup has 8 “peaks”. This gives each cup more depth for filling.
  4. Spray lightly with a vegetable cooking spray.
  5. Using a small spoon, fill each cup approximately 1/3 full with the meat mixture, pressing to fill the cup. If there is a bit of runny sauce, push it off to the side and just use the meat.
  6. Then fill each cup with a spoonful of the ricotta mixture, pressing again to flatten the top.
  7. Sprinkle a small amount of mozzarella, followed by a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.
  8. Top each cup with a few bocconcini pearls.
  9. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling, but not overly browned and the won ton wrappers have browned.
  10. Serve immediately or refrigerate for later.



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