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Vanessa Lachey with her family.

"For a natural-born party planner like me, this is the season of small get-togethers and big celebrations.” — Vanessa Lachey

Getty Images / iStockPhoto; Courtesy: Justin Coit (2)

Vanessa Lachey, in her own words:

Winter is magical. But let’s be real here–it can also be crazy stressful. It’s cold; the kids are on break from school; you have to figure out what gifts to give your in-laws and bosses and what you’re going to do for the kids’ teachers. It’s no wonder we start counting down the days until spring break while it’s still freezing outside.

Despite the stress, winter is also a season of warmth and reflection. It’s pine-scented candles and chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven. It’s twinkling lights and cozy pajamas. It’s binge-watching your favorite holiday movies and spending quality time with the people you love. It’s eating warm chicken tetrazzini (one of my winter favorites and, coincidentally, the meal I ate before each of my kids’ births) and enjoying a cozy cocktail.

I continue a few of the traditions that began during my childhood, but most of our winter traditions were started by Nick [Lachey] and me as a way to remember what matters most in life: connection, closeness, and comfort food—not necessarily in that order! For a natural-born party planner like me, this is a season of small get-togethers and big celebrations. Even if you would rather spend cozy nights at home with the family, I hope this inspires you and helps make your season more magical and memorable in ways large and small.

Lachey's book, Life from Scratch, is available here: lifefromscratchbook.com

NCIS: Hawai'i airs on Mondays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBS and streams on Paramount+.

Lachey Lasagna

Close up image of a lasagna

Excerpted from Life from Scratch by Vanessa Lachey. Reprinted with permission from HarperOne, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Copyright 2021.

Getty Images / iStockPhoto; Courtesy: Justin Coit (2)

Lachey Lasagna
During any season, this recipe is always a crowd-pleaser, but it’s an especially good way to warm up after a cold winter day. Bonus: You can save the leftover sauce to make another dish later.


INGREDIENTS

1 lb. Sweet Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
1 lb. Lean ground turkey (I use the 1-pound Jennie-O packs) 1⁄2cup chopped or minced white onion
2 Garlic cloves, crushed or minced
1 28-oz. Can crushed tomatoes
1 12-oz. Can tomato paste
1 15-oz. Can tomato sauce
1⁄2 Cup water
2 tbsp. Granulated sugar
1 1⁄2 tsp. Dried basil
1⁄2 tsp. Fennel seeds
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tbsp. Salt, plus more as needed
1⁄2 tsp. Ground black pepper
4 tbsp. Chopped flat-leaf parsley, divided
12 Lasagna noodles (more or fewer to taste)
1 15-oz. Tub ricotta cheese
1 Egg
3⁄4 lb. Pre-sliced low-moisture mozzarella cheese, divided
3⁄4 cup Grated Parmesan cheese, divided


MAKING IT FROM SCRATCH

In a large, dry Dutch oven, brown the sausage over medium heat, breaking it up into a crumble as you go. When it’s almost brown, add the ground turkey. When the meat is fully cooked, add the onion and garlic and sauté until the onion is translucent. Then add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and tomato sauce. Add the water and mix well. Next, add the sugar, basil, fennel, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons of the parsley. Simmer, covered, for 90 minutes (or more). Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the lasagna noodles according to the package directions. Then drain the noodles and rinse under cold water. At this point, I lay them out on a cookie sheet so I can easily grab them as I’m assembling. In a medium bowl, mix the ricotta with the egg. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of parsley and salt to taste.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Spread 1 1⁄2 cups of the meat sauce on the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish. Place half the noodles on top of the sauce in an overlapping layer. (I use six of them in this step.) Spread with half the ricotta cheese mixture. Then top with half the mozzarella cheese slices in an even layer (cut the slices to fit if you have to). Next, add another 1 1⁄2 cups of the meat sauce, then sprinkle with 1⁄4 cup of the Parmesan. Repeat the layers, starting with the noodles, then the ricotta mixture, then the mozzarella. Top with 1 1⁄2 cups sauce and the remaining 1⁄2 cup Parmesan cheese. If you have sauce left over, save it for another use. Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil, then bake for an additional 25 minutes.

Life from Scratch book cover picturing Vanessa Lachey seated on a wooden swing

Excerpted from Life from Scratch by Vanessa Lachey. Reprinted with permission from HarperOne, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Copyright 2021.

SUBSCRIBE NOW: Enjoy 4 Digital Plus 2 Print/Digital Issues Of Watch Per Year — For Free!

NCIS: Hawai'i airs on Mondays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBS and streams on Paramount+.

NCIS Special Agent DiNozzo partners with the NCIS: Los Angeles team to search the city after his prisoner escapes custody on a flight from Singapore to Los Angeles

Photo: Neil Jacobs/CBS

By Nate Millado

The NCIS universe has expanded in the past 18 years—most recently with NCIS: Hawaii—and it's been a blast watching our favorite agents get to play in the same sandbox! These crossover events have treated fans to some pretty epic episodes and inspired pairings. Here's a look back at a few of our faves.

Watch NCIS on Mondays at 9 PM, ET/PT on CBS and streaming on Paramount+.

Watch NCIS: Los Angeles on CBS and streaming on Paramount+.

Stream NCIS: New Orleans episodes on Paramount+.

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LL COOL J shouts into his phone while holding a bloodied and unconscious Chris O'Donnell

Sam (LL COOL J, left) rushes to Callen's (Chris O'Donnell, right) side after he is shot by an unknown gunman.

Photo: Danny Feld/CBS

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Pauley Perrette and Eric Beal having a drink

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Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS.

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Mark Harmon and Scott Bakula lean on a wrought iron railing in New Orleans

Gibbs (Mark Harmon, left) and NCIS Special Agent Dwayne Cassius Pride (Scott Bakula, right) chase leads in New Orleans after evidence points to a copycat killer.

Photo: Skip Bolen/CBS

Gibbs (Mark Harmon) and NCIS Special Agent Dwayne Cassius Pride (Scott Bakula, right) are on the tail of a copycat of the infamous Privileged Killer in New Orleans, while Pride's NCIS: New Orleans team heads to Washington, D.C. to investigate potential political connections to the case.

"Blame It On Rio" (NCIS: Los Angeles)

Eric Christian Olsen with Bobby Lee and Michael Weatherly holding guns in a warehouse

NCIS Special Agent DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly) partners with the NCIS: Los Angeles team to search the city after his prisoner escapes custody on a flight from Singapore to Los Angeles

Photo: Neil Jacobs/CBS

D.C.-based agent DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly) partners with the L.A. team to search the city after his prisoner escapes custody on a flight from Singapore to Los Angeles. DiNozzo and Marty Deeks hilariously try to one-up each other throughout the episode, proving exactly why NCIS fans love these crossovers!

"Sister City, Parts I and II" (NCIS/NCIS: New Orleans)

\u200bMichael Weatherly in a raincoat over a jacket and tie next to Pauley Perrette in a polka dot coat holding a black umbrella

Michael Weatherly and Pauley Perrette

Photo: Bill Inoshita/CBS

After the passengers and crew of a private plane traveling from New Orleans to Washington D.C. are lethally poisoned, all signs point to the missing chef—Abby's brother, Luca (Tyler Ritter). Gibbs and the D.C. team work with Pride and the New Orleans crew to locate Luca and determine why a private tech company was targeted.

"Pandora's Box, Parts I and II" (NCIS/NCIS: New Orleans)

Scott Bakula stands next to Vanessa Ferlito and Wilmer Valderrama in a brick building

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Photo Credit: Skip Bolen/CBS.

Crossovers are always a rollicking good time, and this Mardi Gras–themed conclusion to an NCIS two-parter is no exception! NCIS agents McGee (Sean Murray) and Torres (Wilson Valderrama) travel to New Orleans to partner with Pride and his team in the search for a missing homeland security theoretical terror playbook.

Watch NCIS on Mondays at 9 PM, ET/PT on CBS and streaming on Paramount+.

Watch NCIS: Los Angeles on CBS and streaming on Paramount+.

Stream NCIS: New Orleans episodes on Paramount+.

Mark Harmon as NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs.

Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS

NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon) lives by an extensive list of guidelines, appropriately called "Gibbs' Rules." Rule No. 11? "When the job is done, walk away." And that's exactly what happened at the end of the Oct. 11 episode of NCIS, "Great Wide Open."

After 18 seasons, Harmon ended his impressive run as a series regular—as his onscreen counterpart gave up his badge to stick around in Alaska indefinitely. But fans of the long-running procedural need not fret. In a statement about the series star's departure, NCIS EP/showrunner Steve Binder had this to say regarding Harmon's future: "As longtime fans of the show may have noticed over the years … never count Leroy Jethro Gibbs out."

So, how well do you know Gibbs? Take our quiz and find out!

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The old married couple: LL COOL J (Special Agent Sam Hanna) and Chris O'Donnell (Special Agent G. Callen).

Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS

By Nate Millado

NCIS: Los Angeles is currently in its 13th season—"Are you serious?!" as LL COOL J's Sam Hanna would say—and its longevity boils down to one thing: chemistry! Special Agents Hanna (LL COOL J) and G. Callen (Chris O'Donnell)—aka Sallen—are like an old married couple; they can communicate with just a look. Their playful banter is the bedrock of this action-packed procedural. Watch rounds up our fave exchanges between one of TV's best bromances.

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