I’ll update the photo if I get a good one this Christmas Eve
Tossing around ideas for my Christmas Eve party and settled on lasagna this year. It will once again be gluten-free using specialty noodles. Excited to have our traditional party in the new house.
On the board:
- Spinach Lasagna
- Tossed Salad
- Garlic Bread*
This recipe takes about an hour to prepare and another hour to cook. It easily serves 6 – 8. I will make it a day ahead and refrigerate. It will need additional cooking time to bring center up to temperature.
- 3-15 oz cans tomato sauce
- 2-6 oz cans tomato paste
- 14 oz can diced tomatoes
- 2 tsp oregano, crushed
- 2 tsp basil, crushed
- 2 tsp crushed garlic
- 1 medium carrot, peeled & finely grated
- pinch of sugar (reduces acidity of the tomatoes)
- Optional: ½ lb ground beef and ½ spicy Italian sausage, browned
Add all ingredients to saucepan on medium-high, stirring constantly until it begins to boil lightly. Turn to low and let simmer while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
- 1 pkg lasagna noodles (16 oz), cooked and placed in cool water until layering
- 16 oz ricotta cheese
- 8 oz package frozen spinach, thawed or 8 oz fresh, washed and dried
- 1 egg
- 12 oz sliced mozzarella cheese
- ½ cup parmesan cheese
13×9 baking dish (I prefer glass), lightly oiled
To prepare: Mix ricotta, spinach and egg until well blended. Ladle a layer of sauce on the bottom of the baking dish. Cover in a single layer of noodles. Ladle sauce over noodles. Spoon ½ of the ricotta mixture evenly (if you place large dollops evenly like putting cookie dough on a baking sheet, fairly close together, it will spread as it cooks, no need to smooth it). Layer 1/3 of the mozzarella over the ricotta. Repeat: noodles, sauce, ricotta, mozzarella, noodles. On top of the last layer of noodles, add remaining sauce, mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, uncovered – I like to place the baking dish on a baking sheet to catch any spills as it bubbles. Place knife through the center, if it comes out heated through, remove and let stand for 10 minutes before cutting and serving. If it needs more cooking time, you can cover with foil to keep the cheese from burning and cook 10 more minutes. Let stand uncovered before serving.
*I’m going to purchase a gluten free loaf (we have a great local bakery for that) and I’m also going to make this Slow Rise recipe. Making the garlic bread is easy. I slice the loaves in half lengthwise, melt butter, add a healthy amount of crushed garlic and brush liberally on each loaf half. Then I top with shredded mozzarella and Parmesan. Broil until cheese is melted and bread is golden brown. Slice and serve.
I try to change it up each year, and I don’t know how I’m going to do this time. Maybe spinach/raspberry or a veggie toss with romaine.
Next up: Dessert Menu
Last month when I was so sick, I spent a lot of time resting on the couch, watching TV. This was on some cooking show, they were making a breakfast sandwich using only a waffle iron. Sounded like fun. It took me a couple of times to get the timing right because it all happens fast. Start to finish it was ten minutes per sandwich. And clean up was a breeze. Paper towel to clean out the waffle iron is all you need.
I started with the biscuits, because I didn’t want the bacon to flavor everything. I first tried refrigerator crescent rolls, but they were hard to work with and way too sweet. My second try was with refrigerator biscuits. I thought they worked about really well. The crew on the show actually reheated store bought bagged croissants. That would work, too. For the biscuit, I used one biscuit that I separated in half to cook. You could use two if you wanted thicker sandwich.
Next up: bacon. My waffle iron is 7 inches across and easily held two slices of bacon, cut in half. It cooks up fast, so keep an eye on it.
It was crisped in less than 2 minutes. I then drained off the excess grease and it was time for the eggs and cheese.
I had no trouble with it sticking, because the bacon grease kept the waffle iron well oiled. Mine held only one egg. Milk worked better than water for mixing. And my iron has adjustable temperature, so on my second try, I lowered it to the lowest setting and got the egg the way I liked, less brown, more light and fluffy.
The eggs were surprisingly fluffy, no matter what, but milk gave them a bit more loft. You could easily add green pepper or onions to the mix, maybe even tomatoes. Just watch the amounts because you don’t want the egg to spill out of the sides, then you have a mess.
The key to preparation is to have everything ready to go. Biscuits separated, egg beaten, cheese shredded and bacon cut. Then it is a quick process – biscuit took 2 minutes, bacon took 2 minutes, egg took less than a minute, then I added the cheese and that was another 30 seconds, tops. Assemble and eat. Yum.
for the garden to produce a fat juicy ripe tomato to slice for a BLT.I suppose we could have gone with the grape or cherry tomatoes that are coming ripe but they are not the same. We have a few tomatoes from Kroger’s that are closing in on their use by date. That is a commercial blend of Creole seasoning sprinkled on the sammy.
A schnitzel is a boneless cut of meat – could be chicken, pork, veal, or just about anything – that has been pounded flat, coated with flour, egg, and bread crumbs and then fried. These are chicken “tenders”, part of the breast, and they are tender indeed. If you are too enthusiastic with the meat tenderizer they will disintegrate. They got an Italian seasoned bread crumb final coat.