Sunday, September 27, 2009

Turkey and Spinach Lasagna

I have to admit, I have never really loved lasagna...sorry but it's true. I always knew it could be good. Well with this twist on the traditional dish I believe it is good. Forget ricotta and mozzarella. I want flavor! I have gotten nothing but rave reviews on this one. I promise you will fall in love with this recipe. It's easy and pretty quick.

1 ½ lbs ground turkey
4 small 8 ounce cans tomato sauce (I use Hunts brand; two regular, two garlic flavored.)
8 ounces lasagna noodles
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
8 ounces sour cream
2 cups shredded extra sharp white cheddar
1 bag of spinach

Boil lasagna noodles and drain.
Saute spinach in olive oil. Drain excess juice and oil.
Brown turkey.

Combine spinach and turkey in a large bowl. Add tomato sauce and mix together.

In a separate bowl, combine cream cheese and sour cream.

Layer in 9x13 baking dish:
layer all of the noodles on the bottom of the casserole dish
½ turkey/spinach/tomato sauce mixture
cream cheese/sour cream mixture
½ turkey/spinach/tomato sauce mixture
sprinkle cheese on top

Bake uncovered at 350 degree for 30 minutes.

Let sit 5-10 minutes after removing from oven before serving.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Shower Food

I threw a fall themed shower for a dear friend of mine, Molly. She is due with her little guy, Griffin, October 25 and we all couldn't be more excited! To celebrate his arrival we threw a couples baby shower-- fall themed to usher in the seasonal excitement in the most festive way possible!

Food-wise I obviously thought about butternut squash-- what could be more fall-ish?! Initially I planned on doing a soup, but I actually figured with this crowd a salad would be even better-- it did not disappoint!

Butternut Squash Salad With Apple Cider Dressing

  • 1 (1 1/2-pound) butternut squash, peeled and diced
  • Good olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup (real stuff!)
  • salt
  • handful of dried cranberries
  • approximately 3/4 cup apple cider or apple juice
  • approximately 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • approximately 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 4 ounces baby arugula, spring mix or whatever leafy greens, washed and spun dry
  • 1/2 cup walnuts halves, toasted or glazed
  • (I also think a handful of pomegranate seeds would be awesome)


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the butternut squash on a sheet pan and make sure chunks aren't too big. Toss with olive oil, the maple syrup, and salt. Roast the squash for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until tender. Add the cranberries to the pan for the last 5 minutes.

While the squash is roasting, combine the apple cider, vinegar, in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the cider is reduced to about 1/4 cup. Off the heat, whisk in the mustard, olive oil, and salt. ** This is what the formal recipe calls for-- I just eyeballed and added apple juice, apple cider vinegar, dijon, salt, and olive oil, mixed it and tasted until I liked the flavor. No boiling or anything, turned out delicious.

Place the lettuce in a large salad bowl and spoon just enough vinaigrette over the salad to moisten and toss well. Add the roasted squash mixture, the walnuts, and the grated Parmesan (if desired). Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds if desired.

This turned out really well and was a perfect fall salad with a bunch of flavors that worked really well together!


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Gouda Mac N Cheese

A spin on the Barefoot Contessa classic. Mac and Cheese is a staple in my home-- but we don't use the blue box around here. Thats like saying a bad word. (And it really is easy to make-- it just seems like a long recipe, but really its just because I am long winded...)

I like to make my mac n cheese from scratch-- so much better and soooo worth it! Originally I started experimenting with it when I tried Ina Garten's gruyere and cheddar macaroni and cheese, but now I toss in different cheese and try out texture changes with different noodles. Its really fun to come up with concoctions that really seem to work. I just finished making a gouda and white sharp cheddar mac and cheese and I have never been more pleased with the outcome. The great thing is that most of this stuff you always have around the house, with the exception of the gouda. Bear with me as I usually do everything to taste (measuring just means more dishes)! Also, this recipe is how much I make for just Adam and I and maybe one guest, double it for a bigger crowd.

A few tablespoons of flour (maybe 2 or 3 )
A few tablespoons of butter (equal to the amount of flour plus another 1 or 2 for breadcrumbs)
about 1 c. hot milk
1 c. white sharp cheddar (thats a really rough guess-- just keep adding until it tastes amazing-- same with the gouda)
1/2 c. to 1 c. gouda (and if you aren't a gouda person, try something else like gruyere or just double the cheddar)
a few cups of noodles (often I do macaroni, but if we have guests I use cavatappi because its so pretty, but sometimes hard to find at the store-- but use what you like! Penne, rotini, whatever)
about 1 c. bread crumbs (can use panko or make your own in the food processor from white bread)
2 roma tomatoes (optional)

Throw the noodles in a pot of boiling water and cook according to directions on box. While noodles are cooking I work on the cheese sauce:

I start by making a roux and which I turn into a bechamel. This sounds really exciting because its fun french cooking terms, but its pretty basic-- mix one part fat with one part thickening agent over heat= a roux, and once you add the hot milk its a bechamel sauce. I like to use a couple tablespoons of butter and a couple tablespoons of flour. Cook over heat for about a minute. You want them to mix together and still be a little loose-- if they clump together add a little more butter, if it's super runny add a little more flour. After the minute, add the hot milk. Keep stirring over heat until you see the very cool transformation of runny milk to a beautiful rich and creamy milk substance. At this point you can remove from the heat and throw in the grated cheeses. Mix them well-- the hot milky sauce should melt the cheese pretty easily. Salt to taste.

Drain noodles and immediately add them to the cheese sauce. For my lunch-- I usually just stop here and toss a couple sliced tomatoes on top and call it a day (I like mine gooey and cheesy but baking it, which Adam prefers, will firm that up a little). For guests, I put it in a baking dish. If I have tomato eaters, I slice a roma tomato really really thin and do a single layer of that over the top with a tiny bit more salt to bring out the flavor of the tomatoes--if not I skip it. I mix bread crumbs with enough melted butter to moisten them (1 or 2 tblspns) and then evenly distribute over the macaroni and tomatoes. I bake it on 400 for about 20 minutes or until the breadcrumbs get all golden and crunchy.

Make sure you eat it hot otherwise the breadcrumbs will turn from an awesome crunch to a soggy mess. This dish is a crowd pleaser for sure and I am loving the discovery of the gouda addition. You will never be sad about making this deliciousness.


Saturday, September 12, 2009


  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 pound broccoli florets, cooked
  • 1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 2 scoops of mayonnaise
  • 1 squeeze of Lemon Juice
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350' degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Bake chicken until tender and shred into bite size pieces.
  3. Steam broccoli until crisp but tender.
  4. In a small bowl mix together the soup, mayonnaise, and one squeeze of lemon juice.
  5. In a 9x13 inch baking dish layer the chicken, broccoli, soup mixture, and cheese.
  6. Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes.
Serve over rice!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Artichoke Dip


  • 2 (6.5 ounce) jars marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 (4 ounce) can diced green chile peppers, drained


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the artichoke hearts, mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese and chile peppers. Transfer the mixture to a 9x9 inch baking dish.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven 20 to 25 minutes, or until lightly browned

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Fried Ice Cream

I like to think that I can just randomly make things taste good regardless of how much of something I am supposed to add. Kind of dumb, but usually my results are pretty good anyway. The problem is I don't know how to recreate these inventions on a foodie blog.

This recipe was stolen from my friend Molly. Its good. I didn't pay attention to measurements-- but its dessert, people! Just add however much tastes delicious!

All you need is:
either Frosted Flakes or Corn Flakes
Vanilla Ice Cream (I guess you can actually do whatever you want, but its good with vanilla, especially with the chocolate sauce I will post next!)

sprinkle in plenty of cinnamon and sugar and toss in a bunch of Corn/Frosted Flakes in a medium mixing bowl. Mix and smash so the pieces of cereal are little and broken.

(get ready to get messy!) Take about a cup of Ice Cream (use a scoop, spoon, whatever, but your hands are going to get nasty anyway so you might as well use those-- and please make sure they are clean!) and mold it into a ball with your hands. Toss it into the cinnamon/sugar/cereal bowl and cover with yummy crunchy little flakes. Set on a piece of parchment/foil/Tupperware (anything you have will pretty much work, it doesn't really stick)
in the freezer until all the way frozen through again (about an hour).
6 people for dessert? Make 6 balls. Easy.

And I LOVE my new Anthro bowls-- they are the perfect size for this. Can't wait to have guests over to serve it in them (read: come over so I can make this again right now!!)

Don't Be Appalled...

You'll love it--but you're not going to like it! Just ignore how many ridiculous ingredients you're putting in, and keep in mind it tastes so amazing because of what you're tossing in the pot. Plus this makes so much you'll make it once and have leftovers in your freezer for the next 27 years.

Chocolate Sauce
(perfect for over the fried ice cream, as fondue for girls night, or just with a spoon! Ha)

Melt Together:
12 oz bag of chocolate chips (I like the good stuff: Ghirardelli--but use whichever you like, and I would do a double boil so I don't burn the chocolate)
1 c margarine

add alternately:
2 2/3 cup evaporated milk (although we used sweetened condensed milk on accident-- still good!)
1 lb powdered sugar

2 tsp vanilla
1 (7oz) jar marshmallow creme

Bring all ingredients to a boil; stir constantly for about 5 minutes. Makes a ton. Lasts for about 3 to 4 weeks in refrigerator and freezes well.
I drizzle about 1 or 2 tablespoons of the stuff over the fried ice cream. YUM!