SPINACH LASAGNA

It’s cloudy and rainy here, and it’s Monday. I was in the mood for something warm and yummy. I haven’t made this lasagna in a while. I have, however, been making this particular recipe for about 30 years. I found it years ago and over the years I have tweaked it to my taste.

It’s very simple to make and takes no time at all. There is a little trick to the noodles which are generally the biggest pain; you’re going to love it! No, it’s not the oven ready noodles. Fill a very large bowl with the hottest tap water possible. Take your noodles and put them in the hot water while your are prepping your filling. By the time your done making your filling the noodles are ready. Pretty simple and they come out perfect! Nobody likes mushy noodles!!!!

Frozen spinach is used in this recipe. All you have to do is thaw it out and squeeze out the excess moisture. The only way I know how to do this is with a clean, lint free, cotton dishtowel. Put the thawed spinach in the center and squeeze the heck out of it. Don’t worry, your dishtowel will come out clean when you wash it. It’s amazing the amount of moisture that comes out of it! Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and mix well. In minutes you’re ready to assemble, and then to the oven.

If you have picky eaters or difficulty getting them to eat greens, give this one a try. My kids always loved it and never knew there was an onion in there. My husband just walked through and said “I don’t know what’s in the oven but it smells amazing. Can we eat now?”

This smells so awesome ….. wish you were here!

With that said, it’s time to crisp up some Italian bread and make an olive oil dipping sauce. Hope this one finds it’s way to your table. I know your gonna love it!

Spinach Lasagna

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: easy
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INGREDIENTS:

  • 9 uncooked lasagna noodles
  • 2 (9-oz) packages of frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1/2 C finely chopped sweet onion (you can add this raw or caramelized to take it to another level)
  • 1/4 C fresh parsley chopped, or 3 t of dried parsley
  • 1 (24-oz) carton of cottage cheese
  • 4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 (8-oz) container of chopped Baby Bella mushrooms (optional)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 C shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 C grated Parmesan cheese (I use Parmeggiano/Reggiano )

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Fill a very large bowl with the hottest tap water possible. Put your noodles in the bowl and let them sit while you prepare the filling. For at least 20 minutes. Remove and lay flat on foil, or a silpat, or a cutting mat.
  2. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  3. In a medium bowl combine, spinach, onion, parsley, cottage cheese, goat cheese, mushrooms, garlic powder, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and eggs and mix well.
  4. Using a 13×9 ungreased pan, layer 1/3 of the noodles, 1/3 of the spinach mixture, and 1 C of Mozzarella, repeat the layers twice more.
  5. Sprinkle the top with the grated Parmesan.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Let stand for at least 10 minutes before cutting.
  7. Garnish with some additional parsley and a sprinkle of paprika if desired.

Til next time,

Ciao xoxo

Viki D

homemade MARSHMALLOWS covered in Chocolate

Well, 2020 has really been one for the books. I don’t know about you but I am looking forward to 2021.

Here we are, and it’s Christmas time once again. There’s something about putting up a tree and decorating the house that makes life a lot more tolerable. My favorite thing to do is bake cookies and make goodies for friends and family.

This year is no exception! So far I’ve made sugar cookies, Russian tea cakes, chocolate chip, and raspberry thumbprint cookies. I have also made chocolate covered pretzels. The one thing I love to make this time of year is homemade marshmallows. Just to step up my game, they also get dipped in chocolate and embellished with crushed candies or Christmas sprinkles. I have a friend that is a chef. He said “I don’t even know what’s in a marshmallow”. It’s pretty easy, basic stuff.

For years I was intimidated by having to use a candy thermometer. I got over it really quickly because I just had to try my hand at marshmallow making. Boy, am I glad that I did. Once you’ve had homemade you will never want store bought again. They make great gifts and are a definite crowd pleaser. Licking the bowl and the beater are an absolute must! I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 packages unflavored gelatin
  • 1 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • 1 C light corn syrup
  • 1/4 t kosher salt
  • 1 T pure vanilla extract (you can use other flavorings if you like)
  • Confectioners sugar, for dusting and to prevent sticking together

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Combine the gelatin and 1/2 cup of cold water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk. Let this sit while you make the syrup.
  2. Combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/2 C of water in a small saucepan fitted with your candy thermometer. Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. (you will be able to see the mixture becoming clear). Raise the heat to high and cook until the syrup reaches 240 degrees or soft ball stage on the candy thermometer. Remove from the heat.
  3. With the mixer on low slowly pour the sugar syrup into the dissolved gelatin. Put the mixer on high speed and whip until the mixture is very thick, about 15-20 minutes. Add the vanilla or other flavoring and mix throughly.
  4. With a sieve/or wire strainer generously dust an 8×12 inch glass baking dish (no metal) with confectioners sugar. Pour the marshmallow mixture into the pan, smooth the top and dust with more confectioners sugar. Allow to stand uncovered overnight until it dries out.
  5. Turn the marshmallow onto a board dusted with confectioners sugar and cut them into squares. Don’t panic, you will have to pull them out of your pan, they will not just fall out. You can make them any size you like. Dust them with more confectioners sugar to prevent them from sticking together.
  6. Use a good melting chocolate like Merckens or melting wafers. (We like dark chocolate). Melt your chocolate and using a fork, sit the marshmallow on top of the tines and put the marshmallow into the chocolate, covering all areas. Bring it up and tap the marshmallow against the side of the container to remove excess chocolate and help with sheeting. Move to a pan lined with parchment paper, using a chop stick or toothpick just to guide it off the fork in a sliding motion, add sprinkles or crushed candy of choice. Once all the marshmallows are prepped put in the refrigerator to harden the chocolate.
  7. Store in an airtight container after the chocolate is completely hardened and keep in a cool dry place.

Note: when melting chocolate I like to do it in the microwave. I set it to half power and melt at 30 seconds and stir after each with the fork that I use to dip them with. I use a plastic container with a lid so if I have chocolate left over I can cover it and save if for the next time.

Let someone you love lick the bowl and beaters….if you don’t get to them first!

Til next time,

Ciao xoxo and a Very Merry Christmas

Viki D