Monday, September 30, 2013

Spinach Chicken Lasagne with White Sauce

9 lasagne noodles
2 c. chicken, diced
Cooking spray
2 c. skim ricotta
4 c. mozzarella, shredded
1 c. Parmesan, shredded, divided
First layer
18 oz. baby spinach

4 Tbsp. butter
1 small onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
6 Tbsp. flour
1 c. chicken broth
2 1/4 c. milk
1 tsp. salt
black pepper

Boil the noodles until al dente. While the noodles are boiling, cook the chicken in a skillet until no longer pink. Set aside.

Ready to bake
When the noodles are done, drain and run cold water over them. Let them sit in the cold water until you are ready for them. This will keep them from sticking together.

To make the sauce: Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add in the minced garlic. Cook for 1 minute. Add in the flour. Stir around until the onion and garlic are all coated in the flour.

Whisk in the broth and milk. Turn up the heat to medium high. Let the sauce sit for a minute, then continue to whisk. Pause another minute, then whisk continually. Do this for 4-5 minutes while the sauce thickens. Stir in the salt and however much of the seasonings you like. Remove from heat.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Ready to eat
To make the lasagne: Spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Take 1 c. of the sauce and spread it on the bottom of the pan. Layer 3 noodles over the sauce. Gently spread 1 c. of the ricotta over the noodles. Layer half of the chicken over the ricotta. Layer 2 c. mozzarella over the chicken. Sprinkle 1/3 c. of Parmesan over the mozzarella. Top with 9 oz. of baby spinach.

Repeat layers: sauce, 3 noodles, ricotta, chicken, mozzarella, Parmesan, spinach. Layer 3 more noodles, then spread the remaining sauce on the top. Sprinkle with the last 1/3 c. of Parmesan over the top.

Cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil. Bake uncovered for 12 more minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before serving. If you can't wait for it to rest, it just means it will be a little runny, but still delicious.

Here's a link to the recipe I adapted:

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Pumpkin Muffins with Nutella

2 c. flour
Before baking
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/3 c. pumpkin puree
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 egg
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 Tbsp. milk
2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Line a muffin tin with paper liners

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
After baking

In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin and sugars. Add in the egg, oil, milk, and vanilla. Slowly whisk in the dry ingredients until there are no lumps.

Fill the muffin tin about 3/4 full. Scoop 3/4 tsp of nutella on each muffin. With a toothpick, gently swirl in the nutella into the batter.

Bake for 15-17 minutes.
Mmmmm.... muffins...

Makes 12-14 muffins.

Here's a link to the original recipe I modified:

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Macaroni Salad

I don't usually like macaroni salad, but this stuff is amazing. My husband came up with the recipe. We've made it several times in the last few months.

1 lb. elbow macaroni
1 c. mayo
1/4 c. white vinegar
2/3 c. sugar
2 1/2 Tbsp. yellow mustard
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
2 eggs, hard boiled
2 celery stalks, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1/4 c. pimentos, diced
3 green onions, thinly sliced

Cook the macaroni according to package directions. Drain. Set aside.

In a bowl, combine the mayo, vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt and pepper. Mix altogether. Pour this dressing over the pasta and toss until the pasta is all coated.

Add in all the vegetables and eggs. Stir together. Serve and enjoy!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Easy French Bread

Before baking
2 1/2 c. bread flour (or all-purpose)
1 Tbsp. yeast
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. honey
3/4 c. hot water
olive oil
1 egg
1/2 Tbsp. water

In a large bowl, stir together 1 cup of the flour, yeast, and salt. Add in the hot water and honey. Stir, then add in 1 more cup of flour. Sprinkle part of the last 1/2 cup flour on a dry surface. Knead about 5 minutes, slowly incorporating the remaining flour into the dough as you knead.

Roll out into a rectangle. Then roll the dough lengthwise, making sure it is tight. Seal the seams and fold the end under. Lay seam side down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cut diagonal slits in the top. Brush very lightly with olive oil.

Ready to eat
Cover and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 F.

In a small bowl, beat the egg and water together. When the dough has risen, brush the top with the egg wash. Bake 15-20 minutes. Bread should sound hollow when tapped. Serve warm.

Here's a link to the recipe I used:

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Fijian Honey Bread

1 1/4 c. cake flour
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 c. honey
1 egg
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. allspice
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Grease a bread pan; set aside.

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Stir until well mixed. Pour into greased bread pan.

Bake for 32-42 minutes, or until the middle is set.

Cool 10 minutes in the pan, then remove to a wire rack. You can serve it warm out of the oven, but I have found that if you wrap it up and store it til the next day, it's a little more moist and the flavors have had time to blend together.

Here's a link to the recipe I adapted:

Friday, September 13, 2013

Curry Meatballs

2 eggs
3/4 c. rolled oats
Meatball mixture
1/8 c. milk
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 Tbsp. ginger, minced
1 Tbsp. fish sauce
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/4 c. cilantro, chopped
3/4 tsp. salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. lime juice
dash of white pepper
black pepper, to taste
1/2 Tbsp. curry powder
dash or two of Sriracha sauce
1/2 tsp. coriander
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
Meatballs in the curry sauce

1 can (14 oz.) coconut milk
dash white pepper
1/2 Tbsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. coriander
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. ginger, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
1/8 c. lime juice

Hot cooked rice
Sriracha sauce, optional

Meatballs cooking
Combine the eggs, oats, and milk in a large bowl. Let stand 5-10 minutes. Then add in the rest of the ingredients for the meatballs except the coconut oil. Mix it all together. Shape into meatballs, about the size of golf balls.

Heat the coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat. Brown the meatballs on all sides, about 2-3 minutes. It's okay if they are not cooked all the way through. Depending on the size of your skillet, you may have to brown the meatballs in batches. When the meatballs are browned, remove to a paper towel lined plate.

Curry meatballs with Sriracha
In the same skillet, turn the heat to low and add in all the sauce ingredients except the lime juice. Stir it all together. Place all the meatballs in the skillet. Simmer on medium heat for 8-10 minutes, flipping once or twice. Stir in the lime juice.

Serve over hot cooked rice with some Sriracha sauce (if you want it). Enjoy.

Makes about 12-15 meatballs, depending on the size.

Here's a link to the recipe I adapted:

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Mini Pumpkin Muffins with Cinnamon and Sugar

1 3/4 c. cake flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 c. butter, melted
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Muffins just out of the oven
1 c. pumpkin puree
1/2 c. milk

1/2 c. sugar
2 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/4 c. butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 F.

To make the muffins: In a large bowl, mix together the cake flour, baking powder, salt, and spices. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter and brown sugar. Add in the egg. Whisk for 1 minute. Add in the vanilla, pumpkin, and milk. Stir to combine.

Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture. Stir until just combined.

Grease a mini muffin tin. Scoop batter into the tin, about 2/3 full.

Bake 12-13 minutes, or until the center is cooked through. Check with a toothpick. Allow to cool. While the muffins are cooling, make the coating.

To make the coating: In a shallow bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon. Stir to mix. In another shallow bowl, add the melted butter (or melt it in the bowl you're going to use).

Mini pumpkin muffins
When the muffins have cooled, dip each muffin first into the butter, then roll in the cinnamon and sugar mix. Enjoy warm.

Makes about 36 mini muffins.

These do not store well after the coating is put on, so if you don't plan to eat all 3 dozen, just don't put the coating on until you're ready to eat them.

Here's a link to the recipe I adapted: