Friday, September 30, 2011

Whole Grain Orange Creamsicle Cookies

Oh yes, you read that right – Whole Grain Orange Creamsicle Cookies. It is like a dream come true, only I could of never dreamt this one up if I slept for a month. The combination of orange zest and vanilla chips make these cookies taste like those wonderful popsicles we used to have running all over our little fingers when we were young.

I found this recipe on Pinterest, my new addiction. I have turned into a Pinning fool! Check out my boards here, they are mostly yummy looking recipes that I have found online and then some random stuff for me and the family. 

These cookies were made with Gold Medal White Whole Wheat flour, which I had never used before. I am an all-purpose flour kinda girl - and I am skeptical of new products that replace ones that I already love. Verdict? I was blown away by how good it was. I made two batches of the Orange Creamsicle Cookies, one with all-purpose and one with Gold Medal White Whole Wheat flour and they were both wonderful. Whole Grain Orange Creamsicle Cookies? Sounds good to me. :)

I used the same exact recipe for all-purpose flour as I did the Gold Medal White Whole Wheat flour and they both turned out great.
Recipe Adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything 

Whole Grain Orange Creamsicle Cookies
2 1/2 cups flour – I used Gold Medal White Whole Wheat flour, but all-purpose flour works just as well!
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 firmly packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons orange zest – about 2 oranges worth
2 cups vanilla chips

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside
3. Cream the butter and sugars together.
4. Add egg and vanilla. Mix well
5. Gradually add flour mixture until combined. Stir in orange zest and vanilla chips
6. Drop tablespoon rounds of cookie dough onto ungreased cookie sheets
7. Bake 8 - 10 minutes or until golden brown around edges
8. Cool and then enjoy! (Makes approximately 4 dozen)

If you would like to receive a free 5lb bag of Gold Medal White Whole Wheat flour, a new cookie jar and some Gold Medal recipes – drop me a line and let me know what you want to cook with the flour. I will pick one winner on October 7th at
Good Luck!

Disclosure: The Gold Medal White Whole Wheat flour product and giveaway have been provided by Gold Medal through MyBlogSpark.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Nutella Cookies with Vanilla Chips

The weather report is saying that a storm should be rolling in next week. I am beyond excited; I have been waiting for the cold, rainy, cloudy days of fall and winter. I savor everyday of it – even the days that our backyard floods clear up to the back door and into the garage and the days the electricity goes out and even the days it gets dark at 4:45, it is all part of my favorite time of year.

Besides the weather being perfect for me, there is also Halloween, the Foodbuzz Festival, Thanksgiving, mine and the hubby’s anniversary, both of my boy’s birthdays, a crazy-fun 3-day Christmas extravaganza, New Year’s... Lots of things going on and lots of preparing to do, I can honestly say that I am looking forward to all of it. :) I can also honestly say that before I had kids I would have looked at that list of things to do and picked out the festival and the anniversary to focus on – but now I gladly put my heart into all of it because there is nothing better than seeing my boys having a good time during the holidays. Kids certainly do bring a new light to life; one that I didn’t even know was missing.

This cookie recipe is excellent. I had never tried Nutella before making these cookies and I can’t believe I waited so long. You can buy the small jar for this recipe and still have enough to indulge in. I shamelessly ate mine out of the jar with a spoon while standing in the kitchen. The toddler caught me, so he got some too – you know, to buy his silence. Haha

Nutella Cookies with Vanilla Chips
1 1/3 Cup Flour
1 Tablespoon Unsweetened Cocoa
1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Stick of Butter, unsalted and room temperature
2/3 Cup Sugar
1/3 Cup Light Brown Sugar
2/3 Cup Nutella, a chocolate hazelnut spread
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 Egg
1 Cup Vanilla Chips

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease baking sheets
2. Mix together flour, cocoa, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
3. Cream the butter and sugars together
4. Add Nutella, vanilla extract and egg. Mix well
5. Slowly add flour mixture until all ingredients are combined. Add vanilla chips and mix well
6. Drop tablespoons of dough 2 inches apart onto baking sheets. Bake for about 10 minutes or until vanilla chips just start to brown
7. Let cool, then enjoy!

Adapted from Goddess of Baking - Check out her site! Tons of great, sweet recipes to pick from. I already want to make the Grand Marnier Cupcakes next! :)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Meatball Monday: Pork Meatballs with Sun-Dried Tomatoes & Garlic

“Anyone can cook.” -Chef Gusteau

I love, love, love kids animated movies. This love started a few years ago, just about when my first son was born. I had never seen Cars and my husband couldn’t believe it, so we went to the video store and rented it. The hubby turned up the stereo so the baby could hear too (I was 8 months pregnant), and the movie started… halfway through I had already decided that I HAD to have this movie. So cute, fun and full of lessons – overnight I had become a spokesperson for Pixar, telling everyone to watch this movie. Haha

My son has gone through his favorites, first it was Finding Nemo, then Cars, then Cars Toons and now it is Ratatouille. My favorite too. :) A rat cooking in the kitchen would have never sounded cute to me, but Remy the rat has my heart. The restaurant in the movie is Gusteau’s, a French restaurant in Paris.  Chef Gusteau’s motto was, “Anyone can cook.” While at first Remy does not agree with Gusteau, he comes to realize what Gusteau meant – “Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere.” Beautiful message and so true.

Don’t worry, I did not ruin the movie or spoil the ending. I promise. :)

I know this has nothing to do with meatballs, I have just seen the movie 3 times this weekend – so it’s been on my brain. :) Happy Monday y’all!

Pork Meatballs with Sun-Dried Tomatoes & Garlic
·         3 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes, minced – I use the ones in a jar packed with olive oil
·         1 tablespoon garlic, minced
·         1 teaspoon parsley
·         ¼ teaspoon salt
·         ¼ teaspoon pepper
·         1 lb ground pork

1. Heat oven to 400, grease baking sheet
2. Combine all ingredients, form 1” balls and place on baking sheet
3. Bake for 20 minutes or until starting to turn golden brown

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Foodbuzz 24x24: Unreal Cereal Meal

Earlier this month Foodbuzz called upon their Featured Publishers to submit a meal that was budget-friendly and used ingredients that were regularly found in their own pantry. The reason that it had to be budget-friendly was this; Foodbuzz was not going to sponsor the meal, but instead provide a stipend towards travel costs to the Foodbuzz Blogger Festival. So awesome!

My mind started reeling. I went to the pantry, opened the door and stopped at the first shelf I saw; the cereal shelf. It’s ridiculous. From the healthy to the not-so-healthy; we quite possibly have a cereal for everyone in there. We are a family of four and commonly have family and/or friends over for breakfast, so it is not unusual to find 5+ boxes of cereal in our pantry… and lots of milk in our fridge. ;)

Along with the other staples in our home, such as chicken, potatoes, fresh veggies, cheese, eggs and ice cream – the Unreal Cereal Meal was created. :) And Foodbuzz selected it to be one of the 24x24 meals for September. Yay! (Happy Dance and Jazz Fingers)

Oh wait, what is the Foodbuzz 24x24? Well, every month Foodbuzz selects 24 meals submitted from their Featured Publishers, then all of the meals take place during a 24- hour period. Very cool. Check out last month’s meals here:

I am a bit fond of the End-of-Summer Oyster Party. ;)

Now, onto the Unreal Cereal Meal!!

The meal was hosted on Saturday, which turned out to be beautiful. I have been waiting for a cooler day and what a great day for it to show up. The adults relaxed while the kiddos took charge of the entire backyard. I gotta say, it is hard work being a kid – shoveling dirt to riding a tricycle to helping make dessert; and doing it all within a 10 minute period! :)

The drink station was set up inside. Orange Juice, Iced Tea, Water, Espresso and Coffee (Milk in the fridge). All are staples in our home and were a great variety to go with our cereal-based meal.

Here was our meal, starting with the appetizers:
(For recipes, click on the picture captions)

Chex Crusted Mozzarella & Zucchini Sticks

Corn Flake Potato Jacks
Honey Bunches of Oats Chicken Tenders
Shredded Wheat Green Bean Casserole

Cereal Crusted Ice Cream Balls

There were no leftovers and everybody said they were SOOO full. Those are two things that make a cook happy. I had never made any of these dishes before, but I definitely see myself making them again.

To finish up the day we rented the kids movie, Rio; of course it only seemed right to honor Toucan Sam at a Cereal Meal and we were also staying budget-friendly. Rio features tropical birds and their daring journey to return home. Great movie and the kids loved it. It was a great end to our budget-friendly meal. With minimal spending and using the ingredients we had on hand, it was a terrific day.

Rio made the kids DANCE!! :) 
Thank you Foodbuzz!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Meatball Monday: Jalapeno-Cheeseburger Meatballs

This recipe was totally inspired from my butcher. They have a HUGE assortment of meat – from marinated chicken breasts to alligator tail to the best darn steaks I have ever seen behind a glass case. When I first got my BBQ meatball basket the first place I went was my butcher, no joke. I got ground chicken, ground pork and ground beef with jalapeno and cheddar cheese. Of course I couldn't have their recipe, so I made my own. :)

This recipe would also be great to use with a sloppy joes or tacos instead of meatballs. If you like spicier food I would skip step 2 of sautéing and just add the raw jalapenos and garlic to the ground beef. The chopped cheese that is called for in the recipe is real easy - all I did was shred some cheese and then chop it with a knife. Easy as pie. (Actually easier!)

Not much to write today – just busy with life. :)

Jalapeno-Cheesebuger Meatballs
1 lb ground beef
2/3 cup colby jack, chopped
1/4 cup jalapenos, seeded and diced
1/2 tablespoon garlic, minced

1. Preheat oven to 400, grease baking sheet
2. Heat olive oil in skillet on medium-high heat. Add garlic and jalapenos, saute until jalapenos are soft and garlic is turning golden. Let cool - about 15 minutes
3. Combine ground beef, cheese and jalapeno mixture together. Season with salt and pepper
4. Form 1 inch meatballs and evenly space on baking sheet
5. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until starting to turn golden-brown
6. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Bruschetta Pizza

In case you don’t know, I LOVE cheese. So when I was selected through Foodbuzz’s Tastemaker Program to host a Sargento cheese tasting gathering – you know I was stoked! The purpose of this cheese tasting gathering was to compare Sargento natural cheese with processed cheese.

I can’t tell you the last time I had processed cheese in my kitchen. However, I can tell you that it was my first cheese love. I remember being young, around 4 or 5, and wanting nothing but processed cheese slices, plain. My favorite sandwich was two pieces of bread, mayonnaise and a slice of processed cheese. Aw man, I have come a long way since my processed cheese eating days. ;) Now I am a cheese snob, and how could that possibly be a bad thing?

One of my favorite sayings is, “The only thing better than cheese, is melted cheese.” It’s so true for me. Grilled cheese sandwiches, quesadillas, cheeseburgers and pizza – all have melted cheese, and if the cheese is not melted it could ruin your eating experience. I chose to make a pizza for my guests, half made with Sargento cheese and the other half made with processed cheese.

Bruschetta Pizza
¾ cup tomato, chopped
¼ cup red onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
1 premade pizza crust
½ cup pizza sauce
2 cups cheese, shredded

1. Mix first 4 ingredients, let marinade for 20 minutes
2. Evenly spread pizza sauce on pizza crust
3. Cover pizza with cheese
4. Top with tomato mixture
5. Cook pizza according to premade pizza crust package
6. Enjoy!

For our pizza I chose to use Sargento Provolone and Colby Jack on one side and processed American cheese on the other side. While picking out the cheeses at the store it was hard to pick which Sargento cheeses I wanted to use – their selection is huge! Their selection? Muenster, Colby Jack, Swiss, Pepper Jack, Havarti, Parmesan, Cheddar, Romano, Gouda, Mozzarella, Colby and Provolone. I wanted them all – honestly. When it came to picking which processed cheese to use, it was real easy – there is only one “flavor”, American.

Since I could not find any shredded processed cheese, I had to get slices. For comparisons sake I ended up getting Sargento slices as well, just to make it as fair as possible. Since the cheese was going to be used for pizza I hand cut the slices of cheese into shreds. I cut the Sargento first – the cheese cut very nicely and was in shreds in no time. Then I cut the processed cheese, completely different story. The cheese shreds stuck to each other, the knife and my hands. It was a mess – and the grossest part came when I washed my hands. There was a film of slime on them, and it did not just rinse off.

Sargento cheese is on the left. Each plate of cheese had the same amount on it,
however the processed cheese is heavy - weighing itself down and making the pile look smaller.

I made the pizza, half real Sargento cheese and half processed cheese. Visually, the main difference between the two cheeses was the shine. Processed cheese is very shiny – which is a quality I have never wanted in anything I have cooked.

I popped the pizza into oven and within 5 minutes of cooking my husband asks me, with a disgusted look on his face, “What is that smell?” It made me laugh because he has never made this face while I was cooking before – and I knew it was the processed cheese he smelled. It is amazing that I could cook a pizza with toppings and all that could be smelled in the kitchen was melting processed cheese. Yuck!

Final Result?

The cheese on the Sargento side of the pizza came out wonderful! The cheese melted, bubbled and browned. Just like good cheese should. It looked amazing. The cheese (can it really be called that?) on the processed side came out not so wonderful. The cheese didn’t really melt; it liquefied more than anything else.

Both of these pieces are from the same pizza and are the same temperature.
I suspect you want the one on the left?

Taste? The two most common words describing the processed cheese were pasty and gross. Everyone agreed that the Sargento side was wonderful – in both texture and taste.

I had to Google what the advantages of processed cheese were – there have to be some, right? Well, if you consider the following advantages; extended shelf life, does not separate when cooked (it liquefies) and it is cheaper to make than traditional, natural cheese. Then we look at the disadvantages; processed cheese contains chemical preservatives, artificial colors and flavors and trans fat. Oh, let’s not forget the flavor – I would have to class that a disadvantage. So, reviewing the pros and cons I can only come up with one conclusion; processed cheese is not for my family.

Thank you Foodbuzz & Sargento!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Pork Meatball Banh Mi Inspired Sandwich

About 8 years ago I lived 2 blocks away from this little deli that made the most AMAZING smoked tri-tip sandwiches. The first time that I ordered the tri-tip sandwich I requested cheese and the man working the counter said, “Oh no, no cheese on this sandwich. It will ruin it. Try it one time without cheese and if you don’t like it you can get cheese next time.” Reluctantly I said ok. See, I LOVE cheese – I mean really, really love it. I can’t remember a time I said, “No cheese please” when ordering food, yet I can remember requesting extra cheese on more than a few occasions. Ok, so back to the tri-tip sandwich… the guy was right, it was amazing without cheese, cheese probably would have ruined it. Since that day I have probably consumed close to fifty of those sandwiches – not one with cheese.

To my dismay, not every sandwich is better with cheese, some are better without it. Which brings us to the Banh Mi Inspired Meatball Sandwich…

I found this sandwich recipe while on my quest for the perfect pork meatball recipe. It is a common sandwich in Vietnam called a Banh Mi. Banh Mi is a sandwich served on baguette-style bread filled with meat, pickled carrots, daikon (white radish), jalapenos, cilantro and mayonnaise. My version is Banh Mi Inspired because my grocer was out of baguette bread, I substituted with Bolillos. This sandwich is packed with wonderful flavor and a kick of heat – it includes a carrot & radish slaw, hot chili mayonnaise, jalapenos and no cheese. Sorry cheese, I will get ya on the next sandwich. :) This recipe also calls for Vietnamese Pork Meatballs, which I just posted the recipe for on Monday. Enjoy!

Hot Chili Mayonnaise
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon hot chili sauce (I used Sriracha)
2 green onions, finely chopped

1. Mix all together
2. Let marinade in refrigerator for at least a couple hours

Carrot & Radish Slaw
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup grated radish (I used regular red radishes since I could not find daikon)
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
 ¼ cup unseasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt

1. Combine all ingredients
2. Let marinade in refrigerator for at least an hour, mixing 2-3 times. Drain

Pork Meatball Banh Mi Inspired Sandwich
Bolillos (These are Mexican rolls that I have found in the bakery of several grocery stores)
Hot Chili Mayonnaise
1 jalapeno, sliced
5 Vietnamese Pork Meatballs
Carrot & Radish Slaw

1. Slice Bolillo in half horizontally and scoop out the bread in each half leaving about a ½” inch shell
2. Slather each half with Hot Chili Mayonnaise
3. Place sliced Jalapenos in bottom half of the Bolillo shell (I put them in a single layer, but if you like it spicier – add more!)
4. Place the Vietnamese Pork Meatballs into the bottom half of sandwich, on top of Jalapenos
5. Add about 3 tablespoons of Carrot & Radish Slaw on top of meatballs
6. Top with top half of Bolillo
7. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from epicurious

Monday, September 12, 2011

Meatball Monday: Vietnamese Pork Meatballs

We really love meatballs; I love that they are so versatile and my hubby loves that they are, well – meat. I was never really a big fan of them before I met my hubby – and then he bought a big ol’ bag of them from Sam’s Club. I cooked them in different sauces, used them in a few recipes and of course used them in good ol’ spaghetti. But then I was bored with them – and didn’t want anymore. End of the meatball story.

Fast forward a couple years and I decided to make some meatballs from fresh. ( I like saying “from fresh” more so than “from scratch” - since from scratch means from nothing, I really have not made much “from scratch”. From fresh means I have used fresh ingredients, not previously frozen or canned.) Whoa, sorry about that rant – I shall digress… The meatballs were simple, but wonderful. I could not believe that I had never made any before, I felt like I had been ripping myself off! Not only was I super impressed with them, my 2 year old loved them – which is why I ended up buying the meatball basket for the bbq. I love bbq’ing and my toddler loves meatballs, so buying the basket was totally justified… It took the meatballs to the next level and now I am on my quest to find/create the best meatball recipes out there!

Every Monday we will feature a different meatball recipe, meats ranging from beef to fish and ingredients being limitless. I hope everyone enjoys!

This week we will start with Vietnamese Meatballs, and what a great way to start! I made these for a Banh Mi Sandwich that I found at The meatballs call for two ingredients that are not common in everyone’s kitchen, fish oil and sriracha. To be honest I had neither, but now that I have both I will be trying recipes that call for them. The fish oil is just what it's name says and it smells just as you could imagine fish oil smelling. The sriracha is spicy, spicy - so just adjust recipe to how hot you like your food. Combined they make wonderful ingredients for this meatball. Enjoy!

Vietnamese Meatballs
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha or other hot chili sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease cookie sheet
  2. Mix all ingredients together
  3. Form 1 inch meatballs and place on cookie sheet, bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown
  4. Enjoy!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Nor-Cali Egg Rolls

I love egg rolls, and I love to soak them in soy sauce. Oh, it is to the point that it is a bit gross – but it’s what I do. I know, I know; soy sauce covers the flavor of the egg roll… but I still do it, every time.
However, these are not your normal egg rolls.

Soy sauce did not come near these egg rolls; in fact it never crossed my mind to pull it out. These are surprisingly delicious and easy to make. I was completely intimidated to make egg rolls, but they are a breeze. Just buy the egg roll wrappers from your grocer and follow the directions on the package to roll and cook. Serve to a group of people and watch them disappear off the plate, I promise. :)

Nor-Cali Egg Roll served with Spicy Ranch Dipping Sauce: add 1 tablespoon of Sriracha Sauce to
1/2 cup Ranch Dressing and refrigerate for a few hours before serving. Easy and Awesome!

Nor-Cali Roll Filling
  • 2 cups chicken, diced
  • 1 cup Pico de Gallo (I use Emeril’s Pico de Gallo recipe)
  • ½ cup Monterey Jack cheese, diced
  • ¼ cup cooked bacon, diced
  • 1 large avocado, sliced
  • 1 egg roll wrapper package (The package I got had 20. I didn’t realize how thin they were until I was 5 in, so I only made 15…)
  1. Mix first 4 ingredients together
  2. Prepare egg rolls as described on package, topping each pile of chicken mixture with a slice of avocado before rolling
  3. Cook egg rolls as instructed on egg roll package
  4. Enjoy with Spicy Ranch Dipping Sauce!

Kara-Áge Soy-Ginger Chicken
Through the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program I received a box of Kikkoman’s Kara-Áge Soy-Ginger Seasoned Coating Mix. I had seen the mix on Kikkoman’s website and already wanted to try it, so I was stoked to receive a box to sample. Plus, it gave me a reason excuse to buy a couple of dipping sauces I had wanted to try…

You can use cubed chicken, squared fish fillets or shrimp with the Kara-Áge mix, I chose cubed chicken breasts. To coat the pieces of chicken in the mix I poured the mix into a large bag, added chicken and shook well. I do want to mention that the mix is very soft, almost the texture of flour, and has a very strong but savory scent. After the chicken was coated, I shook off any excess mix and dropped them in the deep fryer. Making sure to not overcrowd the fryer, each batch took about 4 minutes. The chicken came out golden brown, juicy and full of flavor – and each piece was perfectly coated.

I served my Kara-Áge Chicken with Jasmine Rice and Kikkoman’s Katsu Sauce. Just incredible, from how easy it was to make to how awesome it tasted. Kikkoman states on their website that “Kara-Áge makes the perfect fried chicken every time... Japanese style”, I believe it and I can’t wait to try the mix with shrimp and fish next! 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Spinach, Mushroom & Pesto Lasagna

A vegetarian lasagna? In my house? This was a bold move.

My hubby is an extreme meat lover. I say extreme because he will try any meat and he will most likely like it. Now, he is not against vegetarian dishes – but whenever I have brought up a vegetarian lasagna in the past I always got the same response, “Lasagna should have meat in it.” It’s completely fair, the guy is willing to try anything I cook, and if he wants meat in his lasagna – I can do that.

Until now. Sorry babe.

When I saw this recipe at, The Other Side of 50, I knew I had to make it. I LOVE cheese, pesto, spinach and mushrooms – so of course I should love it! Hubby loves all those ingredients too – but would like to see them as a side to a big ol’ steak… haha.

So, I made this while he was at work and tried it before he got home – every good cook needs to taste test... It knocked my socks off, it is almost too good. (Is that even possible?) Then when Hubby got home he took a little, little slice to eat – if it had meat he would have piled it on his plate. He tried it… (drumroll)

His words, “This doesn’t have meat in it?”
Me: Nope. Do you like it?
Him: Yeah, this is really good for vegetarian lasagna. The best I have ever had.
Me: Yeah me too, I was thinking of adding chicken but I think it would ruin it.
Him: Meat never ruins anything.

Verdict? He liked it but would prefer meat in it. Well, in anything he is eating...

Not only is this lasagna so freakin’ delicious it is also an awesome recipe to make. Cooking is so relaxing for me anyway, but this recipe went beyond that. If you are able to take your time and enjoy the blending of the ricotta mixture or wonderful pesto and mushroom sauce – the creation of this dish will have you feeling like a chef. That may sound like I am being all emotional, crazy right now – but I promise, something about making this dish was some sort of soup for my soul.

Spinach, Mushroom & Pesto Lasagna
  • 9 lasagna noodles, cooked according to package
  • 10 oz chopped frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cups diced onion
  • dash of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups Half & Half
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoon basil pesto
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  1. Heat oven to 350, grease 9x11 casserole dish
  2. Mix spinach, ricotta cheese, egg, garlic powder and season with salt & pepper – set aside
  3. In large saucepan, over medium-high heat, add olive oil and butter. Sauté onion & crushed red pepper flakes. When onions have softened add mushrooms and garlic – sauté until mushrooms have released their moisture and most of it has cooked off. About 5-7 minutes. Sprinkle flour over veggies and stir in well. Let cook for a couple of minutes and then add milk and half & half, bring to boil – stirring occasionally to avoid burning. Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes or until sauce has thickened – making sure to stir. Remove from heat and stir in pesto.
  4. Spread the 2 tablespoons of pesto on bottom of greased casserole dish. Construct lasagna in the following order:
    • 3 lasagna noodles
    • 1/3 ricotta mixture
    • 1/3 mushroom-pesto sauce
    • 1 cup of mozzarella cheese
  5. Repeat 2 times for a total of 3 layers. This lasagna does not end with a layer of noodles and cheese; your final layer will be just as the others. Sprinkle parmesan cheese and parsley on top
  6. Cover tightly with aluminum foil, bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes or until top is bubbly and golden. Let cool for 15 minutes
  7. Enjoy!