Saturday, March 29, 2008

Artichoke and spinach: a dynamic duo

I love this artichoke-spinach lasagna. Joe says it is a delightful little jaunt through Italy. (Never mind that he's never been to Italy.) I don't even know that it really tastes Italian, other than its being lasagna. We love the twist on the traditional dish, though.


2 jars alfredo sauce
1/4 c. milk
1 1/2 tsp. oregano
3 c. chopped cooked chicken
1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/4 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. chopped red pepper (optional)
1 garlic clove, pressed
3 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 c. shredded Swiss cheese
10 lasagna noodles
2 handfuls fresh spinach

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook noodles according to package directions; be sure not to overcook. In small bowl, whisk together sauce, milk and oregano. In large bowl, combine chicken, artichokes, onion, pepper, garlic and cheeses. Spread 2/3 cup sauce over bottom of 9 x 13 pan. Top with half of noodles, overlapping to fit. Layer half of spinach over noodles and top with half of chicken mixture. Repeat layers, starting and ending with sauce. Cover and bake 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake 10 to 15 minutes more.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

One-dish fiesta

Tamale pie casserole is a twist on the Mexican food we're used to making. It's tasty and easy to make.


3/4 c. cornmeal
1 egg
1 1/2 c. milk
1 lb. ground beef
1 Tbsp. mild taco seasoning (more or less)
1/2 c. chopped onion (optional)
1 small can enchilada sauce
1 c. chunky mild salsa
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 can corn, drained
1 can sliced olives, drained
1 1/2 c. grated cheese
Chopped green onions (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine cornmeal, egg and milk, then set aside. Brown ground beef sprinkled with taco seasoning in large skillet, then drain fat. Add onion, enchilada sauce, salsa, tomatoes, corn and olives. Simmer over medium heat for five minutes. Pour into 9 x 13 pan, then mix in cornmeal batter. Bake about 50 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and green onions, and bake until cheese is melted.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Potato power

This recipe for potato and ham casserole is really great. Our favorite way to make it is with leftover spiral-sliced brown sugar ham -- you know, after Easter or Christmas or something. (Easter is coming up, so plan on making this.) It's really a winner. Tonight we just made it with thinly pre-sliced ham. It has a really simple flavor, but everyone seems to enjoy it.


8 russet potatoes (small to medium, like the ones in the bags),
scrubbed and sliced
24 thin slices of ham or a bunch of leftover holiday ham
1 stick butter
1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
4 1/2 c. milk
Pepper to taste
16 oz. frozen peas (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour, salt and pepper. Add milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until thick and bubbly. In 9 x 13 pan, layer potatoes, ham, peas and sauce. You should be able to repeat the layers once or twice. Bake, covered, for one hour.