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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Helping out Mama: with Craftzilla Conquers the World

While I'm waiting for baby to arrive and enjoying those first few moments once Pip has arrived I've got a few wonderful ladies looking after my blog. So grab a cup of tea, sit back, and get ready to meet some fantastic people! 
Spinach Casserole
Hi lovely readers of Newfoundlander at Heart –Gillian from here! Since I’m writing this post to run while Margot is taking some time off after having Pip, I figured what better thing to share than a casserole dish? Personally whenever I visit a friend who has just had a baby, I forgo (most) of the usual adorable presents and make sure to bring a casserole or a giant pan of lasagna, because let’s face it, cooking takes too much time when you need to get used to a new schedule and stare at tiny baby fingers and toes for most of your day. A friend came to visit a few weeks ago, and she makes an awesome spinach noodle casserole, so we decided to make our own version of it.

Here’s what you need:
Box of lasagna noodles
Package of frozen spinach  

For sauce:
1 onion, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, minced
About ½ cup flour
About ¼- ½ cup milk
2-3 tablespoons butter
2-3 tablespoons of vegetable or olive oil
Mozzarella cheese, grated (about 2 cups)

For topping:
½ cup breadcrumbs
Mozzarella cheese, grated (about 1 cup)

Prepare: Boil 12 -15 lasagna noodles and the frozen spinach in two different pots, according to the directions on the packages.

Saute: In a frying pan, sauté the onions until they’re golden brown, and then add in the minced garlic and cook for about 2 more minutes.

Make the sauce: Now, here comes the tricky bit – the amounts of the flour, milk, butter and oil above are estimates/ranges just because you may need more or less of these to make the sauce thicken properly. Begin by adding the flour to the onion and garlic mixture, a bit at a time, stirring it in until you have what resembles a paste of onions, garlic and flour. Start to add in some of the milk, again stirring constantly and adding milk just until the point that you have what looks like a thin sauce. You may have to stir a bit with a whisk to get the flour lumps out.

Now add in some butter and oil and stir into the sauce until everything is melted and combined. What you’re looking for is a shiny sauce that isn’t sticky. A good way to test is to have some sauce on a wooden spoon and run a finger across it. If you can do so easily, the sauce is done. One more step –stir about 2/3 of the cheese in to the sauce (reserve the remaining third of for the topping)

Assemble the casserole: Start with 3 or so lasagna noodles in the bottom of your dish, add a layer of sauce, then a layer of spinach. Continue until you run out of noodles, sauce and spinach, ending with a layer of noodles, sauce and spinach.

Topping: Add grated cheese on top of the last layer, and then cover that with a healthy covering of breadcrumbs. Bake: Bake at 350 F for about 20-30 minutes, until golden brown.

I’d love to know if any of you give this recipe a try, so make sure to come and pay me at visit at my online home and let me know!

 ♥ Craftzilla

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