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Monthly Archives: January 2011

I <3 dinner party Thursdays!

Tonight was a great night with 5 of my college girlfriends over.  After a scrumptious (if I do say so myself!) dinner, we cuddled up on the couch (yes 6 “grown ups” squeezed on the couch) and looked through college photo albums that Heather brought over.  It was so fun to see our baby faces and reminisce and laugh about how we met and fun nights that we shared.  I am truly blessed to have such great people surrounding me.  It was a much needed fun and a great way to spend the first week of 2011.  Nights like this truly make my apartment feel like home 🙂

It was also my friend Nicky’s birthday yesterday, so dinner was also a celebration of her and another great year for her.  Last year Nicky mentioned a couple of times how we were getting old, and I don’t like the thought of that.  So, I wanted to put a stop to that nonsense!  So, last year for her birthday, we started the tradition of only toasting and celebrating a fantastic new year which is always bound to be full of exciting adventures and challenges.  We have carried it through several birthdays, and carried through tonight with a bubbly toast to her.  So, once again, Happiest of Happy Birthdays, Nicky!!

The next few posts were what we had for dinner tonight…

And these are a few of  mi amores…  I am in the process of setting up my old college desk top to get my pictures, so if I find any really good baby face ones, they may be popping up at some point!

Chicken Lasagne Florentine

This recipe is adapted from my new “Southern Cooking Living” cookbook that I just got for Christmas!  I have loved browsing through it, and am excited to try more.

2 cups chopped cooked chicken

1 (10 3/4) oz can cream of mushroom soup (I used cream of chicken)

1 (10 oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1/4 tsp peppar

1 (8 oz) container sour cream

1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained

6 lasagna noodles, cooked and drained

1 cup grated parmesan cheese

Stir together first 7 ingredients.  Arrange 3 noodles in a lightly greased 11 x 7 inch baking dish; top with half of the chicken mixture.  Repeat layers with remaining noodles and chicken mixture.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.  Bake covered at 350 for 45 minutes.  Uncover and bake for about 15 more minutes or until bubbly.  Let lasagna stand about 15 minutes before serving.

I tried a short cut by using the oven ready noodles.  I would really suggest (and will do myself if I make this in the future again) using regular boiled noodles.  The top layer didn’t get soft enough.

Tomato Basil Snack

This is a great snack/ appetizer that is inspired from a little cafe in England called Pret.

1 canister crescent roll

2-3 plum tomatoes

Fresh basil

Thick slices of mozzarella cheese

Preheat the over to 375.  Unroll the crescent dough and press perforations of 2 triangles together.  Put a slice of cheese, tomato and basil on each section.  Fold up however you like (I bring 2 corners together and pinch in the middle.  Bake for about12-15 minutes, until the crescent is golden brown and the cheese is melted.

Stuffed Mushrooms

This is a recipe that I came up with that is delicious and pretty healthy, too!

Portabello Mushrooms

1 pound ground turkey

1 pound spinach

1 cup red wine

1/2 cup bread crumbs

1/2 TBS fresh rosemary

Preheat the oven to 350.  Gently wipe the tops of the mushrooms with a wet paper towel or clothe to clean.  Scrape the gills out with a spoon.

Brown the ground turkey in the skillet.  Add the red wine and continue to simmer.  Add the spinach and let it wilt down.  Add the breadcrumbs to the pan and stir until combined.  Sprinkle in the rosemary and cook for a minute or so.  Spoon the filling into the mushroom caps and bake for about 10-12 minutes.

* It’s also delicious to add a bit of cheese into the mix.  The first time I made it I used a sharp English cheddar and it was really tasty!

I wish the pictures did the flavor more justice!