Sunday, December 27, 2015

Weekly Recipes 10; the Christmas Edition

It snowed here on Christmas Eve afternoon. I was out last minute shopping with my son and as we were leaving our small mall I saw huge flakes flurrying around outside the big glass doors of Von Maur. My face lit up-I know it did.  It was amazing. It was magical. I was glad he was driving so I could watch the flakes flying. I guess reading my snow books to Kinders really worked!

Our Christmas has been like that small snowstorm; fast yet filled with joy. Eldest daughter arrived safely into O'Hare airport where her dad gleefully picked her up and drove her here.  We feasted on clam chowder, fresh bread, and salad with pomegranate seeds in between church services.  It was a peaceful night, happy to be all together our meal was filled with lots of laughter and sounds of soup slurping. After eating we had time to play a favorite card game of spite and malice.

Christmas Day we achieved our goal to stay in pajamas/comfy cozies all day long. Kids were happy with gifts given and received. We lounged, napped, and colored in new themed coloring books.  We played Pictionary, another game of spite/malice, and foosball throughout the night.   And we ate and ate.  Breakfast started with delicious Bloody Mary's, grits, omelettes, and fresh fruit.  In the afternoon we had a small cut of Brie with french bread and rice crackers just to tide us over until our late dinner which was lasagna, broccoli, fresh bread, and pecan pie.

I completely made up the lasagna recipe and I am ecstatic on how it turned out.  I have a few butternut squashes from a school friend and I sliced one up and sautéd it in a skillet with coconut oil and cumin seeds. Our family is varied on the meat they will eat/not eat but the one that almost everyone will eat is ground turkey.  I, myself, am not a fan as I cannot find high-quality or organic here in town.  I have a farmer I could ask but didn't get around to it this time.  And turkey is a bit of sore subject right now with the whole avian flu outbreak.  I digress though.

I cooked the meat thoroughly, tossed it in a bowl to wait and then sautèd onions and mushrooms together with lots of oregano, thyme, cracked pepper, and sea salt.  I added the mushroom mixture to the cooked turkey and I was ready to layer.  I totally cheated on my sauce because who wants to spend the entire day in the kitchen so my friend Paul Newman helped me out with his more than adequate jar.  I tossed a little of that down first in my glass 13x9-in pan, layered some flat noodles, four across, added a layer of turkey/mushroom mix, a layer of mozzarella cheese, four more flat noodles, the amazing slices of butternut squash, sauce, cream cheese (I completely forgot I needed ricotta cheese until 4 minutes before I started making this, lucky I had cream cheese for a kid-friendly substitute), four more flat noodles, last of the meat/mushroom mixture and mozzarella sauce sprinkled over the top. I poured a glass of water over the top which seems weird but helps the noodles cook. I baked it for 45 minutes with tinfoil over the top and took the foil off for the last 15.  I let it rest on the counter top for about 20 minutes as I finished other items and got things to the table. It was bubbly and filled with flavor. Myself I would have just had two layers of squash.  Groovy Girl hated the mushroom part and the squash part.  Too bad.

I hope everyone's holiday was filled with as much joy as we had and no arguments which are bound to happen even in the coolest of families. We have more exciting events planned for the next few days but eldest daughter returns to Chicago on the morrow and flies back to Brooklyn to continue her work with Gimlet Media.  Happy Holidays!  

1 comment:

Les said...

Wasn't the snow on Christmas Eve beautiful?! I was at work, but still enjoyed watching the big flakes as they fell to the ground. Now we're in Oregon enjoying the sunshine between rain showers.