Monday, December 18, 2006

Dinner Party

Fasten you're seatbelts folks - I have a feeling that it's going to be a bit of a foodie week on the blog! All this time off means extra opportunities to chill in the cucina. (Dunny and Apple Dumpling, I will ignore the cheeky comments on my last post and forge ahead with the recipe-fest!)

But first, we had our special Christmas Carol Service last night which included lots of carols and nine scripture readings. It was very nice - I did the last reading which was fine but of course I spent most of the service checking the order, feeling more than slightly paranoid that I would miss my cue! Afterward we went to a friend's for coffee and there were lots of others there from church - it's nice to feel like we're getting to know people here.

So anyway, we're having some people over for dinner tonight so Stu's made a veggie lasagna this morning and I've been baking a carrot cake with cream cheese icing. Aren't we feeling organised? The veggie lasagna is from Moosewood's Low-Fat Favorites - it's even better if you make ahead and then let it sit so it really sets.

Lighter Lasagna
2 c cubed courgettes/zucchini
1 c cubed bell peppers
1 c chopped tomatoes
4 c sliced mushrooms
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 c red wine
3 tbsp chopped fresh basil
10 oz fresh spinach, rinsed (frozen works too and is cheaper!)
2 c low-fat cottage cheese
1 c grated low-fat mozzarella cheese
1/2 c grated parmesan cheese
3 1/2 c prepared tomato sauce
1 lb uncooked lasagna noodles

Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. Combine the courgettes, peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, salt and wine in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes until all the vegetables are tender and juicy. Stir in the basil and set aside.

Cover and cook the spinach on high heat in just the water clinging to the leaves for 3 minutes, until wilted but still bright green. Drain and chop coarsely. Combine with the cottage cheese, mozzarella, and parmesan and set aside.

Spread one cup of the tomato sauce evenly on the bottom of a 3 inch deep nonreactive 8x12 inch baking dish. Layer with five or six noodles, one generous cup of undrained vegetables and one cup of the spinach-cheese mixture. Cover with a second layer of noodles, one cup of sauce, one heaping cup of vegetables, one cup of the spinach-cheese mixture, and a third layer of noodles. Finally, add the rest of the vegetables, the remaining spinach-cheese mixture, a fourth layer of noodles and the rest of the sauce. Cover tightly with foil and bake until the noodles are tender, about 60 minutes. Let sit at least ten minutes before cutting.


Nancy Jean said...

jules, i hadn't checked in a couple days, but it is good to catch up...hurray for holidays. alas, the work never stops for us in SK, at least not until this coming Saturday. and even then, im working the Christmas shifts. woe is me. fortunately, i like the jobs.

i think you are going to be a good little resource when ma and pa leave - i can attempt the recipes.

cpb and osci were mentioned in the Star today, about buying a Christmas tree from Mayfair Hardware. I always knew oscar would be famous.

enjoy your time off - i wish i was there chillin with you guys all week. sorry to have missed the staff party this year.

xoxo - nin

cpb said...

Jake, the german short haired pointer who lives next door asked Buddy for his autograph. Buddy declined, insisting that he is just a regular guy.

Julie said...

thanks for your big comment - sigh, you and my work christmas parties - a match made in heaven :) wish you were here too!! sorry that you don't get many holidays - hopefully you will have a great time at urbana (that's not really in urbana!)
miss you so!
p.s. an exciting brown envelope arrived in the post addressed to you on the weekend!! :)

Julie said...

dear oskie
you oughta be in pictures . . .
a word of warning - beware of hangers on like jake who might be using you for your good looks and new found fame - i always knew you had that special something you big spider you! :) glad to hear you're keepin' it real and not letting it all go to your head.
j xox

Julie said...

p.p.s. if you have time send me the clipping of c and o in the paper or get annabelle to bring a copy!

Nancy Jean said...

will do - mom will probably bring it.
don't open that brown envelope until you open my christmas card that should be arriving any day...wait until christmas eve and open with stu! :) (i'm glad to hear it came!)
just home from the army, and off to bed - njb