My in-laws came all the way from Louisiana to New York to visit us last weekend. They hadn’t been this far north before, so I know they had been looking forward to it for a while.
The evening they arrived, hubby and I picked them up from the airport. I put dinner in the oven, and we passed the next hour or so sitting on the balcony in the cool air, watching the sun set, drinking wine, listening to jazz, and eating some bruschetta to take the edge off our hunger while we caught up with each other and the puppies stared longingly at the ducks that live on the little pond in our backyard.
It was nice to participate in that without spending too much time in the kitchen. Hubby’s parents are vegetarians, so I had picked out a recipe for artichoke spinach lasagna that I’d found back when I was doing dinner parties for friends back in Pennsylvania.
That was my living room at the time. Grad students living on a stipend don’t have fancy furniture, but they make it their own.
My dining room was especially awesome.
Okay, moving on. When I found out that hubby’s parents were coming, I though instantly of this recipe. It had been years since I’d made it, but I remembered how yummy it was.
First step, I heated water to boil lasagna noodles.
Then I set about getting everything ready to assemble. First, I took a medium-sized sweet onion and diced it.
Next, I got out some fresh rosemary.
But didn’t take a picture of it after I diced it, because that would have been smart.
So, here’s my onion in a skillet, along with some garlic, softening up.
While that happened, I started chopping up some artichoke hearts. Tried really hard not to snack on them, because that’s a weird snack. But they’re so yummy.
Back to the stove. I added some vegetable broth and that chopped rosemary.
(I almost typed “chicken broth” out of habit. That would have been bad if my in-laws saw that. Definitely used vegetable broth, not chicken!)
Next, I thawed a box of frozen spinach and squeezed out the water.
Ooh! The water’s finally boiling! Add some salt and drop in the noodles.
The broth is boiling, too.
Add the spinach and chopped artichokes.
Then I put the lid back on and let the mixture simmer for a bit.
Here’s my secret ingredient: a jar of Wegman’s spaghetti sauce.
Once it’s all mixed in, this is what it looks like.
And then it’s time to assemble! Just start layering sauce…
…and mozzarella cheese…
… and more sauce…
… and so on…
… and so forth…
And the last special ingredient: a sprinkling of tomato and basil feta cheese.
And then cover with foil and put it in the oven.
While it was cooking, I decided to try out a Pinterest recipe for Red Lobster garlic cheddar biscuits!
I used pancake mix that has been abandoned in our pantry since hubby doesn’t like pancake mixes that only call for water to be added (he prefers the ones that call for eggs and milk).
Some of that…
And some grated cheddar cheese…
And some garlic powder.
And then milk.
Pretty goopy. I was concerned. So I added more mix before shaping into biscuits and putting the blobs on the tray that fits into the toaster oven.
Mix up some melted butter, oregano, and more garlic powder.
Cook the biscuits…
Then brush with the melted butter/ garlic/ oregano mixture.
Okay, so it’s been a while since the lasagna went in, and it’s about time to take it out.
Let it sit for a few minutes, then cut and serve.
Rosemary. Mozzarella. Artichoke. Tomato sauce. Spinach. So many strong, wonderful flavors.
Oh yeah, and garlic!
Everything went over very well. Definitely recommend all of it. The lasagna was much less cheesy than my meat lasagna is, but it worked well. Like I said, there were a lot of strong flavors that worked really well with each other. Warm and delicious.
Now, the biscuits? Somewhat disappointing. I think I did something wrong. They weren’t bad, just not as spectacular as Pinterest would have you believe. I think I’ll try again, though.