Saturday, October 20, 2012


We had spinach artichoke dip as an appetizer at a restaurant a little while back and we were reflecting on the fact that mixed with pasta, it would make a really good meal. Well I thought we had this conversation, but my husband had no recollection of this.

I had a bag of spinach in the fridge, so I made this for dinner tonight.

Not quite like the spinach artichoke dip we had, but it made a good pasta. I would have liked some kind of acidity in there (I desperately wanted to add ketchup to it, but refrained), and I should have salted it a bit more, but it was good.

I plan on tossing the leftovers in the oven tomorrow, see if it will bubble up and brown from all the cheese in this dish.

Spinach Dip Pasta
recipe source : fabulous foods

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups 2 percent milk
2 cups light cream
12 ounces macaroni noodles
22 ounces fresh spinach, chopped
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 cup grated Champagne white cheddar cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Dash of salt and pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions and set aside.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until just soft, or about 2 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook another 3 minutes. Stir in the flour until a thick roux forms. Reduce the heat to medium and whisk in 2 cups of milk. Add in the remaining 2 cups of cream, whisking constantly. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil, while stirring, about 8 minutes. Sauce should be pretty thick.
Season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the cheese, spinach and additional salt and pepper. Stir until the mixture is fully combined and thick. Stir in the macaroni noodles. Serve warm and enjoy!

Monday, October 8, 2012


I like baked beans once in a while, but only my mom's recipe. I spent a whole hour looking for it this morning, thinking I would adapt it to cook in the oven for six hours instead of doing it over two days in the slow cooker. I'm not organized enough to do this over two days!

So basically, the beans get boiled for two minutes, then the rest of the ingredients get combined with the beans and they go in the oven for four hours. I guess you're supposed to add water after the four hours and bake the beans uncovered for another two hours, but I didn't add the extra water, and only baked them for another hour and they came out perfect!

We had them for dinner with homemade pretzel rolls to mop up all the good stuff! The only thing I regret is not having hot dogs to chop into the beans! Would have been so good. We might have to eat the leftover beans on top of hot dogs later this week!

Baked Beans
recipe from my mom, method adapted from Betty Crocker

2 cups dried navy beans (1 lb) sorted and rinsed
10 cups water
8 slices of bacon, sliced into thin strips
1/2 cup chopped  onions
1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup chili sauce (heinz)
2 tsp dried mustard
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt

Heat oven to  350 degrees F.

In an ovenproof 4-quart Dutch oven, heat beans and 10 cups water to boiling. Boil uncovered for 2 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients.

Cover and bake 4 hours, stirring occasionally.

If too dry, add up to 3 cups water. Bake uncovered 1 to 2 hours longer, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender and desired consistency.

*And yes, I put ketchup over my baked beans, and pretty much everything else. I apologize for not getting a picture before the ketchup, but really, it doesn't look much more appetizing without the ketchup.