Monday, October 28, 2013

Chicken Stir Fry

Tonight I made a chicken stir fry. I pieced together a few different recipes that I found and used the vegetables that I had available at home. There is no reason to order Chinese food when you can make this at home! The great thing about stir fry is that you can add as much (or as little) meat, seafood and vegetables to suit your tastes. Once you find a marinade that you like, you can use it on a variety of meats and veggies.

Lindsay's Chicken Stir Fry

- 2/3 cup Soy Sauce
- 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
- 2 TBS Garlic, minced
- 1 tsp Ground Ginger 
- 2 TBS Olive Oil
- 3-4 Chicken Breasts (1 lb.) chopped into one inch pieces
- Variety of vegetables, chopped (I used about 1/2 cup of green and red bell peppers, one cup of carrots, 1/2 onion, 1/2 cup of mushrooms and 1/2 cup frozen edamame)
- 1 tsp of flour or cornstarch

1. Mix together the soy sauce, brown sugar, 1 TBS of garlic and ginger. Add the chicken and marinate for 15-30 minutes.
2. In a large skillet, heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat and cook the vegetables (minus the edamame) until tender. Add the remaining tablespoon of garlic to the skillet after a few minutes. (You don't want to add garlic too early because it can burn). Stir vegetable mixture every couple of minutes.
3. When veggies are tender, put aside in a bowl or plate and keep warm.
4. Add remaining one tablespoon of olive oil to skillet. Remove the chicken from the marinade, reserving the marinade. Cook the chicken until no longer pink. 
5. Whisk the flour into the reserved marinade.
6. Add the frozen edamame and cooked vegetables back into the skillet with the chicken.
7. Slowly add the reserved marinade into the skillet. The flour will make it thick. NOTE: you can add as much or as little marinade as you want based on your preferences. If you don't want to add any marinade to the skillet, you can omit this step.
8. Serve with rice and enjoy.

Beef Tortilla Casserole

Wow! I can't believe I haven't posted anthing since July! Life is and has been busy between work, kids and, Pete's training and racing and wedding planning. But no matter how busy it gets, I find the time to cook good food.

I love Mexican food; tacos, burritos, tortillas and gucamole. At home, I generally only cook tacos, so I decided to branch out and try something different and new. I always shy away from casseroles because they make so much food, but with Pete training - and the fact that he loves leftovers - I don't mind making larger meals.

I always reach for my Cook's Illustrated The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook when I am looking for inspiration. I have never made a bad recipe out of this cookbook. The Beef Tortilla Casserole is fantastic, but it does use several pots and pans. I know it's a pain, but the dish is worth the pots and pans!

I made a few alterations to the recipe to fit our likes. I am not a fan of spicy food, so I left out the chipotle chiles, I added 1/2 tsp of cumin and I used ground turkey instead of beef. I cut this recipe in half and it worked out well.

Beef Tortilla Casserole
Courtesy of The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook
Serves 6-8

- 2 TBS Vegetable Oil
- 2 Red Bell Peppers, stemmed, seeded and chopped
- 1 Onion, minced
- 3 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 2 tsp Chili Powder
- Salt
- 2 lbs. (90% lean) Ground Beef
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 chipotle chilis in adobo sauce, minced
- 2 cans (15.5 oz) pinto beans, rinsed
- 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained (I always use petite diced)
- 6 TBS fresh Cilantro, chopped
- 2 TBS fresh Lime Juice
- 18 (6 inch) corn tortillas
- 8 oz (2 cups) Cheddar cheese, shredded
- 8 oz (2 cups) Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat oven to 300°.
2. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering.
3. Add the bell peppers and onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
4. Stir in the garlic, chili powder, and 1 teaspoon salt and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
5. Add the ground beef and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
6. Stir in the broth, chipotles, beans, and tomatoes and simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
7. Stir in 1/4 cup of the cilantro and the lime juice.
8. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
9. Meanwhile, spray both sides of the tortillas with vegetable oil spray and spread out over two baking sheets (some overlap is fine).
10. Bake until the tortillas are soft and pliable, about 5 minutes.
11. Remove the tortillas from the oven and increase oven temperature to 450°.
12. Spread 1/3 of the beef mixture in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.
13. Layer 6 of the tortillas on top of the filling, overlapping as needed, then sprinkle with 3/4 cup of each cheese.
14. Repeat to form a second layer.
15. Spread the remaining filling in the baking dish.
16. Cut the remaining 6 tortillas into quarters, then spread over the top.
17. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of each cheese.
18. Bake until the cheese is golden brown and the casserole is bubbling, about 15 minutes.
19. Let cool for 10 minutes.
20. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons cilantro before serving.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Pete Compete's in Door County Half Ironman

Pete competed in the Door County Half Ironman yesterday. After months and months of training and an incredible swim and first half on the bike, Pete crashed around mile 38 on the bike. He took a turn too fast, which was wet and ended up with horrible road rash on his shoulder, arm, and a badly bruised and bleeding hip. He was finally able to get up and finish the 56 miles on the bike in an incredible time. Unfortunately his hip was injured and he couldn't complete the half marathon run portion of the race. 

He was sad and I felt so incredibly bad for him. I know he is sad, angry, and really annoyed. I love supporting him by watching Sam and Maggie when he needs to train, cooking him good meals, and yelling at him to push hard along race routes. There is nothing worse than watching the man you love dearly, train so hard for something, and lose a huge goal in a matter of seconds. But, he will heal and because his body took the brunt of the damage, his bike is in pretty good condition.

He will compete in another Half Ironman (and I have no doubt, many other triathlons) and next year, I hope he will do the Madison Ironman that he's been talking about for sometime. In a few weeks on August 10 in Milwaukee, he will compete in the national races against the best of the best in the U.S. in his age group. I will be there to cheer him on and support him. Until then, everyone pray for a quick recovery!

Below is a photo of the arm road rash. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Sticky Drumsticks

Well, I made it about 3.5 days in my experiment to remove all processed food from my diet for a week. After feeling awful for a few days, I decided to stop and just limit the amount of foods I eat that have ingredients that I cannot pronounce or I don't know what they are. I think that I felt sick because I wasn't getting enough calories and was avoiding a lot of carbs, even though my intent wasn't to skip carbs.

Next time I will cut out certain things as opposed to an entire item, like processed foods. I don't like failing at my goals, but I refuse to feel sick for several days if I don't have to feel that way!

Last week during my failed experiment, I tried several new recipes and I'm very proud of myself for that. I love to cook and over the past couple of years, I didn't cook as much because I was so busy with work. Now that I work from home, it is easier to start dinner or throw something in the crock pot on my lunch break. One VERY tasty recipe that I discovered is very easy and only takes about 10 minutes to prepare before you put everything in the crock pot. (Lorrie B. - even you can do this!)

I found this Sticky Drumsticks recipe on another blog called Farm Girl Gourmet (which she found on another blog). These drumsticks are so good that this recipe could end up on every blog that exists. I also recommend spending some time on the Farm Girl Gourmet blog - just fantastic! I am so envious of the Farm Girl Gourmet Blog; I need to take more photos of the food that I make, especially if I am going to write about it. I know that photos will improve my blog and even if no one reads this, I will have it for my future as I go back and search recipes. A new goal - take more photos!!

Sticky Drumsticks (I cut this recipe in half, so this is my variation)
Adapted from The Comfort Of Cooking., originally from Group Recipes

- One package of chicken legs (5-6 per package)
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/6 cup (I just did 1/2 of the 1/3 cup) balsamic vinegar
- 1/6 cup soy sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 TBS fresh grated ginger
- Dash of black pepper

Remove the skin from the chicken. Put in the bottom of a crock pot or slow cooker.

In a small saucepan, add honey, brown sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger and pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the brown sugar. Simmer 5 minutes.

Add sauce to chicken in crock pot, coat chicken in sauce, and cook on high for 4 hours.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Pete's First Olympic Distance Triathlon

Pete did an incredible job in his first Olympic Distance Triathlon. The race was in Elkhart Lake, WI, which is about an hour south of Green Bay. This area is best known for Road America, where there are many motorcycle and car races on the weekends in the summer. We brought the girls to the race and they were pretty good, considering that they never went back to sleep after being put in the car at 4:15 a.m. I, on the other hand, was really struggling after a bad night of sleep.

Pete finished third in his age group. While he wanted to do better, I think he is too rough on himself. HE ROCKED IT!

A very tired Pete after the race.

Getting ready to bike.

Going out for the 6.2 mile run.

Pete after the swim.

Yeah for a race really figuring it out and offering fun for kids! The girls had so much fun in two different bounce houses.
His next race will be a Half Ironman in Door County on July 21st. The Half Ironman is double the distance of the Olympic Distance Triathlon. CRAZY!

Day Three of No Processed Foods

I am not going to lie, I am not feeling great. I don’t know if not having any processed foods are really impacting my body or if it is just psychosomatic. Having said that, I think that no carbs in three days is a making me feel a bit weaker than normal. I am not sure that I’m getting the daily caloric intake that I need since I really don’t feel great until after I eat dinner. Since I’m not doing a ‘no carb’ experiment, I had rice last night with a steak and mixed veggies. It was tasty! I did cheat and I had a small cup of frozen yogurt last night (I blame this on Pete as he wanted the frozen yogurt)! I was very good when he decided to have a Corona last night. I fought the urge to enjoy a tasty beer on a beautiful summer evening outside, but I did not have any beer; I just drank my water. Will power!

More than anything, I want a damn Diet Coke! I want a Diet Coke so bad that I can taste it. This surprises me because there are times that I go a couple of days without soda, so I am not sure why it is bugging me now!

For lunches, I made a roasted carrot soup, a roasted tomato soup and salads. I am (surprisingly) really enjoying almonds and sunflower seeds instead of crackers, but part of me still misses my crunchy Wheat Thins.

For dinner on Monday night, I made a very quick dinner before going to get my hair done. Dinner was a pork and ginger stir fry, which was like an inside out pot sticker. I left out the wontons and the spicy pepper since I am not a fan of spicy food. This recipe for Pork and Ginger Wonton Stir Fry comes from The Washington PostClick this link to see the original recipe, but here is my version.

Pork and Ginger Wonton Stir-Fry
- Salt
- One-inch piece ginger root
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 scallions (will do more next time because I like cooked scallions)
- 2 TBS Olive Oil
- 1 pound lean ground pork
- 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 TBS unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tsp cornstarch

Peel and mince the ginger and garlic, which can be chopped together. Cut the white and green parts of the scallions crosswise into thin slices. 

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers. Add the ginger and garlic; stir-fry for about 1 minute, then add the ground pork, using a spatula to break it up. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the meat loses its raw look.

Meanwhile, whisk together the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar and cornstarch in a liquid measuring cup until well blended. Stir the sauce into the skillet and cook for 1 minute; add the scallions. Reduce the heat to medium-low. The sauce will thicken slightly.

I enjoyed this topped with shredded carrots and an avocado. Next time I think I will cook the carrots in with the mixture. I had intentions of putting this on top of rice or bean noodles to get that carb feeling and taste without having it, but I ran out of time.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Healthy Eating Challenge for a Week

Yes, you read my headline correctly. It may seem weird to only do a healthy eating challenge for one week, but I know myself. For some goals, I know that I need to start small and work my way up. I'd like to start by saying that I don't think I eat all that unhealthy at this point in my life. I rarely eat fast food, except for the occasional sub from Subway, Jimmy John's or Erbert and Gerbert. I do splurge every now and then and enjoy a Chipotle Steak Bowl or sandwich and soup combo at Panera, but overall, I am fairly healthy.

I am not sure what sparked this, but part of it was while I was watching the Food Network this morning. Paula Deen was cooking with a guy who rarely eats anything that is processed. I thought, "Wow! That must be hard." The more I thought about it, laying in bed and eating my processed granola bar, I decided that it can't be that hard. And just like that, I decided that this coming week (Monday through Sunday), I will eat no processed foods. And, I think I've roped my roomie, Sara, into this venture with me!

I have done things like this in the past. Several years ago, I decided to stop drinking anything with caffeine for one week. That one week turned into one month and then a year and before I knew it, I hadn't had a caffeinated beverage in several years. Since then I have started drinking caffeinated beverages again, but I know I don't need them and can go forever without drinking caffeine if I choose to do so. I don't drink a lot of caffeine as it is; everything in moderation. 

Now, there are several definitions of processed food. This is my as much on the outside of the grocery store and as little down the aisles as possible. For one week, I am cutting out crackers, granola bars, chips, cereal and cookies (which I rarely eat), breads, possibly pasta, lunchmeat, soda, any beverages with alcohol, and anything that has an ingredient in it that I cannot pronounce. I will NOT be cutting out meats - chicken, pork nor steak. 

I enjoyed about 45 minutes in the grocery store this morning and I stuck to the areas with fruits, veggies, meat, eggs, and only ventured down two aisles. Note the photo of groceries for the first half of this week.

My hardest challenge this week will be crackers, granola bars and bread for sandwiches. I generally eat a granola bar every morning around 9:00 a.m., crackers for a mid-morning or afternoon snack and if you know me, you know I love my subs! But, you can do anything for a week! This week, in place of a granola bar will be hard boiled eggs and fruit salad. In place of crackers will be almonds and sunflower seeds.

Soda may also be difficult for me as I like to have one Diet Coke at lunch each day. This is (for the most part) the only soda that I drink in a day. In the past, I have given up soda, so I know I can live without it once again. I hate coffee, so that isn't an issue, but I do drink tea. Luckily, I know what's in my tea and it is good for you!

I am a soup lover so I am making a roasted carrot and basil soup, as well as roasted tomato soup. You see the two boxes of yellow Chicken Stock? There are no unknown ingredients in the box and it is made with vegetables and herbs. Yes, more expensive than Swanson's, but I know what is in this box. The couscous ingredients are ... couscous. That's it. I bought my favorite veggies for salads. I love just a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and olive oil on my salads, so I will not miss store bought dressings. 

For dinners, I plan to make a pork and ginger stir fry, grill chicken and maybe some veggies, and I will enjoy chicken legs another night with couscous and a stir fry of mushrooms.

I am excited to make the dishes this week. This afternoon in just a couple of hours, I have made a fruit salad, hard boiled eggs and two soups. I know that doing this work today will help me with my goal throughout the entire week. But today, before I start my challenge tomorrow, I am eating some things that I enjoy, such as the granola bar, Subway sandwich, Doritos, and a fountain soda. And I will enjoy an adult beverage at dinner tonight! Wish me luck! 

Friday, June 7, 2013

May 2013 - A Fabulous Month in the Life of Lindsay

Oh my! So much has happened in my life since my last post on April 18th. That seems so long ago. Life is good. No, life is great!

Work Life: I am so fortunate to be working (what I consider to be) my dream job. I am working for a previous employer in Washington, DC called the National Agricultural Aviation Association...and I am able out of my home in Green Bay. NAAA is a national trade association representing the aerial application (crop dusting) industry. I am their new Manager of Meetings, Marketing & Special Projects. I am doing the meeting planning for two board meetings and one large convention each year, as well as various marketing responsibilities and projects. I loved working for the organization when I was there from 2004-2008 and I'm so happy that they kept me in mind for when the time was right! The time was right and I was ready for the new challenge! 

Engaged: Pete and I got engaged on May 1, which was his 40th birthday. We went to a wonderful dinner at a nice restaurant in downtown Green Bay called Hinterland. After dinner, we went to a coffee house named Kavarna for a cup of tea. We had our first date on March 2, 2011 at this coffee house and Pete proposed in the same spot where we sat the first time we met in person. It was such a great proposal and meant so much to me. The photo below was immediately after Pete proposed. 

I am so excited to marry Pete and have this fabulous partner for life. I am so overjoyed that I also get to be a bonus mom to Sam and Maggie (will be five and three in August, respectively). They are such great kids and I can't wait to be more involved in their lives. I feel so blessed and overjoyed with all the excitement in my life.

I can't wait to marry my best friend on May 31, 2014 in Green Bay at La Grange Ledgestone Barn.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Poulet Basquaise

This is - hands down - one of the best chicken dishes that I have made!!! And (of course) I didn't get a picture of it while I was cooking since I was entertaining and chatting away. Don't worry...just trust me. You want to make it and you want to eat it, so run to the grocery store and get all the ingredients today!

This recipe comes from the Basque region in Southern France. I had the opportunity to travel through the south of France in the early 2000s and it was a pleasure to eat such great food, such as this.

Poulet Basquaise
From Food & Wine Magazine - Anthony Bourdain

- 1 whole chicken, about 4 lb, cut into 8 pieces
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Pinch of cayenne pepper or piment d’Espel├Ętte
- 2 TBS olive oil
- 1 TBS butter
- 2 red bell peppers, cut into fine julienne
- 2 green bell peppers, cut into fine julienne
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 16 ounces canned Italian plum tomatoes
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cube chicken bouillon or 1/2 cup light chicken stock or broth 
- 3 sprigs of flat parsley, finely chopped (I forgot to add this and it tasted fine)
- Rice pilaf as a side dish

NOTE: I used two 14.5 oz cans of petite diced tomatoes with garlic. I like a lot of tomatoes and garlic; it added great flavor , but I do think two cans was way to much. I couldn't find a 16oz can of tomatoes anywhere, so next time I will use one can only.

NOTE 2: Bourdain says this is one dish that can handle a bouillon cube.

Season the chicken all over with salt, pepper, and cayenne. Heat the large pot over medium-high heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the butter. When the butter has foamed and subsided, add the chicken, skin side down, and brown on that side only. Remove the chicken and set aside on the plate.

Add the peppers and onion to the pot and reduce the heat to medium low. Cook for about 10 minutes, then add the tomatoes and cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Stir in the wine, scraping, scraping—as always—to get the good stuff up. Cook until the wine is reduced by half, then add the water and the bouillon. Return the chicken to the pot, making sure to add all the juice on the plate.

Cover the pot and cook on low heat for about 25 minutes. Remove the chicken to the platter. Crank up the heat to high and reduce the sauce for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add the parsley. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve with rice pilaf.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Apple Stuffed Pork Loin Roast

I was fortunate and so happy to spend Easter with my family in Knoxville, TN. I spent several days with my mom and her hubby Joel, my sisters Tarin and Ciony and their significant others, John and Cody, my nephew Cameron, my niece Cimone, and my best friend Amy, her hubby Drew, and their seven month old, Rachel. It was such a great visit and I wish I could travel to Knoxville to visit with family more, although I suppose I appreciate my visits so much more because I don't make trips a lot.

I am feeling very blessed for everything in my life. I have a great family, an amazing man in my life who has two of the greatest kids, and my great friends. I really am blessed to have some of the greatest friends and even though we don't talk all the time, whenever we get together, we just pick up the conversation. This Easter was extra special because my niece Cimone was baptized and I am honored to serve as her Godmother, a job that I take very seriously!

I had a great time cooking Easter dinner with my mom. We shared many laughs over making Paula Deen's Apple Stuffed Pork Loin Roast. I highly recommend this dish, it was fantastic. We ended up having a lot of leftover stuffing as we were originally going to make two of these, but determined one was enough for our family. Mom and I decided to experiment and turn the leftover stuffing into a side dish. It was not a good experiment! Just enjoy this stuffing in the pork :)

My family (from l to r): Brother in law John, Nephew Cameron, Sisters Tarin and Ciony, Ciony's boyfriend Cody,
Niece Cimone, me, Mom and mom's hubby Joel

Below are some photos from our roast:
Apple Stuffing

Pork Loin "rolled out" and pounded

Completed Roast was so tasty!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Lemon Rosemary Scones

Life as a scone must be boring; they rarely have a ton of flavor and are incredibly dry. As someone who doesn't like dunking my bread or breakfast pastries into hot tea, I have never been a fan of scones. It is odd to me that a scone is considered a pastry because they are so dull and lifeless! Scones have always been a mystery to this food lover!

In March I traveled to Washington, DC for a girl's weekend and Mary was excited to share with me that she made scones for breakfast. Since I hadn't eaten a scone in nearly three years, I decided it was time to try this breakfast pastry once again. The last time I ate a scone was sitting in front of Buckingham Palace in London, enjoying formal afternoon tea with my good friend Christine.

I awoke the next morning and walked back and forth in the kitchen, pondering which scone to try. I decided to go for the Lemon Rosemary Scone, which Mary said was a recipe from the Pioneer Woman. I love Ree Drummond and many of her recipes. She cooks for a crowd, which I rarely do, but she uses many fresh ingredients and herbs and often puts a new spin on an old classic. How could I not try a Pioneer Woman scone?

I took one bite and my eyes rolled into the back of my head. Oh my goodness, this was - hands down - the best scone that I had ever tasted! Rich lemon flavor with the hint of rosemary. The scones were moist, unlike the dry boring scones I'd avoided for years, and it was a true pastry in my book since it was topped with a glaze. The recipe calls for the perfect balance of lemon and rosemary. If you cook with rosemary, you know that  your dish can quickly be overcome with this flavor. If you're not a scone lover, I urge you to make this recipe!

Click here to check out this recipe and enjoy your own morning of bliss!

No pictures of the Lemon Rosemary Scone, but here is a photo
from the formal afternoon tea in London in 2010 with Christine.

Friday, March 15, 2013

A Spring Poem

I am in a writing circle, which is probably one of the most inspiring and educational things that I've done in a long time. We are a group of women (always less than 10 in a circle) that has a facilitator. She helps us with our writing by offering advice, tools and writing prompts. We read our weekly writings to each other and offer assistance on ways to better our pieces.

I am not good at writing poetry and we took a crack and writing a prose poem in ten minutes in a recent circle. We each pulled seven words out a box to write a prose poem. As we're all sick and tired of the snow, the words and theme were Spring!!

The unpredictable windy weather in March,
Starts to strip off the shroud of winter.
There are no issues forth except finding the time to smell the scent of new tulips,
And wake up to dew on the bright green grass on an early July morning.

A little corny, but that's what you in ten minutes! :) More importantly, I hope spring is on its way since today is March 15 and it is lightly snowing outside.

I am ready to see beautiful flowers, bright green grass, and a lot of sunshine! Until then, I have photos of flowers.

Mushroom Lasagna

Oh how I love mushrooms. I could eat mushrooms everyday whether they're oysters, portobellos, or just plain old button mushrooms! Growing up, mushrooms were a large part of our diet. An interesting tidbit from my family life is that my stepdad used to "hunt" mushrooms. He read many books and took classes on foraging mushrooms. Mushroom picking is a skill and one must know what they're doing because there are many poisonous mushrooms.

I recently ran across a great recipe on the Smitten Kitchen, which is an Ina Garten recipe for a mushroom lasagna. I was a little hesitant about making this at first because when I think of a lasagna, I think of noodles, cheese, tomatoes, and meat. This recipe doesn't have meat or tomatoes. I decided to make it on a recent evening, which left Pete and I oooohhhhing and aaaahhhhing during the entire meal. Even little Maggie enjoyed the flavor of the noodles, she just wasn't sure about the mushrooms yet!

My only complaint about this recipe is the amount of pots and pans used to make the lasagna, but it is worth it! I will also warn you that this is a rich lasagna!

- Kosher salt
- Good olive oil
- 3/4 pound dried lasagna noodles
- 4 cups whole milk
- 12 tablespoons (11/2 sticks) unsalted butter, divided
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1.5 pounds portobello mushrooms (I used cremini mushrooms and some button mushrooms). Cleaned, separate the stems from caps, and slice caps. Discard stems or keep for another use.
- 1 cup freshly ground Parmesan (I used an Italian Cheese Mix)
- I clove garlic, minced (a Lindsay addition as I can't have lasagna without a little garlic!)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil with 1 tablespoon salt and a splash of oil. Add the lasagna noodles and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain and set aside. (I do not know if you can do this recipe with no bake lasagna noodles)

For the white sauce, bring the milk and garlic to a simmer in a saucepan. Set aside. Melt 8 tablespoons (1 stick) of the butter in a large saucepan. Add the flour and cook for one minute over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Pour the hot milk into the butter-flour mixture a ladle at a time until all incorporated. Add 1 tablespoon salt, the pepper, and nutmeg, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring first with the wooden spoon and then with a whisk, for 3 to 5 minutes, until thick. Set aside off the heat.

Separate the mushroom stems from the caps and discard the stems. Slice the caps 1/4-inch thick. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large (12-inch) saute pan. When the butter melts, add half the mushrooms, sprinkle with salt, and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender and they release some of their juices. If they become too dry, add a little more oil. Toss occasionally to make sure the mushrooms cook evenly. Repeat with the remaining mushrooms and set all the mushrooms aside.

To assemble the lasagna, spread some of the sauce in the bottom of an 8x12x2 baking dish. Arrange a layer of noodles on top, then more sauce, then 1/3 of the mushrooms, and 1/4 cup grated Parmesan. Repeat 2 more times, layering noodles, sauce, mushrooms, and Parmesan. Top with a final layer of noodles and sauce, and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan.

Bake the lasagna for 45 minutes, or until the top is browned the sauce is bubbly and hot. Allow to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes and serve hot.

Compiled lasagna before going in the oven to melt all the cheese!