Italian potato casserole.

Two more beautiful weddings this weekend. Each one so unique and special. Pictures from Friday’s wedding:

The bride made these. Very cute.


Cute groom’s cake. It’s an air boat.

They are really even so much prettier in person. Oh how I wish for a good camera;)

I must have been high on wedding bliss, because I came home and got to cooking. First up, homemade chocolate chip cookies for my loves: Evan and Grace. Can’t wait to give them chocolate kis-ses tomorrow!

Then, for my masterpiece. I had 5 boiled red potatoes sitting in my fridge and a craving for pasta sauce. My creativity kicked in and came up with Italian Potato Casserole. Here’s the breakdown:

First, take 5 carrots for a spin in the food processor, as well as 2 cloves of garlic, and half a red onion. Brown lean ground turkey in some olive oil with fennel seeds, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Remove from pan. Add a little more olive oil, carrot,onion and garlic mixture, cook for about 10 minutes.

Add turkey back in and a jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce. Simmer for a while, then add a couple handfuls of spinach:

As things are cooking, spray a baking dish with some nonstick, and start thinly slicing those leftover red potatoes. Place a single layer on bottom:

Then add half of meat sauce (if you’re a vegetarian, just leave the meat out and add more veggies, or cooked bulgur, that would rock).

Next layer, cheese;

I used sharp cheddar, mozzarella, and a 3 cheese Italian blend. Use whatever you want, I even thought about adding some goat cheese, but I didn’t.

Next layer, more potato slices:

Next layer, the rest of the sauce,

Finally, top with more cheese.

Bake at 350 for about a half hour. Who needs noodles?

I have two tips to share with you today.

1. If you love the taste of Italian sausage but hate the unhealthyness of it like me, you can achieve the same flavors by adding fennel seed and red pepper flakes to lean ground meat

2. Has nothing to do with cooking, but very handy. If you need to remove a sticky label or price tag and don’t have any Goo Be Gone (because who stocks that stuff, really?), but everyone has hand sanitizer, right? Use a little of that and it works better than that other stuff anyway?

Green-ya Colada

This green smoothie didn’t taste exactly like my beloved Pina Colada, but it was reminiscent:

I used fresh pineapple (about 1/2 cup),half a frozen banana, frozen mango (about 5 pieces), 2 cups of fresh spinach, 1T flax-seed, 1/4 cup oatmeal, a splash of coconut milk, and a little water to thin it out. Pretty tasty and festive.

Lunch today was a giant salad. How do my salads get so ginormous. They start off innocently enough, a bed of greens, a couple of baby carrots, a tomato (wow, that tomato is good, guess I’ll use the whole thing). Add some leftover curry rice and some sautéed chicken, and this bowl is much bigger than it appears.

I ate it all! Worked up an appetite at the gym.

I came up with an easy (not so healthy) creamed spinach last night:

I used 2 boxes of thawed frozen spinach (squeeze out the water), 4 cloves of garlic, and an entire 8 oz container of cream cheese.

Simmer garlic on low in olive oil (about 4T should do it). Make sure the temp is low, burnt garlic is awful. I slowly simmered the garlic until it turned a light golden brown, added the spinach and cream cheese, salt and pepper,and some milk to thin it out. While this tasted amazing, I was overkill on the cream cheese, so rich and filling. Next time I would use half the cream cheese and more milk. Still delicious!

Served with Grilled swordfish and corn on the cob. Tasty!