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"Wait on the Lord, be strong and of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart...wait on the Lord. Psalms 27:14


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Monday, August 22, 2005

The return of the missing Monday Meal!

I have had a blogfriend ask me (Yes, Mark aka The Great White Bear), I'm talking to you!) when I was going to return to doing the Monday Meals. Well, needless to say, things at home have been a little busy, but tonight marks the return of the Monday Meal. Tonight we are going to have some tantalizing, tasty, incredible Italian recipes. For those of you who might not know what the Monday Meal is about, on Monday's I post recipes for a complete meal with an entree, a side and a dessert. Sometimes more but never less. So without further ado, here is the latest installment of the Monday Meal.

My thanks to the wonderful author Shirley Jump for including the most amazing recipes in her books! These come from her latest fun romance novel "The Devil Served Tortellini".

Happy-Ending-For-All Chicken Florentine Lasagna:
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 12-oz cans evaporated skim milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
16 oz nonfat cottage cheese
3/4 reduced fat shredded mozzarella cheese
Cooking spray
7 oz whole wheat lasagna noodles, cooked and drained (or regular lasagna noodles if you prefer)
1 1/2 cups cooked chicken breast, shredded
1 10-oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano Reggiano
2 tablespoons fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and get ready for a cullinary masterpiece that's good for you - and good to eat. (This is my first really healthy meal for those of you who frequent my Monday Meals - typically I don't do really healthy meals. I do tasty meals, not fat free, tasteless meals - but this one looked so good I coldn't pass it up!) In a medium saucepan, melt the butter, then add the flour and cook for 30 seconds. Gradually whisk in milk, salt and nutmeg. Cook until thickened, about 3 minutes. Viola! Low-calorie white sauce. Mix the cottage cheese and mozzarella in a separate bowl. Looking good already, isn't it? And best of all, it's only about 10 grams of fat per serving. (Long as you're realistic about portion control, that is.)

Spread 1/3 of the sauce over an 11x7-ince baking dish that has been coated with cooking spray to prevent a sticky mess. Arrange noodles across sauce, top with half the chicken and spinach, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with half the cheese mixture, then a little more sauce. Add another layer, same as before. End with noodles, then spread remaining sauce on top.

Cover with foil and bake for 45 - 55 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle with grated Parmigiano and some more mozarella and bake another 5 minutes. Serve with Parsley garnish.

Mamma's Joining-of-Two-Hearts Double Cheese Risotto
4 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, minced
1 3/4 cup Arborio rice
1 cup white wine (a good vintage from a lucky year)
4 cups boiling chicken stock (Swansens is best, in my opinion)
1 cup Gorgonzola cheese, chopped
1 cup Fontina cheese, chopped
Salt and pepper
Walnut (or pecan) halves for garnish

Melt the butter in a pan, add the onion and cook until softened. Add the rice and stir, until the grains are ready to burst. Add the wine for a little sweetness from the vine. Now pour in a little of the stock, stirring until it's absorbed.

Risotto requires tending, so add a little more stock and stir, repeat until risotto is creamy and al dente. Finally add the Gorgonzola and Fontina and stir until the risotto and cheeses are completely blended and sprikle the top with walnut halves.

Mamma's If-Wishes-Were-Son-In-Laws Lady's Kisses
10 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup ground almonds
1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup almonds finely ground
1 taablespoon almond paste
1 cup chocolate chips

Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer until it's light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolk, almond extract, ground almonds and flour. Chill for 2 hours until firm.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Break off small pieces of the dough and roll into 40 petite balls. Place the balls on baking sheet, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake for 20 minutes.

In a food processor, grind almonds and almond paste for filling. Melt chocolate chips and spread on cooled cookies, then dip halves into almond mixture, and press two cookies together to make a sweet sandwich.

Ok, so that's it for this week's Monday Meals. I hope you enjoy it. Next week will be a Labor Day meal selection for you to mix and match and choose from to make your own custom Labor Day meal.


greatwhitebear said...

wow... you outdid yourself! especially the lady's kisses! It's enough to make a guy want to drive a couple of thousand miles for dinner!

be sure to check out the church potluck for my sister's hot fudge topping. you'll love it!

mg said...

YUUUUM! I love new recipes~ cooking is one of my great passions, can't wait to try these out ;)


ps: Thank you so very much for the kind comments yesterday~ I finished the meme!

Guppyman said...

OK... Now I'm hungry and it's only 7:30 in tha morning.....