main dish

What’s Cookin’ in the Parsonage?

We had a super weekend.  My husband and I were privileged to be the speakers for a Couples’ Retreat for Oakwood Baptist Church in Anderson, Sc.  The retreat was held at one of our favorite places on the planet – The Wilds Christian Camp in Brevard, NC.  It was a cold weekend, but a sunny one.  Part of the sunshine was the blessing of opening God’s Word and helping couples live out God’s design in marriage.  My husband did a fantastic job.  I loved sitting on the front row, cheering him on as I listened to him teach from the Word.  I love being the preacher’s wife!

Another perk of the weekend was the blessing of a dear lady from our church bringing our daughter, Alli home from Greenville for Saturday and Sunday nights.  She doesn’t get to come home often, so it’s always a blessing to see that purple laundry bag making its way down our hallway!  That dirty laundry brings home with it a sweet 20 year-old, who is growing into a sweet young woman. I love sitting and listening to her (if you know Allison, you know you won’t be doing too much talking!).  I love it!  She is full of stories, happenings and funny tales of college life! 

That laundry bag also brings in a Sunday dinner request, and yesterday’s request was for Spinach Lasagna.  I’m really glad, because not only is lasagna a great do-ahead dish, this recipe is also so very good!  Making this ahead of time on a busy retreat weekend was really a blessing.  All I had to do on Sunday morning was make up the salad and set the table!

My menu:
Spinach Lasagna
Strawberry Spinach Salad
Toasted Bread

I made a couple of changes in the recipe this time, using Turkey sausage in place of the ground beef and 2% milk insead of whole milk.

Spinach Lasagna
1 lb. ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can (28 oz. Italian plum tomatoes, undrained
 1/14 tsp. salt, divided
3/4 tsp oregano
3/4 tsp basil
1/4 tsp pepper, divided
9 lasagna noodles
1/4 C butter – I used 2 Tbl.
1/4 C flour – I used 2 Tbl.
1/8 tsp nutmeg
2 C Whole milk
2 C shredded mozzarella
1/2 C Parmesan cheese, divided
1 pkg (10oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

Meat sauce

1.  For meat sauce, brown beef in a large skillet.  Spoon off fat.
2.  Stir in onion and garlic, cook 5 minutes.
3.  Press tomatoes and juice through sieve into meat mixture, discard seeds.
4.  Stir in 3/4 tsp salt, oregano, basil, and 1/8 tsp pepper.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Uncover and simmer 20 minutesmore until sauce thickens.  Set aside.
5.  Cook lasagna noodles.  Drain.

Cheese sauce

6.  For cheese sauce, melt 1/4 C butter in a medium saucepan (I used 2 Tbl.) over medium heat.  Stir in flour, remaining 1/2 tsp salt, remaining 1/8 tsp pepper and nutmeg.  Cook and stir until bubbly.  Wisk in milk; cook na dstir until sauce thickens. Cook and stir one minute more.  Remove from heat.  Stir in 1 C mozzarella and 1/4 Parmesan.  Stir until smooth.  Stir in spinach.  Set aside.
7.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
8.  Layer noodles, 1/2 meat sauce, noodles, 1/2 meat sauce, cheese sauce, noodles and remaining cheese.

9.  Bake 40 minutes.  Let stand 10 minutes.

I love the change from the typical very tomato sauce.  Yum!

When the Vinaigrette hits the strawberries in this salad it breaks them down and makes them sugary and mindful of sweet summertime! This salad tastes as good as it looks!

Strawberry Salad

Spinach Leaves
Fresh Strawberries
Toasted Pecans
Red onion, diced


1/2 cup canned whole-berry cranberry sauce
3/4 cup orange juice (about one orange)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger (I didn’t have this and it was still good)
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix all ingredients in a small jar.  Pour over salad just before serving.

What was cooking at your house this weekend?

From my parsonage kitchen,

2 thoughts on “What’s Cookin’ in the Parsonage?

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