Posts Tagged ‘ comfort food ’

Spinach Pie

I’ve actually been making this recipe for spinach pie since I was a teen.  It comes from my friend Debbie and her mom.  I have no idea if her family still enjoys it but it’s definitely a favorite in my house.  My plan was to go the summer without making it because I try to keep the oven off as much as possible.  That and I figured I’d wait until my son gets home from his travels of Europe since it’s a favorite of his.  But I couldn’t wait that long.

This is not a recipe for quiche or spanakopita.  This recipe is a toss all ingredients into a bowl, mix together and toss it into a baking dish kind of recipe.  At this point I barely measure the ingredients and often switch them out.  I have used a variety of chopped vegetables and cheeses but the basic recipe is still my favorite.

I actually couldn’t find my hand written recipe book and worried that I would forget an ingredient.  I googled spinach pie and Bisquick and found so many recipes.  Many were similar but not the same.  The proportions of the ingredients didn’t sound right to me, as if it would be too dry.  A few had cottage cheese which just sounded awful to me but must taste good to someone.  I’m happy to say my recipe book was found but for my own sake I need to get this recipe online so I don’t lose it again.

This recipe goes into a 7″x 11″ pan nicely.  If you want to use a 9″ x 13″ pan use add another 1/2 recipe and it will be fine.  When I do that I often add chopped mushrooms or a box of frozen chopped broccoli instead of more spinach.  I also love shredded carrot in this but some of my family members disagree.  For the cheese I often add some feta and at times I’ve used different types of cheddar but the Italian cheeses are my favorite.

Ingredients

2 10 oz boxes of spinach thawed and drained of all water

8 oz mozzarella in either tiny cubes or shredded

1 cup Bisquick (I use the lower fat version)

1 chopped onion

4 eggs or 1 cup of egg substitute

1/2 cup of parmesan cheese

1/2 cup oil (I use canola)

Salt, pepper, parsley, and italian seasoning to your taste

Directions

Mix all ingredients in a bowl until well blended, pour into a greased 7″x 11″ pan and bake at 350 for approximately 30 minutes until it is well set and is just starting to brown at the edges.

This is a great on the go type of meal.  I often take the leftovers to work and pop it in the microwave for just a minute.  Enjoy!

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Pasta with Mushroom & Pistachio

What is it about comfort food that just hits the spot after an emotional day?  For the record after a fattening lunch out with friends I figured I’d make a really light, healthy salad for dinner.  First, due to an unexpectedly busy afternoon I never got to the store for basic ingredients like lettuce so the salad was out.  I really wanted some pasta but also wanted a recipe that was somewhat healthy.  I came up with the Pasta with Mushroom and Pistashio recipe.

To explain my hectic day, it began with just running some errands and meeting friends which sounds easy enough.  Then mom called asking to have her hair done and one thing led to another.  Later my son who is backpacking through Europe called.  My day was not so simple anymore.  Every parent knows that certain tone to their child’s voice when they want to tell us something and they don’t know how.

Fortunately, it was all good news, for him anyway.  It seems my son loves the city of Prague and has decided to extend his stay.  The original plan was for him to come home early August but now he will get an apartment and stay until December.  He has a lot of planning to do.  He will have to figure out how to get a work visa and then find a job.  There seems to be several opportunities for English speaking people so he doesn’t think this will be a problem.  I am so excited for him but sad for me, I was looking forward to seeing him in a few weeks.  Thank goodness for Skype, as it will be easy to stay in touch.

Back to my comfort food.  This recipe is truly one of those throw it together recipes.  The most time consuming part was shelling the pistachios.  It would have gone faster if my dogs weren’t so eager to taste test for me.  The flavors melded really well together and I managed to have a rich, creamy tasting dinner that wasn’t overly heavy.

Pasta with Mushroom & Pistachio

1/2 cup shelled pistachios

10 oz mushrooms- I used Baby Bella’s, a mix of exotics would be great

1 large onion sliced thin- I used Vidalia

8 oz thin spaghetti

2 tbsp butter

4 tbsp olive oil

1 cup fat free half & half (use full fat if you like)

2 cloves minced garlic

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Salt & pepper to taste

Directions

Cook pasta according to directions

Place pistachios in food processor and blender and grind until fine pieces, remove from processor

In a saucepan melt butter and saute onion until lightly browned, add olive oil and mushrooms and 2 teaspoons of olive oil cook a few minutes then add balsamic vinegar and garlic cooking for 1 more minute

Take 1/2 cup of half and half and place in food processor with approximately 1/2 cup of mushroom mixture, pulse about 5 times until mushrooms are in fine pieces and add back to the pan with the sliced mushrooms and onions

Add second 1/2 cup of half and half to pan and up to 2 tablespoons of olive oil and stir well on low heat adding 2/3’s of pistachios, salt and pepper to taste

Mix pasta in with the sauce and serve topped with remaining nuts

Fresh French Bread Pizza

Thursday was the last day I was able to cook anything due to my crazy work schedule.  Usually I cook food that will last a few days providing me with at least 2 meals of leftovers to bring to work for dinner.  However, this past Thursday I wanted some simple comfort food.

This past Thursday I had an inexplicable craving for some home made French Bread Pizza, something I haven’t craved in years.  I had rented the movie It’s Complicated (not so complicated or good) and decided to give into my craving as it seemed like a great movie dinner.

This is a really simple recipe using fresh bread, fresh mozzerella, fresh tomato’s and fresh basil.  You get the picture.  It took about 15 minutes to prepare another 10 minutes to cook and was the perfect way to satisfy my craving.  It would also work great as a party food cut into 1-2 inch slices.

Ingredients

1 fresh loaf of French bread (Italian will do)

2-3 large beefsteak tomato’s sliced

1 lb fresh mozzarella sliced thin

1/2 stick butter

several sprigs of fresh basil julienned

2-3 cloves of garlic minced

salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and Italian seasoning (I use Italian Herb Seasoning Grinder ) parsley

Directions

Melt butter in a small saucepan and add garlic and seasonings to your preference, saute for 1-2 minutes.

Slice bread lengthwise and paint bread with the melted butter mixture spreading seasoning somewhat evenly over bread.

Top with sliced tomato’s seasoning with more salt and pepper if desired

Then add julienned basil and top with cheese

Personally, I think these flavors work perfectly together so I prefer no additional toppings.  Feel free to top with any of your favorite pizza toppings.