Sunday, January 15, 2012

Chicken Béchamel Lasagna

A few years ago I made a Chicken Béchamel Lasagna, and my friend Angie has been on my case ever since to make it again, and actually write down the recipe for her!  Last night Gimpy and I were having her over for dinner with a few others, so I decided to make it and actually write down what I did for once.  This lasagna is great, and if you are looking to make it more low carb, you can do it as manicotti instead.  I did that once for a ski weekend because another friend was making a lasagna with red sauce, so I wanted to mix it up.

Chicken Béchamel Lasagna
1 lb chicken
1 lb spinach
7 cups milk
1 lb mushrooms
1 cup onion, diced
3 garlic cloves
1 stick unsalted butter
4 cups shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 c flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Balsamic vinegar
Package of lasagna noodles

Preheat oven to 350.  Put chicken in a pan, and cover with balsamic vinegar.  Bake for 20-25 minutes until cooked through.  Cool, then shred in the food processor.  In the meantime, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.  Blanch your spinach and remove it.  Put your pasta in the spinach water and cook until al dente.  Drain and set aside.

Put the butter in a deep pan, melt and add the mushrooms.  Cook about 5 minutes until tender.
Add the onions and diced garlic, and cook until translucent.  Add the flour, and cook for 2 minutes to form a roux.  
Whisk in the milk, and cook 5 minutes until it starts to thicken, stirring occasionally.  Add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, 2 cups of the cheese, and the spinach.  Cook another 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  
Spray your lasagna pan with olive oil, and then put 3/4 of a cup of the béchamel sauce on the bottom of the pan.  Set aside a cup of the sauce, and add chicken to the pot of sauce.  Begin to assemble your lasagna with a layer of pasta, sauce, parmesan cheese, and continue till your ingredients are used up.  For the top layer, use the sauce that you set aside without the chicken on it.

Cook in a 375 degree oven for 45 minutes.  Cut, serve, and enjoy!  Of course I forgot to take a picture of the finished lasagna, but at least I wrote down the recipe for Angie this time!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Another Banner Year

It's January 1st, which means that everyone in the bloggosphere is doing a year end wrap up, so I think I'm obliged to as well!  2011 was an amazing year, my life is so blessed in so many ways.  I have the most unbelievably amazing boyfriend, fantastic friends, and a wonderful family.

We started the year with the Gimpster's friends visiting from Virginia, me teaching him how to snowboard and a few celebrations of St Patrick's Day.  Gimpy's brother got married down in Virginia Beach, we had a luau, a suit party, and I ran the Long Branch half in my best time ever (2h 02m)!

The girls and I went into the City for the Derby, and had a blast at the Preppy Pub Crawl.  Gimpy got a new job locally, and we celebrated with wine tasting, hiking, and just having a great day together.  We had some more weddings, more birthdays, and did some boating.

We had a mechanical bull riding party, the girls and I had a killer tailgate at the Kenny Chesney concert, and we hosted a White Party to rival P Diddy's.  For that, I made vanilla pudding shots!

Vanilla Pudding Shots
Packet of vanilla pudding mix
1 cup cold milk
1 cup cold caramel baileys

Mix the pudding powder with the milk and baileys according to the package direction and put it in small cups.  Chill for a few hours, and then take them like a jello shot!  So tasty, it's like vanilla frosting!

We went on the wine bus tour, and did some apple picking.  Had Halloween, twice.  Went on Santacon, which was not very well organized, did some sewing and had the 4th annual 12 Bars of Christmas.  We had a wonderful Christmas in Virginia with Gimpy's family, and got the amazing news that the people whose house we're buying signed the contract!

So we have lots to celebrate in 2012!  I am so looking forward to this year coming up.  Gimpy and I have so much to be excited for.  We close on our new house January 27th, and will be cleaning and moving in that weekend. It's a huge step for us, but I am so ready for this next stage in our life together.

On that, I resolve that I will be much better about blogging in 2012!

Happy New Year!