Thursday, October 15, 2009

Snow Treasure

Recently I hosted a girl's weekend Up North at the cabin. Despite the interruption of fall with wintry weather our time together was a lot of fun. One of the best parts was an unexpected discovery near the fairy cottage. I am posting a photo for you to see. If you look very carefully on the right side of the picture you will see something truly amazing. Suspended on a stick like a flagpole was my white-yellow ducky sock. This is the mate to one of my many missing ones. I have been holding out not throwing the other one away thinking some day perhaps it would magically appear. This discovery has totally confirmed the presence of a fairy home on our property. The other exciting thing that happened was a friend gave me this exquisite book on how to find fairies in our world. The author wrote about some of her mysterious encounters which have led her to believe fairies really do exist. Cicely Mary Barker has done a lot of painstaking searching for fairies and shares her wisdom on five special places where these creatures might make their homes. Her notes in the book affirm my discoveries that it is possible to capture glimpses of fairies as they explore our world. One of the five places she suggested to look for fairies is the forest floor. Of course I already confirmed the fairies existence with the recent discovery of the fairy cottage down near the lake at the foot of an old oak tree. Some signs that might indicate the presences of fairies include: looking for hidden entrances such as a hollow in an old tree stump, the foot of an ancient oak, any unusual tiny patterns carved in a tree trunk, ripped leaves (fairies often use arrangements of torn leaves to pass on messages on to fairy friends), and mossy trails that might have been sprinkled with a bit of fairy dust to guide others to their homes.
BoldI am also including some photos taken on a recent fall walk.
Good conversations with friends need good food and drink to nourish the soul. Try this one!
Lasagna Rolls
adapted from Giada De Laurentiis: Italian Fast Food
(Food Network
Show) Makes about 12 rolls
White Sauce:
2TB. butter
2tsp. flour
1 1/4 cup half and half
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp pepper
pinch ground nutmeg

1 container (15 0z.) ricotta cheese
1/2 package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 1/4/ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 large egg
1-2 TB. olive oil
12 uncooked lasagna noddles
1 jar of prepared marinara sauce
1 (15 oz.) can chunky tomatoes basil/onions/oregano
2 cups shredded Monterrey Jack cheese or Mozzarella
1 cup pine nuts
3 oz. chopped prosciutto
  • In a saucepan add marinara sauce and tomatoes and simmer on low heat while making the rest of lasagna recipe
  • Heat oven to 400 and lightly grease a 13x9 pan
  • To make white bechamel sauce: Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk till bubbly, then whisk in half and half turn heat down to simmer adding cheese a few handfuls at a time. Whisk in nutmeg, salt, pepper and stir till smooth. Set aside.
  • In a large pan heat water with olive oil for noodles, when bubbling add noodles criss/crossing pieces as added to water. Turn heat to medium and cook till only al dente (just till tender) then drain.
  • In a bowl mix ricotta, spinach, 1 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, egg, prosciutto, pine nuts.
To assemble:
  • Spread white sauce on bottom of 13x9 pan reserving 1/4 cup
  • On each lasagna noodle place large tablespoon of ricotta cheese mixture in center and roll noodle up and place in pan seam side down. Continue till all cheese mixture used.
  • Spread marinara sauce over top of the rolls and drizzle last 1/4 cup white sauce over red sauce.
  • Then sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the rolls.
  • Bake covered with foil 45 minutes and last 5 minutes or so uncover. Let set a few minutes before serving.
This recipe does have a lot of steps but is well worth it! Can be refrigerated and made a day ahead.
Marietta Old Vine Red Lot # 49 or Cline Cashmere would be good wines to serve with meal.

1 comment:

  1. Did you know that you can make ricotta cheese very easily? Just heat whole milk to a near boil until the curds start separating from the whey. Strain out the curds and enjoy!