Clover Club Cocktail

I’ll admit to being the kind of guy that likes a pink drink every now and then, but I don’t like to admit that I’m the kind of guy that buys raspberries in the winter. Writing cookbooks with deadlines that don’t always flow with the seasons, if I need a few cherries in the winter to test a recipe or a few cups of blueberries,…

I’ll admit to being the kind of guy that likes a pink drink every now and then, but I don’t like to admit that I’m the kind of guy that buys raspberries in the winter. Writing cookbooks with deadlines that don’t always flow with the seasons, if I need a few cherries in the winter to test a recipe or a few cups of blueberries, I’ll resort to frozen or, uh…”fresh” if I really have to get the job done. I used to look down on people that bought out-of-season fruit at the markets or grocery stores, or the ones who inspected every single piece of fruit on offer like it was a rare gem, until I realized they were all recipe developers or food stylists and they were just doing their jobs.

I’ll also admit after making this Clover Club cocktail, which has a dash of raspberry syrup added for color and flavor, perked me up this winter. Although vacation is off the table for a while, I felt like I was taking a little trip to somewhere exotic when I took that first ruby-color, raspberry-flavored sip. To be honest, it felt a bit illicit. And I loved it.

Continue Reading Clover Club Cocktail...

Cocoa Cupcakes

It’s cold outside and these cocoa cupcakes are a fun way to stay cozy and cute inside. They are  reminiscent of hot chocolate but presented as a sweet little cake with cocoa frosting and the tiniest marshmallow bits to top them off and tie the whole look together. The best part is these cupcakes are […]

Cocoa Cupcakes

It’s cold outside and these cocoa cupcakes are a fun way to stay cozy and cute inside. They are  reminiscent of hot chocolate but presented as a sweet little cake with cocoa frosting and the tiniest marshmallow bits to top them off and tie the whole look together.

Chocolate Cupcakes

The best part is these cupcakes are super easy to pull together and you can mix all the ingredients for the cupcakes in one bowl. I always love that.

Hot Chocolate Frosting (more…)

Cotton Candy Cookies

These pastel colored cotton candy cookies are as sweet as they look – made with a duo of pink and blue cookie batter and buttercream, too. I made them from a recipe in the new Jenna Rae Cakes and Sweet Treats book.  By the way – stop what you are doing and go follow @jennareaecakes […]

Cotton Candy Cookies Sandwiches

These pastel colored cotton candy cookies are as sweet as they look – made with a duo of pink and blue cookie batter and buttercream, too. I made them from a recipe in the new Jenna Rae Cakes and Sweet Treats book. 

By the way – stop what you are doing and go follow @jennareaecakes on instagram. I have a total crush on their bakery and all of their beautiful pastel colored-sweets, treats and confections. Their aesthetic is the dreamiest. I just need to visit Vancouver to try them in person one day. In the meantime, I have their cookbook. YAY! And I also bought their Liquid Cotton Candy so I could make these cookies. 

Jenna Rae Cakes Bakebook

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fairy french toast casserole

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Hello all! I hope you’re enjoying your holidays!! Bernie and Nick and I are on our beautiful Italian fake-cation and I left my computer behind! But I wanted to leave you with this fairy bread-inspired overnight baked french toast because I cannot imagine a better New Year’s brunch dish. Can you??? It’s as if the Times Square ball dropped and instead of confetti, sprinkles poured out, and luckily we were standing there with a casserole of bread sandwiched with almond paste. (You are all hip to fairy bread, right? The Australian delight that consists of buttered bread and sprinkles?!! If not, get on it!!)


fairy french toast casserole

serves 4-6

Ingredients

¼ c unsalted butter or coconut oil, melted 

¾ c sugar

1 loaf challah or french bread, cut into 1-inch slices

6 oz almond paste, grated on the big holes of a box grater (or if it’s too soft to grate you can tear it into little tiny pieces)

8 large eggs

1 c milk (whole, 2%, or dairy-free)

1 tb vanilla extract

1 tsp almond extract

½ tsp kosher salt 

Zest of 1 lemon

½ c sliced almonds

TONSSSSS of Rainbow sprinkles*

*make sure they’re rainbow sprinkles you really like the taste of. the sprinkles in this photo are a mix of india tree’s nature’s colors sprinkles and good old wilton nonpareils. 

Clues

Pour the butter or oil into a 9x13 casserole dish and swirl it around to coat evenly. Sprinkle on the sugar. Arrange half of the bread in the baking dish, overlapping if necessary, and sprinkle on the almond paste. Arrange the remaining bread on top.

In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, almond extract, salt, and lemon zest and pour evenly over the bread slices. Sprinkle the almonds all over the top.

Cover and place in the refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350ºf.

Bake uncovered until browned on top and set throughout; begin checking for doneness at 35 minutes. If the top starts browning too much, tent it with foil.

Remove casserole from oven and take no prisoners while you cover it completely with sprinkles. Enjoy!!

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-yeh!

photos by chantell and brett quernemoen

Tartiflette

One French dish I’ve not made is Tartiflette. It’s one of those things that you tuck into after a day of skiing down alps, which I did once with a family of expert skiers, realizing too late that my intermediate-level of skiing was no match for my friends, who pointed their skis straight down the top of the alps and took off. I tried my…

One French dish I’ve not made is Tartiflette. It’s one of those things that you tuck into after a day of skiing down alps, which I did once with a family of expert skiers, realizing too late that my intermediate-level of skiing was no match for my friends, who pointed their skis straight down the top of the alps and took off. I tried my best to keep up, but in spite of the spectacular scenery (and dizzying heights), I realized my talents were better in the kitchen than on slopes, especially compared to a French family of élite-level skiers.

Continue Reading Tartiflette...

Slow Cooker Chili

I decided this year I was going to make peace with my slow cooker. I was surprised by how much I didn’t take to it, which I’ve documented here and there. Like bread machines, Instant Pots, Thermomix, and cast irons skillets, someone wrote about the latter on my Facebook page, “It’s just a PAN…” (in all-caps), they certainly have their fans. I do like my…

I decided this year I was going to make peace with my slow cooker. I was surprised by how much I didn’t take to it, which I’ve documented here and there. Like bread machines, Instant Pots, Thermomix, and cast irons skillets, someone wrote about the latter on my Facebook page, “It’s just a PAN…” (in all-caps), they certainly have their fans. I do like my cast iron skillet very much, but my life doesn’t change radically when I reach for mine. Although wouldn’t it be great if that was all it took? 😀

My appliance company gave me the slow cooker after I hounded them for three years to get reimbursed for a dishwasher repair charge they said they’d reimburse me for. I was happy to have finally settled that debt and move on with my life, but am still unclear as to why it took three years for them to tell me they couldn’t send me a check for reimbursement. Since I already had a grille-pain (toaster), a robot (food processor), and a boulloire (hot water kettle), I went with the slow cooker, which I’ve been determined to fall in love with.

Continue Reading Slow Cooker Chili...

Little Deer Sugar Cookies

It’s sugar cookie season! And these frosted fawns are a super cute cookie to sink your teeth into over the holidays. They are a variation of the soft vanilla sugar cookie snowmen I made last winter and love so much!  These are different though with the addition of nutella for the frosting and dough. I […]

Adding spots

It’s sugar cookie season! And these frosted fawns are a super cute cookie to sink your teeth into over the holidays. They are a variation of the soft vanilla sugar cookie snowmen I made last winter and love so much! 

(more…)

Vegetarian Lasagna with Ricotta

This vegetarian lasagna recipe is a total crowd pleaser! The easy spinach and ricotta cheese filling is classic and creamy. When it comes to lasagna recipes…well, this one is tops. Meet our best vegetarian lasagna with ricotta, aka vegetarian lasagne! We’ve been honing meatless lasagna recipes for years. This one is the culmination of all of our research: and damn, is it good (if we may say so ourselves). The tomato sauce has just the right zing and garlic nuance, and the spinach ricotta cheese filling is classic and creamy. It’s scented with fresh thyme and a little lemon zest, which takes it to over the top status. There’s no one who will turn down a piece! At least, who we’ve met. Here are all our secrets. Ingredients in vegetarian lasagna Did I mention that we love easy recipes: or at least, recipes that are pretty simple to put together? The spinach ricotta filling in this vegetarian lasagna recipe is elegantly simple, with no need to chop a long list of ingredients. We’ve also got lots of time saving ideas for those evenings where you don’t have time to make your own marinara. Here’s what you need for this vegetarian […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

This vegetarian lasagna recipe is a total crowd pleaser! The easy spinach and ricotta cheese filling is classic and creamy.

Vegetarian lasagna

When it comes to lasagna recipes…well, this one is tops. Meet our best vegetarian lasagna with ricotta, aka vegetarian lasagne! We’ve been honing meatless lasagna recipes for years. This one is the culmination of all of our research: and damn, is it good (if we may say so ourselves). The tomato sauce has just the right zing and garlic nuance, and the spinach ricotta cheese filling is classic and creamy. It’s scented with fresh thyme and a little lemon zest, which takes it to over the top status. There’s no one who will turn down a piece! At least, who we’ve met. Here are all our secrets.

Ingredients in vegetarian lasagna

Did I mention that we love easy recipes: or at least, recipes that are pretty simple to put together? The spinach ricotta filling in this vegetarian lasagna recipe is elegantly simple, with no need to chop a long list of ingredients. We’ve also got lots of time saving ideas for those evenings where you don’t have time to make your own marinara. Here’s what you need for this vegetarian lasagna:

  • Tomato sauce: homemade or purchased (see section below)
  • Lasagna noodles (dried or fresh)
  • Baby spinach (or frozen)
  • Ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, and mozzarella cheese
  • Fresh thyme
  • Lemon zest
  • Nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper
Vegetarian lasagna recipe

Make homemade tomato sauce, or find your favorite brand

This vegetarian lasagna recipe features our favorite homemade tomato sauce for lasagna: made with garlic, tomatoes and our secret ingredient: dried tarragon. Here are a few notes about each type of sauce:

  • Make the homemade sauce for great flavor. When you have time, a homemade tomato sauce is where it’s at! This sauce is full of big flavor and takes only a few minutes of hands on time: it can simmer while you prep the other ingredients. Dried tarragon adds big Italian flavor: but if you can’t find it, you can use oregano as a substitute.
  • Or, go easy with purchased marinara! There are lots of nights where we want a shortcut. These days there are many high quality marinara brands on the market: look for organic if you can! Grab enough for 4 cups of sauce.
Easy marinara sauce

Substitute frozen spinach for fresh

Here’s another way you can customize this vegetarian lasagne recipe to your tastes: you can use fresh or frozen spinach! Here are the benefits of both:

  • Fresh spinach is tasty and often on hand. We often have a big box of baby greens in our refrigerator, so we love using fresh spinach here. It takes just a few minutes to wilt down on the stovetop.
  • Frozen spinach offers maximum flexibility! Frozen spinach is easy to stock in your freezer for whenever you have a lasagna craving (or spinach artichoke dip!). Make sure defrost and squeeze out all the water before you use it.

The best vegetarian lasagna recipe with ricotta cheese

Why make a vegetarian lasagna recipe with ricotta? Ricotta cheese is a creamy Italian cheese with a mild flavor. It’s most famously used in lasagna recipes to make that beautifully creamy, cheesy layer. We love it in this lasagna with ricotta because it has the best classic flavor.

  • What are other ways to use ricotta? Smear it on toast, swirl it into pasta, dollop it into scrambled eggs or even spread it onto a pizza. Want ideas? Go to these Genius Ricotta Recipes.
  • What are some substitutes for ricotta in lasagna? Don’t have ricotta, or don’t want to use it? You can also use the same amount of cottage cheese (if you can, food process it first) or creme fraiche as a substitute for ricotta in lasagna.
Lasagna recipe with ricotta cheese

Other filling variations!

Want to change up this lasagna recipe with ricotta? Here are some additional filling ideas that would go well with spinach and ricotta:

  • Spinach mushroom lasagna: Make the spinach and mushroom filling from Vegan Lasagna and substitute it for the spinach (with or without the cashews).
  • Kale lasagna: Make the spicy kale filling instead of spinach from Spicy Kale Lasagna.
  • Chard lasagna: Chop 2 bunches rainbow chard and wilt it down following the instructions in the recipe.

Make ahead and storage info

How to store vegetarian lasagna? Can you make it ahead? Here are a few pointers for this recipe:

  • Make ahead ideas: As noted above, you can use purchased marinara to make this recipe a little quicker. You can also cook the spinach in advance (or use frozen spinach). Mix up the cheese filling and refrigerate until ready to bake.
  • Or make ahead the entire pan: Make the vegetarian lasagna prior to baking, then refrigerate overnight. Increase the bake time as needed to cook until it’s warmed through and the cheese has melted.
  • Storage info: Refrigerate leftovers for up to 2 days. Or freeze them: it’s easiest to cut it into single servings and freeze each in separate containers. To reheat, defrost the vegetarian lasagna the refrigerator, then place in a baking dish, cover with foil and reheat at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes, until warmed through.
Lasagna with ricotta

Sides to serve with vegetarian lasagna

The great thing about a vegetarian lasagna recipe? You can use the long bake time to prep some tasty side dishes! Here are a few sides that pair well with lasagna:

This vegetarian lasagna recipe is…

Vegetarian. For gluten-free, use gluten-free lasagna noodles.

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Vegetarian lasagna

Vegetarian Lasagna with Ricotta


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Yield: 9
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This vegetarian lasagna recipe is a total crowd pleaser! The easy spinach and ricotta cheese filling is classic and creamy.


Ingredients

For the tomato sauce (or substitute 4 cups of your favorite marinara sauce)

  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes, fire roasted if possible
  • 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce, fire roasted if possible
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon (or oregano)
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch (or arrowroot starch)

For the lasagna

  • 10 to 12 lasagna noodles (8 ounces, gluten-free as necessary)*
  • 5 ounces baby spinach** (or 8 cups chopped spinach)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 16 ounce (2 cups) ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 3 cups (12 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Boil the noodles*: Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil. Boil the noodles until just before al dente, according to the package instructions, stirring often. Drain the noodles, then drizzle a baking sheet with a bit of olive oil. Lay the noodles flat onto the sheet, then turn them over so they become coated with olive oil to prevent sticking.
  3. Prepare the tomato sauce (or skip with purchased marinara): Mince the garlic. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté, stirring frequently. Once the garlic is fragrant after about 1 or 2 minutes, turn down the heat and carefully add the tomatoes (avoid any momentary spitting), tomato sauce, basil, tarragon or oregano, kosher salt, and several grinds of black pepper. Remove 1/4 cup of the sauce and stir it with the cornstarch, then add it back to the pan (this helps to thicken the sauce). Simmer on low heat while making the remainder of the recipe, at least 15 minutes. When ready to use, remove the pan from the heat.
  4. Wilt the spinach: In a large skillet, mound the greens and 1/4 cup water in the skillet and cook, stirring often, until completely wilted and reduced, about 3 minutes (the greens significantly reduce when cooking; if necessary, sauté in batches.) Sprinkle with 2 pinches of kosher salt and stir, then remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Once cooled, use your hands to squeeze out all excess liquid and discard. Roughly chop the spinach.
  5. Prepare the cheese filling: Destem the thyme, then roughly chop the leaves. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons thyme to a medium bowl and reserve about 1/2 tablespoon for topping the lasagna. To the bowl, add the lemon zest, nutmeg, ricotta cheese, 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, kosher salt, and several grinds of black pepper. Stir to combine.
  6. Layer the lasagna: In a 9” x 13” baking dish, spread 1/2 cup tomato sauce on the bottom of the pan. Then top with 1 layer of noodles, half of the cheese mixture (in dollops then spread it out), half of the greens, and about 1 cup of the tomato sauce. Repeat again: 1 layer of noodles (you may need to cut a noodle in half for the side, depending on your pan), the remaining cheese mixture, the remaining greens, and 1 cup of the tomato sauce. Finally, top with noodles (again, you may need to cut a noodle in half for the top layer), then the remaining 1 1/2 cups of the tomato sauce. Sprinkle the entire top with the remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, and 1/2 tablespoon thyme.
  7. Bake the lasagna: Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and bake another 10 minutes, until bubbly and browned. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving (this allows the lasagna to set). Leftovers can be refrigerated for 2 to 3 days and reheated in a 375°F oven.

Notes

*If you use fresh lasagna noodles, they don’t need to be boiled. 

**You can also substitute 3/4 cup frozen spinach. Defrost it and squeeze of excess liquid: you can skip the cooking step. 

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: Italian inspired

Keywords: Vegetarian lasagna, vegetarian lasagna recipe, vegetarian lasagne recipe, lasagna recipe ricotta, lasagna recipe with ricotta cheese, lasagna with ricotta, lasagna with ricotta cheese

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Marshmallows are one (or some) of my favorite things. We don’t often use ‘marshmallow’ in the singular and we certainly don’t make them one at a time. When we talk about marshmallows, it’s generally in the plural since it’s hard to imagine just one, lone, solitary marshmallow. That would be triste, as you’d say in French, or sad. Except, of course, when it’s floating on top of a warm cup of hot chocolate. That makes me happy. And what makes me even happier is when the marshmallow is made of chocolate. In that case, I’m absolutely delighted.

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‘Tis the season for holiday baking and I’ll admit to being on a little bit of a fruitcake bender, recently giving a Black Fruitcake a go and revisiting one of my all-time favorite recipes, Fruitcake Bars which won accolades from several French friends. (They were also surprised at how easy there were to make, too.) A while back, I gave the much-maligned fruitcake a makeover,…

‘Tis the season for holiday baking and I’ll admit to being on a little bit of a fruitcake bender, recently giving a Black Fruitcake a go and revisiting one of my all-time favorite recipes, Fruitcake Bars which won accolades from several French friends. (They were also surprised at how easy there were to make, too.)

A while back, I gave the much-maligned fruitcake a makeover, dressing this one up with plumped-up sour cherries, chocolate chips, a dark chocolate batter, and a boozy bath of liquor added at the end.

Continue Reading Dark Chocolate-Cherry Fruitcake...