Spinach Pie

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This is one of my go-to recipes.  You can make it ahead by doing everything except baking it.  You can do this up to 1 day in advance and leave it covered in the fridge.  Just pop it in the oven when you are ready to bake it.  It also freezes well.  I tend to cut it into slices before freezing so that you can defrost individual portions.  

I often serve this with a Greek salad, rice pilaf, and some grilled meat (e.g., steak or lamb) if I have company.

 

SPINACH PIE


Total Time:  1 hr 35 min
Prep:  20 min
Cook:  1 hr 15 min
Yield:  6 to 8 servings
Level:  Easy

Ingredients

  • 3 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
  • 6 extra-large eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons plain dry bread crumbs
  • 1/2 pound good feta, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup pignoli ( pine nuts)
  • 1/4 pound salted butter, melted
  • 6 sheets phyllo dough, defrosted


Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium saute pan on medium heat, saute the onions with the olive oil until translucent and slightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the salt and pepper and allow to cool slightly.

Squeeze out and discard as much of the liquid from the spinach as possible. Put the spinach into a bowl and then gently mix in the onions, eggs, nutmeg, Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, feta, and pignoli.

Butter an ovenproof, nonstick, 8-inch saute pan and line it with 6 stacked sheets of phyllo dough, brushing each with melted butter and letting the edges hang over the pan. Pour the spinach mixture into the middle of the phyllo and neatly fold the edges up and over the top to seal in the filling. Brush the top well with melted butter. Bake for 1 hour, until the top is golden brown and the filling is set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Serve at room temperature.
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Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten.

© 2014 Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Baby or Bridal Shower Luncheon Menu

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My mother made this menu for my baby shower years ago.  It's a total classic menu that works every time. 

On the day of the shower there are enough things to be thinking about, so here are some tips to make it easier.

Spinach Pie:  You can do everything the day beforehand except for bake it.  Keep it in the fridge overnight.  On the morning of the shower, bring it to room temperature and then bake it.  You can also do this first thing in the morning because it is delicious (almost better) at room temperature.

Salad:  This one is always a hit with a group of women.  Prepare the feta & dressing the day beforehand.  The day of, cut the watermelon and assemble the salad.

Coconut Cake:  If you really want to make this in advance, you can make the cakes up to a week beforehand and keep them in the freezer.  Defrost them the night before the luncheon and frost it in the morning.  Cakes freeze beautifully so it really is an option that will make your life easier!

 

BABY OR BRIDAL SHOWER LUNCHEON

Easy Lemon Chicken

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This is the easiest, most delicious chicken recipe from Ina Garten's cookbook, How Easy is That?  It is easy, fast, and delicious, making it perfect for a week night meal (my kids love it), a girls night, or a date night at home.  You have to try this one!  

 

EASY LEMON CHICKEN

Ingredients
1/4 cup good olive oil
3 tablespoons minced garlic (9 cloves)
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 boneless chicken breasts, skin on (6 to 8 ounces each)
1 lemon

Directions


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Warm the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add the garlic, and cook for just 1 minute but don't allow the garlic to turn brown. Off the heat, add the white wine, lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano, thyme, and 1 teaspoon salt and pour into a 9 by 12-inch baking dish.

Pat the chicken breasts dry and place them skin side up over the sauce. Brush the chicken breasts with olive oil and sprinkle them liberally with salt and pepper. Cut the lemon in 8 wedges and tuck it among the pieces of chicken.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken breasts, until the chicken is done and the skin is lightly browned. If the chicken isn't browned enough, put it under the broiler for 2 minutes. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and serve hot with the pan juices.

Source:  2010, Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That?

How to Create a Weekly Meal Plan

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Welcome to the Intentional Woman Lifestyle!  My first post is going to be about something that I hear most women (moms in particular) try to figure out on about on a weekly basis - "What on Earth am I serving for dinner?"

I'm going to share a weekly meal planning system that works well in my house and give you some tips for how to do this in your own home.

So, anyone who knows me well knows that I have a massive chalkboard in my kitchen with the menu for the week written on it.  The chalkboard came out of a few frustrating years in there where there was a lot of tension with my kids about 1) what was going to be for for dinner ("we don't want that!") and 2) wanting dessert (lots of begging and pleading). 

As a way to simplify my own life and set their expectations, I decided to do a couple of things that have (so far) worked well.  

2 MAIN IDEAS:

  1. Each night is a set "theme." 
  2. I set 2 "dessert nights" every week.  (Knowing this, they don't beg on the other days)

Knowing what they are having - and when they are having it - has significantly reduced the guesswork for me and the element of surprise for them.  (Don't get me wrong - they still complain when I make something that they don't like - but it's better). 

Here is what things look like in our house.  Over time, I imagine that ours will change, but this is ours for now:

 

MY WEEKLY MENU:

  • Monday:  Soup
  • Tuesday:  Pasta
  • Wednesday:  Vegetarian + Dessert
  • Thursday:  Chicken or Fish
  • Friday:  Leftovers (or take-out)
  • Saturday:  Pizza + Dessert  (My husband & I usually go out for dinner for a date night)
  • Sunday:   1-Pot Night (stew / soup / roast, etc.)

There are so many variations on this that you could do.  Other ideas:

  • Grilling night
  • Kids make dinner night
  • Noodle night
  • Crock pot night
  • Freezer meal night 
  • Meat night 
  • Ethnic food night
  • And so on... 

The key is finding something that works for your family.  For example, if you work full time and don't have a lot of time to cook, you might rely more heavily on freezer or slow-cooker meals.  If you have Fridays off from work, that might be the day that you cook something that takes a bit more time.  You get the idea.  Adapt it to your own family's routine & schedule.

The purpose is to simplify things and create a nicer routine for you and your family (because we all know that we have a million other things to do).  Each Saturday, I plan the meals for the week ahead according to the theme nights and make a grocery list.  I then (ideally) only make one trip to the grocery store or ordering groceries online - but more on that later.

If you have any thoughts or questions - drop me a line in the commends below.  I'd also love to hear - what works well for you?

Love,

Maeve