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Krasnapolski: spinach and Cheese Casserole Flipping through the pages of a cookbook from Hawaii, I spy recipes for classic Hawaiian dishes such Laulau and Pipikaula. Turning a couple more pages, a recipe called Krasnapolski catches my eye. Krasnapolski? That doesn’t sound Hawaiian at all. A Google search for Krasnapolski reveals little information other than it is the name of a five-star hotel in Amsterdam that began as a restaurant in 1865. Whether this rich spinach and cheese casserole has fancy origins or not, it is versatile enough to be served as a tasty main dish for brunch or an easy-to-make side dish for supper.

Krasnapolski
A Taste of Aloha

INGREDIENTS
6 eggs
2 (10-ounce) packages chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1/2 cup melted butter
1 (32-ounce) carton of cottage cheese
1 pound sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
2 tablespoons flour

DIRECTIONS
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Beat eggs.

3. Add spinach, butter, cottage cheese and Cheddar cheese.

4. Sprinkle flour over ingredients and blend.

5. Bake for 1 hour in a greased 3-quart casserole.

Serves 6-8

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. Squeeze out as much liquid from the spinach as you possibly can. I thought I had, but I still found the casserole to be a little liquidy. After taking one slice out, I felt compelled to spoon out the extra liquid.

2. Bake the casserole until it is set in the center. It will solidify more as it cools down, so plan on serving it only after it has sat for a while.

3. The next time I make this, I will use a 9 by 13-inch baking pan instead of a 3-quart casserole. I think the depth of my casserole dish contributed to the longer cooking time (73 minutes).

4. This is not a low-fat or low-cholesterol recipe! I plan on experimenting with low-fat substitutions the next time around.

Enjoy!

Ghost Ranch Flowers They may look like weeds to you, but don’t step on the vegetation. Please stay on the pathways. We’ve had a long drought here, and the poor little plants are doing everything they can to survive. See how the soil looks crusty? That crust protects the plants and if you step on the crust and break it, you’re inviting a dust storm. These words of advice, reiterated by more than one guide during a visit to the Southwest, motivated me to step up my water conservation and to appreciate the gifts that water brings.

#1 – Saving Water
Save Water While I was at a social gathering the other day, the conversation turned to ways to save water. Conserving water needs to become a way of life for all of us, and not just during a drought. Check out these 100+ Ways To Conserve and see if there aren’t a few more ways you can incorporate water conservation into your life.

#2 – Assessing the Flow
Go with The Flow Do you have days when you feel like you’re swimming upstream or you’re drowning in the details of life or you’re in the wrong pond altogether? Come up for air and take a deep breath. It’s time for a reassessment. From Marc and Angel Hack Life comes an inspirational piece called 16 Reasons You’re Succeeding in Life (Even If You Don’t Feel You Are). Odds are you are happier and more successful than you thought.

#3 – Water Table
Duffy London Abyss Table The London-based design company Duffy London created a mesmerizing table called the “Abyss Table.” This table is more than its stacked layers of glass and wood; it’s a “slice” of the sea.

#4 – How Would You Make Her Beautiful?
The Definition of Beauty Kansas City journalist Esther Honig sent an unretouched photo of herself across the seas to “Photoshop professionals and amateurs in 23 different countries and asked them to ‘make her beautiful.’” Her project is an interesting study of cultural interpretations of beauty.

#5 – Water, Water, Everywhere
“We never know the worth of water till the well is dry. ”
― Thomas Fuller

“Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can’t go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.”
― Margaret Atwood, The Penelopiad

“In one drop of water are found all the secrets of all the oceans; in one aspect of You are found all the aspects of existence.”
― Khalil Gibran

Go now and spread joy!

Lasagna With Turkey Sausage Serve lasagna in the summer? You bet! Tender noodles sandwich layers of flavorful tomato-turkey sauce and creamy three-cheese blend. Fresh herbs and mozzarella add a bright flavor and a classic texture. Just add a crisp green salad and a glass of wine and you have a perfect summer meal.

Lasagna with Turkey Sausage
Ina Garten

INGREDIENTS
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion (1 onion)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1½ pounds sweet Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes in tomato purée
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound lasagna noodles
15 ounces ricotta cheese
3 to 4 ounces creamy goat cheese, crumbled
1 cup grated Parmesan, plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling
1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
1 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced

DIRECTIONS
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large (10 to 12-inch) skillet. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes over medium-low heat, until translucent.

3. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.

4. Add the sausage and cook over medium-low heat, breaking it up with a fork, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until no longer pink.

5. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 tablespoons of the parsley, the basil, 1½ teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Simmer uncovered, over medium-low heat, for 15 to 20 minutes, until thickened.

6. Meanwhile fill a large bowl with the hottest tap water. Add the noodles and allow them to sit in the water for 20 minutes. Drain.

7. In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, goat cheese, 1 cup of Parmesan, the egg, the remaining 2 tablespoons of parsley, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Set aside.

8. Ladle 1/3 of the sauce into a 9 by 12 by 2-inch rectangular baking dish, spreading the sauce over the bottom of the dish. Then add the layers as follows: half the pasta, half the mozzarella, half the ricotta, and one third of the sauce. Add the rest of the pasta, mozzarella, ricotta, and finally, sauce.

9. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of Parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling.

Yields: 8 servings

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. I used 2 pounds of turkey sausage and 1 pound of ground turkey meat for a heartier sauce.

2. I also added half of a jar of spaghetti sauce that I had in the refrigerator.

3. I purchased a chub of pre-sliced fresh mozzarella. In order to distribute it more evenly, I sliced each round in half (half-moons).

4. I put my 9 by 13-inch baking pan on a parchment paper-covered baking sheet before putting it in the oven. I’m glad I did, because the bubbling lasagna overflowed.

5. To aid preparation, the sauce can be made the night before serving and reheated a bit before layering the lasagna the following day.

Enjoy!

Friday's Fresh Five! Someone sometime ago said, “Sometimes I sits and thinks and sometimes I just sits.” That’s it. Nothing more. Try it, you might like it.

#1 – Perfect Words
Eleven Untranslatable Words Don’t you think that among all the languages around the world, a perfect word exists to describe every situation? For example, the Japanese word komorebi expresses “the sort of scattered dappled light effect that happens when sunlight shines in through trees.” How wonderful to have a word for such a beautiful scenario. Read more about unique words in the BBC’s Eleven Unstranslatable Words.

#2 – What Makes You Tick?
Identify Your Passion Do you know what truly makes you tick? Can you identify your passions in life? If not, read Know Your Passion: 5 Identifiers of What Makes You Really Tick
and see if it helps.

#3 – Light Up Your World
12 Amazing Light Fixtures Made from Everyday Objects Light up your world using everyday objects or even better using gently used objects. Featuring globes, cheese graters, bike parts and more, check out these 12 Amazing Light Lamps and Chandeliers.

#4 – Listening Is An Act of Love
StoryCorps: Listening Is An Act Of Love Listening Is An Act of Love is an animated special which presents stories from the StoryCorps oral history project. The StoryCorps site states, “Each story reflects StoryCorps founder Dave Isay’s fundamental belief: ‘We can learn so much about the people all around us – even about the people we already know – just by taking the time to have a conversation.’” During the minutes you spend watching and listening to the video, you’ll be thinking about the stories you want to share as well as the story of your life.

#5 – Alone Time
“You cannot be lonely if you like the person you’re alone with.”
Wayne Dyer

“The man who follows the crowd will usually get no further than the crowd. The man who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever been before.”
Alan Ashley-Pitt

Go now and spread joy!

Plum Dipping Sauce for Shrimp A gift of perfect plums and and sweet peaches needs to be devoured while at the peak of their perfection. This means I only have a few days to eat them. Is that a big problem? Not really. Besides eating them au naturel, I plan on using them to test out new recipes. The first new recipe uses three ripe plums to give this spicy plum sauce a sweet and fruity flavor, while rice vinegar and spices make it piquant. This is not a run-of-the-mill dipping sauce for shrimp. Thank goodness!

Plum Dipping Sauce For Shrimp
Food Network, recipe courtesy of Ritz-Carlton Rose Hall Resort, Jamaica

INGREDIENTS
3 plums, peeled, pitted and sliced
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon chopped habaneros
Cornstarch, optional
Sugar

DIRECTIONS
1. Place the plums in a blender or food processor. Add the water and mix at high speed until the plums are puréed.

2. Pour the purée into a 1-quart saucepan. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes to reduce the sauce. If necessary, add cornstarch to thicken the sauce.

3. Remove from heat. Add sugar, to taste. Serve hot or cold.

Yield: 4-6 servings

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. Although not as hot as habanero chilies, I used serrano chiles in this recipe, because I had them on hand.

2. I reduced the sauce longer than 20 minutes and still added a little cornstarch to thicken up the sauce.

3. I added a pinch of salt and about 2 teaspoons of sugar to the reduction.

4. I prefer serving this sauce chilled.

Enjoy!

Bird of Freedom-T What does freedom mean to you? Here are a number of inspirational quotes to get you thinking about that. Recognize and be grateful for what you have.

Real Freedom Quote

Nelso Mandela Freedom Quote

Thich Nhat Hanh Quote

Thomas Jefferson Freedom quote

Ameil on Freedom

Lincoln on Freedom

Dyer on Freedom

Gandhi on Freedom

Faulkner on Freedom

Price of Freedom

Gratitude

Go now and spread joy!

Sangria Ice cold pitchers of refreshing sangria tease me as I attempt to photograph them outdoors in 100-degree temperature. I know that the sooner I get the photos taken, the sooner I’ll be able to sit down under the shade of a big blue umbrella and leisurely drink my photo props. Two fruity sangrias await me. The first one combines the crisp flavors of mint and cucumber with the sweetness of honeydew melon and the tartness of lime. White wine and carbonated water add the needed sophistication and sparkle to this beverage. The second sangria is all about fruit. Pineapple and orange juices are mixed with pineapple chunks, orange slices, and slices of crispy green apple. The addition of cream soda brings fizzy fun to this nonalcoholic sangria which makes it a perfect summertime beverage to cool down the kids.

Cucumber Sangria
Better Homes and Gardens

INGREDIENTS
1 small honeydew melon
1 seedless cucumber, thinly sliced
1 lime, thinly sliced
12 fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup honey
1 750 milliliter bottle of Sauvignon blanc or other semi-dry white wine, chilled
1 1 liter bottle carbonated water, chilled
Fresh mint sprigs and/or leaves, optional for garnish

DIRECTIONS
1. Cut the melon in half; remove and discard seeds and rind. Cut melon into thin slices.

2.  In a large pitcher combine melon, cucumber, lime slices, and 12 mint leaves.

3. In a small bowl stir together lime juice and honey until combined; pour over melon mixture.

4. Add wine, stirring gently. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.

5. To serve, stir in carbonated water. Ladle or pour into glasses. If desired, garnish with additional mint.

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. For best results, use a honeydew melon that is ripe with sweetness, but not so ripe, that the flesh is mushy.

2. I cut the honeydew into wedge-chunks. If the melon is cut too thin, there is a chance it will fall apart when the sangria is being stirred.

3. I cut the limes into thin wedges rather than crosswise circles, so as to not repeat the shape of the cucumbers slices.

Tropical Faux-Gria
Good Housekeeping

INGREDIENTS
4 cups pineapple juice
2 cups orange juice
2 cups cream soda
2 cups pineapple chunks
1 medium orange, sliced
1/2 green apple, thinly sliced

DIRECTIONS
1. In a large pitcher, mix pineapple juice, orange juice, cream soda, pineapple chunks, orange slices, and green apple slices.
2. Chill at least 1 hour or up to 1 day.

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. For ease of preparation, I used canned pineapple chunks.
2. The flavor of this beverage is reminiscent of a fruit punch.
3. Add wine to make this a real sangria for adults.

Enjoy!

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