Asparagus Ham Lasagna
Easter Sunday………Families, faith, and of course food! Every Easter, all the Aunts, Uncles, and cousins would squeeze into my Grandma’s tiny little house for a huge Easter feast at the center of which was my Grandma’s ham. It was always huge, you know so she could send some home with everyone. She saved margarine and cool whip tubs all year so she could send left over holiday food home.
Back then the take home was for ham sandwiches or scalloped potatoes and ham. So in tribute to the left over ham……..Asparagus Ham Lasagna.When you buy a ham,buy a bone-in ham. You can use the left over ham for sandwiches, scalloped potatoes and ham, or Asparagus Ham Lasagna! The bone makes a nice pot of October Beans Southern Style.
Since spring and Easter go hand and hand, and asparagus is associated with spring, and Easter is associated with ham………not sure where I was going with that but…..the combination of asparagus, ham, and swiss cheese is delicious!!! Adding pasta is like icing on a cake.
The nice thing about lasagna is that you can make it and bake it, you can make it and bake it the next day, or you can make it and freeze it for a meal when you don’t know what to fix.
Add some crusty bread and a nice green salad and its a feast that is sure to please.
- 1 pound asparagus, trimmed
- 1/2 package no cook lasagna noodles
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/3 cup flour
- 4 1/2 cups milk
- 2 1/2 cups swiss cheese shredded
- 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 pound sliced ham, thin slices ( I used left over from a spiral cut ham)
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees .
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat and simmer, whisking constantly, until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in 1 cup of swiss cheese and half of the nutmeg; season with salt and pepper.
- Spread about 1/3 cup of the cheese sauce in a baking dish. Layer 3 noodles on the sauce and top with 3/4 cup cheese sauce. Place half the ham and asparagus on top and 1/3 of the remaining swiss over the sauce. Repeat the layering process three more times. Top with the remaining noodles, cheese sauce, swiss and nutmeg. Cover with foil and bake until heated through, about 30 minutes. Uncover and cook for 10 minutes more. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.
Keywords: asparagus, ham, lasagna, bake, dinner, no cook lasagna noodles
Caramel Cookie Dough Bars
I am not usually a fan of a cookie bar………until I made these Caramel Cookie Dough Bars. All I can say is yum!!!
Shortbread is one of my favorite tastes, a little bit sweet, a little bit salty, and little bit crispy……just an all around tasty treat. Every year for Christmas,once we reached a certain age,my Grandma would buy us a tin of shortbread cookies and wrap them in a dish towel. I loved those tins and the cookies.To this day shortbread always reminds me of my Grandma.
Since this is a layered bar I guess I will need to speak of each layer. Shortbread……check!
Caramel…..it can make anything taste great. Now, I have made homemade caramel many times, but I discovered a little secret…….Dulce de Leche. It’s caramel, in a can, already to go! It’s in the same section as the sweetened condensed milk at the grocery store. If I can save a step,and it tastes great, I say why not! But feel free to make your own for this recipe.
Cookie Dough……I have never made cookie dough without eggs before and since you do not bake these bars, except for the shortbread layer, you need an egg free cookie dough. This one is really good and you don’t have to worry about getting sick from eating it.
Chocolate Ganache…….what can I say about dark chocolate and cream that hasn’t already been said……….it’s a slice of heaven.
Combine all these layers and you get a sinfully rich and delicious bar. Speaking of which, I think there are two still left…………yeah!
- For Shortbread:
- 2 cups (4 sticks) butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 3 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- For Caramel:
- 1 can dulce de leche (by the sweetened condensed milk)
- For Cookie Dough:
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- For Chocolate Ganache:
- 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously coat a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray and line with parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang on two sides.
To make the shortbread, beat butter and sugars for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add in flour and salt and mix on low until just combined. Press the dough into prepared pan. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes until edges are slightly browned.
- For the caramel layer: Spread caramel evenly over the shortbread crust. Place in freezer for about 15 minutes.
- To prepare cookie dough, beat butter and sugars on medium speed for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add heavy cream and vanilla and mix well. Add flour and salt and mix on low speed until just incorporated. Stir in the mini chocolate chips. Spread cookie dough on top of caramel layer using a spatula to smooth dough into an even layer. Refrigerate the dough while you prepare the chocolate ganache.
- Chocolate Ganache Layer: Place 1 cup chocolate chips and heavy cream in a glass bowl. Microwave in 30 second intervals until chocolate is melted. Remove from microwave and add remaining chocolate chips and vanilla and stir until smooth and silky. Pour the ganache over the cookie dough layer and chill until set, about 30 minutes.
- To remove bars from pan, grasp the edges of the parchment paper and lift out the entire block. Place on a cutting board and use a large sharp knife to cut into 2-inch squares. Refrigerated in an airtight container, bars will keep for up to 3 days.
Keywords: chocolate, cookie dough, dessert bar, bake
This recipe was adapted from http://www.kevinandamanda.com/recipes/dessert/cookie-dough-billionaire-bars
Sunday breakfast……..I’ve sung its praises many times, but today was an extra nice Sunday Breakfast. We had Tim’s Uncle Ron…..aka Rude Dog, and Aunt Ev over for breakfast.Normally, when we have breakfast with them, we meet at a local restaurant with the usual breakfast fare. Tim and I decided that maybe it was time to share some of our Sunday Breakfast recipes form What the “Forks” for Dinner? and invited them over. They graciously accepted.
We decided to make Southern Style Sausage Gravy on Boyd’s Biscuits. But, me being me, I had to change it up some. I made a casserole, using the sausage gravy as the filling and placed the biscuit dough on top and in to the oven at 400* for about 15 minutes. It turned out great.
One of my vices as a cook, is I always, always make to much! But I would rather have too much than not enough.
Change up recipe number two………Potato Crusted Breakfast Pizza. I wanted to make it more individualized. So, instead of making one big crust, I made them just big enough to hold an egg. They are cute as a button and the perfect size for one. Look at the photos…..thank you Tim………….and you can see just how dang cute they are!!!
All I needed to add was a plate of fresh fruit, coffee, and it was a lovely breakfast, if I do say so myself. But I must say a big THANK YOU! to Ron and Ev for the beautiful tulips they brought for us. They are one of my favorite flowers and a breath of sunshine on what has been a rainy Sunday.
So, invite your friends or family over for a relaxing Sunday Breakfast……….go ahead and call them now , you know you want too!!!!!!
P.S. I also want to send a shout out to our friends at Hen House Farm for the props we bought last week, and used today. The pan with the red trim was perfect not only in size but for pics and the pillow case that we used as a back drop (that says eggs on it) was perfect. So if you are looking for any kind of primitives they are they place to visit.