Lasagna, Lace Cookies and the 3rd Friday of Lent

Welcome to the third Friday of Lent. Depending upon your perspective, we are at the half-way mark. If you are only counting Fridays within the Lenten Season, there are 6. If you include Good Friday, there are 7.

Lord, open my lips
And my mouth shall proclaim Your praise.

Know that the Lord is God.
It is He who made us, and we are His;
We are His people, the sheep of His pasture.
Psalm 100:3

Most people think Lent ends on Easter Morning. It actually concludes on Holy Thursday, the Last Supper. Christ was crucified on Good Friday, lay in a tomb on Saturday and rose on Sunday.

If you’ve been following along for a while now, you know two things about me. I’m Catholic. And I follow what many consider to be “old school” traditions. We abstain from meat in our house on all Fridays throughout the year. So in that sense, Lent is a piece of cake. Which means there is more than just abstaining from meat going on. I begin my Friday mornings in prayer, offering up the day to the Lord. That’s a personal choice. In all actually, it would be a good practice every day, but so often life and events and outside influences get in the way. Which makes me realize just how forgiving God must be. After all, He took the time to create me, and He forgives me when I get so caught up in things that I take His effort for granted. His love and forgiveness is unconditional, and for that I am grateful.

Do you like Spinach Lasagna? I can remember a Spinach Lasagna we had while visiting with fellow Catholics during Lent many years ago. It was amazing. I love it when we can share both our faith and a delicious meal with others. This rolled Lasagna is in keeping with that meal, but with a fancy presentation. Personally, I love Lasagna Rollups. They just look so darn pretty!

Lasagna Spinach Rollups
2 (10 oz) packages frozen Chopped Spinach
10 uncooked Lasagna Noodles
8 oz Mascarpone Cheese
15 oz Whole Ricotta Cheese
2 cups Mozzarella Cheese
1 cup Parmesan Cheese
2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13-inch by 9-inch casserole baking dish. Set aside until ready to use.

Thaw spinach. Drain well, squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Set aside.

Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions; drain. Lay noodles flat on a baking sheet and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat Mascapone cheese until smooth. Stir in the spinach, ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, Italian seasoning and salt. Spread 1/2 cup cheese mixture over each noodle; carefully roll up. Set aside.

Cream Sauce
4-1/2 tablespoons Butter
6 tablespoons Flour
Black Pepper to taste
Pinch Salt
3 cups Chicken Stock
1-1/2 cup Heavy Cream

In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, pepper and salt until smooth. Gradually whisk in stock. Bring to a boil; cook, stirring constantly for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in cream.

Finishing Touches
1/2 cup shredded Gruyere Cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Parsley for garnish

To Assemble: Pour 1 cup sauce into the prepared pan. Cut each lasagna rollup in half widthwise; place cut side down in the baking dish. Top rollups with half of the remaining sauce; sprinkle with Gruyere and Parmesan.

Cover and bake in the heated oven for about 20 minutes. Uncover; bake 10 minutes longer or until bubbly. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

To serve: Ladle a small amount of the remaining sauce into individual plates. Top sauce with desired rollups. Garnish the plate with a sprig of parsley just before serving.

Today is also National Lace Oatmeal Cookie Day. Unlike regular cookies, Laced Cookies are wafer-thin with very little flour. They spread out on the baking sheet, creating a beautifully textured cookie. These are made with browned butter and brown sugar, giving extra nuttiness and a nice chew to the lace cookies. Perfect when accompanying a scoop of Butter Pecan Ice Cream or Raspberry Sorbet.

Almond Kissed Lacy Oatmeal Cookies
2-1/4 cups packed Brown Sugar
2-1/4 cups Rolled Oats
1-1/2 teaspoon Almond Extract
1 Egg
1 cup Butter
1 teaspoon Salt
3 tablespoons Flour

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line cookies sheets with parchment paper, set aside.

Pack brown sugar into measuring cups. Empty into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add oats, egg and almond extract to brown sugar. Set aside.

Place a small saucepan over medium heat. Melt butter, let butter deepen in color to a rich amber color and imparts a nutty aroma. Remove from heat, let butter cool for 5 minutes.

While the butter cools, mix the brown sugar mixture in the bowl. Gradually add cooled brown butter. Mix until just combined. Stir in salt and flour.

Using a cookie scoop, drop lace cookies onto the prepared cookie sheets; leaving ample room for the cookies to spread. Bake cookies for about 6 minutes or until golden brown.

Let cookies cool in the pan for 3 minutes, then transfer to cooling racks.

When storing in an airtight container, place waxed paper between cookies to prevent sticking together. Store up to 2 weeks at room temperature or in the refrigerator. If storing in the freezer, cookies will keep up to 3 months. Bring to room temperature to thaw before serving.

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

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