monday night football with friends is a great thing. A friend had us over for chili and cornbread. Added to the chili were black beans. Protein! We ate it with Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout .

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Then last night a friend had a bunch of us over and had a ton of great food.

Tiffany’s Lasagna (OK, Tiffany’s Mom’s Lasagna)
Ingredients:1 15 oz container ricotta cheese1 8 oz bag of shredded mozzarella cheese handful of parmesan cheese1 10 oz box frozen chopped spinach, thawed1/2 of a 16 oz box of REGULAR lasagna noodles (tonight i made this with the whole grain kind)…NOT the ‘no boil’ noodles they are selling now.1 egg1 32 oz jar of spaghetti sauce (tonight I used both a vodka sauce and a marinara) oregano to taste rosemary to taste salt and pepper to taste red pepper flakes to taste1 cup of water
Preheat oven to 350.
In a big bowl, mix the ricotta, 1 cup of mozzarella, parmesan, egg, spinach (thawed and drained!), oregano, salt, pepper, red pepper, rosemary until combined.  set aside.
In a 13x9x2 pan, pour 1 cup of pasta sauce and smooth out with a spatula.
Add a single layer of lasagna noodles (NOT COOKED)
On top of noodles add a half of the cheese mixture – spread it out evenly (if you want to add meat to your lasagna, brown it in a separate pan then add half of it here on top of cheese)
On top of cheese add 1/2 cup of sauce, then another layer of noodles, then the other half of the cheese mixture (and rest of the meat if you have it), then another layer of sauce.
Top off with a layer of noodles, remaining sauce, and sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese (there should be some still in the bag) and parm on top.  At this point I add a dash more of whatever herbs I want.  You can also sprinkle sundried tomatoes, or a fancy cheese, or red peppers on top…whatever!
Pour the 1 cup of water around the edges of the lasagna, lifting up the noodles with a fork so it gets underneath and all around.
Cover tightly with foil, and bake for 1 hr and 15 to 1 hr an 30 minutes.  (sometimes it bubbles over so i always put a cookie sheet on the rack below).
Take it out of the oven and let stand for 15 mins before attempting to cut.
Serves 8-10 for dinner, 12 for book club.
ENJOY!!!!This can be assembled the night before (don’t forget to add the water!)…when you’re ready to cook it you just pop it in the oven.  No sweat.
Home-made No-Bake Cheesecake
Ingredients:1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs6 tablespoons melted butter2 tablespoons granulated sugar10 oz cream cheese1/2 cup powdered sugar1 tsp vanilla extract1/2 tsp lemon juice1 cup heavy cream1 10 oz jar of fruit conserve for topping – IMPORTANT…don’t buy icky pie filling, or anything called ‘jam”.  The stuff I used tonight was the Trappist conserve of cranberry (festive!), but you can often find cherry, etc.
Instructions:Mix the graham cracker crumbs with the butter and granulated sugar until mixture coheres
Press this mix into an 8 inch springform pan; press a little up the sides to form a slight ridge
Beat together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla and lemon juice in bowl until smooth
Lightly whip the cream, then fold it into the cream cheese mix
Spoon the cheesecake mixture on top of graham cracker crust and smooth with a spatula.  Put in the fridge for 3 hrs or overnight (I did mine overnight)
Just before serving, spread the topping on the cheesecake, remove the sides of the springform pan, and enjoy!
Apparently, this can serve 12.  hahaha.