Pilar’s Spinach Noodle Casserole


I first shared the post you see below in January of 2016, and am sharing it again in her memory. See you on the other side, my friend. 

If you don’t have a friend like Pilar, you don’t know what you’re missing! Pilar is the type of girlfriend with whom you can have a serious, soul-searching conversation one day, and know she’ll never break a confidence. The very next day, you might find Pilar wearing a tiara while mixing blue cocktails never-before-enjoyed by anyone over the age of 21 (and somehow, she won’t look ridiculous). Pilar keeps her friends guessing – and laughing – and isn’t that what makes life fun? This is Pilar’s Spinach Noodle Casserole recipe. Like Pilar, it is fabulous. Enjoy!

Ingredients (Serves 4)

8 ounce package of frozen spinach

4 tablespoons butter

1/2 medium onion, chopped

1 clove of garlic, minced

8 ounces of wide egg noodles, cooked

8 ounces sour cream

1 pound container of cottage cheese

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon tarragon

salt and pepper to taste

bread crumbs and parmesan cheese to garnish


Step 1) Sauté onion and garlic in butter until golden. Add frozen spinach and cook until thawed. Allow excess liquid to cook off of spinach mixture.

Step 2) Add nutmeg, tarragon, salt and pepper to spinach mixture and stir well. [Note: I substituted herbes de provence for the tarragon because it’s what I had on hand, and this recipe still turned out lovely.]

Step 3) Add spinach mixture, sour cream, and cottage cheese to the cooked noodles. Stir gently and ladle into a greased casserole dish.

Step 4) Sprinkle with bread crumbs and parmesan cheese. As Pilar says, “Bake at 350 degrees until golden, eat until you are full.” I baked this Spinach Noodle Casserole for approximately 20 minutes.


Seven Layer Dinner


If you’re looking for haute cuisine, folks, this ain’t it.  Seven Layer Dinner is Old School comfort food, right out of the Midwestern US, circa 1950.  Exotic ingredients? No.  Fancy presentation? Nope.  Just the thing to win a contest on one of those Cable TV foodie shows with celebrity judges? Not a chance.  HOWEVER, if you’re having one of those days where you were late for work, spilled coffee all over yourself, and spent your lunch break trapped in an elevator, Seven Layer Dinner might be just the dish to turn your day around.

In the recipe below, I’ve made a few minor changes to an old recipe hand written by my Great Aunt Nancy. I added a yam with the potatoes, some garlic with the ground beef, substituted Arborio rice for Minute Rice, and used salsa instead of plain canned tomatoes.  The premise of the dish really hasn’t changed; I don’t think Aunt Nancy would mind.

WIN_20150127_174417Ingredients (Serves 4, with leftovers)

2 large yellow potatoes, sliced into bite size pieces 1/2 inch thick

1 large yam, peeled and sliced into bite size pieces 1/2 inch thick

1/2 of a small onion diced

3 large carrots, sliced 1/2 inch thick

1 cup Arborio (risotto) rice, uncooked

WIN_20150127_1752243 cloves garlic, diced

1 pound lean ground beef

1 quart of salsa

2 stalks celery, sliced 1/2 inch thick


Step 1) Brown ground beef with garlic. Drain and set aside.

Step 2) Grease a large casserole dish. Line the bottom with potatoes and yams.

Step 3) Over the potatoes and yams, layer (in order) onions, carrots, raw rice, browned ground beef, salsa, and celery.

Step 4) Sprinkle the top with salt and pepper. Cover and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 2 hours. Relax and enjoy!