Saturday, November 3, 2012

Spinach and Feta Casserole

Do you know one of the favorite things of my childhood?  Being in the kitchen with my mom, grandmas, and aunts.  Big surprise, huh?  Some of my best memories were at the hip of those great cooks.  Because of that, I think it's so important to get my children involved in cooking.  Mind you, it's not always easy because I'm a bit of a control freak and perfectionist.  There are times when I have to fight the urge to say, "Just let me do it."  But, if I do that, what am I teaching them?  Certainly not how to cook.  Instead, I remind myself that things don't have to be perfect, and if they take a little longer to get something done, it's okay because they are learning.  I try to take a step back and play the role of guide as much as I can, particularly with my daughter, since she is older.  My son is only 9, so he still needs more help, but Bailey, at 11, does really well by herself.  When she's in the kitchen, I try to keep my hands out of things, and just offer some tips and suggestions here and there, as needed. 

I am very proud to say that Bailey is turning into a good, little cook.  She really enjoys it, which of course, makes me very happy; and, she spends quite a bit of time asking me if she can make supper.  Unfortunately, it doesn't work out as often as she would like, but I do try to give her at least one day a month where she can give it a go.  Well, I should correct that, except for summertime - I use my kitchen very little and the grill more often than not.

Today, we were getting ready to do our massive, and highly pleasurable (sarcasm), monthly grocery shopping trip.  Since I was getting the list ready, I decided it was the perfect time to see if Bailey wanted to make a meal soon.  She jumped at the chance, pulling out her cookbooks and magazine with some simple recipes.  Before long, she had 3 recipes that she really liked.  I added the necessary ingredients to our list, while she picked the one she wanted to make first.  Then she hit me up to cook supper tonight.  It's Saturday, so why not?  When I said yes, she was over the moon.  I, then, asked her if she would be okay with being on the blog.  After only a moment's hesitation, she agreed.  So, tonight's recipe is brought to you, courtesy of Bailey, with only the photos by me.

Here's your Cast of Characters.

3 Eggs
2 Cups part-skim ricotta cheese
1 10-oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
1 4-oz. package crumbled feta cheese
1/4 Cup butter, melted
3 Tablespoons flour
2 Teaspoons dried, minced onions
1 Teaspoon, each, Lawry's season salt, pepper, Mrs. Dash Onion & Herb and McCormick Perfect Pinch Garlic & Herb
Dash nutmeg
1/3 Cup freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano (optional - not pictured)

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease medium casserole; set aside.

Lightly beat the eggs.

Drain the spinach, and squeeze out as much liquid as you can.

Put eggs in large mixing bowl.  Add ricotta and spinach.

Next, add feta, melted butter, flour, onion and seasonings.

Stir well to combine .

Spread into prepared casserole.

Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes, or until center is nearly set.

You want to know one of the great things about this dish?  All the little chunks of feta!  If you look closely, you can see them.  Yum!


*Note:  You can add freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano along with the other ingredients.  We didn't do this - Bailey followed the recipe, except for my suggestion to add some additional seasonings.  We both agreed that next time, we will definitely add the Parmesan.