Saturday, January 31, 2009

Friday Night With Friends

We had our friends Nick and Alison over for dinner last night. A few sangrias in we took this picture (we actually took 6 pictures until we settled on the perfect one). We ate a really good meal, played Wii, and blared our stereo while singing along to Old Crow Medicine Show, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, The Beatles, and John Prine.

For dinner we had a very flavorful and healthy Mexican lasagna.
Mexican Lasagna (From Cuisine Nie) My add-ins are in red.
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
4 scallions, coarsely chopped
Coarse salt and ground pepper
10 ounces fresh baby spinach
Nonstick cooking spray
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 can black beans
2 chicken breasts, seasoned,cooked and shredded
1 cup prepared salsa (mild or medium)
8 ounces pepper Jack cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a food processor, combine cilantro, scallions, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper with as much spinach as will fit; pulse, adding remaining spinach in batches, until coarsely chopped.Coat an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray. Lay 4 tortillas in bottom of dish (they will overlap slightly). Layer with half of beans, salsa, spinach mixture, chicken, and cheese; repeat with remaining ingredients, ending with cheese and pressing in gently.Cover dish with foil; place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until bubbling, 25 to 30 minutes; remove foil, and continue baking until golden, 15 to 20 minutes more. Cool 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Alison made a delightful and fruit-filled sangria. I had a wee bit too much but it was sooo worth it.
Sparkling Sangria (from Michael Chiarello- Food Network)
1 cup brandy
1/2 cup orange liquer (we used Grand Marnier, we're fancy like that- ha!)
1/4 cup sugar
1 orange, thinly sliced
1 pint blackberried (or any other berry)
1 lime, thinly sliced
1 lemon, thinly sliced
2 bottles sparkling wine, chilled
In large pitcher or bowl, combine the brandy and orange liquer. Pour in the sugar, stir until the sugar dissolved. Add all of the fruit at once. Add the sparkling wine and serve.
The sangria maker poses with a glass.
The dinner table set. What a great night!


  1. Jen, both of these recipes look great!

  2. YUM! I want another piece...and maybe another glass of sangria. :-P