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Ooey Gooey Cheesy Lasagna!

In this household we like to indulge in The Birthday Week(TM). This means that when either Roberto or I are celebrating a birthday, each day of our birthday week, we get to pick out some little thing to do – whether it is to go to the movies, to the beach, out for ice cream or a treat of some kind, and one of those days, have a special meal made. Not expensive things, just fun little things to keep the celebration going. For Roberto’s actual birthday, I took him to a favorite restaurant here in Saint Augustine and gave him a very special and personal gift – after almost 2 years of marriage and a very long story, I am now officially Mrs. Campus!

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Roberto and I with Mom at Easter – at the table where we were most of the weekend! EATING.

So to close out the week of birthday festivities, this past weekend, my mom came to visit and so we of course had to have another celebration for Roberto. I asked him for his menu of choice, and not surprisingly he came up with Lasagna. It is his favorite, after all.

As for a cake, he was looking for something Tiramisu inspired. I know Roberto is a huge fan of ice cream, so I asked him if he’d like me to make him a Tiramisu Ice Cream Cake – and he was game!

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Tiramisu Ice Cream Cake

I spent a few days looking online for Tiramisu flavored ice cream, and a sponge cake or lady fingers to make the cake. We happened to be celebrating his birthday with my mom the day before Easter, which meant we would be baking with my mom too. So I had to plan ahead to make sure all this baking wasn’t going to wreak havoc on me with my wheat issues. Therefore, I modified some Easter bread recipes to include my soaking techniques, and looked for recipes to make cake and bread that was more eggs and less flour. The sponge cake recipe I found for the ice cream cake ended up being more like a big crepe than a cake due to my egg whites not cooperating, but it was perfect for the cake.

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Preparing Lasagna Rolls

As for the lasagna, I decided to make baked lasagna rolls, so I didn’t need to use as many noodles. I used whole wheat noodles and I used a mixture of mascarpone, homemade goat cheese, parmigiano, basil paste and spinach as the filling and I made a simple sauce using a jar of organic tomato sauce, a can of tomatoes, some wine and spices. Roberto loved these rolls, and declared it the best lasagna he has had in the US. So I was pretty happy with that! We served it with a nice bottle of Cannonau, a Sardinian wine, known for its beneficial antioxidant properties :)

This weekend was a very Italian food centered time, which is always great.

To see our Sicilian Easter Dinner with my mom, please check out her blog for the recipes and photos.

Lasagna Rolls:

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Cheesing it UP!

INGREDIENTS:

1 package of whole wheat lasagna noodles (12 noodles)

filling:
8 oz. mascarpone cheese
4 oz. homemade raw milk goat cheese
2 inch piece of parmigiano cheese, grated
3 oz. fresh baby spinach
3 TBS fresh basil paste
salt & pepper to taste

sauce:
2 TBS olive oil
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
28 oz. can of fire roasted tomatoes
½ jar of organic tomato sauce
¼ cup red wine
oregano, thyme, and basil to taste

12 round pieces of fresh mozzarella

METHOD:

Bring water to boil for pasta, and cook according to package directions, except cut the cooking time by half. Drain and set aside.

Prepare the sauce. Sauté the onions and garlic in olive oil, until translucent. Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, wine and spices. Mix together and cook over a medium-low heat for about 35-40 minutes.

While sauce is cooking preheat the oven to 350F. In a bowl mix all the filling ingredients together. Then divide and spread the filling over the length of each noodle, and roll up. Place noodle rolls into a prepared baking dish – place a little of the sauce on the bottom of the pan before laying the rolls on top. Then place a piece of mozzarella on top of each roll, and pour the rest of the sauce over top of the whole dish. Then grate extra parmigiano on top. Bake for 45 minutes, and then remove the foil, and bake for another 10-15 or until cheese is browned. Serves 6.

Tiramisu Ice Cream Cake

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One recipe of Tiramisu Ice cream from Desert Candy Blog
(the only thing I changed about the recipe, is that I used a tub of tiramisu marscapone, and 8 oz. of sour cream, as well as sweetening with maple syrup instead of sugar)

One recipe of Sponge Cake Roll Recipe
(again I sweetened with maple syrup)

METHOD:

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Preparing Components for Ice Cream Cake

Prepare the ice cream base the night before, so it has a chance to chill. In the morning, bake the cake according to the recipe – don’t forget to roll it in a towel before it cools. While it cools for about 20-30 minutes, churn the ice cream according to the manufacturer’s directions.

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Rolling Ice Cream Cake Roll

Smear the cooled cake with the soft, just churned ice cream, and sprinkle with cocoa powder. Roll up and place in the freezer. After about an hour, sprinkle the cake with some more rum, and then let freeze for about another hour. To serve, slice, and sprinkle with cocoa powder and powdered sugar – and extra maple syrup for those with a sweet tooth. Serves 10

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Cute Pets, thrown in for good measure! Everyone deserves a treat!