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Belated Happy Father's Day from Sherry Young

The third Sunday in June celebrates all the fathers/grandfathers in our lives. For our family, it is a day filled with lots of food and family time. My husband Mark always looks forward to his fresh spinach and cheddar cheese omelet for breakfast. This year Becky and her fiancé Michael came for breakfast and Becky did the omelet making. Big success!

Every year Mark requests I make one of his favorite dishes for dinner: Florentine Bake. I haven’t done it for several years. This year, Becky and I worked as a team to make it. It is one of those dishes that uses lots of pans before you get in it in the oven to bake. If you like noodles, beef, spinach and lots of cheese, this is the dish for you. Here is the recipe:

Florentine Bake

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. lean ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 teaspoons salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 15 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 2 10 oz. packages frozen spinach, defrosted (or fresh spinach)
  • ¼ cup butter or margarine
  • ½ cup flour
  • 3 cups 2% milk
  • 16 oz. package of wide noodles
  • 8 – 12 oz. package of shredded cheddar cheese

Preparation:

  1. Brown ground beef with onion in large frying pan. Pour off grease. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon salt, nutmeg and pepper over meat. Stir in tomato sauce and cook on low for 10 minutes.
  2. Squeeze liquid out of defrosted spinach. You can use fresh spinach if you prefer. When using fresh spinach, use as much as you like.
  3. Cook noodles according to directions. While noodles are cooking, in another pan, melt butter and blend in flour and 2 teaspoons of salt. Gradually add milk and cook, stirring constantly over medium heat until thickened. Add drained noodles to sauce.
  4. Spoon half the noodle mixture on bottom of 13x9 baking dish (or a smaller dish if you want a deep-dish effect). Spread half of the meat mixture over the noodle. Cover with cheese (as much or little to taste). Place spinach over cheese. Top with remaining noodles then meat mixture. Cover lightly with more cheese. Cover tightly and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Remove cover and add more cheese. Bake 5 more minutes. Let stand 10 minutes and serve.

Enjoy!

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