Less Than Perfect Lasagna

When I was a kid, Sunday was family day, I have so many great memories.  The day would start off with Sunday mass then coming home to a wonderful breakfast that would consist of fresh kielbasa, sausage or bacon along with eggs, pancakes or french toast.  Breakfast was always eaten at home, never out in a restaurant.  Easter Sunday breakfast was the best but I’ll save that story for Easter!

Sunday dinner was always at 2:00 p.m.  My mom made great Sunday dinners, delicious roasts with potatoes and gravy, always some type of dessert.  Afterward we would go for a Sunday drive, visit the grandma’s.  I loved when my Granny Pawlica went with us on our drives, she would tell great stories and when she got excited or thought she was going to say something that we shouldn’t hear she would start talking in Polish.  My Granny always had Juicy Fruit gum in her purse and always wore pretty dangling earings.  She would have to sit in the middle of the back seat so that my sister and I could both sit next to her.  Now as an adult I realize how uncomfortable that must have been but also how unselfish of her, trying to make both of us happy.

Now a day’s things are just a little different.  We still have the big Sunday breakfast and we usually have one or more of the grandbabies with us.  Breakfast is always sausage and bacon and will vary between pancakes, eggs and french toast.

Our dinners are quite different.  Because I never know who will be here, Sunday dinners are generally “on the fly.”  I usually make a large pot of some type of pasta sauce, throw in a roast or a pan of lasagna.  In the summer there is always something to throw on the grill.  There is no routine or plan other than to have something prepared that is easy to keep warm, easy to reheat, and can feed more than two.

Today we tried a new lasagna recipe, “Creamy White Chicken and Artichoke Lasagna” by Kraft.  I have to say I am glad that no one was here but Walt and I to eat it.  It didn’t turn our so well.  Not because I didn’t follow the directions, didn’t use the correct ingredients or the right amount of ingredients, it was simply that we didn’t like it.

I had such high hopes, it sounded so delicious, filled we everything we love, chicken, artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, tons of cheese including cream cheese, mozzarella and parmesan!  How could it not be good?  But unfortunately it wasn’t, it was too dry.  Lasagna needs to be wet, it needs to have sauce oozing out the sides, steaming and melting the cheese.

Walt took the first piece and before I even bit into mine I knew he didn’t like it.  I asked “So how is it?” four times before I got an answer “it’s not good at all.”  When I asked how many stars we should give it he said zero.  He never went back for seconds which is usual for papa Walt, and a true indicator that he did not Now to be fair the chicken mixture, I thought, was great, it needed to be a little moister but I think it might have some potential.

Because I did like the filling and think it has potential, I am going to make the filling again, the next time using all the liquid to moisten the chicken mixture and I am going to make crepes instead of lasagna and see how it turns out.

You be the judge, don’t let our experience sway your decision.  So here you go, the recipe!  You can also find this on the Kraft recipe site www.kraftrecipes.com

Creamy White Chicken Artichoke Lasagna


2 cups                    shredded cooked chicken breasts  (I used the breasts from a rotisserie chicken to cut time)
1 can (14 oz.)         artichoke hearts, drained, chopped
1 pkg. (8 oz.)         KRAFT Shredded Mozzarella Cheese with a TOUCH OF PHILADELPHIA, divided
1/2 cup KRAFT    Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2                          cup  chopped drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
2 pkg. (8 oz. ea)   PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup                       milk
1/2 tsp.                   garlic powder
1/4 cup                   tightly packed fresh basil, chopped, divided
12                             lasagna noodles, cooked

HEAT oven to 350°F.

COMBINE chicken, artichokes, 1 cup mozzarella, Parmesan and tomatoes.  Beat cream cheese, milk and garlic powder with mixer until well blended; stir in 2 Tbsp. basil.  Mix half with the chicken mixture.

SPREAD half the remaining cream cheese mixture onto bottom of 13×9-inch baking dish; cover with 3 noodles and 1/3 of the chicken mixture. Repeat layers of noodles and chicken mixture twice.  Top with remaining noodles, cream cheese mixture and mozzarella; cover.

BAKE 25 min. or until heated through.  Sprinkle with remaining basil.  Let stand 5 min. before cutting to serve.



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