Eight-Layer Casserole Recipe from Better Homes & Gardens™

Yield: 8 Servings

Eight-layer casserole
Photo by BHG.com

Ingredients: 

  • 3 cups dried medium noodles (6 ounces)
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • Two 8 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • One 8-ounce carton dairy sour cream
  • One 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion (1 small)
  • One 10 ounce package frozen chopped spinach, cooked and well drained
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (4 ounces)

Directions:

  1. Grease a 2-quart casserole or a 2-quart square baking dish; set aside. Cook noodles according to package directions; drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet cook beef until brown. Drain off fat. Stir tomato sauce, basil, sugar, garlic powder, salt, and pepper into skillet. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl beat together the sour cream and cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Stir in milk and onion. In prepared casserole or baking dish, layer half of the noodles (about 2 cups), half of the meat mixture (about 1 1/2 cups), half of the cream cheese mixture (about 1 cup), and all of the spinach. Top with the remaining meat mixture and noodles. Cover and chill remaining cream cheese mixture until needed.
  4. Cover casserole or baking dish with lightly greased foil. Bake in 350 degree F oven about 45 minutes or until heated through. Uncover; spread with remaining cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle with the cheddar cheese. Bake, uncovered, about 10 minutes more or until cheese is melted. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

From the Test Kitchen

Prepare as directed through Step 3. Cover with lightly greased foil and chill in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes or until heated through. Uncover; spread with remaining cream-cheese mixture. Sprinkle with the cheddar cheese.Bake, uncovered, about 10 minutes more or until cheese is melted. Let stand for 10 minutes before baking.

Nutrition Facts (Eight-Layer Casserole)
Per serving: 472 kcal cal., 30 g fat (17 g sat. fat, 127 mg chol., 683 mg sodium, 25 g carb., 3 g fiber, 27 g pro.
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Day of the Dead – Día de Muertos

Representations of Catrina, one of the most popular figures of the Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico

Representations of Catrina, one of the most popular figures of the Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico/Photo:Wikipedi

Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de Muertos) is a Mexican holiday observed throughout Mexico and around the world in other cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. It is particularly celebrated in Mexico where the day is a bank holiday. The celebration takes place on October 31, November 1 and November 2, in connection with the triduum of Allhallowtide: All Hallows’ Eve, Hallowmas, and All Souls’ Day.

Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars called ofrendas, honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts. They also leave possessions of the deceased.

Scholars trace the origins of the modern Mexican holiday to indigenous observances dating back hundreds of years and to an Aztec festival dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuatl. The holiday has spread throughout the world.

goddess, Mictecacihuatl, ruler of the afterlife
Lady of the Dead goddess, Mictecacihuatl ( ‘Meek-teka-see-wahdl’). In Aztec mythology, Mictecacihuatl is the Queen of “Mictlan,” the underworld, and she is ruler of the afterlife.

 

 

 

 

In Brazil Dia de Finados is a public holiday that many Brazilians celebrate by visiting cemeteries and churches. In Spain there are festivals and parades and, at the end of the day, people gather at cemeteries and pray for their dead loved ones. Similar observances occur elsewhere in Europe, and similarly themed celebrations appear in many Asian and African cultures.