Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Teacher Gift to Savor

I prepared this year's Christmas gifts for teachers early in the season, in hopes that we could help ease some holiday stress. I decided to give the teachers casserole dishes filled with a family-friendly recipe they could bake or freeze during the busy weeks leading up to the break.

I found these pretty lime-green covered baking dishes at World Market. I like these for the holidays but think they would be a fresh choice throughout the year.

A little poem explains our gift to savor. I deleted our name from the card in case you could use it for a teacher gift.

(Click to copy.)


My family has been on a spaghetti kick lately, so I made a huge pot of spaghetti sauce recently -- enough to feed our family supper, make spaghetti casseroles for the teachers, and set aside two more casseroles for a holiday party. Find my spaghetti casserole recipe below. My mother used to make this, and it is a family favorite. It freezes well, so I often put together a casserole or two when I make spaghetti.

Spaghetti Casserole
Use with your favorite spaghetti sauce.

4 tablespoons margarine
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
1 pound Velveeta cheese
Spaghetti noodles, cooked al dente and drained

Make white sauce using 4 tablespoons margarine, 4 tablespoons flour and 2 cups milk. Add 1 pound chopped Velveeta cheese, and stir over medium heat until sauce thickens and cheese melts. Layer in a 9x13 baking dish, noodles, cheese sauce and spaghetti sauce. Cook at 350 degrees 30-40 minutes or until bubbly. (Note: You may freeze before baking.)

A fluffy bow, ornament and name tag finished off each lid. I delivered the final casserole today to one of Christian's teachers. She was out of town for a school field trip when I prepared the dishes. Poor Mrs. Parmer; she went to the bright lights of New York City not knowing she could have stayed home in Wetumpka to eat spaghetti casserole. But it all worked out. She got to have her NYC and eat her casserole, too.

One teacher thanked me for the meal yesterday and said when her husband pulled the unfamiliar baking dish out of the dishwasher, she reminded him of my gift. "If we give it back to her," he quipped, "will she fill it up again?"

Stop in tomorrow for another giveaway, plus the announcement of last week's winner.


Love Being A Nonny said...

what a great gift!!! WOW! I woyuld love to be the teacher that receives that!!!

Tina Foster said...

Melissa, you make my bag of Walmart chocolates seem pathetic. Well, at least it was Ghirardelli and I didn't sneak a one!! :)
Have a very blessed, peaceful, calm, joyous Christmas and New year my abundantly thoughtful and giving friend. :)

Rach said...

What an awesome and sweet idea!

Cindy said...

What a wonderful idea!! Wish I'd seen it earlier. I can't imagine any teacher that wouldn't greatly appreciate this gift. :) You are such a giving person!

Cynthia said...

A wonderful, unique idea. I don't know anyone who couldn't use another casserole dish!

Anonymous said...

Just did you get these to school? Did you deliver them frozen, or give them to the teachers in an ice chest? Did you tape the lids on? I can't imagine my kids bringing these and having them make it in one piece. Next year, in November, send out a reminder of this idea for us, so we can remember it for Christmas!

Melissa Lester said...

Actually I delivered four out of five casseroles to school the day I made them. Ten-year-old Christian had to be checked out of school for an appointment, so he stopped by the elementary school with me and carried one of the dishes in for me. My boys could handle this, but I think the dishes would be too heavy for the girls to manage.

Since one teacher was out of town, I froze hers to give when she returned. I defrosted her casserole and delivered it to her on the class Christmas party day.

I wanted to take the casseroles fresh so teachers would have the option of cooking that night or freezing for later. On delivery day, I asked the kids to get in touch if any of their teachers were absent.

Our teachers really seemed to appreciate this gift, so I hope to do it again sometime.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin