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.

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