Italian Flag Lasagna

Relatively easy to assemble, cooks fast, and not too exotic for most people. What could be better for a big dinner party?

Based on this recipe from Epicurious. I doubled it and it served 11 with about 1/2 pan left over.


  • 3 c. ricotta cheese (I used part skim)
  • 2 10-oz. pkgs frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 4-5 T. pesto
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 c. pasta sauce
  • 16 no-boil lasagna noodles
  • 2 c. shredded mozzarella


  1. Mix ricotta and Parmesan in the food processor. Thaw and squeeze out the spinach and mix that in. Add pesto, salt, and pepper, tasting as you go. Add the egg.
  2. Get a 9x13x2 pan and grease it. Spread 1 c. sauce on the bottom and add 4 lasagna noodles (overlap them slightly). Top with a layer of the spinach-ricotta mixture. Repeat (sauce-noodles-spinach) until there are 3 layers of pasta. Finish with a layer of noodles (the 4th) and a layer of sauce.
  3. Cover with foil. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake for 35 minutes, then take the foil off and top with mozzarella. Let it cook until warm through and cheese is brown, about 15 more minutes.


  • Ours didn’t have as much pesto as I would have liked. But B doesn’t like pesto. So, compromise.
  • Ours sat on the counter for about 25 minutes before going in. I could tell the noodles were starting to absorb some of the liquid from the sauce – they looked a little wobbly, you know? I am pretty sure it would be fine if you put it directly into the oven and that it would cook in the same amount of time, but poke it with a knife to make sure.

Simple Appetizers (Hummus and Baba Ganoush)

These are delicious and relatively quick to make.  Baba ganoush takes a little longer than hummus because you have to roast the eggplant, but you can do that ahead of time.


People who tell you they aren’t “hummus people” are people who have only had it out of a package.  Fresh hummus is way more delicious.  This recipe is based very loosely on this one from the Fat Free Vegan blog.

Continue reading “Simple Appetizers (Hummus and Baba Ganoush)”

Em oi! #302: Fun with the Future In-Laws


This actually happened because B has the wonderful tendency to say exactly the most awkward thing in a given situation.  It’s awesome, usually leads to hilarity.  We have been snickering up our sleeves about this one all week.

This comic took a long time to draw, and then a long time to scan.  I need to draw them smaller, I guess – my scanner is too small for big big comics.

I will just say that this one was miscalculated.  It may seem disingenuous to wish I had more feedback and then delete a comic which receives feedback.  But since I don’t really think anyone reads this, I’m just going to try to make myself happy.

Em oi! #301: The Groupies

Happy Tet/Chinese New Year, Happy Valentine’s Day and Happy President’s Day.

I was thinking about how many times over the past three years (I started Em oi! in 2007, believe it or not) I have thought that a particular comic would be my last, or that it wasn’t worth doing and that I would quit.  The answer is – a number of times.  Maybe every six months since I came home from Asia (that would be August of 2007).  At this point it seems clear to me that Em oi! is never going to be big like Pictures for Sad Children or Hark! A Vagrant! People enjoy it, mostly if they know me, but they don’t send it to their friends, twitter about it, do whatever it is that makes some comics famous and other comics failures.

I guess I’ve come to terms with that by now, mostly.  When I draw the comic, it’s because I genuinely enjoy drawing the comic, and the small amount of feedback I get makes me happy enough.  But since I’m now doing this for me and not because I’m going to become famous, you may be seeing larger gaps between updates.  Juggling school, two jobs, planning a wedding, and trying to finish my novel IN ADDITION to drawing the comic is becoming too much some weeks.  I’m sorry; I know there are a lot of people out there who find this entertaining (I assume there are, anyway – some silent minority).

So, thanks for reading.  We’ll see how it goes for the next three hundred.

Cranberry (Orange) Walnut Muffins

These muffins were extremely tasty…but not very pretty.

So a few weeks (two weeks?  Three?) I had an attack of hypochondria based on some vague symptoms.  The upshot of this is that I found out that unsweetened cranberry juice is really disgusting.  And I had a lot left over.

Based on this recipe, I substituted cranberry juice for soy milk, which worked well, except that something, possibly the reaction with the baking soda/baking powder turned it kind of gray.  But they’re very tasty gray muffins, with sweet cranberries and just enough walnuts to give them some crunch.

Continue reading “Cranberry (Orange) Walnut Muffins”

#300: The Unbearable Chainess of Being

Alternate title: "Yes, Your Chai-ness."When I told B I was doing this, what he actually said was, “You don’t have to lie, it’s okay.”

“I’m not lying!  I’m really going to do it!”

“Uh-huh.  Why don’t you just get more sleep?”

As of right now, I have had a cup of chai and no coffee (it’s about 15:30).  I am mostly awake (running in the cold helps), but I have a headache.  We’ll see how it goes.

Also: 300 comics.  I’m not sure if I’m thrilled or vaguely horrified.  Probably both.  What have I done? I keep asking myself.  What have I done?