Monday, September 29, 2008

Pasta Night!!

I LOVE pasta...LOVE IT!!

This is a recipe I changed up for my family's preferences. I boiled the Mostaccioli, scrambled the hamburger/Italian sausage mixture until no longer pink. Drain the fat off, add the sauce of your choice. Mix with drained cooked noodles. Place all in 11x7 baking dish. Cover with shredded mozzarella and bake. I also made Italian drop biscuits. They are easy and very tasty! I always make a double batch :)
Serve with a salad and you have a tasty meal!!

Hope your week is going GREAT!

Taste of Home recipe's I used for this meal:
Baked Mostaccioli
8 ounces uncooked mostaccioli
1/2 pound lean ground turkey
1 small onion, chopped
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 cups (16 ounces) fat-free cottage cheese
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Cook mostaccioli according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, cook turkey and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain if necessary.
Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, water, oregano, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine cottage cheese and marjoram; set aside. Drain mostaccioli.
Spread 1/2 cup meat sauce into an 11-in. x 7-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Layer with half of the mostaccioli, meat sauce and mozzarella cheese. Top with cottage cheese mixture. Layer with remaining mostaccioli, meat sauce and mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese (dish will be full).
Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 30-40 minutes or until bubbly and heated through. Yield: 6 servings

Italian-style Drop Biscuits
1 cup biscuit/baking mix
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons chopped green chilies
1/4 cup cold water
4 teaspoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
In a small bowl, combine the biscuit mix, cheese and chilies. Stir in water until a soft dough forms; stir 30 seconds longer. Drop dough into six mounds 2 in. apart on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 450° for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.
In a small bowl, combine the butter, parsley, garlic powder and Italian seasoning. Brush over biscuits. Serve warm. Yield: 6 biscuits.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sunday Dinner

Growing up I knew that Sunday dinner would usually be roast beef. Mom would put it in the oven, with potatoes and carrots, before we headed to church. It was slow cooked and delicious! It was either roast or chicken fried steak.
My family enjoys roast as well. However, I have put different sides with it. I slow cook mine in the crock pot, just the roast. And then I make a sweet potato casserole. YUM! I boil the whole sweet potatoes, peel them, slice them, and place them in a 11x7 baking dish. I put tabs of butter around them, sprinkle with brown sugar, top with marshmallows and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until marshmallows are turning light brown.
I know your are shuddering at the amount of carbs, butter and marshmallows....but rest assured we do not have this EVERY Sunday. Just once in a while it nice to indulge in such comfort food!!
The casserole:

Dinner is served!

**Just a little note of thanks to those who read, comment and email me. I appreciate you hanging in with me. I have been struggling with time lately, there doesn't seem to be enough of it!! As some of you know I am taking a class in Humanities, trying to get my feet wet so I can jump in when Jaxson goes to school. I will take one or two a semester until he goes to school at which time I will probably go full-time. I really want to get my degree. I am also trying to start up a club at the college that has been inactive for 3 semesters. It is called the Writer's Bloc. Just an organization for people who enjoy creative writing, to gather and collaborate and have fun. I am not sure what it will turn out to be. Tonight is the first meeting and I am nervous. I fear no one will show up except the advisor who has to be present for college activities. I also fear the fact someone might show up....Feel the fear?
We all have struggles, trials and daily routines that we have to deal with. Mine are changing and i am trying to keep up! Isabella has dance class once a week, homework (with higher grade levels come more work), Jaxson is enjoying being 2 too much :) He will be 3 in November. He will suddenly morph into a quieter child, right? The terrible twos stop at midnight or something...please, let me enjoy this illusion.
My mom has MS. She was diagnosed 10 years ago. It is relapsing/remitting. It has been in remission for several years and now appears to be flaring up. I have talked to her about cutting back on the hours she works from 60/week to the normal 40. She is unable to do some of the things she could, which is probably why she spends more time at work. I now go to her place once a week to clean and do her laundry. She felt guilty about this at first, but has come around to see that I simply want to help and this is one way I can. The first time I went I was shocked by how little food she kept on hand. I guess when you live alone, cooking a meal doesn't seem as important. I now make her left over meals from our dinners and put them in her refrigerator a couple of times a week.
So, my days are full. i love blogging and I miss being able to do it everyday. I just wanted to let you in on why I may not post except for once a week.
Thanks! and special thanks to all of you who actually read this whole rambling post!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Southern Dinner

Sunday was a wonderful day! Cool Breeze, family and chicken fried steak!
I always pound the cube steaks with a mallet to make sure they will be tender. Dip them in egg and roll them in seasoned flour. (Flour seasoned with salt and pepper.)
Then fry in hot oil. I always serve it with mashed potatoes, corn, green beans and of course gravy!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Chocolate divine!

Birthdays are a great excuse for cake!! I made this one for my mom. She loves chocolate and strawberries, especially together! I sliced several to place in between the layers, then covered the rest and placed them on top.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Chicken Quesadillas

My daughter requests these often! I love the smell of onions and bell peppers sizzling together! A little salt, a little pepper, a dash of garlic powder and let the fun begin!

I bake chicken breast for 60-65 minutes. I pour a little extra virgin olive oil on them, add seasoned salt, pepper, dash of garlic powder, chili powder and cayenne pepper. Then I cut it up to place in the tortillas. I shred whatever cheese I have on hand. Saturday I had cheddar. Then I pile on the peppers and onions. Line a cookie sheet with foil, spray with PAM. I secure the tortillas with a toothpick. In a 400 degree oven cook for 7-8 minutes, flip quesadillas and then bake an additional 5-7 minutes, depending on your desired crispiness.
Before baking...

And after...yummy goodness!!!! I serve it with spanish rice and broccoli florets

My daughter requests these often! I love the smell of onions and bell peppers sizzling together! A little salt, a little pepper, a dash of garlic powder and let the fun begin!