Sunday, September 28, 2014

Family Favorite Baked Ziti

Baked Ziti has become one of our family's favorites...especially one of this working mom's favorite weekday meal because of the ease of the recipe.

1 box penne or ziti pasta (prepared el dente as directed)
1 to 1 1/2 lb of ground meat (sausage, beef, chicken or turkey or combination)
1 jar of prepared spaghetti sauce (we prefer garden style)
1 lb shredded cheese (sharp cheddar is my choice)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 cup ricotta (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Cook pasta as directed on package. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water.

MIX spaghetti sauce, seasonings, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, ricotta cheese and reserved 1/2 cup pasta cooking water in large bowl. Add pasta and half of the cheeses; mix lightly. Spoon into 13 x 9 inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray; sprinkle with remaining cheese and the Parmesan cheese.

BAKE 30 minutes or until heated through and cheese is golden and bubbly.

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The Frugal Gormet's Cincinnati Chili

Back in the nineties (yes, the 1990s) there was a show on PBS (there weren't any cooking channels back then, unimaginable) called The Frugal Gourmet with Jeff Smith.  I loved his shows and I bought each and every one of his cookbooks.  This was one of my favorite recipes of his... Cincinnati Chili. Enjoy!  (Photos will be coming... feel free to comment your photos below)

Cincinnati Chili

2 tbsps. vegetable oil
1 lb. ground pork
1 lb. ground beef
4 onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. whole cumin seeds
4 -6 tbsps. hot chili powder
3 whole bay leaves
2 tsps. cinnamon
2 tsps. allspice
2 tsps. Tabasco
4 tbsps. cocoa powder
2 tbsps. Worcestershire sauce
4 tbsps. white vinegar
1 28-oz. can pureed tomatoes
2 tbsps. tomato paste
1 tbsp. oregano
2 lbs. kidney beans, soaked and cooked
salt to taste

Heat a large heavy stockpot and add the oil.  Saute the meats, onion, garlic, cumin seeds, chili powder and bay leaves until the meat is browned.  Drain the fat and discard.  Add the remaining ingredients, including the beans and bring to a simmer.

Cook, covered for 1-1/2 hours.  Keep making sure there is enough water in the pot.

To serve, pile spaghetti noodles on a plate, top with the meat sauce, then the beans, sharp cheddar cheese and some chopped raw onions, if desired.

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Yummo Ground Beef Casserole

I have a friend needing some kid-friendly recipes so I will be pulling out some of my favorite recipes throughout the years and post them here.  As a mom of six all my recipes are mostly kid friendly and all these recipes I will be posting have worked very well for our family.  Most are easy to fix without a lot of prep time or ingredients.  As I re-make these I will post photos.  If anyone ventures to try one of these recipes please feel free to post a photo, review or suggestion....Enjoy!

Yummo Ground Beef Casserole
1 1/2 lb ground beef  (or ground chicken/turkey/pork) 
1 (15 ounce) can tomatoes (optional)
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 (8 ounce) can mushrooms
2 tablespoons brown sugar or sweet pickle juice
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 (10 3/4 ounce) can cream of mushroom soup (I always make my own)
1/4 lb sharp cheddar cheese
1 (6 ounce) package angel hair pasta, cooked (or spaghetti noodles)
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
salt and pepper

Brown meat in large skillet or Dutch oven. Add onions, pepper and celery and simmer for 15 minutes. Add tomatoes and tomato sauce, mushrooms, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook in skillet for 1 hour. Place cooked pasta in bottom of large casserole dish. Spoon mushroom soup over pasta. Pour sauce over the soup and top with cheese. Bake in 350°F oven for 30-45 minutes.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

City of Bones: A Review


City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)City of Bones

by Cassandra Clare

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I ventured away from my comfort zone with City of Bones. Though I do not care for the vampire and werewolf thing, I did enjoy this title. I have purchased the second "City of Ashes" to continue in the series. I prefer stand alone titles that have an actual ending as to the trilogy or series sets but this title left off at a decent place that didn't leave the reader completely hanging, waiting for the next in the series... thankfully.

I loved the humor of the character Jace. Only good authors can successfully give their characters distinct personalities and Cassandra Clare definitely pulled it off. Well done. I look forward to City of Bones.

View all my reviews

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