Friday, September 3, 2010

Foodie Friday with Baked Spaghetti

MMMM! I love this Baked spaghetti. My youngest angel won't touch it because he saw an onion in it. *deep sigh* We are often held onion hostage in this house. He is very remorseful and apologizes profusely for upsetting dinner plans. My husband chimes in "Don't apologize just eat it." in the nicest Daddy way possible----Really. Somehow he is getting nourishment. That boy's feet have bypassed his older brother--a 10 1/2. Lord.

Now where was I? Baked Spaghetti!!! Let's get it on! This is easy and it freezes GREAT! I made one recipe and split it into 2 pans.
Grab your stock pot and put it next to you while your chop and plop! your ingredients into your pot. (oooo, didn't mean the bad rhyming)
To your stock pot add:
1 29 oz.can of diced tomatoes
1 29 oz. can tomato sauce
I do all of my chopping at once...
1/2 cup diced onions

1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
2 cloves of garlic, diced (ok, I use 3) If you mash the clove with the flat side of a knife, it is easier to peel off the husk. don't use that jarred garlic either! No cheating! It just isn't garlicy enough!
Oh, heck, go ahead...people are busy...they have toddlers and coupons...

1/4 cup chopped fresh Cilantro---you can use parsley, but I like the "pepperyness" of cilantro.
All of this should be swimming around in your stock pot!
Next the dry ingredients
1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 1/2 teaspoons House Seasoning (make in bulk and use for everything...recipe follows)
1 1/2 teaspoons seasoning salt
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
2 small bay leaves
Add all to you stock pot and simmer for about an hour!! All these ingredients will be family related by then and taste unbelievable! In the mean time...
Using a large skillet, cook 1 1/2 pounds ground beef until no longer pink.
OK...this is pink. cook it longer...Drain off the fat. Add to your stock pot.
This simmers for 20 more minutes...lets the hamburger get to know the sauce...

In another pot boil some water for your 8 oz. of angel hair pasta. I used Whole wheat this time and really, it wasn't bad! Much healthier for you too! I like that.
While that is cooking, clean the kitchen...
It would have been easier if my kitchen was cleaned up to begin with.
Pasta is cooked and drained and ready for layering...
In these photos, I am using a smaller pan because I split the recipe--for my friend, Louise. Hi Louise! I love you! If you are making one recipe, use a deep 9x13. It will make a hearty meal!
Spread a ladle full of saucy goodness in the bottom of your casserole pan. Then a layer of pasta.
Top with about 1 cup of shredded Monterey Jack/Cheddar cheese
no pic of the layering...lazy. Continue with the layering ending with a sauce layer.
Bake at 350F for 30 minutes.
Sprinkle 1 cup MontereyJack/Cheddar cheese on top. Add a few shakes of parmesan if you like and return to the oven cooking until the cheese is melted.
Serve with garlic bread and a salad!!!
Recipe for House seasoning:
1 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder
Mix and store in an airtight container
This is what I made for Louise...cause she likes 'em and cause she just got out of the hospital...
This is the BEST brownie mix by far. I know. I have eaten them all. However, as my good friend Dani will testify to...the mix is about 4 very large tablespoons over what is needed for an actual recipe and needs to be removed with nobody looking. And eaten. Quickly.
Did you know brownies cut very easily with no tearing if you use a plastic knife?
Enjoy your day and smile at someone you don't know, people! Be friendly.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


So I was whippin' through the grocery store today on a mission to get ingredients for dinner tonight. NOT like grocery shopping so you think I would only do it once a week. No, that's not how it is. *sigh* Anywho, I was on my way to grab some cheese and I pass a lady who has her toddler in the cart and a 3 ring binder open with coupons! "Wow! Aren't you organized!" I say as a pass and grab 2 cheddar/monteray jack for my baked spaghetti. "I am trying!" she says politely. So I think, Hey! I know someone who has an entire blog dedicated to couponing! Maybe this nice girl would like to check it out! Why do I talk to people in grocery stores? I don't know. I want everyone to be friends. I didn't want her to think I was weird, but what the heck? So I walked up to her in the parking lot with my blog address written on a scrap of paper, introduced myself and told her to check out Live Love Coupons--one of the ladies I met while standing in line for Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman. Maybe she could find some tips! Her name is Carrie!
Hi Carrie! Thanks for letting me take your picture. And accost you in the parking lot. And write a blog about meeting you. I check out coupons now and again, but never get into it fully. I really should. I love a deal! Guess I'll put that on my list---if I can find an empty spot.