Why this blog??

Why this blog?? I often find myself stressing over what to make for my family for dinner. We live a busy life and some meals need time to prep, cook and let's not forget shopping for everything you need. I love cookbooks and websites, but there are so many recipe's at times it is overwhelming. The recipe's I will be posting are things I actually made. I will tell you if they are easy or more time consuming. I will also tell you if they are good. Most of these are recipe's I have made for years and continue to make because they are easy or quick and my family loves them and i know yours will too! I will also try to at least once in a whlie try a new recipe I've found on line or in a book and honestly rate it. I always encourage others to send me their favorite recipe's as well! I am a mom... not a chef. But I am a mom who enjoys cooking for her family and making a somewhat healthy meal (some days more healthy than others:) ) In each recipe I will share how I recommend serving it, any substitutions I can think of that are also good, or ways to prepare ahead of time to make the cooking part seem quicker! I am not a photographer, as you can see... most of these pictures are taken from my phone camera, so may not be the best! I love to hear from others who have made these recipes and what they have done to change the recipe... please post comments! Thank you! To "like" me on facebook, go to this link... It's What's Cookin

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Pasta Bake

Since we have a ton of holiday parties this week and then we are going out of town I have no groceries in the house. After raiding my pantry here is what I came up with to throw together...
*1 lb lean ground beef
*jar of pasta sauce (we always have the large ones of Prego traditional from Costco)
*bag of macaroni noodles
*3 string cheese

So I browned the meat with seasonings and cooked till well done. I added about 2 cups of pasta sauce. Simmer while boiling noodles. When noodles are done, strain and stir into same pan as your meat sauce. Transfer the pasta, sauce and meat into a baking dish. Separate the string cheese into thin strings and place all over top of baking dish. Put in oven and bake at 250 until cheese is melted (about 7-10 minutes)

This was the simple version. On days I have groceries I make what I call Mostacholi bake and I add the following:

*Instead of macaroni noodles I use Penne or mostacholi noodles.
*I usually sub the ground beef for lean ground turkey
*When pouring the pasta sauce onto the meat, I usually also add a can of diced tomatoes to the mixture.
*I like to add one beated egg and 6-8 oz of small curd low fat cottage cheese to the noodles, sauce and meat before baking. (If doing this change bake time and temp... 350 for 20-25 mintues)
*I also like to stir in fresh parm cheese before baking as well as some on top.
*You can add any of the following (but I don't): pepperoni, mushrooms, sauted onions... any toppings really.

This is a super easy dish that kids (and picky husbands) really enjoy too. Serve with a side salad and bread. Makes great leftovers as well!!

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