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

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Mostaccioli Bake


The Italian in me loves this recipe... The mom in me thinks there is no better recipe... Follow my recipe tips for a healthy recipe that kids will LOVE (as well as any picky husbands!) :) (This is very similar to the Pasta Bake I've posted, I just improvised with that one since I didn't have all these ingredients)


Ingredients:
*1 package mostaccioli or penne noodles(Try Ronzoni Smart Taste Penne- healthier, but same great taste- honestly... your husband and kids (and you) won't be able to tell the difference!
*1 lb ground meat (I recommend Ground white turkey or lean grass fed ground beef)
*1 can diced tomatoes
*2 jars spaghetti sauce (I buy the HUGE Prego jars and I use about 1/4 to mix and a little

      less than 1/4 on top.)
*1 cup shredded motz cheese
*1 14-16oz container cottage cheese (you can use ricotta cheese too but I think the cottage cheese makes it more moist and I use fat free or low fat for a healthier meal)
*1 tsp garlic salt
*3 eggs-beaten

*Italian Seasonings


Directions:
1. Cook noodles until done in a stock pot. At same time cook ground beef until done. (you can season meat with italian seasonings and some black pepper)
2. Drain noodles and put them back into the stock pot. Add the ground beef, diced tomatoes (undrained), 1 jar spaghetti sauce, cottage cheese, 1/2 cup cheese and garlic salt. Once mixed, add in the beaten eggs and stir again.
3. Poor into a large casserole dish. Pour other jar of spaghetti sauce over top and spread evenly. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of cheese on top.
4. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until warm and bubbly throughout.


Serve with warm Italian Bread and a side salad.




(Most of the ingredients: Ground turkey I usually use Jennie-O or any organic ground turkey they have at my store. Also here I used stewed tomatoes and diced them since I didn't have a can of diced on hand. Worked the same. 

After mixing ingredients in stock pot, pour into casserole baking dish

Top with more sauce and cheese. I also add more italian seasonings to top.

Bake till warm throughout and cheese is browned.

Serve with bread! YUM


6/22/11- Tonight I made this meal a bit differently. Wanted to try to make it a touch healthier:) I used Ronzoni Garden Delight noodles (made with spinach, carrot and tomatoe). I also add chopped spinach to the meat and added the can of tomatoes right to the meat after it was browned and simmered this for about 15 minutes before adding it, and everything else, to the noodles.


Simmer meat with chopped spinach and can tomatoes. I also added my italian seasonings to this.

Much more colorful and the family said it tasted great!!


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