Monthly Archives: April 2011

Layered Meatball Casserole

I know my kids will eat anything that has meatballs, spaghetti sauce, egg noodles and cheese. 🙂

2-1/2 c prepared spaghetti sauce,divided
1 (16 oz) pkg. frozen bite-size meatballs,thawed
1 (.75 oz.) pkg. fresh basil leaves
1 (7 oz.) can sliced mushrooms,drained
2 tomatoes,sliced 1/4″ thick
1 c whole milk ricotta cheese
1 c sour cream
2 large eggs
3 tsp minced roasted garlic
2 tsp salt
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 (12 oz) pkg. egg noodles,cooked according to directions and kept warm
1-1/2 c shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray a 2-1/2 qt. baking dish with on-stick cooking spray.

Spread 1 cup spaghetti sauce over bottom of prepared dish. Place meatballs on top of sauce. Top with basil,mushrooms and tomatoes.

In medium bowl,whisk together ricotta,sour cream,eggs and remaining 1-1/2 cups spaghetti sauce. Stir in garlic,salt,oregano and prepared noodles.

Pour over layered ingredients in baking dish.

Top with mozzarella. Bake 45 minutes or till bubbly.

Did I change anything? We left out the mushrooms, tomatoes and I didn’t have any oregano so I used Italian seasoning instead. For the roasted garlic, I just roughly chopped up two cloves of garlic and put them in the oven while the oven was heating up and I was getting everything else ready. By the time everything else was done, the garlic was done and was ready to be added to the recipe.

What did the family think? Yum! I think just about all of us went back for seconds, too.


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Filed under Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Everybody Ate It, Italian

Apple Pan Dowdy

Apple pan dowdy…it’s just fun to say….and EAT! 🙂

4 lg apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp granulated sugar
pinch salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into small chunks
1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp cold water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prep the apples and put them in the bottom of a 9 x 9 baking dish.

In a small bowl, combine the 1/2 cup of sugar and spices and pour the mixture onto the apples, tossing until they are coated.

To make the dough, stir together the flour, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl. Then blend the butter into the flour mixture using a hand pastry blender (or two forks) until the mixture is coarse like oatmeal.

Stir dough with a fork to bring it together. Form the dough into a ball and roll it out on a floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness. With a knife, cut long strips, then triangles out of the strips, and place the dough pieces over the apples. The pan dowdy baked for 45 minutes until the top was browned.

Did I change anything? I think next time I will sprinkle a little cinnamon and sugar on top. Also, you REALLY need some vanilla ice cream to go with this. It was missed as we were eating ours without it.

What did the family think? This will make your house smell terrific and your family’s tummy very happy.

from Family Feedbag

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Filed under After School Snacks, Definitely Making it Again, Desserts, Vegetarian

Pearl Barley Hot Dish

I sort of made this dish up when I realized that the ingredients I had bought for another dish were not going to work…so it’s kind of a variation of the original dish. Also, I wanted to make something so I could use the pearl barley I had bought for another dish that never got made. If you don’t have any pearl barley or don’t want to give it a try, rice would work fine, too.

1 cup Pearl Barley (soaked for 3 hours and then cooked at a boil for 15 minutes)
1 can tomato soup (not the condensed kind)
1 can mixed vegetables, drained
Salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 lbs. hamburger or ground chicken or turkey
1/2 onion, chopped
Salt and pepper

Cook barley and drain.

Brown hamburger with onion. Mix in other ingredients. Let simmer for about 15 minutes or until the tomato soup starts to thicken up a bit. (You don’t want it to be soupy.)

Did I change anything? The original recipe called for mushroom soup but I wasn’t sure if they meant cream of mushroom and then you were supposed to bake it. I don’t know, but once I started thinking about the recipe I realized it seemed kind of weird and I didn’t think it was going to work. Next time I make this I might add a little worcestershire sauce.

What did the family think? Everyone liked it except the youngest…do you see a pattern here???? His excuse this time was that he couldn’t eat it because of his new orthodontia. So he had strawberries and milk for dinner. At least it was healthy.

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Filed under Definitely Making it Again, Make Ahead of Time

Coronado Casserole

This was a pretty easy casserole to throw together that had enough spice to keep it interesting, but not so much spice that the children would go running for the hills.

1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
1/2 c. chicken broth
1 c. chopped onions
1 can (4 oz.) diced green chilies
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. EACH ground cumin & oregano
2 c. boned cooked chicken
3 c. cooked rice (I used brown Minute rice.)
1 c. sour cream
2 c. grated cheddar cheese
1 1/2 c. crushed corn chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine tomato sauce, broth, onions, green chilies and seasonings. Cook over low heat about 10 minutes. Add chicken. Set aside.

Mix rice and sour cream. Spoon into a shallow 2-quart casserole. Sprinkle with 1 cup cheese; pour sauce over all. Top with remaining cheese. Sprinkle with corn chips. Bake for 25 minutes.

Did I change anything? I didn’t have any oregano, so I used Italian seasoning instead. Also, next time I think I will add two cans of diced green chilis instead of just one. I didn’t have any corn chips either, so I used tortilla chips. I also only used probably about 1/2 cup onions.

What did the family think? Hubby and I liked it and even had seconds. Our oldest liked it, it wasn’t his favorite, but he ate it. Our youngest was not impressed at first, but he did manage to eat enough to make Mom and Dad happy.


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Filed under Chicken, Definitely Making it Again, Easy

Jessica Seinfeld’s Scrambled Eggs

We had a few days off of school last week, so with lazy mornings often comes “fancier” breakfasts. In other words, not waffles or cereal. I hadn’t tried Jessica Seinfeld’s egg recipe yet and I just happened to have everything I needed in the fridge.

2 large eggs
4 large egg whites
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/2 cup cauliflower puree *recipe below…super easy…if you don’t have (or don’t want to make it) then leave it out
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
Pinch of salt
Nonstick cooking spray
1 teaspoon olive oil

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg whites, sour cream, cauliflower puree, Parmesan and salt.

Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray, then set the pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the oil.

Add the egg mixture, reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring frequently, until the eggs are scrambled—firm but nice and moist—2 to 3 minutes.

Cauliflower Puree
Boil a bag of frozen cauliflower per the directions on the package, but cook it longer than it says because you want the cauliflower to be super soft. Put cooked cauliflower in a food processor or a blender. Blend until pureed…you may need to add a little water to it. Voila!

What did the family think? Only two of us were in the mood for eggs this morning, but they were really good.

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Filed under After School Snacks, Breakfast, Definitely Making it Again, Lent, Vegetarian

Cream Cheese Scrambled Eggs

We pretty much only eat eggs that are scrambled around here. Occasionally I can sneak some hard-boiled eggs into the line-up, but that is rare. So, I have been toying with some variations on the scrambled egg. My mom used to always make scrambled eggs like this and I LOVED them…they aren’t super fancy, but they sure are good.

Cream Cheese

Scramble eggs in a skillet as you normally would. When eggs are just about done stir in about 1/2 tsp. of cream cheese per egg and stir until melted. You can always add more or less depending on your preferences.

What did the family think? YUM!

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Filed under After School Snacks, Breakfast, Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Everybody Ate It, Lent, Six Ingredients or Less, Super Easy to Make, Vegetarian

Springtime Lunchbox Wrap

My hubby takes his lunch to work about 99% of the time and since he doesn’t like to take leftovers, that really limits what can go in his lunchbox. He has probably been eating a turkey and cheese wrap practically every day for the past five years. He has been toying with some other options and was looking for a vegetarian alternative as well, so he came up with this and it is mighty good.

Sandwich wrap, we have been using spelt…whole wheat would be good too
Hummus-any flavor, we have been using roasted red pepper
Lettuce or spinach leaves
Cucumber, sliced
Shredded Carrots

Spread the hummus on the wrap and then pile on the toppings making sure not to add too much so that you can actually roll it up.

What did the family think? Hubby and I have been having these for lunch all this week and they are so good. I think I also like them because they are light and “springy” and I love how different foods start making their way onto our plates as spring and summer arrive.


Filed under Easy, Lent, Sandwich, Six Ingredients or Less, Super Easy to Make, Vegetarian

West Caribbean Crock Pot Chicken

Liz, pianist and parent volunteer extraordinaire, was getting her kitchen remodeled and had to come up with some Crock Pot recipes because about the only thing functioning in her kitchen at any given time were the electrical outlets. This is one of her yummy creations…

2 chicken breasts, cubed
1 can (15 oz) chickpeas/garbanzo beans, drained
1 cup frozen chopped onions
1 cup frozen chopped green peppers (or frozen tri-color chopped bell peppers)
1/3 cup raisins
1 jar (8 oz) peanut satay sauce
1 can (14 oz) chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons diced garlic
1 can (15 oz) cut sweet potatoes, drained and sliced small (the plain kind, not the candied kind)

Place cubed chicken breasts into 4-quart slow cooker. Add chickpeas, onions, peppers, and raisins.

In a large bowl, stir together satay sauce, chicken broth, red pepper flakes, and garlic. Pour into slow cooker and stir.

Cover and cook on HIGH setting for 3- 4 hours.

We had this served over couscous. Rice would work, too.

Stir in sweet potatoes. Cover and cook on LOW setting for an additional 1 hour.

Did I change anything? I didn’t have any garlic so I threw in some garlic powder instead.

What did the family think? This was really, really good. Hubby and I loved it. Our oldest was a little leery at first, but it turned out that he liked it. Our youngest protested the moment he saw it (which I knew he would) but quickly changed his tune when he realized that his brother was going to get to play video games after dinner with Dad and he wasn’t going to get to because he was still stuck at the dinner table.

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Filed under Chicken, Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Make Ahead of Time, Stew/Soup, Super Easy to Make

Sausage Vesuvio

I rarely get pasta dishes at Italian restaurants because they usually seem like something I could probably make at home. When I go out to eat I like to order something I probably wouldn’t make myself. I saw this dish on the menu at The Macaroni Grill…the ingredients seemed to be all there, so I made it myself. Note: I have never actually eaten this dish at The Macaroni Grill, so I could be WAY off.

3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 T olive oil
2-3 Italian sausage links
15 oz. can roasted tomatoes
15 oz. can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup fresh spinach
3/4 lb. penne
Parmesan (garnish)

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Fill a medium pot with water and wait for it to come to a boil. Add sausage links and let them cook for about five minutes. Take them out of water and slice into coin-sized pieces.

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet.

Add garlic and saute for a few minutes. Add sausage pieces and saute until cooked through.

Add tomatoes, cannellini beans and spinach to skillet and cook until heated through and spinach is wilted.

Serve bean mixture over pasta. Sprinkle with parmesan.

What did the family think? Everyone liked it…the only thing that drew some complaints were the beans. So maybe next time I will make it without the beans?

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Filed under Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Everybody Ate It, Italian, Uncategorized

Crock Pot Sour Cream Pork Chops

When LeeAnn over at Living the Dream posted this I thought it might be a good recipe for our family, especially during our busy baseball season…the slow cooker is my friend these days. My kids love egg noodles and they usually like just about anything that has sour cream in it, so I thought I would give it a try.

6 pork chops
salt and pepper to taste
garlic powder to taste
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 to 1/2 onion, sliced
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 to 1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup sour cream
8 oz. egg noodles

Season pork chops with salt, pepper, and garlic powder, and then dredge in 1/2 cup flour. In a skillet over medium heat, lightly brown chops in a small amount of oil.

Place chops in slow cooker, and top with onion. Carefully pour broth into browing pan to deglaze. Pour broth over chops and add the wine. Cover, and cook on Low 7 to 8 hours.

After the chops have cooked, transfer chops to a plate. Be careful, the chops are so tender they will fall apart. In a small bowl, blend 2 tablespoons flour with the sour cream; whisk into meat juices.

Put chops back into slow cooker and turn to High for 15 to 30 minutes, or until sauce is slightly thickened.

While the pork chops are back in the slow cooker for the last 15-30 minutes, cook egg noodles according to package directions.

Serve pork chops and sauce over the egg noodles.

We had this with a banana and strawberry fruit salad and a green salad.

Did I change anything? The only thing I changed is that I only used four pork chops since I knew there was no way we were going to eat all six. I also thought some mushrooms might be good in this, but no one eats mushrooms in this house but me.

What did the family think? There was zero complaining at the table. Everyone liked it!


Filed under Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Everybody Ate It, Make Ahead of Time, Pork