Sunday, July 21, 2013

One Pot Spagetti

This is the easiest-- and tastiest-- way to fix spagetti. The starch from the noodles mixes with the sauce to make it thick and creamy and the noodels absorb the broth and sauce.  I make a large pot at one time and then make a spagetti casserole with the leftovers and freeze it.

2.25 hamburger meat
1 role of Jimmy Dean Italian flavored pork sausage (Optional)
32oz. thin spagetti
3 (26oz) jars spagetti sauce
52 oz. of broth or water (I use beef broth and fill 2 of the spagetti sauce jars)
seasonings (I use an italian seasoning mix, garlic powder, and 2 tbs sugar), salt and pepper.

If I am not making the casserole I use 1lbs of meat, 16oz spagetti, 2 jars of sauce, and 26oz of broth.

In a large stock pot or dutch oven, brown hamburger meat (and sausage pork if you are using it).  Drain. With meat still in the pot, add spagetti sauce, broth (or water), and seasonings. Bring back to a rolling boil. Add spagetti (I break my spagetti in half before adding it to the pot. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 20 min.  Open the lid and toss the spagetti with tongs to mix all the sauce in with the noodles.  I love adding a thin slice of cream cheese to the top of each plate of spagetti before I serve it. When you mix it in it makes a great creamy sauce.

For the Leftovers:
16oz Ricotta cheese
3/4 cup Parmesean Cheese
1 egg
minced garlic
seasoning (Italian seasoning blend, salt, pepper)

In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, eggs, parmesan cheese, and seasonings. Mix well and add a little milk if needed to make a thinner consistency.  Spray a 13x9 with nonstick spray.  take half of the leftover spagetti and create a bottom layer in the casserole dish. dollop on the ricotta cheese mixture and spread over the spagetti layer. Top the cheese layer with the remaining spagetti. If you are freezing the casserole wrap it in foil at this point. When ready to cook, thaw the casserole in the fridge overnight. bake in a 350 oven for 20-30min (test the center to see if it is warm through out). Top with shredded mozzarella and place back in the oven until melted.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Gumbo and Corn Fritter

I made my first Gumbo this weekend. I know how to make a roux, but was not willing to put in the time to make my own due to my current handicap of a broken foot. It turned out great. I also fixed a corn fritter that I got from Cooking Light. It is moist and delicious. You could add some sliced sausage or taco meat to it and make a great main dish. Here is my basic gumbo recipe. Enjoy.

1 large joy dark Roux (I used Savoy's)
6 oz. tomato paste
4-5 (48 oz) boxes of stock (I used chicken because we could not find seafood, and seafood may be too much of that seafood flavor for some people)
2-3 bell pepper, chopped
2 onions, chopped
6 celery stalks, chopped
4 dried bay leaves
3 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
1-2 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 (8oz.) lump crab meat
2-3 lbs shrimp (we used 30/40 size)- you can buy them already pealed if you do not want to use the shells to flavor the stock. I did not do try this this time due to time restraints, but I will try it next time. You will need cheese cloth if you are planning on doing this step.
2 loops of smoked sausage
green onions, chopped
gumbo file
- Oysters optional

Add all the roux to a large stock pot. Heat it over really low heat so that it "melts". You may need to add 1/4 cup of stock to the roux to get it moving along quicker. Once the roux is in a more liquid state (it will not be very loose) add the veggies and stir them into the roux. Add in 4 dried  bay leaves, 3 tbsp chopped fresh thyme, 1- 2 tsp. cayenne pepper (you can adjust this later if you want it hotter). Simmer them on low to medium-low heat for 15- 20 minutes stirring occasionally. The vegetables will begin to wilt as they release their sugars into the roux.
While roux is loosening and the veggies are simmering you can  flavor the broth with the shrimp peels and a little oyster juice if you are using them. To do this, pour all the stock into another large pot and turn it on high to medium-high heat (your going to bring it to a slight boil). Tie your shrimp peels (some people put in crab legs too) in a cheese cloth and dampen it with water. When the broth begins to boil drop the cheese cloth in and pour in a little of the clam juice (water). Turn it down and let it simmer for 15 minutes. Pull the cloth out and give it a little squeeze. Check and make sure there is no escaped debris.
When the veggies look nice and soft begin adding in the broth slowly. I like to add in 2 cups at a time and then stir it in to the roux until all incorporated. Bring to a boil and adjust heat seasoning and salt or pepper. Add in the sausage and oysters (optional). Wait until you are 5 minutes from serving and stir in the crab and the shrimp. Serve over rice, and top it with green onions and file (and maybe a little Tabasco).

Sunday, January 8, 2012

So Sorry-

I totally forgot to post week 4. Here it is.

19. Hotdogs
**or  crock pot dogs with chili.
20. Chicken and dressing
21. Burritos w/cream sauce and Spanish rice
22. Skillet lasagna
23. Pork chops with country gravy
24. Heavenly Fillets

Hot dogs
Chicken breast
2 lbs. hamburger meat
Boneless pork chops
Tilapia fillets

Green onion
Lemon juice
6 oz. Swiss cheese- slices preferably
cheddar cheese (hot dogs and burritos)
16 oz. sour cream
Cottage cheese
Parmesan cheese
Italian seasonings
Poultry seasoning
1 can cream of chicken
2 can cream of mushroom or celery
1 can condensed cheddar cheese soup
White wine
Herb flavored stuffing mix (1 cup)
Spanish rice box/mix
Bow tie pasta or lasagna noodles
Tomato sauce
1 egg
Flour tortillas
Hot dog buns
Frito (optional w/ hot dogs)
2 cans chili
Refried beans
1 can chopped green chilies

19.  Place hot dogs in slow cooker. Combine 2 cans chili, 1 can condensed cheese soup, and green chilies. Cover and cook on low for 3 hours. Serve hot dogs in buns. Top with chili, onions, cheese, and crushed Fritos (optional).
20. (from Paula Dean)  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Add the chicken breast (I cut mine or beat them flat) to a shallow buttered casserole and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Layer the cheese slices on top. In a medium bowl, add 1 can cream of chicken soup and ¼ cup wine, season with salt and pepper and pour over the cheese. Sprinkle 1 cup crushed stuffing mix on top and drizzle with  4 tbsp melted butter melted butter. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve.
21. In a skillet sauté onions (optional). Add 1 lbs. hamburger meat and cook until browned. Add 1 can refried beans and ½-1 cup salsa. Cook until heated. Mix together 2 cans mushroom or celery soup with 16 oz. sour cream. Spread 13x9 with ¼ of the mixture. In flour tortillas, spread the meat mixture and a little cheddar cheese. Roll and place seam side down on the soup mixture. Once all burritos are in the dish, cover with remaining sauce. Bake at 350 for 30 min. – add more cheese to the top if desired.
22. In a large skillet, brown 1 lbs. beef with onions and 2 cloves garlic. Drain.
Add tomato sauce, - add additional seasoning if needed; parsley, basil, oregano, and salt.
Stir in uncooked bowtie pasta or break lasagna noodles up and use them.
Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until pasta is tender.
Combine 1 cup cottage cheese and ¼ cup Parmesan cheeses.
Mix in 1 egg.
Sprinkle in basil and pepper to taste.
Drop cheese mixture by rounded tablespoons onto pasta mixture.
Cover and cook for 5 minutes more.
Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella and serve.
23. Salt and pepper pork chops. Add 1 tsp butter to a skillet. Once melted add the pork to the pan and cook on each side for 3 minutes. Remove from pan and keep warm. Combine 1 1/3 cup milk and 3 tbsp flour with a whisk. Stir in ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp poultry seasoning and pepper.  Pour mixture into pan and stir up pork drippings. Return the pork to the pan, cover and simmer for 7 minutes, or until gravy is thick.
24. Combine ½  cup Parmesan cheese, ¼ cup softened butter, 3 tbsp. mayonnaise, 3 tbsp. finely chopped green onion, salt and pepper.  Place fish fillets on a baking sheet sprayed with nonstick spray. Brush fish with lemon juice. Broil (4” from heating source) for 4-6 min. Take out fillets and top with a spoonful of the cheese mixtures. Place back in the oven for 2-4 minutes (until cheese is melted an lightly brown).—enough topping for 6 fillets.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Week 3

13. Honey Mustard Pork skillet with rice
14. Baja Chicken Fajitas **slow cooker, chips and salsa
15. Baked Tilapia and roasted veggies
16. Quiche with strawberry/ yogurt parfait
17. Chipotle Pork Ribs ** can be made in the crock pot
18. Italian saus., penne w/ tomato cream sauce
Grocery List: Week 3

Boneless pork chops
Chicken breast
Frozen Tilapia
3 lbs country style pork ribs
Italian Sausage
5 Limes
Avocado or premade guac (optional)
1 Sweet Potato
2 Onions
2 Squash
Mushrooms (small)
Green onions
Grated ginger
3 Red peppers
Jar Roasted red pepper
Dry white wine
Dijon mustard
Honey Mustard
7 oz. can chipotles in adobo sauce
Olive Oil
Old Bay, Garlic and Herb
Eggs (12)
Whipping Cream (small)
Small sour cream
Cream cheese
Cheese for quiche (swiss, jack, smoked)
Prepared pie shells
Canadian bacon
Vanilla yogurt
Wild Rice side
Plane mashed potatoes
Tomato sauce (2 jars)
Penne pasta
Flour tortillas

13. Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork, and cook 5 min. on each side or until browned. Remove pork from pan. Add 1 ½ cups white wine, 1/3 cup honey, and ¼ cup Dijon mustard; bring to a boil and cook 3 min. Return chops to the pan; reduce heat, and simmer 12 minutes, turning pork after 6 minutes. Serve with wild rice.
14. Slice chicken in half creating thin cutlets. Whisk together 1/3 cup olive oil, ¼ cup tequila, the juice of 2 limes, 3 tbsp. cilantro, 2 minced garlic clove, 1 tbsp honey, and 1 tsp. salt. Toss the chicken pieces in ½ of the mixture, and let marinade for 1 hour. Combine 1 cup sour cream with juice of 1 lime ; season with salt and pepper(optional topping). Grill chicken (in a pan or outdoors). Heat tortillas. Slice a few jarred roasted red peppers and heat in microwave for 20 sec. Chop a few green onions, a little cilantro, and avocado.
Top tortilla with chicken, some reserved tequila dressing, sour cream, red peppers, green onions, cilantro, and avocado.
15. Thaw fish. Skin and cube sweet potato, slice red pepper, slice squash, chop onion. Toss all veggies, including mushrooms, with olive oil and any seasonings (old bay, Italian seasonings- rosemary, basil, oregano) garlic salt, pepper, red pepper. Spread veggies on a roasting pan, Place in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes. Remove and stir/toss. Place back in the oven. Place the fish on another roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil. Heavily season with old bay, garlic salt, and a little pepper on both sides. Place fish in the oven and bake for 20 minutes (until flaky).
16. Slice strawberries. Toss in Splenda or sugar and let sit in fridge for a few hours (can also marinate them in a little amaretto or orange juice). Cut the Canadian bacon into cubes and toss in a tbsp (or so) of honey mustard (or Dijon). Chop 5 green onions and chop a few jarred red peppers. Grate cheese. In a thawed pie crust place the ham, green onions, red peppers, and a handful of cheese. Beat together 6 eggs and 1 cup cream with salt and pepper. Pour into crust. Bake at 375 for 35-40 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving. Serve with yogurt and strawberries with juice.
17. In a food processor, combine 1 cup honey, 2 cups ketchup, 1-2 tsp ginger, and 5 chipotles with adobo sauce. Blend until smooth. Taste and add remaining chipotles, or more honey if desired. If sauce is too thick, thin with a little water or apple juice. Pour half of the sauce over the pork. Marinate for at least 4 hours (up to 24 hours). Prepare a grill pan, or grill. Grill and baste with remaining sauce. ***to cook in crock pot- cook on low for 7-8 hours. Serve with mashed potatoes.
18. In a heavy sauté pan with 1/4-inch of water. Bring water to boil, put on lid and cook for 10 minutes. Remove lid and continue cooking over medium heat, turning every 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown. Remove from pan and slice. In the pan sauté 1 sliced red pepper and 1 onion for 3-4 minutes. Add 3-5 chopped garlic cloves. Sauté for another 2 minutes, add sausage back to pan. Reduce heat and pour in spaghetti sauce. Stir in a few chunks of cream cheese. Simmer for 5-10 minutes. Serve over penne.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Week 2

7. Tacos and rice
8. Meatloaf and mashed potatoes and carrot coins (optional)
9. Green chicken enchiladas and fruit
10. Glazed pork with a box rice side
11. Man-which and sweet potato chips
12. Chicken thighs w/artichoke cream sauce and pasta
Grocery List: Week 2

Chicken thighs (boneless skinless)** OR Chicken breast
Hamburger meat (need 5-6 lbs total. Need at least 1 lb to be ground chuck, 1 lb sirloin).
Rotisserie chicken
Pork chops
Heavy cream
Parmesan cheese
Cheddar cheese
16 oz mushrooms
Garlic cloves
Cram cheese
Chives or green onions
Sweet potatoes
Shredded lettuce
1 Red pepper
Carrots coins (around 3 lbs)
Tomatoes (optional, tacos)
Onions (need 3, extra for tacos)
Garlic cloves
Cilantro- may have some left over from week before
Fruit for fruit salad (or frozen baked apples)
Avocados or Guac (optional, tacos and enchiladas)
6oz. garlic flavored croutons
White wine
Honey (large—you will use it)
Maple Syrup
Brown sugar
Chicken broth (box)
Can artichoke hearts
Balsamic vinegar
16 oz. salsa verde (I use La Conseta)
1 can cream of (your choice)-celery, chicken,
Spanish or Mexican rice mix
Manwhich sauce
Corn tortillas (soft)
Taco shells
Hamburger buns
Rigatoni pasta (or other tube noodle)

7. Self explanatory. Serve with Spanish rice.

8. Mix 6 ounces garlic-flavored croutons
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme In a food processor and pulse till crumbed.
Mix 1 onion, roughly chopped
1 handful carrot coins(optional)
3 whole cloves garlic
1 red bell pepper in a food processor and pulse till fine, but not mush.
Crumble 1lbs ground chuck and 1 lbs ground sirloin into a bowl. Gently mix with vegetable and crouton mixture(be careful not to OVER MIX) Add 1 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 egg.
Mix 1 cup ketchup
1 tbs. brown sugar
Dash Worcestershire sauce
Dash hot pepper sauce
and 2 tablespoon honey together. Divide and add half to the meat mixture. Form a loaf with the meat (use a loaf pan to help you). Place the loaf in the center of a cookie sheet that is covered in foil and sprayed (I use a silicon baking sheet) Place in a 325 degree oven for 15 minutes. Remove and glaze with the remaining glaze mixture. Return to the oven and cook for 30-45 min. more. (internal temp should be 155).
Prepare the Carrots- optional
In a large skillet, combine the carrots, ¼ cup syrup ( or honey), 2 tbsp. butter, 1/3 cup water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, stirring once, until the carrots are tender and the liquid has reduced to a glaze, 12 to 15 minutes. (If the carrots are tender before the liquid has thickened, uncover, increase heat to medium-high, and cook until the liquid forms a glaze.)
9. Combine salsa verde and can of cream of ? soup (I use chicken or celery). Spoon just enough sauce in to the bottom of a 13x9 to cover the bottom. Shred a rotisserie chicken. Combine with a block of cream cheese that is room temperature, garlic salt, 2-3 tbs. chopped cilantro, 1/2 minced onion (optional), and ½ block of shredded Monterey jack cheese. Place 2 tbsp. mixture in the middle of corn tortillas, roll, and place seam side down in prepared dish. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes. Remove and cover with remaining ½ block cheese (and more onions) and return to oven until cheese is melted and bubbly (about 15 min).
* serve with a fruit salad or baked apples
10. Make a glaze of 4 garlic cloves, chopped, 1 tbsp. rosemary, ½ cup balsamic vinegar, 3 tbsp. honey, 2 tbsp. olive oil, and 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard (**I sometimes double this). Salt and pepper the pork chops. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan and sear the pork on both sides (3min each). Pour the glaze over the pork and let it simmer for 8-10 min. (I put mine in a 350 degree oven – pan and all). Remove the pork and reduce the sauce by boiling it for several minutes.
11. Cook Manwhich filling as directed. For Sweet potato chips: Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a sheet tray with parchment. In a large bowl toss sweet potatoes with just enough oil to coat. Sprinkle with seasonings (old bay, garlic salt, Italian seasonings- whatever you want). Spread sweet potatoes in single layer on prepared baking sheet, being sure not to overcrowd (this will make them mushy). Bake until sweet potatoes are tender and golden brown, turning occasionally, about 20 -30minutes. Let cool 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
12. Salt and pepper chicken pieces. Heat 3tbs. olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken pieces and brown for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove chicken from skillet. Add sliced mushrooms to pan with 5 chopped garlic cloves, and stir around and cook for a couple of minutes. Add ½ cup wine and cook for a minute while it evaporates. Pour in 2 cups chicken broth—you should have enough for it to be very liquidy. Stir to deglaze the pan, then add chicken back to pan. Add artichoke hearts (14.5 oz can drained, rinsed, and patted dry- I chop them a little). Put the lid on the skillet and continue cooking over medium-low heat for 30 minutes, checking to make sure chicken broth doesn’t completely evaporate. (Add more as needed).** because I do 2 packs of thighs I put mine in a sprayed casserole dish with foil over it and place it in a 375 oven for 30 min.** Remove lid and reduce heat to low **or put back in the oven**. Pour in 1 cup cream and shake/stir to distribute. Add chives, and add chicken back to pan. Put lid on pan again and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Remove chicken to a serving plate. Pour sauce back into sauce pan and bring it to a slow boil. Thicken with a 1 tbs.cornstarch that has been mixed with 1 tbsp. COLD water, whisk in. Stir and check for seasonings; add salt and pepper to taste. Pour over cooked pasta. Top with more chives and Parmesan.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A month of good food

1. Chicken Parm w/spaghetti

2. Hamburger steaks w/ mushroom gravy and mashed potatoes

3. Sausage jambalaya

4. Smoked chicken sandwich. w/ coleslaw

5. Sesame chicken w/noodles

*add veggies to noodles

6. Chicken potpie

7. Tacos and Rice

8. Meatloaf and mashed potatoes with carrot coins

9. Green chicken enchiladas w/ fruit salad or baked apples

10. Balsamic Glazed Pork-chops with rice side

11. Man-which and sweet potato chips

12. Chicken w/artichoke cream sauce and pasta

13. Pork tenderloin w/ mashed potatoes

14. Baja Chicken Fajitas

15. Baked Tilapia and roasted veggies

16. Quiche

17. Honey Mustard Pork skillet

18. Italian saus., penne w/ tomato cream sauce

19. Hotdogs

**or crock pot dogs with chili.

20. Chicken and dressing

21. Burritos w/cream sauce and Spanish rice

22. Skillet lasagna

23. Pork chops with country gravy

24. Heavenly Fillets

Week 1

1. Chicken Parm w/spaghetti

2. Hamburger steaks w/ mushroom gravy and mashed potatoes

3. Sausage jambalaya

4. Smoked chicken sandwich. w/ coleslaw

5. Sesame chicken w/noodles

*add veggies to noodles

6. Chicken potpie

Grocery List: Week 1

Chicken breast

Rotisserie chicken (can pick up later in the week)

1 link jalapeno sausage

1 lb hamburger

onions (3 yellow, 1 red)



1 green bell pepper

1-2 jalapenos

green onion



Garlic (already minced is fine)

Spaghetti sauce

Spaghetti noodles

Small can shoe peg corn

Coleslaw dressing (T. Marzettie is best)

8 oz. linguine

Italian bread crumbs

1 (8 count) can of southern style biscuits

Gravy packet (mushroom or brown)

Asian toasted sesame salad dressing (Kraft)

Mashed potatoes

creamy peanut butter

Hamburger buns


Soy sauce

olive oil

Rice vinegar

garlic powder

Untoasted sesame seeds (optional)

red pepper flakes (optional)

Ground ginger (optional)

cinnamon (optional)

3 cans of cream of _____ soup (any combo of chicken, celery, or mushroom), I use reduced fat

Zaterans Jambalaya mix (family size)- or yellow rice mix

Frozen bag of peas, carrots, and corn

*frozen veggies to add to Asian noodles- optional

1. Cut chicken breast in half and dredge in an egg lightly beaten, then a mixture of Italian bread crumbs and parmesan cheese. Make at 350’ for 20/25 min. Pull out, cover in sauce, and a slice of mozzarella or provolone cheese. Bake another 15 min.

2. 1 lbs. hamburger with 1 egg and 1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs, add 1 tsp. worchestieshire sauce (optional), and season with onion flakes, garlic, oregano, salt, black pepper. Heat some oil in a pan and brown the patties 4 minutes on each side. Remove them from the pan. Prepare packaged gravy according to directions in the pan used to make patties. Place patties back in the gravy and cover. Let simmer for a few minutes.

3. In a pan sauté one or two bell peppers, one yellow onion and a few garlic pods (all chopped) in a some olive oil. Add a bay leaf. Follow the directions on the back of the Zaterans box Using chicken broth for water, add 1/2 to a whole small can of tomato paste, and sliced smoked sausage. (I smoke my sausage and extra so it is already hot. Tyler likes to pan sauté the sausage before I sauté the veggies to make them crisper. If you are smoking the sausage, smoke the chicken for tomorrow night).

4. Put 4 or 5 smoked chicken breast in a food processor and pulse until it is chopped. Stir in BBQ sauce till moist. Serve on bun with coleslaw.

For coleslaw: bag of angel-hair cabbage, 1 jalapeno- chopped (deseed if you don’t want some heat), 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, 1/2 jar of coleslaw dressing, small jar shoe peg corn (you can use yellow if there is no shoe peg) 1/2 red onion (use the other half for the sandwiches). Mix together and let sit for a while before eating.

5. 1 pound (16 ounces) boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite sized chunks.

Combine in a plastic bag.:3 Tbsp soy sauce, 3 Tbsp olive oil, 2 Tbsp brown sugar, 1 tsp honey, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 cup white, untoasted sesame seeds , and liberal pinches of black pepper, ground ginger, red pepper flakes and ground cinnamon (all optional). Add chicken, mix together well so the chicken is thoroughly coated in the marinade, cover and let it sit in the fridge for 2 hours or so. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange chicken on a cookie sheet with edges (jelly roll pan), and pour liquid on top of it. Bake in oven for 5 minutes, flip chicken pieces with a spatula, and bake for another 5 minutes, or until done.

For the noodles:

Cook linguine according to package directions. Drain reserving 1/3 cup water.

Whisk together 2 tbsp. peanut butter, 1/2 c. sesame salad dressing, 3 tsp. soy sauce, 2 1/2 tsp. rice vinegar, 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes, and the reserved pasta water. Add pasta, 3/4 cup chopped green onions, 1 tbsp. chopped cilantro, and toss till coated well.

6. In a large pot sauté 1 large yellow onion (chopped), 3-4 stalks celery (chopped, optional). Add a bay leaf, and 1 rotisserie chicken. Add 3 cans of soup ( any combination of cream of chicken, cream of celery, cream of mushroom) and 2 cans chicken broth. Slowly bring to a boil. Add a bag of frozen carrots, peas, and corn. Place biscuits on-top of the soup. Brush with milk and sprinkle with oregano (optional). Bake at 350’ until biscuits are browned on top.