Friday, May 14, 2010

Baked Pizza Pasta

Source: My version of a recipe by Paved with Good Intentions

Serves: 4

  • 1 box of pasta (we used rigatoni)
  • 1 tub of ricotta (optional... we omitted)
  • 1 egg
  • Italian Seasoning (garlic, oregano, basil, etc) 
  • A LOT of tomato sauce (at least 5 cups)
  • Pizza toppings (we used Italian seasoned chicken, sausage (which was in the sauce), pepperoni and broccoli)
  • 2 1/2 cups Mozzarella (optional)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan (plus some to sprinkle) (optional)  
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375°.
  2. Cook the pasta.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, prepare any necessary pizza toppings (broccoli, eggplant, sausage, ground beef, etc).
  4. In the words of Paved with Good Intentions, spray the crap out of a 9x13 baking pan. (Because I had to make one with cheese and one without, I used two smaller CorningWare pans.)
  5. Mix the entire pan of pasta with one egg, the tub of ricotta and the seasonings of your choice. (I didn't have any ricotta, so I added 2/3 cup of freshly grated Parmesan to the pasta/egg mixture.)
  6. Spread 2 cups of sauce in the bottom of the baking pan, being sure to cover the entire bottom.
  7. Layer half of the pasta on top of the sauce.
  8. The next layer is the pizza toppings layer. Put as many, or as few, pizza toppings as you'd like.
  9. On top of the pizza toppings add 2 cups of mozzarella. (I only used about 1/2 cup of mozzarella on the cheese one because it was in a smaller pan.)
  10. Pour another 2 cups of sauce on top of the cheese layer.
  11. Then repeat (another layer of pasta and another layer of pizza toppings).
  12. Top it off with another layer of mozzarella and some sprinkled Parmesan. On the cheese free version, top it off with another layer of sauce. I also put some more pepperoni, just because I loove crunchy pepperoni.
  13. Cover with tin foil and bake for 30 minutes. Then uncover and bake for another 15 minutes.

Cocktail Kielbasa

Source: Me

Serves: 4

  • 1 kielbasa (I use Hillshire Farms)
  • 1/2 jar of grape jelly
  • 1/2 bottle of ketchup
  1. Slice kielbasa into 1/4" thick slices.
  2. Put all ingredients in slow cooker and cook on high for 4-5 hours. 
  • We usually eat half of this for dinner and freeze the rest. It is delicious! 
  • It also makes a great appetizer for parties, especially cookouts.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Herb Seasoned Beets and Carrots

Source: Me

Serves: 2

  • 4 carrots
  • 1 can of sliced beets (I prefer canned beets to fresh because there is so much work involved in cooking fresh beets and I don't notice a taste difference)
  • Parsley 
  • Rosemary
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375°.
  2. Peel the carrots and cut them into thirds or quarters (so the pieces are approximately 2" long).
  3. Drain a can of beets.
  4. Add the beets and carrots to a greased jelly roll pan. Add the olive oil and spices, and toss until the vegetables are coated.
  5. Bake for approximately 30 minutes.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Potato Bundles

 Picture from The Pioneer Woman
Source: The Pioneer Woman

Serves: 2

  • 2 potatoes
  • Chopped Onion (we omitted)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (I used half and half)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon parsley  
  1.  Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Chop the potatoes into cubes. 
  3. Create two bowls out of tin foil. Put the cubes from one potato in each tin foil bowl.
  4. On top of the potatoes, add 2 tablespoons of butter, 1/2 cup of heavy cream, salt and pepper to taste, and 1/2 tablespoon of parsley.
  5. Wrap the bundles very tightly (or else you'll end up with melted butter and cream all over the bottom of your oven.. said from experience).
  6. Bake for 45 minutes, or until tender. I have a horrible oven and they cooked for over an hour and still weren't as soft as I would have liked. So, in other words, this time isn't set in stone.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Lemon Raspberry Layer Cake - Happy Mother's Day!

Source: Beantown Baker

Serves: 8


  • 1 box of lemon cake mix
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 1 12-ounce package frozen raspberries, thawed
  • 5 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 2/4 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2-3 teaspoons lemon juice
  • Frosting
  1. Prepare the cake according to the box. Bake in 2 9" round pans.
  2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. 
  3. Add the raspberries, egg yolks, sugar and salt. Cook, mashing the berries and stirring frequently at first and then constantly at the end, until thickened (about 10 minutes).
  4. Pour the mixture through a coarse strainer set over a bowl, pressing hard on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. 
  5. Cool the raspberry curd to room temperature. The curd will continue to thicken as it cools, so don't worry if it appears too watery at first.
  6. Stir in the lemon juice to taste.
  7. Cover and refrigerate until you're ready to use.
  8. Once the cake is completely cooled, slice each cake in half horizontally so that you have 4 9" cakes. 
  9. On a cake dish, put a little bit of frosting to secure the first layer. Put one of the cakes down, and using a frosting bag, pipe frosting around the edge of the top. This will help keep the curd from escaping out the sides.
  10. Spread 1/3 of the curd on top, being sure that it won't overflow the frosting edge.
  11. Add another layer, and repeat.
  12. Frost the cake and arrange fresh raspberries on the top.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Roasted Carrots

Picture from The Pioneer Woman
Source: The Pioneer Woman

Serves: 2

  • 6 carrots, peeled
  • Thyme
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400°.
  2. Slice carrots down the middle, so they are all approximately the same thickness.
  3. Arrange the carrots on a cookie sheet side by side.
  4. Drizzle olive oil over the carrots, then sprinkle thyme, salt and pepper.
  5. Toss the carrots until they are well coated.
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes. (Mine were slightly burnt at the ends, which were very thin. However, this gave them a very sweet taste, and the burnt ends were actually delicious.)