2 lbs. ground chuck
1 lb. Italian sausage, mild or hot
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, diced
8 oz. can tomato paste [See note.*]
2 28-oz. cans tomato sauce
1 T. brown sugar
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
2 t. Italian seasoning
2 Bay leaves
1 t. Sriracha or Tabasco sauce
1 t. prepared mustard
1 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1 c. beef broth
1 lb. ziti or other pasta, cooked to al dente
2 c. grated mozzarella cheese
1 c. grated Parmesan cheese
Brown the meat and drain; add the onion and garlic. Cook until vegetables are soft.
Add the tomato paste and
stir for 5 minutes to bloom the paste. Add the tomato sauce, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, Italian seasoning, Bay leaves, Sriracha sauce, prepared mustard, salt, pepper, and beef broth.
Cover, bring to a boil, lower the
heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir
occasionally and add more broth, if necessary. Remove Bay leaves. [*Or use 2 quarts of your favorite commercial spaghetti sauce.]
Combine with cooked pasta and pour into a large greased casserole dish. Cover and bake at 350 degrees. Remove cover and sprinkle evenly with cheeses. Bake an additional 15 minutes, uncovered, until cheeses are melted and casserole is bubbling. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.
This can be made up to two days ahead of time and refrigerated. Bake for 45-60 minutes the first time, until the casserole is heated through and bubbling.
This is a great opportunity to get flavor into to the pasta. I add 2 packets Knorr Beef or Chicken Stock Concentrate to the water used to cook the pasta. Use a few bouillon cubes or flavor paste or whatever floats your boat. You won't be sorry.
Butterscotch Pecan Oatmeal Cookies
1 c. plus 2
T. Crisco Butter Shortening
1 c. firmly
packed brown sugar
2 drops Butterscotch
Flavor LorAnn Essence Oil, optional
1 t. vanilla
2 c. AP flour
1 T. ground
1 t. salt
¼ t. baking
3 c. oats ,
quick or old fashioned
1 ½ c. pecans
11 oz. pkg. butterscotch
8 oz. pkg.
Bit O’Brickle chips
together flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda and set aside.
shortening and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer or large bowl. Add eggs,
butterscotch oil, and vanilla and mix well. Gradually add flour, salt and
baking soda mixture. Add pecans and chips and mix just until combined.
heaping tablespoon, three inches apart, onto greased cookie sheets. Bake at 350
degrees F for 11-13 minutes until light brown around the edges. Cool 2 minutes
on the cookie sheet and then place on rack to continue cooling.
cookies, store overnight in a sealed container with a fresh slice of bread.
These REALLY are good! Butterscotch and toffee chips with pecans in a cinnamon oatmeal cookie.
Easy Broccoli Chicken Stuffing Casserole
broccoli cut into florets
2 pkgs. Chicken flavored stuffing mix
3 c. cooked
1 can Cream
of Chicken soup
½ t. Sriracha
sauce [or Tabasco]
broccoli until crisp tender. Prepare stuffing according to box directions.
Combine chicken, soup, and Sriracha sauce in a large bowl. Gentle combine with stuffing
and broccoli. Pour into a greased 9” x 13” pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30
be prepared a day or so ahead of time when covered and refrigerated. Bake at
350 degrees for 30 minutes; remove cover and bake an additional 15 minutes, or
until edges are browned.
We had a funeral luncheon Friday for a church member, and boy, did we have a lot of food!
Sausage, Cabbage and Noodles
packages Smoked Sausage, sliced
1 small head
cabbage, sliced thinly [About8 c.]
1 ½ c. sliced
Butter or oil of choice [I used turkey fat.]
2 t. Sriracha or Tabasco Sauce
1 t. salt
¼ t. Pepper
16 oz. Kluski style noodles
3 c. grated
cheese of choice [I used Kraft Five-cheese Italian blend.]
sausage in large skillet over medium heat until slices begin to brown. Drain
fat and place in a large bowl.
and onions in oil in the same skillet, covered, until soft. Add Sriracha sauce,
salt and pepper, and add to bowl with smoked sausage. Cook noodles in chicken
broth, drain, reserving about 2 c. of the broth. Add to the bowl with
the other ingredients and toss everything with the cheese. Add reserved broth
as needed to desired moistness; err slightly on the side of wet.
large, greased baking pan and cover. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes and
remove cover. Bake 15 minutes longer, or until edges begin to brown.
This casserole was a big hit at a small luncheon today. Two people asked for the recipe. I put it together yesterday, and baked it at the church today.
The spicy smell and taste of this cake just screams Christmas. The recipe came from Cuisine at home magazine, which I recommend for its great cooking tips, delicious recipes and total lack of ANY ads.
½ c. each granulated sugar, water and minced fresh ginger.
For the cake,
1 ½ c. packed
light brown sugar
1 c. 2% milk
½ c. molasses
½ c. sour
2 ¼ c. AP
2 t. each
baking powder and ground ginger
1 t. ground
¾ t. freshly
½ t. each
ground allspice and salt
¼ t. baking
1/8 t. ground
whipped topping, whisk:
2 c. heavy
2 T. granulated sugar
2 t. vanilla
Bring syrup ingredients
to a boil over medium high heat; reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 10
minutes. Strain syrup, reserving the ginger.
Preheat the oven
to 350 F and liberally spray a 10-15 c. Bundt pan with PAM and coat with
sugar, milk, oil, molasses, and reserved ginger. Whisk together eggs and sour
cream; whisk into the other wet ingredients.
dry ingredients.; whisk into wet mixture in 3 to 4 increments. Pour batter into
prepared Bundt pan. Bake 1 hour or until
cake pulls away from the edges of the pan and tests done with a toothpick. Cool
45 minutes in pan. Poke cake all over with skewer or meat fork; drizzle ginger
syrup all over the top. Invert cake onto a plate [tap pan to release, if
necessary]; let cool completely.
cream to soft peaks; add sugar and vanilla. Whip to medium firm peaks. Top
slices of cake with whipped cream and garnish with crystallized ginger.
Chopped fresh ginger smells amazing.
Turbinado sugar is raw sugar, but if you don't have it in the cupboard, granulated sugar will work great.
Crystallized ginger is sometimes labeled candied ginger. It's supposed to be useful for settling stomachs. Most grocery stores carry it, and it is a nice garnish for this cake. But it isn't absolutely necessary.
The kitchen, heck, the whole house, smelled like Christmas.
I used Reddi-Wip for Dave's tasting piece. He gave it two thumbs up.
I did this on the fly. It was a chilly, rainy fall day, and I had the ingredients left over. It was a real hit.
2 T. butter
1 c. chopped onion
1/4 c. flour
Beef broth, as needed to get the thickness you want
2 c. chopped cooked corned beef
1 c. sauerkraut, drained
1/4 t. Sriracha sauce
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 c. shredded Gruyere cheese
Sweat the onion in the butter until translucent. Add the flour and stir for 3-5 minutes; add about a cup and a half of good beef broth and stir until the mixture thickens. Add the corned beef, sauerkraut, Sriracha sauce. Taste and add salt and pepper to your liking.
Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring frequently and adding more broth as needed.
While that's cooking, butter a couple of slices of rye bread and place in a 350 degree oven for 5-10 minutes until they're hot and crunchy. Allow to cool and slice into croutons.
Right before serving, add the cheese to the soup, stir, and serve with the croutons.
Note: If I'd had any, I might have added a dash or two of caraway seeds. I looked for them...
All the plants have been brought inside, deloused, and made presentable for the house. This has taken the better part of a month, and as I watered them all this morning, I began wondering if I have a passion or if it's an obsession.
Some people probably think I lead a boring life. When asked what my hobbies are, I reply "reading, gardening, crocheting and counted cross stitch." Sounds like a boring old lady, huh? And to some it probably is. But I've learned to not even start down that road where I talk about life with my babies, because I've watched that interested look fade to incredulousness, and then the eyes begin to dart back and forth looking for an escape, any escape from this mad woman.
I don't even show all the plants I have anywhere. Ever.
This is most of them. I will say that. And you have the advantage of being able to close this window when you hit that point of overload.
When a leaf falls off and lies there on the dry soil long enough, chances are roots are going to begin to develop.
And then, before you know it, you have a nursery or three.
Okay, so I have an obsession. I think about them often, check them every day or so, know each one's name and likes and history and consider each one a child of sorts. I'm also constantly rearranging them. But with plants, I get to throw them away when they get out of hand. ;-D
The order arrived just now along with a note from Evelyn! Now, I have to find a cause to cook for.
The title of this really should be, "Confessions of a Food Snob." As a child of the 50s, when cake mixes and "instant" foods first came on the market, I loved them at first. I remember those terrible homemade pizza mixes. We made them on Saturday nights before "Saturday Night at the Movies" and thought they were wonderful. Of course, this was long before we could pick up the phone and have a hot pizza delivered, so any pizza was wonderful. But I digress..
Twenty some years ago, I decided that nothing was ever going to be as good as homemade foods from scratch, the way Mom used to make it. For years, I didn't buy any pre-processed food kits and so I haven't kept up with the new technology and the new revolution that came with it. My loss.
I've been seeing those bags of instant homemade soups and dips and sauces at fairs and festivals, and I scowled at them. Maybe they're okay for the masses, but the masses didn't know what they were missing, huh? But I was intrigued. They just looked so inviting.
This past weekend at Oglebayfest, one vendor had samples of Evelyn's Elegant Edibles soups. Dave loves potato soup, and the one he had displayed looked so yummy. So, I forked over $7.50 for a package. A few minutes later, I ran into a friend who's a class or three above me in intelligence, wit, kindness, sideline deserved snarkiness about others to friends, and everything else funny and real. She noticed the bag containing EEE's Creamy Potato Soup, poked it with a well manicured finger and said, "That stuff is great!"
That sealed it. I made the soup, but like everything else I poke around with in the kitchen, I had to tweak it, but not very much. I used chicken and ham broth to reconstitute it, instead of water, threw in some smoked ham shank meat, and added a teaspoon of Sriracha sauce, of course. It's very, very good soup.
Bottom line? This stuff is really good, and so what else have I missed?
In many ways, the end of the season is as busy as the beginning. As I walked around and said good-bye to some of the plants that I can't bring indoors, I decided that, overall, we had a pretty good season.