Monday, September 28, 2009

Zesty Italian

This was my grandma's recipe, she made it up on a whelm and I love how easily (and budget friendly) it is to it reminds me of her. She was an amazing cook and a wonderful person, that I miss a lot. I know she would be so proud of my cooking skills she passed down to me when I was young. I still remember waking up at her house, running down (what I thought then was a long hall) and into the kitchen for some amazing french toast. Anyways, this recipe is my grandma's easy-to-make recipe that my mother (her daughter-in-law) always liked to make because it's time efficient and now it's one of my staple recipes :)

Betty Lou's Zesty Italian

- 1.5 lbs ground chuck (beef or sirloin or turkey would work too!)

- packet of dried spaghetti sauce (any kind will do)

- refrigerated crescent rolls

- 1/2 cup of sour cream

- 1 bag of shredded mozzarella cheese

- 2 tablespoons of butter (melted in microwave)

- Parmesan cheese

Brown the meat in the skillet (you can add onions or green pepper if you would like), and add in the packet of sauce, mix well and cook thoroughly. Next take the sour cream and mix with the shredded cheese. Meanwhile grease a square glass casserole pan (8x8 or 9x9) and preheat the oven to 350. Next, drain the meat and place on the bottom of the pan, top with the cheese mixture. Then, take the crescent rolls out of the tube, lay them flat across the top of the cheese mixture. Finally mix the melted butter and Parmesan cheese, then spread the mixture onto the top of the crescent rolls. Bake for 30-45 minutes until it's golden brown on top. Enjoy!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Pasta Salad with Mediterranean Twist

I love zucchini it's one of my favorite recipes and with this easy dish you can get two side dishes in one which makes it easy to have a well rounded meal. It goes great with some grilled chicken slices.
*I appolige for the bad quality of the picture, I had to use my camera phone for this

Here's what you need:

some pasta, about half a box of linguine
olive oil
a few small zucchini sliced thin
kosher salt
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
2 tablespoons garlic
crushed red pepper (to taste)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water, drain, and return the pasta to the pot. Meanwhile heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the zucchini and 1/2 teaspoon salt, cook for about 5 minutes, make sure to give it a few tosses so they don't burn. Add the chickpeas, garlic, and red pepper and cook for about 4 minutes. Toss the pasta with the reserved pasta water and half of the cheese, add in the zucchini mixture and top with additional cheese. You can serve it hot as is, or let chill. If you serve it cold, drizzle some olive oil on top before serving :)
-This recipe is an adapted verision of one in the Real Simple Magazine.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Last Minute Ziti

There are some days when you get home and just don't have time to go to the grocery before dinner so you have to rely on what is around the kitchen. I always have pasta sauce, some kind of noddles, some ground beef, and shredded cheese on hand for such occations. This is a quick and easy dish that can be modified based on what you have but is sure to be a winner in your house.
This time around here is what I used:
-box of whole wheat ziti
-jar of marinara sauce
-bag of shredded chesse -italian mix
-1lb of ground beef
-tablespoon of minced garlic (the jar kind)
-chopped onion (however much you like)
-chopped green pepper (however much you like)
-crushed red pepper
-Italian seasoning

Preheat the oven to 350. Cook pasta according to directions, add a splash of olive oil and salt. Meanwhile brown meat in a medium pan over med-high heat, add in some garlic, onion, and even green pepper if you have it. After the meat is cooked add in the sauce, I add a few spices (see above) so it doesn't taste as 'jarry'; reduce to simmer and stir occasionally so it won't burn on the bottom. Drain the pasta, return to pot and pour in the sauce mixture. Grease a 9x12 pan, (I use extra virgin olive oil and my fingers to do this) and pour in half the sauce/meat mixture and top with a couple handfuls of cheese, add the rest of the mixture finish with the rest of the cheese. Place the pan into the over for about 30 mins or until the cheese starts to bubble. Remove from oven and let cool for about 5 minutes so it's easier to serve. Enjoy :)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Easy Chicken Pot Pie

1.5 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 carrots, diced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
half of a 10oz package frozen peas
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
salt and pepper
2 store-bought piecrust (let thaw so it's easier to work with)

Heat oven to 400° F. Cook the chicken in a pot of simmering water until cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. While the chicken is cooking place oil in pan over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots and cook until almost soft. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring, for about a minute. Add the milk and simmer until the sauce thickens, 2 to 3 minutes. S

Next shred the chicken and stir it into the sauce along with the peas, thyme, salt, and pepper. Next place one pie crust onto the bottom of the pan, spreading it out so it covers the bottom and the sides almost to the top, pour in chicken mixture. Lay the crust on top and then place the pot pie in the oven for about 30 minutes. Take out and let cool for about 5 minutes before serving. Dig in and enjoy! :)
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