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26 Mar

A Winner and Winning Recipes

Posted in beef recipes, Cook Once Eat Twice, Eat Twice on 26.03.13 by Smart Ingredients

Pot Roast Stuffed Potatoes

Thank you so much for your feedback and support on our last post. We got comments from all over the place, not just to the blog post. The consensus to the question of what you want more of from us was: ALL OF THE ABOVE. So we have our work cut out for us in 2013 :).

Online cooking classes and instructional videos? I can shoot them, it’s the editing that keeps me up at night. Coming soon on that one….

More great recipes? No problem. It’s the photographs that again, trip me up. But if you’ll forgive the lack of beauty shots, I’ll promise to post more.

Also, as a dinner solution provider, we will be looking to build partnerships and food manufacturer relationships in 2013. If I’m going to share with you topics like the hazards of food coloring, I also want to be able to provide you a cost-effective, healthier alternative to making colorful fun food.

And the one thing you’ve missed the most…. the 30 Days of Dinner posts.  This is not the first time a repeat of this has been requested. I will provide more of these snapshots into my daily dinner. I may not get the full week, but I can promise a few per week at least. Starting… now!

Last night I used leftover pot roast to make Pot Roast-Stuffed Baked Potatoes.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups pot roast
  • 6 roasting potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Toppings of your choice such as:

  • Shredded cheese
  • Sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • Olives
  • Peppers
  • Salsa
  • Chives/onions

Place potatoes in a baking dish. Cut a slit down the center of each. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Drizzle potatoes with oil and salt. Bake, uncovered for 40 minutes. Remove from oven. Press pot roast into the center of each potato. Return to oven, cover with foil, and bake for 25 minutes more. Serve with toppings of your choice.

Earlier in the week, we made Singapore Noodles for both our family dinner, and to send to my 4th grade son’s math teacher as appreciation of the hard work she has done transitioning the kids to learning the Singapore Math method this year. Singapore Noodles are affectionately referred to as “Clean out the fridge noodles”. What this means to you is feel free to make substitutions and be flexible with the recipe. The seasonings and preparation method are important, and the cilantro, in my opinion is a must, but as for whether you use pork in place of the shrimp, any vegetable you choose in place of the ones I suggest, and whatever kind of onion varietal you may have on hand, that is all flexible.

Singapore Noodles

Ingredients

  • 1 pound vermicelli, spaghettini or angel hair pasta OR thin rice noodles
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined (or two chicken breasts, cut into thin strips)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 cup cabbage, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

The following 6 Spices OR 3 tablespoons of a combination Singapore seasoning

  • 2 tablespoons yellow curry powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon turmeric
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup fresh minced cilantro

Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain shrimp and pat dry with paper towels. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in pan on stove. Stir fry shrimp for 5 minutes (longer if using chicken or pork). Remove meat from pan, add remaining oil and all vegetables and seasonings. Cook 4 minutes until tender. Add broth and soy sauce. Return meat and add noodles to pan. Stir to combine, cooking over medium-low heat until warmed through and combined. Top with cilantro before serving.

Oh, and congratulations to Alicia, the winner of a copy of 70 Meals, One Trip to the Store, and some Vegeta, which is a perfect broth to use for the Singapore Noodle recipe. Here’s an old review of the 70 Meals cookbook we came across today that sums up it’s effectiveness perfectly:

Kelly, I think you are my new best friend! I’ve had your book for about 3 weeks…and guess what? I. CAN. COOK. It’s unbelievable! And my whole family has liked, if not loved the recipes. Not only that, but I totally second your frugal testimony. I spend about $130/week for the 14 items PLUS all our breakfast/lunch/snack foods–2 adults, 3 kids (8, 6, 2). I spent about $135 on the semi-annual list so that adds an extra $20/month into the grocery budget…and it still cuts it down significantly. If I shop the sales & use coupons, I’m sure that amount can go down. Thank you, sincerely, for publishing your book…and why haven’t we ALL thought to do this before?”

- Resa

 

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09 Mar

St. Patrick’s Day Appetizers

Posted in Appetizers, beef recipes, Holiday Recipes on 09.03.13 by Smart Ingredients

Hooray for St. Patrick’s Day. It’s a fun national celebration, a great way to welcome the hope of spring, and an opportunity for Irish folks to embrace their heritage and traditions. And a great thing about this holiday is that it’s built around — ok, green beer — but also great food tradition. For the traditional St. Pat’s party main course, corned beef and cabbage with potatoes is a delicious and easy-to-make dinner. Following are some of my favorite flavors from this holiday built in to bite-sized appetizers. For those who don’t like cooking the full dinner, this can be an easier way to enjoy corned beef.

Rueben Pizza Recipe

Ingredients

•               1 prebaked pizza crust

•               ¾ cup sauerkraut

•               1/4 pound thin sliced deli corned beef, broken into pieces

•               4 slices Swiss cheese, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

•               2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

•               1 teaspoon Caraway seeds

•               ½ teaspoon Parsley

Spread mustard on pizza crust. Top with sauerkraut, beef and then cheese. Sprinkle with caraway seeds and parsley. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes.

Mini Ruebens — aka Rueben Sliders Recipe

Ingredients

•               1 lb. corned beef

•               ½ pound Swiss Cheese

•               2 sleeves mini rye toasts

•               One bottle Thousand Island dressing

•               10 oz. sauerkraut

•               butter

Slice corned beef into 2 inch square pieces or smaller. Split cheese into four equal squares. Load corned beef, one teaspoon sauerkraut, 1 teaspoon dressing and one slice of cheese onto a rye toast. Top with another rye toast to make sandwiches. Either grill sandwiches in lightly buttered pan, flipping once, or bake in oven on baking sheet for 10 minutes. Serve immediately, or individually wrap sandwiches in foil if transporting or to keep warm. Once in foil, sandwiches can be kept warm in warm oven.

Corned Beef Cream Cheese Dip Recipe

Ingredients

•               ½ pound deli corned beef

•               1 – 8 ounce package of cream cheese

•               ¼ cup Green onions, diced

•               4 slices Swiss cheese

•               Rye toasts or pita or tortilla chips

Dice corned beef into ½ inch squares. Mix beef together with cream cheese and onions. Spread in glass baking dish and top with Swiss Cheese. Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes until cheese is golden. Serve on rye toasts or with pita or tortilla chips for dipping.

Mini Potato Pancake Recipe

Ingredients

•               3 to 4 medium potatoes

•               ¾ cup bread crumbs

•               3 tablespoons diced green onion

•               1/2 tablespoon lemon juice

•               1/2 teaspoon salt

•              oil for frying

 

Boil potatoes until fork tender, about 20 minutes. Drain, cool, and remove skins. In a large bowl, loosely mash potatoes. Add bread crumbs, onions, lemon juice, and salt and mix well. Taste for seasoning and adjust. Form into 1/2 inch thick patties. Add oil to a deep, medium-sized skillet, and heat over medium-high heat. Fry pancakes 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Set aside on absorbent paper while frying the remaining pancakes.

Serve with sour cream and applesauce for dipping.

© Hhltdave5 | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

 

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28 Dec

Post-Holiday Stock-Up Sales

Posted in Appetizers, beef recipes, Holiday Recipes, Smart Ingredients on 28.12.11 by Smart Ingredients

There are certain items that are plentiful and priced right at the grocery stores post-holiday. Stock up on these Smart Ingredients, and you have tools for dinner success that you can use throughout the next few months, and make many cheap and easy — and delicious — dinners.

Ham

What is leftover from the holidays is priced extremely well in stores right now, or even, buy one get one free. A great Cook Once, Eat Twice food, ham can be made for one delicious elegant dinner, with the leftovers used for many recipes including Ham and Cheese Muffins, Split Pea Soup with Ham and Ham and Swiss Baked Ziti (from the cookbook 40 Dinner Duos: Cook Once, Eat Twice.

Ham and Swiss Baked Ziti

Serves 4-6 (easily doubled)

  • 8 ounces Ziti or similar pasta
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 cups shredded Swiss cheese (cut fine if you can only find slices or cubes
  • 1 cup leftover ham, cubed
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, melt butter in medium saucepan over low heat. Cook garlic in butter for 30 seconds, stirring frequently. Stir in flour and salt, increase heat and stir until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Add milk, heat to boiling and stir until smooth. Add mustard and cheese, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring until cheese is melted and mixture is smooth.

Pour pasta into ungreased 2-quart baking dish. Add ham and cheese sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and Bread crumbs. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly and browned.

Shrimp

Used for cocktail around the holiday season, it is priced at less than half of what you can find it for at other times of the year. Stock up and freeze in 1-lb. portions for a great “Smart” dinner ingredient. See the “Recipes” tab on our website for recipes for:

Shrimp Creole

Shrimp Po Boy Sandwiches

Coconut Shrimp

Shrimp Etouffee

Chipotle Shrimp Tacos

Cream of Mushroom Soup

While I often prefer to make my own white sauce with mushrooms, I must admit canned Cream of Mushroom soup is an undeniable Smart Ingredient when it comes to easy weeknight dinners. When I need a quick or easy comfort-food dinner, I use it to make Ground Beef Stroganoff, Pot Roast in the crock pot, or Tuna Casserole. The excess from the holidays should be priced at half what it is the rest of the year. If this is an ingredient you use, stocking up at half price is a great way to shop “Smart”.

French’s Onions

These gems are a nice bonus to top casseroles, salads, burgers and at the holidays… of course… green bean casserole. With the holidays gone, nab a can or two you can use over the next few months.

Cranberry Sauce

The price of canned cranberry sauce has really gone up this year, so nabbing some at a holiday price is a bonus. I love cranberry sauce (fresh or canned) to make Cranberry Brie Pizza, Apple Cranberry Pie, Cranberry Brisket, Cranberry Meatballs and Cranberry Chicken. At a sale price, I will buy at least a dozen cans if this Smart ingredient, and know that it will add up to so many appetizers and dinners in coming months.

Happy shopping and stocking up!

 

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11 Apr

3 More Days of Dinner at My House, and a BOGO Sale Just for You

Posted in 70 meals one trip to the store, beef recipes, Chicken Recipes, Contest Winners on 11.04.11 by Smart Ingredients

This month’s Cookbook Giveaway winner has yet to claim their prize (check your inbox for a “You Won!” e-mail from Organizing Dinner), so we are just hankering to give something away. Buy any cookbook this week, and get another FREE! Buy one for you, and one for a gift, or two great books just to help yourself find success in the kitchen. Purchase your book through our website, and in the “Comments” section, enter the name of the other cookbook (of equal or lesser value) you would like us to include with your purchase. Valid this week only, on purchases through organizingdinner.com. Not valid on purchases through Amazon, Borders, barmesandnoble.com or any other retailer.

Day 17

Menu: Corned Beef and Cabbage

On St. Patrick’s Day or anyday, corned beef and cabbage is a stress-free, easy meal. The entire meal can be boiled in one pot (if you choose), for a delicious well-rounded meal. The “corned” part of the name, means that the beef has been seasoned and brined for you, and therefore requires no further seasoning. I do, at the end, place mine in a baking dish and top with a spicy-mustard and apricot preserve glaze and bake for about 40 minutes, but you can omit this step and serve a mustard sauce on the side.

Game plays applied:

One pan meal – Corned beef, potatoes, cabbage, carrots and onions can all go in one pot. Start the beef early, and add everything else during the last 45 minutes.

Day 18

Menu: Frozen pizza and homemade vegetable soup for the kids, (while Mom and Dad celebrated our 13th anniversary with dinner out).

Game Plays applied:

With certain babysitters I can say “make anything in the 70 Meals book, we have all the ingredients on hand” and a healthy homemade meal is done. With others who are younger and less kitchen-experienced, the frozen pizza is as much “cooking” as I will ask.

Multimealing - I made the vegetable soup during dinner cleanup the night before.

Day 19

Menu: Chili

Game Plays applied:

Flexibility – Chili is one of the most flexible dishes out there. I can start a great chili with chicken, ground beef, steak and/or a plethora of vegetables and other ingredients. Tonight I made my favorite chili with chicken, black beans, corn and black olives. As it takes a few hours to simmer, I made a large pot so there is some in the freezer for another meal.

70 Meals, One Trip to the Store - there are a few recipes for chili in the 70 Meals, One Trip to the Store cookbook. Chicken and Black Bean Chili is one of them.

 

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19 Mar

30 Days of Dinner; Days 4-7

Posted in 40 Dinner Duos, 70 meals one trip to the store, beef recipes, Cook Once, Cook Once Eat Twice, Eat Twice, One Trip to the Store, pasta, Uncategorized, Win at Dinner on 19.03.11 by Smart Ingredients

30 Days of my play-by-play dinner, continued. For game play definitions, see previous post.

Day 4

Homemade Butternut Squash Soup and pasta salad.

Game Plays applied:

Multimealing: I made a large batch of squash soup to bring some to my Dad who just had surgery, and keep some at home for dinner.

Flexibility: I love the flexibility of pasta salad. Using noodles and basic pasta salad seasonings I always keep on hand (olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic salt and Italian Seasonings) I can make a pasta salad using any number of add-ins I may have on hand. Tonight I used blue cheese, avocado, cucumber, onions and tomatoes.

Day 5

[Tonight I have to work. My sitter knows she can make anything in the 70 Meals, One Trip to the Store cookbook as I have all the ingredients on hand. Here's what she chose. The kids loved it.]

Lemon Honey Chicken and Brown Rice

Game Plays applied:

70 Meals, One Trip to the Store: Lemon Honey Chicken

Day 6

Herb-Crusted Beef Roast and Roasted Potatoes

While this may sound like a complicated meal, it is actually one of the easiest, elegant dinners I make. I use and Eye of Round cut, which I find extremely reliable in both cut and preparation. The crust is made by cooking up some onions, garlic and mustard in red wine. Rub this on the roast with some tarragon, salt and pepper, and put it in a roasting pan surrounded by one cup of beef broth, and cubed potatoes, and into a preheated 350 degree F oven until it reaches 140 degrees F. This roast is also typically sold in a 4-pound quantity, which is a perfect amount to feed 5 for dinner one night, and make Beef Stew the next.

Day 7

Beef Stew

Game plays applied:

Cook once, eat twice: last night’s lovingly-prepared roast and potatoes became an extremely flavorful beef stew by just cubing leftover beef and placing it and the remaining potatoes in a crock pot with the remaining beef stew recipe ingredients. This can be done at any point of the day, which worked well with the day’s busy schedule, work and after-school activities. [From the 40 Dinner Duos; Cook Once, Eat Twice cookbook.]

 

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15 Mar

30 Days of Dinner

Posted in 70 Meals, beef recipes, Chicken Recipes, Cook Once Eat Twice, Win at Dinner on 15.03.11 by Smart Ingredients

I’m going to give you an actual day-by-day walkthrough of 30 days of dinner in my house. I have met so many of you in my classes and online who have expressed that, while you believe me that making a hot, healthy, homemade meal every day is possible… with kids, a full-time job and other obligations… you aren’t sure it’s possible for you.

It is. If you look at it as a game, and set out to win. I hope that reading about my dinner experiences and strategies will infuse you with some offensive strategies to bring into your own home. This “reality blog” will not be glamorous, as I am no superwoman. What I do know is how to play the dinner game. And winning this game means making a fresh, homemade dinner for my family every night, amid working, driving to after-school activities, and managing a generally busy schedule. I will tell you what I made, but I will more importantly walk you through my playbook and show you my game plan in action. I plan to condense entries into 3-day posts so you are not getting a post every day.

Here is the Organizing Dinner playbook, for reference:

Multimealing - The term “multitask” is an understatement these days. If we’re not multitasking, we’re not getting it done. Multimealing is more specific. It refers to making the absolute most of your time spent in the kitchen. It means while making breakfast, you boil the pasta for that night’s dinner. While simmering dinner on the stove, you are making muffins for the next day’s breakfast. You get the idea.

70 Meals One Trip to the Store – For those of you who don’t know how the 70 Meals plan works, here’s a quick run down… you can make any one of the 70 dinners in the cookbook with what you have on hand at home, after following a quick and easy stock-up shopping list. There are 3 meat bases in the book, chicken, ground beef and fish. If you have one of those meats on hand either frozen or thawed, that equals more than 15 dinner options based on that meat alone (there’s another 20 that are all vegetarian, so there are those options too). But if I reference, “I have chicken”… under the 70 Meals game play, that automatically means 17 dishes I can make.

Cook Once, Eat Twice – One night’s cooking efforts becomes two night’s unique meals.

Gifts to Self - When one step of dinner is done in advance. i.e. chicken precooked and frozen, vegetables pre-chopped, etc.

2/3 Rule - Don’t set out to make a full 3-course meal on a busy weeknight. Of 3 courses, success is more attainable if 2 are fresh/homemade, one is prepackaged or frozen.

Day 1

Menu: Baked Crab Cakes, Thai Peanut Pasta Salad, and Sweet Potato Fries

Game plays applied:

2/3 rule: crab cakes and pasta salad homemade, fries frozen/packaged

multimealing: cooked the noodles while I made the lunches during breakfastime

Day 2

[My thought process about tonight's dinner] It’s 6 am, and I will be gone all day until 5 pm. I have ground beef thawed in the refrigerator. With the 70 Meals game play, I know that means there are 17 dishes I can make with what I have on hand at home. My favorite is Beef Stroganoff, but I know the kids would prefer burgers, straight up. Plus I have the pasta salad left over from last night, so burgers make more sense. I will have 40 minutes to get dinner on the table after we get home, before activities. No problem.

Menu: Burgers, leftover pasta salad

Game plays applied:

70 Meals: hamburgers

Day 3

[Thought process about tonight's dinner] I have plans tonight (yoga and wine at a very Zen local studio with about 25 friends :). Hubby will be home with the kids. I am home early in the day, but not later. Hmmm, crock pot or something easy to leave out for hubby to make? Went with easy meal for hubby to make…

menu: Grilled Chicken Sausage, Rice and Brussel Sprouts

Game plays applied:

Multimealing: I made the rice for hubby while making lunches during breakfastime. All he had to do was grill the sausage and brussel sprouts.

 

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31 Jan

Steelers Chili Vs. Packers Chili — What’s Your Super Bowl Spread?

Posted in beef recipes, vegetarian on 31.01.11 by Smart Ingredients

There’s a big game on the horizon, and the thing on many foodie’s minds is not the points spread, but the table spread. For a game day, there’s nothing we love more than chili. Those of you who have gotten to know what Organizing Dinner is about can probably guess our number one reason why: it’s flexible! Our favorite 3 chili recipes include these ingredients, separately, as their base: hot italian sausage, chicken, and sweet potatoes. Talk about variety! In addition to that, we’ve recently had chili made with ground beef and cocoa powder, and chili made with steak and garbanzo beans that were both delicious. In our opinion, as long as you put out an abundant choice of toppings, the sky is the limit for ingredient combinations that go into the chili. And if you know us really well, you can probably guess our number two reason why we love chili: it can be made ahead of time! Almost all chili holds up great in the freezer, or even the refrigerator for up to two days. (The Wisconsin Cheddar Cheese Chili below is one that is best served immediately, as opposed to frozen, but if you want to make ahead and freeze, substitute one package of Velveeta for the cheddar sauce.)

Here are two chili recipes that pit Pitt against Green Bay, just like the big game. The first is a Philly Cheese Steak-inspired chili, and the second pays tribute to the dairy/beef state of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Cheddar Cheese Chili. Choose the recipe that best represents your team, or make both for a Steelers Vs. Packers spread. Also, visit our website for our favorite vegetarian chili recipe made with sweet potatoes and kidney beans.

Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl Chili

Steelers Chili

aka Philly Cheesesteak Chili

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 pounds sirloin, bite size chunks
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
  • 1 package button mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 12-ounce bottle of beer
  • 2-1/2 cups beef broth
  • 2  14-ounce cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 can cheese whiz
  • saltine crackers
  • Heat oil in large heavy pot over medium high heat. Combine salt, pepper and flour with a fork. Toss sirloin cubes with flour to coat. Brown meat in pot on all sides and remove meat to a plate. If necessary add more oil to pan and add onions. Cook onions over medium heat until they begin to soften. Stir in garlic, green, red and jalapeno peppers and cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Add chili powder, cumin, oregano and mushrooms. Continue stirring for one minute. Return browned meat to pan and pour in beer and beef broth. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Stir in tomatoes, and cook for 45 minutes or until meat is tender. Serve with a squeeze of Cheese Whiz, and saltine crackers, or toppings of your choice.

    Green Bay Packer Chili

    aka Wisconsin Cheddar Cheese Chili

    Packers Chili

    Ingredients

    • 2 pounds ground beef
    • 2 medium onions, chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 2  14-ounce cans Diced Tomatoes, undrained
    • 2 small cans chopped green chilies
    • 1 cup beef broth
    • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    • 2 tablespoons chili powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 2 tablespoons flour
    • 3 cups cheddar cheese
    • 3/4 cup milk
    • 1 teaspoon paprika

    In a large saucepan, cook the beef, onions and garlic until meat is no longer pink. Stir in the tomatoes, chilies, broth, pepper, chili powder and cumin and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a separate, small pan on stove melt butter and flour over medium heat, stirring frequently, to make a paste. Stir in milk aggressively until blended. Stir in cheese until melted. Add cheese sauce to chili, and stir to blend. Serve immediately over noodles (optional) and/or with toppings of your choice such as diced red onion, crumbled tortilla chips and jalapeno slices.

     

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    02 Dec

    Easy Recipe #4: Baked Pasta

    Posted in 70 meals one trip to the store, beef recipes, pasta, Shop Smart on 02.12.10 by Smart Ingredients

    As we near the end of what we can call “cooking recovery week” another flexible, one-dish dinner gives a nice break to you hard-working cooks. 

    Baked Pasta

    Serves 4-6

    Ingredients

    • 10 ounces thick pasta noodles
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1/4 cup water
    • 10 ounces red sauce
    • 1 cup Mozzarella cheese
    • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese

    Optional additions:

    • 1/2 pound sausage or ground beef, browned
    • 1 1/2 cups spinach
    • 1/2 cup mushrooms, diced
    • 1 cup ricotta or cottage cheese
    • Fresh basil

    Boil noodles according to Al Dente package directions. Coat a baking dish with olive oil, and pour noodles on top. Fold remaining ingredients into noodles, including optional additions. Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees F.

     

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    13 Oct

    Having Fun with Fall Food

    Posted in beef recipes on 13.10.10 by Smart Ingredients

    It’s always good if you can bring fun into making dinner, and fortunately, Fall food lends itself to festive presentation. I am definitely better at the “flavor” end of food than I am the “fun” (I did NOT make this apple ;), but for those of you who don’t so much looove the cooking but might enjoy a little decorating, play to your strong suit.

    • Decorate the top of a fruit or pot pie by cutting a message in the air slits.
    • Fancy faced pizza is always a big hit with the kids.
    • Give food “legs” with pretzels, and eyes with raisins.
    • Put the first letter of each person’s name on their plate with julienned vegetables.
    • Making anything “mini” says fun. Ever tried King’s Hawaiian Sweet rolls? They are delicious for cheeseburgers, and make fun sliders. Use the mini rye toasts for mini reubens.

    Here is one I did create that brought smiles to my kids:

    Shepherd’s Pumpkin Pie — delicious Shepherd’s Pie in pumpkins my kids got to hollow out.

    Ingredients
    4 pie pumpkins, seeded
    2 tablespoons butter
    2 tablespoons flour
    1/2 onion, diced
    1/2 cup carrots, diced
    1/2 cup broth
    1 pound ground beef
    2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
    1/2 cup peas
    2 cups mashed potatoes (see website for recipe)
    paprika

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large skillet, melt butter. Add flour and stir until thick paste forms. Add onions and carrots, continue stirring, and stir in broth. Add beef and Worcestershire sauce, and cook about 10 minutes until lightly browned. Stir in peas. Add equal parts beef mixture to each pumpkin, and top with equal parts mashed potatoes. Sprinkle top with paprika. Cook in preheated 350 degree oven for 35 minutes.


     

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    28 Sep

    Easy Meaty Pasta Sauce

    Posted in beef recipes, Cook Once, Cook Once Eat Twice on 28.09.10 by Smart Ingredients

    Today, again, were cookin’ once and eating twice. Pasta sauce is best when culminating flavors that set together over a slow cooking process. When you use leftover pot roast to make your meat sauce, you are getting an already flavor-packed ingredient to marry with the tomatoes. This recipe from Cook Once… Eat Twice! creates the most savory, meaty, flavorful sauce, you will surprise even yourself how easy it is to achieve such great taste. Check out our latest Facebook post for our favorite Pot Roast recipe, though any leftover Pot Roast will do for this pasta sauce.

    Meat Sauce

    • Leftover Pot Roast (approximately 1 pound)
    • Either 2 – 20 ounce cans of tomato sauce OR 15 fresh ripe tomatoes, peeled
    • 1 pound pasta
    • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

    Remove pot roast and vegetables from gravy. Place in large stock pot or crock pot. Cover with tomato sauce or fresh tomatoes. Simmer on medium-low heat for approximately 3 hours until pot roast separates easily with a fork. Cook pasta according to package directions. Serve sauce over pasta, topped with Parmesan cheese.

     

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