Monday, April 26, 2010


Yes, it's Italian night in our household. Actually....every night is seeing how our family is Italian! But I digress. *grin* There is no hiding the fact that we love our pasta dishes. Pasta is such a versatile ingredient that goes well with just about everything. So tonight we are having an old family favorite....Lasagna and cheesy garlic bread.

Mrs. M's Easy Lasagna

1 (16-oz) carton cottage cheese
1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese
2 eggs
2 (8-oz) pkgs. (4 c. total) grated Italian cheese (mozzarella, pizza blend, etc. choice is yours)
2 lbs. ground meat
2 Tblsp. minced garlic
1/2 an onion; diced
1 tsp. dried basil
salt & pepper to taste
1 (6-oz) can sliced mushrooms; drained
1 (8-oz) can tomato sauce
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 (16-oz) pkg. lasagna noodles

Preheat oven to 350* Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions. Drain & set aside.

In a small bowl, combine cottage cheese, eggs, Parmesan and 2 cups of grated mozzarella (or other Italian style) cheese. Stir to mix well. Set aside.

In a medium skillet, combine meat, garlic, onion, basil, salt & pepper. Cook until meat is no longer pink. Drain grease.

Return meat to pan and stir in 1 small can tomato sauce, 1/2 a jar of spaghetti sauce and drained mushrooms. Stir well.

In a large shallow casserole dish, spoon enough of the remaining pasta sauce to lightly cover bottom of casserole.

Place cooked lasagna noodles in a single layer on top of the sauce.

Spoon 1/2 of the meat mixture over the noodles and spread evenly.

Next layer 1/2 of the cottage cheese mixture over meat sauce. Spread evenly.

Sprinkle with 1/3 of the 2nd bag of grated cheese. Repeat layers ending with lasagna noodles.

Pour remaining spaghetti sauce over the top of the lasagna noodles. Spread as evenly as possible.

Top with remaining grated cheese and spread evenly.

Place on a cookie or baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and lasagna is bubbly. Serve with garlic bread and a side salad for a tasty and filling dinner.

Click HERE for printable recipe

Lasagna on Foodista

A Favorite Southern Treat

What southern kitchen would be complete without having a time honored treat in the icebox? What would this treat be you might be asking...why Pimento Cheese Spread of course. We just love our pimento cheese sandwiches, but buying those tiny containers at the grocery store just never seem to hold enough to do more than just tease a person. So for our household, I make it. I know most pimento spreads are deep yellow/orange in color but I am using both a white and yellow cheese in mine, thus the difference in the color. But let me assure you, the taste is still just as yummy!!

Pimento Cheese Spread

3/4 c. mayo
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 c. minced onion
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 pinch black pepper
3 pinches kosher salt
2 (7-oz) jars chopped pimentos (reserving the juice)
3 oz. diced cream cheese (softened at room temperature)
2 c. (8-oz) shredded cheddar cheese
2 c. (8-oz) shredded Monterrey jack cheese

In a large mixing bowl combine mayo, garlic, onion, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt & pimentos (using about 1/3 to 1/2 of the reserved juices). Mix well. Stir in cream cheese and blend well. Add in shredded cheeses and stir until incorporated well. Cover and refrigerate.

Click HERE for printable recipe

Friday, April 23, 2010

Spicy Crockpot Chicken Pasta & Cheese

This is a slightly different twist on our favorite macaroni & cheese recipe. You can adjust the heat of the dish by adding more or less jalapenos to it. I like to cook with fresh peppers but for this dish, I am using the jarred peppers that you find at your local market. If you prefer, you can even use canned green chiles and it will be just as tasty.

Spicy Crockpot Chicken Pasta & Cheese
2 (10 3/4 oz) cans cream of chicken soup
3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced
3-5 Tblsp. chopped marinated jalapeno peppers
1/4 c. cubed Velveeta cheese (adjust cheese amount to your preference)
1 c. milk (can also substitute evaporated milk)
2 Tblsp. minced garlic
1 tsp.onion powder or flakes
Salt & pepper to taste
1 (8 0z) box pasta noodles (spirals, elbows, farfalle or whatever your preference is)

Heat soup, milk and cheese in a small sauce pot until cheese is melted. Stirring often.

Place all ingredients except pasta in a 4-6 qt. crockpot. Stir to mix well. Cover & cook on LOW setting for 6 hours or HIGH setting for about 3 -4 hours. Before last 10 minutes of cooking time, stir in uncooked pasta noodles. Let mixture continue to cook until pasta is tender.

**If you prefer, you can cook the pasta according to package directions and then stir into chicken mixture before serving.

Click HERE for printable recipe

Spicy Crockpot Chicken Pasta & Cheese on Foodista

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Jalapeno Cheese Bread (Bread Machine Version)

I love making fresh bread by hand, but I admit there are days when I want a loaf of something but just don't feel like going through the process. That's when I pull out my trusty bread machine and let it do the work for me. Today was one of those days.

Jalapeno Cheese Bread (Bread Machine Version)

1-1/8 c. luke warm water
1 tsp salt
2 Tblsp sugar
1/2 c. shredded Monterrey jack cheese
2-3 Tblsp chopped Jalapeno peppers (more or less depending on your heat preference)
3 c. bread flour (I used all purpose as that is what I had on hand)
1/2 Tblsp active dry yeast

Place ingredients in your bread machine according to the manufacturer directions. Set machine to 1-1/2 lb loaf on light-white setting. Press start and in a few hours you'll have a fresh tasty loaf of bread.

Click HERE for printable recipe