September 23, 2014

Baked Spaghetti


This is a perfect dish to make ahead for the kiddos on Halloween that is coming up sooner than you think. If you do make it earlier in the day just cut it into squares and reheat in the microwave.  Add some cut up fresh fruit or a lettuce wedge and maybe a piece of garlic bread and they are good to go.  Also a great dish if you find yourself having to take in dinner to a family or bringing a pot luck dish somewhere this is a great choice and it makes a boatload. Such a comfort meal.

Because this makes so much and there is only two of us I cut the leftovers into serving size squares and wrapped them in Handi wrap and put them in a ziplock and into the freezer they went. Now when I took some out all I did was thaw it on the counter during the day and then when I was ready for dinner I put a serving size on to a plate and into the microwave on 50% for two minutes and it was just as good if not better than the day I baked it.  What a great way to have a meal without having all the work.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


1 (16 ounce) package angel hair pasta
1 pound ground beef
1/4 of an onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic chopped OR garlic powder
1 (24 ounce) jar meatless spaghetti sauce. I used Prego.
2 eggs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
5 tablespoons butter, melted
2 cups small curd cottage cheese
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese


1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, season and cook beef and
    onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink and cooked thru. Stir in the spaghetti sauce and
    set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, Parmesan cheese and melted butter. Drain spaghetti;  add to egg
    mixture and toss to coat.

3. Place half of the spaghetti mixture in a greased 13X9 baking dish. Top with half of the cottage            
    cheese, meat sauce and mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers.  Cover and bake on 350 degrees for 25
    minutes, UNCOVER and bake for 15-20 minutes more or until cheese is melted.





September 14, 2014

Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

At this time of year and since Fall begins on the 23rd I'm really thinking of anything I can make with pumpkin in it. This is a really moist bar with the most fabulous cream cheese frosting. It's soft, very creamy and perfect for a full pan of pumpkin or any other flavor of bars. This recipe makes a large pan so it's good for a potluck, family gathering or weekend crowd for football.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

4 eggs
1 2/3 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup canola oil
15 ounce can of pumpkin puree (not spiced pie filling)
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon salt

Put the eggs, sugar, oil, pumpkin and spice in a large bowl and mix with electric mixer until it gets nice and light (just takes 30 seconds or so).

In separate bowl whisk all the dry ingredients. Add dry flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and beat well until combined, but don't over mix.

Spray pan with baking spray and spread into a 13x18 sheet pan (jellyroll pan). Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until it springs back when lightly pressed. Cool completely before frosting.

8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream the cream cheese and then add the butter and beat until smooth. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time and cream well, add vanilla and blend well. Frost cooled pumpkin bars.  If you cut into two and a half inch squares it makes about 40.

Other pumpkin favorites:

Mini Pumpkin Poppers

Healthy Pumpkin Shake

August 12, 2014

Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Zucchini Bread

What can you do when a friend gives you zucchini? Make zucchini bread of course! I thought I should try something a little different and add a little pumpkin to the batter. I thought some more and a cinnamon sugar swirl came to mind and sounded really good. I will go over board if I can you know, so I added some chocolate chips and don't forget the chopped pecans for crunch. Mr. B said the crunch made the bread and don't change a thing it was perfect. O.K. then, that's good enough for me.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1 cup grated zucchini (leave peel on)
1/4 cup melted butter
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips (either milk chocolate or semi-sweet)
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

For Cinnamon Swirl:
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Wash, dry, and grate zucchini. Melt butter. Cream together zucchini, melted butter, eggs, sugar, and pumpkin. In separate small bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, salt, and blend together. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir well. Add chips and pecans and mix until combined.

In a small bowl blend together the sugar and cinnamon for the swirl.

Spray 9X5X3 glass or metal loaf pan with baking spray. Pour in half the batter. Sprinkle all the sugar mixture except 1 to 2 tablespoons evenly over batter. Top with the other half of the batter and sprinkle with the rest of the cinnamon sugar mixture. I sprinkled a few chocolate chips and some chopped pecans on top of the sugar mixture.

Bake on 350 for about an hour. A tip if you didn't know, usually metal pans bake faster and browner than glass so keep an eye on it if using a metal pan.

Let cool on the counter for 15 or 20 minutes and then gently turn out on to a cooling rack to cool completely before cutting.