Tag Archives: Mozzarella

Baked Ziti

6 Sep

My husband and I are taking dance classes every Friday this month (P.S. I’m pretty excited about typing this post because I’m using my pinkie again – stitches are out and, though it looks terrible still, I can use it without being scared it is going to split in half…yay me). It was so fun! And, unlike most of the husbands, mine was actually excited to be there. 🙂 I’m not a huge dancer, but I wish I was. Baby steps…

Of course, while we were out, baby boy decided to shove a spoon down his throat and bleed all over poor auntie (she has the worst luck – last time one of the kids puked all over her…I swear I don’t plan these things). We’re still up waiting for the on-call doctor to give us a buzz and make sure we don’t need to get his pretty little gash checked. Poor kid. He’s a bink-baby and having a spoon shaped gouge at the back of your throat kind of puts a damper on things when you want to suck. It’s going to be a long night, so I might as well get a blog entry in.

Baked Ziti –  as easy as spaghetti, but it sounds way fancier. 😉 The recipe calls for three different kinds of cheeses, but lazy-o me just used a bag of pre-shredded pizza-mix cheese (I figure it has a bit of everything in there anyways!). So, a pretty easy recipe jumped all the way to no-brainer. Cool beans. I told you I’m not a fancy cook. 🙂

photo 2

Ingredients:

1 pkg.  (16 oz.) ziti pasta
1 jar  (26 oz.) spaghetti sauce
1 container  (15 oz.)  Original Ricotta Cheese
1 pkg.  (8 oz.)  Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, divided
1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese

PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Cook pasta as directed on package. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water.

MIX spaghetti sauce, ricotta cheese and reserved 1/2 cup pasta cooking water in large bowl. Add pasta and 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese; mix lightly. Spoon into 13×9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray; sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese and the Parmesan cheese. Cover.

BAKE 30 min.; uncover. Bake an additional 10 min. or until heated through.

http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/baked-ziti-54590.aspx

Advertisements

Mozzarella Rolls

1 Nov

Happy Halloween! I have a confession to make. My kids filled their trick-or-treat buckets three times this year: my in-laws always have a Halloween party where the kids bust open a piñata and load up on goodies, our neighborhood does a trunk-or-treat, and then there’s the regular door-to-door stuff on Halloween night. Aka: my kids got a lot of candy. So, here goes my confession…I dumped all of their previously hoarded candy into ziplock bags (so they would actually have room in their buckets for anything more than a Jr. Mint), dutifully writing their names on the bags so that they wouldn’t mix, and sent them on their way with Dad to trick-or-treat. I then went through their bags and re-treated a good selection of their candy to the trick-or-treaters coming to my house. Gasp! I know…kind of a mean mom. I did, in fact, have candy that I had prepared for the costumed cuties roaming the neighborhood, but we really get a lot of trick-or-treaters and I didn’t want to run out. I also didn’t want to deal with having candy coming out of my children’s ears for the next three months. Good news is, they didn’t notice.

Trick or treating started early this year – I think most of the kids wanted to get going before it got frigid outside…I don’t blame them. But that meant that I sent my munchkins out before dinner was ready, plus I didn’t have much time to get anything prepared because I was going back and forth to the door every two seconds. Enter my new favorite thing…egg roll wraps + string cheese. When I finally convinced my kids that eating dinner before gorging themselves on candy was actually a good idea after they got back from trekking round the neighborhood, my four year old reluctantly sat down, took a bite, and said, “Wow, Mom! This is so good! It may be the best ever!” And it took 5 minutes to prepare and 5 minutes to cook. Winner, winner!!! I used deli ham tonight, but pepperoni is really good too – I really see endless possibilities! You can use them as sides – they are perfect finger foods – an after-school snack, or for a quickie dinner on Halloween night. 🙂

photo 2

Ingredients:

egg roll wrappers

string cheese

sliced deli ham, pepperoni, or other filling of choice

On top of an egg roll wrapper, place ham or pepperoni across middle of wrapper – corner to corner leaving enough space to fold top corners inward. Place a piece of string cheese on top. Fold the two top corners over the cheese. Fold unfolded edges over cheese and pepperoni, meeting corners and forming a triangle. Roll until cheese is tightly sealed. Moisten corners with water to seal. Repeat with the rest of wrappers. Deep fry until golden brown or bake at 375^F for 20 minutes or until desired brownness.

*Tip: I tried using only cheese in a few of them and the cheese ended up bubbling out. The meat forms a barrier around the cheese so that when it melts it doesn’t leak out of the folds in the egg roll wrappers.

photo 3

Garlic Basil Pizza

25 Aug

My family and I just got back from an awesome weekend spent at the Rockin’ R Ranch. This was our third time visiting the secluded Antimony, UT dude ranch, and we’re already counting down the days until we can go again. My four year old worded it the best: “I don’t want to go, Mom! We’ve only been here a minute!” I whole-heartedly agree. Trail rides, canoeing, corral training, bucking barrels, tubing down the river, archery, treasure hunt and coloring for the kids, candy cannon, brand new baby donkey to ooh and ah at, ATV’s, no internet or TV…and the food. Oh, my friends…the food. Nothing at the Rockin’ R is gourmet – it is down home cookin’ and down right delicious. The best part? Someone else cooked it. 😉 We got home to the kitchen that I didn’t quite get all the way tidied before we left, and I looked at my husband and said, “Remember how we just spent two days in a beautiful place, riding beautiful horses, and had all our meals cooked for us? Let’s go back.” The smells that come out of that back kitchen are stomach-rumblimg good, regardless of the fact that you just ate three times more than you usually do and are stuffed like a Thanksgiving turkey – you still would happily eat more as long as it tastes as good as it smells. The first night they had some sort of blueberry spice cake that I may have to try to steal the recipe for. Top that off with roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy…it was good stuff. Aren’t you all sad you didn’t come with us?

We got home (it’s a three hour drive for us) and of course the kids were starving, and I was still musing on the fact that small town living is starting to sound really good if I can have someone cook all of my meals…when “Pizza!” interrupted my day dream of rotisserie chicken and garlic toast. My kids always want pizza. The funny thing is that, I think I’ve mentioned the difficulty that my kids have with pizza – namely the sauce. They all hate marinara sauce! So their ‘pizza’ is really bread with cheese on it which I think is terribly boring. Unless its alfredo pizza. I like alfredo, but I also like to have a variation every now and again. I found this white pizza sauce recipe and it was a big hit. It’s also fast and easy (just how I like it) and helped me ease back into the fact that I am still the one responsible for cooking in my own home. Sigh.

photo-139

Crust:

4 cups flour

1 tsp salt

4 Tbsp oil

2 cups water

1 Tbsp sugar

2 Tbsp yeast

Mix sugar and 1 cup hot water; add yeast and set aside. In a separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients. Add yeast mixture to dry ingredients. Add final cup of water (you may not need the whole cup) and mix until dough forms a ball (should be sticky – not too dense). Cover and let dough rise until doubled in size. Punch down and let rise a second time. Roll out on floured surface, then form pizza rounds. Tip: cover baking surface with corn meal to prevent sticking. Cover with sauce and cheese (can add other toppings like grilled chicken, etc). Bake at 400^F for 20 min, or until cheese is melted and crust is cooked through. Yield: 2 pizzas

photo-141

Sauce:

2 Tbsp butter

3 Tbsp flour

1 cup milk

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

1 garlic clove, minced

1 Tbsp basil, minced

1/2 cup pizza blend cheese (pre-grated mix)

Heat butter in a saucepan. Add flour and stir until thoroughly mixed. Slowly add milk. Stir in remaining ingredients, except cheese, and cook until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in cheese until melted.

photo-138

 

Chicken Alfredo Lasagna Rolls

6 Aug

Not all of the recipes I find on the internet are a grand success. Just a few weeks ago, I was looking for something I could utilize my two quickly-ripening avocados for and stumbled upon an avocado pasta sauce. Sounds kind of yummy, right? I ignored the red flag that shot up when I read “1-3 cloves of garlic.” I love me some garlic, but 3 cloves? I even stayed on the safe end and put in only one and a half, and I almost fell out of my chair having been punched smartly in the taste buds. It was such an overwhelming garlic taste that I’m pretty sure my tongue went temporarily numb. I cleaned my plate, not wanting my kids to see me dump my food down the sink, but I was merciful to them. I saw their faces – it was pretty gross.

Luckily! This is one of my internet-find success stories. My kids are not fans of marinara (I think they are crazy, personally), so we always have to get pizza with either white sauce or no sauce, spaghetti is out, and lasagna is an every now and then. I was so excited when I found these Chicken Alfredo Lasagna Rolls – a perfect combo of the stuff they love, and I don’t have to cater to their crazy tastes. Plus, they had a lot of fun helping me put them together.

photo-86
Ingredients:

9 lasagna noodles
2 ½ cups alfredo sauce Lower-Fat Alfredo (double this recipe of alfredo if using)
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
oregano
garlic salt
3 cups shredded Mozzarella, or cheese of your choice

Spray an 9X13 pan with non-stick spray and pour ½ cup alfredo sauce, or just enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Boil 8-10 cups water in a large pan, cook lasagne noodles until al dente. Drain and rinse the noodles with cold water to prevent them from sticking to each other. Then, lay out each noodle individually and blot dry with a paper towel.

Spread about 2 Tbs. alfredo sauce over each noodle. Sprinkle oregano and garlic salt on top of sauce. Spread shredded chicken evenly over each noodle. Add approx. 3 Tbs. cheese. To roll up, start at one end and roll the noodle over the toppings.

Place the roll-ups in the pan, one by one, seam-side down so they don’t come undone. Once they are all in the pan, pour the remaining alfredo sauce over the top. Top with remaining cheese. Bake at 350^F for about 30 minutes, or until the cheese is completely melted on top. Broil the last 3 minutes to make the cheese toasty on top.

photo-85

Original recipe found here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151550791243589&set=a.10150167972168589.304302.587428588&type=1