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Archive for June, 2010

Meal Cost for 6 people = $12.50

I love pasta – not only because it taste good, but because it is inexpensive  and makes a quick meal. You can get really creative with pasta and use a multitude of ingredients and sauces. Tonight I kept it simple and I decided to go with a basic and quick baked Ziti. I’m sure there are more complicated recipes for Ziti out there, but I started cooking at 9:00 so I needed to get something made quickly before the family fell asleep on me.

 This is really so easy a caveman could do it. Well, if he had an oven. Anyway, pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees then brown 1 pound hamburger meat with 2 minced garlic cloves in a large skillet. For this step I used ground sirloin steak. It’s a little more expensive than regular ground beef, but I really wanted to taste the beef in this pasta dish. You could also use ground chicken or ground turkey. While your beef is browning, cook  8oz of Ziti pasta in boiling water. If you can not find Ziti pasta, you can use Penne pasta.

Once the hamburger meat and pasta are done, drain both and combine in one pot. Add 2 cups chunky pasta sauce. This could be your homemade sauce or store-bought. Then your going to add in 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, 2 teaspoons dried basil, and S&P to taste.  Mix well.

Coat a 8×8 baking dish with Pam or something similar and transfer your pasta mixture into the baking dish. Cover with tin foil and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and uncover. Sprinkle the top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and bake uncovered an additional 5 – 7 minutes or until cheese is nice and melted. Enjoy!

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Tonight I finally got back to cooking after like a two week slump of sandwiches, frozen pizza, and eating out. I wanted to cook something that tasted homemade and was comforting especially after eating alot of food that was good…just not comforting.
I saw a recipe for twice baked potatoes on my Martha Stewart iPhone app. The recipe was actually a side dish but I decided to make it a meal by adding a few things. I browned a half pound of chicken in garlic and olive oil while I baked (actually microwave-WAY faster) the potatoes. I chopped the chicken up and scooped the middle if the potatoes out and added both to a large bowl. I also had a bag of that broccoli and cheese steamable veggies in the freezer and steamed those in the microwave and added that to the bowl. I also added shredded cheddar, garlic, S&P, cream cheese(was out of sour cream), a little mayo, and extra cheddar cheese. I mixed all of that up and them spooned the filling back into the potato skins and of course topped them with…..more cheese; put in Salk in the oven and baked for about 15-20 minutes.
I served the potatoes with salad to make it a meal. It was really good and easy! I also think you could make an endless variation of this idea-u could add so many different ingredients to make it tastes just the way u want it. It would also be a good way to hide extra veggies for kids!
I plan on trying this idea again-probably adding bacon in some way next time!!

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