Monday, November 25, 2013

It's Getting Cozy in Here

Just in the last couple of days, fall has begun nibbling at the edges of our days and I have started wanting to make casseroles and pork chops and stews. Jeannene was delighted with tonight's dinner, saying it made her feel secure, like when she was 7 years old and her mommy would make Johnny Marzetti (in our family, it was called "goulash"). I served the pizza casserole I made with veggies (baby carrots, celery sticks, green pepper strips) & dip (I like to get the multi-pack of the Marzetti minis) and fruit salad.

Pizza Casserole
16 oz. 90% lean ground beef
1/2 c. finely chopped onion
1/2 c. finely chopped green pepper
15 oz. can pizza sauce
15 oz. can petite diced tomatoes 
1/2 c. parmesan
A good shake of Italian seasoning
16 oz. macaroni, penne, or other smallish pasta (whole grain is good), cooked
4-6 oz. turkey pepperoni (you can use regular, but I think turkey's just as good & lots healthier)
1 c. shredded 2% mozzarella 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 13x9 baking pan with cooking spray. Likewise, coat a skillet & heat it. Brown the meat, with the veggies, in the skillet. Add sauce, tomatoes, parmesan, and Italian seasoning. Add the pasta & pepperoni. Top with mozzarella. Spread in the 13x9 and bake 1/2 hour. Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving. Serves 10-12. (You could halve this & cook it in an 8x8)

A Riff on Fruit Salad
1 container cubed pineapple
2 kiwis, peeled & cubed
2 bananas, peeled & chunked
A handful of grapes, halved
A bit of Maple Grove Farms Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette
Toss everything gently together in the bowl your grandmom used to make Jell-o. Try to keep your wife from eating all the bananas out of it before anyone else gets any.

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