Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A week without my apron!

Sorry my posting has been a bit spotty lately. I have been so friggin tired! Not to mention busy. School starts next week and I just don't have enough hours in the day to get all the crap done that I need to before I enter the working force again!

Ok anyway, I wanted to tell you what I did this past Sunday night. It is the greatest thing I have ever done for myself! I am a huge Fo.od Netw.ork fan, but we don't get it here. I was sorely disappointed when we moved back and almost incited a riot outside the cable office, but thankfully I had to pee at the time and didn't think it was a wise decision. I have seen so many of those perky perfect mommy types on there talk about preparing double your meal, freezing it, and having a dinner on a night when cooking is out of the question. When I saw those ladies doing that, I would laugh right out loud at them and yell "Only in a perfect world where you truly can hit that easy button!"

Well, I have to apologize to the ladies behind the screen.

Sunday morning I had started a crock pot of pintos for us to eat (a southern delicacy kind of like that "ed and mammy" stuff they have out in Cali I suppose) but I was not so into the idea of that for supper. I thought "Well I'll just put that in the fridge and I'll make the ziti! Two nights of dinner in one!" I had this awesome ziti recipe that I was dying to try and I just couldn't wait! I fired up the ol' stove and went to work. It made enough for like ten people when I was done! Oh my!

I stared at the mounds of baked ziti and the huge crock pot simmering behind it and pondered my options. I reached in the fridge, grabbed some other ingredients and set to work. I made the taco meat for our taco salads later in the week and then afixed cute little labels (translation: I scribbled on the bag with the nearest Shar.pie like instrument). I set them in the fridge and TaDa!!!! I have a week worth of food sitting in my fridge right now! I am super excited! All I have to do is heat and serve all week! Why didn't anyone show me this secret years ago? I even managed to have enough left to freeze a portion of the ziti for a much later night of supper! Woohooo!

I of course failed to realize that all that food did not clean my kitchen, but the liberation was there and I don't feel like I am handcuffed to the stove this week which is a wonderful, beautiful thing in and of itself!

With all that being said, I thought I would share the ziti recipe with you. It makes a lot and would be great for large families or like I did for the two of us split and frozen. This is not exactly the same one I saw on television. I tweaked it a lot for our personal tastes and found the recipe to be really versatile that way.

Baked Ziti


1.1/2 lbs. ground beef
2/3 lbs ziti pasta (or any round cyllinder type pasta)
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 can diced tomatoes
1 medium onion
Anything you would normally add to your family spaghetti sauce

1 container of Ricotta cheese (4 oz)
2 cups Mozzarella cheese shredded
1 cup parmesan cheese shredded


Boil the ziti. In a large skillet brown the hamburger meat adding in any vegetables you chose to put in. Drain beef. Put back in the skillet and add diced tomatoes and spaghetti sauce. Let it simmer on low for a few minutes while you prepare the cheeses. This helps the flavors meld a bit.

In a small bowl combine the Ricotta and half of the mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. I did not use an egg for this recipe because you don't really need to bind the cheeses and I wasn't sure I would be cooking it long enough to cook the egg through. You can use it if you feel it necessary. Also, make sure to season your cheese mixture. I found I needed a good bit of salt because of the ricotta.

Once this is done, in a large glass baking dish (or several small ones in my case) start with a little of the liquid from the sauce on the bottom of the dish to prevent sticking. Add a layer of noodles and then sauce. I used my hands to crumble the cheese mixture over the sauce. It does not need to be a thick layer of cheese and you do not have to spread it out. Cooking helps it melt through the dish. After that, layer noodles, sauce, cheese, noodles, sauce and then top with the remaining shredded cheeses.

Put in a 350 degree oven until the cheese is brown on top.



alicia said...

awesome! you go girl! so oraganized :)

Just Me. said...

It's 7am now and I'm reading this and I am getting all hungry!


Anne said...

I am jealous! In fact, *I* am going to have to quit blog surfing and start cooking any second now! Thanks for the IComLeavWe comment.

Rebecca said...

Wow! That's great! I really should do this too!

Your recipe sounds yummo!