Meals to Freeze: Baked Ziti

This is the final in the series of meals I put together and froze for my dad.  With the Baked Ziti, you can freeze individual servings of the cooked version, or make two 8×8 pans and freeze one uncooked to be baked later.

What I like about it is that it has the flavors of lasagna without all the work. I added raw zucchini and summer squash with large butter pats to each of my dad’s serving containers (I forgot to take photos!).

Baked Ziti

  • 1 pound ziti pasta
  • olive oil
  • 1 pound bulk Italian sausage, spicy or mix 1/2 spicy and 1/2 sweet*
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 to 4 tsp crushed garlic
  • 2 tsp dried basil, crushed
  • 1 tsp dried oregano, crushed
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1- 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 2 – 14 oz cans tomato sauce
  • 8 oz mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 12 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup grated parmesan

Saucepan, skillet, 9×13 baking dish Continue reading

Put The Lime In The Coconut…Bars

I really like Key Lime Pie (recipe here) and I was craving a little taste of the tropics. But it’s very difficult to store leftovers and since [[[looks around]]] everyone seems to be either out of town or going out of town, I had no one on which to foist that extra pie.  You know what freezes well and is ready for the next guest who comes over for coffee? Yup, Key Lime Bars.

Last time I made them, I had just a few extra coconut shreds, so instead of storing them, I decided to toast them and add them to the top after I removed the bars from the oven.

Continue reading

Longing for Summer

I brought a tomato in last fall. It has graced me with 3 small tomatoes, not bad for being in a small pot on a sunny counter. I must say, even for growing indoors under less-than-ideal conditions, the tomatoes are still better than anything I could buy at the store. Hoping it goes crazy once it’s back outside.

I also have 6 tomato seedlings growing (I planted FOUR, they turned into NINE, I shared the rest). Continue reading

Light and Tasty: Cashew Chicken Pineapple Bowls

I love this recipe. It’s so fresh and simple. I first had it at a Thai restaurant in Santa Monica and when I have cashews on hand, it is one of my first thoughts for recipes.

Today it was a quick lunch because I had leftover chicken breast and leftover rice.  And of course, a big jar of unsalted cashews.  No fancy pineapple bowl, but tasted great just the same.

Pineapple Rice

  • 2 pineapples (if you’re making bowls, otherwise just one pineapple)
  • 4 cups cooked white rice (about 2 cups uncooked)
  • 4 strips of bacon, sliced into small pieces
  • 1 boneless chicken breast, diced
  • 8-10 small shrimp, cleaned
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup cashews (I like lots, your mileage may vary)
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 cup diced pineapple
  • 1/4 cup Ponzu

Wok or skillet Continue reading

Meals to Freeze: Beef Stew (3-Ways) and Buttermilk Biscuits

Another recipe in the Meals to Freeze series.

I cooked up a batch of beef stew for my dad. Once it was cooled I added it and two biscuits to individual freezer containers.  I used my instant pot, but I’ve listed instructions for stovetop, slow cooker, and the electric pressure cooker.

Bourbon Beef Stew

  • 1 lb chuck roast
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup bourbon, whiskey, or wine (more as desired)
  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 rutabaga or parsnip, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 medium potatoes, scrubbed well and cut into large chunks
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup flour

skillet, Dutch oven, electric pressure cooker or slow cooker

Trim fat from chuck roast and cut into 1-inch pieces. Heat oil in skillet, add beef, and quickly brown on all sides. Reduce heat, add garlic, and saute for 1 minute. Add beef and garlic to Dutch oven or slow cooker. Deglaze skillet and add liquid to the beef mixture.

Add bourbon, vegetables, bay leaf and then add enough water to cover everything. Continue reading

Caturday with Mr. Sullivan

He’s not as ferocious as he looks. He’s just annoyed I’m not petting him with BOTH hands. “Human, you have two hands, use them.”

I have a few recipes to share and since it snowed last night and it’s cold and dreary, so probably no gardening today. That should give me time to post recipes.

Until then…

Happy Earth Day, 2023!

I wrote up a blog post on all the new incentives available to electrify your world, including upgrading your cooktop.  Cross-posted at Living Lightly

Climate Solutions: Happy Earth Day

I attended a training on the Inflation Reduction Act incentives. I’ll share what I took from it over the course of a few posts. One thing that I didn’t realize but was pleased to see is that many of the incentives are geared toward environmental justice:

Advancing Environmental Justice

Through the Inflation Reduction Act, EPA will improve the lives of millions of Americans by reducing pollution in neighborhoods where people live, work, play, and go to school; accelerating environmental justice efforts in communities overburdened by pollution for far too long; and tackling our biggest climate challenges while creating jobs and delivering energy security.

Here’s how the Inflation Reduction Act will advance environmental justice. (read here)

Continue reading