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!).
- 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 →
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 →
I was visiting friends when a new cookie chain opened and they brought home a dozen to try. The chain specializes in huge, soft cookies. IMHO, much too sweet – overpowering the unique flavors they offer. But they were a great texture.
The secret? The size. So I grabbed my mixing bowl, baking sheet AND a 1/3 cup cookie scoop to make extra large cookies. Crisp on the outside, super soft and chewy on the inside. Continue reading →
I have been incredibly busy and will have a post soon with the newest book details. So much fun because it includes some of the favorite recipes from this blog.
Meanwhile, I promised you a lasagna shortcut. How this came about: I had in my freezer mozzarella and sauce leftover from the Christmas Eve lasagna and frozen Spinach Ravioli. Continue reading →
The recipe can be found here.
I wasn’t in the mood to chop cranberries or drag the food processor out, so I left them whole. I think I prefer it that way.
Also, I bought a bag of White Lily Unbleached Self Rising Flour, 5-lb bag a while ago to use in biscuits and decided since this is basically a biscuit cake, I’d try it this time around for this recipe. It was a game-changer. Especially at altitude, it’s so difficult not to end up having a heavy (yet yummy) cake like this.
It’s probably not a necessity at sea level, but up here, it was worth the expense (and yes, it is expensive to order a bag of flour, LOL). The flour makes authentic southern biscuits that I can’t replicate with regular unbleached flours (even King Arthur). I should probably do a post on how using the White Lily flour came to my attention. That’s for another day when my kitchen doesn’t look like it qualifies for FEMA assistance and the dogs need walks.
This recipe is for sure going to end up in either the Halloween or Christmas Duxbridge Mysteries Novellas.
I butterflied chicken breasts tonight and tossed them in a homemade “shake n bake” before pan frying them, and my earworm is a little southern girl saying, “…and I helped”
It’s pretty easy and quick. Served with electric pressure cooker mashed potatoes and pepper gravy. Salad or green beans (hey, I bet you still have some zucchini in the garden!) make for a complete dinner.
Butterflied Pan Fried Chicken Breasts
- 1 lbs boneless chicken breasts
- 2 – 3 tbsp flour (if you want “crunchy chicken, add 1/2 cup of panko or bread crumbs)
- About 1/2 tsp each: salt, pepper, dried basil, dried oregano, dried sage, garlic powder, and a dash of cayenne (more as desired)
- olive oil (not EVOO)
cast iron skillet, gallon zipper bag
Butterfly the breasts, cutting them completely through so you have several thin cutlets.
Add them to the zipper bag, as many as you can, and have them lay flat. Pound them until they are about 1/4 inch thick. Remove and repeat until all cutlets are pounded.
Place the breasts back into the bag. Mix all the herbs and spices together, grinding together, using a mortar and pestle if you have them. Otherwise, you can use the back of a spoon in a bowl. Add the mixture to the bag with the breasts and toss until they are well coated.
Heat oil in skillet on medium-high
Add flour to the chicken mixture and toss until all chicken is well coated, as more as needed.
Now it’s time to add breasts to the skillet. Test a bit of the moist flour and make sure it sizzles in the pan, then add breasts. Don’t crowd, you may have to do in two batches (make sure the oil heats back up). Reduce heat to medium and cook until golden brown on both sides 160 degrees F. Remove to paper towel or cooling rack. They will climb to 165 quickly. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper.
It’s the time of year when folks go out to orchards; spend the day filling bags with apples, going on hay rides, running through corn and bale mazes, before finishing up with cider and cider donuts. In honor of that, I decided to try and make my own. Baked, not fried.
I haven’t purchased cider in a while and was a little shocked at the cost – but I bought from a local orchard, so it was worth it. Excellent flavor.
These turned out pretty good – unless you’ve got donut tins, these are going to be a little lopsided, not perfectly round as the dough is more like muffin dough. They are much lighter than muffins, more like a good cake donut, and once you coat them in cinnamon and sugar, no one will notice their little flat bottoms.
This recipe made about 3 ½ dozen holes or 2 ½ dozen mini muffins.
Apple Cider Donut Holes
- 2 cups flour
- 1 ½ tsp baking soda
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
- 2 cups of apple cider (reduced to ½ cup)
- 2 cloves
- 2 tbsp melted butter
- ½ cup buttermilk (or 2 tbsp buttermilk powder and ½ cup water)
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 small apple, shredded or 2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
- 3 tbsp melted butter
- ½ granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
Saucepan, large mixing bowl, Mini-muffin pan or donut pan (these usually make mini-donuts), two small bowls Continue reading →
I bought some mediocre apples the other day, and beyond feeding them to the dogs as treats, I needed something to do with the other two pounds. Apple crisp came to mind – add enough butter, brown sugar and cinnamon, and even mediocre apples can shine. I wish I had a bit of apple cider because the wasn’t a lot of juice in these, so the crisp was a little dry, despite a stick of butter.
I toyed with going to the local open space apple orchard to grab some (free) apples, but I think I might be too late this year, and they’ve been cleaned out. It’s become a very popular place for apple picking.
Since I discovered using a cast-iron skillet for making apple crisp, that’s been my go-to. Sometimes I bake it in the skillet, but most of the time, I move it to a glass baking dish because mine has a great cover for the leftovers. Continue reading →