Remember those awesome spicy meatballs I was talking about? Well I made way too much and had to freeze a bunch of the sauce and meatballs. I also had some sauce leftover from the pork cutlets parmesan…
Baked spaghetti just seemed like the right thing to do. I even added a cream cheese layer as a last minute experiment and, wow! I couldn’t believe how good it was!
So, if you find yourself with an abundance of leftover spaghetti sauce try this tasty dish!
Leftover spaghetti, maybe 1/4 of a box
Leftover meat sauce, probably 3 cups or so
8 leftover meatballs (yes, I counted them)
1 8 oz package cream cheese, cut into cubes
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 375. Lightly spray a casserole dish, then arrange spaghetti in a thin layer on the bottom. Top noodles with an even layer of cream cheese cubes, then sprinkle the mozzarella and parmesan on top. Add basil, oregano, salt, and pepper to taste. Carefully spread meat sauce over the cheeses. Arrange meatballs on top, then cover with more parmesan and mozzarella if desired.
Bake for about 20 minutes, or until cheese is slightly browned and bubbly.
Ooey, gooey, cheesy goodness.
I may never make regular ol’ spaghetti again.
How about we take a break from the holiday recipes… I need to stop stuffing my face with sweets in the name of R&D. Also, for my next holiday treat I need peanut butter and we’re out. So…there’s that.
Don’t worry, I still have a recipe for you! Just not one that contains roughly a pound of sugar. I made this super easy and quick dish for supper on Saturday and I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out!
Pork cutlet parmesan
Pork cutlets (1 for each person…I used 2)
3/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
About 1/2 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium green pepper, chopped
A handful of mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 can Italian style tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
Basil (about a palm full)
Salt and pepper
Shredded mozzarella cheese
About 1/2 package spaghetti
Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Mix bread crumbs and cheese in a shallow dish. Press cutlets into crumbs to coat… You could do the flour, eggs, crumbs routine but I didn’t.
Fry cutlets uncovered for about 5 minutes on each side, then remove to a paper towel-lined plate. Wipe the pan out if necessary, then add the veggies and a little salt and pepper. Cook until softened. Stir in tomato paste and canned tomatoes, then add oregano, basil, sugar (if the sauce is bitter… if not, you could omit the sugar), and parmesan. Stir it all together, then place cutlets on top and turn to medium-low heat to simmer while you boil your spaghetti.
When spaghetti has a couple of minutes left, top cutlets with shredded cheese and cover skillet, then let cook until cheese is melted.
Serve each cutlet over spaghetti and sauce with some garlic bread and a salad.
This was actually better than the chicken parmesan I had been craving… And it was so quick and simple that you could easily do it on a weeknight!
Am I allowed to call it that or am I supposed to call it Holiday toffee?
Wait, since when did I care?
So anyway… back to the candy. This is actually something I’ve shared before, in this post. It’s still one of my all time favorite sweet treats to make this time of year, and if I could just remember to buy some damned ol’ brown sugar I would have already made a batch. Or twelve.
For the recipe, just follow the link above. I was going to re-type it all but…Ok, no I wasn’t.
Just be warned: Once you try a little bite you’ll be hooked, and you may find yourself going back for “just one more tiny piece” until you’ve eaten every last bit.
Don’t worry…If that happens, your secret is safe with me.
I know I dropped the ball a bit on the Thanksgiving front, so I’m hoping to make it up to y’all with some holiday recipes you can make for Christmas and maybe even New Year’s Eve.
The first recipe I’m sharing is something I look forward to every year. I don’t recall a single Thanksgiving or Christmas table at Mamaw’s that wasn’t graced with cherry delight (turns out, it was actually a recipe given to my aunt by her mother-in-law, and it was so good my Mamaw started making it for every holiday).
Similar to cherry cheesecake, but far easier to make. I altered the original recipe a tad (I can’t help it), so this is my version:
1 envelope Dream Whip, prepared to package directions
6 oz. Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
1 large can cherry pie filling
1 1/2 Cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 Stick butter, melted
1/4 cup of sugar
Add cream cheese to prepared Dream Whip and beat until stiff (har dee har har). Set aside.
Mix graham cracker crumbs together with sugar and butter. Press into casserole dish. Pour cream cheese mixture over cracker crust and top with cherries. Chill in the fridge, overnight if possible.
I actually made this for the first time recently. I brought a huge plate full of cherry delight home after Thanksgiving at Mamaw’s, but when I opened the fridge on Saturday it was gone and The BF was wearing a rather sheepish look on his face. I had to ask my aunt for the recipe just so I could make more…and of course, I shared.
I ate all of his ice cream first, though.
The week of Thanksgiving was insanely busy, with three dinners, a funeral, and a day of tree decorating. I just didn’t have much time at home that didn’t involve sleeping.
Sunday, I took a look around my bedroom and thought, “Huh. I was sure we had a floor in here…” There were two baskets of clean, folded clothes sitting in front of the closet (hey, I tried) and an overflowing hamper spilling its contents onto the floor.
My parents had dropped off a dresser that had belonged to my Grandma, and I had moved it to its intended spot…but then I got distracted and forgot to put the drawers in. Those were leaning against the dresser, just waiting to be put in their proper places.
The BF’s mom stopped by, and with her help I had the dresser done and the our room was back to looking less like a college dorm and more like a couple of grown ups live there.
In other words, if you drop by my house I might put you to work.
I was pretty happy to have the help (doing that kind of thing with destructo-baby running around is really frustrating), and I was able to share a couple of my favorite tips with her.
Of course I’m sharing them with you, too:
- To cut down on static cling, wad up a ball of aluminum foil and toss it in your dryer. That’s it! Do laundry as usual, and don’t forget fabric softener.
- Add a pinch of table salt to your wash loads…It helps keep colors crisp and bright. I actually add it to every load I do. Again, do laundry as you normally would.
- Once a month or so, refresh your towels with baking soda and vinegar. It really does make a huge difference.
- Buy pool noodles at the Dollar Tree, or when you see them on sale. Cut them to the height of your tall boots, then stick ‘em in there to keep them standing tall.
-Instead of stacking stuff in your drawers the regular (and messy) way, try filing your t-shirts instead. I swear, since I started doing this with The BF’s t-shirts I feel a lot less like strangling him. Plus, you can cram way more stuff in there!
…No, not the kind that result in a secret trip to the free clinic for some antibiotics and a stern lecture, guys. Get your minds out of the gutter.
Ok, and don’t be so embarrassed. We all did things in college that we aren’t proud of.
I’m talking about meatballs. Specifically, spicy meatballs that you can serve with spaghetti, or in a meatball sub, or in soup…The possibilities are almost endless. They can also be frozen once they’re baked, so I sometimes make extra just to toss ‘em in the freezer.
I made these for spaghetti and meatballs. They give your typical meat or marinara sauce a spicy little kick.
Here’s what you need:
1 lb hot breakfast sausage
1lb ground beef (I use something lean, like 75/25 or even 90/10 if I can find it. The sausage has plenty of fat in it.)
1/2 – 3/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
1/2 – 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
About 1/4 medium onion, finely chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a rimmed cookie sheet with foil and lightly spray with nonstick spray (or use nonstick foil, if you have it).
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients (use your hands to really get in there and squish everything together…I like to wear gloves). Start with 1/2 cup of both bread crumbs and cheese, then add more if you wish. Go easy with the salt, because the cheese and sausage both are already pretty salty. I actually didn’t add any salt and they were very good.
Roll into 1 inch balls and place on cookie sheet in a single layer, evenly spaced. Bake for about 40 minutes or until no longer pink in the middle. I usually just cut the biggest one open to make sure.
Remove the meatballs to a paper towel-lined plate while you make your sauce. I served these with a pretty typical meat sauce… Yes, that’s a lot of beef, but that’s how the BF likes it.
Once you’ve put the sauce together, add the meatballs and let everything simmer together on low for as long as you can stand it.
Serve with crusty, cheesy garlic bread.
Spicy and delicious. Plus, no turkey. What’s not to love?
You would think I would be posting some Thanksgiving recipes like all of the well-behaved food bloggers. Perhaps some kind of DIY centerpiece using toilet paper rolls and plastic wrap…But honestly, that all involves planning ahead and being prepared. I am good at neither.
Consider this post for my Canadian friends, who have already been-there-done-that with Thanksgiving… Or for my readers in countries that don’t observe Turkey Day… Or for my Thanksgiving-celebrating readers that, on the third day of leftover sandwiches, will declare that they never want to see another turkey leg so long as they live…
There is no turkey in this recipe. Plus, it’s super easy.
Cubed steak (I used 1 for each person, so you may need to increase the amounts if you’re serving more than 2 people.)
1 can low-sodium diced tomatoes
1 box (32 oz, I believe) low-sodium beef broth
About 1/2 medium onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
Dash worcestershire sauce
Dash Kitchen Boquet
Salt and pepper
8 small to medium-ish red potatoes, scrubbed and left whole
1/4 cup cool water
2-3 tablespoons corn starch
Any additional herbs or spices you want to toss in there
Season the cube steak with a little salt and pepper on both sides.
Line your slow cooker with a turkey bag (it makes cleanup a million times easier), turn it on high, and place the cubed steaks in the bottom. Try to keep them in a single layer, but some overlap probably won’t hurt. Don’t worry if they’re still frozen… Those little hockey pucks will still turn into delicious dinner.
Dump the can of tomatoes, beef broth, onions, garlic, worcestershire sauce, Kitchen Bouquet, and any herbs or spices you’re using on top of the steaks. Stir a little, but don’t disturb the steaks on the bottom. Put the lid on that sucker and just let it go. I think mine was on high for at least 4 hours.
While it’s cooking, you could spend that time disposing of all of the Thanksgiving leftovers you don’t want…Like Great-Aunt Opal’s runny green bean casserole.
That gave me the barfy-shivers just thinking about it.
Ok, so after 4 hours or so, check on the meat. If it looks to be coming along nicely, go ahead and switch it to low, then place your potatoes in a single layer on top of everything. It’s totally fine if they’re submerged in the beefy juices… or if they’re just hanging out on top. They’ll cook either way. Put the lid back on and leave it, probably for another 3 hours.
When you’re just about ready to eat, check the taters by stabbing them with a knife or fork. If they’re done, remove them with a slotted spoon into another pot. Taste the broth and adjust your seasoning as needed.
Mix corn starch and cool water, then stir it into the juices in the crock pot. No need to remove the meat, just go easy on the stirring or it’ll fall apart. Once the thickener is combined, remove the lid and turn the crock pot off to let the gravy thicken up.
Smash up the taters with milk, butter, salt and pepper.
When the gravy has thickened to your liking, serve up a hunk of delicious, gravy-covered meat with some creamy, gravy covered taters. Maybe even throw in a side of corn and a biscuit.
This is super comforting on a cold day, and it’s practically guaranteed to dig you out of that post-Thanksgiving turkey rut.
I might not be around much for the rest of this week due to (obviously) the Thanksgiving holiday and a death in the family. Do me a favor and vote in the poll I posted at the end of this post.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Unless you don’t celebrate and in that case… Enjoy the rest of your week!