Pinterest Pantry Challenge

IMG_0681As we enter week two of quarantine, I find myself digging in the pantry and freezer to see what we have. I then consult my Pinterest page to see if saved any recipes with those ingredients. Today’s dish took like two minutes to prepare and eight hours of refrigeration before throwing it in the oven. This four ingredient dinner was so easy and pretty tasty. As many of you are balancing work, teaching your children/keeping them busy, and trying to get in some outside time, I hope you enjoy this one dish recipe.

Make-Ahead Spaghetti and Meatballs Casserole by Pillsbury
IMG_0688Dry spaghetti or macaroni noodles (7 oz.)
1 jar of marinara sauce
1 c. water
12 frozen meatballs
Parmesan cheese

Spray a 2 Qt. baking dish. Sprinkle with noodles. Top with water and marinara sauce. Stir to mix. Top with meatballs and roll in sauce. Cover and place refrigerator for at least 8 hours. Bake covered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Remove cover and sprinkle with cheese. Bake an addition 5-10 minutes.

Notes:

  • IMG_0689I used a half box of macaroni noodles because I wanted to use them up. They work pretty good. I’d just not suggest a bigger noodle like a penne.
  • We used a half bag of frozen meatballs. You could make your own meatballs if you’d prefer. We used chicken but beef or turkey meatballs would be just fine.
  • We really like Jasper’s marinara sauce but use whatever sauce you prefer. Again, you could make your own marinara sauce.
  • We love Gino’s Basil and Oregano Parmesan Cheese (you know, from the famous Chicago pizzeria. We buy ours at HyVee). If you prefer, you can use shredded Parmesan or mozzarella cheese. 
  • We did not have any fresh parsley or basil. I use dried parsley and the cheese had my other Italian seasoning.
  • Dinner was served with frozen garlic bread and LaDoga Ridge Winery Toad-a-lope.

Baked Cream Cheese Spaghetti

Spaghetti has been one of my favorite food since I was a kid. As you know, I’m a bit of a snob who really only loves my Great Grandma Reith’s recipe. During my Social Supper days, I did make a baked spaghetti recipe that I really enjoyed. Although this isn’t exactly the same recipe, I thought it turned out pretty good. I hope you enjoy this spin on a classic recipe.

cream cheeseBaked Cream Cheese Spaghetti from Pinterest
12 oz. spaghetti, cooked
1 lb. ground beef
1 (28 oz.) jar marinara sauce
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 clove garlic
8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 c. parmesan cheese

Brown ground beef. Add marinara sauce.  In a separate pan, cook spaghetti. Pour into bowl. Add cream cheese, seasoning, and garlic. Stir until cream cheese is melted. Lightly grease a 13 x 9 pan. Pour a little of spaghetti sauce in the bottom of the pan. Top with spaghetti mixture. Pour remaining sauce onto of spaghetti. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Notes:

  • I halved the recipe and baked in my bubble and brown dish.
  • I used chopped garlic from a jar.
  • I used spreadable light cream cheese to make it melt easier.
  • You could omit the beef for my vegetarian friends. For my non-vegetarian friends, you could use ground sausage to make it more like a Cavatina recipe.
  • Fresh basil would be a great addition.

Mouth Watering Good

When I saw this recipe on Pinterest, it looked so good. I decided to cook it on a day I was off from work. Stupidly, it hadn’t occurred to me just how many hours it takes to thaw a loaf of frozen bread. Luckily for me, I saw a quick thaw method on the back of the package that worked wonders. Did you know if you preheat your oven to 200 degrees, shut it off, than put a pan of boil water on the rack below your dough it thaws in about an hour?

Another cool trick I learned was to place the dough on parchment paper and cover with saran wrap before rolling the dough with a rolling pin. It really prevents half your dough sticking to the rolling pin.

This recipe is so good – it’s like combining your spaghetti and garlic bread together with gooey, melted cheese. Your favorite will leave the table stuffed after just one slice.

Spaghetti BreadSpaghetti Bread
1 loaf of bread, thawed to room temperature
6 oz. spaghetti, cooked
1 c. marinara sauce
8 oz. mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2 in. cubes
1 egg white
Parmesan cheese
Parsley flakes

Roll out dough to 12 x 16 inches and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Mix together spaghetti and sauce. Spread down center of dough. Top with cheese. Cut outside of dough 1 1/2 inches apart with 1/2 inch of filling. Braid bread crossing left to right til everything is covered. Brush with egg white. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and parsley. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

Notes:

  • I added fresh basil and 1/2 lb. of ground beef to my recipe. You could easily change your recipe by using wheat bread dough, choosing a different flavor of spaghetti sauce, or added additional ingredients (mushrooms, garlic, oregano, sausage, etc.)
  • I thought it was a little full but it baked out OK. The next time I make it, I might do 4-5 oz. of spaghetti though since I added other ingredients.

Creamy Spaghetti Sauce

I think recipe came from an issue of Kraft Foods. It incorporates cream cheese into the sauce. It’s a nice quick dinner recipe.

Spaghetti a la PhillySpaghetti a la Philly
1/2 lb. spaghetti, uncooked

1 lb. extra-lean ground beef
1 jar (24 oz.) spaghetti sauce
4 oz. cream cheese
2 tsp. grated Parmesan cheese

Cook spaghetti according to package. Meanwhile, brown hamburger. Add sauce and cream cheese. Cook on low for 3-5 minutes until sauce is heated. Add drained spaghetti to sauce. Top with Parmesan cheese and serve. Makes four servings.

Notes:

  • I used 1/3 less fat cream cheese. Fat free would probably work OK as well in this recipe.
  • I made my sauce using a can of tomatoes and Wildtree seasoning. I still added the meat and cream cheese. It was a little healthier but took longer to taste the favors. I might add some fresh basil, spinich, or zucchini the next time I make it.

Top 10

I was thinking about a recipe the other day that was one of my best. I thought I would share with all of you – the best of the best. Below are my top 10 in no particular order.

spaghetti1. Grandma Reith’s Spaghetti Sauce – I lied, this is probably my favorite recipe.
2. Mom’s Cheesy Hash Brown Potatoes – This is the best cheesy potato recipe and I’ve sampled quiet a few.
3. Concord Lutheran Church Cookbook Meatballs – These go great with the potato recipe.
4. Chicken Penne Pasta with Salsa Con Queso – This recipe has a nice little kick.
5. Chocolate Crinkles – My mother made these when I was a kid but I love my recipe even more. These are probably my signature item.
6. Grilled Shrimp & Basil Orzo Pasta – Fresh basil and feta cheese nicely accent this dish.
7. Canyon Chicken – Chicken, ranch, cheese, and bacon. You can’t go wrong this recipe.
8. Lasagna Twist Around – Reminds me of my Grandma Reith Spaghetti Sauce.
9. Aunt Linda’s Slushies – I’ve made and drank a number of drinks over the years. This is my absolute favorite.
10. Cheesy Potato Soup – It’s as close as you can get to the O’Charley’s soup. I miss that restaurant so much.