Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Recipe: Spaghetti Pie

The Mister actually spotted this recipe while reading one of his farm newspapers. I was skeptical because we've eaten baked spaghetti ten different ways, but this one looked a little different than my other stand-by pizza casserole dishes. I think it's the layer of herbed cream cheese that  makes it extra delicious. As an added bonus, there was plenty left over for a second meal.

I like that anything right now that's easy to put together because, most days, I'm all about just getting some kind of nutritious food on the table. 

It was definitely a winner.

12 oz. cooked spaghetti
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. salt (I just sprinkled)
2 T. butter 

Combine crust ingredients and spread into a 9x13-inch pan. 

Herb layer:
8 oz. softened cream cheese
1/2 tsp. salt (Again, I just gave it a few shakes)
1/4 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano
1/3 tsp. pepper
1 cup sour cream

Combine herb layer ingredients and spread over crust.

Meat layer:
1 pound ground beef
24 oz. spaghetti sauce

Brown and drain ground beef and combine with spaghetti sauce; pour over herb layer. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Top with:

Mozzarella cheese
Parmesan cheese (I omitted the extra parm and it was still delicious)

Heat until melted.

Picnic, anyone?    

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Summer Delights

So far this summer I've encountered  more than one blessing in disguise, and I sure needed some. 

For one thing, I just could not keep up with our garden this year. As Little Mister's therapy schedule grew more demanding in June, I had to make a calculated decision to just focus on saving a few of our crops that we really count on and enjoy. That meant corn, pickles, berries, and a tiny watermelon patch. I had to say good bye to beans and peppers. It was a sound strategy. As I'm fond of saying, I can't do everything, I'm already doing too much.

Here are five little unexpected delights:

Free tomatoes! 
I only planted three tomato plants this year, and planned to buy tomatoes for canning projects. As it turned out, I didn't have to buy anything! This bushel came from my brother-in-law, and a neighbor gave us a box for free.

Help in the garden. Little Mister is a champion berry picker. Just forget that he sometimes eats them all before they ever make it into the house. 

Mystery flowers! I must have thoughtfully scattered a pack of flower seeds and then promptly forgot about it.  A  row of these tall flowers  prompted me to wonder if they were wildflowers or what? I honestly don't recall planting them, but I have a whole row.

Butterflies! This year I planned on doing several batches of pickles and was a little worried when I saw these bugs systematically eating every ounce of my dill.  It turns out they become eastern swallowtail butterflies, and now we have butterflies everywhere. Oh, and the dill recovered. So far I've done three kinds of pickles and am planning for one more batch.

Oh, the view! I love when the farmer who works the land around us plants field corn. More often it's soybean, but I think this is so much nicer.

 And to think it's not over yet. How I love summer.


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