Meatless Monday Baked Ziti, My Way

There’s got to be a gazillion different ways to make Baked Ziti.  What is Baked Ziti you ask?  Well, it’s pretty much any type of tubular pasta, like Penne or Rigatoni, but my personal favorite right now is Cavatappi, combined with Red sauce and Cheese, then baked in a casserole dish.

Let’s get started.

Once the pasta of your choice is cooked to al dente, drained well and returned to the pot, I stir in enough of my homemade Marinara to get it nice and saucy.  Next goes in the cheese.  Now most recipes call for three to even four different ones, but I went with grated Grana Padano and Mozzarella, give it a good toss and then dump it all into a baking vessel.  Add some more cheese to the top and bake, uncovered at 350⁰ for about 20 minutes, until the cheese melts and turns a bit brown.

MMM!

It’s that simple.  This smells like Lasagna!  I made enough for two pans of pasta.  One stays here and the other goes to our next door neighbors for their lunch.  All we need now is some nice bread and a salad.

Manigamo!

Crushed Pineapple Coffee Cake FAIL!

The other day I was going through the `Fridge as I do from time to time, just to make that nothing has gotten pushed to the far recess and forgotten.  I found a cup or so of canned crushed Pineapple leftover from a recipe that I can’t remember what.  Hmmm, that means it’s been there for a while and really should be used up.

I did a quick Internet search for recipes that called for just such an ingredient and found a Coffee Cake recipe, perfect!  I had all of the other items necessary, so let’s bake.

That didn’t work out very well, now did it.

Sometimes you have to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and say, adios as you dump that sucker in the trash.   It wasn’t fit for man nor beast, ACK!  I followed the recipe to the letter, I don’t think that we need to mention that recipe though. 😉

Oh well, we all have an off day now and again.

Fresh Fruit From California

DH and I just got back from California.  We drove out to the San Joaquin Valley to visit with my Mother. The best, as well as the worst time of the year to go is early Summer, when the fresh fruits are bountiful.

For years my husband would ask me, “Why don’t I ever see you eating fruit?”  Well, when you’ve spent a good number of your Summers in “The Food Basket of the World” , where you can pick our own tree/vine/bush ripened produce, sit own your Great Grandmother’s back stoop and eat a still warm from the Sun piece of fruit, you’re spoiled for life.  I always have had a hard time eating “store bought” fruit with no taste, no heady fragrance, no juices running down your arm, I mean, come on man!

REALLY!!  How delicious does that look? 

That’s a flat of Peaches and Nectarines, we figure probably about 20 pounds.  Two pounds of Cherries, 3 quarts of the biggest, red-est Strawberries I’ve seen in a long time; we also got 2 pints each of Blueberries and Blackberries.  All are so sweet and juicy, they taste the way that they should.  My husband kept whispering in my ear, “That’s enough now, don’t buy too much.”

Mom and her best-est friend from childhood, took us around to the different orchards.  Of course they each had know the families that own the fields for three generations.  There’s no street signs, so if you didn’t know where you were going, you’d be SO LOST! This rural farm lands.

On our car trip home, our car smelled like heaven!

We do plan on sharing our bounty with others, like Mr&Mrs Dear Friend’s as well as our favorite neighbor.

Mac Nut Shortbread Cookies Again For Mom

A little whiles back, I made Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookies for my Mother.  Well, I did it again! These are a favorite at Mom’s house as well as our own.

This round, I made the cookie log a bit larger (about 2″ X 3″ or so, too big in my opinion though), which means more chocolate too!  They freeze beautifully for an additional coupla dozen cookies later on down the road.  I mean, if you’ve got the cookie dough all put together, just slice n’ bake what you can eat in the next few days and save the rest.

ENJOY!

 

Hawaiian-Style Lunch For Two At Home In The Middle Of The Desert

Yup, that’s right.

My husband made a request the other day, he said that he was really ono (hungry for) for some Poke and Sushi.  Well, I was out and about and stopped into my favorite green grocer.  HEH! They’ve got a Sushi Counter, ya know the kind were they make it right in front of you to take home, complete with Wasabi, Pickled Ginger and a small packet of Shoyu (they had chopsticks and forks too 😉 ).

Also in the fresh fish case they had Ahi fillets, CHEAP…I love this place.

DING DING DING!!!  LUNCH!  YUM!

When I got home, I made up a batch of Shoyu Ahi Poke with a beautiful half pound Ahi steak and served that with the Unagi (Fresh Water Eel) Nigiri Sushi.

What a treat!

Baked Disco Tots

You’ve heard of Disco Fries, Right?  Well, here’s my spin on it.

This dish couldn’t be easier!  I baked some Trader Joe’s Trader Potato Tots, following the directions on the package; sprinkled loads of shredded Cheese over the top and put them back into the hot oven for like 30 seconds, just to melt the Cheese.

Now plate and enjoy.  I like mine with Kewpie Mayonnaise, you choose your own dipper, but it’s really not necessary, these gems are perfect just as they are.

 

Happy Boys’ Day!

ENJOY!