My Favorite Recipes: Baked Ziti

August 31, 2010

Ok, so I made this recipe up. It’s a nice filling dish that is also very kid friendly and I recommend serving it with Rosemary Cheese Biscuits.

1 lb. lean ground beef

1 can of tomato puree (or two if you don’t want to use the next)

1 can of cherry tomatoes in tomato puree

1 bag of tube noodles

1 or 2 teaspoons (depending on how much you like it) garlic

1 small onion

1 block of mozzarella cheese

1/3 cup parmesan cheese

black pepper

italian herb mix (or even better the actual herbs: oreganum, sweet basil, rosemary, and thyme)

1 bay leaf


Boil noodles. Fry onions and then add ground beef until beef is brown. Add some black pepper, salt and chopped garlic. Drain fat and then put it back on stove. Add the tomato puree, herbs and bay leaf. Let simmer for about 30 to 45. Watch it and don’t let it get too pastey; if it does you can add a bit of water to un-paste it.

Grate the cheese.

When sauce is done mix noodles, sauce, half of grated mozzarella cheese, and half parmesan cheese in a large covered casserole dish. Make sure every noodle gets covered in sauce and all that cheesy goodness gets evenly distributed. Spread the rest of the mozzarella cheese on top and sprinkle a bit of parmesan over that. Bake in a covered dish on 350 F (or 170 C depending on where you live) for 30 to 45 minutes. Watch the cheese on top and make sure it doesn’t get too brown.

Yield: 6ish


My Favorite Recipes: Rosemary Cheese Biscuits

August 31, 2010

Ok, so I made up the recipe. For those of you non-Americans when I say “biscuits” I mean a scone-type thing and not cookies, just to clarify; rosemary cheese cookies would be disgusting. But these are very tasty, if I do say so myself, as a side with an Italian dish. And they are kid tested and approved. It must be the cheese. Kids love cheese.

But, as Talib Kweli would say, stop all the yappin’ and let’s make it happen…

2 cups of flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

1/3 cup margarine

1 cup (about) milk

1 teaspoon lemon juice

½ tablespoon rosemary

1 block grated Gouda (or another unprocessed cheese of your choice) cheese

Add lemon juice and rosemary to milk and let sit for a few minutes until milk curdles. Sift flour, baking powder, salt and sugar into bowl.  Cut margarine in until crumbly, like little margarine-flour pebbles. Add grated cheese and mix. Add enough rosemary-milk mixture to make dough soft; if you add too much and the dough becomes to liquidy just add more flour, and if you add too much flour then add a little bit more milk, but you can’t go on like that all day so just a little. Knead cheesy dough lump several times on floured surface.

Now, you can roll it out to about 1 ½ inch thickness and cut with a biscuit cutter and place it on a baking sheet if you want. But what I do, which is much quicker, is make twelve dough balls and place them in a muffin sheet (if that’s what you call it). Either way you choose you should get twelve biscuits out of that lump of dough. Bake at 450 F (or 230 C depending on where you are) for about 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown.

Yield: 12 servings

My Favorite Recipes: Coca-Cola Cake

August 28, 2010


2 cups flour

2 cups sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup margarine

3 tablespoons baking cocoa

1 cup Coca-Cola (do not insult me by replacing this with Pepsi, Jive, or anything lesser!)

2 eggs

1 teaspoon soda

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1/2 cup margarine

3 tablespoons baking cocoa

6 tablespoons Coca-Cola

4 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sift flour, sugar and salt into mixer bowl. Combine 1 cup margarine, 3 tablespoons cocoa and 1 cup Coca-Cola in saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring until margarine melts. Pour over flour mixture; mix well. Add eggs, beating until well blended. Stir in mixture of soda and buttermilk. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla; mix well. Pour into greased and floured 9×13-inch cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees (or 177, depending on where you live) for 40 to 45 minutes or until cake tests done.

Combine remaining 1/2 cup margarine, remaining 3 tablespoons cocoa and remaining Coca-Cola in small saucepan. Heat until margarine melts, stirring constantly. Do not boil. Remove from heat. Stir in confectioners’ sugar and remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla; beat until smooth.

Spread hot icing over warm cake.

Yield: 12 servings

It is AWESOME but very, VERY rich!!

*Coneva Pierce’s recipe from the ‘Around the Table: Extension Homemaker Clubs of Putnam County and Cumberland Counties’ cookbook.

My Favorite Recipes: Green Beans

August 28, 2010

8 slices of bacon

2 20-ounce cans French-style green beans, drained (or equal amount of fresh green beans)

1 medium onion, sliced into rings

1/2 cup slivered almonds (I leave this out)

6 tablespoons sugar

6 tablespoons vinegar

Cut bacon slices into quarters. Cook in skillet until crisp. Remove bacon, reserving pan drippings. Layer beans, onion rings, bacon and almonds in 1 1/2-quart baking dish. Stir sugar and vinegar into drippings in skillet. Cook until heated through. Pour over layers in baking dish. Marinate for several hours to overnight (I recommend overnight!!!). Bake at 350 degrees (or 177, depending on where you live) for 45 minutes.

Yield: 6 servings

*Laura A. Williams’ recipe from the ‘Around the Table: Extension Homemaker Clubs of Putnam County and Cumberland Counties’ cookbook.