Search This Blog


Baked Ziti

I have tons of recipes and pictures that I've taken recently but have been waiting until I got my blog setup to post them. So, this is one of those stick to your ribs, super tasty, keep you warm, comfort foods. I found this on one of my favorite food blogs, Annie's Eats. The food she cooks or bakes is decadent and her pictures are amazing. Definitely check out her blog! You should also see her picture of the ziti, it looks WAY better than mine!

We all know how much I love pasta and this baked ziti is a dish that you can serve when you are entertaining a crowd or just need a pick me up! Add some garlic bread, salad, and a nice glass of wine (or milk if you are pregnant like me) and this is what I call a meal!

Baked Ziti
1 lb. whole milk or 1% cottage cheese
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 oz. grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 1/2 cups), divided
Table salt
1 lb. ziti
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
20 oz. turkey Italian sausage
1/2 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
5 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 (28 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil leaves, divided
1 tsp. sugar
Ground black pepper
3/4 tsp. cornstarch
1 cup heavy cream (or whole milk)
8 oz. low-moisture mozzarella, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350° F. Whisk cottage cheese, eggs, and 1 cup Parmesan together in a medium bowl; set aside. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Stir in 1 tablespoon salt and the pasta; cook until pasta begins to soften but is not yet cooked through, 5-7 minutes. Drain the pasta and leave in colander.

2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Crumble in the turkey sausage and cook until nearly browned. Add in the onion and garlic and continue to cook until the onion is softened and the sausage is completely browned. Stir in the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and oregano; simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Off the heat, stir in 1/2 cup basil and the sugar, and season with salt and pepper.

3. In a small bowl stir together the cornstarch and heavy cream. Transfer the mixture to the now-empty stockpot over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook until thickened, 3-4 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and add the cottage cheese mixture, 1 1/2 cups of the tomato sauce and 3/4 cup mozzarella. Stir to combine. Add the pasta and toss to coat thoroughly with the sauce.

4. Transfer the pasta to a 9×13″ baking dish and spread the remaining tomato sauce evenly over the top. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan over the top. Cover the baking dish tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes.

5. Remove the foil from the pan and continue to cook until the cheese is bubbling and beginning to brown, about 30 minutes longer. Cool for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons basil and serve.

Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread

So I registered with to get easy recipes and got a free calendar out of the deal too! It's great because every month has a new recipe to try. They've all looked good so far but this month's (April's) recipe was for Grands! Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread and it looked gooooooood! My husband loves this bread and since we are feeding 3 (well 5 if you include my and Sara's unborn babies) for the last weekend, I thought it would be appropriate to make something a little special for breakfast. Served this yummy bread with a side of fruit salad and some chocolate milk and I must say, it was de-lic-ous!

Grands! Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread

1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 cans Grands! Homestyle refridgerated buttermilk biscuits
1 c. packed brown sugar
3/4 c. butter or margarine, melted

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 12-cup fluted tube cake pan.
2. In large plastic food-storage bag, mix granulated sugar and cinnamon. Separate dough into a total of 16 biscuits; cut each into quarters. Shake in bag to coat. Arrange in pan. Mix brown sugar and butter; pour over biscuit pieces.
3. Bake 28 to 32 minutes or until golden brown and no longer doughy in center. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Turn upside down onto serving plate; pull apart to serve. Serve warm.


The Jucy Lucy

So my sister-in-law, Sara, and I are both currently pregnant. She is 35 week along and I am 25 weeks, she is also temporarily living with us. It all started on a Saturday morning, it was early and we'd just eaten breakfast. Since there is not much on tv on Saturday mornings we were watching this show on the Travel Channel. If you've never heard of Food Wars, don't worry, I hadn't either. However, on this particular Saturday morning they were having a "food war" over who had the best Jucy Lucy (or Juicy Lucy). Normally this would mean nothing to me but the day before my co-worker had told me about this burger and pretty much had my mouth watering at the thought of it (of course, it doesn't take much to get a pregnant woman all riled up over food). The war was between Matt's Bar and 5-8 Club in Minneapolis, MN. From the beginning the burger at Matt's Bar looked best, and after all was said and done and the war was over, Matt's Bar won! Next time I'm in Minneapolis I am making it a point to taste the REAL Jucy Lucy!

I tell Sara a little about this burger and convinced her to watch the show with me. Not even 10 minutes into the show and both Sara and I looked at eachother and silently decided that we would conquer and devour this burger. That was 10 days ago. Finally, tonight, the conditions were perfect for making this burger. We had a beautiful and sunny day, it was still nice outside, my husband Kurt agreed to grill it for us, and we had all the ingredients. I Googled the recipe for the Jucy Lucy (it's also permanantly saved to my DVR as well) and went to work.

The Jucy Lucy is an amazing wonder of hamburger and gooey, melty cheese. It is two separate thin burger patties with a piece of American cheese (the Kraft singles type) quartered and placed in between. The patties are then sealed on the edges and grilled. This burger is served on a soft bun with ketchup, mustard, pickles, and fried onions (I left the onions out thanks to some killer heartburn these days). Whatever you do, DO NOT cut the burger in half to eat, you will lose all the gooey cheese and miss out on the messy fun The Jucy Lucy will bring to your table.

**I did adapt this recipe a little. I didn't have Worchestershire so I used A-1. I used 2lbs. ground beef and it was 90/10, and we cooked the burgers about 7 minutes per side.

The Jucy Lucy
- makes 4 burgers -

You'll need an unlikely piece of equipment to prepare this burger, but you should have it on hand already—an ordinary standard-issue toothpick. You'll want to quickly prick the distended patty after flipping it to allow steam to escape.

And, hey, YOU! Yes, you with the cheddar. Put that down. You MUST use American cheese on this. According to Mr. Edge, "Only those orange squares of vaguely plastic texture will achieve proper fluidity."

1 1/2 pounds ground chuck (AHT recommends no leaner than 80%)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
4 slices American cheese (NOT cheddar; see note above)
4 buns

Your favorite condiments and toppings

1. Place beef, Worcestershire sauce, garlic salt, and pepper in a bowl; mix well. Portion into eight even units. Shape each portion into a thin round patty that's slightly larger than the cheese slice.
2. Fold cheese slices in half twice so you have a little stack of quartered cheese slices. Place a folded cheese stack on 4 the patties, covering cheese with remaining 4 patties.
3. Tightly crimp the edges of the patties together to form a tight seal.
4. Did you make a tight seal? I hope so, because it needs to be TIGHT to avoid a blowout as the cheese melts, creates steam, and tries to find its way out of its meaty prison.
5. Preheat a cast-iron skillet or heavy-bottomed pan to medium heat (or fire up a medium-hot bed of coals on your backyard grill), and cook burgers over heat 3 to 4 minutes on first side. Burger may puff up due to steam from melting cheese. This is normal. Do not be alarmed.
6. Flip, and using toothpick, prick top of burger to allow for steam escape. Allow burger to cook 3 to 4 minutes on this side.
7. Remove patties from pan or grill. Bun those suckers, slap some condiments on, and dig in.