Thursday, November 19, 2009

Ultimate Recipe Swap

I'm participating again in Ultimate Recipe Swap hosted at Life as MOM. This week's theme is Thanksgiving dishes. A couple years ago I posted a corn casserole recipe that is a staple at our holiday meals. The best part(s)'s fast, easy and delicious.

Here it is again in case you missed it the first time. And, as I mentioned the first time, the thing that sets this corn casserole apart from others like it is the sauteed onions. They give it really great flavor!

Corn Casserole

1 onion, chopped
1/4 c. butter
Salt and pepper to taste
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 can creamed corn
2 eggs, well beaten
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Saute the onion in butter, seasoned with salt and pepper. Combine the sauteed onions and the remaining ingredients. Mix together and bake in a 9 by 13 inch baking dish/3 qt dish at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes.

Another dish that would be great on your Thanksgiving table:

Southwest Cornbread Salad

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I could have said something

Anything at all would have been better than nothing. But, I basically chose nothing.
On Monday I went to KC with some friends to meet Ree Drummond, aka The Pioneer Woman, and get a signed copy of her recently released cookbook, "The Pioneer Woman Cooks". I had been looking forward to this outing for weeks (if not months).
Thanks to Les (another contributor on this blog), I've been reading PW's blog for a couple years now and am totally hooked, mostly on her recipes but also on her humorous take on country life.
Because I'm such a fan, I've been thinking about what to say to her since I bought my ticket in early October. And, I could never think of anything...even right up to the minute I sat down next to her, I still had nothing. So, what did I say? That's right, nothing.
Well, not exactly nothing. She did ask me a couple questions. I responded with one-word answers. And then said nothing else. I'm sure she was wondering if I had any social skills whatsoever. I just sat there and smiled. Here are some pictures...

Here's my friend Jade and I waiting in line.

And my friend, Heather, who drove us to KC through the nasty weather.

And finally, me and PW

It almost looks like I'm talking, right? Well, the conversation went something like this:

Ree: Are you Jimi?
Me: Yes.
Ree: That's a neat name.
Me: (silence...seriously)

Oh well, even though I was quiet literally tongue-tied, it was a fun experience. She was super nice and at the end when we took a group shot of the six of us. She said, "What cute girls!" Weird, but cute. Ha.

If I had it to do again, I would at least say, "I really like your cinnamon rolls."

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Make Ahead Meal

Last year a friend and I would each make several meals for the freezer (x2) and then swap. It was a great way to save time in the kitchen and came in especially handy for me on days I had to work late. As long as I remembered to set the meal out to thaw, my husband could just throw it in the oven and dinner would be ready by the time I got home.

Lately I've been researching Once-a-month-cooking, freezer meals, and the like. The thing is, I like the act of cooking enough that I don't really want to do it all in two days (though that sounds like a fun and exhausting two days), but I would like to find a handful of things to keep in the freezer for those busy nights (and sometimes mornings). So, the research continues.

I do have a few of those types of recipes up my sleeve, though, especially after a year of experimenting. I must say that I think it's hard to find a dish that is not compromised by a month or two in the freezer. I typically prefer to prepare part of the dish ahead and save the assembly for later (i.e., meatballs, cooked chicken or ground beef).

However, I do make this Spaghetti Casserole pretty much anytime I need to take a meal to someone and don't have much time to prepare. It goes together quickly, and the best part is that it makes 2 for the new parents and one for us. It's nothing fancy, but it's cheap, easy and good.

(I'm adding this to Life as Mom's Ultimate Recipe Swap that she does each week...what a great way to get new recipes!)

Spaghetti Casserole

1 package (16 ounces) angel hair pasta
1-1/2 pounds ground beef
1 jar (26 ounces) spaghetti sauce
2 cans (8 ounces each) tomato sauce
1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in spaghetti sauce and tomato sauce. Remove from the heat.
Drain pasta. Combine soup and sour cream. In two 8-in. square baking dishes, layer half of the meat sauce, pasta, soup mixture and cheese. Repeat layers.
Cover and freeze one casserole for up to 3 months. Cover and bake the remaining casserole at 350° for 55-65 minutes or until cheese is melted.
To use frozen casserole: Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake as directed. Yield: 2 casseroles (6 servings each).