Baked Ziti with Meatballs

Baked-Ziti-with-MeatballsIt’s that season again, it may not be here officially…but fall is in the air…I hear it, I smell it, I feel it!  We’re trying to get back in the swing of things, back into the school routine, and we again, need to find meals to make on those busy weeknights. This month I’m focusing on back to school meals and today I am featuring my first recipe in this series. This recipe features homemade meatballs, a delightful amount of gooey cheeses all mixed together with a hearty ziti pasta that will fill up even the hungriest kids on a school night. So let’s get started.
Baked-Ziti-2We will start by mixing up the homemade meatballs.  Mix together 1 pound of ground beef, 2 slices of white bread that have been chopped into small pieces, 1/4 cup of milk, 1/4 cup of finely chopped onion, 1 egg, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a bowl.

meatballsNext shape into around 25 meatballs about 1 inch in diameter. Place the meatballs on baking sheets lined with foil. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until the meatballs reach 160 degrees on a meat thermometer. 

uncooked meatballs

While the meatballs are cooking, you can boil 2 1/2 cups of ziti pasta (about 1/2 of a 16 oz. package) according to the package directions.  

pasta

When your meatballs and pasta are finished cooking you can combine them with the large jar of Prego Traditional sauce and a 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder in a bowl.

cooked meatballs

pasta mixed with sauceAfter you have that mixed together, you can start layering the casserole in a 9″x13″ baking dish.  Layer half of the sauce mixture in the baking dish.

1st layerNow in a bowl mix together a 15 oz. package of ricotta cheese with 2 cups of mozzarella cheese and then spread this layer on the sauce layer in your baking dish.

cheese mixed with mozarella 

2nd layerNow top this layer with the remaining sauce layer.

top layerThen cover the top with 2 cups of mozzarella cheese.

top cheese layerCover the pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. And then uncover the pan and bake them for an additional 15 minutes.

covering zitiNow you are ready to serve this dish with your favorite garlic bread.  Your family will cheer for this new weeknight favorite. 

incovering ziti after baking

Baled ziti 4

Baked Ziti with Meatballs
A delicious baked pasta dish
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Ingredients
  1. Meatballs
  2. 1 pound of ground beef
  3. 2 slices of white bread that have been chopped into small pieces
  4. 1/4 cup of milk
  5. 1/4 cup of finely chopped onion
  6. 1 egg
  7. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  8. ------------------------
  9. 2 1/2 cups of ziti pasta (about 1/2 of a 16 oz. package)
  10. 1 large jar of Prego Traditional pasta sauce (2lb. 13 oz. jar that is the bigger jar)
  11. 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  12. 15 oz. container of Ricotta cheese
  13. 4 cups of mozzarella cheese (2 cups for the middle layer and 2 cups for the top)
Instructions
  1. We will start by mixing up the homemade meatballs. Mix together 1 pound of ground beef, 2 slices of white bread that have been chopped into small pieces, 1/4 cup of milk, 1/4 cup of finely chopped onion, 1 egg, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a bowl.
  2. Next shape into around 25 meatballs about 1 inch in diameter. Place the meatballs on baking sheets lined with foil. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until the meatballs reach 160 degrees on a meat thermometer.
  3. While the meatballs are cooking, you can boil 2 1/2 cups of ziti pasta (about 1/2 of a 16 oz. package) according to the package directions.
  4. When your meatballs and pasta are finished cooking you can combine them with the large jar of Prego Traditional sauce and a 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder in a bowl.
  5. After you have that mixed together, you can start layering the casserole in a 9"x13" baking dish. Layer half of the sauce mixture in the baking dish.
  6. Now in a bowl mix together a 15 oz. package of ricotta cheese with 2 cups of mozzarella cheese and then spread this layer on the sauce layer in your baking dish.
  7. Now top this layer with the remaining sauce layer.
  8. Then cover the top with 2 cups of mozzarella cheese.
  9. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. And then uncover the pan and bake them for an additional 15 minutes.
Cooking Up Cottage http://www.cookingupcottage.com/

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Taco Pizza

Taco-Pizza-2

What’s your favorite kind of pizza?  Well mine is without a doubt taco pizza.  I love pizzas that have loads and loads of toppings and taco fits that bill.  When I came across this recipe from Sweetie Petitti for Happy Joe’s Taco Pizza I knew I had to give it a try.  When I was young my family went to Happy Joe’s most Friday nights and I always ate their taco pizza, so even the thought of it gives me warm fuzzies.  When I actually tried this recipe it didn’t disappoint, with its delectable double cheese, smooth refried beans, flavorful meat, and wonderful fresh toppings…I was transported to my childhood! To save a little time, I used refrigerator pizza crust, but you can use any crust recipe you like.  So let’s get started making this yummy treat, it will be a new weeknight favorite for your family.  Here are the ingredients that you will need:

ingredients for taco pizza

Start by browning the one pound of hamburger and 1/4 cup of chopped onion, 1/2 teaspoon of oregano, 1/2 teaspoon of cumin, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of chili powder in a pan until it is no longer pink.

meat for taco pizza

Then while the meat is browning remove the Pillsbury refrigerator crust from the package and spreading it out on a greased cookie sheet.

pizza crust

Now prebake the crust for 8 minutes in a 400 degree oven if you are using a greased dark or nonstick cookie sheet or 425 degrees if it is a different pan type.

cooked crust

Now that your crust is prebaked you can mix up the sauce, mix 1/2 cup of refried beans, 1/4 of a cup of taco sauce and 1/2 of a cup of pizza sauce. Then spread this mixture over the pizza crust.

adding sauce Top with 2 cups of mozzarella cheese.

adding cheese

Then add ground beef.

meat on the pizza

Now top with 2 cups of Colby Jack Cheese.

cheese on top of the pizza

Now bake the pizza for 8-10 minutes.

cooked pizza

Now you can top the pizza with shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, and crushed Taco Doritos.

toppings Now you can serve the pizza with extra taco sauce and sour cream.

pizza with topping

 

Taco Pizza
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound of hamburger
  • ¼ cup of chopped onion
  • ½ teaspoon of oregano
  • ½ teaspoon of cumin
  • 1½ teaspoons of chili powder
  • 1 package of Pillsbury Refrigerator Pizza Crust
  • ½ cup of refried beans
  • ¼ cup of taco sauce
  • ½ cup of pizza sauce
  • 2 cups of mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cups of Colby Jack cheese
  • Shredded lettuce
  • 1 chopped tomato
  • Crushed Taco Doritos
Instructions
  1. Start by browning the one pound of hamburger and ¼ cup of chopped onion, ½ teaspoon of oregano, ½ teaspoon of cumin, and 1½ teaspoons of chili powder in a pan until it is no longer pink.
  2. Then while the meat is browning remove the Pillsbury refrigerator crust from the package and spreading it out on a greased cookie sheet.
  3. Now prebake the crust for 8 minutes in a 400 degree oven if you are using a greased dark or nonstick cookie sheet or 425 degrees if it is a different pan type.
  4. Now that your crust is prebaked you can mix up the sauce, mix ½ cup of refried beans, ¼ of a cup of taco sauce and ½ of a cup of pizza sauce. Then spread this mixture over the pizza crust.
  5. Top with 2 cups of mozzarella cheese.
  6. Then add ground beef.
  7. Now top with 2 cups of Colby Jack Cheese.
  8. Now bake the pizza for 8-10 minutes.
  9. Now you can top the pizza with shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, and crushed Taco Doritos.
  10. Now you can serve the pizza with extra taco sauce and sour cream.

Notes

Adapted from Sweetie Petitti

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Strawberry Fluff Salad

Strawberry-Fluff-Salad

Are you having a 4th of July party this year? If the answer is yes then you need to try this fun, light, and fluffy salad.  It will satisfy your party guests with its sweet flavor and heavenly fresh strawberries.  And it’s so simple to make with four ingredients that it won’t keep you from your party and the fireworks. 

Strawberry-Fluff-Salad-2

When I was creating this recipe I had an idea that it would be great served over angel food cake with blueberries and strawberries for the 4th of July.  Well trust me, though it tasted delicious…it was a visual disaster!

angel food cake

So I had some leftover topping in my refrigerator after the experiment and since it tasted so good I thought it was worth a little tweaking. I added marshmallows, left out the blueberries, and viola this salad (come on, who are we kidding, desert, right?) was created.

So let’s get started whipping up this fun salad. Start by making a 3 oz. package strawberry Jello according to the package directions. Place bowl of Jello in the refrigerator for about an hour or until thickened but not set. While you are waiting for the Jello to be ready you can clean and chop up the 1 pint of strawberries.

Strawberries

chopped strawberies

Then when the Jello is ready after an hour then mix it in a bowl with an 8 oz. container of Cool Whip that has been thawed in the refrigerator.

Adding Jello

Next fold in the chopped strawberries.

adding Strawberries

Then add in 2 cups of miniature marshmallows.

Adding marshmallows

Now chill the salad for at least 3 hours in the refrigerator.  Now you are ready to enjoy this salad at your 4th of July party.

Strawberry Fluff Salad
 
Ingredients
  • 1 (3 oz.) package of strawberry Jello
  • 1 pint of chopped strawberries
  • 1 (8 oz.) container of thawed Cool Whip
  • 2 cups of miniature marshmallows
Instructions
  1. Start by making a 3 oz. package strawberry Jello according to the package directions. Place bowl of Jello in the refrigerator for about an hour or until thickened but not set. While you are waiting for the Jello to be ready you can clean and chop up the 1 pint of strawberries.
  2. Then when the Jello is ready after an hour then mix it in a bowl with an 8 oz. container of Cool Whip that has been thawed in the refrigerator.
  3. Next fold in the chopped strawberries.
  4. Then add in 2 cups of miniature marshmallows.
  5. Now chill the salad for at least 3 hours in the refrigerator.

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Sweet and Salty Corn Chips

sweet-and-salty-corn-chipsDo you love sweet or salty snacks? Well this treat is the perfect balance of both sweet chocolatey butterscotch and super salty corn chips. I was first introduced to this interesting snack by my sister after she purchased a bag of it at a bake sale. The recipe uses the same delicious ingredients as Scotcheroo Bars minus the Rice Krispies. I was so excited to try this new concoction that I prepared it as an after school snack for my daughter and nieces. They gave it a thumbs up by quickly eating the entire platter full – no joke! It’s ooey, gooey, sticky, and fun to pick through for pieces with large globs of drizzle and some with just a little. So if you are looking for an out of the ordinary sweet snack, for a movie night or a fun summer party, try this recipe for Sweet and Salty Corn Chips.

Start by mixing the 1 cup of light corn syrup and 1 cup of sugar together in a pan over medium heat until it just starts to boil. Then remove the pan from the heat right away or the topping will be too hard.

corn syrup 

adding sugar

Remove from the heat and add 1 cup of peanut butter. Stir it in until it is completely mixed together.

adding peanut butter

Now drizzle this mixture over a 18 oz. bag of corn chips that have been spread on two greased cookie sheets.

drizzle on corn chips

Now it is time to make the chocolate topping. Melt 1 cup of chocolate chips and 1 cup of butterscotch chips in the microwave.  Stirring the chips every 15 seconds until they are melted.

melting chips

Now drizzle the chocolate on top of the corn chips. Let it cool and dry.  Then you are ready to enjoy!

sweet-and-salty-corn-chips-2


Sweet and Salty Corn Chips
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup of light corn syrup
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of peanut butter
  • 1 cup of chocolate chips
  • 1 cup of butterscotch chips
  • 1 (18 oz.) bag of corn chips
Instructions
  1. Start by mixing the 1 cup of light corn syrup and 1 cup of sugar together in a pan over medium heat until it just starts to boil. Then remove the pan from the heat right away or the topping will be too hard.
  2. Remove from the heat and add 1 cup of peanut butter. Stir it in until it is completely mixed together.
  3. Now drizzle this mixture over a 18 oz. bag of corn chips that have been spread on two greased cookie sheets.
  4. Now it is time to make the chocolate topping. Melt 1 cup of chocolate chips and 1 cup of butterscotch chips in the microwave. Stirring the chips every 15 seconds until they are melted.
  5. Now drizzle the chocolate on top of the corn chips. Let it cool and dry. Then you are ready to enjoy!