MILLION DOLLAR SPAGHETTI
My favorite meal as a child was Spaghetti. And I did not discriminate when it came to meat sauce or meatballs as long as it included red sauce that would stain my face I was ready to partake. Spaghetti has always been my ultimate “comfort food”.
<< That’s me over there sharing a Spaghetti Dinner with my Granddad at age nine months.
For those of my readers who have their family’s secret red sauce recipe for traditional Spaghetti & Meatballs this post might be a hard one to swallow. Just stick with me because as a girl who has loved Spaghetti since birth I kind of feel like I’ve earned the “expert” taster status when it comes to Spaghetti. This baked Spaghetti dish that is filled with creamy goodness is called Million Dollar Spaghetti and it is worth every penny. In fact, it would likely be worth a lot more if you omit my suggested cans of Spaghetti Sauce and replace them with that secret family red sauce recipe!
1 lb of Ground Turkey (or Ground Beef or 2 cups Chopped Zucchini for a Vegetarian dish)
1 Box of Spaghetti Noodles (I use Whole Grain)
2 Cans of Spaghetti Sauce (24oz each)
1 Package of Cream Cheese (8oz)
1/4 Cup of Sour Cream
1 Cup of Cottage Cheese
1 Teaspoon of Ground Garlic
1 Stick of Butter or Margarine (sliced into 8-10 pieces)
1 Cup of Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 Cup of Shredded Parmesan Cheese
Start browning your meat and boiling your noodles and while the magic happens on the stove top begin mixing your creamy goodness.
Mix the Cream Cheese, Sour Cream, Cottage Cheese, and Ground Garlic with a Mixer until it is well blended. I do not have a Kitchen-Aid however my “Toddler-Aid” works just as well and is way cuter than those Kitchen-Aid mixers.
Once the meat has browned add the two cans of Spaghetti Sauce to the pan and let simmer while you drain the noodles – you do not want your noodles to cook more than 8 minutes on the stove; they will continue to cook in the oven.
After you drain your noodles, spray a 9×12 baking pan with Cooking Spray. Take half of the slices of butter/margarine and put them in the bottom of your pan. Then layer half of your Spaghetti noodles on top of the butter pieces. Spread your creamy goodness on top of that layer of Spaghetti noodles. Add the other half of noodles, the rest of the butter/margarines slices, then pour the red sauce with meat on top!
Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes remove the pan from the oven and layer the Cheddar and Parmesan Cheeses on top, return the dish to the oven to continue to bake 15 more minutes.
Let your dish sit for ten minutes before serving.
Million Dollar Spaghetti makes a great freezer meal and tastes just as good as leftovers. The recipe above can also be split and made into two 9×9 pans if you have a smaller family or one that does not favor leftovers.
CINCO DE MAYO “RUM-A-RITA” AND BAKED ENCHILADA CHIPS
Happy Cinco de Mayo! Let’s do Happy Hour. I’m thinking a Rumarita & Baked Enchilada Chips to celebrate the Mexican holiday that observes the day of the Battle of Puebla; in which the United States celebrates Mexican heritage and pride.
Our family loves Mexican Food and we typically partake in some fashion at least a couple times a week. One of our favorite simple Mexican appetizers to make is Baked Enchilada Chips.
Black Beans (drained/rinsed), Jalapenos, Black Olives
Preheat oven to 375*. Spray Stoneware/Pyrex with Cooking Spray (can be individual dishes or a 9×12 baking pan). Add two layers of the first three ingredients in this order Chips, Enchilada Sauce, Cheese, include any optional ingredients to each layer. Bake at 375* for 12 minutes. Top with Sour Cream & enjoy. Serves four.
Now while those Enchilada Chips are baking let’s create that Rumarita!
A Rumarita is a delightful frozen concoction that could be considered a cousin of the Margarita. The Tequila in a typical Margarita is replaced with Rum creating a Rumarita.
– 1 Can Frozen Bacardi Mixers Margarita
– 1 Can Water (use the Bacardi Mixers Can)
– 1 Cup Frozen Strawberries
– 1 Shot Bacardi Limon
(or original Bacardi Rum for less lime/citrus flavor)
Blend all ingredients listed together in Blender. If a different consistency is preferred add ice or water to achieve; add more alcohol if desired.
Makes two 16 ounce Rumaritas.
For some other great blog reads and recipes check out Huckleberry Love Much Ado About Monday posts. You’ll find some delicious looking Cinco de Mayo ideas like Homemade Salsa by Kleinworth & Co and a One Pan Mexican Meal post from Broke & Bougie. The Posed Perfection Blog posted a dessert recipe on Skip to My Lou for Sopapilla Cheese Cake – YUM.
SWEET SATURDAY SMOOTHIE
– 2 cups Unsweetened Almond Milk
– 1 cup Frozen Strawberries (if using fresh, add ice)
– 2 Bananas
– 1/2 Scoop of Vanilla Protein Powder
– 2 Tablespoons of Chia Seeds (soaked)
Here’s to the weekend! May it be a sweet one. – T
Tip for a Monday afternoon boost: Make a Green Smoothie!
Green Smoothies are a simple and quick way to get your daily nutritional dose of fruits, vegetables, and proteins. This blended frozen treat serves as a snack or a meal and is the perfect boost anytime you need a healthy pick-me-up.
2 Cups Almond Milk
1-2 Hand Full Spinach
1Cup Frozen Pineapple
1 TBS Chia Seeds (soaked in 2 TBS hot water)
It is toddler & teen approved and serves three.
If you are not a fan of Bananas then replace the banana with Avocado. The Avocado adds a creamy texture to the smoothie which is my second favorite way to enjoy a green smoothie.
We add Chia Seeds to our smoothies to up the protein value but we’ve made this same recipe without the Chia Seeds and it’s just as good. If you are not a fan of Chia Seeds or if you do not have any on hand, no worries. You can skip the seeds or add your favorite vanilla protein powder in place of the Chia Seeds.
Below is an easy to follow list for creating your own favorite Green Smoothie. When making a smoothie for one person start with 1 cup liquid, 1 handful of greens, then add 1 1/2 cup combined fruit, ice if you are not using one frozen fruit along with your protein, oats, or seeds. After blending you may want to add liquid, ice or more greens to adjust the consistency. Get creative! And share your favorite combinations – comment below or contact me on Twitter.
BUFFALO CHICKEN SLIDERS… OR WRAPS OR FOCACCIA OR SALAD OR QUESADILLAS
Wednesday nights at our house is SURVIVOR night. We have not missed a season of the CBS Reality Show since it began airing in the year 2000. Survivor night always means an easy to prepare and easy to clean up dinner night. Even with having a DVR my OCD takes over and I prefer knowing that my Wednesday night meal is an easy one to accomplish.
Last night we had one of our family favorites, Buffalo Chicken Sliders, steamed carrots & a salad. (We also like our buffalo chicken on tortilla wraps, focaccia bread, as a salad topper and in a cheese quesadilla). Since we were having sliders I added Bridgford rolls to a pan to rise at the same time I put the chicken in the crock pot. It was less than 10 minutes prep time in the morning and then just before dinner time I added a couple more minutes to the prep time when I put the rolls in the oven to bake and added carrots to the stove top to steam.
Buffalo Chicken Sliders/Wraps/Focaccia/Quesadillas/Salads
4-5 Chicken Breasts
½ Jar of Franks Red Hot Wing Sauce
1 Packet of Dry Ranch Mix
1 TBS Butter or Margarine
Either Slider Rolls/Tortillas/Focaccia/Salad
Optional toppings: Provolone Cheese slices, Ranch Dressing, more Buffalo Sauce
Spray crock pot with cooking spray (or use crock pot liner), layer chicken breasts in the bottom of your crock pot, top with ½ jar of buffalo sauce, then sprinkle ½ packet of ranch mix on the buffalo sauce and cover with lid. Cook on low for 6 hours if chicken is frozen, 4 hours if thawed. Thirty minutes to an hour before serving use two forks to shred chicken; add a tablespoon of butter or margarine then cover. Serve on rolls/tortillas/focaccia/salad and top with Provolone Cheese and Ranch Dressing. Suggested sides: Steamed Carrots, Salad
Over the past couple years I’ve had several people request this recipe. It takes very little effort for a tasty meal that works perfect on game night, for big family gatherings or anytime you are looking for an easy meal. I hope you try it and love it.
Note for Carb Counters & Calorie Counters: Franks Red Hot Wing Sauce has no sugar and a zero Carb & Calorie count. Buffalo Chicken over salad is great for those on a lifestyle that does not include bread or for fewer carbs try it on a low-carb tortilla/wrap. Enjoy!
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