Monday, March 28, 2011

Geno's Pizza Snacks

Geno's Pizza Snacks

Here's what ya need:
English muffins, split and toasted a bit
Some kind of salsa to use as "pizza sauce"
Green olives, chopped ~ not too many
Jalapenos, chopped ~ not too many
Meat or no meat
Cheese ~ you choose what kind
Bake in a 350 - 400 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Watch 'em and when they look melted, it's time to eat.

Spread the salsa on the toasted muffin, and then start layering the good stuff on.

Let me tell you ~ the secret to these yummy snacks is the little bit of green olives he puts on them. What an awesome combination with the salsa.

This is the best "dark" salsa! It's got a deep flavor and it really adds some zip to your pizza snacks or tacos.  Get you some!

 It's really no wonder I've had to start taking Prilosec.

 I know what you're thinking. This looks kind of gross.  I guarantee it will make your face happy!

This is not for those people who don't like spicy food.  

Everything is better when Geno makes it!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Susan's Twice Baked Taters

Susan's Twice Baked Taters (So Easy!)

Russet Potatoes (however many you want)
Cream Cheese or Sour Cream (adjust)
Shredded cheddar cheese  (adjust)
Milk (adjust)
Salt & Pepper

Bake several russet potatoes in 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes. Be sure to pierce the potatoes before baking or they will explode. I use a knife to pierce on the side of the potato where I'm going to split it later for this recipe.

Take your hot baked potatoes and split them in half long-ways. Quickly remove the potato from the skin with a spoon into a mixing bowl. It's going to be hot so you might use a pot holder to keep from burning your paws. Place skin on a baking sheet or cast iron skillet to stuff later.

In your mixing bowl, add shredded cheddar cheese or any cheese you care for. Use whatever amount you'd like. I try to go lite on the cheese because frankly we don't need that much fat. Add either sour cream or cream cheese or both if you wish. Today I used some fat-free cream cheese that I wanted to finish up. Add milk, salt & pepper to your liking and use a mixer to blend. Add enough milk to make consistency of mashed potatoes. I tend to use a little less because I like my taters a little dryer. 

You can spoon the mixture back into the skins or use a pastry bag and get all fancy with it. I decided to get fancy today!  You can add a little shredded cheese to the top or bake them naked. Get creative. You could had bacon bits ~ that would be fun!

I love this pastry bag.
Stick 'em back in the 350 degree oven for about 15 or 20 minutes to reheat.  Today I'm putting these in the fridge and will reheat them later for supper. These reheat very nicely and I promise if you take them to a potluck straight out of the oven, they will disappear in a heartbeat.


Notes: These are a great, easy, inexpensive side dish to take to potlucks or dinners but you can really dress them up with extras like bacon bits, chopped green onions, a little paprika, a sliced jalapeno on top for your spicier friends. I also like that you can make them ahead and serve them the next day. 4/3/11 Update: I froze two of these to see how they would reheat later. They were perfect! So ... I'll be doing this again and freezing some for later. Great to add to lunch or dinner. I love these!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Lasagna - The Easy Way

A long time ago, someone taught me that you don't have to boil the lasagna noodles when you make lasagna. Ever since then, I have used raw noodles in my dish and it comes out perfectly every single time. This one less step makes putting together a lasagna dish so fast & easy that I can't believe I don't do it more often.

You can use whatever recipe you want for making the meat sauce. 

This time I cooked up a couple of Italian Hot Sausages and cut them up into bite size pieces and added it to my hamburger mix. I also threw in a couple of sliced mushrooms, a tiny amount of onion, added my spaghetti sauce from a can and went to work building my dish. So, for new cooks, brown your meat first, add onion and mushrooms (optional) and cook about 4 or 5 minutes until onions are cooked. Add your tomato sauce. You can use a jar of Ragu or a can of Hunts spaghetti sauce.

Spray your pan with a non-stick spray. Start with a thin layer of your meat/tomato sauce first, lay down some uncooked lasagna noodles, add a layer of fat-free cottage cheese, meat sauce, grated mozzarella cheese

Usually there is enough room for 2 layers.  End with sauce and cheese on top.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake about 45 minutes at 350. 

Let the dish cool before serving.  We actually like it better the next day.

This casserole dish fed us almost the entire week between lunch & dinner.

You can substitute ricotta cheese for cottage cheese but I personally don't care for it.  I use fat-free cottage cheese and it works just fine.

You could add chopped olives to this and it would probably be just wonderful.

This dish is easy to make but it takes practice to learn how your family likes it.

Hope you'll try it!   

1/2 lb. hamburger (more or less, depending on how you like your lasagna)
1/2 lb. sausage (spicy if you like) (optional)
1 can of spaghetti sauce (Ragu or Hunts)
A little chopped up onion (optional)
A couple of sliced mushrooms (optional)
1 clove of garlic (optional)
1 container cottage cheese
1 16-oz. ball of mozzarella cheese, grated