Michelle's Blog

My life as a wife, homemaker, friend, Christian

Tomato Mozzarella Casserole April 3, 2009

Filed under: frugal,Recipes — mrswade @ 10:12 am
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This one’s from my very dear friend Mikaela. ¬†ūüôā ¬†I was a little nervous about it at first because I’m really not a casserole fan, and I thought it would be really heavy because of the cheese. ¬†NOT SO! It was AAAAAmazing! ūüôā yum! ¬†

We took her suggestion to add some meat (but I accidentally added too much, so it didn’t all fit in the pan. ¬†It’s ok though, because I had a make-shift spaghetti for lunch the next day with the noodles that didn’t fit. ūüôā¬†



  • 1 lb. dry pasta (recipe calls for Ziti, but I used rotini… really, any short, sturdy pasta will work)
  • 1/2 lb lean ground beef or turkey
  • 1- 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 – 32 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbls. vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbls. Fresh chopped basil (or 2 tsp. dried – I used Italian Herb Seasoning instead)
  • 1/2 tsp. (or more) salt
  • 1/4 tsp. sugar
  • 8 oz (2 cups) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup. grated parmesan cheese
Cook pasta according to package in a large pot. ¬†Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. ¬†Put back in pot and set aside. ¬†In a 12″ skillet, cook ground beef. ¬†When done, drain off fat and rinse in a¬†colander¬†and add minced garlic cook until until tender, but do not brown. ¬†Add tomatoes and simmer until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. ¬†Stir in basil, sugar, and salt. ¬†Add sauce to the pasta and toss, adding the reserved pasta water as needed to loosen sauce. ¬†
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spread 1/2 of the pasta mixture into an oiled 9 x 13 baking pan.  Sprinkle 1/2 of each type of cheese over the top.  Spread the rest of the pasta mixture, then the rest of the cheese.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Thanks Mikaela!

Eggplant Parmesan February 2, 2009

Filed under: Recipes — mrswade @ 10:22 pm
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I was a little nervous about this recipe. ¬†I had left over spaghetti sauce that I had frozen and didn’t know what to do with. ¬†We were tired of spaghetti and I hate to throw anything out so I thought of eggplant parmesan. ¬†I always try to make inexpensive recipes because Jake and I are on a pretty tight food budget. ¬†2 eggplants cost me $2.98 and I threw out almost 1/2 an eggplant. ¬†Next time I’ll just get one big one or two small ones. ¬†Mozzerella was about 2.50, the parmesan I already had and I made my own bread crumbs. ¬†Here’s the recipe.


  • 2 eggplant, peeled and thinly sliced (mine were about 1/4 inch)
  • 2 – 3 eggs, beaten (start with 2 and crack another if needed)
  • 2-2/3 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs (I just stuck 3 slices of bread in my food processor and then toasted them under the broiler, though I think I should have either toasted them less or not at all so they toasted more to the eggplant later.)
  • 4-6 cups spaghetti sauce (I’m not sure exactly how much I used, but I know I could have used more)
  • 8 ounce package mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I used way more than this but I wanted to get rid of the parmesan I had sitting in the fridge)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Dip eggplant slices in egg, then in bread crumbs. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 5 minutes on each side.
  3. In a 9×13 inch baking dish spread spaghetti sauce to cover the bottom. Place a layer of eggplant slices in the sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Repeat with remaining ingredients, ending with the cheeses. Sprinkle basil on top.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes, or until golden brown.

Jake kept going on and on about how delicious this was, I really liked it too. ¬†It was far better than the eggplant parmesan I had had in my schools cafeteria ūüėČ ¬†Overall it turned out wonderful and is a cheap way to use up the extra spaghetti sauce (because I always make way too much!) ¬†And healthy…I think (maybe with low-fat cheese?)


Seafood Lasagna November 24, 2008

Filed under: Recipes — mrswade @ 9:45 pm
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WONDERFUL – again, a little on the expensive side because of the seafood and the cheese, but so so good! ¬†Even if you have someone who doesn’t like seafood I think this would be ok, it’s not very fishy, I don’t think (but I love seafood!)




  • 9 lasagna noodles
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup minced onion
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups cottage cheese¬†
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 (6 ounce) can crabmeat, drained and flaked¬†
  • 1 pound cooked small shrimp
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese


Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente; drain, and rinse in cold water. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a skillet, cook onion in butter over medium heat until tender. Remove from heat, and stir in cream cheese, cottage cheese, egg, basil, and salt and pepper.

In a medium bowl, mix together the soup, milk, wine, crabmeat, and shrimp.

Lay 3 cooked lasagna noodles on the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish.

Spread 1/3 of the onion mixture over the noodles. Then spread 1/3 of the soup mixture over the onion layer. Repeat the noodle, onion, soup layers twice more.

Top with Cheddar cheese and Parmesan cheese.

Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until heated through and bubbly.

Michelle’s Notes

Of course I used Olive Oil instead of butter

Some of the reviews on this recipe said to use Fontina Cheese instead because it makes it not-so-runny, I used Fontina and it was not runny at all and tasted phenomenal

We used Dancing Bull Chardonnay because it was on sale (though I don’t think Chardonnay is typically considered a dry white), it also went well with the meal…so Jake says…

I used my left-over imitation crab from my zucchini recipe

I have found that having a block of Parmesan Cheese in the fridge is kind of a staple, I use it all the time

I think I used a little more Cheddar than it calls for, and I generally use Medium Cheddar on a regular basis so I used that instead of Sharp

I broiled it for a bit once it was done baking to get the cheese crunchy on the top

happy husband after seafood lasagna!

The best part - happy husband after a yummy dinner ūüôā


Crab Stuffed Zucchini November 21, 2008

Filed under: Recipes — mrswade @ 10:52 am
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This recipe was UBER nummy and actually pretty easy!


3 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise

2 tablespoons hard margarine (or butter)‚Ä®

1/2 cup finely chopped onion‚Ä®

2 garlic cloves, minced (or 1/2 teaspoon powder)

1 (6-ounce) can of crabmeat, drained, cartilage removed, flaked‚Ä®

1/2 cup grated Swiss cheese‚Ä®

1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 1 1/2 ounce)

1 large egg, fork-beaten‚Ä®

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour‚Ä®

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (or 3/4 teaspoon flakes)‚Ä®

2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill (or 1/2 teaspoon dill weed)‚Ä®

1 teaspoon paprika‚Ä®

1/4 teaspoon pepper


Scoop out pulp from each zucchini, leaving 1/2 inch thick shells. Arrange shells in single layer on greased baking sheet. Chop pulp.

Zucchini before the oven

Zucchini before the oven


Melt margarine in small frying pan on medium-high. Add onion and garlic. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring often, until onion starts to soften. Add zucchini pulp. Stir. Transfer to medium bowl.

Add remaining 9 ingredients. Stir well. Spoon into zucchini

¬†shells. Bake in 375¬ļF oven for about 30 minute until filling is set

Michelle’s Notes:

Since I was cooking for 2 (not 6) I used 1 zucchini and halved the filling recipe. ¬†I used olive oil instead of butter (lil bit healthier), I used imitation crab (I think it’s cheaper, but I didn’t look for canned crab), I¬†accidentally¬†used too much dill and no parsley. ¬†It still tasted great! ¬†That is what I love about recipe’s, most of them are just guidelines, improvising is so much more fun that being super strict about it! ¬†

I served it with roasted red potatoes and had a bit extra crab filling so I pilled it on the potatoes as you can kind of see in the picture.

My Zucchini with the potatoes

My Zucchini with the potatoes


Zucchini from thenest.com

¬†I think mine looks better ūüôā ¬†But it looked even better in person, I need to work on my food photography!