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
Tags: , , , , ,

This one’s from my very dear friend Mikaela.  🙂  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! 🙂 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. 🙂 

img_3047

Ingredients

  • 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
Directions
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!
 

Salsa (well, actually, pico de gallo) March 8, 2009

Filed under: frugal,Recipes — mrswade @ 4:26 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Tonight is a taco night and I made some homemade salsa to go with it 🙂  It super easy, uber delicious, fresh and a fun way to get some veggies!

img_3019

What I used

  • 3 1/3 tomatoes
  • 3/4 white onion
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 1 jalapeno pepper (w/o the insides and the seeds)
  • cilantro to taste
  • a couple squirts of lime juice to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste

 

Chop it all up, (use a food processor for the tomatoes if you want the salsa a little more juicy and less chunky) and mix it together, it’s super easy!

It’s also super cheap!  the cilantro and jalapeno were less than a dollar, onions and tomatoes aren’t that expensive either and this made way more than a traditional tub of salsa 🙂

 

Homemade Tomato Soup December 16, 2008

Filed under: frugal,Recipes — mrswade @ 9:40 am
Tags: , ,


img_2435

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cans (28 ounces each) whole peeled tomatoes in juice (with basil if available

Directions

  1. In a 5-quart saucepan or Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat; add oil and onion, and season with salt and pepper. Cook until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour and tomato paste; cook 1 minute.
  2. To saucepan, add thyme, broth, and tomatoes, breaking up tomatoes with your fingers. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, 30 minutes. (Remove thyme sprigs before blending.)
  3. Using an immersion blender, puree soup in pot, leaving a fair amount of the tomatoes in chunks. Or, working in several batches, puree half (5 cups) of the soup in a conventional blender until smooth; return to pot. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, or let cool to room temperature before dividing among airtight containers (leaving 1 inch of space at the top) and freezing.

 

 

Michelle’s Notes

  • I used large cans of diced tomatoes so I didn’t have to break them up, it worked really well
  • I didn’t have fresh or dried thyme so I sprinkled in Italian seasoning and extra basil
  • I wish I had an immersion blender, but I don’t, so I scooped up about 5 cups/half the soup-ish and stuck in it a blender and blended it till it was smooth
  • I served it will grilled cheese 🙂 yummy! I think Bisquick biscuits would be really good with it too.