Attention Family! I've been saying it for years, now I am preparing you for when it happens, I am retiring from cooking in less than 5 years. The only thing I will make is my morning coffee, and that is only because I am too lazy to get dressed and go out for it!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Southwestern Skillet

We had this for supper last night, and for some reason, it really hit the spot for me. This feeds six quite easily, even when three of them are teenagers. It is easy to omit or substitute ingredients to suit your taste, pinto beans instead of black beans, guacamole instead of avocado, no olives no problem.

Southwestern Skillet

1 pound hamburger meat
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
1 bell pepper
1 can Rotel tomatoes and chilies
1 and 1/2 cups rice
2 and 1/4 cups water
1 can black beans, drained
1 can corn, drained or i cup frozen corn
1 package taco seasoning mix, low salt
1 small can sliced black olives, drained

sour cream
shredded cheese
tortilla chips

Pop some good salsa music in the CD player. Brown the hamburger in a large skillet, drain. While hamburger is cooking, chop the onion, garlic and bell pepper. Add the veggies to the skillet along with the meat and cook five minutes more. Add the tomatoes, rice, water, beans, corn, taco seasoning, and olives. Stir well, cover, and cook over low heat 25 minutes or so until the rice is done. While rice is cooking, shred the lettuce, put out the shredded cheese, sour cream, salsa, and chips. Set the table, make ice tea, put a trivet on the table as a landing space for the skillet. Check the rice, when it is done, turn off the heat and cut the avocado. Bring the skillet to the table and serve! Add your favorite toppings and enjoy.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Pasta

This pasta dish has such seasonal colors that my children decided to call it Christmas Pasta. It makes a good amount, so enough leftovers for lunches.

1 pound package of ziti noodles
1 pound italian sausage
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 package frozen, chopped spinach
28 ounces diced tomatoes, undrained
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 cups (or more) shredded italian cheese

Cook pasta according to directions on package. While water is boiling, start browning the italian sausage in a large skillet. Peel and dice the onion and garlic. Put the frozen spinach in the microwave for 5 minutes (our microwave is fairly lame, so you might only need 4 minutes). Add the pasta to the pot when the water boils. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Drain the fat off the sausage, add the onions and garlic, let it cook for 5 minutes or so. Drain the spinach and add to skillet, along with the tomatoes, tomato paste, and seasonings. When the pasta is done, add to skillet. Stir well, and carefully! Spray a large casserole with cooking spray, and add half the pasta. Sprinkle with some of the cheese, add the rest of the pasta, and then the remainder of the cheese. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until hot and bubbly. While the pasta is in the oven, wash the pots, set the table, make ice tea, and put a large trivet on the table in anticipation of a great, festive supper!