Monday, February 13, 2012

Tasty Sunday

  One of my unofficial goals before our sweet baby girl arrives this summer is to continue to grow in efficiency and consistency of meal-planning. Just in the last couple of weeks I feel like I've found a good groove for our family when it comes to meals. In the past I've generally over-planned (too much food to eat before it goes bad) or I haven't had enough time to cook the meals I've purchased groceries for. But, I think I've figured out what works for us for now:
  • Sunday night: cook dinner
  • Monday night: stick a meal in the crockpot for dinner (since I'm at work all day Monday)
  • Tuesday night: Liam & Josh can eat leftovers (I'm usually meeting with one of my jr. high Bible study girls during dinner on Tuesdays)
  • Wednesday night: something quick like quesadillas or tortilla pizzas or sandwiches between work & cell group
  • Thursday night: cook dinner
  • Friday night: leftovers or go out
  • Saturday night: something quick or leftovers (Saturday dinners are always rushed, right before or after church, and are just Liam & I, about 90% of the time)
Anyway, my new plan I've been implementing has been motivating me to try some new recipes - particularly ones that I can can halve after preparation & freeze for later. Tonight I tried a recipe from one of our church's cookbooks (Fellowship Bible Church of NWA 25th Anniversary Cookbook), and I was really surprised with how tasty it was. In case you're interested in trying it out, here it is (I have no pictures, because that's just not how I roll. I'm more of the "cook & wash dishes as fast as I can while Liam is napping so I can put my feet up for a while before he wakes up" mindset):

Baked Layered Spaghetti (p. 197, submitted by Christi Sanders)

1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped green pepper
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 (4 ounce) can mushrooms
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes with liquid
1 (2 1/4 ounce) can sliced ripe olives
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 pound ground beef, browned and drained
12 ounces spaghetti, cooked and drained
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/4 cup water

Preparation Instructions:
 In large skillet, saute onion and green pepper in butter until tender. Add tomatoes, mushrooms, olives, and oregano. Add ground beef, simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Place half of spaghetti in greased 9x13. Top with half of vegetable mixture. Sprinkle with 1 cup of cheddar cheese. Repeat layers. Mix the soup and water until smooth, pour over casserole Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until heated through.

 When I made this tonight I left out the mushrooms, because Josh doesn't like them; I used whole wheat spaghetti; and I divided the recipe in two so I could freeze half of it. The result was so creamy and tasty - even Liam who has been a bit picky of late said, "yummy". That's a win in my book! It's definitely nothing fancy, but a great family meal.

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