Thursday, April 28, 2011

Spaghetti pie

Spaghetti pie makes me think of work; in a good way. My coworkers and I used to browse the hospital cafeteria menu and make sure we made it over when spaghetti pie showed up. It's delicious!
I have been trying to make better choices at work and usually bring a healthy lunch. Yogurt, apples and a low calorie entree having replaced large portion, high calorie cafeteria food. But I have sure missed the spaghetti pie.
I found this recipe in Midwest Living magazine called Inside Out Spaghetti pie. I think it's as much upside down as it is inside out. Meat on the bottom, noodles on the top and cheese and sauce between and on top.
The recipe called for hamburger, but I had 1/2 pound each of Italian sausage and ground turkey. I am sure ground beef would be great too.  I also used pasta sauce instead of pizza sauce.


1 5-ounce Can Evaporated Milk
½ cup Fine Dry Bread Crumbs
1 small Onion, chopped (⅓ cup)
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Dried Italian Seasoning, crushed
¼ tsp Ground Black Pepper
1 pound Lean Ground Beef, Italian Sausage, Turkey Sausage Or Ground Turkey
4 ounces Dried Spaghetti
1 Tbsp Butter
1 Egg, lightly beaten
¼ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
8-ounce Pizza Sauce Or Pasta Sauce
1 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (4 Ounces)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine evaporated milk, bread crumbs, onion, salt, Italian seasoning, and pepper. Add ground meat; mix well. Lightly press mixture evenly onto the bottom and up the side of an ungreased 9-inch pie plate. Bake, uncovered, about 30 minutes or until done (160 degrees F). Fat will be present on the top of the meat; carefully tilt pie plate and drain the fat.

2. Meanwhile, cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain. Return to pan. Stir in butter until melted. Stir in egg and Parmesan cheese until spaghetti is coated.

3. Spread half of the pizza sauce over meat mixture. Top with ½ cup of the mozzarella cheese and the spaghetti mixture. Top with the remaining pizza sauce and the remaining ½ cup mozzarella cheese.

4. Bake, uncovered, about 20 minutes or until heated through. (If necessary, cover edges of meat mixture with foil to prevent overbrowning.) Let stand for 15 minutes before serving. Makes 6 servings.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Turkey Meatball Strogenoff

I love meatballs and these saucy turkey meatballs were no exception. I tried it for the first time a little over a month ago and it's been back on the menu twice since.

The original recipe is modified a bit by baking the meatballs instead of pan frying them. I find with baking them they stay soft and moist and I can also be assured they are done in the middle.  I do like the browning with pan frying, but a tender meatball that I can be assured is fully cooked takes precedence.

The sauce thickens quickly and is very easy. No stirring and stirring and hoping the sauce will finally thicken. (We have all been there!)

Meatballs, creamy sauce and pasta...what's not to love?? 

Adapted from


½ pound Ground Turkey
1 Egg
¼ cup Minced Onion
½ cup Breadcrumbs
1 Minced Garlic Cloves


1 Tbsp Butter
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
¼ cup Onion, finely chopped
½ cup Mushroom, thinly sliced
1 clove Garlic
½ cup Chicken Broth
1 tsp Brown Mustard
¼ cup Heavy Cream
½ cup Sour Cream
2 tsp Flour
2 Tbsp Minced Parsley
¼ cup White Wine - Optional
Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper
8 ounces Medium Egg Noodles, cooked


1. Form meatballs to about 1 1/2 inch size. Place in 8x8 glass dish and bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.

2 In a large deep skillet, heat butter and olive oil.  Add onions and mushrooms and sauté over medium heat until deep golden, about 20 minutes. Add garlic.

3 Blend broth, mustard, heavy cream and sour cream together and set aside. Lower heat.

4 Add flour and cook stirring for a minute.

5 Add liquid mixture and simmer, without boiling until sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.

6 Add meatballs to sauce and heat, without boiling until meat is warmed through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

7 Stir in wine, if desired, and parsley and spoon over egg noodles.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

I am hosting Easter brunch tomorrow and the menu is set. Egg bake with bacon and turkey sausage will be the main course along with fruit and these muffins. We will finish with carrot tea cake; which of course will be topped with cream cheese frosting. I can taste it already.

This was the first time I made lemon poppy seed muffins; a little surprising as we both love them. I knew they would be delicious by just the look and scent of the batter. The poppy seeds with all that good lemon zest and fresh juice smelled so good. 

Adapted from


½ cup Butter, softened
⅔ cup Sugar
2 large Eggs, separated
1 ⅓ cups Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
½ tsp Baking Soda
2 Tbsp Poppy Seeds
2 Lemons, zest of, grated
¼ tsp Salt
½ cup Buttermilk
2 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
1 tsp Vanilla


Preheat oven to 350°F Coat a 12 cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy.

Add the egg yolks, one at a time. Beat well after each.

In a separate bowl, stir together the dry ingredients, poppy seeds, and lemon zest.

Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, alternating two times with the buttermilk, then lemon juice, and then vanilla.

Beat just until smooth.

In an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gently fold them into the muffin batter until blended.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, ¾-full. A cookie scoop works very well for this. No spills and easier to get the right amount for each muffin.

Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool for 5 minutes before removing to cool completely.

When making cupcakes and muffins these are so handy.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies

These are pure decadence. As soon as I saw it I couldn't wait to try it. But I knew I had to wait until we had more people to help us eat them. No way could, or should, two people be consuming an entire pan of these! Plus I don't trust myself around peanut butter and chocolate.

Chocolate and peanut butter over a layer of brownies; how brilliant. Oh, there is also a little cereal. I actually used whole wheat, organic cereal, so they are also incredibly healthy.
Maybe not. But the cereal is healthy and peanut butter has protein. So there. 

Credit to How sweet It Is for this amazing recipe.


1 Batch Brownies-Mix Or Homemade Recipe
½ cup Salted Peanuts
1 cup Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups-Chopped Into Small Pieces
1 ½ cups Milk Chocolate Chips
1 ½ cups Creamy Peanut Butter
½ Tbsp Butter
1 ½-2 cups Cereal


Mix brownies according to directions, and bake for 20-25 minutes in a 9 x 13 baking dish. They will be thinner then a typical brownie, of course, but they are only the bottom layer.  Remove and top with peanuts and peanut butter cups, and bake for 4-6 minutes more.

While they are finishing baking, melt chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter. Stir in cereal. You will need approximately 1 1/2 to 2 cups depending on what type of cereal you use. I used a flaky crisp cereal and used about 2 cups. If you use a puff cereal you might use a bit less. You want the mixture thick but still spreadable.

Remove brownies from oven and evenly pour chocolate mixture over top; using a spatula to evenly coat.

Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

5 Minute Chocolate Cake in a cup

This recipe has taken on a life of its own on the Internet. Google "chocolate cake in a cup" and 6 million hits come up. Add in that it only takes five minutes and people can't help but be interested.

Let's be real; it wouldn't win prizes for consistency or texture.  It's made in a microwave. But it is what it is and it is a quick, easy chocolate dessert you can have almost immediately.

Chocolate Cake in a Cup


4 Tbsp Flour
4 Tbsp Sugar
2 Tbsp Cocoa
1 pinch Salt
1 Egg
3 Tbsp Milk
3 Tbsp Oil
3 Tbsp Chocolate Chips (Optional)
A Small Splash Of Vanilla Extract
1 large Coffee Mug (Microwave safe)


Add dry ingredients to mug and mix well.

Add the egg and mix thoroughly.

Pour in the milk and oil and mix well.

Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla extract, and mix again. A fork works about as well as anything to mix it.

(Optional chocolate chips....who are we kidding? We are making 5 minute microwave chocolate cake in a coffee cup and we are not adding chocolate chips? I don't think so.
Seriously, do add the chips. They melt and get gooey and wonderful.) 

Put your mug in the microwave and cook for about 3 minutes at 1,000 watts. When the cake starts to rise over the top of the mug it is getting done. You will be convinced you will spend the next 10 minutes cleaning your microwave instead of eating chocolate cake. But in my three experiences it hasn't happened yet. 

Allow to cool a little (the cake will fall back into the cup) run a butter knife around the edge of the cake and tip out onto a plate or bowl. Serve with ice cream, whipped cream or chocolate sauce.  A little ice cream or chocolate syrup really does add a lot. I am thinking whip would be good too, but have yet to try it.

You can also cut it in half and share and have a bit more reasonable portion.  It's also nice to share.