Monday, October 14, 2013

Spaghetti Baskets

Earlier today, I came across a picture on the internet that intrigued my pregnant taste buds...

I pinned it on pinterest here. A pressed spaghetti sandwich with garlic bread. Oh yum. I started thinking about ways to recreate and dress it up a bit at home. We don't have a sandwich press so I thought a grilled cheese style with provolone and spaghetti. But...I honestly totally dislike making grilled cheese. I know they are one of the most simple foods in the world, but I really dislike the smell of hot butter in the frying pan. 

So my mind drifted to recipes I've tried in the past, like the BBQ Chicken Biscuits. It's fun to bake things in a  giant muffin pan on top of a biscuit. And yummy. My mind created these yummy Spaghetti Baskets and I went with it! They were a big hit and will go into regular meal rotation now...

First, you cook angel hair noodles according to package directions and mix with your favorite sauce and season the way you seem fit. I did a box of whole wheat spaghetti and a jar of Classico 4 Cheese sauce. I didn't season mine up too much because I was using garlic on the crescents. But your choice. 

NEXT...preheat oven to 350 and melt about 2 to 3 tablespoons of butter and mix in a few dashes of garlic powder. Meanwhile, divide crescent rolls into triangles and press into large muffin pan creating the baskets. I used 2 triangles just to fill in gaps and build up the sides. 

Next, use a pastry or bbq brush to brush down the sides and bottoms of the crescent baskets with the melted garlic butter. Place a square of mozzarella cheese or a tablespoon of shredded mozzarella to the bottom of each basket. Then place about half a cup of spaghetti in each basket. I used a big serving fork and spoon to twist the spaghetti in a nice little nest before putting them in the crescents. 

I then added a few strips of cheese to the tops, but you could do shredded if that's what you have on hand. 

Now bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Let cool for about 5 minutes before popping out of the pans. So good...we had ours with a salad. I wanted to keep eating and eating...

Spaghetti Baskets
1/2 a box of uncooked angel hair pasta
4 cups of favorite spaghetti sauce
2 cans refrigerated crescent rolls
2 to 3 tablespoons butter
Garlic powder
Mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350. 

Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and mix with sauce. 

Meanwhile, lightly grease large muffin pan/pans. 12 muffin spaces total. Divide crescent rolls into triangles and press into muffin pans to form baskets. Use extra dough to fill in the holes and build up the sides. 

Melt butter and mix with a few dashes of garlic powder. Brush butter on the sides of crescents using a pastry or bbq brush. 

Place a square of mozzarella or a tablespoon of shredded mozzarella on the bottom of each crescent. Place a 1/2 cup to 1 cup of spaghetti in each basket and top with more cheese. 

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before removing from pan. 

Dig in!!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Gooey Apple Butter Cake

This has been a busy week in our house. Cooper started a preschool speech therapy and he is LOVING it. He goes 2 days a week for just 2 hours, but it's perfect for him right now. I didn't feel like he was ready to start a 5 day preschool program so we decided to put it off one more year (he'll be 4 in January).

He makes this face for 99 percent of pictures now...

He's also developed an attitude, that's been real fun. REAL FUN. His favorite phrases include 'What did you say?' and 'You can't talk to me' when he's being told something he doesn't want to it's time to put your toys away or it's bedtime. Ug. I know he's just learning independence, but it's no fun for me! I know this to will pass, just pass quickly...

My birthday was on the 9th. I had a good day. Cooper slept in, we went to lunch with my grandma, we had nachos for dinner and Kevin gave Cooper a bath! Giving him a bath is one of my least favorite parenting tasks.

We also got a new pet this week, a little girl mouse named Squeak! She's very cute.... onto dessert...

This cake is fantastic and easy. I think most people have heard of or have had Paula Deen's Gooey Butter cake. You basically add a ton of butter and cream cheese to a cake mix and it makes magic in the oven. You can use different flavors of cake mix and add different filings. I usually do a spice cake/pumpkin filling for Thanksgiving, I think I am going to do the one below this year....make it, you will want to share it with your friends and family too!

Gooey Apple Butter Cake

3 medium Granny Smith apples
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 box cake mix (yellow or butter recipe is best)
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted, divided
3 large eggs
8 ozs cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease two 8 inch rounds or a 9x13 cake pan. 

Peel and chop apples and toss with lemon juice, set aside. 

Mix cake mix, 1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter, and 1 egg with an electric mixer until well blended and a 'dough' forms. Press into the bottom of cake pan evenly. 

In same bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy, 30 seconds. Add in rest of melted butter, 2 eggs,  vanilla and cinnamon. Beat at medium for 1 minute, add sugar and mix 1 minute more. 

Fold apple slices with a spatula into cream cheese mixture. Spread evenly into cake pan or pans. Bake for 45 minutes until cake jiggles slightly and slightly solidified in the center. Remember, cake is 'gooey' so you can't do the toothpick in the center thing. 

Let it cool and refrigerate any unused cake for up to a week. 

Dig in!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Easy Veggie 'Pizza'

Hello 'fall'. The air is slightly cooler and I have been watching The Good Wife almost non-stop for days now. It's my new favorite show.

I currently have Holiday Spice in the wax burner and I am pretending it's 75 degrees outside, instead of the current 84. I cannot wait to open the windows and air out the house. The cat also looks forward to that day, it's as close as I willingly let her get to the outside. I bring you a fun and delicious party food. Or football Sunday food. Or Mommy just really wants to bake some crescent rolls and slap some cream cheese on them.

There are several versions of this floating around the internet. Those versions require you to make a TON of 'pizzas'. This version is enough for a very hungry husband and yourself along with a 3 year old. Or as a dish at a small a get together.

They are versatile, you can switch around the veggies and do different Ranch dip flavors in the cream cheese. I usually stick to traditional Ranch and a combo of carrots, cauliflower and broccoli. ya go!

Easy Veggie Pizzas

2 cans refrigerated crescent rolls (I prefer Immaculate brand)
Two 16 oz packs of cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon of dry Ranch dip mix
2 - 3 cups of veggies or cheese for garnish (broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, and bell peppers all work well), chopped

Preheat oven to 350 and lightly spray a cooking sheet with Pam or other cooking spray. 

Unroll crescent rolls and divide into rectangles, do not divide into triangles. Bake for 10 - 15 minutes, checking after 10. They'll be golden brown when ready. 

Meanwhile, mix cream cheese and Ranch mix. Using an electric mixer works best. 

Cool crescent rectangles for 10 minutes then spread cream cheese mixture liberally over the rectangles. Top with veggies and press slightly to help keep them from falling off when picked up. Cut into smaller pieces, if desired. 

Dig in!!