Home of a mother, wife, writer

Posts tagged ‘cooking’

Manicotti Disaster of 2014

Recently, I’ve been making up a menu for our dinners each week. Well, Monday-Thursday. Friday is more of a leftovers day(or pb&j/cereal for the kids). Weekends usually see us out and about/at family things, so I don’t worry about planning those. When I don’t plan, it usually gets to be about a half hour before dinner, and I have no idea what to make. Also, this has led us to trying new things.

Well, last night, I had manicotti on the menu. I’ve never made this before. I’ve done stuffed shells, although I think my mom’s recipe is different from most. Mainly, we use cottage cheese instead of ricotta and include ground beef in the mixture(most recipes I’ve seen only call for the cheese mixture). Since it was a new recipe, I made sure to follow the directions exactly.

So, I opened the box of manicotti. One of them was broken, so I didn’t bother putting it in the water to boil. I followed the directions on the box to boil them. By the time I drained them, every single one had come apart. A few of them were still enough to wrap around the cheese mixture after I’d put it on. Most of them I had to piece together. I was about ready to toss them all, but I’d already mixed together the filling.

I didn’t have any problems with the cheese mixture, although wrapped the shredded noodles around it was a problem. Covered them with the sauce and put them in the oven. About five minutes later, I realized I hadn’t sprinkled Parmesan cheese over the sauce. Pulled the pan back out(thankfully remember a hot pad), took care of that and put it back in.

Then, I went back to the recipe and read some of the reviews. One offered a quick tip: you don’t have to pre-cook the manicotti noodles. That they’ll cook in the sauce. We’ve gotten the no-cook lasagna noodles(hint: don’t use these for slow cooker lasagna. They get really mushy.) before that you can do this with. I didn’t realize you could do it with these though. Lesson learned for next time at least.

And, in the end, they didn’t turn out too bad. They wouldn’t win any prizes for presentation, but even my picky princess asked for seconds(the monster was sick and only ate a couple bites of his).

Mom’s Recipes: Meatloaf

I’m going to try to keep up with a blog schedule of Monday, Wednesday, Friday(and a Sunday Summary post, of course). I may not do this every week, but I’m going to try. Monday’s posts might be an update on my crafting, or some other random post, like a recipe or something. Wednesdays, of course, will be my ROW80/WiPPet updates. And Fridays will probably either be Fitness Friday or a photo update.

My husband requested meatloaf for dinner last night. At least, he let me know ahead of time. Since it takes about 1.5 hours to bake. We have quite a few things of ground beef from a cow we split with my sister-in-law last year(my step MIL got it for us). So, we took a couple of them out on Saturday. Of course, when I went to get it started, they were still frozen. I got them thawed out and everything mixed together. I’ve always used the recipe I got from my mom to make this. And just like she’s always done, I double the recipe. Otherwise, it comes out really small. I do make a couple changes, but that’s really because there are a couple ingredients we don’t have.

  • 1 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1 cup bread crumbs(I usually end up using hamburger or hotdog buns and chopping them up in a little chopper thing we have).
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup minced onion(we don’t have onions in the house, but we buy minced onion instead of onion powder. This one I don’t actually measure, just put in what looks good)
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt

a funny story(okay, maybe funny). Yesterday when I was mixing this up, I looked at the number, but not which spoon I needed. I was grabbing the tablespoon and looking for the 1/2 tablespoon, when I glanced at my recipe card again and swore. Thankfully, I hadn’t measured anything out or dumped it in yet. I actually did something similar one other time when I was younger and making pancakes. Mixed up the sugar and salt measurements. And didn’t catch that one in time.

  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp celery salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

celery salt is one of the ingredients we don’t have. Could probably go and pick some up, but I’ve never come across another recipe that calls for it, so I’ve never bothered. I’ll usually use garlic salt instead of the powder.

  • 1/4 tsp dry mustard – and this is the other ingredient we don’t have. Again, this is the only recipe I have that even calls for it, so it’s something I don’t worry about buying, so I cut this completely from the recipe. It doesn’t seem to affect the taste.
  • 1/4 tsp sage – another thing I’ve only come across in this recipe, but we do actually have it in the cupboard.
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce – just don’t ask me to say it 😉

Just mix all of these things together, dump into a loaf pan and bake at 350° for about an hour and a half. It makes the most moist(moistest? doesn’t sound right, either) meatloaf I’ve ever had. Last night I could barely get it onto plates because it was falling apart. And of course, my husband goes and ruins it with ketchup. I’ve never used ketchup on my meatloaf. In fact, it’s why I don’t get it when we go out to eat at a buffet type restaurant. It always has ketchup on it.

Tag Cloud