For Bonnie (Moron-Proof Noodley Stuff in a Pan)

This is screw-up proof, I promise. Hope you guys like it.

Moron-Proof Noodley Stuff in a Pan

None of the amounts are set in stone – a little more or less will be fine.

~12 oz box of whole wheat penne pasta or similar style
~1.5ish jars spaghetti sauce, give or take
~1 can petite diced tomatoes (you can leave this out if you don’t have any)
~ Frozen onions and bell peppers – about a cup of each (you can leave these out if you don’t have any)
~ 1 package 20oz Italian seasoned ground turkey
~ 2C shredded low moisture part skim Mozzerella

1 large sauce pan
1 Pasta Pot
2 8×8 pans or equivalent (I suggest lidded Pyrex for easy storage)

1) Put your turkey and frozen veggies in the sauce pan – cook until well browned, breaking up turkey regularly. If you want to throw in some extra Italian seasoning, go ahead.
2) Cook pasta per directions, and remove from heat and drain about a minute short on the cooking time. You want it edible but firm.
3) Pour half the pasta in each pan and half the meat mixture in each dish.
4) Split the sauce and tomato and pour half in each dish as well as 1/4 of the cheese and combine (reserving 1/2 cheese).
5) Cook glass dishes at 350 for about 30 min.
6) Sprinkle 1/4 remaining cheese on each dish and cook for about 8 minutes or until well melted.

Optional – I’m sure you could freeze one of them after combining the ingredients but before baking – just put the extra cheese in a ziploc on top and freeze the whole thing.

There you go, Bon – you can do it!!!

Surplus Bananas

And what to do with them.

I hit the grocery store a few times a week. I always pick up bananas, so sometimes we end up with surplus. Or everyone wants the pretty yellow ones and not the homely mottled ones.

So here is my “What to do with Surplus Bananas” post. I invite you to add your own ideas too – links are always appreciated if it involves a recipe.

Banana Pops

You Need:
~ Bananas
~ Orange Juice or other fruit juice. Pineapple juice from the pineapple tin works great.

How-To: Blend it and freeze it into pops.

Serve: While the kids are IN the bath. Use them as a treat for sitting still while you shampoo and there’s no mess involved.

Banana Flowers

You need:
~ Bananas
~ Sprinkles

How-To: Cut bananas in 1/2″ – 3/4″ chunks and arrange as shown. Put the ends of the banana in the center of the flower.

Serve: As Dessert. I always play it up and the kids beg for them. Great way to get rid of slightly bruised fruit – the sprinkles disguise any banana blemishes.

Frozen Bananas

You need:
~ Bananas
~ Sharp knife, baking sheet or small tray, and wax paper

How To: Cut in 1/4″ rounds – any thicker and it’s too cold to eat. Optional – add sprinkles before freezing. Freeze your tray for a few hours and then pop them all into a sealed container.

Serve: In small Quantities – melted bananas are not so yummy. Try serving them with frozen grapes – another favorite here.

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Raisin Cookies with Flaxseed

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Raisin Cookies with Flaxseed

That’s a mouthful isn’t it?

You need:

2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1.5 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
1/4-1/2 c ground flax seed
1 teaspoon baking soda
1.5 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups oats
1-1.5 cup raisins

Mix the butter and the sugars together. Add vanilla and the eggs. In a separate bowl mix the flour, cinnamon, flax seed, and baking soda. Combine those dry ingredients with the butter/sugar mixture. Add the raisins and oats.

Drop by tablespoon or cookie scoop onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 10-12min. Makes 3.5 dozen if you use the cookie scoop and probably 4 dozen if you make teeny weeny wimpy cookies.

To be honest, I was expecting inedible wheaty oaty hockey pucks, but they turned out very well. Even Mister Lawyer had some (and went back for more). Don’t tell the kids that they are healthy and they won’t guess that they are.

Harried Momma Fajitas

is what we had for dinner tonight.

Now, before I start, please note that I am in Texas and I am very well aware of what “real” fajitas taste like. In fact, they are one of my favorite forms of sustenance. However, on days like today, when I am dealing with a minor dental emergency, a weird eye problem (I can’t look at the light – it hurts. Yes, I have an appointment about it tomorrow) two three year olds (I have an extra one today), a five year old, and an 8 month old infant who refuses to nap, this will certainly do in a pinch.

Harried Momma Fajitas

You need:

~Chicken – boneless skinless something. Preferably breasts, but whatever else (tenders, etc.) you have on hand would be ok.

~A package of chicken Taco mix (yes, taco, not fajita). Look carefully – you want the kind with no MSG or other disturbing or unpronouncable ingredients.

~ A combination of onion and bell peppers, cut into strips. I suggest the precut kind – the truly harried momma will appreciate this convenience.

~ A 13×9 glass pan

~ A few tablespoons olive oil

~ Foil to cover the pan.

~ Shredded cheese, salsa, and other toppings if desired. I’m a salsa-only girl; this harried momma likes simplicity.

~ Tortillas.

Here you go – throw the chicken breasts whole into the pan. Toss with some olive oil and the taco mix. Add your veggies on top, to the outer edges of the pan. Bake for 35-55min at 350, covered. Use the time to do something other than cleaning the kitchen.

When your chicken is done, break out the tortillas, slap on some toppings, and custom cut your chicken as each person prefers. If your tortillas are cold, roll your creation, and microwave it for about 10-15sec to get it nice and squooshy.

And there you go. Not authentic, but mighty tasty.

New Year’s Day Minestrone

We had soup today; it turned out well. The three year old just stared at it and the five year old liked it a lot except for the “juice,” but the baby and I loved it. Mister Lawyer will be weighing in his opinion once he gets home.

Thanks to Lost Button Studio for giving me the basic recipe for this, but I did change it up, mostly because the sacker at Kroger gave several of my bags to the person after us today and I will have to go back and reclaim what I didn’t take home today. Having already put one beastling down for a nap and two out to play, I didn’t have it in me to scoop them all back up and drag them to the store. So here is the modified version, which, as mentioned, was quite good:

New Year’s Day Minestrone

~ 2 tablespoons olive oil
~ 1 cup frozen, chopped, onion
~ Sea salt and cracked black pepper
~ One large box chicken broth
~ 3 large zucchini, quartered and sliced
~ Bag of frozen, coined, carrots
~ 3 cans (14.5 ounces) kidney beans (I used 2 x Organic 3 Bean Mix and 1 x Red Beans)
~ 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes with Italian seasoning, pureed
~ 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
~ 1 cup dried whole wheat or whole grain pasta (This would be ideal, of course, but I was forced to steal the shell noodles out of a free box of Hamburger Helper due to the Sacker Incident).

In a large pot, heat the olive oil and add the onion. Season with salt and pepper and cook 5 minutes. Add the broth and 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Add the vegetables, beans, tomatoes, pasta, and Italian seasoning. Cook about 15 minutes until pasta is tender. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed.

I will prepare this again soon similarly as I did today, but definitely with the whole wheat pasta.

Happy New Year!

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