Monday, November 23, 2009

After Thanksgiving Casserole

Every November, my cooking class at the Council on Aging centers around what to do with leftover turkey. Last year I made turkey paninis with cranberry mayo and caramelized onions. They loved it! This year, the group wanted a casserole made with all the makings from Thanksgiving dinner.

I decided to put a layered casserole together and it was a big hit! Here is the recipe.

After Thanksgiving Casserole

Green Beans (or any leftover vegetables)
Sliced turkey
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Shredded Cheddar Cheese

The size of the baking dish will depend upon how many leftovers you have. Layer stuffing on the bottom of the baker. Top with any leftover vegetables. I used green beans. Top the vegetables with sliced turkey. If you would prefer, dice the turkey for easier handling. Add the gravy. Mix some Cheddar cheese with the mashed potatoes. Spread potato/cheese mixture on top of casserole. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese and bake in a 400 degree over until cheese is bubbly.

I think this could be frozen and served at a later date. The guests at the class loved this recipe. I hope you enjoy it too!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Pasta with Little Necks

Each year we purchase a shellfish license from our town hall. It costs us $25 each year and pays for itself over and over again. Just going out once for a basket of clams or little necks (quahogs) will more than pay for the license.

We had a small basket of little necks last week. When I am fortunate enough to have the clams, I usually do one of three things with them: clam boil, chowder or pasta.
With this batch, I made chowder and a pasta dish.

The pasta is a quick, simple dish with really no recipe. This is how I made it:

Boil spaghetti to al dente and drain.

Meanwhile, saute one onion in olive oil. Once soft, add one can of dice tomatoes and about 4 cloves of garlic, crushed or minced; pepper and salt. Add a splash (or more) of wine. Simmer and add the little neck clams. Cover and cook until the clams open. Serve over the pasta for a fabulous meal.

I put about 18 little necks in the sauce. You can adjust this for your tastes or the amount you have.

I love this meal because it is quick and delicious. Enjoy!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Baking Snacks for Your Family

My food bill is about $60-$70 per week for my family of 4. One of the reasons is, I bake all our snacks. I don't like the preservatives and additives manufacturers put in our food. By baking our own snacks, I can customize them with no additives and I can add whole wheat flour, flax seed, oat flour and other items which would cost a lot in the "healthy" section of the supermarket. Unhealthy snack foods are really cheap. You can get a bag of bargain cookies for about $1.00 at the Dollar Tree. But if you want whole wheat anything, you may be paying a lot more.

Last night, my daughter and I decided to make oatmeal cookie squares. I like to make the squares, because they do not take as much labor as cookies. It took us a total of 5 minutes of hands-on time...the time in which a commercial was on during our favorite Sunday night show. Here is the recipe:

Oatmeal Cookie Squares

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 1/2 cups oatmeal (I have used quick or old fashion with great results)
1 cup whole wheat flour (if you want some flax meal, I have substituted about 1/4 cup of flax meal for the same amount of whole wheat flour)

Mix the all ingredients except oatmeal and flour. Add flour and oatmeal. Put into an 8 x 8 inch pan and bake at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes. Cool and cut into squares.

I hope you enjoy this!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Linguica Sauce

My family and I love pasta! I make pasta at least once each week. It's fairly fast and economical. My husband and daughter like meat sauce but I don't cook or eat beef..maybe I will write about that sometime. I usually make my sauce with either turkey meatballs or linguica sauce. My husband says my turkey meatballs are not meatballs, even though he loves them. Sometime I will post my recipe for the turkey meatballs. But today I am posting my recipe for linguica sauce. I love linguica in tomato sauce. The flavor and spices really infuse the sauce and make it taste so great. So here it is:

1 can tomato puree (if you like diced tomatoes or whole tomatoes you can use them)
1 small chopped onion
1/2 lb ground linguica (if you buy bulk linguica just grind in food processor or food chopper)
1/4 cup - 1/2 cup wine
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed with garlic press
1-2 tbs Italian seasoning (or just sweet basil)
salt and pepper to taste

Saute the onion in a little olive oil until soft. Add the garlic and linguica and cook for about 1 minute. Add the tomato puree, wine, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Stir and simmer. The longer this cooks, the better but you can just cook this quick while the water for the pasta boils.

This is also a great sauce for your lasagna. Instead of putting beef or Italian sausage in the lasagna, you can put linguica for a great flavor. Enjoy!