Monday, March 28, 2011

homemade goodness

Hello my peeps!!  Yes, it's been a while since the last post.  So let's just skip over the reasons why I've been busy and just jump right on in, shall we?

I got this new cookbook - Cook This, Not That - and I got hungry just by looking at the pictures.  I think this is a great book for people wanting to cut down on calories with easy recipes, because all of these recipes look really simple.  The first one I tried is this baked ziti chicken sausage dish (I'm going to post the recipe below from memory because friend L is currently borrowing the book).  The book says that you could eat a pasta dish at the Olive Garden for 1000+ calories or eat this dish for 375 calories (give or take).  It was incredibly quick and easy to make, and plus, I have dinner for the week.

ziti and chicken sausage


And now, for the apple pie.  What, did you all think I was going to give up sweets just because I got the cookbook?  HA!  You don't know me very well, then.

apple pie


Anyway, the apple pie.  MMM, yes.  I have had this craving for apple pie for the last two weeks.  So this weekend, I got me some apples to make me a pie.  This is my third time making an apple pie from scratch.  Well, okay, almost scratch - I bought the pie crust.  Come on now, if I was so busy for the last two weeks to even find time to make an apple, I don't have time to make pie dough from scratch!  I promise I will attempt pie dough one day, though.

This was a Betty Crocker recipe, and it took less baking time because I think it had to do with the many holes created by the basket weaved top.  The apples inside also did not collapse when I took the pie out of the oven, something that happened to both of the last two pies I made.  I also need to figure out a way to keep the crust from burning.  Any suggestions?

The only thing missing from the apple pie was vanilla ice-cream.

*****

Baked Ziti with Chicken Sausage

Ingredients:

2 links chicken sausage
1 box whole wheat penna pasta
1 can 28 oz tomato puree
1 cup mozzarella
minced garlic
olive oil
half an onion (omitted here because I don't like onions)
fresh basil leaves (I think at least 1/4 cup, but more or less depending on your taste)

Directions:

1.  Cook the pasta until almost done and drain.  Cook the sausage and cut into slices.
2.  In a separate pan, brown the onions and garlic with the olive oil.  Add the sausage slices and tomato puree until bubbling.  Add the pasta.
3.  Pour the past/chicken/tomato mix into a lasagna pan (9x13).  Using a wooden spoon, mix in the mozzarella cheese and basil.  Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees F.  Then take the foil off and bake for another 10 minutes.
4.  Serve with garlic bread and parmesan cheese, if desired, and chow down guilt free!

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