Archive for the ‘casserole’ Category


Dear Readers,

I’ve been counting calories since the first of the year and wanted to make something that was low in fat and calories.  Found this recipe that I had cut out of a magazine years ago in an old folder.  Tried it and found it very tasty.  Maybe you will want to try it too!

White Bean and Sausage Rigatoni

8 oz. rigatoni pasta (5 cups)

8 oz. fully cooked turkey kielbasa

1/2 of a 10 oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed

2-15 oz. cans low-sodium stewed tomatoes

1-15 oz. can great northern beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 of a 6-oz. can tomato paste

1/4 cup dry red wine or reduced sodium chicken broth

1-1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning, crushed

1/4 cup shredded or grated Parmesan cheese

In a large saucepan prepare pasta according to package directions, drain and return to pan.  Bias-slice kielbasa.  Drain thawed spinach well.  Add kielbasa, spinach, tomatoes, beans, tomato paste, wine or broth, and Italian seasoning to the cooked pasta.  Stir to mix.  Spoon mixture into a 2-quart casserole.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Bake, uncovered, in a 375 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes.  Makes 4 servings.  Each serving contains 498 calories and 7 grams total fat.

Enjoy and remember to

Keep smilin’!


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Dear Readers,

I know this is a wild name for macaroni and cheese but throw caution to the wind and give this dish a try!  The recipe for “Cheese Thing” originated with Wendy A. Parker and was published in Sue Rappaport’s column in the Desert Sun newspaper.  Prepared this casserole for both Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve and everyone loved it.

Cheese Thing

1 pound penne rigate or similar tubular pasta

1/2 pound EACH:  sharp cheddar cheese, mild cheddar cheese

1 can (28 ounces) whole, peeled tomatoes with juice

1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

Instructions:  Heat a large pot of salted water (at least 5 quarts) to boil.  Add penne and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes.  Don’t worry if the pasta is a little undercooked, it will be finished in the oven.  Meanwhile cut the cheeses into 1/2 inch cubes.  Leave tomatoes in their juice and cut them into bite size pieces with with a knife or for fun, squeeze them with your hands.

When the pasta is done, drain and return to pot.  Add butter and stir until almost melted.  Add cheese, tomatoes, sugar and salt; stir well.  Pour mixture into 2 quart or 9 x 13-inch baking dish – glass or ceramic is best.  For optimal results, the Cheese Thing should sit for 12 to 24 hours, covered and refrigerated before baking, although it can be baked right away.  It can be frozen at this point for up to a month.

When ready to bake, heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Set the Cheese Thing on a rack in the middle of oven; bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hour or until bubbly and noodles poking out of the top have browned considerably.  Serve hot as an entree with a salad or as a side dish for meat or serve cold for breakfast the next morning.

Enjoy and remember to

Keep smilin’!

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Puffy Cheddar Grits

Dear Readers,

So far this is my third breakfast recipe in September.  I guess I’m on a brunch kick!  Oh well.  These grits are grrrrreat and they can be prepared a day ahead of time.  The recipe came from a magazine.  I know not which one!

Puffy Cheddar Grits

2 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon salt

3-1/2 cups milk

2 cups water

1-1/4 cups quick cooking grits

8 ounces (2 cups) shredded cheddar cheese

1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

1/4 teaspoon pepper

5 large eggs

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  In a 3-qt. saucepan, combine butter, salt, 1-1/2 cups milk and 2 cups water.  Heat to boiling on medium-high heat and gradually stir in grits, beating constantly with a wire whisk to prevent lumps.  Reduce heat, cover and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  (Grits will be very stiff.)  Remove saucepan from heat and blend in cheese.

In large bowl, mix hot pepper sauce, pepper, eggs and remaining 2 cups milk until blended.  Gradually stir grits mixture into egg mixture.

Grease shallow 2-1/2 quart casserole.  Pour grits mixture into casserole.  ( At this point you can refrigerate casserole until next day.  Be sure to bring to room temperature before baking.)  Bake uncovered 45 minutes or until knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Makes 12 main dish servings.

Enjoy and

Keep smilin’!

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Dear Readers,

After writing about this recipe club in two parts, I couldn’t end the series without including at least one recipe from the collection.  This recipe for “Eggplant Sicilienne” is from Mrs. Kate Lowry of Chicago, Illinois.

Eggplant Sicilienne

3/4 cup Borden’s Evaporated Milk diluted with 1/4 cup water

1 eggplant

1/2 lb. spaghetti

1/2 lb. American cheese, grated

2 cups stewed tomatoes

5 tablespoonfuls butter

1 tablespoonful flour

1 teaspoonful salt

1/2 teaspoonful pepper

1 teaspoonful sugar

1/4 teaspoonful baking soda

1 cup buttered crumbs

Cook the spaghetti in boiling salted water until tender.  Drain and run cold water through it.  Slice and pare the eggplant and fry in the butter (reserving one tablespoonful of the butter).  Make a cream sauce of the remaining tablespoonful of butter, the flour, and the milk diluted with water.  Add the soda to the tomatoes and combine with the cream sauce.  Add the sugar, salt, and pepper.  Arrange the spaghetti and eggplant in alternate layers in a greased baking dish, covering each layer with the sauce and the grated cheese.  Cover the top with buttered crumbs and bake until it is browned.

Hope you enjoy this recipe from 1924!

Keep smilin’!

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Mouthwatering Brunch Item

Dear Readers,

Here’s the recipe for A Blintz Souffle that I served to the family during the holidays.  They loved it and you could serve it for brunch or breakfast any time of the year.  It is also easy and can be assembled the night before.  It came from an old Pillsbury recipe booklet. 

A Blintz Souffle


16-oz. carton (2 cups) small curd cottage cheese

2 egg yolks

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

8-0z. pkg. cream cheese, softened


1-1/2 cups dairy sour cream

1/2 cup orange juice

6 eggs

1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened

1 cup Pillsbury’s Best All Purpose Flour

1/3 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, if desired

Dairy sour cream

Apricot preserves

Grease 13 x 9-inch pan.  In small bowl, beat all filling ingredients until well mixed; set aside.  Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off.  In blender container, place 1-1/2 cups sour cream, orange juice, eggs, butter, flour, sugar, cinnamon and baking powder.  Cover; blend until smooth, scraping sides often.  Pour half of batter into prepared pan.  Drop filling by teaspoonfuls over batter; spread evenly.  (Filling will mix slightly with batter.)  Pour remaining batter over filling.  Cover; refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Bake, uncovered, 50 to 60 minutes or until puffed and light golden brown.  Serve topped with additional sour cream and apricot preserves.  Makes 12 servings.

To cut down on calories and fat, I used low-fat cottage cheese, low-fat cream cheese and lite sour cream.  Do not use fat-free cottage cheese, cream cheese or sour cream.  Fat-free products alter the taste and texture of this recipe.

Enjoy and

Keep smilin’!

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Dear Readers,

I started preparing this “Deviled Corn” recipe in the early 70’s for our Thanksgiving and Christmas meals.  It came from the Better Homes and Gardens “Holiday Cooking and Entertaining Ideas” recipe magazine published in 1970.  I still have the magazine – the pages are yellow and the ads are dated.  But it still contains some very good holiday recipes.  My family really enjoyed the “Deviled Corn” casserole.  Give it a try.

Deviled Corn

4 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon prepared mustard

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

Dash pepper

1/2 cup milk

3 slices bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled

2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped

1 – 16 oz. can whole kernel corn, drained

1- 16 oz. can cream-style corn

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup medium cracker crumbs (about 14 crackers)

1 tablespoon butter, melted

In saucepan melt the 4 tablespoons butter; stir in flour, mustard, Worcestershire, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Add milk all at once; cook and stir till mixture thickens and bubbles.  Remove from heat; carefully stir in bacon, eggs, whole-kernel and cream-style corn.

Spoon into a 1-1/2 quart casserole, sprinkle cheese over top.  Combine cracker crumbs and the 1 tablespoon melted  butter; sprinkle over cheese.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or till heated through.  Garnish with hard-cooked egg wedges and green olive slices, if desired.  Makes 6 servings.

Note:  I use Ritz crackers for lots of flavor.  The recipe can easily be doubled and then baked in a 3-quart, 9 x 13 inch glass baking dish.  It can also be made in advance and then heated in the oven just before serving.

Enjoy and

Keep smilin’!

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A Spaghetti Lover’s Casserole

Dear Readers,

My family loves Italian spaghetti but this casserole elevates it to a new level.  The recipe for “Italian Spaghetti Pie” is from the Pillsbury “County American” cookbook published in 1983.  It’s an easy recipe to produce and is certainly a novel take on Italian spaghetti.

Italian Spaghetti Pie

6 oz. spaghetti

1 lb. ground beef

1 cup chopped onions

1/4 cup chopped celery

15 oz. can tomato sauce

2-1/2 oz. jar Green Giant Sliced Mushrooms, drained

1 teaspoon oregano leaves

1 teaspoon basil leaves

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 10-inch pie pan or 9-inch square pan.  Cook spaghetti to desired doneness as directed on package; drain.  Set aside.

In large skillet, brown ground beef with onions and celery; drain.  Stir in tomato sauce, mushrooms, oregano, basil and salt.  Simmer 15 minutes.

Combine cooked spaghetti, eggs, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and garlic salt; toss lightly.  Press spaghetti mixture evenly in bottom and up sides of prepared pan, forming a crust.  Pour meat mixture over spaghetti.  Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until spaghetti is golden brown and filling is thoroughly heated.  Let stand 5 minutes before serving.  Makes 6 servings, each containing 360 calories and 16 grams of fat.

Keep smilin’!

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Lemony Salmon Casserole

Dear Readers,

My daughter-in-law had some leftover salmon and asked if I had any good salmon recipes.  I gave her this recipe.  My husband and I enjoyed it and maybe you will too!

Lemony Salmon Casserole

1-16 oz. can salmon

1 can cream of celery soup

1/2 cup dry sherry

1 medium-sized onion, chopped

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspon salt

1 cup water

Lemon slices for garnish

About 1-1/2 hours before serving:

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In 2-1/2 quart casserole, with fork, coarsely flake salmon with its liquid; add undiluted cream of celery soup, rice, sherry, onion, lemon juice, salt and 1 cup water; stir until well mixed.  Cover and bake 45 minutes.

2.  Remove casserole from oven; with spoon, stir salmon mixture and arrange lemon slices on top in a circle.  Cover and continue baking 30 minutes or until rice is tender.

Makes 6 main-dish servings.  Each serving contains about 320 calories and 7 grams of fat.

Enjoy and

Keep smilin’!

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Dear Readers,

When it comes to sauerkraut, most people either love it or hate it.  But this recipe combines sauerkraut with pureed apricots for a taste that even sauerkraut haters will enjoy.  My husband proclaimed it one of the best meals I’ve prepared in a long time.  I teamed it with creamy mashed potatoes loaded with butter!  (We threw cholesterol levels to the wind!)

Apricot, Pork Chop and Sauerkraut Casserole

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup sliced onions

1 lb. sauerkraut

3 jars babyfood apricots

2 teaspoons sugar

4 pork chops

1-1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Saute onion in oil 5 minutes.  Rinse and drain sauerkraut.  Combine in a greased 9″ x 9″ casserole with apricots, sugar and onions.

Brown chops in oil remaining in skillet; arrange over sauerkraut; sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Cover and bake in a 350 degree oven for 1-1/2 hours.  Remove cover for the last 15 minutes.

Serves 4.

Enjoy and

Keep smilin’!

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Dear Readers,

Here’s a recipe I received from the Bisquick Recipe Club that is dated July, 1982.  It is easy and good; also the perfect dish to prepare when tomatoes and zucchini are in season.

Impossible Zucchini-Tomato Pie

2 cups chopped zucchini

1 cup chopped tomato

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1-1/2 cups milk

3/4 cup Bisquick baking mix

3 eggs

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease 10-inch quiche dish or pie plate, 10 x 1-1/2 inches.  Sprinkle zucchini, tomato, onion and cheese in plate.  Beat remaining ingredients until smooth, 15 seconds in blender on high or 1 minute with hand beater.  Pour into plate.  Bake until knife inserted in center comes out clean, about 30 minutes.  Cool 5 minutes.  Makes 6 servings.

Enjoy and

Keep smilin’!

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