Autumn is here! Well sometimes Autumn is here and sometimes it’s not. So needless to say I have been alternating between heat and air conditioning. I am looking for that happy balance, well at least inside the house but I don’t think that will happen but this girl can dream. Virginia weather can be so unpredictable at times. Today I am lucky not be using either the heat or a/c. Electricity and Gas can be a biznitch to pay.
I am ready to get in the kitchen to bake and cook but oh what’s that Mr. Refrigerator? Oh, you decided that enough is enough and you don’t want to cool properly. Of course, you don’t. I swear I am being tested but I am over being tested. I want to finally reap some rewards from all this testing but do I think that is going to happen … uh, no. So I continue to pull up my big girl panties and will go forth- upward and onward.
That was the bad so let me tell you about the cool! A few weeks back I attended my very first afternoon tea that was thrown by my friend, Teresa. It was soooo fun! Heck, anytime I can get outside and socialize it is a great thing. The tea was so relaxing and the food was extremely good. It was my first time sampling the delights of a scone and enjoying those dainty tea sandwiches and a variety of teas. The afternoon tea was to celebrate the launching of my friend’s mobile tea service, A Time for Tea. The premise is quite simple; it’s a tea party that comes to YOU with all the bells and whistles. It can be for one or it can be for more. Do you have a special one who could use some “tea therapy” then this would make a great gift! So if you live in the metro Richmond, Virginia area be sure to get in contact with A Time for Tea.
Ok, on to baked spaghetti – it can’t compare to Momma June’s “sketti” from “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo”. Yes, I watched and I was amazed and appalled, I was am-palled. It’s BETTER than Momma June’s Sketti – I am quite confident in that statement since the thought of Country Crock and Ketchup is not my idea of tomato sauce. BLECK!
This baked spaghetti is saucy, a requirement for me. I don’t care for dry pasta and I am sure you don’t either. It also has a great cheese filling that is a combination of ricotta and cottage cheese and of course pasta. I found this recipe initially on Pinterest and I made a few minor tweaks. Baked Spaghetti is a great casserole dish that freezes beautifully. It’s meant to be shared with family and friends. This dish is a “stick to the ribs” type that I typically crave in the fall and winter seasons. Baked Spaghetti – it’s what’s for dinner.
Until Next Time,
Adapted recipe from Salad in a Jar’s Scooter’s Spaghetti
8 ounces whole grain spaghetti, cooked and drained
1 pound ground turkey
1 large container of spaghetti sauce (26.5 ounces)
1 tablespoon of butter
1/2 cup green peppers, chopped
1/3 cup onions, chopped
8 ounces of Neufchatel Cheese, softened
1/2 cup low fat ricotta cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
2 tablespoons of milk
2 cups/ 1 8 oz package of Shredded Italian Cheese Blend
Preheat oven to 350 fahrenheit
Cook pasta according to box instructions; drain and set aside.
Heat skillet and melt butter and saute the onions and green peppers. Remove from skillet.
Brown and crumble ground turkey. Drain liquid from the turkey and add spaghetti sauce and let simmer.
While meat, veggie, & sauce is simmering you will need a large mixing bowl. In bowl you will mix the Neufchatel (low fat cream) Cheese, ricotta, onions, and green peppers, and milk. Combine until is thoroughly mixed (You can either mix by hand or use a mixer).
In a 12×8 or 13×9 inch greased baking pan you will begin the layer process. You should end with sauce and a layer of cheese, so my advice is to divide the meat sauce into three equal portions. Noodles divided into two equal portions. Cream cheese mix divided into two equal portions. Shred cheese into two equal portions. I know you all are smart people and know how to layer but I just wanted to write it out, just in case.
First Layer: Meat Sauce mixture. Second Layer: Noodles, be sure to cover the pan when laying out the noodles. Third Layer: Cream cheese mix, spread evenly. Fourth Layer: shredded cheese. Repeat Layers.
Bake assembled masterpiece in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes. Let casserole sit for approximately 10 minutes before serving.
Serving suggestion: a nice side salad or green beans and perhaps some great garlic bread. Spaghetti and green beans reminds me of school food- ahhhh, memories.