Macaroni & Cheese Italia

The handwriting on this card is very different from the cursive on several others, so I’m guessing it was written out by a friend and shared. People used to do that sort of thing. Now we just email or text the recipes to our friends and no one knows how bad our writing is!

This particular recipe calls for shredded American cheese – I personally would use shredded cheddar or mozzarella, or even a blend of colby & jack cheeses. It is very similar to the “lazy day lasagna” recipes I have posted in the past and would be rather easy. Probably tasty too. You can replace the Hunts Prima Salsa with any type of spaghetti sauce. It also could use some meat in my opinion.

Macaroni & Cheese Italia

7 to 8 oz elbow or shell macaroni

1 1/2 cups Hunts Prima salsa (a defunct type of spaghetti sauce)

1/2 c water

1 pt cottage cheese

salt & pepper

2 cups shredded processed American cheese

Heat oven at 350º

Combine cooked macaroni with Hunts Prima salsa & water. Place half in buttered 2 qt oblong baking dish. Top w/ half of the cottage cheese, sprinkle w/ salt & pepper. Add a layer of half the shredded cheese. Repeat layers, in order. Top w/ shredded cheese. Bake at 350º 35 to 40 min until bubbly. Makes 6 servings.

Pizza Casserole

Happy Thursday, folks! I hope everyone is sequestering well and not experiencing cabin fever. We at Casa de Gram’s are doing fine and soldiering on. Today’s casserole looks like it might be something good for tired moms and dads to make after a long day of wrangling children, pets and work.

Pizza Casserole

Brown 2 lb hamburg

add 2 cans tomato paste of pizza sauce

1 – 1 1/12 cans water (omit if pizza sauce used)

Salt & pepper to taste

1 – 1 1/2 tsp oregano

1 pkg mozzarella cheese (large) maybe 8 oz?

Using 9 inch square pan, place alternate layers of meat mixture & cheese in pan, ending with meat mixture. Top w/ a package of Jiffy corn meal mixture (used as directed on pkg) maybe cornbread? Bake @ 400º until topping is done (approx 45 min) Note: I found 20-25 is sufficient.

Spinach & Dill Dip (Donna)

Sometimes, planning for a party is more fun than the actual party turns out, right? I love thinking about the foods, how they will be arranged, staging the preparation, and working on it all even though it stresses me out so much! Here’s a tasty sounding recipe that reminds me of something my sister used to make.

Spinach & Dill Dip (Donna)

1 container (8 oz) Daisy sour cream

1/2 c mayo or salad dressing (i.e. Miracle Whip)

1 1/2 tsp chopped parsley

1/2 tsp dill weed

1 c fresh spinach, finely chopped

In medium bowl, combine first 4 ingredients. Stir in spinach until well combined. Chill, covered, 3-4 hours. Serve w/ crackers. Makes 1 1/3 cups.

Italian Style Casserole (Nancy Tucker)

While you are holed up in your self-quarantine, this might be a hearty, robust casserole for a hungry family. Looks like the macaroni will make a single layer topped with a beefy and tomato-y layer.

Italian Style Casserole (Nancy Tucker)

1 lb ground beef

1 medium onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 T salad oil

1 10 oz pkg chopped spinach (frozen)

1 lb jar spaghetti sauce

1 8 oz can tomato sauce

1 6 oz can tomato paste

1/2 tsp salt

dash pepper

2 cups cooked macaroni

1 cup shredded sharp (cheddar) cheese

1 cup soft bread crumbs

2 well beaten eggs

1/4 cup salad oil

Extra shredded cheese for topping, parmesan?

Brown beef, onion, garlic, in oil. Cook spinach according to directions, drain & reserve liquid – add water to make 1 cup. Stir spinach liquid and next 5 ingredients (spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce, tomato paste, salt, pepper) into meat mixture. Simmer 10 minutes. Combine spinach with macaroni, cheese, crumbs, egg & oil. Mix well. Spread in 9x13x2 pan. top w/ meat sauce, sprinkle with cheese if desired – Bake 350º 30 mins. Let stand 10 min before serving.


Crab Meat Dip

This recipe gives you some latitude for spiciness. Chili sauce traditionally is a mild red chili sauce – Heinz or similar variety. But, in this modern age of sriracha sauce, you can kick it up as spicy as you want! The sour cream will cool the burn and make this dip a savory star of your next party.

Crab Meat Dip (Donna)

1/4 cup dairy sour cream

3 tbsp chili sauce

2 tbsp mayonnaise

2 tbsp chopped green onion w/ tops

1/8 tsp dill weed

1 can (6 1/2 oz) crab meat, drained

In medium bowl combine sour cream, chili sauce, mayo, green onion & dill. Stir in crab meat. Chill, covered, 3 hours Serve w/ crackers.

Chunk light tuna drained & flaked may be substituted for crab meat.

Makes 1 cup

Baked Beans

Here’s a bit of a mystery – a baked beans recipe with no beans in it.I suggest from the small quantities that this is for a standard can of beans (15 oz) or possibly a 33 oz can. I remember seeing some recipes that said things like “1 #10 can…” A long while ago my sister had to find out what exactly a #10 can was. That is a monster can – 6 pounds 6 ounces. The #10 can is 7″ high by 6 1/4″ diameter. Way back in the late 1890s or early 1900s, can sizes became standardized, and they were numbered 1 through 10. So great! But, modern cans don’t tend to follow the old standardization. You may notice a recipe will call for 16 oz of something, but your can is 14 oz – this may be due to “hidden price increases” by manufacturers. A hidden price increase happens when they keep the item price the same but reduce the quantity of the product you get for your money.

Baked Beans (sauce only)

1/4 cup ketchup

2 tbsp molasses

1/4 tsp dried mustard

1/4 cup brown sugar

Upside Down Ginger Pear Pudding

This is one of those “pudding that is really a cake” recipes. Upside down cakes were tremendously popular in the mid 20th century as they look so fancy once turned out for serving. But, they are pretty simple really! Slice your fruits and arrange them in a pattern in the bottom of your baking pan, then pour the batter over top and bake according to the cake instructions. The fruits & sugars at the bottom form a syrup or glaze that when turned out makes the cake moist and sweet. This particular combination of ginger & pear is delicious and sounds like something you would have in winter. Pear harvest begins in August and continues until all the fruit is removed from the tree. Certain high-end orchards grow or import fancy pears at the Christmas season as well. Gingerbread combined with the ginger-pear topping sounds very “holiday” to me.

Upside-Down Ginger-Pear Pudding

Arrange in rows in bottom of well greased square pan (9x9x2) about 2 pears, peeled and sliced thin (in 16ths or less)

Pour over the pear slices 1/2 cup corn syrup & gingerbread batter

Bake about 40 minutes in moderate oven (350º)

When done, turn pan upside-down on serving plate. Do not remove from pan for a minute to allow syrup to run down over cake instead of clinging to pan. Serve warm with whipped cream or your favorite hot pudding sauce (vanilla, lemon, etc).

Serves 8 to 9 generously

Gingerbread Batter

Sift together:

1 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp cloves

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Mix together and stir into dry ingredients:

1 egg

3/4 cup molasses

1/2 cup hot water

Blend in 1/4 cups shortening, melted