Friday, November 27, 2009

Stuffed Mushrooms

These are a delicious little appetizer or "finger food" for the holidays! They are just the right size and there is no way to stop at just one! They keep calling you back for more! ENJOY!

1 lb. pkg. of hot sausage **
1-8 oz. pkg. cream cheese or neufchatel cheese
2- 16 oz. packages medium mushrooms

Crumble sausage in skillet and brown thoroughly over medium high heat.

While sausage is browning, remove stems from mushrooms and clean mushrooms well with a damp paper towel to remove all loose dirt.

Drain browned sausage thoroughly. Place in food processor and chop sausage until very fine.

In medium bowl, combine sausage and cream cheese and mix with a fork until well-blended.

** Can also add several dashes of ground cayenne pepper for a little extra spice if you use Regular sausage, or if you want even the Hot sausage to be a little spicier.

Spoon sausage mixture into mushroom caps - mounding slightly.

Place on cookie sheet or in baking dish.

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30-40 minutes or until mixture bubbles.

Serve immediately on a serving dish with appetizer toothpicks!

Note: These may also be prepared ahead and refrigerated until ready to bake and serve.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Baked Spaghetti

2 (14.5 oz.) cans diced tomatoes
2 (15 oz.) cans tomato sauce
2 cups water
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Tbsp. dried parsley ( or approx. 1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley)
1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
3 small bay leaves
2 lbs. ground beef
8 ounces uncooked angel hair spaghetti
*1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
*1 cup grated cheddar cheese

* Or, can use 2 cups Cheddar Jack cheese blend

Chop onion and green pepper.

Chop garlic.

In a medium stockpot, combine tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, chopped onions, peppers, and garlic, parsley and all seasonings. Add bay leaves and stir gently.

Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce heat, cover and let simmer for approximately 45 minutes.

While the sauce mixture is simmering, Brown the ground beef in a skillet over medium high heat. Cook until desired brownness.

Drain any fat from browned ground beef and add beef to sauce.

Stir until well-combined.

Cook pasta according to the package directions and drain well in colander.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cover the bottom of a 13" x 9" pan with sauce. Add a layer of half of the cooked pasta.

Top with approximately 3/4 cup grated cheese mixture.

Repeat layers.

End with a final layer of sauce on top.

Bake at 350 degrees F for approximately 30 minutes.

Top the spaghetti with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and return to oven for about 5 more minutes -- or until cheese is completely melted.

Cut into squares and serve with salad and garlic bread.