Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Who Needs a Burger and Baked Beans Anyway?

     It was so hot here in Illinois on the 4th of July, that for the first time I can remember, we didn't grill outside. We use our grill all year long and I don't mind asking my husband to stand outside in the snow for a grilled chicken breast, but when the heat index is pushing 115-I just wanted him to stay inside. I decided to cook something completely not appropriate for the 4th and much more fattening than we usually have. According to my son, it was the best pasta he had ever eaten! No recipe...I was just "winging" it.


Ground beef (turkey or chicken would be fine)
Pasta Sauce (1 jar or same amount of homemade)
Low Fat Ricotta Cheese
Penne Pasta (or whatever shape you like)
Shredded Mozzarella

     In a skillet, brown the ground beef (I only used half of what was shown raw above) and drain. Stir in the jar of pasta sauce. In a separate pan, prepare the pasta according to directions. We like a lot of sauce in our pasta dishes, so I only used about half the box of pasta. Drain the pasta and add to the meat/sauce mixture.

     We love ricotta cheese, so I used a large spoon and placed "globs" of it over the top of the pasta. It almost looked like I was cooking dumplings.

Cover the top of the pasta/ricotta
mixture with a package of mozzarella cheese.

     Put the lid on your skillet and on low heat let the cheeses melt. We had ours with a salad and crusty bread. It is very easy and oh, so good!

     This is the pasta sauce I used. I bought it at Walmart and it did cost more than all the other sauces, but it was excellent and worth the extra money.

For dessert, I tried to keep it more 4th of July friendly.
I made my typical trifle. You can find the recipe for it here.
It is low fat to offset the pasta dish!

     I'm still trying to get into the mood for blogging. This heat and drought seem to have fried my brain. I don't feel creative and while I'm trying to get around to visit everyone, I am still behind on my visits. We have a trip coming up soon, so I may never get caught up...but, I'm trying! It was 104 today, our yard is dead and our plants are mostly gone even though we have watered them. Our fish died in our fountain (I think they cooked) and the cornfield behind our house is truly sad to see. I really feel for the farmers, the loss is major and the worst they have seen in many decades. I feel as if we should be stocking up on corn products now before the prices go up! I hope there is rain where you live!


Glenda/MidSouth said...

I need a serving of that for dinner tonight. :) Sounds and looks so good.
It is 98 with 107 heat index as I type. Had to get out today and it drained me. My flowers are pretty sad looking. Enjoy your evening.

Barbara F. said...

Your pasta dish looks delicious. We had a record breaking day here today - 101 - and a really strange thunderstorm with lightening. But not enough to cool things down, we even had hail. How is the puppy doing with the heat? xo

Starr @ The Kiefer Cottage said...

That looks delicious!! I love trifle, too, although Cool Whip is banned from my house. I prefer the real thing.

(It was 104 today here in my neighborhood in east Kansas. I hear you on the heat)

NanaDiana said...

That sounds wonderful. It has been too hot to cook outside here,too. We usually have COLD summers...but not this time- xo Diana

Linda said...

That looks like a wonderful meal! I feel for all of you suffering from the heat and drought. We don't get rain here during the summer months...and we are sort of used to the heat...but it's not humid...except last week we got tons of rain and the humidity was crazy for 2 days...not its back to normal. I feel for the farmers...and I pray you get some relief soon.

Marydon said...

Bet she doesn't chew on cords again! She is darling.

Oh, this looks scrumptious ... how I wish we could eat these kinds of recipes once again ... hubby can't have any of it. I try to make these kinds of things for my lunch when he isn't around.

Have a great weekend

Leigh Powell Hines (Hines-Sight Blog) said...

That looks delicious. It's kind of skillet baked ziti.

Linda@Coastal Charm said...

So sorry that you are having all this hot weather...wish I could send you guys some of our rain. There is no way that I would have grilled in that heat. Take care my friend:)


dee dee said...

Sue my dear....this looks yummy! We LOVE pasta here at the Bernhardt household! Will have to give it a try! Stay cool and I pray you are getting rain you so desperately need.
dee dee

Patrice said...

Everything looks so yummy, Sue. We've been getting above average rain here - wish I could send some your way.

koralee said...

You have had it hot down there...and all we are getting is rain here...wish I could send you some. Your dinner looked amazing anyways. ...ha ha ..just read Patrice comment above and she says the same thing as me. Stay cool my friend.

Nellie's Cozy place said...

Hi sue,
Decided to come over to check on you cause I have missed you for a while and was wondering if you were okay.
Somehow I missed this post last week,
wow, you are having hot weather, we have been at a 100 degrees for weeks now, we have had some rain and that does cool us off for the evening we
have it at least.
We are praying for rain for the midwest I know things are bad up that way. I forget exactly where you live, is it Indiana??
Sorry to hear about your yard and your fishies, poor things!
We have just felt exhausted for weeks, and I keep wondering what is wrong with us, but my daughter said everyone at work is the same, so guess it must be the heat.
Well, take care and glad you are doing okay, altho I know the heat must be getting to you, glad nothing really bad has happened.
Blessings, Nellie

Sophie said...

It looks so good, but it would kill me. Too much dairy.

You have to keep blogging because I have the time now to catch up on all my reading and see what my old Gather friends have been doing.

Relyn Lawson said...

I was just thinking about you today, friend.