Friday, May 16, 2014

An Easy Family Supper


My Mother's Day Present,
An Apron



My Renaissance Man Grandson's Gift from the Beach
Wednesday night, my sweet daughter, her hubby, and their eight kids came by on their way back home from vacation.  It was a quick visit, but I'm sure there will be more visits this summer.  I wish I had taken a picture of the dining table.  I had it set when they got here (my daughter noticed).  She mentioned how nice the house looked.  One of my granddaughters said I had a pretty bedroom.  Hooray!

There were no guilty feelings going around in my head that I had not perfectly cleaned every corner of the house.  The old me had to have every corner clean and every item that was not in it's best place taken care of.  I did clean off a couple of hot spots by using my "cleaning baskets."  Tomorrow, I will probably go back to go through the items I cleared off those small tables.

My Sweet Oldest Granddaughter's
Gift from the Beach

Best of all, everyone loved supper and it was easy!  I made Slow Cooker Spaghetti Casserole.  The pasta did not have to be precooked;   so, there was no extra large pot and colander to wash from spaghetti.  It went in the crock pot dry.  Here is the recipe.

Slow Cooker Spaghetti Casserole

I made this in a 6 quart Crock Pot.  I fed ten hungry people and had leftovers.

  • 2 lbs of ground beef
  • Olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped 
  • half to one green pepper, chopped into small pieces, not tiny
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced or crushed in a garlic press
  • salt to taste (remember that you are not boiling the spaghetti in salty water, I sprinkled back and forth 2 or 3 times -- 3/4 of a teaspoon?)
  • pepper to taste (I admit to being a sprinkler.  I probably sprinkled half a teaspoon.)
  • 1  14 1/2 to 15 ounce can of diced Italian Tomatoes  (you could use stewed or plain, but add italian seasoning or oregano)
  • 24 ounce jar of Spaghetti sauce
  • 16 ounces thin spaghetti  (I used whole wheat.)
  • Water to rinse out the spaghetti jar (about 1/2 a cup)  I mix this into the sauce.  You could also use red wine or red cooking wine. 
  • Two or three cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Parmesan Cheese  ( I used the shaker dry cheese, but you could use fresh grated)
Sauteed bell pepper first in 3 Tablespoon Olive oil, then add onion, and garlic.  Sauteed ground beef with the previous ingredients.  It does not have to be browned, just cook enough that the color changes.

Add Diced Italian Tomatoes and Spaghetti Sauce.  Put water or wine into jar, swish around and add to sauce.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Layer the ingredients into the slow cooker in this orders  (you can spray your slow cooker with cooking spray first, but I forgot) :

  • A third of the sauce on the bottom of the crock pot
  • Break the thin spaghetti into two inch pieces.  Put half the box in the pot.
  • More sauce.
  • Half the cheddar cheese.  
  • Generously sprinkle Parmesan cheese.
  • The rest of the spaghetti broken into two inch pieces.
  • The rest of the sauce.
  • Cheddar and Parmesan Cheese spread over the top
Cook for 4 hours on low temperature.  If you have to wait for guests to arrive, it does fine waiting on warm.

Serve with hot pepper like in the pizza parlor and Parmesan cheese if desired.  Let your guests do the sprinkling, because it tastes good as made.

Vegetables

I cooked frozen green beans, as well as frozen broccoli and cauliflower side by side in the waterless Miracle Maid electric cookware that used to be my mother's.  She hardly ever used this large piece.  It also is great for making pancakes.  I think you could use a large covered skillet too on a low temperature.   I dotted them with butter, sprinkled salt, pepper, and basil on them.  We have teenagers in our family now, and I had to pull out a bag of mixed vegetables, and leftover okra and tomatoes.  My daughter helped me.  I am glad they like vegetables.  It's a good thing they have a garden.  That is a lot of mouths to feed everyday, and they do it well.  

We could have had salad, but it is easier to cook frozen vegetables -- less preparation.

Bread

I had visions of home made bread dancing in my head, but we settled for three 12 inch  loaves of garlic bread.  I sliced it into inch sections and put it in a large bowl covered with colorful flat, cotton towels.

Dessert 

We had two choices of ice cream.  My husband said "KISS -- keep it simple, Sweetie."

It felt wonderful to have supper ready when they got here, and I was not a worn out mess.  
Whatever weariness I experienced after the visit was worth it.  I meant to take lots of pictures, but I was too busy loving on my family.  I had to hold my babies, even though I cannot do it as long as I used to do.  I should have requested pictures, but we were so busy getting in time together, that I made no requests.

I also have a beautiful new apron they brought me, a Mother's Day present.  I think I could wear the top of it for a fabric necklace.  It has to be unattached to wash it.  So it really is a necklace.  What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. This is so beautiful! And the recipe sounds just wonderful! I will have to try to make it sometime. I love that it can be done ahead of time before guests arrive and ready to set on the table. Anything I can do ahead of time always alleviates stress. So thankful for you, dear friend!

    ReplyDelete

It's always lovely hearing from you. xoxo, Deborah