Tag Archives: reheat

Mexican Stuffed Shells

Who doesn’t love a little Mexican mixed with their Italian dishes?
If the word Mexican is placed in front of the word food, then it is game on kids.
Game on.

A friend emailed this recipe to me months ago and I only just recently tested it out. Yeap, I’m an idiot.
Or I’m completely lazy. Not sure which description fits me best here.


So please don’t make my mistakes.
Instead, just go ahead and make this now.

Mexican Stuffed Shells
{printable version here}
1 lb ground beef
1 package taco seasoning
4oz cream cheese
12 jumbo pasta shells
1 cup salsa / taco sauce (I used the sauce)
1 cup mexican cheese blend

To make:
-brown ground beef. drain. return to saute pan. add taco seasoning. prepare according to package directions.
-add cream cheese, cover and simmer until cheese has melted. mix well. set aside. cool completely.
-meanwhile, prepare shells according to directions. drain , then set shells out individually on a flat surface (cutting board, etc.)
-pour salsa/sauce on bottom of 9×13 inch baking dish.
-stuff each shell with meat mixture. place shells open side up in baking dish.
-cover shells with taco sauce.
-cover and bake for 30 minutes.
-add cheese blend and bake another 10-15 minutes.
-top with diced scallions.



Serve with a pitcher of margaritas.
Or a nice bottle of pinot noir.
I mean let’s be honest, this dish has a total identity crisis.


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Z’s Baked Ziti {your recipes}


On our first night in the suburbs, our dear friends, Mark and Emi, invited us over for dinner.  Mark had spent the afternoon making Baked Ziti, one of my all-time favorite dishes.

Because I love Mark and Emi … and because I love me some Baked Ziti, I asked him if I could include his recipe as part of my Your Recipes series. He kindly obliged.
Now without further adieu, here is Z’s Ziti. { Did I forget to mention that we’re calling it Z’s Ziti? Because we are. So make sure for all future reference this ziti will be forever known as Z’s Ziti. Oh just go with it people. }


1 box ziti
1 jar Newman’s Own Sockarooni
1 jar 5 cheese (Alfredo) sauce
1, 8 0z pkg shredded mozarella
1, 8oz pkg ricotta
1 box frozen chopped spinach
1 lb ground sirloin, chuck, beef (whatever you can easily find at the store)
2 red peppers, diced
1 sweet onion, diced
ground pepper

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees
Defrost the spinach
Sautee the onion and red peppers in butter or olive oil and season to taste.
Brown the sirloin in a larger pan and also season to taste
Once the meat in browned, mix in the peppers and onions
Use 3/4 jar of each sauce and mix it in with the meat/peppers/onions and bring to boil. Mix often
Simmer that mixture for 20 minutes and still mix often

While that is simmering, boil 3/4 package of the ziti. When finished, drain

In a separate bowl, mix the ricotta cheese, some ground pepper, 3/4 package of the spinach, and 1/2 package of the mozzarella cheese

When the mixture is done simmering, use a very large bowl and mix the ziti with the meat sauce

In a baking pan, use 1/2 of the meat/pasta mixture and spread it across the bottom of the pan
Use all of the ricotta cheese mixture and spread it over the meat/pasta mixture
Use the remaining meat/pasta mixture and spread it over the ricotta cheese mixture
Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella cheese on top

Bake at 350 for 1 hour

And as always, have a seat and enjoy.


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More Meatballs?

I made meatballs last night.
Remember how I am obsessed with pasta? Well, I’m obsessed with meatballs too.
And although I’ve already posted one recipe here for meatballs, I found another one last night by Martha Stewart.

First thing you should know is that I don’t have the ingredients Martha keeps on hand. I’m more of a Sandra Lee type cook, not a Martha Stewart type cook. I like to keep things nice and simple. And let’s be honest, Martha Stewart doesn’t fall into the “simple” category.

Here’s what you’ll need:
3/4 cups breadcrumbs (make it easy on yourself and just get Italian breadcrumbs)
6 tbsp milk
3/4 cup olive oil
minced garlic (I’m lazy and use the kind in the jar)
diced onion (your call here…depending on how much you like or dislike onions)
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
3 large eggs (2 whole eggs, 1 egg yolk)
Italian Herbs
ground pepper, coarse salt
1 cup grated parmesan

To make:
Preheat oven to 350. Place breadcrumbs in a bowl and drizzle with the milk. Set aside, let stand.
Heat 2 tbsp oil over medium-high heat. Add diced onions and garlic. Saute 3 minutes. Set aside
Place meat in mixing bowl. Add crumb mix, onions, garlic, eggs, seasoning, cheese, salt and pepper. Mix together well. Make into balls. Keep your hands wet to help keep the meatballs moist. Yes, I said it. Set aside.

Heat the remaining olive oil over medium-high heat.
Working in batches, add meatballs, browning on all sides, about 5 minutes.
To finish, you can either let them cook in the sauce or you can transfer to a baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes.

And yes, this is the simplified version.
Scary, huh?




Oh and if you’re wondering, these make for incredible meatball subs. Not that I would know anything about that (says the girl with pasta sauce on her white shirt).


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sunday night meal

As it’s Sunday, most people actually enjoy a nice dinner…or supper if you’re from Alabama. So here’s yet ANOTHER lasagna recipe to add to your collection.

This comes courtesy of my new favorite magazine, Food Network Magazine. Please note I’ve actually made a few minor changes as I don’t want zucchini or carrot in my lasagna…and I’m too lazy to make my own sauce.

Here’s what you’ll need:
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves of garlic
4 tbsp chopped fresh basil or parsley
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 large egg
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp parmesan cheese plus more for garnish
1-8oz package mozarella
1-8oz package provolone
6 sheets no-bake lasagna noodles
1 jar marinara
1lb ground beef

Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a very large skillet over medium high heat. Add the garlic, cook until golden, about 1 minute. Add ground beef and brown, then drain. Meanwhile, mix the ricotta, egg, and parmesan in one mixing bowl while combining the mozarella, provolone, salt, pepper, and fresh herbs in another. Layer sauce and meat with just enough of the mixture to cover the bottom of the skillet. Lay 2-3 noodles across the sauce mix. Then cover with more sauce- then ricotta mix – then mozarella/provolone mix. Repeat the layers. Finish it off with a lyer of noodles and remaining sauce. Cover and simmer until the lasagna is cooked through, the noodles are soft, and the cheese has melted, 20-25 minutes.

Let rest for a few minutes before slicing. Garnish with remaining parmesan and fresh herbs.


Have plenty left over for tomorrow’s lunch. Trust me, I think it’s actually better the second time around.


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There’s this great little pasta place around the corner that we frequent every couple of weeks called Figo.  Funny thing is I never get the pasta.  I figure, if it’s something I can possibly make at home, I’d rather not get it.  So instead, I go for their paninis.  There is one in particular that I constantly salivate over.  It’s the mozarella and prosciutto panini and it is a little piece of heaven.  I’m such a fan of this sandwich that instead of taking the entire thing down at once, I always save half for leftovers.  No lie.  I’m really not kidding when I tell you this sandwich is fantastic.  And just so you know how much I love it even in it’s 2nd day form…I’ll show you:


I mean come on! Look at those layers. Prosciutto, thick mozarella, tomatoes, arugula, some sauce I’ll never learn how to make and that bread….oh lordy the bread.  There are no words.


World, this sandwich may be the food equivalent of the love of my life.  I think I may have to have you for lunch tomorrow.



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Now, back to our regularly scheduled Lasagna


This is my lasagna.  Say hi lasagna!  I know, when you think lasagna, you think it seems too difficult to make, right?  Guess what?  If I can make it, ANYONE CAN MAKE IT. Trust me on this one.  Let’s get started shall we?

Here are you cast of characters:

1 1/2 lb.ground beef

1 tsp garlic powder

1 jar marinara (I’m a snob so I use Newman’s Own Marinara)

1 can tomato sauce

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tbsp olive oil (and b/c of my strong hatred for rachel ray, you will never, ever see me refer to it as evoo. ps, sorry if i offended anyone…okay, not really)

4 cloves of garlic, minced (or more if you plan on keeping the vampires at bay)

1 -8 oz package of mozarella

1 -8 oz package of provolone, shredded

1- 15 oz container of ricotta

2 eggs

1/4 cup milk

1/2 tsp dried oregano

9 lasagna noodles (don’t kill yourself with this one. get the no boil kind)

1/4 cup grated parmesan

1 small onion, diced


And now let’s put it all together, shall we?

Preheat oven to 350.  Season ground beef with garlic powder and oregano. In a skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef.  Then drain.  In a large sauce pan add the marinara, tomato sauce, and oregano.  Set aside.  In a separate skillet, heat olive oil.  Saute your garlic and onions for 5 minutes over low to medium heat.  Now, mix your onions and garlic with the ground beef into the sauce and cook for 15-20 minutes.


While the sauces are bubbling up, combine the mozarella and provolone in a medium bowl. I n another medium bowl, mix the ricotta, eggs, milk, and oregano.


Layer a 9×13 in. baking pan/casserole dish with just enough sauce to cover the bottom of the pan.  Lay 3 noodles across the bottom. Cover with sauce- then ricotta mix – then mozarella/provolone mix. Repeat the layers.  Finish it off with a lyer of noodles and remaining sauce.  Top it with a nice heaping dose of parmesan.


Bake covered at 375 for 30 minutes.  Uncover and bake for 15 minutes.

And there you have it.  Easy, huh?








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so…i made this the other night

Chicken fried rice, that is…and although it wasn’t anywhere nearly as delectable as chicken fried rice from any Chinese restaurant, namely, the Golden Buddha,  or as Ash affectionately refers to it, the Golden Kitty, I will say that in its reheated form, it was actually pretty darn tasty. So, with that said, here is what you’ll need:


  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cups cooked white rice, cold- if you’re in a hurry, go cheap….buy the boil in a bag kind and when it’s ready, run it under ice cold water.
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup cooked, chopped chicken meat (or if you’re lazy like me, you can buy ground chicken)
  • 1 can of bean sprouts


    1. Brown the chicken until no longer pink, set aside.
    2. In a small bowl, beat egg with water. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium low heat. Add egg and leave flat for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from skillet and cut into shreds.
    3. Heat oil in the same skillet…be ocd and wipe it out clean since you’ve now cooked chicken and eggs in it..dirty; add onion and saute until soft. Then add rice, soy sauce, pepper and chicken. Stir fry together for about 5 minutes, then stir in egg. Serve hot.

     Now, again, this wasn’t the best first run meal.  So after careful consideration here are a few thoughts on how to improve it:

    1. cook the rice the day before / way ahead of time and keep it in the fridge overnight.  (There’s just something a little more authentic about “sticky” rice.)  It works much, much better than my above instructions of running it under ice cold water.

    2. Use sesame oil instead of vegetable oil. Heck, you can even substitute sesame oil for butter.

    3. Add more veggies.  Ash isn’t a huge veggie lover, but if you love ’em, add snow peas, carrots, whatever your heart desires…


    And then reheat until the rice can’t take being nuked anymore….

    ps. I have officially tried to upload these pictures (you know for my visual presentation) 4 times.  As you can tell, there are no pictures on this post.  WordPress and I are currently fighting.  If wordpress keeps it up, I may have to introduce you are what you eat… to my other close friend, blogspot.com.  I’m just sayin…

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