Monday, April 26, 2010

On the Menu

This week Dr. H. willingly sat down at the dining room table with me and helped plan our menu. (With a stack of 125 exams to grade, he'll do just about anything to procrastinate.) We did it the old-fashioned way this week: with a stack of cookbooks. I have a whole cabinet full, and I just randomly grabbed a few. That red folder is our collection of recipes clipped from newspapers, printed off the internet, etc. It also contains our master camping menu list and our master menu list, which is a former version of my On the Menu page.

But, honestly, none of this week's recipes come from a cookbook except for Tuesday night's dessert, Key Lime Pie. Here's what we are having:

French Bread Pizzas (never had last week)
Ribeyes (for my mom, who keeps mentioning that she'd love a good ribeye)
Thai red shrimp curry
Baked ziti

I have to wonder sometimes why I keep so many cookbooks, now that I find the vast majority of my recipes on the internet. And, in fact, why are so many cookbooks still being published? I once started to write a cookbook, cleverly titled Real Food for Real People. This started when I was a fairly new bride. I found myself understanding how to follow recipes for somewhat complicated meals but not knowing how to cook very basic things liked mashed potatoes and pot roast. I wanted a cookbook with simple, basic foods. Yes, I know—that's what The Joy of Cooking is all about. But I didn't get the Joy of Cooking as a wedding gift; I got complicated cookbooks with recipes for things like braised tongue.

Anyway, I never got farther than one or two recipes before I lost interest in that project. But this would have been one of them:

Baked Ziti

1 lb. ziti, penne, or whatever tube pasta you like
2 cups mozzarella
1 jar of spaghetti sauce (I prefer Classico vodka sauce or 1/2 jar red sauce and 1/2 jar alfredo)
2 chicken breasts, grilled or otherwise cooked and shredded

Mix everything together except 1/2 cup of the cheese. Add whatever spices you like: basil, oregano, a little dried red pepper, etc. You can be crazy and add other things, too, like spinach, mushrooms, or other cheeses. Put in casserole dish and sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top. Baked at 350 for 20-30 minutes. This makes waaaay too much to feed our family of 5, so you'll have lots of leftovers. (Or be smart and cut the recipe in half if your family lets leftovers rot in the fridge.)

There you go: real food for real people. No sweetbread omelettes here. For more menu ideas, check out my On the Menu page at the top.
Linked to Menu Plan Monday at Organized Junkie and Tasty Tuesdays at Balancing Bedlam and Beauty.

1 comment:

  1. I've been looking for an easy Baked Ziti recipte - thanks a lot!! (gotta love real food for real people) :-)


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