Bits I Make

If you are anything like me, you are always on the lookout for quick and easy edible stuff.  I am constantly jotting down recipes from other bloggers, so I thought I'd better reciprocate.  Here are a few of my favorite stand-bys, made with ingredients I almost always have around.  I'll add to it as I find things I love so feel free to check back every now and then.

Spaghetti Casserole
Brown 1.5 lbs ground beef
Drain and add green pepper (optional)
In a large bowl, mix:
   One 15oz jar spaghetti sauce
   1 tsp brown sugar
   1/2 tsp garlic salt
   1/4 tsp pepper
Add meat mixture to sauce mixture.
Cook 8oz spaghetti, broken up
Add to meaat and sauce mixture and place in 9x13 sprayed pan.
Mix: 2 tsp butter
       1/3 c Parmesan cheese
       1 egg, well beaten
Spread 8oz cottage cheese on top of meat and spaghetti mixture, then put egg mixture on top.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Sprinkle with cheese the last 10 mins.

Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells
16 jumbo shells (I usually make more), prepared as directed on box
1 lb ground beef
1 pkg. taco seasoning
1 c. water
1 can refried beans
1 c. shredded cheese
1 jar salsa
1/4 c. sliced green onions (optional)
sour cream (optional)
Cook beef in large skillet, drain.  Add seasoning; mix water and cook over low heat for 5 mins or until thick. 
Add beans and 3/4 c. cheese, mix well.
Spread 1/3 c. salsa over bottom of each of 2 8" square baking dishes (or whatever).  Fill pasta shells with beefre mixture; place half of shells in each baking dish, filled side up. 
Spoon remaining salsa over shells.  Preheat to 350 degrees.  Cover baking dish with foil.  Back 40-45 mins or until heated through.
Sprinkle with green onions and remaining cheese.

Lemon Bars
1 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/4 c. powdered sugar
1 c. granulated sugar
2 tsp. grated lemon peel, if desired
2 Tbls. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1.4 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix flour, butter and 1/4 c. posdered sugar. Press into ungreased (I grease it!) square pan.  Bake crust 20 mins.
Beat remaining ingredients except powdered sugar with electric mixer on high about 3 mins. or until light and fluffy.  Pour over hot crust.
Bake 25-30 mins. or until no indentation remains when touched in center.  Pool in pan on wire rack; dust with powdered sugar.

1 1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. shortening
2 large eggs
1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 c. sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Heat oven to 400.  Beat 1 1/2 c. sugar, the butter, shortening, and eggs in large bowl with electric mixer or with a spoon.  Stire in flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt.
Shape dough into 1 1/4 inch balls.  Mix 1/4 c. sugar and the cinnamon.  Roll balls in cinnamon-sugar mixture.  Place 2 inches apart on ungreased (I grease it!) cookie sheet.
Bake 8-10 mins. or until set.  Immediately remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.

Salsa Dip (from Deceptively Delicious but without the pureed carrots)
1 cup canned refried black beans
1 cup salsa
4 oz. reduced fat cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon taco seasoning

Put it all in a bowl and mix it up.  Serve at room temperature or heat it in the microwave for 1 minute.