Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Y'all Definitely Don't Want to Miss This

Where have I been living??? Gee wiz. Paula Deen has a magazine?? Since when? The night before last, as I was food shopping at Publix, I looked and saw a magazine that I hadn't seen before. It seems that Cooking with Paula Deen has been out since like November?? As if. I love this woman. Take Mawtha and put her in the South for about 50 years and give her a little caffeine and you have Paula Deen. She is so funny. A real straight shooter with a wonderful giggle and laugh. I've seen her on TV a couple of times and have just loved her. So, I was very excited when I found her new magazine.

It is chock full of great recipes and wonderful short articles. Her opening remarks are called "Hey y'all" (vs. Mawtha's "Editor's Letter"). In this month's "Hey y'all," she goes on talking about spring and then moves on to St. Patrick's Day in Savannah. Apparently she runs a restaurant with her two sons there called "The Lady and Sons." (I didn't know that.) She says:

"March 17th, St. Patrick's Day. . . The city really pulls out the stops and we have the second largest celebration in the country. At The Lady and Sons, we get in the spirit too. In the past, we've served a breakfast of green grits and put corned beef and cabbage on the buffet. But I have found that when folks are looking for something dyed green on St. Patty's Day, they're not necessarily looking for green grits; they're looking for green beer! So we don't always do big business on St. Patrick's Day. But on the 18th? Oh, people will step on your back to get in! They all are feeling so stinking bad from their carrying-on the day before, they just want some of mama's comfort and they come to The Lady and Sons looking for it!"
I love it! Remember when I wrote about my Furry Chicken Noodle Soup recipe? And I went into how my mom would always order her Vidalia onions from Georgia each year when we were growing up? Well, low and behold, there was this add for Vidalias in this magazine. Check it out, seems like we'll be able to get the real macoy at the grocer's this spring. Yum. I don't know about you, but when I buy the onions labeled "sweet," they are anything but. Ew. The new mag also has a lot of great-looking recipes for deviled eggs--six to be exact. Not quite time for them yet, but I will be trying them out come Easter time and beyond!

I went through the whole magazine in bed that night (even the ads are kinda interesting). So I was ready yesterday when the kid asked "What's for dinner, mom?" I whipped out the magazine and said, "Well, we can have chicken pot pie." No. "We can have a baked potato omelet casserole." Ew. "How about baked beef stronganoff casserole?" Don't think so. "Ok, then Italian pizza casserole?" Bingo. Pizza casserole it was.

Paula Deen's Italian Pizza Casserole

  • 3 C uncooked ziti noodles
  • 1 lb. ground Italian sausage
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped (omitted--kids)
  • 1 1/2 C quartered fresh mushrooms (omitted--hub)
  • 1 3 oz. package sliced pepperoni, chopped
  • 1 can sliced black olives, drained (omitted--hub)
  • 1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano
  • 2 15 oz. cans tomato sauce
  • 1 T dried parsley flakes
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 2 C shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
Cook pasta according to package, drain and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 13 X 9 baking dish.

In a large skillet, cook sausage, onion, pepper and garlic over medium heat until sausage is browned and crumbles; drain well. Spoon sausage mixture into a large bowl.

Stir in mushrooms and next 8 ingredients. Stir in 1 cup of cheese. Add cooked ziti, tossing gently to combine. Spoon mixture into prepared baking dish. Top with remaining cheese. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until casserole is hot and bubbly.

The kids and the hub totally devoured it. Since I've become accustomed to the hub and kid's homemade red sauce, I found the sauce to be a tad tangy (duh, it wasn't cooked all day)--food snob. But is was overall good.

Would I make it again? For the kids, definitely. They don't normally eat an entire casserole, so that was the tell-tale sign that they liked it. For me, naw. If I'm going to take the time to make an Italian casserole, it's going to be lasagna from the homemade sauce which I keep in the freezer. Also, it's possibly better with the other ingredients that I had to omit because of various picky eaters. Oh yea, and the fact that I forgot one (15 oz. no less!) can of tomato sauce could have a just a little bearing on the taste. Oh well, no one seemed to notice. I didn't until I was writing the recipe here. giggle.

1 comment:

Suanne said...

I'll give this Pizza Casserole a try one of these days, Rosa. They look soooooo good. Norm and Marc would love this I am sure.

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