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Recipes to take to someone

>> Monday, October 3, 2011

As most of you know, I had a baby a couple months ago. She was baby #3, which meant that my schedule suddenly got even more hectic. Fortunately, I belong to a WONDERFUL group of moms and they came to the rescue! They brought me meals every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for THREE ENTIRE WEEKS! Did I mention that I LOVE my MOMS club?

Because this was baby #3, I think most people thought I had everything under control and would be fine, because nobody else brought me meals this time around except my wonderful next door neighbor. But this was probably the hardest post-pregnancy time I've had. Because not only are my boys constantly on the move, but it's taken a lot longer this time around for my body to recover from c-section #3. Have I mentioned how much my MOMS Club rocks?!

Anyway, I wanted to share the recipes of what people brought me. Because all the meals were good, none of them were repeats, and some of them were different than your usual casserole (not that those are bad!) and I know that the hardest part for me in taking a meal to someone is actually deciding on what to take.

Enjoy this list, and I hope it inspires you next time you would like to take a meal to someone.

Recipe #1
Creamy Baked Ziti

what you need
4 cups ziti pasta, uncooked
1 jar (26 oz.) marinara sauce
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
6 oz. (3/4 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, cubed
3/4 cup BREAKSTONE'S or KNUDSEN Sour Cream
1 pkg. (8 oz.) KRAFT Shredded Mozzarella Cheese with a TOUCH OF PHILADELPHIA
1/3 cup KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese

make it
HEAT oven to 375ºF.

COOK pasta in large saucepan as directed on package, omitting salt. Remove from pan; drain. Meanwhile, add marinara sauce, tomatoes and cream cheese to same pan; cook on medium heat 5 min. or until cream cheese is melted and mixture is well blended, stirring frequently. Return pasta to pan; mix well.

LAYER half the pasta mixture in 13x9-inch baking dish; cover with layers of sour cream, 1 cup mozzarella and remaining pasta mixture. Top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan.

BAKE 20 min. or until heated through.

Recipe #2
Southwest Chicken Salad

what you need 
1 bag salad mix
Various favorite veggies (peeled and chopped cucumber, carrots, cherry tomatoes)
1 can or 1 and 1/2 cups frozen corn, drained or thawed
1 can black beans, drained
Tyson or Kroger brand fried chicken fritter style, baked according to directions then cut into small pieces
sharp cheddar cheese- use as much as you like
Santa Fe style tortilla strips (usually found near the salad section at the store)- as a topper

make it 
layer all ingredients in listed order. This is good with southwest ranch dressing or regular ranch mixed with salsa (1:1 ratio)!

Recipe #3
Simply Lasagna

what you need
1 lb. ground beef
2-1/2 cups KRAFT Shredded Low-Moisture Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese, divided
1 container (15 oz.) POLLY-O Natural Part Skim Ricotta Cheese
1/2 cup KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese, divided
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 egg, beaten
1 jar (24 oz.) spaghetti sauce
1 cup water
12 lasagna noodles, uncooked

make it
HEAT oven to 350°F.

BROWN meat in large skillet on medium-high heat. Meanwhile, mix 1-1/4 cups mozzarella, ricotta cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan, parsley and egg until well blended; set aside.

DRAIN meat; return to skillet. Stir in spaghetti sauce. Add 1 cup water to empty sauce jar; cover with lid and shake well. Add to meat mixture; stir until well blended. Spread 1 cup meat sauce onto bottom of 13x9-inch baking dish; top with layers of 3 lasagna noodles, 1/3 of the ricotta cheese mixture and 1 cup meat sauce. Repeat layers twice. Top with remaining noodles, meat sauce and cheeses. Cover with foil sprayed with cooking spray.

BAKE 1 hour or until heated through, removing foil after 45 min. Let stand 15 min. before cutting to serve.

Recipe #4
Barbecue Pork and Penne Skillet Recipe

what you need 
1 package (16 ounces) penne pasta
1 cup chopped sweet red pepper
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 carton (18 ounces) refrigerated fully cooked barbecued shredded pork
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes with mild green chilies, undrained
1/2 cup beef broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped green onions

make it 
Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute red pepper and onion in butter and oil until tender.

Add garlic; saute 1 minute longer. Stir in the pork, tomatoes, broth, cumin, pepper and salt; heat through.

Drain pasta. Add pasta and cheese to pork mixture. Sprinkle with green onions.

Recipe #5
Fannie Farmer's Classic Baked Macaroni & Cheese

what you need
1 (8 ounce) packages macaroni
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1 cup cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded good quality
1/2 cup breadcrumbs, buttered

make it
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Cook and drain macaroni according to package directions; set aside.
3. In a large saucepan melt butter.
4. Add flour mixed with salt and pepper, using a whisk to stir until well blended.
5. Pour milk and cream in gradually; stirring constantly.
6. Bring to boiling point and boil 2 minutes (stirring constantly).
7. Reduce heat and cook (stirring constantly) 10 minutes.
8. Add shredded cheddar little by little and simmer an additional 5 minutes, or until cheese melts.
9. Turn off flame.
10. Add macaroni to the saucepan and toss to coat with the cheese sauce.
11. Transfer macaroni to a buttered baking dish.
12. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Bake 20 minutes until the top is golden brown.

(You can also freeze this recipe in zip-lock bags for later use - once you have mixed the macaroni along with the cheese sauce allow to cool to room temperature before adding to your freezer - I generally pull it out the night before and allow macaroni and cheese to reach room temperature; I then add the macaroni and cheese to a buttered baking dish, sprinkle with bread crumbs and then bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until golden brown on top and bubbling.

Recipe #6
Southwestern Taco Pot Pie

what you need
1 pound lean ground beef
1 (1.25-ounce) package Taco Seasoning Mix
1 tablespoon oil
1/3 cup water
1 (1-pound) package frozen green, red and yellow peppers and onions*
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 (11-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1/2 cup salsa
1 (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on package
8 ounces (2 cups) shredded cheese recommended: Colby/Monterey blend or Mexican blend
Sour cream
Taco Sauce

make it 
Brown ground beef in large skillet over medium-high heat for 8 to 10 minutes or until thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently. Drain. Add taco seasoning mix and water; mix until ground beef is well coated.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Meanwhile, heat oil in large saucepan over medium high heat until hot. Add peppers and onions; cook 4 to 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and drain excess liquid. Add garlic and onion powders, salt, pepper, corn, and salsa, stir well and set aside.

Prepare pie crusts as directed on package for 2-crust pie using 9-inch glass or metal pie pan.

Combine salsa and corn mixture with ground beef; mix well. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of cheese evenly in bottom of crust-lined pan. Spread 1/2 of beef mixture evenly in pan over cheese, pat down. Sprinkle 3/4 cup cheese in pan and spread evenly with remaining beef mixture, pat down, top with remaining 3/4 cup cheese. Top with second crust and flute; slit in several places.

Bake for 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Cover edge of crust with strips of foil or a pie crust shield after 15 minutes of baking. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Store in refrigerator.
Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and a drizzle of taco sauce. Also recommended: guacamole, salsa, and diced green chiles.

* If using fresh peppers and onions, use 1 1/2 cups chopped onions and 2 1/2 cups chopped peppers and increase prep time and stove top cooking time.

Recipe #7
Baked Barbecue Chicken, (served with Mashed Potatoes and Broccoli) 

what you need 
1 package drumsticks
2 cups ketchup
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 cup brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste

make it 
Preheat the oven to 450. 

Place the drumsticks into a baking pan or on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil or a baking mat.

Combine the rest of the ingredients. Pour 1 cup of the sauce over the chicken, reserving the rest. Bake the chicken until it’s opaque. About 40 minutes. Pour the rest of the sauce over the chicken and bake about 5 minutes longer. Serve!

Recipe #8
Italian Chicken 

what you need 
4 (4 ounce) boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1 cup Italian salad dressing
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
Chopped tomatoes and green onions, for garnish
1 cup Mozzarella cheese
1 lb pasta, cooked as directed

make it 
Combine Chicken and Italian dressing in a zip-loc bag. Refrigerate for an hour or more.

Cook pasta as directed on package.

Place chicken in a greased 9-in. square baking dish. Drizzle with salad dressing; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and salt if desired. Bake, uncovered, at 375 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until chicken juices run clear. 

To deliver, place noodles on the bottom of a foil baking dish. Top with chicken and Italian dressing juices. Sprinkle with chopped tomatoes, green onions and Mozzarella cheese.

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