Monday, February 7, 2011

Meatless Monday, extra cheese edition

We love cheese here. It's one of those things that I never get tired of, and I've got years of evidence that my hubs doesn't either. And of course, Junior Pete is just like every other cheese loving kid, and would happily eat nothing else if given the choice. So this super easy recipe will surely be in my repertoire for like, ever.

  • 2 cups ricotta cheese (roughly equivalent to a 15oz container, I usually buy the bulk tubs at Sam's)
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella, divided
  • 1 cup grated parmesan, divided (I often use Asiago, it's comparable to good parm, but cheaper)
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs (I process leftover bread in the cuisinart and then freeze it to use here, in meatloaf, etc. Dried breadcrumbs would work just fine)
  • 1 egg
  • 4 tsp dried parsley (or 4 TBSP fresh chopped)
  • 1 jar spaghetti sauce of your choice
  • 1 box manicotti noodles
Put a big pot of water on to boil while you make the filling, and preheat the oven to 350. In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, 2 cups of the mozz, 3/4 cup of the parm, the bread crumbs, egg and parsley. Stir to mix well. Cook the pasta per instructions, drain well, and then lay out flat to cool a bit so they're easier to work with. Prepare a 9X13 pan by spreading about 1 cup of the spaghetti sauce on the bottom. To fill each piece of pasta use a pair of kitchen scissors to cut them open so they lay flat, and then place 1/4 cup of filling in each. Roll up and place seam side down in prepared pan. Once all shells are stuffed and in the pan, pour the remaining pasta sauce over the top, and then sprinkle with remaining cheeses. Bake in 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes.

Sorry I didn't get a post-oven, melty cheese beautiful shot after it had baked, we had been smelling it for long enough that I wasn't really thinking along those lines.

Printer friendly copy

  • A couple of thoughts. First of all, the filling picture isn't great, doesn't it look like crab spread? That made me think that crab manicotti would be beyond scrumptious, but that's big money talk too. Hmm.
  • This freezes perfectly, and I have part of this batch tucked safely away already for the next time it shows up on my menu. I love 2 for 1 cooking.

Menu Plan, 2/6-2/12

I don't know why I didn't post this yesterday, I actually had it written on Saturday, look at me on top of things!
  • Sunday; Super Bowl disappointment was accompanied by the potato skins that I brought to the party, not sure they helped my PA born hubs, I think he's in mourning today. I only stayed for an hour or so, you can get by with that when you're pregnant!
  • Monday; Manicotti and Italian broccoli
  • Tuesday; Fry bread tacos and corn
  • Wednesday; Crock pot beef stew and homemade rolls (they're in the freezer from a huge batch I made :) )
  • Thursday; Mac and cheese with ham, roasted asparagus
  • Friday; Chicken tortilla soup (leftovers from the freezer, made roughly like this recipe, my verdict is not spicy enough, but then I would say that), quesadillas (my son's vocab includes the word "dunk", as in you must have something to dunk in soup!)
  • Saturday; Chicken fried rice

Sweets of the week are lemon cookies, and I plan to make pbj cookies today. I have big goals to post several of these recipes over the course of the week, hold me to it! I'm listing more vegetables this week as part of the menu because I'm more focused on what I have on hand, thanks to the grocery project I have going on. I think I will have enough fruits and veggies to make it until next Monday, but I expect to have the crisper drawers empty by then. I'm hoping for good sales!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Shopping trip, 2/6

Safeway during the Super Bowl is a nice place to be. I spent $1.73 on the pictured items (I am including tax in all my transactions by the way, it's easier for me, plus you gotta pay it, so you might as well count it). The creamer was $1.69, so I figure everything else was free! A couple of tips for Safeway maximization;

  • Safeway is (sometimes) generous with free items coupons that dispense from the Catalina machines. They are the machines that print separately from your receipt when you check out, and it's up to you to watch them, because they spit out some good stuff. I always scope out the machines at self checkout, because people tend to ignore them, and both the cleaning spray and the soda were free thanks to coupons that I grabbed from self checkout. I have no idea what prompts them to print for certain people and not for others, but I can tell you that I grabbed another free item coupon from the one I used tonight, which the previous person had overlooked. This is like the cheap person's lottery! I won't get rich playing, but it's fun!

  • The taco shells and beans are part of an Old El Paso deal that is going on right now, and My Frugal Adventures hooked me up with some coupons that made this a great deal. The taco shells are .99/box, and the beans are $1/can, and when you buy 5, you get a $3 catalina for your next purchase. I got a slip advertising this cat a few weeks ago, and it said the $3 would be for beef or chicken, but it proved to be good for any purchase, which is more convenient for me. I paid for this transaction with a $3 cat from a few weeks ago, and that's always part of my strategy; if you pay for items that produce a catalina WITH a catalina, you reduce your out of pocket cost. I know catalina's are super confusing, so questions?

I have $22.18 left for the month, and I don't plan to do any shopping until the 14th. If you stop in Safeway in the meantime, look for a fresh supply of the Joy of Football coupon books, the $2 Rancher's Reserve coupon is awesome!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

My first purchase of the month, and I didn't even have to leave the house!

My darling husband picked up some milk today for me while it was still on sale at Wags, thanks babe! I have $23.91 left to spend for the month, and I have a catalina for Safeway that expires tomorrow, so I'm going to be planning a way to use that baby up. I'll keep you posted!