December 8, 2011 at 8:28 a.m.

Come and get'em casserole dishes


Casseroles. In the exact sense of the word, it usually refers to a dish that is deep, round, overproof and has a lid. A baking dish, also ovenproof, is usually shallow and can be topped with foil when a covering is needed. An 8-inch square baking dish holds as much as a 2-qt. casserole, and a 9x13-inch dish holds as much as a 3 qt. casserole. This is called a volume equalizer. If you're not sure if you have the right size casserole the recipe calls for pour a qt. of water into the casserole dish, then add another qt. if it calls for a 2 qt. casserole etc. When I use a casserole, baking dish or different size cake pans, I write in black marker on the outside bottom what the size is or how many qts. it holds. No guessing or measuring.

Let's do some casserole and baking dish recipes.

BACON CHEESEBURGER

UPSIDE-DOWN PIZZA

Filling:

6 slices bacon

1 lb. lean ground beef

1 medium onion, quartered and sliced

1 medium green, red or yellow pepper cut into bit-size pieces

1 - 14 oz. can chunky pizza sauce (or just plain pizza sauce)

1 large tomato, diced small

6 thin slices cheddar cheese (4 oz.)

Topping:

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1 c. milk

1 T. oil

1. c. flour

2 slices bacon

Cook all bacon (8 slices) total for filling and topping until crisp. Drain on paper towels; set aside. In large saucepan, brown ground beef with onion and pepper until beef is thoroughly cooked. Drain. Crumble 6 slices of bacon. Add crumbled bacon and pizza sauce to ground beef mixture; mix well. Spoon into ungreased 9x13" baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with tomatoes; top with cheese slices. In medium bowl, combine eggs, milk and oil; mix well. Add flour; beat 2 minutes at medium speed. Pour evenly over cheese slices. Crumble rest of bacon; sprinkle over top.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until topping is slightly puffed and deep golden brown.

Makes six servings.

+++++

CREAMY BEEF,

PASTA AND SPINACH

8 oz. (4 c.) mini-lasagna noodles or medium egg noodles, cooked according to pkg. directions

1 lb. ground beef

1 c. diced onions

1 garlic clove, minced

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 - 4 oz. can mushroom pieces and stems, drained

1 - 16 oz. pkg. frozen cut spinach, thawed, squeezed to drain

1 - 24 oz. container 1% cottage cheese, divided

3 eggs divided

1 - 8 oz. container soft cream cheese with chives

1 - 2.8 oz. can French-fried onions

In a medium skillet, cook ground beef, onions and garlic over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until beef is cooked. Drain if necessary. Add soup and mushrooms; mix well. In a large bowl, slightly beat 2 eggs. Add spinach and 2 c. cottage cheese. In another large bowl, combine cooked noodles, remaining 1 c. cottage cheese, soft cream cheese and remaining egg; slightly beaten; mix gently. In a greased 9x13" baking dish, layer noodle mixture, spinach mixture and beef mixture. Cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Uncover; sprinkle with French-fried onions. Continue to bake for 5 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Makes eight servings.

+++++

EASY HAM 'N NOODLE CASSEROLE

2 - 1/2 c. uncooked medium egg noodles cooked according to pkg. directions

1 c. sour cream

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 t. instant minced onion (or 2 T. mined fresh onion)

Dash pepper

1 - 1 lb. pkg. frozen broccoli florets, carrots and cauliflower blend, thawed

2 c. cubed cooked ham

1/4 c. cornflake crumbs

2 T. butter or margarine, melted

While noodles are cooking, in a small bow. Combine sour cream, soup onion and pepper. In a greased 2-1/2 qt. casserole dish, combine noodles, veggies and ham. Pour soup mixture over noodles; blend well. In a small bowl, combine crumbs and melted butter; mix well. Sprinkle evenly over top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until bubbly. Serve with coleslaw and hot garlic French bread for a delicious and filling meal.

Makes four servings.

+++++

And a bar recipe to tickle your taste buds.

FROSTED CARROT BARS

2 eggs

3/4 c. canola or vegetable oil

1 c. flour

1 t. baking soda

1 t. cinnamon

1/2 t. salt

1-1/2 finely shredded carrots (3-4 medium carrots)

1/3 c. chopped walnuts

In a mixing bowl, beat eggs until light and lemon colored. Gradually beat in sugar. In another bowl, combine dry ingredients. Add oil alternately with dry ingredients; mix well. Fold in carrots and walnuts. Spread in well greased and lightly flour 9x13" baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove to wire rack. When completely cool spread with:

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

1 - 3 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened

1 -1/2 c. powdered sugar

3 T. butter or margarine, melted

Beat all ingredients together in small bowl until of spreading consistency. Add a bit more powdered sugar if consistency is too soft.

Makes about 36 bars.

Thought for the Day: One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever we are doing and devote our attention to eating!

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