Sunday, April 27, 2008

Thinking With My Stomach

Want a quick dinner that everyone (except my niece, who - strangely enough - doesn't like Italian food!!) will scarf down?

Try this - I don't know what it's called - Pasta Slop, maybe?

Shopping list:
1 16 oz. box Penne pasta
1 jar spaghetti sauce (I like Bertolli's Organics)
1 large package of pepperoni (you can toss in some browned hamburger, or chipped ham, maybe a little dirt for extra protein - mushrooms if you like them, green peppers, you name it)
1 can Campbell's Cheddar Cheese soup
2 8 oz. packages of shredded Italian and/or Mozzarella cheese

Cook the pasta, throw it in a bowl with all the other ingredients, mix it up good and flop it all in a baking dish rubbed with olive oil. Bake it for about 1/2 hour at 350, which also happens to be the exact time and temperature you need to bake a 9x13 pan of Betty Crocker brownies with chocolate chips tossed on the top. Steam some broccoli for nutrition's sake, and call it a day.

For a slightly more elegant ending, make
Peanut Butter Mocha Cheesecake

Shopping list:
Chocolate Cookie Crumb Crust
1 8 oz package cream cheese
1/2 c. peanut butter
2 T. Powdered Mocha-flavored coffee (I like General Foods International Suisse, but hot chocolate would be fine, too - I just like coffee any way I can get it!)
1 t. vanilla
1 tub of chocolate Cool-Whip

If you are REALLY into the chocolate thing, spread some Hot Fudge sauce on the crust before proceeding. If you add a sliced banana at this point, it makes this dessert a healthy choice.

Mix everything but the Cool-Whip together until it's creamy (add a few drops of milk if it's too thick) then fold in the Cool-Whip and plop it all in the crust, be patient while it sets up in the fridge, and remember you have to share with the whole family. Unless you live alone, in which case, call 9-1-1 after 1/2 the cheesecake is gone and they should be there with the emergency insulin by the time you finish off the last bite.

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