Friday, March 1, 2013

Pastitsio

Judy at Patchwork Times challenged us a few weeks ago to use cinnamon in a new way.  While I've made Macaroni Bechamel many a time - I found someone on another blog (Spiral) posted a similiar recipe called Pastitsio - so I'm going to try it tonight.  I'll substitute some ground turkey from some of the ground beef though - and take pictures later !

PASTITSIO - Greek 'lasagna'

1 lb macaroni
1 Tbl olive oil
1 lb ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
2 8-oz cans tomato sauce
salt and pepper
2 Tbl dried parsley
1/2 tsp cinnamon
4 Tbl butter
1/2 cup flour
2 cups milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Cook macaroni according to package directions. 
Drain and toss with 1 Tbl olive oil.
Spread into a 9 x 13 baking pan to create the first layer.

Meanwhile, brown ground beef and chopped onion in a large skillet.
Drain excess fat from pan.
Add tomato sauce, salt and pepper, parsley and cinnamon to browned meat, and stir all together.
Simmer meat mixture over low heat for about 15 - 20 minutes.

While meat mixture is simmering, make cheese sauce layer:
In a medium saucepan, melt butter over low heat.
Whisk flour into melted butter.
In a slow steady stream, whisk milk into flour until smooth.
Increase heat and cook, mixing often, until mixture is thickened and bubbly, about 6 to 8 minutes.
Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool briefly while layering meat mixture over pasta in baking pan.
Stir beaten eggs and grated parmesan into milk mixture and combine all thoroughly.
Pour cheese sauce over meat layer in baking pan, covering all completely.

Bake at 375* for about 40 - 45 minutes, until top is browned.
Allow casserole to sit for 10 minutes before serving.

 8 - 10 hearty servings

Get It Done - March 2013

Hmmm - February really flew by.  I had to go back and see what I posted to get done during the month -

  • Continue working on Amanda's quilt.  Have at least 8 of the main blocks completed (started)
  • Stay caught up on both BOM's I've signed up for DONE
  • Get the taxes ready and dropped off to the tax man DONE
  • Use Plan to Eat more often and plan healthier menus  a big NO on this one

March gives me yet another opportunity to try and stay on track so my goals for the month of March

  •  Continue working on Amanda's quilt.  Have at least 8 of the main blocks completed
  • Stay caught up on both BOM's
  •  Use Plan to Eat more often and plan healthier menus 
  • Participate in Judy's What's Cooking Challenge each week

The What's Cooking challenge is pretty simple - Judy names an ingredient, and we all try and come up with a recipe using that ingredient.  The next few weeks include
The ingredient for next week is:

Week 10 – Orange Juice

Week 11 – Honey

Week 12 – Squash – some kind of squash you don’t normally use.

Orange Juice .... I'm thinking scones.    Of course, Honey, and I'm thinking scones again.  Ever since I broke out the cast iron scone pan - I'm always thinking scones.  I'll come up with something.

March is a busy month.  Not only do I celebrate my birthday, along with thousands of little green men bearing me buckets of gold, but my daughter has 2 major swim meets - Junior Olympics, which I know she should do well in, and Sectionals.  It's her first time qualifying for a meet like this.  Most of the swimmers she'll be going up against are way much older, and probably way much faster.  The meet is a good 7 hours away.  So 2 weekends spent away, I'll need to find time during the week to keep up with goals #1 and #2  !!