Monday, February 29, 2016

Old Fashioned Noodles & Tomatoes - Pantry Cooking

A friend of mine at work brought leftovers for lunch the other day.  It was a bright little bowl of macaroni and tomatoes.  I had to ask her what she had made because it looked so yummy! She told me it was a simple dish that she often made for herself when her hubby wasn't hungry for supper- "Noodles & Tomatoes".

My friend lives in the boonies so that explains why she would be making this dish when eating alone instead of my temptations when eating alone (take out chinese or the golden arches-eek!) LOL.  

I remembered making a similar dish a few years ago.  I'm a fan of simple dishes, the ingredients for which I would have in my pantry.  I'm also a fan of cheap, frugal food and this fits the bill on all counts.

This dish is a little more complex than it seems.  It can be dressed up or down with the addition of cheese (purely optional- I prefer no cheese in mine).  You can add spices (I don't).  I like it in its purest form - pasta - tomatoes-butter-a tiny bit of sugar, and salt/pepper.  I prefer egg noodles but any pasta will work.  You could use garden fresh tomatoes, canned tomatoes, or even a small can of tomato sauce if your family isn't "in" to chunks.

I served my Noodles & Tomatoes as a side to BBQ pork tenderloins which I made in the skillet.  But I love it so much, I would eat it by itself!  I love the combination of buttery noodles and slightly sweetened tomatoes with the tiniest amount of heat from the pepper.  Mmmm!

Keep this little recipe (if you can call it a recipe) in the recesses of your memory.  Pull it out when you have folks to feed, are short on money, or just want a simple, old fashioned kind of meal or side.  This one would be something your granny made, and wouldn't she be happy to know we're still making and loving it! 

Here's how I make Noodles & Tomatoes AT HOME MY WAY:

Noodles & Tomatoes
  • 16 ounces of any macaroni, noodles, pasta of your choice
  • 1 can (14.5 ounce) whole, diced, or crushed, tomatoes (can use an equal amount of peeled, fresh tomatoes)
  • 3 Tablespoons butter (don't omit - key ingredient!)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Optional ingredients:  1/4 cup parmesan cheese, garlic or other Italian spices)

Cook pasta in salted water until al dente.  Drain completely.
Add butter, tomatoes, sugar, salt & pepper.

Heat until butter is melted about 10 minutes, stirring gently - giving the flavors time to all blend together.

-Enjoy this old fashioned flavor at your house!  Mmm!


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Refreshing and easy- Cherry Cola Jello Salad

Cherry Cola Jello Salad

I made this bright and refreshing Cherry Cola Jello Salad to go with our super bowl menu.  I had made it a very long time ago and this weekend was looking for something refreshing and not as heavy as my usual chocolate cake dessert.  My daughter and her boyfriend were in from KC and they just loved it!  

I was concerned at first that the addition of cherry pie filling would make this dessert overly sweet (because I couldn't really remember much about the last time I made it other than we loved it).  Rest assured, it does not taste overly sweet.  The crushed pineapple combined with the cherry pie filling and jello gives this dessert the perfect combination of sweet and tart.  It is easy to put together and I made it the morning of our super bowl meal.

I also made Homemade Whipped Cream to serve with our Cherry Cola Jello Salad but it really isn't necessary. This dessert easily stands alone!

Take it to your next potluck or surprise your family with this easy dessert.  You will be so glad you did! 

Hint-hint...This dessert would be a great addition to a Valentine's celebration, Fourth of July picnic, or Christmas dinner since it is a beautiful red color!  

Here's how I made Cherry Coke Jello Salad AT HOME MY WAY:

Cherry Cola Jello Salad

  • Two 3-oz packages of cherry gelatin
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 can of crushed pineapple
  • 1 can of cherry pie filling
  • 3/4 cup cola

Drain pineapple, reserving juice.  Set fruit aside.

Combine pineapple juice and water and heat in microwave or on stove top until boiling.  Add gelatin and combine until well dissolved.

Stir in pie filling and cola.

Chill in the fridge just until thickening (45 minutes or so).  

Gently stir in crushed pineapple (drained).

Chill again several hours until well set up before serving.




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