Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Frugal Food- Tomato Cream Pasta

This recipe is so simple I almost did not want to share it, but my family loves it and it is a good vegetarian option.
For the super easy version I cook and drain one box of whole grain or whole wheat penne, or rotini. In a separate large pot heat one jar of a good quality marinara sauce, and add 1/2 a package of cream cheese. The cream cheese will melt to a nice creamy consistency. Add pasta when cooked till coated. Serve with grated parmesan on top.

For the little more work version, I make my own tomato sauce.
Saute one onion chopped fine in 2 Tbsp of olive oil. When the onion begins to turn clear add 1-2 tsp minced garlic, and 1-2 tsp of Italian seasoning. (The garlic and seasoning are to taste, we prefer a lot so I usually lean to 2 tsp). Add 1 large (28 oz) can of crushed tomatoes, and one small can of tomato sauce. Heat through, then add the 1/2 package of cream cheese, melt and add pasta till coated.

You can also place the sauce coated pasta in a casserole dish and cover with mozzerella, and bake at 350 till the cheese is melted through if your family prefers lasagne style pasta. If you choose to bake it, take about 2 minutes off your pasta boiling time as the pasta will continue to cook in the oven.

I use whole wheat or whole grain pasta in this dish for the added protein, and fiber.

Serves 4 very hungry or 6 moderately hungry people

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Patience and control

I lack patience it has never been a virtue I had, and I am not sure one can develop it, but I am trying. I really don't like to wait things out, and I am not one of those enjoy the process people. I also like things to be a certain way and get upset when they cannot stay that way. I have no idea how I got this way, but everyday I pray for patience, and to some degree peace in what I cannot control, and the ability to realize what is worth trying to control.
This a verse that Friends (Quakers) use a lot to explain silent worship - "Be still and know that I am God" Psalm 46:10 We have a period ( and at some meetings it is the whole service) during each service when we are all silent, we sit there and wait for God to speak to us.  Sometimes it is silent the whole time, people keep to themselves what they hear, or they use the time for silent meditation. Sometimes people have something prepared that they say, a prayer or a reading or some wisdom that they think the body of the church needs to hear. And inevitably if there is a baby in the congregation they will babble excitedly during this time.
I am trying very hard to learn to be still. I think the worship that happens in the Meeting house could also happen in my house, if I can just get the being still part down. I can simplify my life and try to do all the things that seem "right" but always trying to live for the next thing and plan and plan is tiring, and it takes away my ability to be in the moment. My hope is that through prayer, meditation and just learning to be still that I can learn patience.
Today I am going to make the conscious effort to try and be in the moment. Maybe I can learn patience one day at a time.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

This Quilt was made for me before I got married by my cousin. It has been on my mind a lot lately as I have been wanting to learn to quilt.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Frugal Food-Tuna Zucchini Cakes

We tried these for the first time the other day from a recipe I found in a frugal cooking magazine, but by the end of the recipe I had changed so many things that it was not the same as in the book. So, this is my version of them.


2 cans of chunk light tuna in water drained
2 eggs
1/2 onion grated fine
1 medium zucchini grated fine
Seasonings to taste - Garlic, Italian seasoning mix, lemon juice

Mix the eggs, tuna, onion, zucchini and seasonings well. Let sit about 5 minutes, because the tuna seems to create more liquid. Drain off excess liquid, and add in enough oatmeal that you can form a patty out of the mixture without it falling apart. Let sit again for 5 minutes or so, you want the oatmeal to get wet enough that it does not taste like toasted oatmeal when you fry them.

Fry in canola oil about 5 minutes on each side on a medium heat or medium low if you use a cast iron pan.

Serves 4 well