Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Million Dollar Spaghetti

I've made different versions of this casserole for years now. While surfing Pinterest recently the name "Million Dollar Spaghetti" jumped out at me. One look at the list of ingredients and you can tell this is a delicious casserole perfect for serving dinner guests. It is always nice to have a great Italian casserole in your recipes files!!!
Of course I did adapt it a little to my own preference such as using Italian Sausage instead of hamburger meat. I also used an Italian Five Cheese Blend of shredded cheese instead of shredded cheddar cheese. 
Million Dollar Spaghetti
adapted from the blog Recipes We Love

1 pound Mild Italian Sausage
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 (16 oz.) package of spaghetti
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
16 ounces cottage cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 stick butter, thinly sliced
1 (2 cup) bag of shredded Italian Cheese Blend

Cook Italian Sausage in a medium skillet until done.  Stir in spaghetti sauce with cooked sausage. In a large pot, boil spaghetti noodles according to package directions until firm; drain.  In a large bowl combine cream cheese, cottage cheese and sour cream until well blended. Layer 2 tablespoons of sliced butter in the bottom of a greased 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Put half of the cooked spaghetti on top of the butter slices. Spread all of the cream cheese mixture on top of the spaghetti.  Top with the remainder of the spaghetti and put the last 2 tablespoons of butter across the top. Spread the meat mixture evenly over the top of the casserole. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes and then sprinkle with 2 cups of cheese and return to the oven for another 15 minutes.  

Make sure to pin this recipe and save it in your files!!! The next time you need a casserole for friends coming over for dinner or your family is in town for a visit…..make this dish!!! It goes along well with a loaf of French bread, a crisp green salad and your choice of veggie. It also reheats perfectly for a quick meal the next day. If you want to freeze this casserole, double wrap it in heavy duty foil with the directions written on top. Thaw overnight in fridge and top with cheese the last 15 minutes of baking as directed. You could also make this recipe in two 8x8 inch pans; 1 to eat now and 1 to freeze for later. It would be a delicious meal to deliver to a new mom or a family in need. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Strawberry Lemonade Cake

Easter weekend was filled with a large base Easter egg hunt, dyeing Easter eggs, a trip to see my Grandma and cousins, and another road trip to my parent's house for a big Easter dinner. Amidst all of the activities I found time to throw together an easy dessert recipe that is the perfect combination of sweet and sour!!! Actually my nine year old daughter helped me prepare the cake and frosting. 
Truthfully any type of cake mix would work for this dessert……but what really makes this cake is the delicious fluffy tart frosting!!! The ingredients of the frosting require this dessert to be stored in the refrigerator. That actually makes this cake extra special because the cool lemonade zing pairs beautifully with the sweet marshmallow cream and strawberry flavor. 

Strawberry Lemonade Cake

1 box Strawberry Cake mix (plus oil, water & eggs as directed on the box)
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1 packet (0.23 oz.) of Kool-Aid Lemonade
1 container Jet Puffed Marshmallow Creme
8 oz. container of Cool Whip

Prepare cake according to directions on the box and bake in 2 (9-inch) greased round cake pans. Turn baked cakes over on cake racks and allow to cool completely.  In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, 1/2 packet lemonade mix and marshmallow cream until smooth. Add in more lemonade mix to taste; add entire packet if you like it more tart. Then mix in Cool Whip until completely smooth.   Place one cake on serving stand; spread a layer of frosting on top. Place second cake on top of first cake and use the remainder of frosting to cover entire cake (top and sides). Refrigerate until ready to eat. 

If you wanted to add more pizazz to this cake, then simply add some sliced strawberries to the top.  Also, if you choose, you can leave the lemonade packet out and enjoy the cream cheese marshmallow frosting on its own. Words can't describe how yummy the creamy fluffy frosting tastes. It is the perfect treat for the upcoming warmer months of summer.