Friday, June 5, 2009
Better Homes and Gardens Book Gives Step-by-Step Dinner Recipes
I hope your Friday morning is going well. Mine certainly is-I get to spend the day with my youngest son, Ben. We might go out and check on our plants in the converted sandbox garden or take a walk with the dog. We'll have to do that early, though, because it's supposed to be in the 90's here today. The last time that we spent the day together he taught me a card game and we watched a John Candy comedy together and made popcorn. Now that summer break is here, I look forward to spending more time with him and catching up on what music is popular with the "Ipod set". I don't usually get the whole day because one of his friends calls or comes by on a skate board and his attention is diverted. That's just as it should be with teenage boys!
However, I will see Ben again, when the teenage boys come through the house searching out snack material and some cold drinks. This happens when they have been Ripsticking/skateboarding, playing flag football or just putting parts of computers back together. Teenage boys have been known to be "starving" from just slouching on the couch watching Star Trek reruns! They seem to have high metabolisms.
The cookbook I'm reviewing today is full of dinner ideas to keep these big eaters called "Teenagers" full (at least 'til their next snack!) It's Better Homes and Gardens Family Dinners cookbook; America's Best-Loved Community Cookbook Recipes. It was published in 1996 by Meredith Corporation and its ISBN is 0-696-20589-0.
I will start by saying that I really like the layout of this book. Each dinner recipe is presented by a full page, four-color photo of the finished product on the left-hand side. The right-hand page has numbered step-by-step directions and action pictures of the preparation methods. If you notice, in Better Homes and Gardens Magazine, they offer recipes in the same manner-they never leave the home cook "in the dark". If it's an unfamiliar recipe, I especially appreciate the method steps and pictures.
This book not only gives a clear explanation of how to prepare the main coarse, it tells you how to make the pretty sauce and the vegetable that accompanies the meat. Also, Tips From Our Kitchen is a side note on the recipes; helpful little bits that you might not have known. For instance, one Kitchen Tip tells the correct way to snip herbs with scissors instead of chopping them with a knife.
Because this book is a collection of family recipes from around the country, each recipe contains a history of which community cookbook it is from. The sample recipe I have chosen for today is Giant Stuffed Shells by Nancy Brix from the Mark Twain Library Association in Redding, Connecticut. It was originally included in the Mark Twain Library Cookbook. Pasta dishes are always a great way to fill up hungry teenage boys! And you know that I like a cookbook project that raises money for the public library!
P. 70 Giant Stuffed Shells
6 oz. giant pasta shells (about 20)
1 lb. ground beef
1 large onion, chopped (1 C)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 C shredded mozzarella cheese (8 oz.)
1 egg, beaten
1/2 C fine dry Italian style or seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 tsp pepper
1 27-30 oz. jar spaghetti sauce
1/4 C grated Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Cook pasta shells in boiling water according to pkg. Drain and rinse w/ cold water. Rinse again. Set aside.
3. In large skillet, over medium heat, cook ground beef, onion and garlic until beef is browned. Remove from heat and drain fat from the skillet. Stir in mozzarella cheese, beaten egg, bread crumbs and pepper.
4. Spoon about 3 TBSP of the meat mixture into each pasta shell.
5. Pour about 3/4 C of spaghetti sauce into the bottom of a 3 qt. rectangular baking dish. Arrange the stuffed shells over the sauce in the baking dish. Pour the remaining sauce over the shells. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.
6. Loosely cover w/ foil. Bake in the 400 degree oven for 20-25 min. or until heated through. Garnish w/ fresh parsley, if desired.
I will be linking to Grocerycartchallenge's recipe swap, DesignsbyGollum's FoodieFriday and FridayFeasts@ Momtrends.
If you're in the Lawton-Fort Sill area, you're invited to attend the Back to the Bible Campaign ( June 7th-12th) presented by area Churches of Christ. It starts this Sunday morning and runs through Friday evening. For Bible-centered lessons on various topics, come and enjoy a good speaker and meet some friendly people who care! The series of talks will be given at these locations: University (on Cornell across from Cameron University); Northwest; Sullivan Village; and Eight and Lee. For times and more info see yesterday's post, The Lawton Constitution or individual church websites included in yesterday's post.