Sunday, March 24, 2013

Weekend Cooking 3/24

Each weekend, Beth Fish Reads hosts Weekend Cooking.  This is perfect for me since I love food and cooking almost as much as I love books!

We had a nice variety of old favorites and new trials this week. Of course, we started out last Sunday (St. Patty's Day) with our traditional corned beef dinner and Irish soda bread. My dad and his wife were here for the weekend, so it was nice to share it with them. I always use this recipe from Cooking Light (of course!) - it has a maple syrup glaze on the corned beef that is delicious! My dad ate so much that I had to go out and buy another small corned beef the next day, to go with our left-over veggies! Always a big hit here.

I tried a new recipe this week, from a more recent issue of Cooking Light, Cheesy Mini Meat Loaves. They were delicious! Besides the gooey cheddar oozing out of the meat loaf, the other flavors in this unique recipe are tangy and tasty, especially the horseradish. My husband said there was one flavor he didn't like - I think it was probably the Dijon mustard, so I will try leaving that out next time. Otherwise, definitely a keeper. I served it with boiled parsley potatoes and broccoli.

We actually went out to a restaurant mid-week, a rare treat at our house.

Friday night, my younger son had a friend sleep over, and my older son came home from college for spring break, so we had a crowd-pleaser, my younger son's own recipe, Pasta ala Craig. He invented this recipe back in 5th grade, after being inspired by the Food Network chefs and tiring of the tedium of following other people's recipes (he always has had an independent streak!). Friends coming to our house loved this dish so much that it quickly made its way through their families, until he eventually printed copies for his entire 5th grade class! I've included his recipe below - it's simple and very kid-friendly but tasty.

Now that Jamie is home from college, I am focusing on his favorite meals. Last night we had Cornmeal-Crusted Tilapia with Tomatillo Salsa, though I subbed catfish for the tilapia. To make this simple meal even simpler, I always use Trader Joe's Salsa Verde with some chopped cilantro added instead of making my own - yummy! We had roasted asparagus with it and a simple dish of sauteed sweet onion with black-eyed peas.

Tonight is Jamie's #1, all-time favorite, our own Red Beans & Rice recipe.

Hope you are enjoying some good food and cooking this week, too!
Pasta ala Craig

1 pound of pasta (we like whole grain Penne)
1 onion
1 bell pepper – red or green
1 pound ground turkey
1 teaspoon minced garlic
32-oz. can of tomato sauce
Seasonings (to taste), such as:
Basil (fresh or dried)
Garlic powder
Grated cheeses (about 1 1/2 cups total):
Monterey Jack

Boil water and cook pasta according to instructions on box.

Chop onion and bell pepper. 

Spray a large skillet with cooking spray, and cook ground meat until browned.  Add chopped onion and pepper and cook until tender.  Add minced garlic.

Add sauce to skillet and seasonings, to taste.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.

Pour cooked and drained pasta into a large (9x11) baking pan.  Add meat sauce and stir until mixed.  Add cheeses on top.  Cook under broiler for about 10 minutes or until cheese is melted (check frequently to avoid burning).

© 2009 Craig Jackson


  1. I just pinned both the Cheesy Mini Meat Loaves and tilapia recipes - will add at least one of them to this week's meal plan. Thanks!

  2. So many good ones to add to our repertoire of good eats! Thanks!

  3. Your family meals sound wonderful. Isn't it nice to have the college ones home?

  4. I agree that the meatloaf sounds good. And hurray for your son's inventiveness on the pasta dish.

  5. I wish I had been eating at your house last week. It all sounds tasty.