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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

October Munchin Mamas

I love Munchin Mamas day because it means I never have to cook leftovers :) (We all bring tupperware and divvy up the remaining food.) Our theme this month was "frighteningly delicious" and as I posted before, I brought the Green Grog. We also had a bruchetta-y calzone, easy mac-and-cheese, a yummy pumpkin/spinach ziti, and all the cookies, cupcakes and pumpkin cheesecake you could ever imagine! Needless to say I was STUFFED by the time we left :)

Here was our spread:
For the first recipes...

Easy Mac and Cheese
3 tbsp. butter
2 1/2 c. uncooked macaroni
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 lb. sharp cheese, grated
Dash of pepper
1 qt. milk

  1. Melt butter in baking dish. 
  2. Pour uncooked macaroni into melted butter and stir until macaroni is covered well. 
  3. Stir salt, pepper and cheese through macaroni. 
  4. Pour milk over all. 
  5. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour. Do not stir while baking.

For the second recipe...

Baked Ziti with Pumpkin & Sausage
Nonstick cooking spray
4 cups (12 oz.) dry regular or whole-wheat ziti
1 can (15 oz.) LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 can (12 fl. oz.) NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Fat Free Milk
4 links (12 oz.) fully-cooked Italian-seasoned chicken sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 pkg. (6 oz.) or about 4 cups pre-washed baby spinach
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded part-skim or 2% milk reduced-fat mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup (1.5 oz.) shredded Parmesan cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 425º F. Spray 4-quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Prepare pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta cooking water and set aside for later use. Drain pasta; return to cooking pot.
  3. Meanwhile, combine pumpkin, flour, garlic powder, salt, nutmeg and cayenne pepper in medium skillet over medium heat. 
  4. Slowly add evaporated milk, stirring until smooth. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken slightly. 
  5. Pour over pasta in pot. Add sausage and reserved pasta cooking water; stir well.
  6. Spread half of the pasta mixture into prepared baking dish. Top with spinach. Cover with remaining pasta mixture. 
  7. Lightly spray piece of foil with nonstick cooking spray. Cover ziti with foil, greased-side-down.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes or until heated through. 
  9. Combine mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses in small bowl. Remove foil; sprinkle with cheese mixture.
  10. Bake, uncovered, for an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

The third recipe...

Caramelized Onion & Tomato Calzone
2 tsp olive oil
8 onions, thinly sliced
Pinch sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tblsp chopped basil (I use a little more!)
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 lb prepared pizza dough
3 plum tomatoes, diced
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella

  1. Heat oil in skillet; add onions, sugar and 1/4 cup water. 
  2. Stir as needed until beginning to color - about 12 minutes.
  3. Add salt and another 1/4 cup water, stir as needed until sweet & deep brown - about 30 minutes.
  4. Cool, add basil and pepper.
  5. Preheat oven to 450F Spray baking sheet or pizza stone w/ cooking spray.
  6. Flour work surface and roll dough to coat with flour. Knead briefly & divide into fourths. Roll each piece into 6 inch rounds.
  7. Place 2 rounds on baking sheet. Divide mixture, tomatoes & cheese between rounds. Cover wtih remaining 2 rounds. Pinch edges to seal.
  8. Bake until golden; about 15-18 minutes.

And for the sweets!

 We all definitely enjoyed this round of MM!

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