I was so excited last week when my friend Carla and her daughter Carley came for the day! We decided to spend the day cooking freezer meals and that’s just what we did.
It was so awesome to cook and talk all day long! We talked about everything. Sometimes Carley and my kids joined us. Sometimes Carley occupied my kids and they had their own fun. Carley is a college student and she’s just as sweet as she is pretty. My kids have always loved her.
We made four dishes on that day: Chicken Spaghetti, Spinach Ricotta Roll-Ups, Beefy Mac, and Spaghetti Casserole. These are all tried and true recipes that I always include when I’m making freezer meals. I doubled the recipes and each recipe made a 9X11 pan for my family and three 8X8 pans for Carla and Bill. They don’t need big portions since it’s usually just the two of them.
- 2 pounds of ground beef
- 1 cup of chopped onion
- 1 pound of spaghetti, cooked until tender and drained completely
- 1 quart of spaghetti sauce
- 1 8-oz. package of cream cheese, cubed
- 1 can of sliced black olives (optional)
- 3 cups of shredded Mexican cheese
- 1 pint of sour cream
Brown ground beef with onions until meat is done. Add spaghetti sauce and cook until heated through. Add cream cheese and stir until melted. Add spaghetti to this mixture and stir to mix all ingredients together. Place half of spaghetti/meat mixture in a 9X13 pan and top with half of the shredded cheese, half the sour cream (in little dollops), and half the olives. Layer the other half of the spaghetti mixture, cheese, sour cream, and olives. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
Well Duh #1: If freezing, cover tightly with plastic wrap and then with aluminum foil. Place in the refrigerator to thaw in the morning. Remove foil and plastic wrap. Bake until bubbly.
Well Duh #2: I placed my sour cream in a large ZipLoc bag and snipped off a small corner. Then I just piped the dollops of sour cream. It made it a lot faster!
Well Duh #3: This recipe works great with ground turkey, whole wheat pasta, 2% shredded cheese, and low-fat cream cheese. Lighten it up!
My family can’t get enough of this casserole. It only stayed in the freezer for three days before they asked for it! It is delicious!
At the end of the day, our kids helped load her meals into her car and I watched tearfully as they drove away. Spending the day cooking with Carla made me long for more of those days. I wish we lived closer so we could do this more often! But I am grateful to have a friend who’s always been there for me since second grade.
Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold.