Sunday, December 23, 2012


Lasagna is our traditional Christmas dinner in the Schulz household.  However, it is enjoyed throughout the year as well.

15 lasagna noodles
1 1/4 lbs ground chuck
3/4 lb Italian sausage
salt & pepper
1 TBS dried basil
2 tsp garlic powder
4 TBS dried parsley, divided
2 tsp sugar
48 oz spaghetti sauce
5 1/2 cups (approx 21 oz) shredded mozzarella, divided
32 oz part-skim ricotta cheese
1 1/4 cups (approx 4-5 oz) shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp Italian seasoning

Prepare noodles according to package. When noodles are done, drain and rinse with cold water. Immediately lay noodles on parchment paper until ready to use. Make sure the noodles are not overlapping, or they will stick together.

Put ground chuck and Italian sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat and season with salt and pepper. While browning meat, break the meat up into small pieces with a wooden spoon. When meat is browned, drain the grease. Stir in dried basil, garlic powder, 2 TBS dried parsley, sugar and spaghetti sauce. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes.

In another bowl combine 4 cups of the mozzarella, ricotta and 1/2 cup Parmesan; stir in the egg, 2 TBS dried parsley and Italian seasoning.

Spread 1/2 cup of the meat sauce into the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan. Lay 5 lasagna noodles over the sauce (slightly overlap the noodles). Spread 1/3 of the cheese mixture over the top of the noodles. Spread 1/3 of the meat sauce mixture over the cheese layer. Repeat to make 3 layers. Top final layer of sauce with remaining 1 1/2 cups mozzarella and 3/4 cup Parmesan.

Spray foil with cooking spray and cover lasagna; bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Uncover and bake for an additional 30 minutes or until heated through. Let stand 10-15 minutes before serving.

If desired, serve with additional spaghetti sauce on the side.


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Better Than Anything Cake

This is a very easy cake to make.  It's always the first to disappear at any potluck dinner.  And yes, it is better than ANYTHING!

1 - 18 1/2 oz package chocolate cake mix
1 - 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 - 6 oz jar caramel topping
8 oz Cool Whip
4 Skor candy bars, crushed (may also use Heath Bits or crushed Butterfinger candy bar)

Prepare cake according to directions and bake in a 9 x 13 inch pan.  Pierce warm cake all over with a toothpick.  Pour milk over cake.  Pour caramel over cake.  Chill.  Before serving, top with whipped topping and sprinkle with crushed candy.

Serves 15 to 20

Source:  The Lady & Sons Savannah Country Cookbook - Paula H. Deen


Best Ever Meatloaf

This is my favorite comfort-food recipe.  It's a nice change from the traditional meatloaf with  ketchup on top.

1 can Campbell's cream of mushroom soup, divided
2 lb. ground beef
1/2 c. fine dry bread crumbs
1/3 c. finely chopped onion
1 egg - beaten slightly
1 tsp. salt
1/3 c. water
2 to 3 TBS drippings from the meat

Mix thoroughly 1/2 cup soup, beef, bread crumbs, onion, egg and salt.  Shape firmly into loaf (8x4); place in shallow baking pan.  Bake at 375 for 1 hour & 15 minutes.  Blend remaining soup, water, and drippings.  Heat; stir occasionally.  Serve over meat loaf.

Makes 6 servings


Date Nut Bread

Date Nut Bread is such a moist and delicious bread.  It is one of my favorites.  It's even good for breakfast!

1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 1/2 cups chopped dates, cut in large pieces
2 tsp baking soda
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
2 TBS butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs

Pour boiling water over dates.  Add baking soda.  Mix and let cool.

Stir together flour, salt and walnuts.  Set aside.
Cream together butter, brown sugar & vanilla.  Blend in eggs; beat well.  Add dry ingredients alternately with date mixture (beginning and ending with dry ingredients).  Blend well after each addition.  Grease the bottom of one 9x5x3 loaf pan; pour in mixture.  Bake at 350 for 1 hour.


Pecan Dreams

Pecan Dreams are my family's favorite Christmas cookie.  I have made these every year since the 1950's. 

1 cup butter
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 TBS water
2 cups flour
2 cups pecans, finely chopped
Powdered sugar

Cream butter; blend in sugar, salt, vanilla, and water.  Add flour and pecans; mix well.  Chill if dough is soft.  Shape dough into small finger-like ovals.  Bake on ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 about 15 minutes.  Roll in powdered sugar while warm.  When cool, roll in powdered sugar again.

10 dozen


Mexican Snack Squares

I found this recipe years ago in one of those little Pillsbury cookbooks that you see at the grocery store checkout.  I have made this many times and it disappears at potlucks every time!  This appetizer could even be served as a light lunch. 

2 (8 oz) cans Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
1 (16 oz) can spicy refried beans
1 cup sour cream
2 TBS taco seasoning (dry mix from a package)
1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or Mexican cheese blend)
1/2 cup green onions, sliced (about 2 bunches: 16 total onions)
1/2 green or red pepper, chopped
3/4 cup tomato, chopped and seeded (I use 1 Roma tomato)
1/2 cup black olives
Salsa (optional)

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Unroll dough into 4 rectangles.  Place crosswise in a lightly greased 10x15 pan.  Press over the bottom and 1" up the sides to form a crust.  Firmly press perforations to seal.  Bake at 375 degrees for 14-16 minutes or until lightly golden brown (do not overbake).  Cool completely.

Spread beans over crust.  Combine sour cream and taco seasoning; spread over beans.  Carefully, cut into small squares (I cut this into 40 squares = 5 across & 8 down).  Sprinkle remaining ingredients over cut squares in the following order:  cheese, onions, green/red pepper, tomatoes and olives.

Cover and refrigerate at least an hour.  Serve with salsa if desired.

Source:  Pillsbury - Appetizers & Snacks - January 1994