Baked Spaghetti - So Good!

Baked Spaghetti

Since we are staying home, we have not eaten out or done take out since March 6, I have been doing a lot of baking and cooking. It has been fun trying new and old recipes, finding ones that are keepers and ones that went right in the bin.

Some I had not made for quite a while and my sister Jacqui's Baked Spaghetti is one.  It is so delicious.

Jacqui's Baked Spaghetti

1 cup chopped white onion

1 cup chopped green pepper (I did some of red and green)

1 tbsp. butter or margarine

1 28oz. can diced tomatoes with liquid

1 4oz. can mushroom stems & pieces, drained

2 tsp. dried oregano

1 lb. ground beef, browned and drained (optional - I usually buy not a lot of fat ground beef so I don't have a lot of grease)

12 oz. spaghetti, cooked and drained

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1 10 3/4oz. can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Brown your ground beef and set aside, and cook your spaghetti and set aside. In a large skillet, saute onion and green pepper in butter until tender.  (I use the same skillet that I cooked the ground beef in). Add tomatoes, mushrooms and oregano. Add ground beef. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Place half of the spaghetti in a greased 13x9x2 inch baking dish. Top with half of the vegetable/beef mixture. Sprinkle with 1 cup of cheddar cheese. Repeat layers. Mix the soup and water until smooth, pour over casserole. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 - 35 minutes or till heated through. Yield: 12 servings.

Let me know if you try it!

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Easy company meatballs ingredients

So I was talking to my little sister Jacqui the other day and she was saying she was making our Mum's Easy Company Meatballs and I had not had them forever, so when I made Shepherd's Pie the other night I made double the mashed potatoes so I had some for leftovers, and I thought perfect I would do the meatballs to serve over the mashed I made them today.

Easy company meatballs

Here are the meatballs in their little pile.

Easy company meatballs done

Here they are overtop the mashed potatoes...and ready to be devoured. They were as good as I remembered and Jeff loved them.

Here is the recipe.

Easy Company Meatballs

2 lb. ground beef

1/2 cup fine bread crumbs

1/2 cup carnation evaporated milk

2 eggs

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp poultry seasoning

 1 - 1 1/2 oz. dry onion soup mix packet

10 oz can mushroom soup

10 oz can celery soup

Mix together the beef, bread crumbs, milk, eggs, salt, poultry seasoning and 2 tbsp of the dry onion soup mix. I use my kitchen aid stand mixer and it goes lickety split. Shape into meatballs (I use the large pampered chef scoopy thing so they are about a tbsp I think, that way they are all the same size) and pile them in the crockpot. I like to put the crockpot liner bags in mine as it makes clean up easier. Combine the soups and the rest of the dry onion soup mix together well. Pour over the meatballs. Cover and cook 4 - 6 hours on low. I did 6 hours. Serve over rice or with mashed potatoes. We did mashed potatoes cause the gravy is sooo good.  Enjoy!

Soooo....after I got that in the crockpot I wanted to make some more bacon jam.

Bacon jam cooking

It takes a while but is so worth it.

Bacon jam done

It is good on a lot of things, burgers, steaks, sandwiches, oh I even put it in canned baked beans...oh yum!

I use The Blue Jean Chef recipe. - I hope that link works, otherwise you can search her really easy, she makes the best stuff, and she even has a FaceBook page and she cooks on it, and I love to listen to her Canadian accent.

So there ya have it....In the Kitchen with Diana on a Saturday....oh my gosh a Friday. Jeff had it off so it felt like Saturday all that is like an extra weekend day right?

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Chocolate & Caramel...oh my!

Baked chocolate cakes

I had these little cake pans in my cupboard forever and I got a bug up my butt and wanted to use them. I had a chocolate cake mix in the cupboard and some fresh duck eggs just quacking to be used.  I was not too sure how much batter to put in them and I was a little too heavy handed as they baked up too tall, but at least did not spill over. I had enough to do a round cake too.

Cut off cake

I trimmed the bottoms of the mini cakes so they would sit flat...I may or may not have eaten the evidence...Ok I did..but I just wanted to make sure it was edible for my dear sweet husband.

Chocolate ganache

I wanted to make a chocolate ganache to drizzle on the mini cakes, they are not really a bundt cake cause it is just a divot in the center not a hole.

Ganache on cake

I also should have poured the ganache on the cakes while they were on the wire rack with a cookie sheet to collect the rest, but hey this was my first time.

Mini cakes in dish

So after they set up a bit I put them in the cake dish and they looked so good.  I also did cut me a piece of the round cake with the ganache...again to test it before Jeff got home. So I was gabbing to Jeff on his drive home and I was like you will never believe what I then I said what would you like with whatever I made..would you like me to add homemade whipped cream or homemade caramel sauce...and of course he said caramel. 

Caramel sauce

So I whipped up a caramel sauce that is so delicious it is hard to wait to eat some before it cools...I usually pour it in a container so the pot can cool down and I can lick it clean. Here I am stirring it really good one last time. Ususally I add salt at the end but since I made it to go over the cake I didn't.

Caprese salad skewer

So on the way home Jeff stopped and picked up the groceries I had ordered online...boy I can't wait to shop on my own again, (I just can't bring myself to go in anywhere, my anxiety level goes through the roof) some of the fresh produce that gets picked should be thrown in the fact the mushrooms we got were rotten, they stunk to high heaven and were slimy and moldy.  Back to the other grocery store we go. Grrr.... so while the caramel was cooling I made a quick balsalmic vinegar glaze to put on the caprese skewers. We finally got mozzarella balls!!! Jeff has basil growing in the backyard so that was awesome and fresh. We always get these when we would go to Sauce so I wanted to make them myself, they were really good.

We made personal pizzas, cause I had some pizza dough thawed from when I made it a couple weeks ago.  Jeff says he is not a fan of homemade pizzas, so we won't do that anymore, but I wanted to use up the pizza dough.

Mini cake with caramel sauce

Then we got to finally eat our mini cakes. Amazing.

So I was down a few pounds when I got up this morning...I don't think that will be the case tomorrow.

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You are Never Too Old to Learn

Scones in cake dish

I have been baking and cooking a lot, I mean more than probably my 55 years of age. We may never eat out again. I have also put on 10 pounds....I will lose it when we can go back to shopping regularily but for now this keeps my mind busy. These amazing scones are a recipe from my friend Melanie Hopes.

So anyway, look what I learned.

Upside down cake dish

I commented that I should put this away because I keep baking for it...and my friend Connie Smith said turn it upside down and it is a bowl for fruit and veggies...and I was like what the what? Did you know that?

Potatoes in upside down cake dish

I mean holy heck look how cute these potatoes are in it.

Making macaroon kisses

So one of the most requested recipes I think I have on my blog is the Macaroon Kisses. It is from 10 years ago almost to the date...wowzers!  Anyway here are a couple things since I did the original post.  I now use the small pampered chef scoop thing to make my balls so I got 44 of them instead of 32. With our new oven it takes 12 - 14 minutes to cook instead of 10 - 12.

Finished kisses

Oh and I dare you to wait to eat one until the hershey's kiss gets hard again...I never can, I mean I ate 4 already.

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Why I'm a Stamper!

Lemon curd cookies

This post is why you will never see In The Kitchen with Diana on TV...or anywhere but here.

I made lemon curd cookies last night.


I got fresh lemons as I needed zest and juice and I thought I wanted to make my own curd (although I did buy some already made at the store - I just was not sure if they would have it when I did my online order to be picked up). I still want to try though.

Notice how roughed up my lemons are? I was having a hard time getting my lemon zester to get the skin off...then last night in bed I woke up and was like hey I was not using the zester! Then I could hardly sleep thinking about where the heck was my zester?

Cheese grater

This is a cheese grater, not a zester. (this is what I was using to get off the zest) Yes folks step right up and be why I am a stamper! I am good at eating though!!!! P.S. Sorry cheese grater for the curses I was giving you about being the worst zester ever.

Nail file

This is a nail file, not a zester.


This is a jester, not a zester.


This is a I wonder how much more lemony the cookies would be if I actually could have gotten any kind of amount of zest at all off those lemons?

I hope that I have taught you a little today.

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