In my head, Halloween means chili and grilled cheese sandwiches before Trick Or Treating. I’m not sure if I’m remembering that perfectly from my childhood, but it seems that was the general rule: you had to eat your chili before you could hit the streets. BUT…this weather doesn’t really seem chili weather. I think I’ll make it anyway! Using Nicole’s list of what’s on sale this week, here are some menu suggestions.
- Rice & Smoked Sausage – I’ve been a big fan of smoked sausage lately and I really want to try this Food Network recipe. It does take a little time to make, but most of it is waiting, so that isn’t so bad!
- Oven Baked BBQ Chicken – Chicken quarters are on sale and BBQ sauce is often in the pantry, so this could be an inexpensive meal!
- Crispy Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder – Pork Shoulder is on sale at a stock up price. I haven’t tried this recipe, but if you have a Saturday to let this meat cook all day long in the oven, I bet your house would smell fantastic and your stomachs would be happy!
- Tex Mex Chicken Casserole – Cream cheese is on sale and is a major part of this recipe…well, a major part of what makes it yummy! This is one of my favorite ways of making chicken. I serve with tortilla chips.
- Chicken Fried Rice – Put those frozen veggies to good use!
One of my favorite pasta-dishes-with-a-mexican-flair is this Bow Tie Fiesta dish. It freezes well. It uses ingredients that I almost always have on hand. It comes together really quickly (especially since I usually have ground beef already browned in the freezer). I also love that you control how spicy it is. If your family loves some heat in their food, use hot salsa, some spicer cheeses and maybe toss in a little cumin. If your family likes things on the tamer side, go for the mild salsa and a colby jack cheese.
On this particular day that I made it, I used tri-color bow tie pasta and some red bell pepper with some green. It added some nice color to the dish! It also doubles really easily if you wanted to make a 9×13 pan.
Bow Tie Fiesta
- 8 ounces bow tie pasta
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
- 2 (15-ounce) cans tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon chili powder (or chili seasoning)
- Salt to taste
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 cup salsa
- 1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar, mexican, taco, pepperjack, whatever you like)
- black olives, jalapenos, tomato (optional)
Cook the pasta using package directions and cooking for 7 minutes; drain.
Brown the beef in a skillet, stirring until crumbly; drain. Add the onion and green pepper and mix well. Cook until the onion is tender, stirring constantly.
Stir in the tomato sauce, chili powder, and salt.
Add in the drained pasta, sour cream and salsa. If you're using black olive, jalapenos and tomatoes, add those in too. Mix all together.
Pour into a 9×11-inch or 9×9-inch baking dish.
Sprinkle with the cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes or until brown and bubbly.
Freezer Instructions: Prepare, but don't bake. Cover very well and put into freezer. When ready to bake, thaw out in the fridge for a day, then bake. You'll need to increase the baking time to about 45 minutes since it's starting out cold instead of hot-from-the-stove, but it's still good! You can also bake it straight from frozen, but that will really increase the baking time.
Jayme is a wife to 1 and, so far, a mother to two little boys. She coupons, but isn’t super extreme about it. She price matches and loves it! While she likes to cook, she’s in the stage of life where simple is usually better! She never knows how many hands she’ll have free at dinner time! You can find her at No Regrets Living.