Sunday, June 19, 2005

Fathers Day Dinner

I completely screwed Father's Day up by thinking I could get away with not buying The Carnivore a gift, on the grounds that I was tired of our budget being shot from all these holidays. Apparently, though, I am alone in this thinking (at least in this household). To appease The Carnivore, who was not satisfied with greeting cards alone, I offered to cook him whatever he wanted for dinner and also promised to go get him a Father's Day present tomorrow. For dinner, he chose an easy dish for which we will have leftovers tomorrow, thus freeing up time to go shopping for late Father's Day gifts.

Baked Ziti with Peppers
  • 12 oz cooked ziti pasta
  • 3 cups sliced peppers (I used poblanos and green & red bell peppers)
  • 4 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 oz shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with balsamic vinegar, basil, and olive oil (pureed in a blender or food processor - this is one of the few recipes that allows me to pull out my handy mini food processor)
  • 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano (liquid drained)
  • 1 tsp salt (I use kosher)
  • Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  1. In a 10x12 baking dish, combine the pasta, peppers, cheese, tomatoes, salt & pepper. Gently toss to combine.
  2. Pour in half-and-half or evaporated milk
  3. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes
  4. Uncover and bake for another 20-30 minutes, until crusty & bubbly.

I got this recipe from the AJC Food Section a few months (or so) ago, and altered it slightly to our tastes. I usually serve it with garlic toast and skip any side dishes since there are plenty of vegetables in the casserole already.

Any kind of diced tomatoes would work in this recipe, and I have found countless variations at the supermarket. And it isn't necessary to puree one of the cans of tomatoes unless you are like me and The Carnivore, and feel that the quantity of chunks of tomatoes should be limited. If you decide to use plain diced tomatoes, additional seasoning with herbs (a pre-mixed Italian spice blend would suffice) would be necessary so as to not bore the tastebuds.

JOKE OF THE DAY (courtesy of Basic Jokes):

Sid and Mondo were sitting in a Mexican restaurant. "Sid," asked Mundo, "Are there any Jews in Mexico?"
I don't know," Mondo replied. "Why don't we ask the waiter?"
When the waiter came by, Mondo asked him, "Are there any Mexican Jews?"
"I don't know sir, let me ask," the waiter replied, and he went into the kitchen. He returned in a few minutes and said, "No, sir. No Mexican Jews."
"Are you sure?" Mondo asked.
"I will check again, sir." the waiter replied and went back to the kitchen.
While he was still gone, Sid said, "I cannot believe there are no Jews in Mexico. Our people are scattered everywhere."
When the waiter returned he said, "Sir, no Mexican Jews."
"Are you really sure?" Mondo asked again. "I cannot believe there are no Mexican Jews."
"Sir, I ask everyone," the waiter replied exasperated. "We have orange Jews, prune Jews, tomato Jews, and grape Jews, but no one ever hear of Mexican Jews!"

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