I haven’t posted about my efforts to actually use my kitchen in 2014 not because I haven’t been cooking but rather because I’ve had other stuff to write about. However, I am still pursuing being a decent cook for my family, and in the past month since I’ve posted a recipe, I’ve added a few new dishes to our rotation. Since it’s been so cold and snowy this winter, most of these recipes are on the “hearty” side, but I’m embracing the baby weight. :)
Before I share my latest easy-but-yummy recipe, I thought I’d share A Moment in The Life of Talie Shove with you (for laughs of course). I had a rare toddler-free chance to go grocery shopping the other day, and lo and behold, the whole trip took me less than half an hour! Hallelujah! Usually our grocery trips are in the hour-or-so range between doling out snacks, answering the question “What’s that?” a million times and asking E.V. to please sit down repeatedly. :) Since it was such an efficient trip, I had an extra half hour to waste–and all I could think about was Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Yup, barely finished with my organic, healthy, produce-heavy shopping, and all I can thing about is SUGAR!
I figured that a craving is a craving, and I wasn’t about to deny a pregnant belly what it wanted. ;) I took a little drive down the road to the newest Krispy Kreme in our neighborhood, complete with a convenient and quick drive-thru. As I drove, I realized that Ryan just happened to currently be at a restaurant across the street from that location eating and working. I ran through what that conversation looked like–the one where my cell phone rings with a confused husband whose first question is, “Are you at the Krispy Kreme drive-thru right now?!?” Haha.
I placed my order, peered across the street, curious if I could spot Ryan. (I couldn’t.) As I was waiting for the attendant to run my credit card, my car suddenly turned off. Let me clarify–without warning MY CAR DIED. In the drive-thru. At Krispy Kreme. With five cars lined up behind me. I’ll save you the panic-induced next three minutes of my life and the many thoughts that ran through my head, but I’m happy to report that I was eventually able to crank and restart my car. Thank the Lord! As I drove away, doughnut in hand, I imagined what would have happened if I really had been stuck there…and decided that I’d just have been the pregnant lady eatin’ her doughnut in the drive-thru while I waited for the tow truck, smile and all. :)
The first thing I did when I recouped from my near-traumatic pastry incident? Call Ryan to confess. He died laughing, saying that he was sitting at a window and could clearly see the cursed Krispy Kreme from his vantage point. I almost got away with it…
Okay, back to the good stuff, like eating at home instead of going through doughnut drive-thrus. This recipe is super easy, and I’ve made it a few times. Truthfully, we’re usually so starved that I don’t even actually bake the dish; I just cook the pasta and beef, then toss them together with the “sauce” and let it sit for a few minutes to marinate. I serve it straight from the pot, which saves us baking time and a few extra dishes to wash. Enjoy!
TACO PASTA BAKE
- 1/2-3/4 bag of large pasta like ziti
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 package taco seasoning
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 package cream cheese
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican cheese
- Boil pasta until cooked, drain, run cold water over it.
- Brown ground beef.
- Mix together taco season and 1C of water, pour over cooked beef and let simmer for about 5 minutes until the liquid has reduced.
- Add the 1/2 pkg of cream cheese to the beef mixture, stir until melted and combined; remove from heat.
- Put pasta in your casserole dish or pot, mix in 1C of the shredded cheese.
- Top pasta and cheese with beef mixture; gently mix until the pasta is coated.
- Top with remaining 1/2C of shredded cheese.
- Bake at 350 uncovered for approximately 30 minutes.
Okay, and just for fun, here’s what a normal shopping trip to Whole Foods looks like for us. (And, yes, that’s a pickle, E.V.’s favorite entertainment while perusing the grocery store.)