I currently live in Charlotte, NC and after spending 7 years as a personal chef and caterer, I am now happy to share my love of cooking with friends and family. My heart is in the kitchen, but my soul is in the stars!

Diet Food

I'm not much of a shopper when it comes to clothes, shoes, purses and other "girlie" things. While my closet may contain vintage clothing in the truest sense, you can bet my pantry is over-flowing with food stuff and that I own the latest and greatest kitchen appliance and tableware. I'd go stark naked before I'd go without shopping for what I love most.

So it came to be that I was the laughing stock of all my friends ~ evidently sporting popped up collars on a Members Only jacket and huge earrings are no longer all the rage.  Like, when did that become totally uncool?  It couldn't be avoided it any longer ~ it was time to rid my closet of leg warmers, puffed sleeves, shoulder pads, and stirrup pants which pretty much did leave me naked and needing to go shopping. 

I loaded up my arms at my favorite little boutique and headed to the dressing room to slip out of my comfy stretch pants and into some new threads.  But the funny thing was, nothing seemed to fit!  I double checked the size on the tags and sure enough they were the same as my discarded pile of 80's memorabilia, but things were a little more snug in certain areas.  Could it be that they've...GASP! changed the sizing charts since the last time I shopped for clothes??  Yeah, I'm thinking that's exactly it because there is no way that my waist, thighs, and butt have expanded that much.  Right?

I made a few purchases and headed home amidst thoughts of how to go about getting a handle on my love handles.  Exercise?  Diet? was just too much to think about on an empty stomach.  I figured I'd start fresh tomorrow with a plan of action.  In the meantime, what better way to beat the "I'm no longer a size 4" blues than with a pan of Baked Ziti loaded with cheesy goodness?

The recipe came from a recipe forum that I used to frequent and makes a huge pan of pasta ~ I suggest a deep 9x13 pan if you choose to make just one pan.  I usually divide it up into a couple of smaller pans for the freezer, as it freezes beautifully.  Just prepare it up to the point of baking and freeze.  Thaw before baking. 


1 pound dry ziti pasta or rigatoni
1 onion, chopped
1 pound lean ground beef
2 (26 ounce) jars spaghetti sauce
6 ounces provolone cheese, sliced
1 1/2 cups sour cream
6 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1.) Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.
Add ziti pasta, and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes; drain.
2.) In a large skillet, brown onion and ground beef over
medium heat. Add spaghetti sauce, and simmer 15 minutes.
3.) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Butter a 9x13 inch baking dish. Layer as follows: 1/2 of the
ziti, all the Provolone cheese and sour cream, 1/2 sauce mixture,
remaining ziti, mozzarella cheese and remaining sauce mixture.
Top with grated Parmesan cheese.
4.) Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cheeses are melted.

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gina said...

My second most favorite recipe from the Contessa's Kitchen boards!! {right after Pumpkin Bars}

This is THE best pasta dish in my repertoire! Thom's kids constantly call for the recipe :)