I wanted to share a recipe with the world as well. It's the only one that I think I can probably call my own and not attribute it to anything i read in a cookbook. Actually this is a recipe that Dad and I created when we were "just us" oh so many years ago. It's a comfort food for me because it makes me remember those sweet days with my Dear Old Dad. Back then, he was doing his best to bring up a good kid and also have a life of his own! It was hard for him, but he did a great job. HAPPY FATHER'S DAY DADDY! I LOVE YOU!
Then again, recipes are like knitting patterns aren't they? There's not a whole lot out there that's COMPLETELY new and original, just about everything is inspired by something else. That's neat.
So here's my addition to our comfort food edition of recipe's online :)
Kate's Ham and Cheese Macaroni (casserole)
1 lb shaped pasta (I use large elbows, but i have also used rotelli, mostaccioli, ziti with success)
1 package of honey ham slices (I use the Hillshire Farm deli select but have also been known to just pick up a ham steak)
1.5-2 cups grated cheddar cheese or cheddar/monterey jack combo. Use your faves! BUt I found that with this recipe i have more success leaning toward the cheddar side of things
1 bag of frozen veggies - broccoli/lima beans/edamame/cauliflower/peas/brussels sprouts (cut in half) work great
Some garlic salt
Some Lawry's seasoning salt
dash of milk
You'll want to eventually heat the oven to 350 degrees...
Boil a big pot-o-water (I like to salt my pasta water, but that is optional). When it's ready add your pasta, if you are using brussels sprouts, broccoli or cauliflower, then add this to the water as soon as it returns to a boil. If you are using more diminutive veggies, you can toss them in the water a minute before the pasta will be done, or just toss it in the baking dish with the pasta because it will have plenty of time in the oven to cook. Make sure you give the pasta and veggies a stir a couple of times so that it doesn't stick to the pot.
While that is boiling away, cut the ham into bite sized bits and put aside.
When the pasta is al dente immediately drain it and you can give it a rinse too to help it to stop cooking.
In your largish baking dish (I will assume you can eyeball what this concoction will fit into, but this works best in layers, so you might want a dish that's a little deeper than your typical 9x12 baking dish) put a half of the pasta and vegetables in, add half your ham, half your cheese, sprinkle with some oregano/basil/salts and any other herbs or spices that you like to put on your pasta. These just happen to be the ones I always reach for but I have been known to try a lemon-pepper instead... just to see what would happen ;). Put on the rest of the pasta/veggies, then the ham, then the cheese and herbs/spices. At this point I like to drizzle some milk in, this helps keep the pasta softer and also steams the veggies a little more. You can get away with less than a 1/4 cup i bet.
Cover the whole thing with a lid or some aluminum foil. Bake for about 15 minutes, then remove the foil/cover and bake until the top is a little bit crispy (I like the crunchy bits but if you don't then just let it bake to even out the consistency on the top and take it out). Enjoy!!