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The Tax Man Cometh

I hate taxes.  I hate all the paperwork that goes with taxes.  And I particularly hate paying taxes.  OK – now that I’ve got that off my chest – I did taxes all weekend.  Well almost all weekend – it felt like all weekend anyway. 

In between sorting  all that paper into less than neat  little piles of paper I took time to cook a few things for the freezer.  As much as I hate taxes I equally love having prepared food in the freezer to heat and serve at a moments notice.  So this weekend I fixed 2 meat loaves and 2 Italian penne casseroles. 

Mini-Meat Loaf

Mini-Meat Loaf

I find it easier to cook the meat loaves  in 2 smaller-sized Corning dishes.  This way when I am ready to serve one – they can go from freezer to oven/microwave without any problem. 
I prepared the meat loaf mixture, divided it into 2 portions,  placed it in the dishes and baked.  I have found that by pre-cooking  in the microwave for about 10 minutes on high before placing into the oven – I can reduce the oven baking time by about half.   Also, 10 minutes before removing the loaves from the oven, I pour a mixture of  equal parts ketchup and picante sauce  (Pace, of course) on the top spreading it evenly around.   I like the flavor – and just about everybody dumps ketchup on the top  of a meat loaf anyway.  Once they are done, cool them down and freeze in zip-bags.  To reheat, place in microwave (covered)  for 10 minutes on 50% power and then continue heating on 70%-80% power in 1-2 minute increments until warm.  I never use High or 100% power as this makes the edges too hard to eat.
Penne Casseroles

Penne Casserols

The penne casserole was made out of some left-over spaghetti sauce I had.  To make the casserole I take the left-over spaghetti sauce (with meat), 1 cup cooked penne pasta, and 4 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese.  I sometimes add other cheeses like Asiago, Romano, and Parmesan. 

Spray the dishes with oil and then layer the sauce, penne, cheese and repeat.  Wrap in plastic film, place in freezer zip-bag and freeze.  These are really good served with a nice salad and fried focaccia bread (or garlic bread if you’re more traditional).   Heat these casseroles same way you would heat the meat loaf.  Both of these keep really well in the freezer and your company will think you slaved all morning over a hot stove just for them.


1 comment to The Tax Man Cometh

  • JeannieM

    Another fabulous idea! I swear I could smell those yummy things cooking. I have always wanted to put things in freezer to “pop” out a a moments notice and surprise my kids. (They would be surprised alright………..thinking they were in wrong house)lol Maybe I will start with THESE!!!