Family · For the kids · Frugal Life · Frugal Living Challenge · Homemade · Parenting · Recipes

Light and Fluffy Pancake Recipe

I love to make my kids pancakes for breakfast!  They are easy to whip up, VERY cheap to make, and always a huge hit with everyone in my family.  The only problem is that I am extremely picky about my pancakes!

I have spent YEARS (seriously.) trying dozens and dozens of different pancake recipes.  Some have been to sweet, others have ingredients I don’t commonly have in my house.  A few of the recipes had pancakes turn out way to flat.

I came across this recipe about 8 years ago…and we haven’t looked back since!  The pancakes are easy to make, ingredients are always stocked in my cupboards, and they turn out light and fluffy every single time!  It is a winner!

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Light and Fluffy Pancake Recipe

Ingredients

2 cups flour

2 Tbsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

4 tsp baking powder

2/3 cup oil

2 eggs

1 1/2 cup buttermilk (if you don’t have buttermilk you can use milk, but I recommend buttermilk)

Instructions

In a large bowl stir all of the dry ingredients together.  In a separate bowl mix the oil, eggs and milk.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir just until mixed.

Pour 1/4 cup batter on hot griddle.  Bake until bubbles appear.  turn.  Bake the other side until golden brown.

Enjoy!

These pancakes are also so easy to freeze!  Find out how here:  Stock Piling your Freezer: How to freeze Pancakes for a Quick Frugal Breakfast

You might also enjoy my overnight oats recipe:  Quick and Easy Overnight Oatmeal

 

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Stock Piling your Freezer: How to freeze Pancakes for a Quick Frugal Breakfast

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for all ages

I really think my mom was supermom.  Granted, I didn’t think that when I was growing up….but now that I have become a mom myself, I am able to look back and realize just how hard she worked for our family.

I feel fairly confident when I say that many of you are supermoms as well.  You wake up early, spend all day serving your family, and go to bed late worrying about your kids.  My goal is to be supermom!  I fail about everyday, but I continue to try!

One of the many “supermom” traits from my mom was her willingness to make us a hot breakfast every single morning before school.  I knew that when I walked upstairs after getting dressed the table would be set, and a fresh warm breakfast would be served.  I TRY to do the same with my kids….but I REALLY struggle some mornings to find the energy and motivation.

I’ve recently started batch cooking many breakfast items and stocking up my freezer for quick breakfasts for my kids before they head out the door for school.

Making large batches of pancakes not only saves me time in the morning…it is also a VERY frugal breakfast!  You can spend 30 minutes one afternoon each week making a large batch of pancakes for the freezer, or the next time you make pancakes for breakfast simply double the batch and freeze the extras!  Here’s how!

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Make your pancakes following your favorite pancake recipe.  Let them cool completely.

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Place pancakes on a cookie sheet in a single layer making sure the sides aren’t touching.

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While the pancakes are in the freezer you can prepare your freezer bags.  All this takes is writing what “pancakes” and the date on the bag.

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Put the cookie sheets in the freezer for 30 minutes.  Once frozen take the pancakes off of the cookie sheets and place them all in your freezer bag.  It can be full as large as you need to.  Because you pre-froze them, they should be easy to break apart when you need to use them.

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Stick the bag of pancakes in the freezer and you are done!  Yay!  Easy peasy!

When you are ready to use the pancakes, simply take out the number of pancakes you need and microwave them until they are warm.  I usually microwave them for about a minute.

These are also easy for the kids to get out of the freezer themselves!  If I’m busy getting ready in the morning I sometimes tell my oldest to get out a few pancakes for all of the kids.

You might be interested in my other INCREDIBLY easy and frugal breakfast recipe:  Quick and Easy Overnight Oatmeal.

 

 

 

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Christmas Tree Cookie Recipe

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One of my favorite Christmas Traditions as a young girl was my mom making these delicious Christmas Tree Cookies!  I knew it was Christmastime when I came home to these delicious treats after school.

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My mom is no longer living, so I have continued on the tradition by making them for my kids.  They are SO easy and I love the hint of almond flavor!

One of the best parts of making Christmas Tree Cookies is getting to use this fun Wilton Cookie Press.  It’s really easy to use, and you can usually find one under $10!  It comes with a dozen different plates with fun shapes for cookies.  All you have to do is fill it with the cookie dough, turn it upside down and press the trigger!  Out comes a cute little tree.

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Christmas Tree Cookies

Ingredients

1 cup butter

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg

1 tsp almond extract

1/4 tsp salt

2 1/4 cups flour

1/4 tsp baking powder

green food coloring

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cream the butter and sugar together in mixer.

Beat in egg and almond extract.

Mix dry ingredients together in a separate bowl.  Gradually add to mixer.

Add a few drops of green food coloring.  Mix well.

Fill Cookie Press with dough and insert the tree plate.

Use Cookie Press to make cookies on ungreased cookie sheet.

Sprinkle with red sprinkles.

Bake in hot oven for 8 minutes.

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They are so easy!  Your kids will look forward to them every year, I promise!

Affiliate · Amazon · Recipes

What to do with your bulk chicken; including 6 Freezer Chicken Recipes

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I will receive compensation from purchases made through links in this post.  Thank you!

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I just tried out Savory Butcher for the first time, and I was SO impressed!  The customer service was incredible!  The meat was high quality and delicious!  And the price is right!

I bought the 40 lb case of chicken for $1.99 lb, which is an awesome deal.  Their chicken comes fresh from the farm, already trimmed, and no added hormones, anti-biotics, or preservatives.  Savory Butcher also offers high quality bacon and ground beef.

Savory Butcher has limited delivery locations, so check to see if they will be delivering near you.  Currently they deliver to areas in Washington, Oregon, Utah and Idaho.  If you live in one of these areas, look into when they will be delivering near you.

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I just spent a couple of hours prepping my bulk chicken.  I love stocking my freezer full of chicken for quick, easy dinners.  I prepped 8 ready to cook dinners; and 6 bags of plain chicken.  It does take a little bit of effort to prepare your bulk chicken, but the amount of money you save is SO worth it!

 

Freezing Your Bulk Chicken

When preparing chicken for the freezer I highly recommend using a vacuum sealer.  The vacuum sealer will make the process simple and helps prevent any freezer burn.  My sealer was not working (resulting in quite a bit of frustration on my part!).  I decided to freeze my chicken in freezer bags instead.  The freezer bags will work, just not as well as the vacuum sealer!

Separate your chicken into dinner sized portions, this resulted in about 2-3 chicken breasts per bag for my family.  Place each portioned chicken into freezer bag, remove all of the air and seal tightly.

These will store well in your freezer for 6 months.

 

Freezer Chicken Recipes

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Slow Cooker Honey Chicken

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2 lbs. chicken breasts

Salt and Pepper

1 cup honey

1/2 cup soy sauce

4 Tbsp diced onion

4 Tbsp ketchup

2 tsp garlic powder

4 tsp cornstarch

6 Tbsp water

 

Combine chicken, salt, pepper, honey, soy sauce, onion, ketchup and garlic powder in a freezer bag.

Let all air out of bag.  Seal tight and freeze.

When ready to prepare take it out of freezer and allow to thaw.

Dump entire bag of chicken and sauce into slow cooker.  Cook on low for 3-4 hours.

When finished cooking take chicken out of slow cooker and leave the sauce.

Combine cornstarch with water, stir well.

Add it into slow cooker with sauce.  Cook sauce on high until it begins to thicken (5-10 minutes).

Slice chicken into small chunks.  Return to slow cooker and stir with sauce.

Serve over rice.

Barbecue Chicken

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2 lbs. chicken breasts

1 container of barbecue sauce

 

Put chicken in a freezer bag.  Pour entire container of barbecue sauce on top.

Let all air out of bag.  Seal tight and freeze.

When ready to prepare take it out of freezer and allow to thaw.

Cook on grill.  Top with barbecue sauce to serve.

Lemon Garlic Chicken

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2 lb. chicken breasts sliced thin

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup lemon juice

2 tsp garlic powder

salt and pepper to taste

 

Combine chicken, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt and pepper in freezer bag.

Put chicken in a freezer bag.  Pour entire container of barbecue sauce on top.

Let all air out of bag.  Seal tight and freeze.

When ready to prepare take it out of freezer and allow to thaw.

Cook chicken on grill.

Serve with rice and veggies.

Balsamic Chicken

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This balsamic chicken recipe is available as part of my Free 14 Day Frugal Living Challenge.  You can sign up using this link and my 15 favorite frugal recipes will be e-mailed to you on Day 3 of the challenge.

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Tacos

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2 lb. chicken breasts

1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

 

Combine chicken, tomatoes, brown sugar and red pepper flakes in freezer bag.

Let all air out of bag.  Seal tight and freeze.

When ready to prepare take it out of freezer and allow to thaw.

Pour chicken and sauce into slow cooker.

Cook in slow cooker on high for 5 hours.

When done cooking shred chicken in sauce.

Serve in flour tortillas with your favorite toppings.

Grilled (or baked!) Island Chicken

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This grilled island chicken recipe is available as part of my Free 14 Day Frugal Living Challenge.  You can sign up using this link and my 15 favorite frugal recipes will be e-mailed to you on Day 3 of the challenge.

Favorite Baked Chicken

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2 lb. chicken breasts

3/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

2 tsp garlic powder

 

Combine all ingredients in freezer bag.

Let all air out of bag.  Seal tight and freeze.

When ready to prepare take it out of freezer and allow to thaw.

Bake in 375 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Serve with baked potatoes and veggies.

Honey Lime Enchiladas

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1 lb. chicken

6 Tbsp honey

4.5 Tbsp lime juice

1 Tbsp chili powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

10 oz. can green enchilada sauce

flour tortillas

shredded monterey jack cheese

 

Combine chicken, honey, lime juice, chili powder, and garlic powder in freezer bag.

Let all air out of bag.  Seal tight and freeze.

When ready to prepare take it out of freezer and allow to thaw.

Pour chicken and sauce into slow cooker.

Cook on low for 8 hours.

Shred chicken in sauce.

Pour a small amount of green enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9×13 pan.

Fill tortillas with shredded chicken and cheese.  Place in pan.

Pour the rest of the green enchilada sauce over the tortillas.  Sprinkle with cheese.

Bake uncovered in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

 

 

 

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Monster Rice Krispie Treats

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When I saw these darling Monster Rice Krispie Treats over at One Little Project at a Time I immediately fell in love with how cute and simple they were to make!  I decided they would be the PERFECT item for the Bake Sale at my kids Halloween Carnival.

Happily, these Rice Krispie Monsters turned out just as darling and easy as I had imagined.

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First, make your rice krispie treats according to the package directions.

Cut them into rectangles.  I cut mine slightly to big, next time I will be sure to cut smaller pieces.  (I must have been hungry 😉 )

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Next, prepare your chocolate.

I found these candy melts from Walmart.  You can order them off of Amazon, but they were cheaper at Walmart.  They were easy to melt and only took about 3 minutes, and no stress!

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Now, you dip your rice krispie rectangles into the chocolate.  You will want to be slightly quick with this.  As the chocolate cools it will be harder to dip.

All that’s left is to add on the candy eyes.  I also bought these at Walmart, but they are available on Amazon as well.  It was so fun adding the eyes and making the fun monster faces.  My kids loved helping with this part, and actually had some good ideas!

Let your cute monster rice krispie treats cool, and the chocolate harden.  And that is it!  All done.  Now, feed your monster treats to your little monster darlings.  😉

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How to Make the Perfect Zoodles

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My zucchini plants have been generous this year, and I have loved cooking with this delicious vegetable!  Zucchini is one of my favorite veggies because, it’s the vegetable that just keeeeeps on giving, and it is also so versatile!  We have been enjoying zucchini in bread, cookies, on the grill, fried, etc.

One of my very favorite ways to cook zucchini is to turn it into zoodles!  Zoodles is a great, healthier alternative to noodles. (and if you pick the zucchini from your garden….it’s also FREE!)  I will usually serve it under marinara or alfredo sauce, but any of your fave pasta sauces will work great!  If cooked correctly, the zoodles are really not a lot different from regular noodles.  They are also much more filling, with much less calories!  Sometimes my kids don’t even realize what they are eating……emphasis on the sometimes.

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Homemade Zoodles Tutorial

A vegetable spiralizer is my best friend when it comes to homemade zoodles.  I couldn’t find the exact one that I use, but this spiralizer on Amazon is very similar in price and design.  It is also only $15.99, great deal!

First things first, if your zucchini is long, you will want to cut it down into smaller chunks.

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Next, you will need to prep your vegetable spiralizer.  I use the Thin Spiral for my zoodles.  Put your thin spiral attachment in the spiralizer and then stick one of the zuchinni chunks into the middle, in between the handle and the blade.

Now, all you need to do is twist!  This part is so simple (and…kindof fun….really!).  The zucchini will spiral through the blade, be sure to have a plate to catch all the spirals!

You can eat the zoodles raw or cook them over the stove.  I prefer cooking them for a few minutes (don’t worry it is quick!).

Heat up 1 or 2 tablespoons of oil in a sauce pan.  Once the oil is hot, add the zoodles.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss in oil.  Continue to gently toss the zoodles while they cook.  Cook for 2-5 minutes.  I like them to be soft, but also slightly firm.

Serve with your favorite pasta sauce.  ENJOY!!!

 

 

 

 

Recipes

Easy Pizza Night ideas

I talked about one of our favorite family traditions in my post:  My favorite easy Homemade Pizza Crust Recipe.  We all look forward to Friday nights to eat pizza and watch a movie together.

To save on costs I always try to make the pizza at home.  Some Fridays we use My favorite easy Homemade Pizza Crust Recipe, but to try to help us not getting bored with pizza (but seriously, who could get bored of pizza?!?) I try to change the pizza up from time to time.

Here are two very easy, simple pizza ideas for your next pizza night.  The kids love helping with both of these, and It’s a lot easier than making a crust!  😉

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French Bread Pizza

Slice a loaf of french bread in half.  Place both slices on a baking sheet and cook in 350 degree oven for about 5 minutes.  You do not want it to get toasty, but it helps to harden up the bread just a bit.

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After a few minutes in the oven take it out and put all of your toppings on it.  Bake it in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted.  Slice and serve!

 

Pizza on Rolls

I have made pizza this way using two different methods.  I have used Pillsbury biscuits from the can.  I have also used Rhodes Freezer Rolls.  I think that I prefer the Rhodes rolls better.  But, the Pillsbury biscuits are a little easier because they don’t need time to thaw.

Take the Rhodes Freezer Rolls out of the freezer three hours before you will need to eat.  Place them on a baking sheet to thaw.

Once they are all thawed and had a little time to rise you are ready to make your pizzas!

Gently smoosh and pull the rolls to form flat pizza circles.  This is the step your kids will really want to help with.  Place them on a greased pan.  Add your toppings, let everyone top their own individual pizza just the way they want it.

Bake in 400 degree oven for 15 minutes until cheese is melted and crust is slightly browned.

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They are all ready to eat!  Enjoy your own little personal pizza!

Holidays · Recipes · Valentines Day

Chocolate Dipped Valentine Cookies Recipe

This is one of my favorite valentine traditions.  I love baking these for my kiddos and make them every February.   We usually hand some out to friends and neighbors as well. The cream cheese gives the cookie a delicious shortbread flavor and the peppermint extract gives the cookie the perfect amount of light flavor.

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Mix your flour, sugar, butter, cream cheese, egg and peppermint extract together in mixer.  I like this pure peppermint extract.  Beat until well mixed.

Add flour and beat until just mixed.

Divide dough in half. Roll each ball in saran wrap and refrigerate for a couple of hours.

 

Roll dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thick and cut with heart shaped cookie cutters.  Place on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake in oven for 7 minutes.

Let baked cookies cool completely.  Once cool make your glaze bymelting chocolate with butter in a saucepan over low heat.

Dip cooled cookies in chocolate glaze and place on wax paper or tin foil to harden.  Once hardened store in a covered container in refrigerator.

 

These are delicious!

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Chocolate Dipped Valentine Cookies

Cookie

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup softened butter

3 ounces softened cream cheese

1 egg

1 tsp peppermint extract

3 cups flour

Chocolate

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/4 cup butter

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Mix sugar, butter, cream cheese, egg and peppermint extract in mixer until light and fluffy.  Add flour and beat until well mixed.

Cut the dough into two half balls.  Wrap the balls in ceran wrap and place in fridge for a couple of hours to chill.

Roll out dough to a 1/4 inch thick.  Cut with heart shaped cookie cutters and place on ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake for 6-7 minutes.

Cool completely.

For the glaze melt butter and chocolate together in saucepan over low heat.  Once melted remove from heat.  Dip cookies into chocolate and let them sit on tin foil or waxed paper.

Store in refrigerator.

Recipes · Valentines Day

Homemade Graham Cracker Recipe

I have a rule.  A little grocery shopping rule to help me stay in my grocery budget.  I am only allowed to go to the grocery store once a week.  If I run out of something earlier in the week or if I realize I forgot something, well that’s just to bad, I have to wait.. I have learned to do without and to use what I have on hand.  Read all about my favorite way to grocery shop here.

This past weekend my kids ate through all of my store bought snacks.  Does anyone else’s kids do that?  I thought I had bought plenty snacks for the week, but we are all out.  I still have two more days until my grocery day.  So, today I decided I needed to whip up a few homemade snacks to help tide my kids over until grocery day.   The more food you make from scratch, the more money you will save.  This graham cracker recipe has been a favorite in our house for years.  It is fairly easy, somewhat healthy, and 100% delicious!

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I use my Blendtec to grind my wheat kernels into wheat flour.  (The Blendtec is one of my most favorite christmas presents ever, but not very budget friendly!  Save your pennies for it though, it’s worth it!)

 

 

Combine flours, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and soda in mixer.

 

 

Add butter and mix slowly until it turns to crumbs.

 

 

Add vanilla, honey and water.  Mix well.

 

 

Turn onto a floured surface.  Roll out into 1/4 inch thick.  Cut out with your favorite cookie cutters.  We’ve used all shapes and sizes.  It’s fun to mix things up!

 

 

Bake in oven for 10 minutes.  Enjoy!  Hopefully my kids can last on graham crackers and fruit until grocery day!  🙂

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Homemade Graham Crackers

1 1/2 cup wheat flour

1 cup white flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup butter chilled and cubed

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup water

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine flours, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and soda in mixer.

Add butter and mix slowly until it turns to crumbs.

Add vanilla, honey and water.  Mix well.

Turn onto a floured surface.  Roll out into 1/4 inch thick.  Cut out with your favorite cookie cutters.  We’ve used all shapes and sizes.  It’s fun to mix things up!

Bake in oven for 10 minutes.  Enjoy!

Happy Frugal Baking!

Recipes

The absolute easiest Pasta Bake Recipe!

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I got this recipe for an easy Pasta Bake from my sister years and years ago and it soon became an instant hit in my house.  It is full of yummy noodles and cheesy goodness, it also happens to be one of the quickest and easiest dinners I make.  So if you are needing a simple, budget friendly dinner idea, this is for you!  It is perfect for those busy evenings you need to throw something together quick!  I am pretty sure it is impossible to mess this recipe up!

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Dump a box of pasta into a casserole dish.  I usually use rotini or penne, but occasionally I will use macaroni pasta.  It just depends on what I have on hand.

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Pour a jar of spaghetti sauce and water over the pasta.  You can also add olives or mushrooms.  Stir it all up and put it in the oven.

After 20 minutes take it out of the oven and sprinkle cheese evenly on top.  Bake for another 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

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Take it out of the oven and ENJOY!  My entire family loves this meal!

 

Pasta Bake

1 box pasta

24 oz. spaghetti sauce

12 oz. water

olive or mushrooms optional

1 cup mozzarella cheese

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Stir pasta, spaghetti sauce, water and olives and mushrooms in 9X13 casserole dish.  Bake in oven for 20 minutes.  Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top.  Bake another 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.