Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Katherine: Baked Mexican Penne

I am a wife and mom of two little ones. Taylor is two and a half and is a ball of energy. She loves to help stir and pour in ingredients. Brendan is one and loves to taste test! My husband, Wes, is in the air force. He also is learning to cook and comes up with really fun stuff to make. I work part time as a marriage and family therapist and love my work. Our family blog is oneafteranother.

I have learned to cook mostly by trial and error. My mom is a very good cook but I was mostly uninterested until I got married and needed to feed more than myself. Wes and I have made it our goal to learn how to cook and have fun doing it. We peruse lots of books and blogs to learn technique and find good recipes. We made Shannon's mini molten lava cakes for dessert on our anniversary~such a good choice!

My favorite part of being a mom is watching my kids take in the world and enjoy it. I get so much joy seeing their smiles as they learn and grow. I would also say that seeing my husband as a father is pretty awesome too.

Wes found this recipe on a blog when he was deployed and was so excited to try it. It quickly became a family favorite. It is definitely kid friendly. This is a slightly modified version of Baked Mexican Penne from At Home With Kim. It makes 4 large servings. (For more servings we double the ingredients and use a 9x13 pan).

Baked Mexican Penne
Recipe from: athomewithkim 

1/4 pound whole wheat penne (1/4 box)
1/2 pound lean ground beef
1/2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 large bell pepper, chopped
1/2 large onion
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 jar salsa (16oz) 
1/2 can black beans, drained and rinsed
salt and pepper
1 cup shredded Mexican Blend Cheese 

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. While boiling the pasta according to package instructions, saute the garlic, onions and pepper in the olive oil over medium-high heat. Season the ground beef with salt, pepper, cumin and chili powder and add to the pan. Cook ground beef until browned. Remove from heat and drain any remaining liquid. Add the salsa, beans and pasta. Stir to combine.

Spray an 8x8 pan with olive oil. Pour half of the mixture into the pan and top with half of the cheese. Pour the rest of the mixture on top and spread evenly. Top with remaining cheese. Bake for 30 minutes. Top with cilantro and enjoy!