Country cuisine: cooking spaghetti with cheese

This recipe was submitted by CG of Cool, who said, “This recipe is great for a family dinner. I often double this tasty dish and fill two 9×13 baking dishes if I want to bring someone dinner, or make an extra dish for a potluck.

Cooking cheese spaghetti

Ingredients

Half a can of spaghetti (1/2 pound), broken into 3-inch pieces
2 pounds of ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 large green pepper, chopped
2 cups of milk
2 cans of condensed tomato soup, undiluted
1 can cream of mushroom, undiluted
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese, divided
Optional: have Parmesan cheese handy on the table to sprinkle on top, if desired

instructions

1. Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain and place in a 13 × 9 baking dish.
Put aside.
2. In a large frying pan or Dutch oven, cook beef, onions and green peppers over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; to drain.
3. Add milk, tomato soup, mushroom soup and 1 cup of cheddar cheese. Bring to a boil.
4. Pour over the spaghetti (the spaghetti will absorb the liquid as it cooks.) Sprinkle with the remaining cheddar cheese.
5. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until bubbly and top is lightly browned.

Questions for the cook

Georgetown RG asks:
Q: I love the flavor of dill, but I don’t have a recipe that incorporates it; can you help?
A: Dill is a popular addition to summer herb gardens; it gives a distinctive flavor to everything from eggs and pickles, to sautéed salads or cucumber salad recipes. Here are a few tips :
– Dill seeds have a robust flavor, so use them sparingly, such as stirring them with butter in your vegetables after cooking.
– Dill leaves can be dried or frozen. Just cut a few off with kitchen scissors if needed.
– One tablespoon of chopped fresh dill is equivalent to 1 teaspoon of dried dill.
– Finely chop dill leaves or dried dill in plain yogurt. Pour over the cucumber slices and mix. You can add a little rice wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar, garlic powder and a little sugar for even more flavor.
– Make dill butter. Combine chopped fresh dill with 1/2 cup softened butter. Refrigerate for at least two hours to allow flavors to blend. Use on bread or grilled seafood.
– Dill also complements sour cream, cream cheese, cottage cheese, dips and spreads, meats, eggs and potato salad.

A useful tip

A sure-fire way to cook butternut squash:
Cut the squash in half; remove the seeds and place the halves cut side down in a dish. Microwave on high power for about 20 minutes. The squash will come out soft enough to be removed and crushed easily.

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