New Item | Cookin’ With Peyton: Baked Ziti

If you are an established cook, then you may want to skip this piece.  In fact, consider this particular column as the remedial section of the class.

Having said that, welcome to the newest category on Prattle! 

I am probably the world’s worst consumer.  I despise shopping in general, but I especially hate food shopping.  A typical trip to the grocery store consists of me pushing the cart down the aisle of whatever specific item I am seeking.  If there was a contest for speed shopping, then I would be the reigning champ because I refuse to spend hours trundling up and down each and every aisle looking at every little thing.  Screw that.  I have better things to do with my time (Like watching grass grow.) 

And as for “impulse” buys?  Laughing my ass off out loud.  Because I no longer have the income that I’ve been accustomed to, there is no such thing as just tossing into the cart an impulse purchase such as a 50 gigabyte jump drive -only $25.99- strategically placed at the checkout.  Every penny goes towards a food item, and, not just any food item, but something that will last longer than a single meal.

And so I will usually end up with what anyone who has hit the rocks has to accept as sustenance.  Carbs and plenty of them –pasta & instant mashed potatoes- are a staple at my house.  I used to live on Chef Boyardee and frozen foods, but you can’t eat that way for very long unless you want to gain 500 pounds in record time and otherwise fuse to your mattress.  As amusing as the Heavy show is, I have no desire to be one of the Big ‘Un guests on it. Although, it would be good PR for my upcoming fiction I’m going to self-publish. Hmm…

Where was I.  Oh yeah, cooking.  During these days of the Great Depression redux, I have discovered my inner Eye-talian.  That is, I loves me some pasta.  No really.  Sometimes I crave baked ziti and such for no apparent reason.  It isn’t like I grew up on it because Mom wasn’t much of a cook.  (Her idea of dinner was fried mince baloney and scrambled eggs.)

Pasta is the single guy or gal’s best friend because you can cook a boatload of it and never get tired of it.  (Or is that just me who doesn’t mind eating the same thing for a week?)  Now, to be honest, I do occasionally crave my former diet of double meat animal style with chilis, but it’s not always in the budget to eat there.  Plus it’s a one-and-done kinda meal.  When it’s gone, it’s gone for good. And I need something in the fridge I can pull out and be assured that it’s going to be filling.  Hence, pasta-based entrees are the answer.

Just take a look at this lovely baked ziti with Italian sweet sausage and cheese dish.  Hey, if I can pull something like this off, then so can you.  It’s simple, really.  All it takes is the kind of adversity in your life that forces you to adapt or die. 

Next on the menu:  Shepherd’s Pie

©2012 Peyton Farquhar and Prattle On, Boyo™.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.  Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Peyton Farquhar and Prattle On, Boyo with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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