Tuesday, February 07, 2023

Baked Spaghetti with Meatballs


My favorite pasta recipe….by far!  I love this rich cheesy spaghetti casserole because it gives you the best of both worlds.  A pasta Alfredo blended with lots of creamy cheese together with a classic spaghetti and meatballs. What more could you ask for!   And to change it up even more, I like to make individual servings in my special loaf pan I got from Amazon.  This is a keeper my friends. Make it once and you’ll find it will be one of your go to casseroles for years to come!

Baked Spaghetti With Meatballs

6 cups cooked thin spaghetti noodles
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Italian Meatballs (small bag)
1 (25 ounce jar) Ragu Chunky Garlic and Onion Pasta Sauce
1 pint heavy cream
2 teaspoons minced garlic
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter
4 oz cream cheese
3 cups freshly shredded Parmesan

Boil pasta until al dente. Drain well and return to warm pot off the heat.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9 x 13 baking dish or some mini loaf pans like I used.

Pour cream into a large skillet and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Add garlic, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium and add in butter and cream cheese. Stir until cheese has melted. Then add in the shredded Parmesan one cup at a time and whisk until sauce is smooth. Remove from heat and set aside.

Next mix the cooked spaghetti with the sauce in the same sauce pan or skillet. Pour mixture into prepared dish or in each loaf pan.  Press down with a wooden smooth, packing it as tightly as you can. 

Continue to fill and pack until full.  Sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese on top of dish or each loaf pan.  Bake for about 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

While the spaghetti is baking, heat Italian meatballs and spaghetti sauce until hot and bubbly.

When pasta has finished baking, put some sauce in each bowl and top with a serving (or a loaf) of baked spaghetti and some meatballs.  Top with more spaghetti sauce if desired.

If you would like to purchase the same loaf pan that I used, you can find them at a great price at Amazon.com.  Click on this link....


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Sunday, February 05, 2023

Honey Walnut Shrimp with Rice








One of my favorite foods in the whole world is the Honey Walnut Shrimp from Panda Express.  Its one of those dishes you crave most of the time.  Big succulent shrimp with a light and crispy tempura coating and that sweet creamy sauce is to die for.  And then there’s those sweet bits of glazed walnuts that take it over the top.  I truly used to crave it all the time.  But then I moved out to the country and the closet Panda Express is 50 miles away.  Besides, it was expensive.  So, a year or so ago, as I was eating my last Panda Express meal, I decided I can make this.  And so, I did…. And I make it a lot…every time I get a craving! I will rank this as one of my top meals here at Welcome Home.  It’s that delicious.












Honey Walnut Shrimp with Rice
















1 lb. medium raw or frozen shrimp, peeled, de-veined, tails removed

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

7-up or carbonated club soda

2 tablespoons cornstarch

vegetable or canola oil, for frying




1/4 cup Japanese mayonnaise (I used Kewpie)

1 tablespoon sweetened condensed milk

1 1/2 teaspoons honey

1 teaspoon lemon juice, fresh squeezed

1/2 cup glazed walnuts


First, make your sauce.  Add all the ingredients except for the walnuts to a medium sized bowl and whisk until smooth.  Set aside.










Next, prepare your shrimp. Pat them dry with paper towels.  If using frozen shrimp, let them completely thaw first.  Set aside.

Add salt, garlic powder and onion powder to a medium bowl. Add in the flower and corn starch and whisk until blended.  Next, pour a little carbonated soda or seltzer water in the bowl and mix to make a batter.  You want the batter the consistency of pancake batter…. Not too thin as it has to coat the shrimp.












Add about 1/2 inch of vegetable oil to a large skillet with deep sides over medium-high heat until it reaches 350 degrees and shimmering. (The oil should sizzle immediately if you sprinkle water into it.)

Dredge the shrimp in the batter and allow excess batter to drip back to the bowl.  Add to hot oil. Make sure you fry your shrimp in batches, not touching.   









Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, remove the shrimp to a paper towel line plate while you continue to fry the remaining shrimp.











When the shrimp have drained but are still hot, add them with walnuts to a large bowl, pour the sauce on top. Toss everything together until combined.  Serve over rice.











This is a recipe you want to serve as soon as you prepare it. The heat of the shrimp can cause the mayo to melt and turn clear. It’ll still taste great; it just won’t look as pretty! Serve immediately with a sprinkle of scallions for garnish.













I use medium or large frozen cooked shrimp. They come already peeled, de-veined, and the tails removed. Then I thaw them out in the refrigerator overnight.  Frozen shrimp is usually much cheaper than fresh so you can save some money.

















Don’t skip on the cornstarch. Its what gives the shrimp that light crispy coating.

I used Japanese mayonnaise called Kewpie. But you can use any brand.  You can even use regular mayo if you can’t find Japanese. However, Kewpie adds a subtle rich and sweet flavor. It’s thicker, creamier, sweeter, and tangier than traditional mayo.











Glazed walnuts – For flavor and a nice crunch to the dish.

















I add some scallions as a garnish because it makes the dish so pretty and gives it color.










Add the sauce when the shrimp is hot. As soon as the shrimp is finished cooking and has been drained for a few seconds, add the sauce. The heat of the shrimp will help make the sauce a loose consistency and mix better than when it’s had time to cool off. 



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