Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Dad's Marzetti

When Kym and I were kids, our dad, Rod Matheson, made this recipe up and we used to love it. My brother Scott continued to make this for his friends up until a few months before he passed away. Scott used to say his friends loved this dish and would ask for it, so that he made it several times a year. As I've gotten older, I do not care so much for it, but it might appeal to others. This recipe is a tribute to my dad's resourcefulness in trying to feed Kym and I when we were young. He made many foods, but this was one dish he created himself that Kym and I used to make, and then Scott started making it after our parents were married in 1974.
Back around 1994, the Columbus Dispatch Food Section (I'd have to dig up my copy to find the actual date) asked for people to submit recipes for Father's Day; recipes that their dads were known for making. I sent in this recipe, with a bit of information, and we were featured in the Dispatch Food Section the week of Father's Day! I thought it a great gift for my dad. He, Kym, and I were professionally photographed for the paper, and dad's recipe was featured, along with two other families. I was so grateful we were chosen as I wanted to honor my dad for all the sacrifices he'd done for Kym and I, and what a fantastic dad he'd always been. My dad has always been there for me, no matter what. And I know as long as he lives, he will be there for me. He was always there for all of us, as best as he could be. My dad is the very best dad in the world. I am grateful to God for blessing me with such a great dad. I hope you enjoy his recipe.

Dad's Marzetti

1-2 pounds ground beef (this amount depends on how much meat you like)
1 onion, chopped
garlic salt, to taste*
pepper, to taste
32 ounces of spaghetti sauce*
1 box (14 oz) Deluxe Macaroni and Cheese (cheese in a pouch)*

Fry ground beef up in a skillet with the onions. Season with garlic salt and pepper. Drain grease and return meat to pan. Add spaghetti sauce and heat. Once warm, simmer till needed.
While ground beef is cooking, heat water for macaroni. Cook macaroni according to box directions, when done, drain and add the cheese pouch to the macaroni, blending well. Stir the meat sauce into the macaroni and cheese and mix well. Serves 4-6.

*I like to use real garlic, minced.
*Spaghetti sauce used to come in 32 oz jars, which was the perfect amount for a pound of spaghetti. The amounts have dropped so that you only get 24-26 oz in a jar, so it will take more than one jar of sauce. Freeze what you don't use for a later use.
*Dad always used Kraft Deluxe Macaroni and Cheese. When we were kids, the cheese sauce came in a small silver can; now it comes in a silver pouch.

Ready to go!


Alright! I got all those family posts done and now I will be posting my own recipes from now on. Either mine or those I've made from others. Of course, I make some of the recipes I've already posted, but these that will follow will be mine, the ones I use on a regular basis or the ones I've created over the years.

Because of the format on this site, I won't be able to keep these recipes in order like a recipe book where I have all meats, all appetizers, etc. I guess I could try to copy them in this manner, but it would prove most daunting and limit me as I will likely post these as I feel like posting them, so bear with me.

I've been cooking since I was just a kid of around seven to seven and a half years old. I had to cook as my mom had left and I was the oldest of four kids. I started out cooking the simple foods of soups from a can, hot dogs, grilled cheese sandwiches, and eggs. It was not until I was ten years old that I began to cook regularly, and I was eleven when I began to bake from scratch and from boxes.

I'm excited to begin to post my own recipes and hope that they will appeal to many people. I am just a down home cook who makes mainly rib-sticking meals that are simple and delicious. I've had many people tell me I should open a restaurant, but in this economy, I don't think so as I read that over 300 restaurants are closing their doors daily! Too much of a risk for me as I'd want quality foods and these cost more than the average. And the cost of food is rising exponentially~ with all the flooding, earthquakes, tornadoes, and droughts, I can see a food shortage on the horizon, especially for grains such as wheat and corn, and soybeans. No, we do not eat soy if we can help it as soy is NOT  health food, but factory farmed animals are fed soy and corn-based feeds, which means the cost of meats will continue to increase in price. I often buy 'natural' meats that are supposed to be free of antibiotics and hormones, but the cost is sometimes out of my budget. I've also bought grass-fed beef when I've caught it on sale, but this is not often as it rarely goes on sale, and when it does, it means a trip to the north side of Columbus.
I also want you all to note that I try to eat only real foods as much as possible. I do on occasion use a boxed instant pudding mix or maybe once in awhile a boxed cake mix, but mainly I make my own. I will post some recipes that use convenience foods, but overall, I tend to use only real foods. A list of the real foods we consume are as follows: Redmond's Real sea salt (this is pink and found in some groceries, but found in most health food stores), real lard and tallow that I've rendered down, strained, and frozen; extra virgin olive oil, palm shortening (from Tropical Traditions, see side bar for listings), organic coconut oil, organic palm oil, real whipped cream, organic, free-range eggs from a local farm, real (raw) milk, real butter, unbleached flour when using white flour, whole wheat when using wheat flour, and fresh or frozen vegetables and fruits, as much as possible. I do on occasion use canned beans for convenience, and I do can my own produce from my garden and we use these. I do keep canned fruits and vegetables in the house for emergencies and sometimes convenience, but we use them sparingly as they do not have much in the way of nutritional value.
Happy eating!