It’s Halloween! I’ll be honest, Halloween produces more stress than most holidays because I’m not exactly the crafty mom who can whip up adorable costumes year after year on their sewing machine . . . a what? I’ve never owned one and at this point in my life, it doesn’t matter. Over the years, my children have either borrowed, bought or begged for their costumes and as we look back, they were pretty darn creative . . . most of them. In fifth grade our oldest son Parker wanted to be a recycling box so he painted a big box blue, made a hole in the bottom, climbed in as we stuffed newspapers and plastic bottles inside. He carried that thing around all night. Here’s to inventiveness!
Second child Meredith’s best costume was her Geisha girl outfit we put together using store bought silk jammies, a black wig and lots of beautiful make-up. Never mind that my 8-year old daughter was dressed like an Asian call girl, to put it mildly. Oh well, she was stunning!
Our third child was the cutest dalmation puppy even before he was walking thanks to some basic store-bought hoodie-footie jammies that we covered with dots. His preferred way to dress-up as he got older was to wear a bucket hat and call himself an NSync fan. Simple needs; that’s Madison.
We borrowed the most amazing dinosaur costume from a friend so our fourth child Tanner had something to wear to the preschool party. From a chef to a football player, from Zorro to JFK, he covered a range of identities.
By the time our fifth child needed a costume, I quickly resorted to the internet and purchased a Hello Kitty costume. The head piece was enormous and Abigail already stood a head taller than her first grade peers which produced quite the impression during the elementary school parade.
The ultimate “reuse” costume was my high school cheerleader uniform. All the kids, yep–including the boys, wore that costume but of course the boys embellished it with a set of balloons and a Marilyn Monroe wig. Hope they’re not scarred for life.
Here’s to a fun Halloween with traditions and memories in the making. The one tradition that never changed was a meal of spaghetti, tossed green salad and French bread, inhaled in record time so that the important stuff–Trick or Treating could begin. My spaghetti recipe is pretty darn basic so I found this yummy baked spaghetti HERE at Taste of Home and have modified it a bit to include more whole grains, vegetables, seasonings and less fat. It’s still a fabulous recipe that you can make ahead and have ready and waiting for your eager goblins and ghosts. Enjoy your evening!
- Favorite Baked Spaghetti
- Cooking Spray
- 1 package (14.5 ounces) whole grain spaghetti (I used Barilla multi grain-yellow box)
- 1 pound lean ground turkey or beef
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1/2 pound sliced mushrooms
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (24-ounce) jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce (I used Classico Traditional Basil)
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can Italian-seasoned ready-cut stewed tomatoes
- 1 tsp dried basil leaves
- 1 tsp seasoned salt
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 4 Tbsp butter, melted
- 2 cups 2% cottage cheese
- 2 cups part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, cook beef, onion, mushrooms and garlic in a large skillet placed over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in spaghetti sauce, stewed tomatoes, basil and seasoned salt; set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, Parmesan cheese and butter. Drain spaghetti; add to egg mixture and toss to coat.
- Place half of the spaghetti mixture in prepared 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Top with half of the cottage cheese, meat sauce and mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers.
- Cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake at 350° for 40 minutes. Uncover; bake 15-20 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.
This can be made several days ahead and it also freezes well.