New Babies and New Recipes – Chrys Howard
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New Babies and New Recipes

New Babies and New Recipes

Happy New Year!! Wow! It’s already been a whirlwind for our family with the birth of Zane Israel, our first great-grandchild. He’s absolutely perfect and we are madly in love with him. 

Rebecca had a fantastic pregnancy. She felt great the entire nine months, which can make those who spent three months throwing up a little jealous, but we were so happy for her. Labor and delivery went just as easily until the very end and, let me just say, she is still walking very slowly. (If you’re a mom, you understand.) She’s taking it like the warrior mommy she is and not complaining. One look at Zane and it’s all worth.  

It’s interesting being in the great-grandma position because there are two grandmas ready to hold him at any minute, leaving us great-grandmas in a long waiting line. I said we need to take a number! The great thing is he is dearly loved and will always know it. Who cares if he never gets put down? Right?

It’s hard to imagine, but there have been other things happening on Yellowood Drive besides Zane’s birth. For one, Sadie is home for a couple of months. WOOHOO! We are loving that! In fact, today we are meeting for lunch.  Does it get any better? Number two, John Luke and Mary Kate are in the process of moving home. After four years away at college, they will be moving back to West Monroe in March. Can I get another WOOHOO? Yes, WOOHOO! We are beyond excited about this as John Luke will take over as Executive Director at Camp Ch-Yo-Ca. That is the camp we have all worked at and supported for-EVER! I’ll share more about this later in another blog.

One more thing for today. If you know me at all, you know I am not the cook! That would be the other grandma in the family—Miss Kay. But, last night I had 45 college kiddos (also will share more about this in a future blog) over for dinner and needed to find a good recipe so I asked another great cook, my mom, for some suggestions. She gave me the perfect recipe. It’s a twist on spaghetti, which most kids love, but it’s a little more adult-ish—I think.

So I thought I would share the recipe with everyone. Now, it requires some slicing and dicing, which, again, is not my strong suit, but I did it, so you can too. Here you go:

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup chopped green pepper

1 tablespoon of butter

1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained

1 can (4 oz.) mushroom stems and pieces, drained 

1 can (2-1/4 oz.) sliced ripe olives, drained

2 teaspoons of oregano

1 lb. Ground beef, browned and drained

12 oz. Spaghetti, cooked and drained

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1 can (10-3/4 oz.) condensed cream of mushroom soup

¼ cup water

Parmesan cheese


1. Sauté onions and peppers in the butter until tender. Add the tomatoes, mushrooms, olives, oregano and, if desired, ground beef. (We have some non-meat eaters, so I made a small pan with no beef.) Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

2. Place half of the spaghetti in a greased 13 X 9 in. baking dish. Layer with half of the vegetable mixture and 1 cup cheddar cheese, repeat layers. (I may have used more than required cheese. That’s always a good idea.)

3. In a small bowl, combine soup and water until smooth; pour over casserole. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. (I have some non-Parmesan eaters, so I just had it sitting out to add individually.) Bake uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until heated through. 

I have to say, it was a huge hit!! I hope you try it and love it too. 

That’s it for today. Have a blessed day. Make someone smile today!

Hugs, Chrys

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