Thursday, October 31, 2013

Tamale Casserole

"A rite of passage" a ceremony or event marking an important stage in someone's life.  Yep, that is exactly what has happened this year to our girls.

After 14 years of tirelessly looking for the perfect costume, dressing up, trick-or-treating, it is finally over.    They are now in high school and it has all disappeared, just like that.  As the past few years have gone by, their costumes have become much more simple, yet home made and really putting their creative minds at work and the groups of teens have dwindled down for the race to each house in search of the best candy.

The first years.....
This year, we still carved the best ever pumpkins, decorated the inside and outside of the house, and purchased candy for the little children.  This year is different though...for the first time, there will not be any dressing up or racing to houses.  Instead my young adults have decided they want to be the ones to hand out candy to the cute up and coming trick-or-treaters.

....I really miss these days.
I don't know who is more sad and disappointed, me or them.  I used to have fun dressing up with them whenever I could.  I even had the same 50's poodle skirt ensemble as they did, complete with a bleach blonde beehive wig - it was the best!!

Last year's final costume appearance.
So there you have it, we are one step closer to seeing our kids, not be kids anymore and yet we have so much to look forward to as we watch them grow into the adults that they will soon become.

Another Halloween tradition that has followed us, since the day I met my husband is Tamale Casserole.  It comes from the family cookbook and we have either made it (or been served it) every year for the past 20 Halloweens. This is not the usual casserole that you would expect to see, it's like a homemade chili on steroids (as my husband so creatively describes it). It's a crock pot creation that is perfect to come home to on a cold fall night after trick-or-treating.

Tamale Casserole
Courtesy of JoAnne and Dick

(3) extra large or (6) regular size tamales (beef or pork), cut into large chunks
(2) cans Hormel chili (without beans)
(1) large can sliced black olives, drained
(1) 15 ounce can corn, drained
2/3 pound cheddar cheese, grated
(1) 15 ounce can tomato sauce

Mix together all ingredients.  Heat in a slow cooker on low heat setting for 8 hours. Serve with a dollop of sour cream.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Taco Tuesdays

I know the title of this post reads "Taco Tuesdays", and yet today is Wednesday.  As hard as I tried yesterday, I just couldn't get the post finished when it should have.  You see, Tuesdays are by far my least favorite day of the week.  I know everyone else seems to dread Mondays, but for me it is without a doubt...Tuesdays that I really don't look forward to.

Everything goes wrong and chaotic on Tuesdays. Wake up late, girls wake up cranky, get to school late, cold weather makes an expanded crack all the way through my windshield.  Of course the crack conveniently goes right through my line of sight, so it's bad enough that I am already wearing transitional bi-focals, but now my windshield has it's own bi-focal line now?  Tuesdays are not my favorite!!

The only good thing that came out of this Tuesday was that the girls made these precious Halloween cupcakes, to keep our house in the spirit of the season....because there just isn't enough orange and black all over the place.

Chocolate makes everything better...even Tuesdays.
The best part of all was my husband's annual pumpkin carving event.  Every year the girls pick out their custom designs that they want carved.  As they have gotten older, they tape them up on the pumpkins, do the tooled punching of the design, then the best part comes...Mr. Makita.  Thank goodness my husband has a garage full of custom tools for this one day of the year.  He has really mastered the art of his Makita drill bits and carving of the pumpkins.

The younger's scary creation.
Every year he says, this is the last year he will do this.  Thankfully 360 days later, he has forgotten that and the girls talk him into doing it all over again.  This year though, was his masterpiece.  The oldest girl is on a Monsters Inc movie kick right now and found a Mike Wazowski template for her carving.  Are you kidding me??  I thought my husband was going to have a heart attack.  I was so proud of him though, he stepped it up and nailed the design.
Meet Mr. Wazowski
I have gotten into the routine of making some kind of Mexican food (primarily tacos) on Tuesdays.  It stems from a place in Miltona, Minnesota called "Club Miltona" that we used to visit for a few summers with our dear friends.  "Taco Tuesday" was their big draw for the week and the place was packed.  Darling, small town USA place that we will never forget...and the phrase and meal just stuck with us after all these years.

However, this recipe comes from my sister-in-law's very good friend.  These tacos are not your ordinary ingredients, but they are awesome together!!

Sandy's Tacos

Meat Mixture
(2) pounds ground beef or ground turkey
Lawry's Taco Seasoning Mix
1/2 white onion, diced

flour tortillas
finely grated parmesean cheese
canola oil

4 tbl. balsamic vinegar
4 tbl. olive oil
1 tbl. dijon mustard

Brown the onions and meat together until full cooked through.  Add the taco seasoning mix, according to directions and let simmer for 30 minutes.

Heat the canola oil at medium-high and fry the tortillas on both sides until lightly brown, but are still pliable.
Lightly sprinkle some of the parmesean cheese on top and either fold like a taco shell or let sit if you are going the tostada route.

Mix the dressing ingredients and let sit while you assemble with the following recommended condiments:  cilantro, diced red onion, chopped tomatoes, shredded mexican blend cheese, shredded lettuce, 2 ears of corn (cooked and shaved from husk), 3 chopped jalapenos, avocado and sour cream.

Once you have assembled your taco, drizzle with the dressing.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Suzie's Pumpkin Bread

I needed some cheering up today. Almost a year has gone by since we have seen our son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter.  It was Thanksgiving last year when spent a very memorable long weekend with the three of them and they announced they were having twins.

We miss them so much and look forward to the day we can see their entire, newly expanded family.  Our son sent us photos of the kids at their pumpkin patch festival they went to last weekend.  They are getting so much bigger and it just reminds me of how fast our two girls have grown up.  I remember taking them to their first pumpkin patch with their Papa.
Big sister and new little brother.

Big sister and new little sister.
I needed to do something to take up my time and keep my mind off all these beautiful blessings of ours that are growing older right before our eyes. Baking was going to be my plan of attack to help pass the time today.

I received this pumpkin bread recipe about 20 years ago from a lady I worked with.  Back in the day I worked the retail world for awhile to earn some extra money, as my future husband and I were just starting out.  It was an upscale boutique and the manager's name was Susan.  She always made trays and trays of these to set out every holiday season.  It made the husbands very happy (and occupied them) as their ladies spent a whole lot of money in one afternoon.  We even had a few celebrities shop there and they also loved these breads.

Find the largest bowl you have.
Lined up for some love'n.
Once I tried these little pieces of heaven, I could not stop eating them through my work schedule.  I think I gained 5 pounds that month - not a good thing when you are trying to portray a high-end image in their clothing...just as well, since I wasn't a fashion design major anyway.  I brought loaves of these to everyone last Thanksgiving. Friends and family all devoured these - especially our granddaughter, she loves Nana Suzie's Pumpking Bread.

Suzie's Pumpkin Bread

(7) cups All Purpose Flour
(6) cups White Granulated Sugar
4 tsp. Baking Soda
4 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
(2) cups Canola or Vegetable Oil
6 Eggs
1-1/3 cup Water
(1) 29 ounce Canned Pumpkin (like used for pumpkin pies)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Get the largest bowl you can possible find - this makes a huge amount of batter for 14 mini loaves or 6 regular loaf size pans.

Spray your loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray (spray bottom and sides of pans).

Mix all wet ingredients well with hand held mixer.  In a separate bowl mix and blend all the dry ingredients.  Add one cup of the flour mixture at a time to the wet mixture, making sure that it is well blended after each cup has been added.

Pour 1 cup of the batter mixture in each mini-loaf pan.  (I bake 7 loaves at a time for even baking and let them bake on a large sheet pan for easy transportation to and from the oven).

Bake 45-60 minutes.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Pumpkin Pancakes Morning

It's pumpkin week here for my little teen pumpkins.  We are on to the countdown before Halloween arrives. I don't know anyone who loves fall more than my girls, especially the younger one (also known as Baby B, as she was born one minute after the first one).

I think my favorite part of the this season is bringing out all their special decorations they have made over the years.  I love seeing them every fall, pulling them carefully out of their hibernation from being stored the past year and reliving the memories of when they were made.

Many fond fall memories of Halloweens past.
My mom still has the custom painted, paper mache pumpkin that I made in kindergarten.  The top was cut off and all the kids each hand tied their black ribbons through the top to make a handle and be used for trick-or-treating.  To this day, my mom still uses that pumpkin to display the candy she gives out to today's children at her front door.

This morning Baby B, my Saturday morning buddy woke up with a craving for her usual pancakes. I have made them hundreds of times for her and could probably do it blind folded by now.  However, this time she threw a spin on it....she wanted pumpkin pancakes.  I have never made pumpkin pancakes in my life.  I know my pumpkin bread, pumpkin bars and pumpkin spice cookies.  Not a problem, I got this....Now, there is a long running debate in our household on pancakes (soft and fluffy vs. thin and small).  My husband was out golfing this morning taking advantage of the warm weather, so Baby B and I had the majority vote: soft and fluffy it was!!  I am curious, what is your vote??

I pulled out my trusty Bisquick and got creating. I played with the spice drawer and kept adding a little here and a touch there.  The end result was so delicious, and easy.  This recipe may need to be added to our annual fall decorating weekend traditions.

Homemade decorations and our new semi-homemade pancakes.
Pumpkin Pancakes
Inspired by Baby B

2 cups Bisquick Baking Mix
1-1/4 cups Milk
2 Eggs
1/4 cup Sour Cream
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice (add more depending on your spice level)
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
2 Tbl. Canola Oil (or Vegetable Oil)

Mix all ingredients until well blended.
Pour slightly less than 1/4 cupful onto hot, greased griddle or frying pan.
Cook until edges are dry and middle starts to slightly bubble.  Turn and cook until golden.

Serve with butter and fresh maple syrup.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Pasta, Parent Conferences and Pantry Purging

"The Great American Pantry Purge" phrase was coined by my friend Toni in Alaska.  I am so envious of her, because the pantry in her house is larger than my bathroom.  One weekend we were over at their house for dinner, she told me what she had planned for our menu that night and further explained that it is was because they were in the middle of their Great American Pantry Purge Week...meaning that she was using and cooking with what was already in the house - she made it sound so much fun with her catchy phrase.

Fast forward, I have been diligently trying to keep with my coupon cutting, weekly calendar dinner menu planning (so I only need to hit the grocery store once during an entire week) and really trying to pay attention to what I can use up in the kitchen.  Nothing makes me more crazy than over buying something that I already have an abundance of in the many cans of tomato soup and tuna does one house need, really??

Angus watching mom purge, organize and collecting his socks around the house.
A few weeks ago were parent-teacher conferences at our girls' school.  They have a wonderful program where the leadership academy students and parents make dinner for all the staff that are there late at night for conferences and don't have time to run out for a quick meal.  This time the theme was Italian - perfect!!

The best news of all was that the meal I wanted to make, I was able to purge everything I already had on hand in our kitchen.  I just love it when a plan falls into place.

As I have previously mentioned, my husband's family published their own family cookbook.  Some of the recipes go back three generations and have stood the test of time and taken on their own spin as the various family members try them out.

The famous family cookbook.
One of our go-to favorites is "Grannie's Lasagna".  Awesome quick fix, weeknight casserole that is perfect for families or pot lucks, and even makes great leftovers too. So, purge your pantry away while you enjoy this one and for all those great teachers out there who give so much of their time.  After dealing with teenagers all day, it's the least I could do for them.  I even purged our remaining King's Hawaiian Sweet Rolls into these delicious garlic, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese bread creations - yummy!!!

Grannie's Lasagna
Courtesy of Jan and Will

(1) 12-ounce package noodles (egg, bow tie, etc.)
(1) 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
(1) pint sour cream
1/2 pound Parmesan cheese
1 to 2 pounds ground beef
1 onion chopped
1 to 2 cans tomato sauce (or 1 jar of marinara or spaghetti sauce)
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon sugar

Preheat oven 350 degrees.

Saute meat, onion and garlic.  Drain meat.  Add tomato sauce and sugar, set aside.  Boil noodles as directed.  Mix drained noodles with cream cheese and sour cream.  Spray Pam in large casserole dish and spread noodles in bottom of dish.  Add meat mixture on top and finish off with fresh Parmesan cheese.  Bake uncovered approximately 45 minutes, until bubbly.

Also needed to purge Mark West Pinot Noir

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Chicken Tortilla Soup For The Weary

"There is no rest for the weary." I looked up this phrase, because I love to know where and how idioms came about (not to mention that I have really been feeling it lately) and here is what one definition said:

Prov. Even people who are worn-out must continue to work. (Describes a situation in which a tired person has to do more work.).  Isn't this the same definition, next to the word MOM in the dictionary??

It has been over 2 weeks since my last post and I feel like I have been gone for months.  My friend Toni is kicking my - - - in the number of her posts this month and I am feeling very behind. Oh, not to worry though, I have been photographing outings and recipes and still driving my family crazy during the past few weeks. I just have not had one moment to sit down and write.  We have been go, go, go!!!

It truly has been a whirlwind couple of weeks, starting with high school volleyball tournament last weekend. As I volunteered at the beginning of the season to be the team parent, I jumped on the bus with the team (promising to not embarrass my children of course) and away we went.  The team was victorious and fought on to take first place - I was so proud of each and every one of them.  Their high school team as of today is undefeated and they have one more game to go for the season to keep their record - I am quite certain I am more nervous about it than they are.

One of our volleyball stars.
  My stress level is already starting to peak with the upcoming birthdays and holidays.  My husband's is mid-December, then we have Christmas and of course I had to pick the end of December to have, holidays tend to raise my tension level just a bit. I am already trying to figure out who will be getting what gifts and when, deciding what is the best for a Christmas vs. Birthday present.  We have also been blessed this year with our 2 additional twin grandbabies, giving is a total of 3 amazing grandchildren now.  I am making all the grandkids blankets this year, so trying to find the perfect material and patterns for their sweet little personalities.  Let us also not forget the deadline of trying to get packages out in the mail to our families, so I don't have to pay the exorbitant "last minute because I didn't get my act together in enough time mailing fees".

Then there's also my very dear friend Felicia coming to visit me next month.  I want everything perfect for her so she can be spoiled during her stay with us.  She has done so much for me and my family that I want to make her time here special and memorable.  I have no doubt that adult beverages will be involved in those memories - she has already put in a request for my husband's Cosmos.  Stay tuned for postings during that week...should be very interesting to say the least.

To add some fun into the mix, my work is beyond crazy, busy!  I no sooner get to work and it's time to go home.  My days are rapidly going by with all the daily tasks, schedules, clients, paper trails and e-mails. Not complaining though, I would take it that way over being bored, any day!!

Look closely and you can see the other volleyball star being funny!
Now you know why every parent needs a margarita during road trip weekends.
My husband had also been begging me to do a road trip and get away for the weekend.  We tossed around many ideas and learned that Mt. Rushmore was only 5-1/2 hours from us.  I jumped online and did my tourist research because I am such a planner like that.  It turns out that Keystone, South Dakota basically shuts down October 1st every year after their tourist season.  Perfect!!  Got a great hotel for an amazing rate, no crowds at the National Monument and no waiting at restaurants and the weather couldn't have been better for this time of year. 

The girls loved all the history at Mt. Rushmore and we were really taken back by the beauty of the monument. We took in every moment there and learned everything that it stood for, the sculptor and the stories behind it.  Of course, the movie fan that I am, I had to stake out every location sight from where they filmed National Treasure 2 there.  
The locals taking over the highway.
The wildlife before, during and after the visit there was the best though.  Our daughters really had a great time seeing all these amazing creatures in their natural environment yet completely okay being around tourists too.  We even had time to see the Crazy Horse Memorial,  Black Hills Ghost Town and The Flintstones Resort in Custer, SD (yes, you read that correctly).

Our drive home took us through quite the storm from South Dakota, through Wyoming and even into Colorado.  It was cold, rainy and extremely windy.  We were all tired and needed a nice bowl of hearty soup for our chilled bones, to end our perfect weekend.

Chicken Tortilla Soup
Inspired by Chicken Enchilada Soup (on )at

(1) 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
(1) 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
(1) 10 ounce package frozen whole kernel corn
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped yellow, green or red bell pepper
(1) 10 ounce can enchilada sauce (mild)
(1) 10.75 ounce can condensed cream of chicken soup
1-1/2 cups milk
(1) cup shredded Pepper Jack cheese (4 ounces)
(2) cooked chicken breasts, diced

Mix beans, tomatoes, corn, onion, pepper and chicken in a large pot.  Whisk together enchilada sauce soup and milk and pour over soup mixture in pot.  Stir well.

Bring to a low boil over medium heat, then cover and  turn to low and let simmer for about an hour.

Serve with the pepper jack cheese,  sour cream, sliced avocado and tortilla strips.

This is what Theo thought of us leaving him for the weekend.
Needless to say, he wasn't very happy when we returned and didn't mind letting us know.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Greek Salsa Chicken and Greek Movie Afternoon

I have finally recovered from yesterday's triple play (football, golf balls and baseballs).  My husband warned me...he gave me the rundown of what sports were going to be on t.v. ALL DAY Sunday.  Sunday, Sunday, Sunday.....AGH!!!  It started with 11:00 am Seahawk game.  They lost.  I didn't see a minute of the game, but believe me....I know they lost.  The reason I know they lost, is because you could hear my husband yelling at the referees, the teams, the fans and anyone else on t.v. he could see, for hours.

He was so revved up, he went outside after the game to tear out the garden that froze over last week. (At least I got out of doing it, and didn't have to do any more gardening).  Then it was golf and The Presidents Cup.  This was much calmer, since our country took the win - thank goodness!!  I did catch some of the golf match though.  I couldn't pass up seeing my boyfriend, Phil Mickelson for a few rounds. (Don't worry, my husband knows).

Then, the Dodgers game started at 5:00 pm. I had enough at this point.  It was time for me to go upstairs to fold the 13 loads of laundry that I did over the weekend while I catch an afternoon movie.  I was glad I did, because the Dodgers did not start out strong and it was sounding ugly downstairs.  At one point I thought I was going to have to go out and pick up an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) for my husband.  Why do men get so emotional about sports, on t.v. nonetheless?  Here's a newsflash men:  They can't hear you through the television!!!

At any rate, I love movies.  I love to watch and get lost in movies.  I have so many favorite movies, it has become a joke in my family.  We will be surfing through the channels and I see one of my favorite titles and want to watch it immediately.  My husband says, "but you have seen that fifty times"  My reply, "I don't care, it doesn't matter."  Yet why is it he gets to watch Kelly's Heroes, I can't tell you how many times, as I have lost count.

Today, one of my favorites was on this afternoon.  My Big Fat Greek Wedding.  I absolutely love this movie and I am here to tell you, since I was actually in my college roommate's Greek wedding, this movie is spot on.  I laugh and cry through it every (68 times) I have watched.  If you have not seen this movie yet, add it to your bucket list.

Of course, watching the movie got me in the mood for Greek food.  This meal is one of my go-to dinners.  It is full of wonderful Mediterranean flavors.  I add capers to it, because anything that I can add capers to, makes husband oh so happy and after the sports day he had, he needed a little happiness.

Greek Salsa Chicken
Adapted from Cuisine At Home, April 2009 Issue

For The Salsa - 
4 oz. Crumbled Feta Cheese
1 Cup halved Grape or Cherry Tomatoes
1/4 Cup Pitted Kalamata Olives
1/4 Cup Minced Fresh Parsley
1/4 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice
1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. Chopped Fresh Oregano
3 Tbsp. Capers, drained

For The Chicken - 
(6) Skinless, Bone-In Chicken Breast Halves
Salt and Pepper
2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
(2) Lemons, cut into wedges

For The Wife - 
2011 Dead Bolt Winemaker's Blend from California

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Combine feta, tomatoes, olives, parsley, lemon juice, 1/4 cup olive oil, oregano and capers for the salsa in a large bowl.  Cover and chill salsa.

Saute chicken pieces in 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a large roasting pan over medium-high heat until chicken is browned on skin-side.  Turn over chicken.

Squeeze lemon wedges over chicken to coat with lemon juice, then nestle squeezed lemon wedges around chicken breasts.  Roast until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees, about 30 minutes.

Transfer chicken and lemons to a large platter; top with salsa.   "OPA" !!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Apple Of My Eye Dumplings

Fall is wait, winter is, now fall is back.  Once again our unpredictable Colorado weather served a whopping quick storm through here this week.  We woke up Friday morning to the biggest snowflakes I have ever seen.

The mornings are so crisp and there is a light layer of frost on the grass and farmlands.  The squirrels are feverishly trying to gather everything they possibly can, including my remaining garden items, thank you very much.  They are running around all over our yard, jumping from tree to tree and getting ready for the winter.

Not to worry though, the sun has burned off much of the frost and husband is playing in the season's last golf tournament this morning.  One teenager has slept in and the other early bird teen got up and wanted to cook together.

When fall sets in, I always go into my nesting mode, just like my friendly squirrels.  I want warmth and comfort aromas running through the house at all times.  I bake, bake and try to find fall harvest dishes to warm our bodies.

When the kitchen is not going full throttle, we build fires.  Last night we even had our first fire in our brick lined fireplace.  As my husband puts it though, he says I like a nice "bonfire" going all night.  Well perhaps I do go a little bit overboard on the logs and flames.  (You should see me when we go could land a plane with our campfires by the light that they give off).

This morning we made these wonderful buttery apple dumplings.  A little challenging for the teenager as the biscuit dough can get a little sticky, but she did great and they tasted amazing.  This dish is perfect for a brunch or overnight company.

Roll apple into blanket of biscuit.

Start lining up these little bundles.

Pour the vanilla-butter sauce.

Add a kiss of sugar and cinnamon.

Makes you forget the chill outside.
Apple Dumplings
Adapted from Home Cooking with Trisha Yearwood

2 Granny Smith Apples
1 Lemon
1 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup (1 stick) Butter
1/4 tsp. Vanilla Extract
8 Canned Buttermilk Biscuits
4 tsp. Ground Cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Peel, core and slice the apples vertically into 8 slices each.  Squeeze the lemon into a bowl of water and add the apple slices to keep from turning brown.

In a medium saucepan, mix 1 cup water, 3/4 cup of the sugar, the butter and vanilla.  Bring the sugar mixture to a boil over medium heat, so it thickens to a nice sauce.

Separate each biscuit into 2 layers.  Wrap a biscuit layer around a slice of apple, stretching the biscuit slightly to overlap and seal on the bottom.  Place the wrapped slices, sealed-side down in a 9x12x2 casserole dish.  Pour the hot sugar-butter mixture over the apple slices.  Mix the remaining 1/4 cup sugar with the cinnamon and sprinkle the mixture over the tops of the wrapped apples.  Bake until golden brown, approximately 35 minutes.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Weeknight Ravioli Bake For A Very Special Week

Today was a very special day.  One that has been in the waiting for many years.  After three years, three states and three orthodontists, our twins got their braces off today.  Hallelujah!!!!!!!  They have waited a very long time for these perfectly straight pearly whites that they have tonight.

If my teens didn't check themselves out enough in the mirror before, they are having a lot of fun doing it everywhere they turn now.  I think they are just in shock though, not remembering what their teeth looked like before all the metal, wiring, banding and rubber bands.

After a morning and afternoon full of orthodontist and dental appointments, their teeth had a once over (or two) today.  So tonight I made the easiest dish ever and our new favorite ravioli ensemble.

First layer of ravioli, cheese and sauce.

Second it all over again.

Ready for the oven.

Finished product with garlic croissants and pinot noir.
Weeknight Ravioli Bake
Courtesy of Kraft Recipes

(1) 24 oz. Jar of  Spaghetti or Marinara Sauce
(1) Can (14 oz.) Diced Tomatoes, Undrained
(2) Packages (1 lb. each) Your Favorite Frozen Ravioli
(1) Package (8 oz.) KRAFT Shredded Italian Five Cheese or Mozzarella Cheese
1/2 Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Spray 13x9 baking dish with non-stick spray.

Mix spaghetti sauce, tomatoes;  spoon 1 cup into bottom of baking dish.

Layer half the ravioli and 1 cup shredded cheese over sauce. Top with remaining ravioli and sauce.  Sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese;  cover.

Hint:  To keep the foil from sticking to the sauce and cheese, spray the underside of foil with non-stick spray.

Bake 45 minutes or until heated through, (uncovering after 30 minutes and add the parmesan for the last 15 minutes).  Let stand 10 minutes.

Tonight we toasted our girls' new smiles with Mark West Pinot Noir.  Cheers!