Posted in Food, lunch box, Main Dish, salads

Crazy Mixed-Up Caesar Salad

We are not a family that often eats out. I’d much rather make “copy-cat” restaurant favorites at home. Then, I can tailor the recipe to please the whole family ( for far less money). However, there are times when we are out and about and find ourselves in need of a meal.
A couple of years ago, we went to a new restaurant for a birthday celebration. My daughter ordered a salad that looked quite interesting. She was attracted to the notion that the salad included a few of her favorite foods…noodles, romaine lettuce, and Parmesan cheese. She was quite pleased with her choice and was not disappointed with her meal. As I looked at the salad, I realized that we were paying $9 or so for a Caesar salad with noodles in it. Shortly thereafter, I duplicated the salad in my kitchen and it has since become the only way I prepare Caesar salad for my family. Adding grilled chicken makes this tasty main-dish salad a hearty meal.

Crazy Mixed-Up Caesar Salad

3 small heads of romaine lettuce, chopped into bite-sized pieces
3/4 cup bottled Caesar salad dressing (I use Marzetti’s brand)
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded (I use Kraft or Sargento Brand)
1/4 cup water
1 16 oz box of noodles, fully cooked and cooled ( I use Ronzoni Smart Taste Brand)
Pepper to taste

In a large serving bowl, mix romaine lettuce with fully cooked and cooled noodles. In a smaller bowl, mix 1 cup of dressing with 1/2 cup water to dilute the dressing, mix to combine. Pour dressing mixture over the lettuce and noodles. Toss to coat all of the ingredients. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the salad and gently toss. Add croutons and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Posted in Food, side dishes

Noodle and Rice Casserole


This week, our high school swim team celebrated “Senior Night” where all of the Senior students were recognized for their years of hard work and dedication to the team. Parents were asked to contribute a side dish for the occasion. I made a noodle and rice casserole. This dish is actually my mother – in – law’s recipe. When I was first dating my husband, his mother made us this weeknight dish. She placed a layer of chicken breasts under the casserole fixings to make a full meal in a 13X9” pan. It was quite delicious and I have been making it for my family ever since.

Noodle and Rice Casserole

2 sticks of margarine
2 cans of French onion soup
8 oz. pkg. fine noodles, uncooked
2 cups instant rice, brown or white
2 cans chicken broth
2 tsp. soy sauce

Brown noodles and rice in margarine in a large skillet until golden brown. Add remaining ingredients to the skillet; mix well. Pour into a 13X9” baking pan. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.