Mozzarella Bake

It is a crazy week!! I am so happy to be reaching the end of my work week, and since we have had one of those weeks where we are not home, it seems extra special to be able to stay home and cook dinner tonight. Clint has been out of town at an ag conference, Nate was wrapping up his wrestling season late last night and I have been playing single parent which means much easier dinners and an occasional (ahem) dinner out.

So tonight I was super happy to be able to bring back an old favorite and am making Mozzarella bake. This is my absolute favorite baked spaghetti casserole. It is easy to throw together in advance, can be modified for your families taste and likes, and can be refrigerated for a couple days before actually baking. I have taken this to multiple sports banquets, potlucks and etc. Always a hit with the teens!

So if you decide to try this for your family as well- I would love to get some feedback!

Start by gathering your ingredients!

 

Whisk one egg before adding cheeses

 

Tonight I chose to brown 1 lb. hamburger with 1 lb. mild Italian sausage

 

Mix cheeses with egg

 

Ready for the oven!

This is easy to modify- my family likes mushrooms so we used a mushroom based spaghetti sauce, but you can use whatever sauce you prefer. You can also modify and use turkey instead of hamburger, or all hamburger, or like in this case I used Italian sausage and hamburger. Mix it up to your liking!

 


Done! I had a glass of Iowa blush wine with mine… Perfect!

(Side note… This was the first time I had tried sausage instead of all hamburger in mine which my family did not care for as much. Even though I used mild… They thought the sausage flavor was too strong…) Next time I will go back to just beef.

Good luck and stay warm!

Mozzarella Bake

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

1 and 1/2 pounds lean ground beef (I use 2 pounds)

12 oz. cottage cheese

16 oz. spaghetti sauce of your choice (we like mushroom)

8 oz. mozzarella cheese

1/2 tsp. minced onion

1/8 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. garlic salt

3 oz. parmesean cheese

1/8 tsp. pepper

1 egg beaten

8 oz. sour cream

5 oz. thin spaghetti cooked and drained

Brown ground beef and drain. Add spaghetti sauce and seasonings. Simmer over low heat for 15-20 minutes. Beat egg in large bowl. Add sour cream, cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese, and salt. Blend well. Stir in noodles. Place half of the noodle mixture in 9×13″ pan sprayed with cooking spray. Top with 1/2 of the ground beef mixture. Repeat layers. Sprinkle parmesean cheese lightly over the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until bubbly.

Serves 6-8

Source: Webster County Catholic Churches cookbook “Catholic Team Parishes of Webster County 150 years of faith and food”

Check out this post at the March Country Fair blog party! Click here:Β March Country Fair Blog Party

 

 

 

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What is a farm manager?

I have been asked literally a million times what my husband does. “He is a farm manager? “What is that?”, “Does he farm?”, “What does he manage?” I have a lot of confused looks and questions whenever I mention his career. So let me clear some of the myths behind farm management and what a farm manager actually does.

  1. He does not drive around in a pickup and look at fields. …well… he kind of does… but not really. He does own a pick up and he does look at fields, but he gets out of the pick up and ventures into fields. Just like a farmer, he has to check moisture, look for signs of pests and weeds, and check the progress of the crops he is responsible for.
  2. He does not work with the farmer. I think this is the biggest misconception. Yes, his job is to work for the land owner, (who is not always the farmer) but he works with the land owner and the farmer toward the best outcome.
  3. Β Farm managers aren’t as busy as farmers. Actually this is completely false. My husband is gone just as much as the farmers he works with. When you are responsible for the production and outcome on over 50 fields, you are gone. ALOT. He is in the combine when they are combining, in the tractor when they are planting and out visiting fields when chemicals are being put on (or not). His family knows what it is like to have him hit a “busy season” and we experience his absence too.
  4. Not all agents that sell farm ground are farm managers. Yes. To manage ground you have to have a real estate license, even if you do not sell. (In other words you cannot manage real estate without a real estate license). This also enables you to list and sell farm ground. Some also carry insurance licenses to they can sell crop insurance. Depends on who you work for.
  5. Farm managers don’t understand how farming works. My husband grew up on a cattle feedlot, worked on a farm all the way through college, has managed more than one farm chemical outlet, has a degree in agronomy, and has earned sales awards in both chemical and land. He also was awarded an environmental service award and was in charge of a winter nursery in Puerto Rico… so he does know agriculture.

The best way for me to describe what my husband does is to set up a scenario- one he has seen time and time again… Imagine being an adult child of a farmer who has farmed his whole life. You grew up, moved away to the coast and upon the death of your dad you inherit 240 acres of farm ground back in the midwest. You have no idea how to farm, what land can make in rent, what an input is, what kinds of seed to plant and you have no idea who is currently farming this land and how does that rent work? You are established in your career, know nothing abut farming and have no desire to move back. How do you take care of this investment you were given?

This is where the farm manager comes in. He is hired with the responsibility of managing the land, rent, and depending on the contract, any leases, sales and upkeep of the ground. He meets with the seed and chemical companies, hires the sprayers, chooses the seed in some cases, hires the people who will put up new terraces, work on drainage issues, complete tiling etc. He works with managed ground, custom ground, and owners. The land owner who knows nothing about this or cannot or does not want to manage this all him/herself can rely on the farm manager to get the best return on his/her investment.

For many, it really is a blessing to have access to a farm manager if you have no idea what to do next once you inherit ground. He is utilized by adult children who have land, widows of farmers, and in some cases he is works for investment companies.

Bottom line is that farm managers are a very necessary part of the agricultural landscape. They are men and women who work hard to protect the farm ground that is such an important part of the agricultural foundation of our country. If you ever wonder just exactly what they do, just ask! They are proud of the profession they love.

Picture of my husbands dad and siblings by his tractor late 70’s