Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Anticipation and Disappointment! Portillos Beef., Baked Mostaccioli with Marinara Sauce, and Snickers Salad

My son and his girlfriend got engaged December 23rd.  Our family has been anticipating this event for quite awhile, so I was over the moon, when this happened.  We were going to celebrate Christmas with the newly engaged couple and my other son and his wife on Dec.26th.  My nieces were coming, so now I  was planning an impromptu engagement party. I was so excited.

When your children and nieces are grown adults, you always want to make what they like, so we were going to have our traditional family appetizer, Hanky Panks, (to be posted later),  Portillos Italian Beef, (sorry no picture), my Baked Mostaccioli, (which is better than Portillos),  baked chicken breats, and Snickers Salad for my nieces, among other things, just to mention a few. If anybody reading this is in the Chicago area or has had Portillos Beef in the past, they know how good Portillos Beef is, and that you can't make it that good. I had also bought champagne and an engagement present. I was ready and full of anticipation to see my son and his fiancee, and the ring! They had sent a picture of the ring on my phone, but I wanted to see the real thing!  Then I got a phone call from my son and his fiancee saying that they got  locked out of their condo, and they had to wait for a locksmith to come. So we waited. Another phone call. The lock smith that came couldn't open the lock, short of breaking down the door, because they have hi-tech locks. Therefore, they wouldn't be able to get in their condo 'till Monday the 27th.  Disappointment!  Then, as it turned out, my nieces couldn't come either.  More disappointment! My parrty of eight quickly turned to a party of four.

However, my son and his wife were able to come, so we had a wonderful time. We had the Hanky Panks, Portillos Beef,  Baked Mostaccioli, and Snickers Salad, and all of the cookies. fudge and coffe cake!. Lindsey, this salad had your name written all over it.:) A good time was had by all.  The champagne is still chilling in the fridge waiting "till we see the engaged couple.

Baked Mostaccioli with Marinara Sauce- 375 degree oven 13X9 pan
1 lb. box mostaccioli, cooked al dente
1 med. onion diced
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1-28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1-8 oz can tomato sauce
1-6 oz can tomato paste

1 Tsp Italian seasoning
8 oz shredded Mozzarella cheese

Heat olive oil in dutch oven  Cook onion and garlic in hot oil for about 10 min, until soft and translucent. Add  crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce,  paste, and Italian seasonings.. Simmer on for about 1 hour until  thickened.  Can be made several days in advance and refrigerated.

Spray a 13X9 pan with cooking spray. In large mixing bowl, combine cooked pasta and cooked sauce.  If you like a drier mostaccioli, don't add all of the sauce. If you like it saucier, add all of the sauce. Cover pan and bake  in 375 degree oven for about 40 min. Remove pan from oven. Turn oven to 400 degrees. Remove foil  from pan and sprikle cheese over top of mostaccioli.  Return to oven for about 10-15 min,. until cheeese is brown, and crusty.  Be sure to check oven often, because it can burn easily.  Remove from oven and let set for about 10 min, before serving

Now for the Snickers Salad recipe.  It really isn't "salad", just like dessert.

Snickers Salad- This is for my nieces.

6 candy bar size Snickers, diced in small pieces
6 apples, cored and cut in chunks.  I used 3 Granny Smith, 3 Gala apples
1  8 oz container Cool Whip( is this allowed on Foodbuzz?)  You could make your own whipped cream, if    you wish
I also added some chopped walnuts for more crunch, and craisins for garnish

Combine all of the above ingredients in large mixing bowl and chill until serving time.  Can be made a day in advance.  Enjoy!


  1. I had to see this post when I am hungry!! That mostaccioli looks delicious!! and the snickers salad, be still my heart!!! and yes, cool whip is allowed.....lol...its foodbuzz not Top Chef!

  2. Chef Dennis-Thank you for your kind words. I wasn't sure about the Cool whip lol

  3. Snicker Salad...wow I'm so bookmarking that recipe!

  4. Kathleen- It is another addicting recipe, so good.

  5. Wow Becky, I think that salad has my name all over it too! How exciting an engagement! I love mostaccioli. Next you will be telling us all about the upcoming wedding, can't wait!

  6. Congratulations on your son's engagement! I'm so sorry that they weren't able to enjoy this lovely dinner though...but I'm sure that everyone who did felt very blessed! I love baked mostaccioli...and I'm craving something cheesy and warm right now! I hope you are having a lovely week. Thank you for always sharing such great eats with me.

  7. Love baked mostaccioli, ok, I love baked pasta period :-) Portillos large beef and a slice of their chocolate cake, yum.

  8. Gina- Thank you for the good wishes for my son & his fiancee. I am very excited about the wedding.
    More info to come... Baked Mostaccioli is another comfort food for me.
    Happy New Year and a great 2011!!!

    Monet-Baked Mostaccioli is so good. thankyou for the engagement wishes.

    I want to wish you and your family a Happy New Year 2011, and that Baby ryan continues to thrive. Also, thank you for all of your support.

    Tony- Ah yes! There is something special about Portillos chocolate cake!
    Have a HAppy New Year and great 2011.

  9. Oh heck, I'm sure the lovebirds were so bummed that they couldn't make it for this amazing celebration. The mostaccioli looks fantastic.

    Happy, happy new year to you, especially with this amazing Christmas present you were given. Congratulations to you and the happy couple.

  10. Christiane- The lovebirds were bummed, but they're coming Jan 8th now. Keep your fingers crossed! Thank you for the good wishes for my son and his fiancee.

    Have a great 2011 with Dudette!


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