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!