Today’s National Day needs no recipe. It’s National Grape Popsicle Day. Easy enough. Make up a batch of Grape Cool-Aid. Pour it into plastic cups, place in the freezer. Once the liquid begins to freeze, insert popsicle sticks, continue to freeze until solid. Too much trouble? That’s okay, you’ll find popsicles in the frozen section of the grocery store.
I’ve know for what seems like forever that Popsicles were not invented but rather discovered. Way, way back in 1905 a boy was sitting on his front porch, mixing a surgery soda powder into a glass of water. He used a wooden stick to stir the powder until it dissolved. The details as to why the boy left the drink outside, with the stick in the glass, is unknown. All we do know is that when eleven-year-old Frank Epperson found his glass the next morning, what he had was a frozen treat on a stick. It wasn’t until recently that I learned this happened not in Minnesota or Wisconsin or some other “cold” state, but in San Francisco. Yeah, I know the coldest winter is a summer in San Francisco and all, but really – popsicle freeze? Yup.
Now that we’ve got the whole popsicle tale out of the way, let’s talk cooking. When I’m not influenced by National Food Days or Holidays, I let my daily menu guide me. You know, Tijuana Tuesday, Wild Card Wednesday (always fun cause anything goes) or Tuscan Thursday. That could mean something truly Italian such as Cacio E Pepe, a favorite as old as Rome itself, or something as easy as Pizza Delivery. Hey, that’s Italian, right? So in my book, a casserole utilizing refrigerate crescent roll dough counts. All I know for sure is my guys loved it. And when you get right down to it, a happy family is what it’s all about.
Cheesy Italian Beef Pie
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 White Onion, chopped
2 lb lean Ground Beef
3 cups Pasta Sauce
Italian Seasoning to taste
Roasted Garlic Powder to taste
Pinch Red Pepper Flakes
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 13-inch by 9-inch casserole dish, set aside.
Peel and mince garlic clove, set aside. Peel and chop onion, set aside.
In a large skillet, add ground beef, onion and garlic. Brown ground beef on medium heat. Drain grease. Return browned ground beef to large skillet.
Season pasta sauce with Italian Seasoning, garlic powder and pepper flakes. Taste and adjust as desired. Pour seasoned sauce over the meat mixture. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes
Add beefy sauce mixture to the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Spread evenly, set aside.
1 cup Ricotta Cheese
2 cup Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
1/2 cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded
In a separate bowl, combine ricotta cheese, shredded mozzarella, and grated Parmesan. Mix well.
Plot by the teaspoon full over the beef mixture until nearly covered with cheese. Spread evenly to create the cheesy layer. Set casserole aside.
1 tube Refrigerated Crescent Rolls
Roasted Garlic Powder to taste
3 tablespoons soft Butter
Line a cutting board or flat work surface with a large piece of parchment paper. Unroll crescent dough onto a parchment paper. Pinch perforations to seal. Sprinkle dough with roasted garlic powder.
Carefully lift dough with the paper beneath. Invert onto the casserole (seasoned side down), tucking excess down along edge of the dish.
Spread top with soft butter. Bake uncovered in oven for 35 minutes at 375 degrees, until crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes to cool.
Serve and enjoy! The only thing missing is a simple toss salad.