Life happens

… when you’re making other plans, and we had such a good plan.  Paul and I were going to drive to Stevens Point, Wis., tomorrow morning.  It’s Pastor Annie’s first Christmas, and we were looking forward to attending Christmas Eve services at Redeemer Lutheran. Our traditional Christmas Eve dinner, featuring Spaghetti Pie (see below), was prepared and ready to bring with us.

Paul, however, has come down with a mild (so far, knock on wood) case of Shingles. A fitting end to an uber-stressful year, don’t you think? Especially since Sean hasn’t had Chicken Pox or the Chicken Pox vaccine, we’re erring on the side of caution and staying home.

Disappointing, yes, but we’re regrouping. You may recall that  “Alternative Thanksgiving” is my favorite holiday celebration.  Paul and I have developed honored Thanksgiving traditions for Thanksgiving Day.  After a long morning walk to Starbucks, we come home to a lunch of grilled turkey burgers and sweet potato fries.  It’s our most relaxed day of the year.

There’s a difference, of course, between choosing an alternative Thanksgiving and having an an alternative Christmas chosen for us.  It’s not such a big difference, though.  With just a little attitude adjustment, we will be celebrating a merry little Christmas while eating Spaghetti Pie.

Spaghetti Pie
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  For a single pie, you can use a large pie plate (10″) or a 7 X 11 casserole.  I often double the recipe and use a 9 X 13 or lasagna casserole.  This freezes well and reheats easily.  A perfect recipe for a busy Christmas Eve dinner.

  • 6 oz cooked spaghetti, 2 beaten eggs, 2 TBS butter, 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese.
  • 8 oz cottage cheese (with chive is nice).
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef, 1/2 cup chopped onion, 1/4 cup chopped green pepper, 8 oz can of stewed tomatoes, cut up; 6 oz can of tomato paste, 1 tsp. sugar, 1 tsp. oregano, 1/2 tsp garlic salt.
  • 5 oz shredded mozzarella

1.  Slightly under cook the spaghetti, drain.  Stir butter, parm cheese and beaten eggs into the hot spaghetti.  Press into buttered pie plate or casserole dish, forming the crust.
2.  Spread cottage cheese over the crust.
3.  Brown meat, onions and peppers.  Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, garlic salt and oregano.  Cook until heated through. Spread on top of the cottage cheese layer.
4.  Bake at 350 degrees until heated through (approx. 30 minutes if putting right in the oven; 45–60 minutes if it’s been in the refrigerator).
5.  Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the top and bake until the cheese melts.

–Sue Edison-Swift (12/23/2010)

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8 Responses to Life happens

  1. Annie says:

    When Daddy’s feeling better, we should make plans for rain date Christmas. Sean votes for January 6, which is both Epiphany and Armenian Orthodox Christmas. As long as there’s spag pie and parents, the date doesn’t matter to me!

  2. Kathryn says:

    Why didn’t I know that spaghetti pie was one of your favorites? It’s a family favorite at our house, too! My recipe is slightly different, but just a hair. When I think ahead enough, I make two and freeze one.

    Hope Paul feels better soon. I’ve heard shingles aren’t any fun at all. Best wishes for Christmas joy, however and where ever it’s celebrated!

  3. paul says:

    Looking forward to it! It’s hard to add more time to our wait to see Hank (and you kids too ☺). Shenoraavor Nor Dari yev Pari Gaghand Edison-Albrights (Merry Christmas in Armenian)!

  4. Sean says:

    With any luck, Skype will be back on its feet by Saturday, and we can falalalala all together.

  5. JB Bishop says:

    Ah man, that is such a bummer. Is this the first case for Paul? Thanks for the spaghetti pie recipe Sue. I just got finished cleaning up the kitchen from making lasagna for tomorrow night. Next time I will try the spaghetti pie recipe. I love your alternative Thanksgiving also. I’d probably have to add some cranberries.
    Wonder how the interview went and when you will get an answer. Get well soon Paul.

    • sue says:

      Oh, cranberry is essential! My turkey burger is topped with cranberry. When you say “first case” do you mean a “second case” is to be expected? The interview went well, I think (hope). I’ll learn early in January whether I made the cut for the second interview. I think of you every time I open a cookbook, JB. Love you, S.

  6. Laurel Hensel says:

    Please tell me the medications for shingles are far advanced and that you’re not in too much discomfort. Santa, please bring drugs! And Sue, if you’re needing some fresh air, I’m available all weekend. Aunt Ann likes it when she has the kids to herself anyway. Love you both!

  7. Kathleen West says:

    Sue & Paul,
    I’m very sorry to hear this; my Grandma Maurer suffered from periodic outbreaks of shingles. I’ll pray that he gets better soon. However, the spaghetti pie sounds fabulous! I’ll have to try it. Had a nice 3-day festival Christmas w/Maureen, Margaret, extended family including Frank! Sue, I’m anxious to hear about interview follow-up w/Advocate Luth Gen. I’m praying for a happier New Year 2011 for you & Paul, and us all. Kathleen

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