During the winter months my family participates in Room in the Inn at our church where we provide meals, a safe place to rest and fellowship for just a few of the many homeless people in Charlotte.
It is an amazing ministry that our church is able to participate in and a great way for our family to get involved with the community and learn about our neighbors. You can read about Room in the Inn here.
Our church has great facilities and the guests are able to wash clothes, shower, sleep and relax by one of the TVs or shoot some hoops. We also provide them with a home cooked meal, which as you can guess is right up my alley. I am not a leader of this group. I get a sign up once a month and we do what we can. The past several months we have signed up to make the main course of the meal, which is usually a casserole of some sort. We are supplied with a recipe to go by and then we just prepare and deliver to the church. I am not going to lie – the two casseroles that I have made looked less than delicious on first glance. However, I feel that if I am making it for someone else, we are going to try it. There are two reasons for this.
1. If I am making one meal, it is just as easy to make two. I don’t have time to make two meals. I’m all about convenience.
2. I have a fundamental problem with serving something I wouldn’t eat. Let me tell you – this is something I could go back again and again for. It was absolutely delicious!
My family has loved the two recipes that were provided, especially my children.
The first one is a spaghetti bake. The first time you make it, do it JUST like the recipe. You are going to think the sauce is too runny, but it is perfect. Make sure you use the tomato sauce in the can – not jarred spaghetti sauce. Also, only cook the pasta for about 5 minutes (al dente). It will continue cooking in the oven.
- ½ lb. spaghetti noodles (thin)
- 1 lb. ground meat
- 2 cans tomato sauce (14 oz can size)
- 1 can water (use tomato sauce can – may not need a whole can – maybe ?)
- 3 tbs. chopped onion
- 1 tbs. sugar
- 1 lb of grated sharp cheddar cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Shake some Worcestershire sauce
- 4 ounces sour cream
- Brown ground meat with onion in a little olive oil
- Drain the meat and then combine with 2 cans of sauce, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, water
- Simmer for 30 minutes
- Boil spaghetti noodles and drain
- Add sour cream to noodles – stir
- In 9x13 aluminum pan layer the ingredients – first noodles, then
- sauce, then cheese
- Repeat the 3 layers again
- Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for about an hour until cheese is melted and casserole is bubbling.
I usually like to stretch my ground beef with shredded zucchini and carrots, so I think I will try that next time. Hope your family enjoys this delicious meal as much as mine!