The Dinner Challenge: Day Two

Dinner challeng day two can't make up for last nights flop but it got an all thumbs up from my people.

Last night was a strikeout, but tonight was a home run! { Sorry, I don't know why I'm using baseball analogies — I don't even like baseball! }

Tonight's dinner was Beef and Tomato Bake, a recipe delivered to me via Google chat by Zesty Cook, one of my favorite foodie people I like to pester endlessly for delicious recipes. And he definitely delivered tonight. Five out of the five J's gave this dish an enthusiastic thumbs up.

Here's the basic recipe. It made so much that we have over half left after we all helped ourselves to seconds!

Zesty's Beef and Tomato Bake



  • 1-lb. ground beef
  • 16-oz. pasta (I used tri-color rotini)
  • 16-oz. can of diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 tsp. each of oregano, thyme, and basil
  • Mozzarella and cheddar cheese for topping
  • Bread crumbs and grated Parmesan for topping


  1. Brown ground beef with 2 tsp. each of oregano and thyme. Drain.
  2. Add can of diced tomatoes, undrained, and 2 tsp. basil. Let simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes until liquid is evaporated.
  3. Meanwhile cook pasta, drain, and set aside.
  4. Mix together meat and pasta and spread in 9×13 baking dish.
  5. Top with mozzarella and cheddar cheese, bread crumbs, and Parmesan cheese.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes in preheated 350 degree oven.
  7. Enjoy!

Tomorrow's meal for our dinner challenge is another Zesty recipe: Chicken Fried Rice.

One of the goals with this cooking challenge with Amanda is to help each of us develop a master menu plan by the end of June. With that end in mind, we'll each be hosting a Mr. Linky next Monday where you can link up any of your favorite dinner recipes. We'd love to add them to our menus!

You can also link up your breakfast recipes here and your lunch recipes here.

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