Seri Kaya Bread Pudding

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Seri Kaya, or Srikaya, or some people just call it Kaya, is a coconut jam made from coconut milk, eggs and sugar. It’s sweet, thick, creamy and “rich”. The word kaya itself means rich in Indonesian. I really adore this jam. There’s always something nostalgic about this sweet spread. A couple of weeks ago, my husband was back from his business trip to Makassar. One of Makassar’s famous souvenirs is this lovely jam. Knowing that I love seri kaya so much, he bought me 6 jars of Makassar Seri Kaya! I’m a happy wife 😀 Well, turns out I’m not the only one who feels happy. After first taste, my son has become the newest fan of this jam 😀

This morning, I was thinking to make other than just ordinary seri kaya sandwiches for my son’s breakfast. Then I remembered that I have my beautiful Hello Bebe glass food container from Lock & Lock. Ha! I should give it a try, then. First recipe idea that came up in my mind is “bread and butter pudding”. Hmmm.. that would be lovely for breakfast! A warm, sweet, one-dish meal is hard to resist in the morning. I used pandan bread to make this pudding. Pandan and seri kaya is a very good combination.

But there’s sudden change in my plan, though. My oven was suddenly broken this morning! Arrrghh… I really didn’t know what happened. It just stopped working. Blah. Well, I finally decided to steam the bread pudding. After all, my Hello Bebe glass food container is made from borosilicate glass, which withstands high heat and sudden cooling. It could be used not only in a fridge, freezer, microwave, and dishwasher, but also in a 400ºC oven and a steamer! It really saved my day!

 

Ingredients

4 slices pandan bread

seri kaya

1 egg

200 ml milk

1 tbsp sugar

butter

 

How to Make

  1. Preheat the steamer, or if you want to bake the pudding, preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4/350ºF.
  2. Grease your glass food container with some butter.
  3. Make sandwiches with the pandan bread and seri kaya (about 1 tablespoonfuls in each sandwich).
  4. Now cut the sandwiches to fit the food container.photo-13
  5. Whisk the egg with sugar and milk. Pour this over the sandwiches and leave them to soak up the liquid for about 5 minutes, by which time the pudding is ready to go into the steamer or the oven.photo-14
  6. Sit the glass food container in the steamer, or in the oven to cook for about 45 minutes or until the custard has set and puffed up slightly.

Chicken Rolls

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My son is mad about deep fried foods. If sometimes he gets bored with his meal, I just have to offer him crackers, or any deep fried snacks, and his appetite will come back shortly 😀 That’s why I always have to keep my homemade frozen foods ready in my freezer. Forgive me, I’m that kind of mum who won’t let her kid eats crappy frozen chicken nuggets from supermarket. I choose to spend about 2 – 3 hours in the weekend for cooking and preparing homemade frozen food stocks, instead of letting my son eats something that even I cannot explain what contains inside.

So last week I made a batch of chicken rolls. I actually used shrimp rolls recipe but I replaced the shrimp with chicken mince because my son is allergic to seafood. Chicken rolls may look like chicken nuggets, but as they contain spring onions and sesame oil, they have distinctive flavour. They’re my son’s all time favourite! When I’m in a rush to prepare his lunch, I usually make him a “quickie soup” (I put whatever veggies left in my fridge and boil them in the chicken stocks) and fry some chicken rolls as side dishes.

photo-9Take a peek at my son’s lunch today. We got some chores to do so I had to bring his lunch on the go. I cooked chicken meatball soup with carrots and broccoli. I also added the chicken rolls to his lunch box, just in case he’s not in the mood to eat his soup. Everything’s contained perfectly in my Lock & Lock Lunch Box. This lunch box set is my favourite! 😀 It has perfect size for my son’s portions. It’s also leak-proof, so I don’t have to worry carrying soupy dishes inside. Those 3 containers really accommodate my needs. I used the 360 ml round container for steamed rice, the 220 ml dish container for the soup, and the 220 ml divided dish container for the chicken rolls. They’re all packed inside the insulated bag, which can keep them warm for several hours. So my bag is packed I’m ready to go!

 

Ingredients

–       250 g chicken mince. I used 250 g of chicken breasts and “minced” them with my food processor

–       2 spring onions, thinly sliced

–       25 g all purpose flour

–       1 tablespoon egg white

–       ½ teaspoon sugar

–       ½ teaspoon salt

–       ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper

–       ½ teaspoon pure sesame oil

–       1 clove garlic, finely chopped

–       2 eggs, loosely beaten

–       oil to fry

–       aluminium foils

 

For Coating:

–       50 g all purpose flour

–       1 egg, loosely beaten

–       50 g coarse bread crumbs. I used panko crumbs.

 

How to Make

  1. Mix the chicken mince, spring onions, 25 g flour, 1 tbsp egg white, sugar, salt, pepper, sesame oil, and garlic into a bowl.
  2. Make 3 thin “crepes” from 2 loosely beaten eggs. You will use these egg “crepes” as sheets or wrappers. So, be extra careful to not making any holes.
  3. Divide the chicken mixture into 3 equal portions. Spread the chicken mixture evenly on the egg “crepe” and roll the “crepe” tightly. Repeat the same steps to the other “crepes”.
  4. Wrap the chicken roll with aluminium foils. Be sure that the chicken roll is fully covered with foils at both ends.
  5. Steam the chicken rolls for about 30 minutes until the chicken is cooked. Let them cool completely.
  6. Do the bias/diagonal cut to the chicken rolls so you will have 3 cm-thick pieces.photo-10
  7. Coat the chicken pieces in coating flour, shaking off any excess. Dip them into the egg, and then press them into the panko crumbs until well coated on both sides.
  8. You can now freeze them. Arrange the chicken rolls in a single layer on a baking tray, cover with cling film, and set in the deep freezer. Once frozen, remove the chicken rolls from the baking tray and store in Ziploc/freezer-safe bags. Return to the freezer and cook from frozen.

 

 

Mamaku Koki Handal and Lock & Lock COOKING CHALLENGE: Potato “Lasagna”

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Having homemade food stocks neatly stored in my freezer really helps to lower my tension every morning. As I’ve told you in my previous post, I had cooked big amount of Bolognese sauce last weekend. This versatile sauce is ready to be “transformed” to many delicious meals 😉

I usually prepare a quick-cook meal for my son everyday to be eaten during his snack time at school. I remember when I was at primary school, I used to have my lunch box and shared the contents with my friends. There was a great pride to unpack the lunch box and find my mother’s homemade foods inside it. I promised myself that when I became a mother, I was going to carry on this tradition. I thought that a homemade meal inside my kid’s lunch box is a simple gesture of my love and care for him to carry off to school.

Yesterday, my son had a field trip with his schoolmates. I planned to prepare him a bigger portion of his usual meals, so that he could share them with his friends during the trip. Considering that I still had some Bolognese sauce in the freezer, I suddenly came up with this recipe. At first I wanted to make baked lasagna, but I didn’t have the lasagna sheets at the moment 😀 So I replaced the pasta with whatever I had in my kitchen: potatoes! I thought it would work wonderfully well. After all, they’re both carbohydrates! 😀

So then, early in the morning I boiled the potatoes and made some mashed potato out of them. I intended to have layers of mashed potato between the Bolognese sauce, as substitute for lasagna sheets. Once again, I used my trustworthy Lock & Lock glass in cooking this meal. Maybe some of you wondering why I trusted my 3-year-old son to carry a glass food container. Actually, my son is taught to use glass tableware at school, so I guess he could handle the Lock & Lock glass well enough and it’s safe to be carried by him. His teachers are also always there to supervise the children anyway. After all, Lock & Lock glass is made from high quality borosilicate glass, which is stronger than normal glass. It’s designed to go through temperature extremes and if broken it shatters into pebble pieces rather than shards. Lock & Lock glass is also 10% lighter than other tempered glass product, so it will not cause too much trouble if it’s carried inside my son’s school trolley bag.

It took only 15 minutes from mashing the potatoes till the assembly of the “lasagna”. Once the mozzarella topping melted and browned, I simply removed the Lock & Lock glass from the oven to cool it down a bit (I was surprised it didn’t take a long time to cool the surface of the Lock & Lock glass so it’s safe to be put inside my son’s bag!), put the lid on, and it’s done! Super quick, super easy, super tasty! 🙂

 

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Ingredients:

–       3 medium-size potatoes

–       1/4 recipe of my Bolognese Sauce (more or less)

–       2 tablespoons butter

–       ± 4 tablespoons cooking cream/milk

–       80 gram grated Cheddar cheese

–       80 gram grated Mozzarella cheese

–       ground white pepper and salt to taste

 

How to cook:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180º C.
  2. Peel the potatoes, put them into a saucepan. Add water until potatoes are covered and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, lid on, for 15 – 20 minutes, or until they’re done (a fork can easily be poked through them).
  3. Drain water from the potatoes. Put them into a bowl. Add cream and butter (room temperature), and use potato masher to mash the potatoes until well mashed. You can add cream/milk to achieve the consistency you desire. But remember to not over-beat or your potatoes will get gluey. Add the cheddar cheese, salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Rub the Lock & Lock Glass with olive oil, arrange 1 layer of mashed potatoes, and spread it evenly to cover the bottom of the container. Pour the Bolognese sauce to cover the mashed potato layer. Repeat steps for second layer. You may have two or three layers as you like, but you have to have the Bolognese sauce on top of your layer. Sprinkle the grated mozzarella cheese on top of your layer.
  5. Put it into the oven, and cook for around 15 minutes just until the mozzarella melts and the top gets brown.

 

Check out the video here!

 

 

 

Mamaku Koki Handal and Lock & Lock COOKING CHALLENGE: Baked Spaghetti with Cheese Sauce Topping

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Being a working mum “forces” me to make extra efforts in cooking homemade foods for my son. In this kind of situation, I always use weekend as my “stocking up” time. Because in weekend only, I could cook big batch of chicken/vegetable stocks, meat sauce, or sorts of homemade frozen foods (like chicken nuggets or beef/salmon patties) supply for the next week. All stock, sauce, and frozen foods are packed up in individual portions (I pack them in separate freezer bags) and kept in freezer. This food-arrangement helps me a lot in preparing my son’s meals everyday. For instance, I just have to thaw and reheat one bag of meat sauce, cook some pasta, and voilà! One dish is effortlessly served! 😀

Talking about meat sauce, ah, this is my favourite! I always looove one staple recipe that can be transformed into zillion possibilities. Once you can cook this sauce, you can always use that same sauce for many other things, i.e.: pouring over pasta/rice/baked potatoes, layering up lasagna, or using this sauce as filling to make meat pies. As I cook this meat sauce for my kid, I usually “hide” some veggies into the sauce. That’s why, I use Bolognese sauce recipe in making my meat sauce. Originating from Bologna, Italy, Bolognese sauce itself is a meat-based sauce that contains onion, celery, tomato, carrot and cheese. I thought that’s healthy enough for my son’s diet 😀

Last weekend I cooked a big pot of Bolognese sauce and at the end of the day I had 4 medium-size freezer bags containing this wonderful sauce, ready to be happily frozen in my freezer 😀 . Last Sunday, my family actually planned to have an out-of-town family outing, so I used this Bolognese sauce to make some baked pasta. Baked pasta is a one-dish meal, which is convenient and simple to be carried on. And when I cooked the baked pasta, I knew I could really make a good use of my beautiful Lock & Lock Glass. Made of borosilicate glass which withstands high heat and sudden cooling, Lock & Lock Glass could be used not only in a fridge, freezer, microwave, and dishwasher, but also in a 400ºC oven! Unlike other normal glasses, Lock & Lock Glass uses strong heat resistant properties which could withstand sudden change in temperature, so it can be heated straight from the refrigerator, and when it’s broken by physical shock, it doesn’t break into numerous fragments and scatter, therefore it is a safe and suitable choice for food container. And oh, please don’t forget that this IS Lock & Lock, people! Of course the product itself is well equipped with the famous four-lock mechanism lid. This is one feature that makes my life so much easier. After using it as an oven cookware, I just have to put the lid on and we’re ready to go! No need to “transfer” the food to another food container. Ah, simple things that make me happy 😀

Okay, without further ramblings, here is the recipe for Baked Spaghetti (the only pasta left at my kitchen storage! 😀 ) with the additional-but-hard-to-resist cheese sauce on top! 😀

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Ingredients:

–       200 gram dried spaghetti, cook until “al dente” according to the package instructions

–       1/4 recipe of my Bolognese Sauce

–       2 tablespoons margarine or butter

–       2 tablespoons plain flour

–       400 ml milk

–       100 gram grated Cheddar cheese, or as many as you like 😀

–       ground white pepper and salt to taste

 

Ingredients for Bolognese Sauce:

–       500 gram good-quality minced beef

–       2 cans Italian chopped tomatoes (@400 gram) or 800 gram fresh chopped tomatoes (choose the very ripe ones)

–       water, the amount will be explained later

–       1 large or 2 medium onions

–       2 cloves of garlic

–       2 carrots

–       1 stick of celery

–       2 heaped teaspoons dried oregano

–       small bunch of fresh basil (if you can’t find it, feel free to substitute with the dry one)

–       salt and freshly ground black pepper

–       50 gr grated Parmesan cheese

–       Olive oil

 

How to cook the Bolognese sauce:

  1. Peel and finely chop the onions, garlic, carrots, and celery.
  2.  Add some olive oil into a big pan, and then add the veggies. Cook and stir them until softened and lightly colored (for around 5 minutes)
  3.  Stir in the minced beef and chopped tomatoes. Fill the empty cans with water and add back the water from the cans into the pan. If using freshly chopped tomatoes, add about 800 ml of water.
  4.  Finely chop the basil stalks (keep the basil leaves in the fridge for later), then add them into the pan.
  5. Season with salt, pepper, and dried oregano, then bring the sauce to the boil.
  6. Turn the heat down and simmer with a lid on for about an hour. Don’t forget to stir it every now and again.
  7. Remove the pan from the heat, and add grated parmesan.
  8. Stir in some basil leaves, and have taste (add more salt and/or pepper if needed).

 

How to cook the Cheese sauce:

  1. Melt the margarine/butter in the pan, then add the flour.
  2. Stir them for a while until well combined, then quickly add the milk into the pan.
  3. Mix thoroughly, and add the grated cheese.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Bring the sauce to the boil (when it starts bubbly, remove the pan immediately).

 

Final Assembly

  1. Preheat the oven to 180º C.
  2. Rub the Lock & Lock Glass with olive oil, and place the cooked spaghetti in the bottom of the container.
  3. Pour the Bolognese sauce on top of spaghetti; spread it evenly to cover the spaghetti.
  4. Finally, pour the cheese sauce on top of the Bolognese sauce.
  5. Put it into the oven, and cook for 30 minutes or so until the top gets brown.

 

Don’t forget to watch the video here! 😉

Cupcakes Series: A Note to Remember

I remember the first time I sold my very own cupcakes at my previous office two years ago. I brought just 10 cupcakes on the first day, thought that only few people would fancy those sweet little treats. I came very early, kept the box of cupcakes in office’s fridge, and then wrote an “advertisement” email to my closed office mates only. After clicked the “send” button, I waited in anxiety. Unexpectedly, my phone rang less than a minute after I sent my email. That was my friend, shouted excitedly. “I want your cupcakes! Keep it one for me!”. In half an hour, my cupcakes were sold out. 🙂

I continued selling cupcakes and muffins (though not regularly) at my office until resigned from my job, got married, and had a baby. Now I don’t always have much time to bake fancy cakes like these. But I want to share the recipes with you! 😀 I got my recipes from several sources, and those recipes are the best that I’ve ever tried. I’m still looking for other perfect cupcakes’ recipes, so please do not hesitate to share yours, too! 😀

Today I’ll post recipes of 3 basic cupcakes with two basic frostings. These recipes can be easily “mix n match” with any ingredients you have in your cupboard. Life cannot be easier and sweeter than before! 🙂

Updated: Proper Nachos with Proper Cheese

Got a pack of Monterey Jack Cheese when I was grocery-shopping with my son yesterday. I am sooo happy!

A plate of warm nachos with melted cheese on top will be transferred to my hungry tummy!

I love it! I love it! I love it!! I don’t really fancy salty Cheddar. This Monterey Jack is mild and perfectly melted on my Nachos. Yum!

Anyway, you can get the full recipe here! 😀

5-Minute Quesadilla

Once again, I warn you that this is NOT an authentic recipe of Quesadilla :D. I call it “quesadilla” just because I use flour tortilla and it’s shaped like one. This is my lifesaver if I have no time to prepare breakfast, or if I need my bedtime snacks. Because of its simplicity, I often substitute the ingredients with what’s left in the fridge that day. My family is so addicted to this. I believe that yours will get hooked too! 😀

Ingredients

  • Flour tortilla
  • Smoked beef, or leftover roast chicken, or mushrooms, or anything you have in fridge.
  • Salsa. You can get the recipe here. I often make a big batch of salsa and refrigerate them in small portions. They will last for about 1 week. But you can always use a shop-bought Salsa. Sometimes I replace my Salsa with a spread of Prego, if I happen to have a jar which has been opened (you know that Prego won’t last very long once its jar is opened). It’s surprisingly very yummy! This is what I call a fusion of Italian and Mexican.
  • Grated Monterey Jack Cheese. As I’ve said before in my older post, this is the best option for the best taste. But you can use your Cheddar. No one will judge you.

How to Make

  1. Warm your frozen flour tortilla (as I always keep the tortillas in freezer) in microwave for 30 seconds.
  2. Place the tortilla on the plate, and spread your Salsa (or Prego) on top of it.
  3. Arrange your chicken, or smoked beef, or whatever you have, on the tortilla.
  4. Sprinkle the grated cheese.
  5. Fold the tortilla in half to form a half-moon shape.
  6. Heat a large frying pan and add a small amount of oil. “Grill” your tortilla in the pan until the cheese is melted and the tortilla gets browned.
  7. Slice your quesadilla to get “pizza-like” pieces.

My Version of Cheesy Nachos with Salsa

Disclaimer:

To all Mexican cooks out there, forgive me for posting this very inauthentic Salsa Recipe. 😀 I came up with this recipe due to my dislike of some ingredients in real Mexican Salsa. I hate the taste of cilantro and the smell of fresh tomatoes. In the other hand, it’s kinda hard to find Jalapeno Peppers here in Indonesia. So I dropped some ingredients and cooked my Salsa. Turns out it becomes family’s favorite!

Ingredients

For Salsa

  • 3 tomatoes, chopped (do not deseed the tomatoes as you need the tomato juice)
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small green paprika, chopped. You can use any pepper you like, I just love the green color which is blended with the red tomatoes.
  • 5 small chilies (Indonesian people can use “cabe rawit” :D)
  • 200 ml water
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar. I don’t know why I ALWAYS use brown sugar when making Salsa. For me, it enhances the taste. You can use your regular white sugar, anyway.
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Chili sauce and ketchup, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp butter or margarine

Nachos, or any corn chips I found in supermarket (Indonesian people can use “Happy Tos”, a shop-bought corn chips which is widely sold than the real nachos).

Grated Monterey Jack Cheese. It’s the best option for the best taste. But I like to use any kind of cheese stored in my fridge. I used easy-melt Cheddar Cheese in the photo.

How to Make your Salsa

  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan, and add the chopped onions.
  2. Stir-fry the onions until golden brown, about 3 minutes.
  3. Put the chopped tomatoes, paprika, and chilies into the pan.
  4. Add the water, sugar, salt, black pepper, chili sauce, and ketchup to taste.
  5. Bring the water to the boil, or until the tomatoes is soaked and soft.

Cooked salsa. Still bubbling hot in the pan.

Final Assembly

  1. Arrange your nachos on the platter.
  2. Pour over the Salsa.
  3. Add the grated cheese on top.
  4. Microwave them for about 2 minutes, high heat, until the cheese is melted. Enjoy while it’s hot!

Koekjes Kitchen’s Baked Spaghetti

Well.. This is the first recipe I ever tried.. 😉 I remembered when I asked my mom to made this but she refused: “Go and try by yourself..!” Flattened, I then made a batch of this and got surprise. It was (surprisingly) good!! I packed some portions for my lunchbox the following day, and let some friends tried…and They loved it! It was one of those defining moments that inspired me to cook later..^ ^

Anyway, this baked spaghetti actually needs one thing: a GOOD bolognese sauce.. and in this stage, you can make your own decision: making sauce by yourself or buying a good-quality bolognese sauce in a jar (it can be found easily in supermarket today).

A bolognese sauce is an Italian classic, and in its country it’s made in many different ways.. but I do like Jamie Oliver‘s way to cook the sauce.. It’s simple and tasty! Once you can cook this sauce, you can always use that same sauce for many other things, like layering up a lasagne… As Jamie said in his book “Jamie’s Ministry of Food”: “With so many options, it’s well worth bagging up any leftover sauce and freezing it for another day”. I do what he said…

Ingredients for Pasta:
– 250 gr dried spaghetti
– 500 ml boiled water in a big pan
– salt

Ingredients for Bolognese Sauce:
– 500 gr good-quality minced beef
(or you can use minced pork, or a mixture of the two)
– 800 gr chopped tomatoes
(if you’re too lazy or not in the mood of chopping something, you can “chop” them roughly in your blender or processor)
– about 800 ml water
– 2 medium onions
– 2 cloves of garlic
– 2 carrots
– 2 sticks of celery
– 2 heaped teaspoons dried oregano
– a small bunch of fresh basil
(you can found fresh basil leaves in certain supermarkets, such as: Food Hall, Hero, Kem Chicks, or Bali Deli. But if you can’t, feel free to substitute them with the dry one)
– salt and freshly ground black pepper
– 50 gr grated Parmesan cheese or use Cheddar if you like
(I mean: Kraft Cheese, if you don’t know the brand ;p)
– olive oil

Ingredients for Cheese Sauce:
– 2 tablespoons margarine or butter
– 50 gr plain flour
– 600 ml milk
– 100 gr grated Cheddar cheese
– 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
– 1/8 teaspoon salt

How to cook your pasta properly:
I know, i know… You might think that cooking dried pasta is same as cooking instant noodles.. No, you’re not wrong.. But here some tips (that I got from some chefs) to make your pasta tastes better:

  1. Look for good brands dried pasta, like: Barilla, San Remo or La Fonte Remember that you get what you pay for..
  2. ALWAYS salt your cooking water! As Italians said that: “the cooking water should be as salty as Mediterranean Sea”. Oh, and put your salt in the water after the water boils.. If you put the salt before, the water will boil faster and then evaporate the salt..
  3. Never add your pasta until the water is boiling fast..
  4. After dropping your pasta in the boiling water, mix it round with a spoon, and place a lid on the pan until the water comes back to the boil.
  5. There’s no need to add olive oil to your cooking water.. It’s just a cowboy trick.. Give some attentions to your pasta, and it won’t ever stick..
  6. Cook your pasta “al dente“. Simply follow the packet instructions about the cooking time.

How to cook your beautiful bolognese sauce:

  1. Peel and finely chop the onions, garlic, carrots, and celery
  2. Add 2 lugs of olive oil into a big pan, then add the veggies. Cook and stir them until softened and lightly colored (for around 7 minutes)
  3. Stir in the minced meat and chopped tomatoes, then add the water
  4. Finely chop the basil stalks (keep the basil leaves in the fridge for later), then add them into the pan
  5. Season with salt and pepper, and bring the sauce to the boil
  6. Turn the heat down and simmer with a lid on (for about an hour. Don’t forget to stir it every now and again)
  7. Remove the pan from the heat, and add grated parmesan
  8. Stir in some basil leaves, and have taste (add more salt and/or pepper if needed)

How to cook the Cheese sauce:

  1. Melt the margarine/butter in the pan, then add the flour
  2. Stir them for a while then quickly add the milk into the pan
  3. Mix thoroughly, and add the grated cheese
  4. Season with salt and pepper
  5. Bring the sauce to the boil (Your pan will give a lil explosion. When you see it, remove the pan immediately)

Final Assembly

  1. Preheat the oven to 180′ C
  2. Rub 1 liter ovenproof dish with margarine or butter, and snugly sit your cooked spaghetti into the dish
  3. Pour the bolognese sauce on top of spaghetti (pour adequate amount of the sauce.. Don’t overfill the dish! Remember, you can keep your leftover sauce in the freezer)
  4. Finally, pour the cheese sauce on top of the bolognese sauce.
  5. Put it into the oven, and cook for 45 minutes or so..

-serves 8-