Ground beef is combined with pasta sauce, then topped with lots of cheese and a crescent roll crust in this Zesty Italian Crescent Casserole that the whole family will love.
Photos Updated March 2015
What kind of blogger are you?? (Warning – long post ahead!)
Back in my first year of blogging about food, I came across several other blog posts from other food bloggers, giving tips to new food bloggers. One of the things that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is what kind of food blogger I am. One of those tips – from many great food bloggers – is that you have to find your niche. And it makes sense – some of the most popular and successful food bloggers out there have definitely carved out their little spot in the food blogging world. Kayln blogs about how the South Beach Diet has changed her habits, and brings many healthy, and South Beach Diet friendly meals. Both Helen and Peabody have the corner on the delectable desserts, always managing to bring something new to the table. And Jaden brings us many Asian recipes, all with her witty sense of humor.
So where do I fit in?
When I first started blogging, over 1 1/2 years ago, the original name of my blog was Working Woman Food – food from an everyday, working woman. That name only stuck for a day or two, but the url has not changed. (Just in case you were wondering why my blog is named Taste and Tell, while the url is workingwomanfood.blogspot.com.) I see myself as your everyday home cook. Nothing fancy. No airs or judgements. But then I started thinking, and I didn’t want to limit myself to just those easy, everyday meals. I still wanted to challenge myself on occasion, but I knew the majority of the recipes I would feature would be easy and fast. I was torn – I knew that I needed a niche, but I wanted it all!
I have found that a lot of food bloggers complain about the programming on The Food Network. And that got me thinking as well. Why is it that this station can continue to be so successful while so many people that are passionate about food don’t watch? Then it all came to me. We, as food bloggers, love food. We love everything about it. And it’s not just about the end result – it’s about the journey and the process. And although there are thousands of us out there – bloggers, chefs, caterers, food critics, and people that just genuinely love food – there are even more people out there who cook just because they have to get dinner on the table that night. These are the people who care enough to give their families a home cooked meal, but don’t have the time or the passion to spend hours looking at recipes online or in cookbooks. These are the people who usually cook the same meals over and over again, but are maybe feeling in a rut and want something different. And maybe they do love to cook, but not enough to put in the time or the effort that it takes to blog about it. (And any food blogger knows that this is not just a casual hobby – it takes lots of time and effort!) These are the people who have maybe never made a cake from scratch, but want to learn.
So this is where it all started to make sense for me. I am stuck in the middle. In a perfect world, I would love to make everything from scratch and have an elegant meal on the table for my family every night. But I’m also one of those people who doesn’t necessarily have 3 hours to spend in the kitchen every night, so I need something fast. I am a food blogger that loves the simplicity of the recipes on the Food Network, while at the same time, I’m not afraid to take on a challenge. (And I, too, wish that there were some “advanced” shows on the Food Network, along with the basic cooking shows.)
So does this bring me any closer to finding my niche? Maybe not, but I have made a deal with myself to no longer make excuses for when I take a shortcut or make an overly simple recipe. I know I have food bloggers that read my blog, but I also know that I have some every day home cooks – just like me – that read my blog, so hopefully I’ll have a little something here for everyone.
Ok, all of that to bring you to this Zesty Italian Crescent Casserole! The folks over at Pillsbury have come up with a new great product – Crescent Recipe Creations. I’m so glad they came out with this product – it is a sheet of the crescent dough. Just like their regular crescent rolls, but no perforations (therefore just a sheet, not rolls), which makes recipes like this one so much easier! This is a Bake-Off recipe from 1978, and I can see why it made it into the Best of the Bake-Off cookbook. Simple, yet full of flavor. I followed the recipe as written, but I did add more spaghetti sauce. I had made up some homemade spaghetti sauce from all of our tomatoes (see, just like I said above – I live in both worlds! A convenience food combined with homemade elements!) The homemade sauce was a bit more watery than a store bought sauce, so I had to cook mine a bit longer to thicken it up. And you should be able to find the Crescent Recipe Creations in your grocery store, but if you can’t, you can use the regular crescent rolls, and just pinch together the perforations. Both my husband and I really enjoyed this Zesty Italian Crescent Roll Casserole, and the leftovers were even great!
- 1 lb ground beef
- ¼ cup chopped onion
- 1 cup tomato pasta sauce
- 8 oz mozzarella cheese, grated
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury Recipe Creations (Pillsbury Crescent Dinner Rolls can be substituted)
- ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- ½ teaspoon dried basil, crushed
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
- Combine the ground beef and onion in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until the beef is cooked through, about 8 minutes. Stir in the pasta sauce and cook just until heated through.
- Meanwhile, combine the mozzarella cheese and sour cream in a bowl. Set aside.
- Pour the beef mixture into the bottom of a 9- or 10-inch deep dish pie pan. Dollop the cheese mixture over the top and carefully spread evenly.
- Unroll the dough and place over the top of the cheese mixture. Trim the edges as needed, filling in any spots with the extra dough. Tuck the edges in around the edges of the pie dish.
- Combine the melted butter, Parmesan cheese and basil. Spread evenly over the top of the crescent rolls.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, or until the dough is browned and cooked. Let the casserole sit for 10-15 minutes for easier slicing.
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