Here's a quick and easy ziti dinner that's a favorite with my kids, maybe because my mom always used to make it, and eating it brings up memories of dinners with her. Or maybe just because it's loaded with cheese, and my kids love cheese ;-)
I need a quick-and-easy dinner this week (in fact, I need a whole LOT of them) because I'm on deadline and Thanksgiving is coming, which means Christmas shopping is coming, and my life is INSANE. Ten million things going on at once, and only one me, who has to be writing all day long.
If I have time, I'll post all about the Crimebake conference later this week (and my apologies for missing the Writing Advice Monday post, but I was on a plane traveling back from Boston and just didn't get time between flights to post. Plus I had to get up at the ungodly hour of 4:30 to make my flight out of Boston. I'm an early riser, but NOT THAT EARLY, not anymore, LOL).
One quick story that really told me a lot about the awfulness of people. While I was at the airport, this elderly lady ahead of me (I was way back in the snake line, and she was up at the ticket counter), fainted and fell over, right on top of her luggage. Just...bam, dropped to the floor. There were, no lie, THREE American Airlines ticket agents standing there.
Not one helped her. Not one.
The first, the closest to her (and I mean, within inches), went right on entering the next customer's ticket info into the self-serve computer. Yes, the ticket agent saw the woman fall. She just looked down at her, and went right back to the computer. The other two were behind the desk, and they went on with their jobs. As if this woman was a piece of paper that had fluttered to the floor. No security people sprang forward, no airport staff. None of the people you expect to be in charge in an emergency did a thing. I had no idea what to do. I have all the emergency training of a houseplant, and didn't want to make the situation worse. I wished my husband was with me--he's the former Navy guy with all the knowledge about CPR and bandaging and stuff. My Go To guy in an emergency.
Anyway, a passenger who was a couple feet away from the woman, did rush to her aid. I think the rest of us thought she was a nurse, but after a minute of seeing her with the woman, I don't think she was. I think she was just a nice person. I was way back, in that snaked off line, and there were a good thirty people ahead of me. None of them moved. But this woman get out a tissue, cleaned up the cut on the other woman's head (did I mention she was BLEEDING?) and soothed her until her daughter came over.
The airline staff never did anything. Never. All the people in front of me were moved forward, AROUND the woman's legs (by that first ticket agent, who seemed completely annoyed by this mess on her floor in the way of all her ticket computers). We were all shuffled through the line. The daughter tended to her mother, who was still sitting on the floor when I was done. The airline people never called a doctor or the EMS people or anything.
Then I watch the news this morning when the attorney general collapses and wham, there's a whole slew of people helping him. You could argue he's the AG of the US, but that woman in the airport was just as important to her family as the AG is to the government or to his family.
I didn't fly on American Airlines for 10 years after a really horrible incident when I moved to Indiana. I wrote them a long letter, and got no response. I'll be writing a letter about this incident, too, and will once again not fly AA, not that my one protest will make a huge difference in their bottom line, but it will make me feel better.
Okay, I'm done ranting. I don't do a lot of that on my blog, so my apologies for those who came here just for a recipe. :-)
And now on to that recipe I promised.
Mom's Quick and Easy Ziti
1 pound ziti or penne, cooked and drained
16 ounces American cheese slices
1 stick butter or margarine
salt and pepper
28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray non-stick cooking spray on a 9 by 13 pan. Layer one-third of ziti on pan, then top with 1/3 of tomatoes, 1/3 of cheese slices, 1/3 of butter (cut into little pats) and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Repeat layers, ending with cheese and butter. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
That's all there is to it. It's not exactly diet friendly, LOL, but it's really good with veggies. Pictured there are green beans I sauteed in a little olive oil, then added some Kraft Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing to, tossed in the pan until heated and cooked through. That was easy and tangy. A quick dinner -- the best of all worlds ;-)