Friday, February 27, 2015

Cheeseburger Melt Hot Dish

Old Mother Hubbard went to her cupboard to find her cupboards were bare.  


But then I rummage through the freezer and realize that I have some already-cooked hamburger as well as a lot of shredded cheese . . .

And then this happened:  Cheeseburger Melt Hot Dish

That's right people - I turned it into a casserole.  A gosh-darn-dang AWESOME one to-boot.  Simple ingredients.  Real food.

Cheeseburger Melt Hot Dish
Serves 6-8

1 lb Hamburger, browned and seasoned 
1/2 lb of French Bread (or approximately 1/2 loaf of a long loaf)
2 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
4 Oz Cream Cheese, Cubed
1 Cup of Mushrooms (approx. 2 small cans of canned mushrooms)
1/2 Cup Onion, Diced (white or yellow onion)
2 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons Flour
1 Can (14.5 oz) of Chicken Broth (we prefer low-sodium)
1 Cup Milk

Step 1:  Spray a 9x13 pan.  Set aside.  
Step 2:  Cube the bread into medium-sized/bite-sized pieces and scatter among the bottom of the cake pan.
Step 3: Add in the hamburger, mushrooms and onion in layers.  First sprinkle the hamburger over the bread.  Then scatter the mushrooms over the meat.  Then distribute the onions over the mushrooms.

Step 4:  Time to start the cheese sauce!  In a medium saucepan, melt the butter.  Add in the flour and whisk until it comes together in a blob and keep stirring it over medium heat for about 30 seconds.  Then, pour in half the chicken broth and keep whisking until flour and broth mix together.  Add the remaining chicken broth and continue whisking until combined.  Next, add in the milk and keep whisking for about a minute (do not boil - keep it over medium heat).  Now, add the cream cheese and keep whisking until it is melted into the liquid.  Then, add the cheddar cheese and stir until it has melted into the sauce.  Turn the heat up a bit, keep stirring, and once it begins to simmer/bubble - turn off the heat and pour the sauce over the bread/hamburger/mushroom/onion.

Step 5:  Bake for 30-45 minutes until heated through and bubbly.

And it is great as leftovers too!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Pistachio Pineapple Cake

My hubby loves pistachio pudding.  I love pistachio salad (you know the one . . .green and fluffy . .. I don't think I have the recipe on here though).  Any how, I married the two and made it into a cake:  white cake, pistachio pudding mix, pineapple and coconut.  I know, I know . . .I have a coconut obsession.  If you don't like coconut, omit it from the recipe.  But don't let that hinder you from making this crazy delicious and moist cake!

Pistachio Pineapple Cake

1 Box White Cake Mix (16.5 oz Box)
3 Eggs
1 Cup Ginger Ale
3/4 Cup Vegetable or Canola Oil
1 (20-oz) Can Crushed Pineapple, Drained Well
1 Box Instant Pistachio Pudding Mix (3.4 oz Box)
1 Cup Coconut Flakes

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Grease a 9x13 cake pan and set aside.

Step 2:  In a large bowl, add your dry cake mix, dry pudding mix, the eggs, ginger ale and oil.  Mix well for 2 minutes on medium with an electric mixer.  Fold in the pineapple and coconut.

Step 3:  Pour batter into cake pan and place in preheated oven.  Bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Let cool completely before frosting the cake.  

Step 4:  Top with Pistachio-Cool Whip Frosting (recipe below)

Pistachio-Cool Whip Frosting:
1 Box Instant Pistachio Pudding Mix (3.4 oz Box)
1 Small Tub Cool Whip (8 oz)
1 Cup Coconut

Mix all above ingredients together.  Let sit in the fridge for 1/2 hour before frosting the cake so that the flavors blend.  

Store Frosted Cake in the Refrigerator!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Peanutty Pork Noodle Bowl

I just love, love, love Asian inspired food.  And I especially love peanut sauce.  In this recipe, you'll get that great peanutty flavor married with pasta, pork and veggies . . .and there is a nice kick too.  Bonus is that you don't need any obscure ingredients on hand to make this dish.  Yum.

Peanutty Pork Noodle Bowl
Serves 4-6

1.5 LBS Boneless Chops
8 oz Think Spaghetti or Angel Hair Pasta
1/4 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
6 Green Onions, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 Cup Carrot, Shredded
1 Cup Sugar Snap Peas
3 Teaspoons Chopped Garlic
2 Teaspoons Ginger (powdered)
1 and 1/2 Cups Low-Sodium Chicken Broth
1/4 Cup Low-Sodium Soy Sauce
3 Tablespoons Peanut Butter

Step 1:  Cook the pasta according to package directions.  Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid for later in the recipe.  Drain the pasta and set aside.

Step 2:  Prep your pork by patting it dry and then slicing it into thin strips, about an inch long.  In a large fry pan, heat the oil and add the pork and crushed red pepper.  

Step 3:  Once the pork is browned (approx 5-10 minutes), add the green onion, carrots, sugar snap peas, ginger and garlic.  Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring, until the vegetables are heated.

Step 4:  To the pork pan, add the chicken broth, soy sauce and peanut butter.  Continue to cook and stir until all the peanut butter is melted and incorporated.  

Step 5:  Toss with the pasta.  If it seems dry, add some of the reserved cooking liquid.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Easy Shepard's Pie Hot Dish

Looking for a great make-ahead meal that is full of comfort?  Give this shepard's pie hot dish a chance and you will leave your family wanting more.  I personally like this recipe because 1) it uses real mashed potatoes and 2) it doesn't have a ton of mashed potatoes.  If you really like mashed potatoes, you may want to double the potatoes (and milk/butter accordingly).

Easy Shepard's Pie Hot Dish
Serves 6-8

2 LBS Ground Beef
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 Large Onion, Diced
1 Tablespoon Chopped Garlic
Salt and Pepper
1-14.5 oz Can Carrots
1-14.5 oz Can of Peas
1.5 LBS Potatoes (approx 4 - 6 medium sized)
1/2 - 3/4 Cup Milk
1 Tablespoon Butter
3 Packettes of Dry Gravy Mix ("Brown" flavor or Beef flavored) + Ingredients to Prepare it - or 3 Cups of Prepared Gravy

Step 1:  Peel your potatoes and cut them into quarters.  Place into a large pot and cover them with enough water so that there is an inch of water above them.  Place on stove and bring to boil.  Let boil for 15 - 20 minutes, until fork tender.  Drain and return to the pot.  Mash the the potatoes and add 1/2 cup milk and the butter.  Continue to mash until creamy.  If they seem dry, add a bit more milk and mash again.  Set aside.

Step 2:  Meanwhile, in a large fry pan, brown your hamburger along with the onion, garlic and Worcestershire sauce.  Cook until well browned.  Taste - season with salt and pepper.  Go scant on the salt, as the gravy will add some salt to the finished dish.

Step 3:  Prepare the gravy according package instructions, this should yield 3 cups of finished gravy.

Step 4:  In a 9x13 cake pan, add the hamburger mixture.  Next, drain the peas and carrots and add them to the hamburger.  Mix to combine.  Pour the gravy over the top and mix to combine again.  Dot the mashed potatoes on top (I put 8-blobs on mine and then spread them out a bit).  There will not be enough mashed potatoes to evenly spread on top - which is why you 'dot' them.

Step 5:  If you plan to eat immediately, bake it in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes, until hot and bubbly.  

Step 5 (if making ahead):  Do not bake now.  Cover the pan and store in the fridge up to 2 days.  Then, bake uncovered in a preheated oven to 350 degrees for 1 hour until hot and bubbly.