My favorite cooking shows to watch when I was growing up were “30 Minute Meals with Rachael Ray” and “Semi Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee.” These ladies taught me to cook meals quicker and to use ready made help to make recipes easier. To this day I still like to incorporate concepts I learned from these cooks.
- 1 pound of lean ground beef
- 1/2 large onion, diced
- 16 ounces of nacho cheese sauce
- 1 cup fresh or frozen peas, defrosted if frozen
- 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels, defrosted if frozen
- 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend or cheddar cheese
- 1 28 ounce bag Ore Ida frozen mini tater tots
- Prepare 13″X 9″ baking dish by greasing with cooking spray. Set aside baking dish. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425 F degrees.
- In a skillet, cook ground beef over medium heat 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink; drain fat. Add onions and cook an additional 2 minutes. Stir in cheese sauce.
- Place meat and cheese mixture in prepared baking dish.
- Layer peas and corn on top of meat mixture.
- Layer shredded cheese on top of peas and corn.
- Lastly, layer evenly tater tots on top of casserole.
- Baked uncovered 50 minutes or until tater tots are crispy and golden brown and mixture is bubbling.
It’s finally getting chilly around here. Soup is my favorite “go to” meal when the weather gets colder. This soup is really decadent since it’s creamy and full of vegetables. Don’t be deceived by my picture, there is wild rice in this soup. For my strictly vegetarian friends, substitute the chicken stock with vegetable stock. And for my friends who want an even heartier soup, feel free to add diced, cooked chicken.
- 1/2 cup wild rice
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 4 cups water
- 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
- 2 ribs celery, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 large russet potato, peeled and diced
- 1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 1 teaspoon crushed rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups cooked, diced chicken (OPTIONAL)
- In a medium saucepan, combine the rice, oil and water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, cook the carrots, celery, onion, and potatoes in butter until vegetables are almost tender. Stir in flour until blended; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Slowly stir in broth and undrained rice.
- Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Reduce heat; stir in the cream, rosemary and poultry seasoning. Simmer, uncovered, for about 20 minutes or until rice is tender.
- Salt and pepper to taste. If adding in chicken, do so the last 5 minutes to warm through.
What’s that? I’m posting a vegetarian dish? Yes, believe it or not, I actually like a lot of vegetarian dishes. It’s just hard to find a vegetarian dish that my picky “meat and potatoes” son will enjoy as well. So I have to take baby steps with him and made a vegetarian soup. And slow cooker recipes are the best. Just prep your ingredients, put into your slow cooker and let it do all the work! Hopefully, my friend, Sue T. will approve. This recipe makes 6-8 servings.
- 1 1/2 cups lentils (green or red)
- 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 celery ribs, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1 bag (5 ounces) baby spinach
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 6 1/2 cups vegetable stock
- salt to taste
- Place all ingredients but the baby spinach, in your slow cooker. And pour in the vegetable stock.
- Cook on high for 5 hours or on low for 8 hours.
- Stir a few times throughout the cooking.
- Add the baby spinach during the last 10 minutes of cooking cycle.
- If you like a more brothy soup, add in 1-2 cups additional stock.
- If you like a more creamy soup, carefully ladle out 1/3 of the soup into your blender and puree. Add back blended soup to slow cooker and mix well.
- Salt to taste and garnish with chopped parsley.
Tired of the same old beef stew recipe? Then change it up by making Japanese curry beef instead. It’s basically a beef stew with a curry kick. I stuck with the medium hot S&B Golden Curry brand. If I had brought home the “hot” level one, my son would have protested. Japanese curry roux is not all that spicy compared to the Indian curry powders I have used in my chicken curry. For my vegetarian friends like Sue T., skip the beef and just add more potatoes, carrots and onions to make a hearty vegetable curry. Serve with a side of rice and your tummy will be thanking you.
- 1 pound beef (cut for stew)
- 2 white or yellow onions
- 2 carrots
- 3 large Yukon Gold potatoes
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 box curry roux (4 ounces)
- 1 tablespoon apricot jam
- 1 tablespoon ketchup
- 1 tablespoon lite soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon curry powder (optional)
- Cut vegetables into bite size pieces. (About the same size as your beef stew meat.)
- Heat oil and brown meat in a Dutch Oven or large lidded pot over high heat. Take meat out when the sides of the beef are seared, but not cooked through.
- In the same pot, lower heat to medium high and fry the onions for 5 minutes. Add carrots and potatoes, then the beef.
- Add water to the pot. After the water boils, skim the fat and reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 45-50 minutes until the meat becomes tender.
- Now add the curry roux blocks into the pot. Stir well so the pieces of the roux dissolves.
- Once the roux has dissolved, stir in apricot jam, ketchup, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and optional curry powder.
- Let simmer for 15 minutes.
- Serve with a side of rice.
This recipe makes 4 to 6 servings.
It’s another gray and cloudy day here. So I decided to make some zucchini and corn chowder to warm up my belly. I also needed something to blog this week, so two birds, one stone kind of deal. For my vegetarian friends out there, substitute vegetable broth and omit the bacon pieces.
- 4 slices bacon, diced
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 small onion, diced
- 3 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup milk
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 zucchini, chopped
- 2 cups corn kernels
- Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- Parmesan cheese, freshly grated for garnish
- Fresh parsley leaves, for garnish
- Heat a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until crisp. About 6-8 minutes. Transfer to paper towel lined plate. Set aside.
- Melt butter in the same stockpot and add onion, carrots, celery, potatoes and garlic. Cook until tender about 3-4 minutes.
- Stir in dried thyme, basil, and rosemary cook until fragrant about 1 minute.
- Whisk in flour until lightly browned. About 1 minute.
- Add in chicken stock, milk bay leaf, zucchini and corn.
- Cook stirring constantly, until slightly thickened, about 4-5 minutes.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and bring to a simmer.
- Simmer for about 7-8 minutes or until zucchini is tender.
- Remove the bay leaf. If the chowder is too thick for your liking, add a little more milk to thin out.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with bacon pieces, grated Parmesan cheese and parsley leaves.
Brrr! It’s getting chilly outside. I love this time of year because making casseroles in a hot oven not only gives you a belly full of goodness, but the heat from the oven helps make the house nice and toasty. This recipe is yet another,”What can I make with the ingredients I have on hand?” I really need to go grocery shopping soon.
- 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces
- 5 medium russet potatoes, diced into bite size pieces
- 1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika (or regular)
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1/2 tablespoon cumin
- 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies (14.5 ounce)
- 2 cups shredded Mexican Blend cheese
- 1/2 cup cooked, chopped bacon
- 2 green onions, sliced thin
- sour cream for topping (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Grease 9 X 13 baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a large plastic container with lid (or 1 gallon Ziploc bag) add paprika, garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper and olive oil. Mix well.
- Add diced chicken and potatoes. Seal container. Shake well so all the seasoning cover the chicken and potato pieces.
- Add seasoned chicken and potato pieces to baking dish in an even layer.
- Bake uncovered for 50 minutes.
- Remove from oven and add diced tomatoes over casserole. Sprinkle cheese, bacon and green onions over casserole.
- Bake another 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
- Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
- Serve with sour cream if desired.
So I was reading What’s For Dinner Moms? blog recently. And she had created a version of Cowboy Meatloaf from the Ore-Ida recipe. And suddenly a mishmash of both recipes plus a little change-up came to my mind. Thus, Cowboy Meatloaf Version 3.0 came about. In my version, I added spicy Italian sausage to the ground beef and like What’s For Dinner Moms? I made my own mashed potatoes. Here is a link to What’s For Dinner Mom’s? recipe: Cowboy Meatloaf With Cheesy Mashed Potato Casserole. And here is the Ore-Ida recipe: Cowboy Meatloaf and Potato Casserole. Both are great recipes. Be sure to check them out.
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 pound spicy Italian sausage
- 1 large red onion, diced
- 2/3 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup Sweet Baby Ray’s Original Barbecue Sauce
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 4 teaspoons chili powder
- 3 cups potatoes, boiled and mashed
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 cup cooked bacon bits
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican Blend cheese
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Meanwhile, coat a 13 X 9 baking dish with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, combine: ground beef, Italian sausage, diced onions, Panko bread crumbs, barbecue sauce, Worcestershire sauce, eggs and chili powder until well mixed.
- Gently press meat mixture to the bottom of the baking dish. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes or until cooked through.
- Meanwhile, mix the hot, boiled and mashed potatoes with butter, milk, garlic powder, bacon bits and 1/2 cup of Mexican blend cheese.
- When meatloaf is finished cooking, drain any excess grease from baking dish.
- Spread the mashed potatoes mixture over the meatloaf evenly. Add the remaining 1 cup of Mexican blend cheese over the potatoes.
- Place baking dish back in oven for 5 minutes or until cheese has melted. I like my cheese just melted, but if you want your cheese browned, you can turn up the oven to broil and place the casserole under burners for 2-3 minutes instead.
- Remove the casserole from oven and let sit 3-5 minutes before serving.
Finally! The weather is cooling down enough to break out my trusty crock pot and make the first batch of fall soup. Actually, you can make this soup any time you want as potatoes are available year round. I generally like soup during the colder months, but my dad can eat soup year round. Whatever floats your boat, right?
- 4-6 russet potatoes, diced into small cubes (2 pounds)
- 1/2 large white or yellow onion, diced (1 cup)
- 2 stalks celery, diced (1 cup)
- 1/8 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 4 cups (32 ounces) chicken stock
- 1 cup water
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- bacon pieces for garnish (optional)
- sliced green onions for garnish (optional)
- Use cooking spray to coat your crock pot bowl or use a slow cooker liner bag.
- Mix potatoes, onions, celery, poultry seasoning, chicken stock and water in your crock pot bowl.
- Cover, cook on high heat setting for 3 to 4 hours.
- After 3 to 4 hours, mix flour and milk in a small bowl and add to potato mixture in crock pot until mixture thickens.
- Stir in shredded cheese until melted.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Garnish with bacon bits and green onions.
Now this may not be the healthiest recipe, so I am not encouraging you to eat this casserole all by yourself. As with everything in life, serve in moderation. But are you looking for a side dish for an office pot luck or your family dinner? With just a few ingredients and your crock pot you can put out a tasty, cheesy side dish that can feed 10 people easily. And if you want to kick up this recipe even more, try adding some cut up cooked bacon pieces and some green onions or chives to make this a fully loaded cheesy potato casserole. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any bacon handy when I made this, so I stuck to the basics.
- 1 30 ounce bag frozen, shredded hash browns
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 can condensed cream of chicken soup, 10.75 ounces
- 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- Spray the sides of your crock pot with cooking spray. (You will thank me later for reminding you.)
- Add sour cream, cream of chicken and cheese to your crock pot and mix well.
- Next add frozen hash browns and combine with sauce mixture. (I loosened the hash browns by squeezing them in the bag because mine were frozen solid.)
- Cook on High for 3 hours; or on Low for 6-8 hours.
- Season with salt and pepper to your taste. Enjoy!