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Category Archives: Cheese

Meat Lasagna

While grocery shopping my husband decided he wanted lasagna. He tried to sneak a Stouffers lasagna in the cart and bury it so I wouldn’t see it until I got home. 

It didn’t work.


I can make a better quality meal for about the same price. 

Ingredients:

1 box oven ready lasagna noodles
16oz container ricotta cheese
1 jar tomato sauce
1-1 1/2lbs lean ground beef
2 eggs
spices optional- oregano, garlic(powder or fresh chopped), onion powder, basil, parsley
Cheese- shredded mozzerella, as much or as little as you like

Preheat oven to recomended temp on noodle box.
Brown and drain the ground beef, if using fresh garlic you may add it to the meat to cook.
After meat is cooked and drained add sauce and spices.
In a bowl combine ricotta cheese with the eggs and parsley I also added some shredded parmesan cheese to the mix.

In a glass 9×13 baking tray pour and spread 1/3 of the meat sauce on the bottom.
Place one layer of pasta, on top of that place and spread evenly about 1/2 of the cheese mixture.
Repeat sauce, pasta, cheese until you use up the sauce and cheese mixture. I ended with a pasta top. You may have a couple of noodles left, this is fine.
On the very top cover in a layer of mozzerella cheese. I like alot of cheese so mine was a thick layer.
Tent with foil to prevent over browning the cheese.
Bake for about 50-60 minutes. Noodle box has all th directions as well.
Remove foil the last 10-15 minutes to brown the cheese on top.
Let cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.

 
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Posted by on September 15, 2012 in Beef, casseroles, Cheese

 

BBQ Cowboy Casserole *No Cowboys Were Harmed In The Making*

I promise I did not cook up and shred actual cowboys for this dish. Although the joke in my family is since I have a culinary degree and a forensics degree that I will inspect the bodies and then cook them. Gross I know.

However, one and a half chickens did die for this meal. Sad yes, tasty, even more so. It’s a sick sense of humor kind of a day. I apologize. 

So onto the actual food part of this post!!                                                                                                                                    

I have seen so many cornbread topped casseroles lately and they sound good. So decided to experiment and this is what I came up with.

Servings: at least 6, less if you’re really hungry, more if your not

Ingredients:

3 boneless skinless chicken breast halves

1 cup of your fav bbq sauce, I used Sweet Baby Rays Original, divided

2 cans black beans, rinsed

2 cans whole kernel corn, drained

1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided

2 boxes jiffy cornbread mix, if you are lazy or don’t have cornmeal on hand.**

**For those of you who would like it:

 Cornbread Topping:
½ cup cornmeal
1 ½ cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup oil
2 eggs, beaten
1 ¼ cup milk

Directions: 

In a small crockpot place 1/2c bbq sauce and the chicken breasts. Cook on low for 4-5 hours. I did this because I like the consistency of shredded chicken in casseroles. You can also use left over chicken and shred it or cube it up or you can just cube up the chicken and cook it right before you need to use it. However you like,  I am sure it will work well.

Preheat oven to 375.

Lightly grease a 9×13 glass baking dish.

In a medium bowl mix up the corn bread batter. Add 3/4c cheddar cheese and stir. Set aside to rest.

In a large bowl shred the cooked chicken. Add the drained corn, rinsed black beans, 1/2c bbq sauce and cheddar cheese to the chicken. Mix until well combined. 

Spread mixture into the greased baking dish. 

Remix the cornbread batter, about 3-4 stirs is enough. Drop batter by large spoonfuls on top of the base, then spread it evenly across the top.

Bake for about 40-45 minutes. You want the cornbread to be brown but fully cooked. If when you insert a toothpick into the cornbread it comes out clean then turn off the oven and let rest 10 minutes before serving. If toothpick has uncooked cornbread on it but the top is brown, tent with foil and cook another 5-10 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Then let it rest for about 10 minutes before serving.

Now there are many variations you can use in this casserole.

For example:

Meat: chicken, ground beef, ground pork, shredded pork, ground chicken

Beans: black, pinto, white/cannellini 

Corn: canned, frozen, fresh off the cob

Sauce: bbq, salsa- homemade or jarred

Cornbread: homemade, boxed

Cornbread add ins: cheese, fine diced jalapenos, fine diced red or green pepper

You can do your own experimentation with any of these ingredients. I used what I had on hand any combination of these would be fantastic. Don’t be afraid to mix it up!!

If any of you try any of these combinations please share with me what you used and how you liked it.

As always I bid you,

Happy Eating!! 

 
 

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Loaded Hash Brown Potato Casserole

Pinned onto my MMM Food board on pinterest is this loaded hash brown potato casserole dish. 

One of our favorite dips is Cheddar Bacon Ranch dip, or what I refer to as “Crack“.  I usually only make it during football season because it is HIGHLY addictive.  I only made this once this football season and  I forgot to take it to the tailgate.  I left it in my parent’s refrigerator!  I was devastated!  
I took the dip back home and started thinking about what to do with it – other than eat it all by myself.  I decided to mix the dip into a big bag of frozen hash browns.  The result? A fantastic potato casserole!  
Quoted from the blog Plain Chicken on Blogger
Needing to change up the boring meals as of late, I decided to try this out. We had my fiances 12 year old daughter this past Sunday and she is kind of a picky eater. I thought what kid doesn’t like smothered potatoes? So I whipped up a batch of these. 
Served with dutch oven braised boneless pork ribs, and peas with butter.
RECIPE:
2 (16oz) containers sour cream
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
2 (3oz) bags real bacon bits
2 packages Ranch Dip mix
1 large (28 – 30oz) bag frozen hash brown potatoes – shredded kind
 
Combine first 4 ingredients, mix in hash browns.  Spread into a 9×13 pan.  Bake at 400 for 45-60 minutes.   
Side note… when opening the lid to the dutch oven pot straight out of the oven DO NOT I repeat DO NOT forget that there will be steam!!!!!!! Hence the following picture warning.                                                                    
 
 
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Posted by on July 18, 2012 in casseroles, Cheese, pork, Veggies

 

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Comfort Dinner- Mac and Beef “re-vamped”

For anyone who is a busy soul like I am you know the importance of quick, simple but still delicious meals. I really enjoy cooking but I do it for a living and after slaving away for 8+ hours a day in a hot kitchen, then to come home to the ever famous…”I’m hungry, what’s for dinner?” I feel I need to have at least a few of these quick meals that I can just whip up. 

Take the traditional Macaroni and Beef we all know from not only school hot lunch but from our moms go to meals when we were young. Filling, yes, comforting, yes, tasty, not always. As I remember this was a very bland meal. Overcooked pasta, poor quality ground beef, jarred tomato sauce with chunks (if you like chunks, by all means keep them), pre shredded cheese. Sorry to say, but yuck. 

The following is my version of Re-Vamped Mac and Beef. 

1 box pasta (any kind will do, I used radiatori )

1-1 1/2 lg onion or 5-6 sm onion thin sliced

2T olive oil

2lbs lean ground beef

1 lg can(28oz) plain tomato sauce

1 sm can tomato paste

1c each cheddar and mozzarella cheese, shredded (or more if you like it cheesy, I added more cause I’m a cheeseaholic) 

*spices to taste, optional, oregano, basil, rosemary, tarragon, chopped garlic, garlic powder, paprika, chili powder, salt and pepper*

 

Preheat oven to 350.

Par cook the pasta less than al dente.  Meanwhile in a small pan sweat the sliced onions in 2T olive oil. Add a pinch of salt if you like. When the onions are almost done add the beef. Brown the beef fully. 

When pasta is par cooked, drain fully and return to pot. Add tomato sauce and tomato paste. Season with spices if you like and to taste. 

Add beef and onions. Stir to combine well.  

Taste to make sure it has the flavor you like, adjust accordingly. 

Top with cheese. 

Pour mixture into un-greased 9×13 pan, glass preferable. Bake at 350 until nice and brown and bubbly on top.

Serve with crusty bread and butter if you like.

Wishing you comfy eating!!

 

 
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Posted by on July 15, 2012 in Beef, Cheese, Pasta

 

My First Confession- Blue Cheese

I HATE blue cheese. I know hate is a strong word but it’s the only one I can use for my feeling towards this repulsive cheese. So far there are only two foods that I will never like and this is one of them. I have tried it many times and in many different forms. I love cheese but there is something about the pungent aroma that just kills it even before it reaches my mouth and then if oh goodness I happen to consume some…ick!! To me it just has this taste creamy yes but spoiled. Yes I know it’s mold and mold is considered spoiled. I mean really, your not supposed to eat spoiled food right? I eat with my nose and my eyes first and it not only does NOT look appealing but the smell is to me not a pleasant one. I know many of you love this cheese and I have no problem cooking with it don’t get me wrong, but I am not going to eat it myself. The older I get the more foods I keep trying like various seafood, no I don’t like seafood either and I’m originally from New England. There’s just something about blue cheese. I will never like it. 

Next rant will be another food I will never like…Tuna.

Happy Eating!!

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2012 in Cheese, Rants

 

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