Sunday, February 24, 2013

Tuna Noodle Casserole

I posted on Facebook that I was tired and making an easy dinner of Tuna Casserole. One of my friends commented saying that I should do takeout or canned soup.

Answer A) Canned soup is NASTY icky yuckiness compared to homemade soup (Why yes, I AM a snob :P)

Answer B) I'm broke and can't afford the convenience of greasy (but still yummy) fast food.

So that brings me to this post. An old (poor) family dinner. Tuna Noodle Casserole

Tuna Noodle Casserole

2 Cans of Tuna Fish in water - Strained
1 large can of Cream of Chicken
1 cup milk
12oz-1pound of either Med Shell or Extra Wide pasta
salt and pepper to taste

Boil pasta until al dente, strain and place pasta back into pot. Combine all ingredients until well mixed. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with canned peas and cranberry sauce.

and TA DA! The easiest dinner ever. I always keep the ingredients in the house in case I get too lazy to cook a real dinner.

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Other variations

If you really want to make this a casserole then you would put it into probably a 2 qt casserole dish, top with either potato or tortilla chips, shredded cheese and cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees. Some people also add peas when cooking in the oven.

I'm personally not a fan of it this way. I guess you could say I'm lazy and want my dinner now and I just don't like the cheese and soft chips.

Whatever way you make it, let me know how it turns out for you!

K.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Meatloaf!

I've been feeling a little crappy today.. After canceling on my friend and taking a nap with both my little ones I felt a little better so I got started on dinner and decided to post the recipe.

I get loads of compliments on my meatloaf. So much so, that I've gotten recipe requests.

(Back story for myself: I never use to be a meatloaf lover. Infact, I HATED it. I thought it was the most disgusting thing in the whole world. That is until I starting making it for the now Hubby-Man)

Easy-Peasey Delish Meatloaf

1 Pound ground beef
1 box of "Stove Top: Savory Herbs" stuffing
1 Egg
3/4 Cup Milk
1 box "Lipton: Beefy Onion" Soup mix (2 pkgs)
3 cups fresh carrots. peeled and chopped
1 small onion dice
2 Cups Water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix stuffing, egg and milk in medium bowl until well combined. Let sit for about 5 minutes. Add beef to stuffing mixture - You will probably need to get your hands in there. I take my meatloaf mixture and cut in half and make them into 2 longs. I do this because it cuts the cooking time down and ensures a very even cook.

I typically use a 2 qt casserole dish. Place your meatloaf logs into dish, add carrots, onions and water. Take half pkg of Beefy Onion and sprinkle on top of meatloaf. Cover dish with either lid or foil.

Place in oven and let cook 50 minutes, take off lid/foil and let cook an additonal 15 minutes.

While Meatloaf is cooking take beefy onion soup mix (1 pkg and a half) and follow recipe for gravy leaving out about half a cup of water.

When meatloaf is done, take everything out and add about half a cup of water and use fork to get any stuck on food and evaporated water. Take the water from the dish and add to gravy. This will really enhance your gravy.

Serve meatloaf with mashed potatoes and biscuits.




ENJOY! I know I will... This is what I'm having tonight :)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Baked Ravioli

So here is my promised post of "Bake Ravioli". I originally found the recipe here from Pinterest.

I'm going to write out my version below:

The "FAMILY" Sauce 
(I made my sauce little more liquid-y because its going to get thicker as it cooks)
1 bag of frozen Ravioli
2 Cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Once you've finished the sauce take 9x13/9x9 pan/2qt casserole dish and start bottom layer with sauce (probably like 1 cup) take frozen ravioli and place in single layer, top ravioli with 1 cup of sauce and then mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers finishing with sauce on top. Top with last bit of mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Place in oven and cook for 35-40 minutes or until sauce is boiling and ravioli is tender. 

Here is my before and after. I apologize that the cooked picture isn't the best. My family and I were so into eating it I forgot to get a good picture until we were done eating. 


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The "FAMILY" Sauce

So I promised a few days ago on Facebook I would post a new Pinterest recipe I had tried and fell in love with. It took me a while to get my big butt to the computer and type it out but here I am!

So to start off I thought I would post my recipe for amazing Spaghetti/Sloppy Joe sauce.

The "Family" Sauce

1-2 pounds of ground beef (I usually only use 1 pound but if you want a really meaty sauce use more)
1 small onion diced
1 green bell pepper diced
1 large can of whole tomatoes
1 large can of tomato sauce
2 t Italian seasoning (I use McCormick herbs)
1/2 t Oregano
1/2 t Basil
Pepper to taste
OR omit herbs and simply use 1 small jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce. I typically use Prego mushroom.

Brown the ground beef in a large skillet with onion and pepper. I typically like to use some pepper to season here.

Combine the rest of the ingredients in a large pot and add beef. Mix it together, bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low/med. (You want it to do a little boiling but nothing that will make it stick to the bottom. I typically use 3-4 on my stove. Adjust for your own)

Let this cook on low until it gets really thick. You shouldn't have much liquid left. I find the average is about 2-3 hours. This is all about how YOU want it though. You could simply put all the ingredients together and let cook for a half hour and have a wonderful spaghetti/sloppy joe sauce.
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This recipe isn't really a recipe. Its something that has been passed on from my grandmother to my mother then to me. It started out with fresh ingredients, then to home-canned ingredients to my store bought cans. There has never been a handwritten recipe, We've always just thrown things in until it tasted good.

My biggest advice would be for you to use your nose. I know most recipes say TASTE TASTE TASTE! Well, I'm not saying forget the tasting but if your nose says it doesn't smell good then its probably going to taste like crap. My nose is how I know if I need more basil or more pepper because alot of times you will taste it and think "This is missing something!" but you can't put your dang finger on it. Trust your nose. It tells you things :P

My next post will be Baked Ravioli!

K.

Friday, February 1, 2013

A post named procrastination

I'm procrastinating. I'm overwhelmed with the amount of cleaning I need to get done. I know my in-laws will be back from Mexico soon and according to my hubby they will probably stop by. Everywhere I look I see messes. I feel like its a losing battle with kids. I can't seem to find the balance of keeping a clean house and spending time with my 2 year old. Makes me feel like a horrible mother. Do you ever get that way? I know I do.

I want to be the mom that has a clean house. Growing up my house wasn't clean very often. Animals, kids and crafts were a bad mix for a small home. I guess you could say I fear becoming my mother. My mom says I need to relax and just enjoy my kids more. I can't find the balance. I've resorted to menus and schedules. I need INK though. Hand writing is a lot of work and on top of that.. its not easy to correct when you make a mistake or change your mind. My goal is to have 1 room I tackle 4-5 days out of the week. For example: Tuesday would be the bathroom day, wednesday would be the kitchen. This way the detail cleaning won't be so dirty or hardwork. I just need to get the system printed out where I can see it each day and follow it. Otherwise my day becomes this. Writing a post on my blog to procrastinate from cleaning.

*sigh* I suppose I've procrastinated enough. I will now post this and go start with organizing my pantry. Wish me luck.

K.

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Beef Barley Soup

So I thought for this post I would share one of my personal recipes. I tried to be as exact as possible with my measurments. When I make soup I don't measure. I just toss stuff in until I think it looks and tastes good.

Beef Barley Soup

4-5 Cups Water
3-4 small cans of Beef Broth
1 Cup uncooked Barley (I buy mine in the bulk foods section of WinCo)
1 pound Beef frozen or thawed (I usually use Rump Beef)
1 med Onion chopped
1 large can of Whole Tomatoes
1 box of Lipton's Beefy Onion Gravy (2 pkgs)
 Salt and Pepper to taste (If you buy low sodium broth you will need salt)

Combine beef, onion, water, 1 can of broth and 1 pkg of beefy onion in large pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to Med and let meat cook until tender and falling apart. You may need to add water if it gets too low. Depending on if your meat was fresh, frozen or really thick this can take 2-4 hours.

Once meat is tender, take the beef out, let cool. Once cool enough to handle shred beef. I like my beef to be really shredded. That way, every bite you take will have meat and barley.

Combine shredded beef and remaining ingredients to pot. Barley will take and 1-2 hour to cook fully. I also like to make sure I cut up the tomatoes as they cook. Once again, a tomato, beef and barley in every bite!

If you think your Barley soaked up too much broth simply add another can of broth.

Simply serve with saltine crackers OR homemade biscuits!

K.