Recipe Review: Amish-inspired Beefy Casserole Pie

Recipe Review: 

I found this recipe via an online booklet I received called Frugal Recipes: 26 Easy Ground Beef Casserole Recipes.  You can get a copy of this free ebook by clicking here.  This is the first time I’ve made a recipe from this booklet.  You can view this particular recipe by clicking here.

Amish-inspired Beefy Casserole Pie

Amish-inspired Beefy Casserole Pie

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 small package cream cheese
  • 1 can mushroom soup
  • 1 cup canned corn with pimento
  • 1 package refrigerated biscuits

DIRECTIONS

  1. Brown ground beef in skillet; drain.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. Mix cream cheese, soup and corn in a seperate bowl.
  4. Pour into two quart casserole dish. Add beef.
  5. Top with biscuits. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes.

THOUGHTS

  • I originally picked this recipe because I thought it’d be something quick and easy that my husband could pull together on a night when I was working late or had other plans.  He likes “manly meals” and this sounded like one to me. 
  • At first, my husband liked this dish.  After a while, whoever, he changed his mind and told me he hated it and to never ever make it again.  Want to know what caused the flip?  It was the biscuits.  You see, after cooking them for 20 minutes, the ones towards the outside of the pan were cooked, but the parts towards the middle weren’t.  You couldn’t tell from looking at the top of the dish… everything looked uniform.  But underneath, the biscuits were still raw.  He took one bite of raw biscuit and gagged.  That was it for him.  Sadly, I’m not entirely certain how to fix this problem except for one way… take your biscuits, smush them together and then roll them out so that they resemble a piecrust.  Then top the casserole dish with your biscuit pie crust. 

You can view all of the recipes I’ve posted by clicking here.

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Recipe Review: Chili-Cheese Black Bean Enchiladas

Hey guys – sorry for the hiatus.  Things are nuts at work and something just had to give.  But I’m baaaaaaaaack so let’s get started shall we?

I originally found this recipe here.  I’m not sure what drew me to it though since we’re not a big soy-eating family but nonetheless, it somehow found its way into my stack of recipes to try.  I tried it once, long ago, using the soy crumbles that it calls for… and can I just say yuck?  It’s not the taste that bothers me, it’s the texture.  I’m sorry but the texture of soy is just gross.  I can’t get behind it.  I thought the recipe had potential though so now we just make it with super-lean ground beef instead of the soy.  I also switched out the low fat/fat free items for the good stuff.  I’m sorry but fat free cheese just tastes like cardboard to me.  It’s not worth it. 

Even my Hispanic husband loves these enchiladas… just don’t tell his mom!  J

Chili-Cheese Black Bean Enchiladas

Chili-Cheese Black Bean Enchiladas

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 pound super-lean ground beef (we like Laura’s)
  • 3/4 cup bottled salsa (we use Pace medium)
  • 1/3 cup (3 ounces) block-style cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • 12 to 16 (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • 1 (10-ounce) can red enchilada sauce

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion, and sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Stir in cumin, oregano, chili powder, garlic, beans, and soy crumbles, and cook 2 minutes, stirring mixture frequently.
  3. Stir in salsa, and cook 1 minute. Remove from heat, and add cream cheese and 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, stirring until cheese melts.
  4. Warm tortillas according to package directions. Spread 1/3 cup enchilada sauce in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spoon about 1/3 cup black bean mixture down center of each tortilla, and roll up. Arrange enchiladas, seam sides down, crosswise in dish. Pour remaining enchilada sauce evenly over enchiladas, and sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheddar. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

THOUGHTS

  • As I mentioned above, you can check out the original source of this recipe if you want the meat-free low-fat version of this recipe, but trust me… my version is waaaaay tastier.  I say eat only 1 enchilada and have a large salad if you’re worried about the fat/calories. 
  • This dish definitely needs a side… a salad (if you want to be healthy about it) or you can go the traditional beans and rice route like you’d get in a Mexican restaurant.  My husband particularly likes this paired with rice and avocado. 
  • I am of the opinion that it takes 2 people to make this enchilada recipe a cinch… I heat the corn tortillas to soften them up (one at a time) and then I hand them to my hubby who fills them and rolls them.  It just makes really seamless.  So, get a helper if you can but if you cant, these are still totally worth the effort of doing them yourself. 

You can view all of the recipes I’ve posted by clicking here.

Recipe Review: Healthy Stuffed Bell Peppers with Quinoa

I found this recipe on a blog that I read (and love) called I Heart Naptime.  You can find it here

stuffed bell peppers

Healthy Stuffed Bell Peppers with Quinoa

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS

  1. Click here

THOUGHTS

  • Both the hubs and I loved this dish.  We make a similar version but with rice, refried beans and poblano peppers instead of bell peppers, quinoa and black beans.  I Heart Naptime’s version is much healthier and just as tasty.
  • The only think I would change is to add a little fresh cilantro on top!  YUM!!!!
  • We used super lean ground beef.

You can view all of the recipes I’ve posted by clicking here.

Recipe Review: Easy Hamburger Soup

In typical boy fashion, my husband is a big fan of dead animals… in the sense that he likes to eat them.  So, when I make soup, I usually try to throw in a soup that contains meat just for him (since I don’t like meat in my soup).  This time around, I made another Taste of Home recipe called Easy Hamburger Soup.  My husband has already eaten all of it.  Guess he liked it. 

easy hamburger soup

Easy Hamburger Soup

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS

  • 1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 cans (14-1/2 ounces, each) beef broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 celery ribs, thinly sliced
  • 4 large carrots, halved and thinly sliced
  • 10 whole peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup quick-cooking barley
  • ¼ cup minced fresh parsley

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large saucepan, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the tomatoes, broth and water. Add celery and carrots.
  2. Place peppercorns on a double thickness of cheesecloth; bring up corners of cloth and tie with kitchen string to form a bag. Add to beef mixture. Stir in thyme and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  3. Return to a boil. Stir in barley. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until barley is tender. Remove from the heat; stir in parsley. Let stand for 5 minutes. Discard spice bag.

THOUGHTS

  • This is a great soup for cold weather.  It’s got some ‘stick’ with the meat and the barley.  The men in your family (and women too!) will love this one.
  • I did things the lazy easy way and chose to place my onion, celery and carrots in my food processor instead of chopping them by hand.  This saved me a ton of time and trust me, my husband couldn’t tell the difference (and wouldn’t have cared regardless). 
  • I didn’t have cheesecloth so I just added a ½ teaspoon of black pepper in lieu of the peppercorns. 
  • I also didn’t have quick-cooking barley so I just used regular barley (I love it when I’m prepared).  So, instead of adding the barley for the last 10-12 minutes I read the instructions on the back of the barley box that said that it needed to cook for 45 minutes… so that’s what I did.  I plopped the barley in with 45 minutes left to spare on the timer and it cooked up just fine. 

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Recipe Review: Pizza Pasta Soup

I know I’ve told you guys a zillion times that I love soup and with fall decending upon us I have to tell you – I’m stoked.  It’s finally soup season!  Although – I’ll eat soup when it’s 100 degrees outside so I guess I should say that it’s finally soup season for the rest of you not-crazy people.  🙂

I got this recipe here.

I want to preface (so you’re not confused later) by saying that there’s nothing ‘pizza-ish’ about this soup, so I’ve renamed it.  Ha!

Pasta Pizza Soup  Italian Hamburger Vegetable Soup

Servings: 8

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 4 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms (I used ‘white’ or ‘button’ mushrooms)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 celery rib, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) Italian diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced
  • 4 teaspoons beef bouillon granules
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1-1/2 cups cooked tricolor spiral pasta

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat cook the beef, mushrooms, onion and celery until meat is no longer pink.  Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.  Drain.
  2. Stir in the water, tomatoes, carrots, bouillon, bay leaf and oregano. 
  3. Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until carrots are tender.  Stir in pasta; heat through.  Discard bay leaf. 

THOUGHTS

  • This is definitely a hearty soup.  A big steaming bowl of this soup with some crusty bread for dipping and you’ve got yourself a wonderful chilly weather meal. 
  • I used the type of spiral pasta that is part grain and part vegi (similar to this).  Doing so makes this dish even healthier and I promise that no one in your family will know the difference. 
  • My husband HATES mushrooms (which I love) and I chopped mine up really fine and guess what?  He never even knew they were in there!  Score!
  • If you use the vegi/grain pasta AND super-duper low fat meat this is a crazy healthy meal.

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Recipe Review: Crock Pot Bolognese Sauce

I have to be fair and say first and foremost that I’m biased.  My mom makes the best spaghetti sauce.  Period.  There’s no comparison.  Just ask my husband.  He totally agrees with me.  It’s not for everyone – it’s thick and it’s spicy – which is very different depending on what part of the country you’re from.  I grew up on it though so I love it.  My husband obviously didn’t grow up eating it but he adores it.  It’s probably his favorite meal.  So, it’s not entirely fair for me to review another spaghetti sauce recipe because in my eyes, I’ve already had the best.  That being said, I’m still going to go ahead and tell you what I thought about this recipe.

Crock Pot Bolognese Sauce

Serves 20 (serving size ½ cup)

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 oz pancetta, chopped (or center cut bacon) (I used pancetta)
  • 1 Tbsp butter (or olive oil) (I used olive oil)
  • 1 large white onion, minced
  • ¾ cup celery, chopped fine
  • ¾ cup carrots, chopped fine
  • 2 lb 95% lean ground beef
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 2 – 28oz cans crushed tomatoes
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Salt and fresh pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ cup half and half

DIRECTIONS

Go here

THOUGHTS

  • I have never heard of putting pancetta, celery, carrots, white wine, or half and half in spaghetti sauce.  I don’t eat pork so I was already sort of wishy-washy to start.
  • This is definitely not my mom’s spaghetti sauce.
  • I had both my husband and my mom try this and they both said ‘meh’ – mom suggested mixing it with a can of vegetable soup and eating it as a soup.  I’m definitely not going to try that personally.
  • This made enough for 3 meals for the Hubs and I (i.e. 6 servings).  I put them all in the freezer and we will eat them on nights when all I have time to do is boil noodles.  I love freezer-ready meals.
  • Don’t misunderstand – this recipe isn’t bad, it’s just different.  I think spaghetti sauce is one of those things that people either love it one way or they hate it another way.  My neighbor makes hers with chicken and sugar.  Yuck!

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Recipe Review: Slow Cooker Taco Soup

So I’m fairly certain that this is another recipe out of either Taste of Home or Southern Living but I’m not really sure which. Honestly until I started blogging I didn’t really pay any attention to where I got my recipes from.

Slow Cooker Taco Soup

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 can (16 ounce) chili beans, with liquid
  • 1 can (15 ounce) kidney means, with liquid
  • 1 can (15 ounce) whole kernel corn, with liquid
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 (4 ounce) can diced green chilies
  • 1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
  • OPTIONAL
    • Grated cheddar cheese
    • Sour cream
    • Chives
    • Corn chips (like Fritos)
    • Cornbread

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a medium skillet, cook the ground beef until browned over medium heat. Drain and set aside.
  2. Place the all ingredients (including cooked ground beef but NOT including ‘optional’ ingredients) in slow cooker.  Stir to blend.  Cook on LOW for 8 hours.

THOUGHTS

  • This has become a staple in our household.  I cook this about once a month and even if we don’t eat it for dinner that night, it freezes beautifully so we can eat it any time.
  • I like to prep the ground beef the night before and then just pop it in the refrigerator overnight.  In the morning, I’ll plop everything into the slow cooker and set it for 8 hours and then head off to work.  When I come home, I’m greeted with the most delicious aroma!  I’m sure it drives our dog crazy.
  • This dish tastes a lot like a broth-based chili to me.  It’s soooo good.
  • Believe it or not – it will eventually start getting cold in the not-so-distant future (yes, even here in Texas) and this dish is great on a chilly night.  For a really hearty meal, make some cornbread – slice a good chunk and place it in the bottom of your soup bowl, then ladle this soup on top and top with cheese.  Delish!

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Recipe Review: Beef with Caramelized Shallots

Have you guys seen these Swanson Flavor Boost packets that came out about a year ago or so?  You can find info on them here if you haven’t. They come in chicken, beef and vegetable.  Well, a while back I had coupons for these guys.  LOTS of coupons for these guys.  So I bought them… 12 boxes of them.  They’re good for a year so I figured what the heck.  I’m crazy I know.  Anyway, once I had them I suddenly realized that I didn’t know what the heck I was going to do with them.  So I started perusing the Campbell’s website looking for inspiration.  One of the recipes I came across was this one and even though it’s beef based (which I don’t eat) I thought that the Hubs would love it.  So, off to the store I went.

Beef with Caramelized Shallots

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 boneless beef sirloin steak (about 1 lb) cut into thin strips (I cut mine up like stew meat)
  • 6 medium shallots, cut in quarters (about 1 cup) (note: if you’ve never heard of a shallot don’t fret – they look similar to a head of garlic except they’re slightly purple in color – they have a flavor similar to that of an onion)
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon-style mustard (I used Grey Poupon)
  • 2 packets Swanson Flavor Boost Concentrated Beef Broth
  • 3 cups egg noodles

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cook noodles as directed.  Drain and set aside.
  2. While noodles are cooking heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat.  Add the beef and cook until well browned, stirring often.  Remove the beef from the skillet.
  3. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the skillet.  Add the shallots and cook for 5 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.
  4. Stir the wine and vinegar in the skillet and cook for 5 minutes or until the mixture is reduced by half.  Stir in the mustard and concentrated broth.  Return the beef to the skillet and cook until the mixture is hot and bubbling.  Serve the beef mixture with the noodles.

THOUGHTS

Husband LOVED this dish.  He even made the little purring sound that he makes that tells me I made a winner.

I love that this is a simple two pot dish.  It’s quick and easy and other than slicing your meat and the shallots there’s zero prep work.  Add a quick side salad and this would be great for a weeknight meal!

When I cooked the beef there was a lot of juice left in the pan.  I decided not to drain it off.  It created a tiny bit of a gravy effect which I think enhanced the dish.  There was practically zero fat on the piece of meat that we used so draining/not draining didn’t really matter from a health standpoint.

When you’re simmering the wine, it splatters!  We have white countertops and red wine stains so I made sure to keep wiping it up as best I could.  Once the meal was cooked, I plated Husbands dish then ran a rag w/ de-greaser & bleach over our white counter & stove.  No stains!

I wouldn’t change anything in the recipe.  I suggest you try this one today!

*I was in no way sponsored by Campbell’s to write this review.  That’d be cool though.  Sponsor me Campbells!

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By Stephanie Lynn

Recipe Review: Beef and Wild Rice Medley

I’m a picky eater (as detailed here, here, and even here).  One of the things I don’t eat is beef.  Don’t ask me why, I just don’t like it.  I remember eating steak as a child but as I got older… eww.  Occasionally I’ll eat ground beef (strange I know, especially since that’s not the ‘good’ meat) but mostly, I just shy away from it all together.

So, it’s safe to say I made this recipe with the Husband in mind.  He looooves meat (like most other red-blooded American males).  I’m also a huge fan of dishes that are 1-pot meals and/or require a packaged ingredient (this is how I use up a lot of the things I buy with coupons).

Enter the Beef and Wild Rice Medley from the Taste of Home website.  I’ve gotta tell ya, I ate a spoonful of rice and vegis out of the pot when this was done and it was mmm mmm good!  I know why the Hubs ate the ENTIRE 4 SERVINGS in one sitting.  If you’re looking for a quick, meaty, and delicious meal, this is it!  Pair it with a salad and you’re good to go.  Enjoy!!!

(picture from Taste of Home)

Beef and Wild Rice Medley

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 lb beef top sirloin steak, cut into ¾-inch cubes
  • 1 Tablespoon canola oil
  • ¼ cup sliced celery
  • ¼ cup julienned green bell pepper
  • 2-1/4 cups water
  • 1 package (6 oz) long grain and wild rice mix (we used Uncle Ben’s Original)
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped green onion

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a small bowl, combine the garlic powder, thyme and cayenne. Sprinkle over beef.
  2. In a large saucepan coated with cooking spray, cook beef in oil until no longer pink; drain. Stir in celery and green pepper; cook 2 minutes longer or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Stir in the water and rice mix with contents of seasoning packet.
  3. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 23-28 minutes or until rice is tender. Stir in tomato; heat through. Sprinkle with onion. 

THOUGHTS

I didn’t find a need to drain the meat.  There was very little grease to speak of (maybe ½ a teaspoon) so I just left it.

Super easy to get this baby started and then make a salad/set the table while it’s finishing up.  You absolutely should try this recipe!  I’ll be making this one again soon.

I’ve linked up to these great parties:

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Delightful Order
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I Heart Nap Time
Ivy and Elephants
One Artsy Mama
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