Another Tater Tot Casserole

It seems like everywhere you look for recipes online, you will find one for a tater tot casserole.  I always wanted to try making one.  I’m not a huge fan of potatoes, but I like things like French fries, hash browns  etc.  When I went grocery shopping this weekend, I bought a bag of the tater tots to keep in the freezer for whenever inspiration struck.

It struck yesterday.  I was sitting at work, trying to figure out what the heck to cook for supper on a Monday night when I really didn’t feel like cooking. I remembered the tots in my freezer.  So while I ate my lunch, I took to the internet to search for a recipe.  I was kind of overwhelmed by the number of them, but I read enough of them to get the general idea, and take what I liked from each of them to make my own version.  What I did is in the recipe that follows.

Ingredients

Frozen Tater Tots – about 2/3 of a bag

1-1 1/2 lbs ground beef

onion

fresh mushrooms, sliced

3 cans condensed cream of mushroom soup

1-2 cloves garlic minced or the minced garlic in the jar is fine

cheese – a bunch, maybe 2 cups shredded.  I used mozzarella because it was what I had on hand, but cheddar would be better.

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Start by browning the ground beef in a skillet.  Dice and add the onion and garlic.  Cook until meat is browned and veggies are tender. Drain if there is excess fat.

In a large bowl, combine soups and cheese.  Add tater tots and stir until they are all evenly coated.

Spread ground beef in the bottom of a 9×13 casserole dish.  Add tater tot mixture on top and spread to cover beef.

Bake uncovered for at least an hour, until bubbly and hot and browned a bit on top.

Remove from oven and allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.

 

It was great with a bit of ketchup.  All the measurements (as you can see) are approximate and can be adjusted to your taste, as I just kind of threw it together.

This recipe has the possibility of being personalized any way you like it.  You could add other vegetables – a layer of corn between the beef and tots would be good.  Extra cheese on top while baking would also be very good, but I ran out.  This would also be good with a bit of sausage meat mixed in with the beef, or if you’re feeling particularly sassy (and breakfasty) to replace it altogether. Cooking is all about making things your own.  Try, and enjoy! 🙂

 

Taco Salad

A couple of weeks ago we celebrated the many milestones that occur this year in my husbands’ family.  Several birthdays, my in-law’s 40th wedding anniversary, etc.  There was quite a bit of food, and my sister-in-law Jennifer’s friend Sarah brought this delicious taco salad.  I made sure to get the recipe from her so I could try it myself.

I had never been much of a taco salad person.  I think I ordered it once in a restaurant when I was younger.  But this is a great recipe, though I imagine not much different than the other recipes floating around out there.

I made it this weekend, and it was so good.  If you’ve never tried it, you should definitely take a stab at it.  I guarantee the bowl will be empty before you know it!

Makes 1 very large bowl.

Ingredients:

1 lb. ground beef

1 pkg. taco seasoning

1 head lettuce – I used romaine – chopped and washed

1/2 green pepper, finely diced

2 green onions, sliced

1-2 tomatoes, diced

1-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1 bag of corn chips, or tortillas – I like the scoop kind for some reason

1 bottle Thousand Island dressing

Directions:

In a skillet, brown ground beef, and add taco seasoning, according to package instructions.  Set aside to cool, refrigerate until completely chilled.

In a large bowl, combine lettuce, green pepper, green onions, tomatoes, cheese and hamburger.  Crumble chips into large chunks, and add to salad.

Add bottle of dressing, and combine completely.  Store covered in fridge until ready to serve.

This is great even the next day, you can throw some fresh chips in for crunch and a bit more dressing.

I have a friend that uses Catalina dressing instead, that would be good too.

If you wanted, you could fancy it up slightly by plating each serving separately, and line the outside of each serving with large restaurant style chips, garnishing with fresh tomato, green onions and cheese, making it a main course.

This is great as a side, to take to a potluck or barbeque, or really, it can be a meal in itself.

Enjoy!

My Family’s Version of “Goulash”

Growing up, my parents owned a business, and spent many hours there.  Often times, my Mom would resort to quick, go to meals, because by the time we all got home, not only was everyone tired, and sometimes a little grouchy, we were always hungry.

We always had homemade spaghetti sauce in the freezer, so many weeks we would have spaghetti 3 times, just because it was easy.  This recipe we always called “Goulash,” though I don’t think it actually resembles authentic goulash that much at all.  We just called it that because we didn’t have another name for it.

It is a great go-to meal and I still crave it sometimes.  It’s made with staples that most people keep on hand all the time and can literally go from walking through the door to sitting down eating in 20 minutes.  And some nights, quick, easy, tasty and filling is totally where it’s at.

Ingredients:

1 pkg. lean or extra lean ground beef

granulated garlic

1 large can tomato soup

1 can beans in tomato sauce

3 cups 5 minute instant rice

Directions:

Brown ground beef in large skillet with cover.  Season with granulated garlic to taste.  Once browned, add soup and beans.  Stir to combine.  Allow to simmer for 5 minutes or so.

Serve over cooked rice.

 

That’s it, that’s all.  And I’m telling you, it’s soooo good.

Enjoy!

If you’ve got a similar “family favourite” I would love to hear about it in the comments section.

Jacked up KD

This is what I plan on having for supper tonight.  You’ll notice the measurement for the curry is kind of screwy, mostly because this is just a thought up recipe and I just eyeball everything.

Ingredients:

1 pkg. lean ground beef

1 onion, diced

1 lb. white button mushrooms, sliced

1-1 1/2 tsp. sweet curry

1 pkg. macaroni & cheese (Kraft Dinner for me!) – prepared as per package instructions.

Directions:

Brown ground beef in skillet.  Add onions and mushrooms.  Add curry (to be honest, I just keep shaking until it looks good to me – this should be done based on your taste in curry). Cook until onions and mushrooms are tender.

Add prepared macaroni and cheese.  Mix until well combined.

That’s it – you’re done.  It’s actually quite good – we put a dousing of ketchup on ours too.

You could change this up in a hundred different ways, adding different vegetables, probably ground chicken would be good too.  Instead of the curry, you could add taco seasoning and serve with tomatoes, green onions and sour cream.  Hey!  That sounds pretty good – might be an option for later in the week!

Enjoy!