Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Bring back summer... White Castle style hamburger pie

I am so over winter.  I have probably said it a million times, but it's the end of March and it's still snowing. 

I am ready for the food of summer.  The burgers and hot dogs and brats on the grill.  The fresh veggies that come from grandpas garden and taste so much better than the ones from the store. 

I want to learn to can. I want to make jellies and jams and way more applesauce this year. 

I want summer.

But apparently the weather doesn't agree with me so I will make summer for dinner.

Like burgers... But I hate making them on the stove because of the grease and the smoke and the way that even the towel upstairs in my bathroom will smell like day old burgers.

So I will make hamburger pie.

And hey, why not make it taste like a White Castle burger because I hear they are pretty good.

And it was.  The best hamburger thing we have had next to a real charcoal burger.

1 lb ground beef
1 onion diced
1 pkg french onion soup mix
1 tbsp olive juice (or chopped olives) 
8 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 c mayo
2 eggs
1/4 c milk

Brown the burger and onion in a oven safe pan. (I love my cast iron for this!) 

Drain the grease and add soup mix and olive juice.

Mix in half of the cheese. Add the rest of the cheese to the top.

Mix mayo,milk and eggs. 

Pour this mixture over the top.

Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

Top with dill relish, ketchup and mustard and enjoy! 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Home.  It's my favorite place. 

It doesn't matter so much which house we live in, just that my family is together there.

Our family has moved recently.  To a new city with new friends and a new home.  And a new school and schedule.  Things are definitely different. 

But there are certain things that make me feel at home whereever that might be.

Sunshine coming in the windows.

And certain foods just scream home.  
Like meatloaf.  Yummy. 

I love different kinds of meatloaf, but this last one was so tasty.  I will probably make it again.  

Honey BBQ meatloaf.  Two of my favorite things.  Honey and BBQ. 

This is my favorite BBQ stuff.  I love Memphis and I love Corkys.  But you can use whichever is your favorite sauce.  The apple was fantastic and is highly recommend getting an apple sauce for this meatloaf.

1 lb ground beef
1/2 c apple BBQ sauce, divided
2 tbsp honey, divided
2/3 c panko bread crumbs
1 tsp dry rub seasoning
1 tbsp worchestershire sauce 

Pinch of salt
1/4 tsp liquid smoke

Mix beef, bread crumbs, 1/4 c sauce, 1 tbsp honey, dry run and worchestershire together.

Shape into a loaf, or a heart or whatever. 

Mix the rest of the sauce, honey, salt and liquid smoke together. Slather it on the meatloaf. 

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

Enjoy at home, wherever that might be.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Celebrate everything

Any occasion is an occasion to celebrate.  

I have a bunch of Pinterest boards dedicated to just that. 


It's simple. I am trying to give my boys good memories of their childhood. 

Someday I want them to think back and say, "remember how mom always made weird things like pi day hats? Or snowman bowling pins? Or heart shaped meatloaf?"  

Or shamrock smoothies on St Patricks day?  

Because I hope they realize that these things, silly as they may be, mean I love them.  

That I am trying to make their lives fun. 

That I think about them most of the time.

Because I do love them.  More than any silly smoothie will ever show.  

But it's a start.

So we had shamrock smoothies this morning.  

Because I am luckier than any four lead clover that these two are mine. 

2 frozen bananas
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp mint flavoring
Green food coloring

Break the frozen bananas into chunks. 

Add bananas, milk and mint to blender. 

Blend until smooth.

Add green food coloring until it's the proper shade of green. 


Friday, March 14, 2014

Feed a crowd: chicken cordon bleu casserole

I love to have people at our house.  The more the merrier.

Just come on in if we are expecting you. Wear your comfiest clothes, take off your shoes, put your feet up on the couch and relax.

I don't care if you've come for a cup of tea, a small group, a meeting, to watch a movie or play a game. I just want you to be comfortable.

Let's talk, let's hang out.  Let me laugh and cry with you. 

Let's be friends.

And for Pete's sake, let me feed you!

I really am an introvert.  Meaning, I recharge by being alone.  But I enjoy people.  I love having people in my house. I like them grabbing a coffee mug from the cupboard, looking in the fridge for some cream (there are always a few different kinds!) and just relaxing with them. 

So over the last few years of hosting small groups, band practices and other things I've found some recipes that feed a crowd.  This one is a hit!  My boys actually asked for the leftovers the next day. 

It's chicken cordon bleu casserole.  And it's tasty.  Ham, chicken and cheese... What's not to like?

If you tell me you're coming I might even make it for you! 


2 lbs elbow macaroni
2 chicken breast... Cooked
2 c ham, diced

4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp flour
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp dried onion
3 1/2 c milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
2 c Swiss cheese, shredded
Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 c panko bread crumbs
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese

Boil pasta 1 minute less than package directions. 

In a pot, melt butter.  Add flour and let it cook for 2-3 minutes in medium. Add garlic, onion, mustard and paprika.  Cook another minute.

Remove from heat and add cheese.
Add salt and pepper to taste.

Put pasta, ham and chicken into a large pan.  Mix cheese sauce in.

Sprinkle with panko and Parmesan cheese.

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Serve to your company and enjoy! 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

I haven't forgotten about you

I just haven't cooked this week.  It was seriously a week of eating with friends, potlucks, and leftovers.

I like these weeks but it's not great for writing blog posts!! 

So instead I will share something I worked on in my kitchen today.

Just a little something to keep our minds on what is lovely while we sit in the living room and watch tv or movies or whatnot.

Because it's too easy.  Too easy to waste a crazy amount of time.
Too easy to let things that aren't okay get into my mind.
Too easy to think on things that aren't holy, aren't pure, aren't lovely.
Too easy to sit and let it in my mind and then out my actions and my words.

So it's a reminder.  Daily. 

Oh, and don't  mind the laundry in the background either. A little something else I'm working on in there today. ;)

Monday, March 3, 2014

Marvelous mashed potatoes for even our picky eater

My youngest has become a picky eater.  So many nights I hear, "why did you use stuff I don't like?"

The answer to that is actually really simple.  Because if I only made things he liked we would be eating a lot of pancakes.  And the only veggie we'd eat right now would be carrots. 

But I make what works for the rest of us. And that includes vegetables.  And we insist that he eats most of what is on his plate.  And I try to put at least one thing on there he likes. 
And he loves mashed potatoes.  So do I. They are cheap, tasty and sometimes full of fat and butter and calories.  But honestly, they don't have to be that way.  They can still taste good.

The way I make them they are tasty.  Four basic ingredients. One of them the key ingredient. 

Potatoes (I use one medium sized one per person)
And the key ingredient: onion powder.

Notice there's no butter, because I put butter on each serving.  

Dice, but don't peel potatoes.  The smaller you cut them the faster they cook!

Boil potatoes in water. 

When a fork goes through the potatoes easily, drain the potatoes. Leave them in the collender and return the pan to the burner, which is no longer on. 

Add 1/4 c of milk and then return the potatoes to the pan.  Begin mashing the potatoes, adding milk until it's the consistency you like.

Then add salt and the onion powder and stir it up well.  Taste it and add more as necessary. 

Serve and enjoy! 

Dressed up (tuxedo) oatmeal cookies

I love a good cookie.  A crispy cookie that is perfect for dipping and dunking in milk.  

And I have this lovely cookie jar that belonged to my grandma that just calls me to fill it with cookies.

And I have this container of oatmeal that really needs to be used up.

And I'm craving a tuxedo mocha... You know the ones with chocolate and white chocolate.

Time to bake!  

1 stick butter
3/4 c sugar
1 tsp molasses 
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 egg

1 1/2 c oatmeal
3/4 c flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp baking soda 
Pinch of salt
3/4 c chocolate chips
1/4 c white chocolate chips

Mix the sugar and butter in the mixer until it gets all nice and fluffy.

Add the molasses, vanilla and egg.  Mix until well combined.

Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  

Stir in the chips.

Bake at 350 for 9-10 minutes until they have a nice lightly browned color.

Serve and enjoy! 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Cheeseburger sloppy joes

Yesterday we were headed out of the house and I was supposed to put dinner in the crockpot so it would be ready when we got home.  But I had forgotten to pull the roast out of the freezer.  And the dinner I wanted to make required if to be cut up blah blah blah...  

So much for that meal plan.

Does this ever happen to you? 

It's so important to have a few easy meals that you can make when the meal plan fails.  Because it will. 

One of those meals for us is sloppy joes. We always have burger in the freezer so I just pick up some buns and we are good to go.  (Although this time I had to use hot dog buns since the store I stopped in was out of hamburger buns!)

This time I happened to have velveeta on hand too.   So we had cheeseburger sloppy joes.  Yum.

1 lb ground beef
1 onion, minced
1/2 c ketchup
2 tbsp mustard
1 tsp dried dill
1-2 c velveeta


Brown the burger and onion together.
Add ketchup, mustard and dill. Combine well.
Add velveeta and stir over heat while it melts.

Put in buns.

Serve and enjoy!