Wednesday, September 20, 2017

More Hash Browns

I feel like I've been using frozen hashbrowns non-stop recently.  Frankly, I wish I was excited about this version as I was about the last one.

While the Hashbrown Beef Bake was tasty, it just wasn't as awesome as I thought it would be.  I think I expected hashbrown casserole with the addition of ground beef, but this wasn't as rich and creamy.  Even tater tot casserole, which is very similar, is a little creamier and richer.

This would definitely be a kid-friendly recipe, and it has the bonus of being pretty easy to put together.  I ended up splitting the recipe into two eight inch square dishes, and freezing one for later.  It will come in handy for a future evening when I need a meal, and just don't feel like lifting a finger.

Hopefully this is the last of the hash brown recipes for a while, but sometimes I get on a roll...

Monday, September 18, 2017

Bye Bye Hashbrown Casserole

I love cheese and potatoes, and have been known to make many a meal out of the combo.  Traditional hash brown casseroles like this one, are heaven to me.

Until now. Until Delmonico Potatoes.  They've ruined me for ordinary hash brown casserole for life.  They just have a little something extra, like at least two extra cups of cheese, and a cup of cream.  Yummmmmmmmmmmmmmm. 

What elevates these potatoes beyond your usual casserole?  More flavor.  I think the ground mustard and garlic powder add just the right something that makes all the difference.  I also liked that the top and edges got wonderfully toasty and flavorful.  That may just be the difference of using shredded potatoes over the cubed variety, but it makes a difference.

If you are a cheesy potato fan, you absolutely MUST give these a try.  It probably wouldn't hurt to make a double batch if you plan to share them. I sure wish I would have...

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Cheeseburger and Fries

I loooooooooove a good cheeseburger, and just about anything where that combination of flavors is involved.  For today's news, Crockpot Macaroni Cheeseburger Soup.

I loved that this recipe was for the crockpot.  I saved a little effort by pulling some previously browned ground beef from the refrigerator.  Since I hadn't originally cooked the beef with onion and garlic, I just added dried onion and garlic to the broth, beef, and carrot mixture.  It smelled amazing all afternoon!

As instructed, I added the noodles in the last half hour as instructed, and the cheese and milk in the last five minutes.  I wasn't sure whether that would be enough time for the cheese to melt.  There was also a little lingering doubt of whether the thick cheesiness would break down the noodles when I stirred.  It all turned out perfectly--noodles were still whole and cheese was melty and mixed.

Just for fun, and because it was cheeseburger, I decided fries would be a perfect garnish.  Along with a little bacon and cheese.  It was fun to dip the fries in the cheesy soup, plus the addition of a little bacon was perfect.

One reservation about this soup is the Velveeta.  Velveeta soups are just never as good as cheddar, there's some weird almost sweet flavor with it.  However, there's no denying that the texture of Velveeta is much better, especially in the crockpot.

If you're a cheeseburger lover, or just want an easy weeknight crockpot recipe, this gets my vote.  Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Saddle Up!

It is fall and we are back to all our regular activities, including piano, which means a steady supply of crock pot recipes.

I wasn't sure how this Cowboy Supper would be received at our table, especially by my kiddo.  She just tolerates beans, tomatoes, and onions.  However, the ingredients she does love outweighed the ones she doesn't so I gave it a shot.

I loved that this recipe was so easy to put together.  Sure, there's meat to brown, and potatoes to peel, but it's still pretty simple.

I really liked this dish.  It was filling without making feel completely stuffed.  It needs salt, however.  I'd add a sprinkle to the potatoes before putting the rest of the ingredients in.  Pepper, too, if you're into that sort of thing.

What was the verdict?  We all enjoyed it, including my kiddo who stealthily worked her way around many of the beans and tomatoes.  It is a HUGE recipe, so either invite friends, save some for later, or be prepared to eat A LOT of leftovers.  One more thing, this recipe could be customized to whatever you have on hand--hot chili beans, ground turkey or venison, and even pepper jack cheese if you want a littler more spice.  I'd love to hear what you try!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake

We are in the process of planning a Disney World trip, and, of course, that means planning out all our dining reservations, park plans, and more.

I've heard so many good things about Liberty Tree Tavern's Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake, but the reviews are mixed on the rest of the restaurant.  I decided I could open up a dining slot for our vacation by simply making the cake at home, and eating somewhere else!  Ooey Gooey cakes are pretty easy to prepare, and always amazing.

This one was no exception, and wowzers is it sweet and gooey!  My family is in love, and fighting over the gooiest pieces from the middle.  (I went with the 9x13 option as opposed to individual servings.)  I prefer the outside pieces with the cakier flavor, but to each his own.

It's no wonder this dessert is so memorable and a fan favorite for Disney World visitors.  I'm happy to have tried it, but now I'm back to pouring over menus, recommendations, and dining trivia from the world so that I can make the most of the trip!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Beef and Broccoli Ramen

I loved the pretty colors of this recipe as soon as I saw it on Pinterest.  I was also pretty sure my kiddo would be stoked about Chinese food with broccoli for supper (and she was).

For once, my version turned out every bit as pretty as the one that caught my eye.  That doesn't happen many times.  Plus, we all liked the recipe.

Here, though, is my dilemma.  This recipe takes a lot of ingredients, and several of them are specialty ingredients you'll rarely use.  I'm not sure I'd run out and buy all the stuff, for all the steps, for this dish.  It's a goo recipe, but I'm just not sure it was worth all the work (and all the dishes).  If I'm looking for a flavor vs effort ratio in my favor, this certainly isn't it.

I will say this, if you want a copycat Chinese restaurant recipe to make at home, this would be a good option.  Plus, the freshness of the broccoli pretty much can't be beat.  I'll let you take it from here.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

September Ready

So, it's September, or nearly so.  It's so crazy to think we've made it this far into the year, and the start of all things fall will be coming.

I'm looking forward to this month's menu.  There's enough new recipes to keep things interesting, but not so many I'll lose my mind.  A few comfort food recipes are starting to creep into the mix, but nothing too wintry or heavy.  I'm sure there will be a new dessert or two thrown in to keep things interesting, especially when local apples are available and plentiful.

Happy September everybody!