Monday, September 27, 2010

Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole

I don't often make things up off the top of my head; usually I'll get an "inspiration recipe" and take it from there. Last week, I was feeling adventurous and decided to flex my creative muscles. What resulted was a super-tasty casserole that the hubby demanded I make again. Awesome!

1 lb ground beef, browned
6 medium potatoes, scrubbed and diced
6 strips of bacon, browned
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup cheddar cheese
1/2 cup beef broth

The best part of this recipe was how easy it is. I used ground beef from the freezer and crisped the bacon in the microwave (5 minutes on high should do the trick), so no pans required! Dumped everything in the crock and cooked for 8 hours.

The casserole was good cooked as listed above, but if you're feeling extra cheesy, or if you just want to jazz it up, make this cheddar cheese sauce and pour it in during the last hour of cooking.

2 tbls butter
2 tbls flour
1 cup milk
1 cup cheddar cheese

Melt the butter in a saucepan on medium heat. Add flour and stir till smooth. Add milk. Cook for 3-4 minutes on low, just until it begins to thicken. Add cheddar cheese and stir until cheese is melted. There you go! Easy cheddar cheesy! I guess you could probably use a can of condensed cheddar cheese soup if you wanted it to be even easier, but I didn't have any.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Buttermilk Blueberry Coffeecake

Coffeecakes have always intrigued me. They SOUND good. They LOOK good. But so often when sampling one at a potluck, I've found myself disappointed. They just usually don't taste as good as they look.

Thanks to this recipe, however, that's all about to change! I didn't change a thing from the recipe, except that I had to substitute regular milk with a tablespoon of vinegar for the buttermilk, since I didn't have the real deal on hand.

The picture is stolen, but I do have a good reason! My stupid digital camera is off at the repair center. After going around and around with the tech support people at Kodak, they decided to fix my warrantied camera. Thanks so much.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

My Big, Fat, Delicious Banana Bread

And now...the bundt cake! Sorry. Whenever I use a bundt pan, I always think of that scene from My Big Fat Greek Wedding. You know the one...where the dry as toast white lady brings her little bundt cake to the lamb-roasting-on-a-spit Greek party. Gets me every time!

But anyway, back to the banana bread. Banana bread has been my Achilles heel as a cook. No matter what I do, it always turns out AWFUL. The inside is mushy, the outside is burned--yuck, yuck, yuck. I can't tell you how many banana breads I've thrown away, uneaten. Well, I guess technically I could tell you, but I won't. Because it's just plain embarrassing.

Today, I am thrilled to announce, I did it! I made a banana bread that was not only edible, it was enjoyable! Even if I don't do anything else that's useful today, I'll go to bed with a smile on my face tonight.

1 3/4 c flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar (I used raw sugar)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/4tsp cream of tartar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup applesauce or oil
1 tbsp vanilla
2-3 ripe bananas, mashed

Preheat oven to 400. Mix dry ingredients. Make a well in the center. In a separate bowl, mix wet ingredients well. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir. Do not overbeat. Bake at 400 for about 30 minutes for a bundt pan, 18 minutes for muffins (I did a bundt and mine was done at 32 min). Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

And We're Back...with Waffles!

It's not that I haven't been cooking lately, because I have! I've tried lots of yummy recipes lately! For instance, we had a fantastic pasta tonight, pasta with butter beans and red wine that was simple, healthy, and so yummy. I've also made an excellent Grasshopper Pie (recipe will follow, maybe on Saturday). But tonight I'm excited about breakfast, which will be waffles made with my new waffle iron! I decided to buy myself one with my birthday money. For my first waffles, I'm making a yeasted waffle based on the recipe found here.

1 tsp instant yeast
1 1/2 c bread flour
1/2 c almond meal
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups milk
4 tbsp butter, melted & cooled
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs

The original recipe called for separating the eggs and beating in the whites the next morning. Phooey on that! The idea behind "overnight" waffles is the "set it and forget it" mentality. So I just mixed up the whole lot and set it in the fridge. Tomorrow, we bake! And then I'll update and let you know how they turned out.

While these waffles were certainly tasty (and definitely better than cold cereal for breakfast), I think that I prefer regular old, non-yeasted (un-yeasted?) waffles. Allen thought they were great, but on a scale of 1-10, I'd put them somewhere in the 6.5 range. Nothing to scream about, but didn't make me want to hurl either.