Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Tater Tot Hot Dish

I grew up in the great state of Minnesota.  Apparently, Tater Tot "Hot Dish", as they call it (I call it casserole but "hot dish" is so much more fun to say) is a big deal in Minnesota.  It's, like, the state meal...or something like that.  I honestly do not remember ever eating it during my childhood.  Maybe I didn't like it, so I blocked it out of my memory...I don't know.  Anyway, Tater Tot Hot Dish has become a staple meal in my household.  It's not expensive to make, it's filling, and it's awfully tasty. 


*2 lbs. ground beef
*2 large cans of Cream of Mushroom soup
*2 envelope packets of dry onion soup mix
*Frozen mixed veggies
*Frozen tater tots


1.  Preheat your oven to 375* F.
2.  Brown and drain the ground beef.
3.  In a large bowl combine the ground beef, soup, dry onion soup, and mixed veggies.  Mix well
4.  Pour this mixture into a 10x15 baking dish.
5.  Top with tater tots.
6.  Bake in your preheated oven for 1 hour.

*NOTES:  I use 2 dry onion soup packets for a large batch but, it can sometimes come out a little salty.  Just use 1 packet if you are watching your sodium intake.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

I have been making these for years.  They are so easy and so very tasty.  There are a couple ways you can make these...I'll share the different variations with you.  And, as always, I double this recipe for my gigantic family.


*1- 12 oz can evaporated milk (NOT sweetened condensed milk)
*2 small cans cream of chicken soup OR 1 large can
*1 can green chilies
*1 onion, chopped
*3 cups shredded chicken OR 2 cans of chicken OR 1 lb ground beef
*1 1/2 cup grated cheese (I use cheddar)
*Corn OR flour tortillas (I use corn...the flour tortillas tend to get soggy)


1.  Preheat oven to 350*

2.  Brown and drain the beef, if that is the meat of your choice.

3.  Boil and shred chicken, if using shredded chicken.

4.  Spray  a 9x13 or 10x15 baking dish

5.  Mix the evaporated milk, soup, onions, meat, and chilies in a saucepan.  Heat through.

6.  Cover the bottom of the baking dish with a very thin layer of the sauce.

7.  Cover the sauce with one layer of tortillas.

8.  Cover the tortillas with a layer of sauce.

9.  Continue layering until you end with the last of your sauce. Top with cheese.

10.  Bake until heated through, about 30-40 minutes.

*NOTE:  I usually serve these enchiladas with Mexican Rice.

Black Beans and Beef Chili

This chili has become a household favorite.  Even my pickiest son requested this for his birthday dinner.  If that doesn't say something great about this chili, I don't know what will.


*2 cans black beans
*2 cups browned and drained ground beef
*1 onion, chopped
*1 cup frozen corn
*1 can diced green chilies
*1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
*2 cloves garlic, minced
*3/4 tsp black pepper
*1 tsp salt
*2 tbsp chili powder
*1 tsp cumin
*1 bay leaf
*1 cup water
*1 beef boullion cube


1.  Dump all ingredients into your slow cooker.
2.  Cook on low for 6 hours, or on high for 3 hours.
3.  Serve with whatever your heart desires.  I usually serve this chili over a bed of lettuce with sour cream, cheese, and tortilla chips...or with Shawn's Corn Bread (that recipe is around here on the blog somewhere).

*NOTE:  I double this recipe for my large family.

Beef Stroganoff

Some of my children have a love/hate relationship with Beef Stroganoff...simply because they detest mushrooms.  If you have a mushroom hater in your household, just don't let on that they're in this recipe...wink wink!


*1 lb. ground beef
*1 chopped onion
*Garlic powder
*16 oz sour cream
*1 family size can Cream of Mushroom soup
*Cooked rice or egg noodles (my family prefers egg noodles)


1.  Brown ground beef with the chopped onion, then drain.

2.  Mix cream of mushroom soup and sour cream together in a large pan.  Add ground beef and garlic powder, to taste.  Stir and cook until heated through.

3.  Serve over cooked rice or egg noodles.

*NOTE:  I double this recipe for my family of 8.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Caramel Corn

Who doesn't LOVE caramel corn?...or anything caramel, for that matter?  This is the tastiest and most fool-proof recipe you will ever find!

What you'll need:

*7 quarts plain popped popcorn (air-popped)
*2 cups dry roasted peanuts (optional)
*2 cups brown sugar
*1 cup light corn syrup
*1 tsp. salt
*1 - 1.5 cups margarine (I use makes it saltier)
*1/2 tsp. baking soda
*1 tsp, vanilla extract

What you do:

1.  Place the popped popcorn into two shallow greased baking pans.  You may use roasting pans or jelly roll pans.  Add the peanuts to the popped corn, if using.  Set aside.

2.  Preheat the oven to 250* F (120* C).  Combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, margarine, and salt in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring enough to blend.  Once the mixture begins to boil, boil for 5 more minutes while stirring constantly.

3.  Remove from the heat and stir in the baking soda and vanilla.  The mixture will be light and foamy.  Immediately pour the mixture over the popcorn in the pans, and stir to coat.  Don't worry too much at this point about getting all of the corn coated.

4.  Bake for 1 hour, removing the pans from the oven, and giving them each a good stir every 15 minutes.  Line the counter top with waxed paper.  Dump the corn out onto the waxed paper and separate the pieces.  Allow to cool completely, then store in airtight containers or resealable bags.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Wild Rice and Chicken (or Turkey) Soup

The first time I made this soup for my family, my kids told me that it looked like vomit, but that it tasted good.  I was offended and pleased at the same time.  I hope your family likes this soup.  FYI...I double this recipe to feed my village of 8.

What you'll need:

*1 6.2-ounce package quick-cooking long grain and wild rice mix
*2 TBSP butter or margarine
*4 oz. mushrooms, stems removed and sliced (about 1.5 cups)
*2 stalks celery, sliced (1 cup)
*2 14-ounce cans chicken broth
*1/4 tsp. black pepper
*2 cups chopped, cooked chicken or turkey
*1 cup whipping cream

What you'll do:

1.  Prepare the rice (using the seasoning packet) according to package directions.  Omit the butter it calls for.

2.  In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.  Add the mushrooms and celery.  Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the veggies are almost tender and most of the mushroom liquid has evaporated; stir occasionally.  Add broth and pepper.  Bring to a boil; then reduce heat.  Simmer, covered, for 5 minutes.  Stir in the rice, chicken (or turkey), and cream.  Heat through.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Shawn's Cornbread

I can honestly say that my husband came up with this recipe for cornbread on his own. It is so good and it has become a new family favorite. The kids will eat this on its they're eating a cookie.

What you'll need:

*2 cups all-purpose flour
*2 cups cornmeal
*2/3 cup sugar
*2/3 cup brown sugar
*2 tsp. salt
*7 tsp. baking powder
*2 eggs
*2 cups milk
*2/3 cup canola oil (or veg oil...whichever you have)

What you do:

1. Mix all the dry ingredients together.

2. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix really well.

3. Pour batter into a well-greased and floured 9x13 baking dish.

4. Bake at 400 degrees F for 25-30 minutes.