Wednesday, April 28, 2010

10-Layer Poor Man's Lasagna Casserole ***

This is yet another attempt at soothing my lasagna-obsessed son, lol.  I kid, but lasagna is one of the few things that the entire family just loves.  I liked that this one was a little simpler than the normal lasagna, but once I got into it, it was actually just as complicated.  It just cooked a little less time.  It was really good, though.  The whole family loved it.  I have a nasty tummy bug, so I couldn't eat, but it does smell divine (praise the Lord the nausea subsided enough for me to cook without vomiting).  I have a strange aversion to macaroni noodles in anything but a macaroni-type meal, so I went with a 12-oz box of whole grain penne instead.  I also subbed ground turkey, as usual, and I cooked in a 9x13 pan.  Other than that, I stuck fairly close to the recipe.  I'll definitely keep this on our "make again" list, since it accomplishes the lasagna thing in less time than normal.

Photo courtesy of Recipezaar

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~

1 1/2-1 3/4 lbs hamburger
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 onion, chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 (4 1/2 ounce) can Green Giant sliced mushrooms, drained
Ragu parmesan and romano spaghetti sauce
8 ounces cream cheese
16 ounces sour cream
1/4 teaspoon beef bouillon granules
3 1/2 cups macaroni noodles, raw
2 cups shredded sargento four-cheese Mexican blend cheese

Brown hamburger in frying pan with salt and pepper, oregano, Italian seasonings, onions and garlic until done.
Drain grease.
Stir in (drained) mushrooms and spaghetti sauce.
Simmer on very low.
Meanwhile, in small bowl, heat cream cheese in microwave until very soft. Stir in the sour cream and beef bouillon well. Set aside.
Cook macaroni until just done or “al dente”. Drain well.
In greased 4 quart roaster or crock pot, place (layer) 1/3 noodles, then 1/3 cream sauce, then 1/3 meat sauce, repeat 2 more times until ingredients are used up.
Top with shredded Mexican blend cheese.
Bake in 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for about 35 to 40 minutes until heated through and lightly bubbling.
Let rest 5 or 10 minutes before serving.
About 10-12 servings.
Serve with garlic bread and a tossed salad.
* Amy's notes: I subbed ground turkey, 12-oz box of whole grain penne pasta, and cooked in a 9x13.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Zesty Tangy Meatballs ***

We had to rush around and find something late last night that could be thrown together quickly for dh to take to a work potluck.  He decided meatballs in the crockpot would be easy, but I didn't want to do the "same ole, same ole" grape jelly BBQ meatballs.  I lucked into this recipe on the back of the bag, and dh said it got rave reviews.  I cooked them on the stovetop last night, and then he just took them to work and kept them on low all morning.  He and I split one last night, and it was really yummy!  It's almost like a sweet and sour kind of flavor, with just the tiniest little kick to it.  The apricots really tone down the spiciness of the salsa.  They're really good!

Photo courtesy of

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~ back of Armour meatballs bag)

2 or 2-1/2 lb bag frozen meatballs, regular or appetizer size
1 1/2 cups salsa
1 1/2 cups apricot preserves
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Place all ingredients except meatballs in a large saucepan.  Cook over medium heat while stirring until preserves are melted.  Add meatballs and continue cooking over medium-low heat for 25 minutes, until all meatballs are warmed through.  Mix thoroughly with large spoon.
Serve immediately or place in crockpot on low.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Cheeseburger-N-Fries Casserole **

This was nothing special, but it was a nice, easy, tasty little casserole.  It doesn't really taste like a cheeseburger, per se, but the cheesiness of it came through enough.  One ds loved it; the other could take it or leave it.  It was good, though.  I'd keep it around for something to throw together at the last minute.

Photo courtesy of

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~

2 lbs lean ground beef
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 (10-3/4 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
1 (10-3/4 oz) can cheddar cheese soup
1 (1 lbs) package frozen French fries, any style
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Scramble fry ground beef until cooked.
Drain off grease.
Then add salt, pepper and garlic.
Add both soups and stir until well blended.
Heat through on stove and then transfer to 9 X 13 glass pan.
Cover beef mixture with the french fries.
Bake for 30 minutes, until fries are crispy.
Sprinkle cheese over top of casserole and return to oven until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Country Style Steak ***

Dh absolutely loves country-fried steak, but I hate frying things.  This looked like a nice substitute.  It was actually really good.  Nothing special by any means, but very comforting and filling.  I served it with mashed potatoes and green beans, and it rounded out the meal perfectly.  The only thing I might do next time is cut back the salt a bit.  We're not big salt-lovers, so it was a little overly-salty to me.  Other than that, though, it was perfect!

Photo courtesy of

(*NoDayButToday* via Hillbilly Housewife)

2 pounds ground beef
3 tablespoons dry onions
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons margarine
1/4 cup flour
2 cups beef broth (made from bouillon cubes is fine)
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
Dash pepper

Begin by preparing the steaks. In a cereal bowl combine the flour, salt and pepper. Mix it up with a fork to distribute the seasonings evenly. Measure 1/4 cup of the seasoned flour, and set the rest aside until later. In a large bowl combine the ground beef, dry onions and the 1/4 cup of seasoned flour you just measured. Use your hands to combine it like meatloaf. Pat the meat flat into a 9" by 13" rectangular pan. The meat will be very thin. Score or cut the meat into 16 squares with a knife or a pizza cutter. Take the reserved seasoned flour and pat it on top of the meat. Bake at 400° for about 20 minutes. The meat will shrink up, and there will be a lot of fat floating in the pan. Carefully drain off the fat and recut the squares.
Prepare the gravy while the meat is cooking. Melt the margarine in a small skillet. Add the flour. Cook and stir this for a few minutes over low heat so that the flour browns a little bit, watch it carefully so it doesn't burn. This will make the finished gravy a pretty and appetizing brown color. After the flour is the color of coffee with cream added, stir in the beef broth. Usually I just add two cups of water and 2 beef bouillon cubes. Also add the onion powder and a sprinkle of pepper. Stir the gravy until it is smooth and bring it to a boil. Simmer for a few minutes, or until it is slightly thickened, but still a little thin. The gravy is thin because this makes it easier for the meat to absorb it some. Pour the prepared gravy over the steaks in the pan, after you have drained off the fat. Serve with instant mashed potatoes, green beans, canned peaches, and butter-bread. This recipe serves 6.
If desired, you can make a double batch. After cooking everything, arrange the cooked meat in a freezer to microwave container. Cover the meat with the gravy and freeze for a month or two. This is almost like the frozen Salisbury Steaks available in family size packages at the market. These are a lot healthier though, and much less expensive too.

French Toast Casserole ***

I posted a French Toast recipe last week, but I didn't give it a glowing review.  Gabrielle, from the BBC board recommended I try this one instead, and boy, am I glad she did!  My biggest problem with last week's recipe was the texture.  It was just too mushy.  Even after cooking it extra time, it was still too mushy.  This one was perfect!  There were less eggs, so you really didn't get the eggy layer going on.  The cream cheese layer is absolutely to die for.  Almost like a little bite of cheesecake in there.  I'll definitely be making this again.

(Jen ~ hmschlin2)

1 pound loaf Italian Bread
8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 C brown sugar, divided
1/2 tsp. vanilla or almond extract
1/2 c. chopped pecans, optional
4 eggs
2 c. Milk
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 TBSP. butter, melted

Cut bread into cubes. Place half of bread cubes into greased 9x13 baking dish. **Microwave the cream cheese until melted, stirring midway. Stir 1/4 c. of the sugar and the extract into the melted cream cheese. Pour this mixture over the bread cubes (will not completely cover the bread)Sprinkle nuts over the cream cheese layer. Top with remaining bread cubes.
In a bowl, beat the remaining sugar, eggs, milk, cinnamon and melted butter together. Pour over bread cubes.
Freeze at this point or let sit in refrigerator overnight.
Bake at 350 deg. F for 35 minutes. Serve with warm syrup or fruit toppings.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

King Ranch Casserole ***

I've always wanted to try a King Ranch Chicken recipe, just because it seems like I hear it mentioned so often.  I came across this one on accident, but I loved that it had such a short cook-time.  I did make a few changes, as always.  :)  I used my peppers in another recipe and forgot to buy more, so I subbed frozen corn in their place.  I will most definitely stick to that substitution.  Dh isn't crazy about peppers anyway, and I just loved the sweetness and crunch of the corn with the spiciness of the dish.  I also used garlic powder instead of minced garlic.  Two tablespoons of chili powder is just too much.  I knew that when I read it, and I didn't go with my gut.  I'll probably cut it in half next time.  It wasn't overpowering, but it was just too spicy for my tastes.  I'm glad the kids didn't eat any for that reason.  I had no clue what size tortillas to use, so I used the smaller ones.  I put eight on each layer instead of six.  It gave more of a separation between the layers, so I'll keep that in the future also.  Overall, this was actually really good.  I love that I can cram the veggies in there, and it makes for a perfect easy one-dish meal!

Photo courtesy of

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~

1 cup onion, diced
1 cup green bell pepper, diced
1 cup red bell pepper, diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 can low-fat cream of celery soup
1 can 98% fat-free cream of chicken soup
1 lb low-fat cheddar cheese
2 cups cooked chicken
1 can rotel tomatoes with green chilies
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon chicken broth
12 corn tortillas, torn in strips

In a large pan sprayed with cooking spray, sauté onion, bell peppers, garlic and celery.
Add soups, tomatoes, chilies, spices and chicken broth.
Line bottom of 9x13 pan with half of tortilla strips.
Spread half of chicken over tortillas and top with sauce, then half of cheese.
Cover with another layer of tortillas, chicken, sauce and cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly.
*Amy's notes: I subbed corn for the peppers and preferred it that way.  I also used a total of 16 small corn tortillas.  I will half the chili powder next time.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Baked French Toast Casserole *

This was just okay for us.  Dh and the kids liked it enough.  Actually, dh loved it.  It was a little strange texture-wise for me.  Honestly, I'd have been happy just leaving off the topping and using syrup instead.  I think it might have crisped up a little more.  The crust edges were good.  I even let it cook an extra 5 minutes, but it was still too mushy for me.  The egg was fully cooked, so it wasn't that.  It just was too mushy.  I also wasn't crazy about the nutmeg addition.  It would have been better with just the cinnamon, in my opinion.

Photo courtesy of

(luckymommyto2boys ~ Amy ~

1 loaf French bread

8 eggs
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup pecans

Place sliced bread in 2 large baking pans that have been sprayed with PAM.
Mix eggs, half and half, milk, sugar, vanilla, and spices.
Pour over bread.
Refrigerate overnight.
The next morning combine the last 3 ingredients and put on top.
Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg and bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until done.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Bierock Casserole **

We've had this one before, but it's been a few years.  The last time I cooked it, we had a 1-year-old and a 3-year-old, lol, so they didn't try it.  Both had some tonight.  DS1 loved it.  He even asked for seconds.  He didn't end up eating them, but he did ask.  DS2 ate a decent amount.  He's not much of an eater anyway, so that never shocks me anymore.  He did try it, and he said it was okay.  He ate about half of his.  That's about the best I can hope for sometimes.  I still like it.  I forgot to add the cheese (doh!), so I ended up sprinkling some on each serving.  It worked out just fine.  I also used pizza crust dough, since I'm not a huge fan of the crescents.

Photo courtesy of

(Sandy ~ Bettyinthekitchen)

1 ½ lb ground beef
1 onion, diced
1 small head cabbage, shredded
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 cans crescent rolls or pizza dough
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

Brown ground beef and onion; drain. Add cabbage to mixture and steam. Add soup to mixture and steam. Line bottom of a 9"x13" pan with 1 can of crescent rolls (flat). Top rolls with hamburger mixture. Top with cheddar cheese and top cheese with second can of crescent rolls, pinch top together. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Casserole may be frozen.
Sandy's notes: I usually only use 1 lb ground beef or turkey, sub coleslaw mix for cabbage. Two cans of pizza dough can be subbed for the crescent rolls, or make homemade dough.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Sausage Oven Pancake ***

The entire family loved this one.  I cooked the sausage last night and then put it in the casserole dish and sprinkled the cheese over it.  Then this morning while we were getting ready for church, I mixed up the batter and poured it on top.  I just had to bake it an extra 5 minutes or so, but it was delicious!  Our only complaint was that it didn't make enough, lol.  I really would have liked a little more of the "pancake" with the sausage, so I think I might double that part and put it in a 9x13 next time.  Other than that, though, there were thumbs up all around.  For as easy as this is, we'll be having it often!

Photo courtesy of

(4kowboys ~ Rachel ~

1 (12 oz) pkg pork sausage
1 cup cheddar cheese , shredded
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
2 Tbsp. maple-flavored syrup
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil (I always use canola)
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
3/4 cup maple-flavored syrup

Cook sausage in skillet, stirring frequently, until no longer pink. Drain sausage on paper towels. Spread sausage into a 8 inch of 9 inch square baking dish. Sprinkle cheese over sausage. In large bowl, beat egg, milk, 2 tbsp syrup, and the oil with a wire whisk until well blended. Beat in flour, baking powder, and salt. Pour batter evenly over sausage and cheese. Bake 25 to 30 min at 350 degrees until golden brown. Serve topped with remaining maple syrup.
*Rachel's Notes: I left out the cheese and it was not missed.