This week we tried a new recipe courtesy of one of my favorite cooking blogs, Budget Bytes. The temps are finally falling and I have been craving comfort foods lately. Pasta to the rescue!
This recipe *did* taste like homemade Hamburger Helper. (For those of you who enjoy reading about my misadventures in the kitchen, did you know that I was once unaware that you had to add your own ground beef to Hamburger Helper? Yep, I thought it came with dehydrated meat in it or something.)
Spoiler: the secret ingredient in this recipe is hot dog relish. Strangely enough, we already had a small jar of it in our refrigerator. I do NOT like relish on my hot dogs, so I have NO idea why we had it floating around. It tastes good in this recipe though!
We doubled the original recipe because it was easier to buy and use a full box of pasta noodles, one pound of ground beef, etc. Doubling the recipe resulted in a ton of food though, so we froze a few portions for later.
Here’s a picture of my skillet cheeseburger pasta (actually, this was Corner’s bowl because I had already started eating mine before I remembered I wanted to take a photo):
I’m off to find a hot beverage. Happy November!
It’s finally feeling like fall here in DC. With the transition to cooler weather comes my transition to cooking more meals in our crockpot. Something about crockpot cooking just feels so warm and cozy, plus I love the way my house smells like delicious food for hours as all the ingredients heat up.
Here’s a crockpot recipe I’ve been loving this month, which happens to combine my love of crockpot cooking and my love of all things pumpkin:
I’m a big fan of dump-and-go crockpot recipes. This particular recipe involves a tiny bit more prep (you have to chop the onion and sweet potatoes and brown the ground meat), but otherwise it’s quite easy.
Here’s a picture of mine all plated up:
I like to stir a little bit of sour cream into this chili after I’ve dished it out. Not only does it add a nice creaminess to the chili, but it helps cool it down a bit when it’s still piping hot from the crockpot. I’ve also been experimenting with adding some red kidney beans into the mix…for some reason chili is just not complete for me without beans.
This recipe does make quite a bit of food for two people, so plan to have a lot of leftovers for lunch/dinner later in the week.
So last week Corner and I upgraded to a new crockpot. Our old one was only 4 quarts, and was also round (rather than oval-shaped), and I was starting to find it a bit limiting as far as which recipes I could make.
The first recipe we tried in the new slow cooker was this summer slow cooker lasagna with zucchini and eggplant. Corner did the vegetable prep work and I helped layer it all into the crockpot. I think we made this last Monday. Highly recommended.
Then I made this root beer pulled pork recipe on Wednesday. This recipe is the easiest of the easy. 5 ingredients and no prep — just dump it all in the slow cooker and come back 8 hours later. We served the meat on tortillas.
I also made this slow cooker black bean enchiladas recipe. Corner’s coworker Kelsey came over to hang out after work on Friday and we ate these. They were a big hit. Very easy recipe with fairly minimal prep work (cutting the onion and pepper, then assembling and rolling the enchiladas). The leftovers were super tasty, too. Here’s some in-progress photos:
Some friends have been bugging me to start a blog based on my “Adventures of Cooking With Kristen While Corner’s Not Home” Facebook posts. I don’t think I can manage a second blog at this point (since I post rather infrequently in this one), but I do promise to blog more about my cooking endeavors.
Alas, nothing really went wrong in the two above recipes that I prepared by myself, so you won’t be hearing about my misadventures this time.
Corner is in Ohio again for the month of December (he actually flies to Michigan on the day that I will be driving to Michigan for the holidays…jerk).
As you may know, Corner does the majority of the cooking in our household, so it’s been interesting for me to figure out what on earth I’m going to eat while he’s gone.
Last week, on the Sunday before Corner left, he helped me prep these freezer-friendly bean and rice burritos. I opted not to freeze them, since once frozen they have to be baked for 35-40 minutes! I don’t have that kind of time…the whole point of prepping these beforehand was so I could rush in the door before or after derby practice and have something ready to go. I stored these in the fridge instead and heated them up in the microwave for about 3 minutes at 50% power. I made sure to flip them over a few times during the process to help alleviate sogginess. I added a bit of hot taco sauce to spice them up a bit. I will definitely be making these again.
I am also a big fan of this baked pumpkin pie oatmeal, which I bake in a small glass baking dish and then distribute into mason jars for serving sizes that are easy to grab and reheat each morning.
Later in the week I made these peanut butter protein balls to stick in the freezer and to eat post-practice. They are pretty yummy, and the taste of the whey protein is pretty well masked (that or I’m just getting used to the taste of whey, haha).
Yesterday, I made this skinny zucchini ziti. It is a crockpot recipe that only takes 2ish hours to cook. Which, come to find, is sort of inconvenient because I had a hard time finding an opportunity to make it (you can’t just turn it on and leave for work…bah!). So once again, food prep was relegated to Sunday afternoon. Anyway, this turned out pretty well, except that the various layers of pasta noodles did not cook evenly. Luckily I don’t really care, and this made a pretty delicious dinner last night (and I have enough left over for at least 3 more meals this week).
I also decided to make my own protein bars yesterday afternoon. I have been trying to keep healthy snacks around since I am always ravenous after aforementioned derby practice. I already had most of the ingredients for these bars onhand. I will say one thing: this was one messy recipe. I ended up with sticky oatmeal all over my kitchen. And after I took the frozen mass out of the freezer, it was hard to cut it into bars. BUT, I did get 20-some pieces that are sized something like a regular granola bar that you would buy at the store, so I should be set on these for awhile.
Upcoming meal attempts will include the following:
(Notice I don’t cook any meat? The only meat I am willing to use when I cook is ground beef because it doesn’t require any prep…prepping meat grosses me out! So it’s almost like I’m a vegetarian when Corner is gone.)