Category Archives: Beef

Easy Skillet Chili Mac

Food snobs please exit stage right.  Or left.  I don’t particularly care.  Just get thy snobby pants gone.  Thank you kindly.

For the rest of us, let’s discuss some good ol’ chili macaroni!  I bet most all of you have some version of a skillet ground beef and macaroni dish, whether it be called chili mac, goulash, or what have you. 

And if you do, then I’m sure you’ll also agree with me that we all need some recipes like this in our repetoire.  Go-to recipes that are easy, non-fussy, and can be put on the table quickly.  Maybe not something we’d get much enjoyment out of cooking every night, but that there’s definitely a place in our kitchens for once in a while.

If you’re nodding your head right now (okay, maybe not literally nodding), then here’s a great recipe for you!  It comes from my Pillsbury Favorite Casseroles cookbook.  It easily takes less than 30 minutes to make, start to finish (and unlike a certain someone else’s 30 minute meals, you won’t spend another half hour cleaning up the kitchen afterwards…). 

I couldn’t be bothered getting my cheddar cheese out of the freezer, so I just plopped a dollop of Cheese Whiz on top.  I’m oh so gourmet like that 😉

Happy Cooking!

Easy Skillet Chili Mac

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz. uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 can spicy chili beans, undrained
  • 1 can chili-style diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp EACH salt and pepper
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

Cook macaroni according to package directions.  Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, brown ground beef in a large skillet.  Drain off any grease.  Stir in cooked macaroni, beans, tomatoes, and salt and pepper.  Cook 3-5 minutes, or until bubbly and heated through.  Sprinkle with cheese.

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Filed under Beans, Beef, Stove-Top Meals

Honey Garlic Meatballs

Howdy!  How’s everyone doin’?  Aside from the gray, overcast, dreary, dismal (need I say more?) weather we’ve been suffering with for the past week or so, I’m doing just peachy 😉

Remember the little kitten I mentioned in my last post?  I cried like a baby when we gave him away, I sure did.  And just a secret between you and me, my big strapping husband’s eyes were suspiciously watery too.  Okay, let’s be totally honest-he had almost as many tears streaming down his face as I did.  And seriously, how could I possibly not love a man who’s such a softy at heart that he would cry over giving a little kitten away?  *Sigh*

We heard back yesterday from the family the kitten (now officially named Tiger) went to.  The dad said the little guy had curled right up with his daughter the very first night and they fell asleep together.  Just like it was meant to be.  *Sigh*  I love happy endings 🙂

Okay, now I’m going to tell you about these meatballs that are sooo good you’ll want to go make them right away, I’m sure.  You won’t be able to help yourself! 

I love sweet and sour flavors, and if you do too, then these meatballs will be right up your alley.  They are one of my favorite ways to eat ground beef.  As I’ve mentioned many times, I’m a picky meat eater, and with the strong flavors from the honey garlic sauce here, I have no problem gobbling up these meatballs.

I hope you try them too and enjoy them!  Until next time, happy cooking 🙂

Honey Garlic Meatballs

Ingredients:

  • 2 1bs ground beef
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tb butter
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3 Tb soy sauce

Directions:

Combine the ground beef and next 5 ingredients.  Form into 1-inch meatballs.  Place on a baking sheet.  Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, or until cooked through.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan.  Add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes.  Add ketchup, honey, and soy sauce.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the meatballs to the sauce, stirring to make sure they are well coated.  Simmer for another 5-10 minutes, until heated through.

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Poor Man’s Lasagna Rolls

Yesterday I stopped by the store to pick up a gallon of milk and was horrified (and appalled and disgusted) to find that the price of milk has increased again and I’m now paying a grand total of $4.69 for milk.  Is that not madness??   I’d never have imagined that I’d one day pay that much for a gallon of milk.

But milk is kinda one of those necessities, ya know?  Especially for those of us who belong to the fairer sex and need our calcium.  All there is to do is suck it up.  And gripe and complain about it once in a while 😉

It just makes me nervous wondering if other things are going to go up in price again too.  Am I going to end up paying $2.50-$3.00 for eggs soon? 

What all this leads me to (yes, I have a point!) is that now, more than ever, I’m focusing on making recipes that are economical and won’t require ingredients that’ll blow my budget.

This lasagna roll recipe I found in a very old Pillsbury cookbooklet, and I’m calling it Poor Man’s Lasagna Rolls because the ingredients are mainly just a meat sauce, mozzarella cheese, and noodles.  There’s not even any cottage or ricotta cheese or any other fancy ingredients.

Sure, you could just mix together your sauce and noodles, sprinkle it all with cheese and it would taste the same.  But it wouldn’t be as interesting or pretty, now would it?  It would be downright boring.  Even with the most basic ingredients, we can still turn them into something a bit fancy now and then, something a little more gourmet, can’t we? 🙂

So for those of you, like me, who would like to make something a little special sometimes but don’t have much money to spare, this recipe is for you. 

How yummy does this look??

One little thing I want to mention about the ingredients is that I didn’t have any mushrooms so instead I used about 1/2 cup of finely chopped zucchini.  Turned out great, and I would use the zucchini again instead of mushrooms.

Poor Man’s Lasagna Rolls

Ingredients:

  • 8 lasagna noodles
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 20 ounces pasta sauce (I used a can of Hunt’s Thick & Rich and it was the perfect amount)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2.5-oz. jar sliced mushrooms, drained
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten

Directions:

Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions.  Drain and set aside.

Brown ground beef along with onion in skillet.  Drain grease.  Transfer to a bowl and add 1/4 cup of the pasta sauce, 1/2 cup of the cheese, mushrooms, and egg.  Mix together.

Spread each lasagna noodle with 1/3 cup or so of the meat mixture.  Carefully roll up and place seam side down in an ungreased 12×8 baking dish.  Pour remaining pasta sauce over top.

Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Bake, uncovered, for 5-10 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

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Filed under Beef, Casseroles, Pasta

“Famous” Baked Beans

Hello everyone!  Today I want to share an easy, delicious crockpot baked bean recipe.  The recipe comes from this cookbook:

I’ve been making these beans for quite a few years, and they really are very good.  Now, I do have my favorite recipe for baked beans posted here, and if you’re looking for a great baked bean side dish I think those are perfect.  This recipe I would consider more of a main dish because it has ground beef in it.  I just make some cornbread or garlic bread and salads to go with and it’s a complete meal.

I know liquid smoke is an ingredient that many of you may not have in your pantry and while I often will just leave an ingredient out of a recipe if I don’t have it or substitute something else, in this case it is the one ingredient that absolutely makes this dish.  Whatever you do, don’t leave it out! 

Are we clear now on the importance of the liquid smoke?  Okay, good 🙂

Yum yumm!

Give these a try, I think you’ll really like them.  And until next time, happy cooking 🙂

“Famous” Baked Beans

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 4 15-oz. cans baked beans
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tb liquid smoke
  • 1 Tb Worcestershire sauce

Directions:

Brown ground beef along with onions in skillet.  Drain off the fat then transfer to the crockpot.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours (or longer).

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Filed under Beans, Beef, Crockpot Meals

Cat’s Beef Chimichangas

When I write up my meal plans I usually ask Jay if he has any special requests, and usually he just says whatever I want to make will be fine.  I’m fortunate to have a husband who isn’t terribly picky.  But this time he had a request, which was tacos.  And since he so rarely makes requests, I like to accomodate him when he does.  He’s fortunate to have a wife like that.

All I had, though, were some flour tortillas on the verge of going freezer burnt.  So what’s a girl to do when her husband wants crispy tacos and she only has flour tortillas?  She makes chimichangas! Jay loved these and even took the leftovers for lunch the next two days.

These are really easy to make, and they can even be made ahead of time and popped into the freezer for later, which you can’t do with tacos.  Another bonus! 

You can do just the seasoned beef and cheese, but I decided to add a little onion, bell pepper,  jalapeno pepper, and pinto beans too.  That’s half an orange pepper and half a green pepper, btw.  I happened to have both and I thought two colors would be purtier than one.

Put a good amount of this mixture in each tortilla along with a sprinkle of cheese, then tuck in the ends and roll them up like a burrito. 

Place them in a baking dish or sheet and coat with cooking spray. 

Just let them bake until they’re browned and crispy enough to your liking.  I flipped mine over halfway through to make sure they got crispy on all sides.

Serve with sour cream, salsa, and whatever else you’d like.  Delicious!

Until next time, happy cooking! 🙂

Cat’s Beef Chimichangas

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 pkg taco seasoning
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or to taste)
  • 6-8 burrito-sized flour tortillas
  • sour cream, salsa or your choice of condiments

Directions:

Brown ground beef in skillet along with the onion, bell pepper, and jalapeno pepper.  Drain off any grease.  Stir in the taco seasoning and pinto beans.  Remove from heat.

Put a good amount of the beef mixture in the center of each tortilla.  Sprinkle with cheddar cheese.  Tuck in each end, then roll up like a burrito.  Place in a baking dish or sheet.  Spray with cooking spray.

Bake at 400 degrees until browned and crispy.

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Traditional Chili

 

For some people, chili-making seems to be more like a science project (or art form?) than just a simple recipe for good food.  Have you ever looked at some of those competition/cook-off chili recipes?  My goodness, they look so complicated and involved I’d be scared to even try them for fear I’d make a mistake!

I, on the other hand, don’t really have a special chili recipe that’s my absolute favorite.  I’ve tried many recipes over the years, some that I’ve liked, and some that, well, let’s just say I’d prefer not to make again.  I’ve come to the conclusion that I like my chili best when it’s simple and uncomplicated, and I dont have to go out and buy a whole bunch of special spices and ingredients for it.

This recipe that I’m sharing with y’all today has been my main go-to recipe for a while now.  It makes a large pot of chili using ingredients you probably already have on hand, or at least won’t have trouble finding. 

It’s also a great meat stretcher.  Though the full recipe calls for 1 1/2 lbs of ground beef, you could lower that to 1 lb and the chili will still be great.  As part of my Pantry Challenge, I dug out some ground buffalo that was given to us by Jay’s grandma several years ago and is still languishing in the deep freeze (though I have used up most of it by now).  I’m very picky about my meat, so if I have something more unusual like buffalo I like to mix it with a familiar flavor like ground beef.  So I used 1 lb of ground beef and 1/2 lb buffalo. 

To change things up a bit, we also ate our chili over baked potatoes with a sprinkle of cheddar cheese on top.  With the leftovers, I actually diced up the remaining cold baked potatoes and stirred them right into the chili, and I think I liked that even better!  I froze half the chili for later, and in a few weeks I’ll bring it out to make some Cincinnatti-style chili with.

I hope you enjoy this chili! 🙂

Chili

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 3 (16 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 (16 ounce) cans kidney beans  (I used pinto & kidney)
  • 2 Tb chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp seasoned salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Directions:

Brown ground beef in a Dutch oven along with the onions, bell pepper, celery, and garlic.  Drain off fat.  Stir in all remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, and simmer for 40-50 minutes or until flavors are blended.

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Filed under Beef, Soups/Stews

Irish Beef Stew…and my Pantry Challenge!

I don’t do a lot of cooking with alcohol in my kitchen.  I’m far from being sophisticated enough to have numerous bottles of wine around for adding to various dishes.  I wouldn’t have a clue about what to buy!  But Guinness, now that’s another story.  I know exactly what to do with Guinness (well, besides drinking it!). Guinness was made to go in beef stew.  The two are, quite simply, a match made in stew heaven.   And if you didn’t tell, no one would ever know you had added it, it would just be that secret ingredient that they can’t quite put their finger on.  The rich depth of flavor that it adds can’t be beat.

A word of warning here-do NOT use Guinness extra stout (trust me, I speak from experience).  If that’s all you have, and I can’t be the only nutty person who loves that wonderful, super bitter black Irish goodness, then use just half the bottle and use water for the remaining liquid.

This week also begins my Pantry Challenge.  I’ve seen several of my favorite blogs implementing this in their kitchens recently, and it got me thinking about my own large stockpile of food in the deep freeze and pantry.  So I’ve decided to spend the next several weeks (at least-we’ll see how long I can go!) working my way through it and keeping my grocery bill to a minimum.  I’m usually pretty good about not going crazy at the grocery store anyway, but like all of us, I often stray from my grocery list and buy things that aren’t really necessary.

But I’m going to buckle down now and focus instead on what I’ve already got available at home!  I’ve started making a list of recipe ideas that utilize only ingredients I already have, and it’s becoming quite a long list.  It’s amazing how many meals you can come up with when you sit down and really start thinking about what you already have on hand!  And I’m going to be keeping an eye out on all of your blogs for more ideas! 🙂

Irish Beef Stew

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb stew meat
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large carrots, sliced
  • 3 large potatoes, cubed
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 bottle Guinness stout
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Directions:

Season stew meat with salt and pepper.  Brown in skillet on all sides.  Add to crockpot along with all remaining ingredients, except parsley, and cook on low for 8 hours.  Stir in parsley just before serving.

You can also cook this on the stove top, if you prefer.  But y’all know how I love my crockpots!

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Filed under Beef, Crockpot Meals, Soups/Stews