Category Archives: Beef

Baked Lasagna Toss

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MMMmmmm……

This was liked by everyone. Those dinners are. the. bestest.

I used these really cute noodles that looked like mini lasagna noodles, ¬†of course I cannot remember the “official” name of them, but noodle boxes have a lovely window so you CAN see the shape of your noodle. ūüôā ¬†IF you do not have the mini lasagna noodles ~ no problem, just break up some regular lasagna noodles and continue on with the recipe!

* I do not always have garlic cloves on hand, so in that case I just use a good dash of garlic powder. Works fine.

* I never really measure the seasonings that I add to a jar of spaghetti sauce, these measurements are just guesstimates. It depends on the flavor of the sauce already, you know how sweet or spicy or seasoned it may already be. I probably use more sugar, oregano, etc….but this is a good place to start and change it up according to your families ¬†likes/dislikes.

Baked Lasagna Toss  

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 of an onion, chopped
1/2 of a green pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 c. of uncooked mini lasagna looking noodles (oh…so technical…)
28 oz. jar of spaghetti sauce
1/4 c. – 1/2 c. water
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. oregano
good pinch of red pepper flakes (opt.)
salt & pepper to taste
12 oz. container of cottage cheese
8 oz. package of 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
1/3 c. grated parmesan cheese
1/4 c. sliced green onions
1 TB. dried parsley flakes
1 c. shredded Italian cheese blend

Brown the ground beef with the veggies and garlic cloves. Till meat is thoroughly cooked and veggies are tender. Drain well.  Add the spaghetti sauce,water, (I swoosh it in the jar to get out any extra sauce, then pour into pan) sugar, Italian seasoning, oregano, red pepper flakes and salt & pepper. Let simmer about 10 minutes to thicken up and  meld flavors.

Meanwhile. Cook the noodles till about 1 minute UNDER al dente ~ they will continue to cook as it bakes. Drain.

Take sauce off heat and add noodles. Pour into greased pan. (I use an oval Correll dish, it does not tell me the size on the bottom…..sorry. It seems that is comparable to a 9″ x 13″ pan, just deeper and not as long.)

Mix the cottage cheese and cream cheese well. Add the parmesan cheese, green onion and parsley. Stir well.  Spread this carefully over the noodle layer. Top with the Italian cheese.

(I usually have this ready in the fridge so it is cold, thus my baking times will be longer IF you throw this together and bake right away, your baking time will be shorter.) Bake, covered, at 350¬į for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake another 20 minutes or so, till heated through and cheese is browned a bit. (I broiled mine a bit at the end to give the top a nice crunchy crust.)

SERVES ~ about 6, big helpings (1 1/2 c. servings)

Serve and Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from “Pillsbury Family Pleasing Recipes”.

Crock Pot Beef Enchiladas

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I really enjoy using my crock pot, do you? I find it very helpful, usually there is more time in the daytime hours to throw dinner together then in the afternoon hours. So I really enjoy recipes that can be thrown together in the morning and either start cooking in the crock pot or chill in the fridge till I am ready to put it in the oven. I will say nothing more about this recipe EXCEPT to quote 2 of my kiddos and they preciousness-es that they said while eating this dinner.

Quote # 1. ¬† ~ ¬†“Mom, if you were a baker in a contest and you ¬†made this ¬†and I was the ¬†judge, ¬†you would be the winner.” *Tears from mother. Sweetness that melts my heart.*

Quote # 2. ¬† ~ ¬†“I pick this as my birthday dinner.” Well……..honey, that is now ABOUT 7 dinners you have picked ¬†for your birthday¬†dinner, looks like we may need to narrow some things down……

I saw this recipe idea in a Taste of Home Magazine, I thought “Really, will this work? Will you see the tortilla layers? Will I be able to lift it out of the crock pot? Will the kids like it as much as they like oven cooked enchiladas? Will. it. work? Will. it. be. good????”

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes.

I hope your family enjoys as well!

*My family is not keen on black beans or pinto beans, but if your family IS then feel free to add a can (rinsed and drained) in with the meat layer (plus it will stretch the meat layer a bit further as well!).

* This serves 4. It was just the right amount to feed my family (2 adults, 4 kids). Though in a few years I KNOW it will not be enough! I think you should be able to make more of the meat sauce (a batch and a half) and add a few more tortillas without a problem IF you need to stretch it a bit further!

* IF you do not have a round crock pot that will fit tortillas, that is fine, just tear your tortillas to fit in your crock pot. Try to use 1 torn up tortilla per layer.

* I lined my crock pot with heavy-duty foil, I wanted to see if I could lift it out and to see what it would look like. IF you do not want to do this, then just be sure to grease your crock pot WELL and serve straight out of the crock pot with a serving spoon. That will work just fine as well!

* Rotel Tomatoes have heat to them, as well as some chili powders. We are a family who enjoys heat but IF your family does not, then maybe skip the hot sauce or just try a drop or two.

* The meat layer IS not very thick (hardly covering the tortilla under it), this is so the enchiladas STAY is a stack. I generally left the edges of the tortillas without any meat sauce, so as it would not ooze over.

food 858

Crock Pot Beef Enchiladas 

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 a large onion, chopped
1/2 a green or red pepper, chopped
1 can (10 oz.) Rotel Tomatoes (tomatoes with green chilies in them)
1/2 c. salsa
1/2 c. black olives, sliced
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
3 drops of hot pepper sauce
6 medium flour tortillas
2 c.  shredded cheddar cheese
toppings for tacos (like sour cream, lettuce, tomato…etc.)

Brown the ground beef with the onion and pepper. Drain. Add the undrained tomatoes, salsa, black olives, chili powder, salt, pepper and hot sauce to the ground beef mixture. Simmer about 5 minutes. Just to meld flavors a bit.

Line your crock pot heavy-duty foil and grease the foil well. Time to layer! Start with 2 scoops of meat sauce in the bottom of the crock pot, then tortilla, then more meat sauce (I generally did about 2 scoops per layer, try to judge how much meat sauce you have to tortillas left ~ you will END with a tortilla.) Then a sprinkle of cheese, tortilla, sauce, cheese, repeat. End with tortilla on top sprinkled with some cheese.

Cover your crock pot and cook on low for about 6 hours. Lift out by the foil and set on your serving platter, I cut off the foil that I could get at. Serve with the taco toppings your family enjoy, and ENJOY!!

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home Magazine.

Sweet Chili Meatballs, Crock Pot BBQ Chicken & Ranch Oyster Crackers

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Aldi Sales from Oct. 3 ~ Oct. 9.

Open up the weekly ad for this week and yowzerrsss! HELLO FALL!!! You will see cider, pumpkin, squash, soups…..oh what fun!!!

  • If your kids enjoy an occasional glass of hot cider after playing outside in the chilly weather, then you may want to grab a box or 3 of Spiced Apple Cider Mix. A 7.4 oz. package is $1.99.
  • Aldi’s shelves are STOCKED with all different sorts of soups this time of year ~ Minestrone, Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup, Southwestern Black Bean Soup, French Onion Soup ~ just to name a FEW! These would make nice quick lunches and dinners on those chilly days.
  • Chili time is here! * yeah! * If you like to make your own chili, you will find all the beans, tomatoes and meat you need at Aldi this week OR make it REALLY easy and snag a package of 3 Bean Chili or Hearty Soup Mix (5.1-5.9 oz. packages or $1.19) and go from there.
  • Are you a pumpkin fan??? If you are maybe you are interested in Pumpkin Ravioli, Pumpkin Seeds, Pumpkin Cream Cheese, Pumpkin Bagels, Pumpkin Spice Milk, Pumpkin Pie ¬†Ice Cream, Pumpkin Cooking Salsa, Pumpkin Supreme Pie, Pumpkin Cheesecake, Pumpkin Caramel Sauce, Pumpkin Spice Bark, Pumpkin Cookies, Pumpkin Cupcakes, Pumpkin Bar Mix, Pumpkin Yogurt…..and EVEN more Pumpkin items!!! * I have tried not one of these so PLEASE let me know if you do…I am REALLY interested in knowing how some of these are!!!!! (thanks)*
  • Acorn Squash, yum, grab a few at 59¬Ę each, you may as well. (Look for a recipe for Acorn Squash another day….oh the suspense……)
  • 3 pack of Caramel Apples is selling for $1.29.
  • Hazelnut Spread (aka Nutella) is $1.99 for a 13 oz. jar.
  • Pure Olive Oil is $2.79 for a 16.9 oz. bottle.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil is $3.29 for a 17 oz. bottle.
  • Turkey Bacon is $2.19 for a 12 oz. package.
  • Crispy Oats Cereal (aka Cheerios) is $1.49 for a 12.25-14 oz. box.

Now for a few recipe ideas for the week…..

  • A 15 oz. can of¬†Pumpkin is 99¬Ę. (This is NOT in the flyer, but I KNOW is IN the store!! ūüôā High fives all around…wahooo….. Time for pumpkin muffins….can you tell we like them here?? Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins¬†and Pumpkin Apple Streusel Muffins (apples are $2.19 for a 3 lb. bag FYI) are both favorites over here! (Another ¬†pumpkin recipe to come…another day!)
  • Fit & Active or Chef’s Cupboard Broths are 99¬Ę for a 32 oz. container. Comes in handy when making Butter Baked Rice or ANY other dish that calls for chicken stock.
  • Ground sirloin is $3.69 per lb. Ground Beef is $3.19 per lb. ¬†Maybe Meatloaf Cordon Blue should be on the menu this week?
  • Red Grapes are 89¬Ę per lb. Great for lunches and GREAT to make Grape Salad. (You CAN use all red grapes!)

Now for ¬†some new recipes to try this week…..

  • Oyster Crackers are 89¬Ę for a 10 oz. package. Not only do these make a GREAT snack (see recipe below), but they are also fantastic sprinkled over ¬†soup.
  • Yeah!!! Aldi has Chili Sauce for $1.29 (12 oz.). All you need now is Grape Jelly (a 32 oz. jar is $1.59), and ground beef ($3.19 for 1 lb.) and you can enjoy Sweet Chili Meatballs (recipe below)….don’t forget the lemon!!
  • Chicken! YEAH! $1.69 per lb. THAT is what is for dinner! Grab a bbq sauce and check out the recipe below……

This recipe is very versatile, you can serve it with toothpicks as an appetizer OR you can serve it over egg noodles for dinner. ¬†This is one of those “go-to” meals, one that comes to mind when shopping…..and my list is AT home, easy to remember the ingredients!

* You can also put the cooked meatballs in a crock pot and pour the sauce over and cook a few hours to warm. That is easy if you are bringing to a potluck (I want to go to a potluck….) or party.

Sweet Chili Meatballs 
Meatballs:
2 lb. ground beef
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 c. bread crumbs
1/2 c. milk
Mix together and form into balls. You can either roll in flour and fry, or I just bake  @ 350* for about 30 minutes ~ till cooked through. (I never remember to roll in the flour and they are fine;))

Sauce: 
1 bottle of chili sauce (12 oz.)
10 oz. grape jelly (I use about 1 c.)
Juice of 1 lemon
Mix and pour over cooked meatballs. Cook @ 350* for about 20 minutes, till heated through. Serve with toothpicks ~ as an appetizer or over noodles ~ as dinner. A 1/2 batch will fill a 7″ x 11″ pan with meatballs, and full batch and you will need to put it in a 9″ x 13″ pan.

Recipe from the cookbook Prized Recipes to Cook and Savor.

The crock pot is a wonderful kitchen “utensil” ~ one that saves you a lot of time ¬†AND you can come home from a BUSY day with dinner waiting for YOU!! ¬†This dish is very versitile, ¬†serve it over rice, on hard rolls or along side baked potatoes.

Crock Pot BBQ Chicken 
5 boneless skinless chicken breasts
15 oz. bottle of BBQ sauce (about 15 oz.)
1/4 c. vinegar
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. pepper
pinch of hot pepper flakes

Put the chicken into your crock pot, mix the remaining ingredients and pour over. Cover with lid and cook on low for 5-6 hours. I like to serve with baked potatoes and a vegetable on the side. Enjoy!

I was first introduced to this when my Aunt would make it, it really is a yummy snack. Over the years, I have changed a few things, but that memory of eating it with them will always be there!

* When I do not have two bags of oyster crackers I add pretzels or chex cereal instead!

Ranch Oyster Crackers 
2 (10 oz.) packages of Oyster crackers
1 pkg. of dry Ranch dressing mix
1 tsp. dill weed
1/2 c. of vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. lemon pepper seasoning
Pour the crackers into a LARGE pan or into 2 ~ 9″ x 13″ pans. Combine the remaining ingredients and drizzle over top, stir well to combine. Bake @ 250¬į for 40 minutes, stir after 20. Dump onto paper bags to cool. Enjoy.¬†

Recipe adapted from the recipe my Aunt Jen shared with me years ago.

Mock White Castles & Strawberry Pretzel Fluff

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Aldi sale time!!
Sale runs from June 13 – June 19.

*Clancy’s Pretzels Thins are $1.29 a bag, grab those along with a 16 oz. pkg of Strawberries for $1.19 and you well on your way to having ¬†Strawberry Pretzel Fluff…now you just need to make it! ūüôā
* Kings Hawaiian Sweet Rolls make EXCELLENT little sandwiches for kids, mine just love them! They are $2.29 this week. I use them to make Mock White Castles.
*Fit & Active Ranch Dressing is $1.29. Why not give Ranch Potatoes a try this week!??!
* Kirkwood fresh chicken breasts are $1.99 lb. We like Chili Mozzarella Chicken, you might too!

(I hope you can see what I am trying to do here, as my recipe “collection” grows I hope to give you a recipe to go with each sale item. When I cannot come up with a new recipe to match a sale item I will simply give you a recipe using Aldi items. I know a lot of us shop and love Aldi, so I hope you all enjoy this…as I do. Please share and pass this on with your friends and family if you know they like Aldi too! Also, if you have a recipe you care to share, I will make it and post it!! ūüôā just send it to favoritefamilyfoods@hotmail.com, this is OPEN to anyone ~friends, family, even those of you I don’t know! Thanks, hope your spring is going well!!)

I grew up eating Mock White Castles, it was one of my favorite dinners and now the same can be said for my kids! This is a great meal that can be put together early in the day, just be sure to wrap it up well in foil and chill till ready to warm. ¬†IF it is too hot to turn the oven on ~ then warm it on the grill on low till heated through. (Watch that the bottoms do not get TOO toasty though!) In all truthfulness, these buns shown are not Kings Hawaiian. I had what I had and I used it (more on those buns later in another post!!) You can use any “dinner” type roll you want, my preference is the sweeter Hawaiian Roll~ (I have a thing for salty/sweet as you can see from the Strawberry Pretzel Recipe as well!) ~ THAT is why I wanted to get this recipe out to you all so that you can pick up a pack of rolls and try it out for yourself!!!…if you want! (You may also use the Sarah Lee brand dinner rolls or Pepperidge Farm brand, neither are at Aldi though…)

Mock White Castles  
1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 pkg. onion soup mix
1 pkg. dinner rolls (a 12 pack)
american cheese slices
dill pickle slices
Mix beef and soup mix and spread thinly onto a jelly roll pan with sides! Press it to be a good couple inches BIGGER than the pkg. of buns itself…remember that meat shrinks! Bake @ 350* for 15-20 minutes. Cut into 12 squares or rectangles to fit your buns, no need for perfection..trust me, it WILL not happen, they will be uneven I am convinced of this ~ or maybe you are just better at cutting then me! Put meat squares on buns and then put 1/4 slice of ¬†american cheese on top of meat, then a couple dill pickle slices on top of cheese. At this point I wrap well in foil and chill OR put them right in the oven to warm. For fresh made, warm about 10 minutes @ 350* and if they were made earlier in the day that need to be heated for about 20-25 minutes (check to be sure your bottom buns are not burning). Enjoy!

Recipe from Mom W.

This is one good salad, a wonderful summer salad. Way up there in my family’s favorite foods list. I call it a salad, it could be called a dessert…na…make it for dinner and serve the leftovers for dessert IF there are any!! I like that idea….

Strawberry Pretzel Fluff  
1 1/2 c. coarsely crushed pretzels
1/2 c. melted butter
1/2 c. sugar
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. sugar
2 c. fresh strawberries, sliced (I use more IF I have it)
12 oz. Cool Whip
In a bowl, combine the crushed pretzels, butter and 1/2 c. sugar. Mix and press into a 9″ x 13″ pan, bake @ 400* for about 7 minutes. Cool. In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and the other 1/2 c. sugar till creamy. Fold in strawberries and Cool Whip. Break pretzels up into small pieces ¬†and fold in JUST before serving to keep them crunchy. Yum. Enjoy.

Recipe adapted from Hull PRCS Cookbook.

Meatloaf Cordon Blue and Butter Baked Rice

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We like Chicken Cordon Blue and we like meatloaf, I knew this would be a winning recipe the second I read it. A friend shared with me some recipes that she found on Facebook and this was one of them. So nice to have friends to share recipes with!¬† Not much to say here. Just that it was enjoyed by my whole family. ūüôā

* Most meatloafs have a sauce or something on top,¬†didn’t¬†think a sauce would be¬†quite right. BUT ¬†I did think that the top looked a bit boring ~ so I topped it with Parmesan cheese and Italian Seasoning and it made a simply lovely crust. *UPDATE* See sauce recipe below………

* I pressed mine a bit thinner then I was supposed to, so I formed it into a log and put in a greased 9″ x 13″ pan. Since it was longer and thinner I baked it for only 1 hour. IF you do it in the loaf pan I am fairly certain you WILL need to bake it the full 1 hour and 15 minutes.

*I used ground pork. That is what I had. Near the end of the post look for an idea for what to do with the leftovers……..

Meatloaf  Cordon Blue

2 lb. ground beef (I used ground pork)

1 c. Italian Seasoned Bread crumbs

1 onion, chopped

2 eggs

1/8 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. salt

4 oz. thin sliced ham

4 oz. provolone cheese slices

Parmesan Cheese (my addition)

Italian seasoning (my addition)

Sauce (opt.):

1 – 8 oz cream cheese cubed

3/4 c. Parmesan cheese, shredded not powder

1/2 c. butter

1/2 c. milk

For sauce ~ In sauce pan stir together until smooth. I use abt 1/3 c to pour over the top of the load, then make 3/4 box fettucine noodles to use the rest of the sauce with!:)

Mix the ground beef, bread crumbs, onions, eggs, garlic and salt well. Put on a piece of WAX paper and pat to 1/2″ thick. Layer the ham on top, then the cheese. Roll up like a log and seal edges as best you can ~ THOUGH the cheesy crispyness that oozed out was SO tasty ~ and put in 9″ x 5″ loaf pan. Top with Parmesan¬†cheese and seasoning. Bake at 350* for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

For sauce ~ In sauce pan mix the cream cheese, butter,  Parmesan cheese and milk  and stir together until smooth. Pour about 1/3 c.  over the top of the meatloaf (do this during the last 15 minutes of cooking), then toss the rest of the sauce with about 8 oz. of cooked fettucine.

Or serve with  Butter Baked Rice and ENJOY!

I was having a simply lovely conversation about rice the other day, yeah rice. Kathy shared a recipe with me and I thought it was be perfectly suited for this dish. It was a great pairing. This rice is easy to prepare and cooks right along with your main dish, which in my book earns it an A+.

              * At my best uneducated guess this dish serves 4. One batch fed my family just right, but if your family goes for a LOT of rice, you  may want to double.

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† *This tip from Kathy was helpful for me. Use enough parsley so that you can see green throughout the whole dish. It was a very “pretty” rice…IF rice can be pretty.

               *If you do not have chicken broth go ahead and use 2 cubes if bouillon dissolved in 1 3/4 c. water. Worked great!

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† * Don’t have your heat¬†on high when you are cooking the rice with the butter. I did and one of my boys came to my and said “mom your spaghetti is jumping!” Well, yes, it was, the rice was popping RIGHT out of the pan. Oops.

Butter Baked Rice

2 tsp. salt

2 c. water

1 c. long grain rice

1/3 c. butter

dash of garlic salt

1 (13 3/4 oz.) can of chicken broth

parsley

Combine the salt and water. Bring to a boil and pour over rice. Let stand 30 minutes. Rinse with cold water. Melt the butter and add the rice. Cook till butter is all absorbed, this will take about 5 minutes. Put in greased casserole dish, 1-2 qt. dish would be fine. Top with garlic salt and broth. Cover and bake at 325* for 45 minutes. Add parsley and fluff (I love that word, such a good visual….sorry…) with fork. Bake, uncovered, for 10 more minutes. Serve. Enjoy.

Meatloaf Cordon Blue recipe from a friend via Facebook, origin unknown.

Rice recipe from Kathy.

Thank you to all favoritefamilyfoods e-mail followers. I HOPE you are enjoying, I am! I do not what you to be overwhelmed by the recipes coming 2-3 times a week right now. My intent is NOT to annoy you, my intent it to build a nice variety of recipes so that people have something to browse through. After 2-3 weeks my goal it to do 1-2 recipes a week…depending on if I make anything good! ūüôā Thanks for the great comments and please¬†keep ’em coming!¬†¬†Remember your comments are enjoyed and helpful to some who are looking to make something new. IF you made it and have a suggestion to make it easier or better, by all means comment! If you love it, dislike it,¬†drool over it, gag on it, whatever! ¬†I am not offended, in fact it may help me too! Ask questions, maybe you are wondering about a recipe you would like to make…whatever. I am NO expert IN FACT I botched dinner tonight….you will see that one in¬†some other post! Hey and feel free to share this with others!¬† Anyways. Thanks to you all! ENJOY! Bobbi

Here is a way to use your leftover Meatloaf IF you used pork!¬† ūüôā Slice it thin and put in on an egg sandwich!