Cheeseburger macaroni

I found this recipe at KevinandAmanda.com and it is such a keeper! I’ve made it three times already, and it easily converts to a freezer meal — something I’ll be needing before too much longer with baby girl on the way. It’s got a little kick of spice to it without being overwhelming, and it’s just such a comfort food. It’s everything you wanted that supper-in-a-box to be. 😉

Cheeseburger macaroni

Ingredients

    • 1 lb lean hamburger meat
    • 1 pkg taco seasoning
    • 1 can Ro*tel
    • 2 cups beef broth or water
    • 1 cup elbow macaroni
For the sauce:
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Instructions

  1. Brown the hamburger meat and drain off any grease, then stir in taco seasoning, Ro*tel, broth or water and macaroni. Bring to a boil then turn down to medium/low and cover; simmer for about 12 minutes or until macaroni is tender
  2. While it’s simmering, make the cheese sauce: in a saucepan melt the butter then whisk in the flour. Cook while whisking for about five minutes until the roux turns light brown, then keep whisking while you pour in the milk and bring to a boil. Keep whisking (see a trend?) until the mixture is smooth and thick, then remove from heat and stir in the cheddar cheese till it’s completely melted in. Add in the salt and pepper, then pour over the hamburger mixture and stir it all together. Supper is served!

Notes

To make this a freezer meal let the macaroni cook for only about six minutes, but complete other steps as written. Pour the whole thing into a casserole dish then cover with a layer of plastic wrap then a layer of foil; when it’s cooled off, pop it in the freezer. When you’re ready to heat it up, thaw it in the fridge overnight, then bake at 350F for 30 minutes or so until heated through.

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Sweet breakfast polenta

I came across this recipe a while back at Joy the Baker. Comfort food for breakfast? I’m obviously in for that. And I like that it’s something a little different; not that breakfast casserole is anything to turn your nose at (duh), but it’s fun to shake things up every once in a while, right?

Sweet breakfast polenta

Ingredients

  • 1 cup polenta
  • 3 cups cold water
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • sprinkle of cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Measure polenta into a small bowl and add 1 cup cold water; stir and set aside
  2. In a medium saucepan bring 2 cups cold water and 2 cups milk to a low boil; stir in salt, then slowly add the polenta/water mixture, whisking to keep the lumps away
  3. Simmer until the polenta is thickened, stirring frequently; this can take anywhere from 10-40 minutes depending on how coarse your polenta is, so keep an eye on it
  4. Add sugar, vanilla and cinnamon to thickened polenta, then serve topped with milk and an extra little bit of brown sugar (because, hey, why not?)

Keep warm, kids!

Pumpkin muffins

Behold: my breakfast from now till Christmas!

These are such a lovely start to the morning. Warm and comfort food-ey and delicious even without any butter on them. I’m afraid this is another one of my scrawled-on-a-piece-of-paper recipes so I’m not sure where I originally got it, but I’ve been making them forever.

 

Pumpkin muffins

Yield: 36 muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 can pumpkin
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients till just combined — lumps are okay — and fill prepared muffin cups 1/2 to 2/3 full; bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean

Some easy edits if you have the urge to health these up a bit:

  • Cut the sugar — these are lovely and sweet but would still be yummy with less sugar (although when you divide the sugar by 36 muffins it’s not so bad)
  • Replace 1/2 cup of the oil with 1/2 cup applesauce
  • Replace half the flour with whole wheat flour

These freeze wonderfully! I freeze them flat on a cookie sheet then drop them in a zip top bag; I take out one every night and it’s thawed by morning when the coffee is ready. You can also pop it in the microwave for a couple seconds to warm it up. Quick and easy comfort food!

Edited to add 11/12/10: Ooh I just found something! For a decadent version of these involving cream cheese check out these from Family Bites!

Cornbread taco pie

A few months back I tried to make something out of an old cookbook of my mama’s; it was similar to this but used polenta and unseasoned ground beef. It was… dismal. So last night I decided to make up my own version. Success! SO tasty and good gravy it smelled amazing. The Yankee ate three helpings for supper; this counts as a thumbs-up, no?

Cornbread taco pie

Ingredients

  • One pound ground beef
  • One packet taco seasoning
  • Water
  • One cup shredded cheese (I used cheddar)
  • One box Jiffy corn muffin mix
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 eggs

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F
  2. In a deep skillet (I obviously used cast iron) brown up and drain the ground beef; add in taco seasoning and 2/3 cup water and let it simmer (i.e. follow directions on taco seasoning packet)
  3. Mix up Jiffy cornbread according to package directions, but use two eggs instead of one to give yourself a little extra batter
  4. Turn off the heat under the ground beef and sprinkle on shredded cheese; spread cornbread batter over the top and bake at 400F for about 15-20 minutes or until cornbread is lightly browned on top

That’s it! This is perfect for a quick fall supper that tastes like you put hours of work into it. So warm and filling without you actually having to stand over the stove forever and a day. What’s not to love?

Disclaimer: Jiffy cornbread does not know that I exist; I just love the stuff.

Slow cooker pulled pork BBQ

Y’all will not believe how easy this was! The fact that it cooks in the slow cooker is such a bonus, too, because what’s better than coming home to supper already done?

Slow cooker pulled pork BBQ

Ingredients

  • A pork roast
  • Water
  • Salt, plus onion powder, rib rub, or whatever spices sound good
  • BBQ sauce
  • Buns

Instructions

  1. Put pork roast in a slow cooker and sprinkle on salt and whatever spices your little heart desires; I did onion powder and a rib rub Yankee had in the cabinet. Add enough hot water to fully cover the roast and turn the slow cooker on low; ignore it for the next 8-12 hours or so, depending on size
  2. After it’s cooked through remove meat to a cutting board and chop it up, discarding fat and any bone; pour the water out of the slow cooker (pork broth! Feel free to freeze it for later use)
  3. Serve! Either on a plate or on a bun, topped with your favorite BBQ sauce

Notes

Some folks return the chopped meat to the slow cooker and add in BBQ sauce so they can cook together for a bit; I don’t because I find that cooking the BBQ sauce down makes it too sugary

How easy was that? This is great with green beans!

Krispy Kreme chocolate cake

Kiddo’s Aunt Burgle came in town for her birthday this year. Party! We always make Krispy Kreme bread pudding when she’s here but I wanted to up the ante a bit with some chocolate and some icing, it being her birthday and all. Want to try it yourself? Break out your fat pants!

Krispy Kreme chocolate cake

Ingredients

  • 18 chocolate glazed Krispy Kreme donuts (a bit stale if you can stand to let them sit around), cut into chunks
  • Six eggs
  • 2 cans condensed milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 7 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 heaping Tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 3 Tbsp. milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 pound powdered sugar
  • a Bundt pan

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. In a very large bowl thoroughly beat eggs and whisk in salt and condensed milk; stir in donut chunks and let sit for 15 minutes or so, stirring periodically
  3. Grease and flour a Bundt pan (or use an oil-plus-flour spray) and pour donut mixture in; bake for 45 minutes or until set
  4. Toward the end of cooking time make the icing: melt butter in a saucepan and stir in cocoa powder till completely combined; remove from heat and whisk in milk and vanilla, then powdered sugar; keep warm over low heat till needed
  5. Cool cake in pan for ten minutes, then turn onto a plate or rack; immediately pour still-hot icing over top
  6. Reconsider your ban on elastic waist pants

Pimento macaroni and cheese

I love the simplicity of this one-pot macaroni and cheese; however, after 20 hours in the car with Kiddo (who, by the way, was a car-traveling champ) in the last four days I wasn’t really feeling the urge to watch the pot as closely as I would need to in order to avoid a boiled-over-milk scene on the stove.

I also had some pimentos that had ripened in the garden while Kiddo and I were gone.

So I crossed my fingers and totally made up tried this — and it worked!

Pimento macaroni and cheese

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp. all purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. dijon mustard (optional)
  • 1.5 cups dry pasta
  • 2 cups shredded cheese
  • 3 fresh pimentos, peeled (like this, only tiny), seeded and minced

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. In a heavy, oven-safe sauce pot melt butter till foam subsides, then add flour and whisk until fully combined; add milk while whisking and turn off stovetop heat
  3. Stir in salt, mustard, dry pasta, cheese, and pimentos; cover pot and place in oven
  4. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through; top with additional cheese and uncover for the last few minutes if you so desire

That’s it!