Shepard’s Pieish type recipe

I have no idea when I found this recipe.  It’s been in the arsenal for a bit of time.  I finally bought some ground meat to be able to make it.  I took a few shortcuts with it that made it a less labor intensive recipe

Ingredients (Forgot the potatoes).  The barley malt was a replacement for molasses.  The canned tomatoes and frozen onions stood in place for the fresh.  Quite frankly, I was feeling a little lazy and these were both cheaper options.
BPP_Ingredients

First things is to cook the potatoes.  The recipe called for 2 pounds.  This was a little under and was almost too much
BPP_DrainingPotatoes

And make mashed potatoes out of them.  The recipe called for the potatoes to me made with oil and the water the potatoes were boiled in.  That didn’t sound very good to me, how about you?  I decided to go ahead and make real mashed with milk, butter, and salt.  I mashed them with a hand masher instead of mixers so it would have a little more texture.
BPP_MashedPotatoes

The onion gets cooked until softened and add the beef.  Next comes the tomatoes and everything gets cooked together
BPP_Beef

While that’s cooking, you make a sauce out of all the wet ingredients
BPP_Sauce

Add that to the beef mixture for the base of the recipe.
BPP_FinishedFilling

This is another place I went different than the recipe.  It said to add the beef to a casserole dish and top with the potatoes before broiling.  I don’t know what your casserole dishes are like, but I am almost positive that mine say no broiler.  I decided to just use the skillet as a casserole dish.  I knew it would be fine in the oven since cast iron is used in direct fires (thank you cooking channels)
BPP_ReadyToBake

I used a fork and made some indentations in the potato so that it would look a little better after browning.
BPP_Baked

Close up and close up with a flash.  I am not sure which one looks better, but I liked them both.  Looking at them side by side like this, though, the one with the flash looks better
BPP_UpClose BPP_UpClose_Flash

I made it into an 8 serving cut because it is just easier for me to cut anything that way.  I ate it with a garlic cheddar biscuit.
BPP_Plated

I really liked the recipe.  It was a little sweet, but balanced by the potatoes very well.  I think adding some heat to the beef mixture would make this even better.  I am considering making my sloppy joe recipe as the base next time.  Something easy and even though it seems common, something I never would have thought of to start myself.  Sometimes the easy answerers aren’t always the ones that come to mind first.

Last Granola Recipe…..for now :)

This is the final recipe for granola that I planned on making.  I would have made it sooner, but I had problems finding the Dark Chocolate Covered Raisinets.  I decided to stock up on all the ingredients for all the granola recipies, since I couldn’t find the raisinets for so long.  Of course, I couldn’t find the stupid cherries this time *SIGH*

Ingredients
TCG_Ingredients

Mixing the chocolatey sauce.  I had to nuke it a little bit because my brown sugar was a little old.  If I didn’t, it wasn’t going to end up a nice smooth sauce.
TCG_Chocolaty Sauce

I really struggled to get it all mixed up again.  I need a special granola mixing class or something.  I still got it mixed and spread out to bake.  You can see that I still missed a few places.  I really didn’t notice when I was eating it.
TCG_ReadyToBake

Add Ins.  I decided to throw the rest of the cherries in because there wasn’t enough to make even a half recipe of the nutella granola.
TCG_AddIns

Add ins in with the hot granola.  I have gotten used to having nice chocolatey chunky granola that I went ahead and put all the add ins on the hot granola.
TCG_MeltingAddIns

Mixed
TCG_Mixed

This is where it gets weird.  I tried the granola on the night I made it and it actually tasted sour.  I could figure out what happened.  The only thing I could think of was that I forgot the salt.  Is salt the opposite of sour?  Regardless, I let it cool completely and put it in a container.  It still tasted ok, just a bad after taste.  I figured that I would be able to mix it with some granola and call it good.

Fast forward a couple days.  I opened the container and grabbed a piece.  I kept munching at it, expecting that sour to hit me, but it never did!!  Maybe it needed a rest time?  No matter, it was really good.  The granola itself (without the chocolate parts) reminds me of the nature valley chocolate granola bars.  I loved it.  I have no idea what happened between the baking and the snacking.  I don’t know if I want to know.  I do know that I need more containers to hold all the granola I plan on making – lol

Snow with a side of Chicken and Rice

This weekend, something weird happened here in North Cackalacky.
CR_Snow

I planned on making Chicken and Rice casserole that I found here then, but the chicken from the freezer didn’t thaw – lol.  Nothing better than a nice warm casserole on a cold day.  Too bad the snow was melted by the next day (facepalm).  I ended up making it a few nights later

Ingredients for the soup part
CR_Ingredients

Ingredients for the rest of the casserole
CR_Ingredients2

I didn’t have a 9in pan so, I replaced it with this.  I figured if it was a 9×9 pan and this one was an 8×10, it was only 1 inch off.
CR_Pan

The soup cooked.  I am such a fan of cream of chicken that I drink it without actually using it to cook.  This version of the soup isn’t something that I would eat alone, but I thought it would be good in a casserole.
CR_CookingDSoup

Mix it with the rinsed rice and the seasoning and you get…….something that looks exactly the same (facepalm)
CR_Mixed

Ready to bake.  Yea, this really didn’t look like the picture from the website.  I was hoping it was because of the size of the pan and it would all turn out ok.
CR_ReadyToBake

This is what happened when it was done.  Soup skin.  So appetizing, right?
CR_Baked

Next steps were to shred the chicken.  I had some issues with the shredding and mixing it, but this is what it looked like after.  A little closer to the picture on the website, but still a lot more wet.  Kind of savory rice pudding with chicken.
CR_Shredded_Done

Close up (just because it’s cool 😉 )
CR_Closeup

It wasn’t a bad recipe, just a lot more soupie than I expected.  The picture on the recipe looked drier….in a good way – lol – I promise!  I, again, made the whole recipe and have 8 total servings of it to fit into my eating plan.  The good thing is that it is low calorie, the bad thing is that when reheating, it was really gluey.  I also added WAY too much pepper, but that’s my fault.  Maybe I didn’t cook the soup long enough?  Not sure.  I honestly don’t know if I will try it again, but definitely not if it gets warm.  Winter is almost over down here 🙂

The cycle begins again!!

Like many people out there, I am struggling with my weight.  Now, don’t look back at the recipes and go “Duh!” – lol.  I actually fit all the stuff on this site into my eating plan.  What I haven’t been doing is tracking my calories at all.  No measuring of the snacks that you don’t see on the site (including devouring an entire bag of chips over the course of one day 😳 ).  Running through fast food because I have that urge (especially after drinking).  I have let it run wild in the past couple months and ended up gaining 15 pounds on top of the 35 that I had to lose in the first place.

Well, I stepped on the scale yesterday, got depressed, got some fast food for both lunch and dinner.  Yea, that helped right?  I decided in the middle of dinner that this would be my last hurrah of eating what I wanted.  I got up after, made myself a healthy breakfast for today, got some pasta and made lunch for today and tomorrow (if not more).  I wasn’t planning on going back to tracking calories, but I mentally smacked myself in the back of the head and I got on the tracker and reset it all.  I knew the pasta wasn’t going to be exact, but at least I was trying again.

You probably won’t see much change in the content here, but I wanted to put it out there and have other people know.  More accountability.  I won’t bore you with all the details – just bitching and moaning here and there 😀

Hope everyone has a good week!

Brinner Part 2

Pancakes, like waffles, seem to be an endless struggle for me unless I make them with bisquick.  I was going to use the dry mix cookbook and make it from there, but the more I looked at the leftover mix from the “bread”, the more I didn’t want to take the chance.  I looked in the King Arthur cookbook and found a recipe – figured why not.  Thankfully, I only made a half a recipe.  The original made 16 pancakes.

Ingredients.  I used Cinnamon Sugar instead of just plain sugar.
P_Ingredients

The recipe said to take the liquid ingredients and beat until foamy.  I never thought that I would be able to get it foamy.
P_BeatTillFoamy

Batter mixed
P_AllMixed

See the batter?  The recipe said that it would thicken while sitting or overnight.  I don’t know how long they wanted you to let it to sit, but it never thickened.  Maybe I was supposed to put it in the fridge while waiting?

Cooking.  It was soooo thin, I couldn’t believe it.
P_Cooking

I used the last of the batter to make a really big pancake for brinner.
P_Mondo P_Plated

It was such a weird pancake.  It was thin, but meaty?  No, that’s not the right word.   Toothsome?  Is that a real word?  Firefox isn’t saying it’s bad 😉  It tasted like it should be a fluffy pancake, but it was thin.  It wasn’t easy to cut with a fork.  It wasn’t a bad flavor, but it just wasn’t a really good texture.  Maybe kind of like the Picnic Wraps I made, but squishier.  I also don’t like the fact that they tell you what temperature an electric griddle should be, but no clue as to what to set the stove burner to.  I don’t think I will try this particular recipe again.  Now, the pancake recipe search begins…..

Brinner Part 1

I love sausage.  (don’t make it dirty 😛 ) I try to be healthy and get turkey sausage, but it’s so expensive.  I am always nervous about trying recipes online because I don’t know what seasonings in the pork sausage I love so much.  I saw this one and it was pretty reasonable, so I figured I would give it a try

Ingredients.  I didn’t add maple syrup becasue I never buy maple sausage.  I left out the nutmeg because I have never been a fan of that.  And I just forgot about the cloves.  I don’t know if it is a seasoning I like or not, but it just makes me think of the cigarettes that I smoked in college…not too appealing
S_Ingredients

Patties made.  Yep – they changed color.  Not to worry, though, it’s just the sage.
S_Patties

Cooking
S_Cooking

Finished
S_Done

I was surprised that it really didn’t have much of a taste.  It was a little dry, but that was my fault for cooking them a little too long.  I didn’t let the skillet heat up enough to get a good sear.  I was really surprised at the lack of taste to them considering how many seasonings are used.  I only left out two – did they really make such a difference?  I ate them with pancakes so I was able to drown it in syrup to eat it.  I am not sure what to do with the rest of them.  I still have some pancakes left that I can eat them with, but that will probably leave me with about 4 patties to do something with.  Maybe an egg muffin sandwich?

If I can find the seasonings in Jimmy Dean sausage, I would never have to buy it again!!  🙂

Homemade Hamburger Helper

I’m going to tell you a secret – we never really had hamburger helper growing up.  I vaguely remember eating it once, but it was coupled with the flu and unpleasant circumstances.  My mother did a lot of cooking and we really didn’t eat too many boxed items.  Potatoes, maybe some mac and cheese (but not the powder kind).  I came across this and it seemed simple and quick with common ingredients.  I have made a couple recipes from the site that were wildly successfully, so I jumped in.

Ingredients.  I replace the elbows with some mini rotini.  I NEVER have elbows.  I don’t know why.  They just aren’t the one I always reach for when I am shopping.  Gimme twisty any day :).  I also ran out of paprika a while ago and I forgot.  I forged ahead because I am not sure what it adds to a dish – lol
HHH_Ingredients

Using the new cast iron dutch oven to cook it 🙂
HHH_CookingBeefInCastIron

Adding the seasonings.  Whenever I am adding seasoning to meat with liquid, I always add the dry first and make sure that it is evenly coated.  I know it doesn’t make much of a difference when this much liquid is added, but with tacos, it definitely makes a difference
HHH_Seasonging

Everything but the cheese added and waiting for the boil.  I originally was going to only add about 6.5 ounces of pasta because mine was smaller, but then it didn’t look like enough so I added more.  Thank goodness, too.
HHH_Waitingtoboil

(can I just show you a really cook picture of the boiling???  😉 )
HHH_Boil

A picture of it right after the timer went off.  I cooked it for about 10 minutes.  8 probably would have worked, but the pasta was still good.
HHH_AlmostDone

Added the cheese and mixed it all up.  I tasted it and it didn’t taste like enough cheese.  I added the rest of the bar and mixed it again.
HHH_Cheese HHH_Upclose

It was still missing something, but I couldn’t pin it down.  I put it in some containers – I got 6 cups easy, so I made it into 6 servings.
HHH_Plated

I started eating and was trying to figure what was missing.  It hit me – salt.  It needed more salt.  I added the whole abount in the recipe (for once), but it was just not enough.  It was an ok meal.  I don’t think there is a single thing wrong with the recipe, but it was more me.  I don’t think I ever eat beef with pasta unless it is mixed into a tomato sauce.  It’s just the fact that I don’t know what to expect with hamburger helper and I was expecting something different.  From what I remember, though, it does taste like it.  I actually may try this again, but use turkey dinner sausage.  I think that would be more my style.

PS – Any other bloggers out there have problems with coming up with names of posts?  I mean, I could always just use the recipe name, but that’s not always very interesting.  I couldn’t think of anything else to call this one, though, so recipe name it was.