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.

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