Confessions of an Unintentional Domestic Goddess

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Hamburger Soup

I know, I am so sorry, I feel like I’ve completely neglected my duties here. I’ve been working really hard and taking the easy route way too often. Don’t be like me. I have had this recipe for a while, but as with things, I forgot about it until someone mentioned it. Ah, yes. I need to make some. No, it’s not like a hamburger in soup form. It is soup with hamburger (read ground beef) in it. I think it was originally titled “Steak Soup” meaning ground steak, but since I’m poor, it’s hamburger!

I actually got this originally from my cousin’s grandmother. Wait, how is she not my grandmother too? Oh, right, because she is the mother of my Aunt, who was married to my Uncle-dad’s brother. Are you confused yet? I am. I need to sit down. Anyway, she made this and I loved it and I begged her to share the recipe. I bet my cousin, Steph will remember it! I love it, it’s hearty, delish, reheats well and makes a big batch. I did change up a few things from Grandma Bunny’s original just to make things a little easier and quicker on the preparation, but without changing the taste.

Hamburger soup

Hamburger soup

Hamburger Soup

1/2 stick butter
1C flour
1C onion diced
1C celery sliced
1 pkg frozen mixed vegetables 10-12oz (steam in bag)
1lb ground beef
2tbsp beef base
1 can diced tomatoes
1lb potatoes, peeled and cubed
8C water

Directions:
1. Brown ground beef with onions. Drain and set aside.
2. Melt butter and mix with flour to make a roux (a giant ball of flour goo).
3. Stir well and cook slightly.
4. Add water gradually, using a whisk to break up clumps and help blend water & roux
5. Cook frozen steam in bag vegetables.
6. Add all veggies, meat, beef base and tomatoes bring to a boil and drop temp and simmer until veggies are tender, approximately 30min-1hr, or until done.

I just really love this soup. It’s very hearty. The picture doesn’t adequately show all the yumminess, but you’ll love it!

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The Cheesiest Scalloped Potatoes….EVER

Happy Easter! I hope you had a wonderful day. From a Catholic family, today is a pretty big deal. The end of a 50 day long journey from Fat Tuesday and Ash Wednesday, to Holy Thursday, Good Friday and today. I always feel so humbled and grateful for the sacrifices made so long ago for people who weren’t even born yet. It’s a very emotional holiday. But even if you’re not terribly religious, chances are, you had some sort of get together today, and it probably involved food of varying types and quantities. I actually toned it down this year and went for a more minimalist approach. I bought an amazing ham from HoneyBaked Ham. Of course there were deviled eggs. And I found some gorgeous asparagus to go with it, that I simply steamed and put some butter on after cooking (it’s delish that way, just clean and simple). The final dish, my piece de resistance, was my first attempt at scalloped potatoes. I have to admit, I was a bit nervous, putting a new dish on the table for Easter not having prepared it before. And yes, I did throw out my disclaimer “It’s a new recipe, if it sucks it’s not my fault.”

I have to apologize. I’ve been such a slacker lately with the pictures. Today, it quite literally was gone before I could even think of grabbing my camera! Well, that and the splatters on the top of the pan were pretty brown and yucky looking. Not exactly what I want to share. So here’s what I did. It was very simple and basic, but you could taste the cheese and the potatoes, comfort food supreme.

Cheesiest Scalloped Potatoes

5 lg russet potatoes, peeled & sliced thinly
4-1/2 tbsp. butter
4-1/2 tbsp. flour
3 C 2% milk
1/2 tsp salt
12oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese
salt & pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Spray 2-1/2 to 3QT casserole dish with cooking spray, be sure to spray up the sides as well as the bottom. Layer half the potatoes in the bottom of the casserole. Sprinkle a handful of the shredded cheese over the potatoes.

2. In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter. Add in salt & flour. Stir with a whisk and let cook for one minute. Pour in milk and continue stirring, until sauce begins to thicken.

3. Add in remaining cheese and stir until completely melted. Pour half over bottom layer of potatoes in casserole dish. Layer remaining potatoes on top, pour the rest of the cheese sauce over the potatoes.

4. Cover and bake for 1-1/2 hrs.

This recipe makes a very cheesey batch of potatoes that will amaze and astound your friends and family. The dish I made this in was quite literally scraped clean before it even hit the sink!

Enjoy!

Oh, in case you couldn’t tell, this is a very unhealthy, high fat, high calorie dish. It’s oh so good, but just don’t eat it thinking you’re doing something healthy!

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Cheaters Chicken and Dumplings

I love me some chicken and dumplings, but have never attempted making it. The only times I’ve ever had it, it’s been prepared by a little old lady and I know for a fact, these little ladies take hours to boil the chicken, bone the chicken, make the dumplings-by hand-from scratch. And I’m also pretty certain there’s no real recipe involved. One main reason I have not attempted, I am impatient to the 10th degree, so there is no way I am going to undertake a recipe that will take me that long. Imagine my joy coming across a recipe, which I immediately altered, that would yield the delicious, golden comfort food in my crock pot! AAAAAAHHHH a choir of angels singing in the back ground! So, here is my version, which turned out incredibly well. So well in fact I will be making this again, with one minor alteration: more chicken broth. I used all I had, but another can I think would’ve made it perfect.

Cheaters Chicken and Dumplings

1lb boneless skinless chicken cut into 1″ pieces

2 cans cream of chicken soup

1 can chicken broth

1 can water

1 onion finely chopped

2 tsp pepper (if desired)

1 can refrigerated biscuits (10 count) torn

Step 1.  place everything into a 4 qt slow cooker and mix.

Step 2. cook on high 4 to 5 hours (or low 6 to 8 hours-while you’re at work), or until chicken is cooked through. Stir after 2 to 3 hours.

Step 3. thirty min prior to eating, put torn biscuits into the crock pot and stir to make sure biscuits don’t stick together.

Step 4. ladle into bowls and serve with biscuits or crusty bread.

Soup is very creamy, if you like it to be a bit thinner, add a second can of chicken broth (I will next time). To cut some calories, next time I will use the reduced fat version of cream of chicken soup and reduced fat biscuits. That will cut some of the guilt, but not much of the flavor.

MMMMM perfect for a busy work day and cold weather. Yum-o-rama!

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Adventures with Mac N Cheese

After being snowed in for a week now, I think I’ve made nearly every single comfort food in my recipe box. Except this one. I have never attempted home made mac n cheese. My kids have always been perfectly content with the blue box kind. I of course, jazz it up a bit w/extra cheese, but it’s still powdered cheese stuff that’s the base. Last night I made goulash, the easy version-spaghetti sauce w/elbow macaroni, hardly worth noting, except that I had quite a bit of cooked macaroni leftover and didn’t want to throw it out. Fast forward to today. I open the fridge, see the pasta and a light bulb comes on, *DING*, and yes, light bulbs do make that noise, didn’t you know? I scoured the internet for a recipe and kind of used one and added a few of my own things. As usual. So, here’s what I did.

1-1/2 to 2 C uncooked macaroni

3 tbsp flour

5 tbsp butter, divided

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1-1/2 C 2% milk

4 oz shredded kojack cheese

2 oz-ish processed cheese (I used Velveeta)

3 tbsp plain bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 375F

Cook pasta according to pkg instructions. Drain.

In a small sauce pan, melt butter. Add flour, salt and pepper and stir well. Gradually add in milk and stir well. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until just thickened. Add cheeses and stir until melted.

Add cooked pasta to pot with cheese sauce and mix well.

Pour into 2qt greased baking dish.

Melt last 1tbsp butter and mix with bread crumbs. Sprinkle over mac n cheese and bake uncovered for 30 min, or until heated thru and crust is golden brown.

Oh man, this is so good, but I’ll tell you now, it’s really rich, so beware!

I promise, I’ll post a pic later!

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Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Oh man. This was so delicious and so easy, I had to share. It was perfect for this cold weather we’ve been having.  And I didn’t have to mess with it all day long, what could be better?

YUMMMMMM

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

1 lb stew meat

1 medium onion chopped

4 medium sized red potatoes, peeled and cubed

4 to 5 carrots peeled and sliced

1 bag (12oz) frozen mixed vegetables (corn, carrots, peas, green beans)

1 can tomato sauce (8 oz)

2 bay leaves

1/4 C dry red wine

5 tbsp beef broth

2 C water

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

2 tsp Italian seasoning

1. brown stew meat and onion in a skillet. Drain.

2. Parboil fresh potatoes and carrots until partially cooked. Drain.

3. microwave frozen vegetables according to pkg directions.

4. In 4 qt slow cooker, place all ingredients and stir to blend. Cook on high for 7 hrs, then turn to low until meat is tender and all veggies are cooked. Remove bay leaves. Serve with crusty bread or biscuits.

Wanna bite? Come on over!

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