Friday, January 28, 2011

Tatertot Casserole

I decided that I'm going to only be posting when I have something to share that I want to share. I don't really like the pressure of posting frequently just to have posts up. It makes me feel like I have to post whatever I make, even if I don't completely love the recipe. Plus I'm only cooking 50% of the time since I'm living with my in-laws. So sorry if posts are a bit more sparatic.

Anyways, this recipe comes from my MIL Schenk Family cookbook. I never had tatertot casserole before I lived with my inlaws, but when my MIL cooked it for dinner one night, I fell in love! (In fact I had a craving for it during the last couple of weeks, so I finally made it for dinner last night!) In the cookbook it was titled "Finicky Kids Casserole", so obviously this was someone's solution to getting their kids to actually eat their dinner. It can be a little on the saltier side (but not super bad) so I would use low sodium soup to help cut the salt. Something that I'll try next time is instead of layering the ground beef, tatertots and soups, I am going to mix them up together and then add the cheese on top. The reason being just that when I made it, the cream of chicken soup didn't go all the way to the meat and so the meat didn't really "stick" to the rest of the casserole (Plus it would make it less noticeable if I were to reduce the ground beef to 1 lb.). Also, you could probably use whatever cream soups you have on hand. I was thinking it might be fun to try a cream of celery with a cream of mushroom. However you make it, I hope you enjoy this too!

Tatertot Casserole

1-1/2 pounds ground beef

1 medium onion, chopped

1 large pkg. tatertots (My package was 32 oz.)

2 cans cream of chicken soup, undiluted

1-1/2 c. cheddar cheese, grated

1 pkg. Lipton Onion Soup

Brown beef and chopped onion; drain well. Spread in a 9X13" pan. Sprinkle onion soup mix over beef. Evenly distribute tatertots over onion. Spoon soup over potatoes. Sprinkle cheese over top and bake for 35-45 minutes at 350* F (I baked mine for a little more than 45 minutes and it was perfect. Just make sure the casserole is warm all the way through and that the tatertots aren't raw.)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Pear Scones

I made these this morning for breakfast. They're quick and easy and only use one pear--which makes them great in my book! (I like having pears to eat fresh too!) I found this off of

1 3/4 c. flour
1/3 c. packed brown sugar
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/3 c. butter, chilled
1 egg
1/2 c. half-and-half
1 chopped pear

1. Preheat oven to 375*.
2. Sift together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in large bowl. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly texture. In separate bowl, whisk together egg and half-and-half. Add to the flour mixture until combined. Stir in pear.
3. On lightly floured surface, turn out dough. Pat down until it's about 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick. Cut into triangles or rounds and place on ungreased baking sheet.
4. Bake until golden brown (about 15 minutes); rest briefly on a cooling rack before serving. Serve with butter and honey or any jam.

Note: Instead of half-and-half, I used evaporated milk, which, by the way, you can make from dry milk by mixing together 2/3 c. with 3/4 c. water. (Makes 1 cup.) I also added chopped walnuts. They were really good!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Marinated Pork Chops

We made these for dinner last month and I've been meaning to post them because they were sooo good! In fact, my almost-1-year-old picked all the meat out of his dinner and ate it before he ate anything else. The recipe comes from a family friend that gave me the recipe at my bridal shower a little over 3 years ago. I did grill the chops, but you could also bake them (since I know not everywhere has weather condusive to grilling in the middle of winter!). I would probably bake them at 375*F for about 45 minutes- I'm guessing at the time. Just make sure that the juices run clear and the meat is cooked through. Or if you are a broiler pro (I am not) you could also broil the chops. However you cook them, these will be sure to please!

Marinated Pork Chops

4 boneless pork loin chops (you could use any cut of pork chop)
1 cup apple cider
2 Tbl brown sugar
1 Tbl Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp garlic powder

Mix the marinade together, add the chops and marinate 4-6 hours. Bake till juice runs clear or grill!
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