Monday, February 27, 2017

Ground Beef Scalloped Potatoes

I don't have time for too many more of these nice wintry comfort food meals. It's been in the 80s here already and it's only February! I adapted this from a recipe I found on pinterest (taking out all signs of mushrooms). My family loved it! It is a bit of prep work, bit was totally worth it for the responses I got. If you have a mandoline, I recommend using that to slice your potatoes because it's fast and makes them all uniform in thickness. I have a CHEAP one (like $5, see pic at bottom) that works just fine and I cut my potatoes on the thinnest setting which looks like 1/8 of an inch. Might be good with bacon...just saying.

Ground Beef Scalloped Potatoes
adapted from 
1 lb. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
3 cups thinly sliced potatoes
¼ cup butter
¼ cup flour
3/4 cup milk
1 cup beef broth (or water and bouillon)
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a 8 x 12in. baking dish.
 2. In medium skillet, cook the onions and ground meat, seasoned with salt and pepper. Once meat is browned, mix in 1/2 tsp garlic powder and 1 tsp paprika. Drain the grease, remove meat mixture from pan and set aside.
3. In the same pan, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly add milk and beef broth, blending well and bring to a boil, whisking the entire time. Add 1 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of pepper. Once the mixture comes to a boil again, whisk just until thickened--anywhere from 2-5 minutes
 4. Layer into the baking dish 1/3 of the potatoes, then spread 1/3 of the soup mixture over the potatoes. Sprinkle on 1/3 of the meat mixture, and top with 1/2 cup of cheese. Repeat layers with another 1/3 of the potatoes, soup, meat and then the cheese. Finish with one more set of layers in same order.
5. Spray a sheet of foil with cooking spray and cover baking dish, spray side down. Bake for 45 min, then remove the foil and bake for 15 more. Stick a fork in to see if the potatoes are soft, if not add 5 more minutes.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Instant Pot Broccoli and Cheddar Pasta

I bought an Instant Pot a few months ago and have been collecting dinner recipes. Here's my first one! This can be a side or you can add chicken to make it a one pot meal. When I add chicken, I cook
a couple of frozen chicken breasts on high pressure with 2 cups of water for 15 min. Then I remove them and use the pot for the pasta. You can even measure out the leftover water that the chicken cooked in, and use that too. Makes a lot! Feeds my family of 6 with leftovers.

Instant Pot Broccoli and Cheddar Pasta
adapted from
16oz pasta (I like penne, rotini, or farfalle)
4 cups water
1 16oz bag frozen broccoli
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup milk OR half and half
1 tsp of salt
Pepper to taste

1. Place pasta and 4 cups of water in Instant Pot. Dump bag of frozen broccoli on top of pasta. Do not stir.
2. Turn pot on manual HIGH pressure for 4 minutes. After it has finished, do a quick release.
3. Turn pot to saute. Add in milk, cheese, salt and pepper. Stir until cheese is melted.

Add chopped cooked chicken if desired.