Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Homemade Hamburger Helper

 As we work to cut processed foods and anything with MSG out of our diets for the sake of my migraines, I'm trying to turn some of our favorites into something we will enjoy! :)

Here is one of my homemade spices, it cuts down on sodium, it will soon be included as a recipe.

 The finished product, was delicious!

I paired it with a salad, it was a great meal.

Want to make your own hamburger helper?  Here's what you'll need:

Homemade Hamburger Taco Helper:
1# gr beef/turkey
1 pkg taco seasoning
2 C uncooked pasta
8 oz cheese (I used half velveeta & half shredded, you can use cream cheese too!)
2 C frozen corn
1 C onion.

Cook pasta in a separate pan, do not drain.  Brown meat w/onion, sop up any grease or drain off.  Using a slotted spoon scoop noodles from pasta water into beef mixture, you want some of the liquid to come with it.  Add 1/2 - 1 C of water from the pasta to the beef mixture, add taco seasoning, cheese & corn, bring to a boil and cook until cheese is melted and it is thick and creamy.  Enjoy!

You could even make a double of this dish & freeze it if so desired!

Monday, July 23, 2012

How to utilize your grill in the Summer months

In the winter, we keep our house set at 65, most of the time it's below 30 outside and it can be cool in the house, so using the oven, a lot of baking and months of meals are made to keep the house warm.  In the summer, without central air, our house can get pretty warm.  So I utilize the tool we have outside for everything to avoid the oven.

I love fresh in the summer, Squash was on sale, my husband isn't a fan, but me?  Huge fan.  I had made bacon on the grill in our pan the day before.  Once it was done I poured the majority of the bacon grease off and left about a tablespoon on, put the tray in the refrigerator, spread it all over & tossed these on top with some diced onion and garlic salt.

Again, I have a propane grill, nothing fancy, I leave both sides on, both on low of course.

They turned out delicious!

This night was mini meatloafs- from out month of meals, done in disposable mini bread pans, green beans in a bit of that leftover bacon grease and potatoes wrapped in bacon, which is a recipe from my dad.  Delish!  All again done on the grill. 

Another tool that comes in handy on the grill?  My cast iron!  I bake on the grill using this, rosemary salted rolls with chicken. 

Cory and I don't always agree on vegetables, however, these packets, allow me to be creative and give us both what we like.

The carrots were carrot sticks I had left over from lunches, and this allows you to use up whatever might be left in the fridge. 

Potatoes for my potato man, lightly drizzled with olive oil and my dump mix.

What is a dump mix you might ask?  If it doesn't make a complete tablespoon it goes into my "jar" of misc spices... and becomes my dump mix.

What do you make on your grill?  Or do you have an outdoor tool that you utilize during these hot months?

Friday, July 20, 2012

I refuse.

To use my oven when in Michigan, ya know, that place that's supposed to be Alaska 1/2 the year?  Is over 100 degrees outside.  100.  I'm just not built for this, and I'm sure it will come back sturdily to bite me in the bottom this winter.

So what do we do when I refuse to stand in front of a hot oven and over a hot stove?

We utilize tin-foil, aluminum and the gift of gas.  Ehm, propane.

As you can see, I tried something new! Cory is such a meat and potatoes man I was shocked when he asked about grilling pineapple.  I thought he lost his marbles, but it was soooooo good.  It carmelized.  It was heavenly.

The chicken breasts had a little sweet rub that I made of brown sugar, salt, paprika, and rosemary I grilled 10 min on each side and then covered them with Sweet Baby Rays honey barbeque.

Our fantastic potatoes which is a recipe of Cory's:

4 Large Potatoes Cubed up
1 Onion- cut up
2 Cups broccoli- frozen- not thawed or fresh
2 T olive oil
1 T butter
1t each Salt, Pepper & garlic salt
3/4 Shredded Cheese (we've used everything from parmesan to colby)

Mix everything but cheese & place on grill for 40 min (we turn 1/2 way through).  When done, open the packet & sprinkle the cheese over top.  Serve.

This meal left us with plenty of left overs!  We loved it!  The pineapple was still good cooled again, with a bit of carmelly-ness to the outside.  The grammar police just cringed.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

I'm back...

I bet you've all been wondering what happened to our happy little blog and tips on cooking!

We haven't been doing much of that lately.  We have a joke in our household, I eat a can of hominy if Cory is gone.  Sometimes, I have been known to eat toast, left overs, even mac & cheese, but I usually don't cook.  Which is why our month of meals go so far.

A while ago I mentioned that we were in the effort of trying to conceive.  The last year has been very trying on our marriage, and we decided we needed to take a step back and some time off.  I used to laugh when I heard couples express this, even the whole "you are trying too hard".  What a joke, right?  Wrong, this has been the hardest thing we have tried to accomplish, individually and together, but we learned a lot together, shed some tears together.. and grown.

So the "baby" word was not allowed in our house, for a month.   Our month is drawing to a close in a couple of days... we've spent the weekends.. on the Harley, out with friends (which was a treat, because I didn't drink for.. 10 months- it effects your fertility), and with family.. in the pool and on the beach.  We've take a lot of time for just us.  At the same time, I had surgery, had some follow up doctor appointments and found out my brain is swollen.  I've had a lot of follow up on that, some new meds and a lot of abnormal headaches.  Cory has been doing a lot of cooking, even if it's just bacon & eggs for dinner.  He's been amazing.

I started seeing a behaviorist to help cope with the pain, the stress of all the listed above, and she suggested to get a family animal, that will give me something to focus on other than my pain, give Cory and I something more in common, and help be a bond.

So I haven't posted, but I'm back in the kitchen.. I've been doing some baking, some cooking, experimenting with new recipes, and I've taken a lot of pictures and notes, oh!  Meet.. Bella, the newest member of the Radel Family:

She's the little one, she's playing with our existing dog Spud, who goes on the road with Daddy.  Bella will stay home and keep me company!

So what do you have to look forward to:

Coming up next... Grilled pineapple, chicken and potato packets with broccoli.
(we grill so much in the summer, we have already gone through 2 tanks of propane.)
Later: How we use the grill as an oven.
Even later: Homemade hamburger helper
More homemade recipes to come: Homemade rice-a-roni
Taco Seasoning
Quick Biscuits

This month should be interesting.. :) hop along for the ride!