Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Tator - Tot Cassarole

So when I finally got over my devestation of the surfboard incident.. I got right back into baking my comfort foods. This is definitaly one of them. I don't have a picture of it because 2 of my birds started eating it before I could.
This cassarole dates back to before we realized just how bad condensed soups are for you. But when I need comfort.. I don't care.
1 lb of beef fits nicely in a 9 x 9 cassarole dish and 2 lbs is for the 9 x 13. It just depends how many you are feeding.
The Cream of Mushroom can be substituted for a regular cream soup if you don't like the thought of mushrooms. I actually dislike mushrooms but when it is mixed with the ground beef you don't even taste or notice them.

Tator-Tot Cassarole

1-2 lbs ground beef, browned and drained
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/4 cup water
Enough tator-tots to cover the top
shredded cheese

Place the drained hamburger in the cassarole dish, 9 x9 or 9 x 13. Take the soup directly from the can and spread evenly over the hamburger. pour the water over that.

Place on top the tator-tots with the small end of the shape down. (I place in a cicle on the outside rim and work my way in.)

Sprinkle the cheese over it all.

Bake at the temperture the tator-tot package says or around 415 degrees for 3/4 of the packages time or 12-15 minutes.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Sad Surf Morning....

So living in NSB is awesome, you get up and check the surf report and if it's good, you drive 3 minutes to the beach, unload and you're out there in the waves... If its bad.. you go back to sleep.

Well it's been bad for a little while, the ocean gets really calm when there are storms on the west side. So yesterday we were pumped. Out at 8:30, surfing and loving it. Chill out for a few hours and join up with friends, drink a beer and go for that final swim of the day.

Somebody stole our surfboard!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We have been coming to this beach for 3 years and we have never had anything like this happen. We go for a swim, we come back and our board is gone! I couldn't believe it.
I blamed myself because I was the last to make it into the water and just left our things, but what was I supposed to do? I'ts not like I could lock up the surfboard.. I mean even if you put them into roofracks, they still aren't locked in... My poor husband, it was his baby and the stupid thing is these people who stole it aren't even going to use her, they are just going to pawn it!

I hate when the places you feel safe and comfortable get violated. I hope these bastards get caught....

Friday, August 8, 2008

Yahhh... Hot pockets!

Okay, Okay I know, they are more like calzones. It's just every time someone says calzone, I think pizza. And since I am allergic to the acid in sucks. This creation came about after I tried to buy groceries for two weeks with fifty dollars. Normally I buy all fresh food that has the capabilities to be great meals with a little cooking. The problem? My husband is a full time cook at his work and if there are no leftovers...well needless to say it's a lot easier to have quick heatable food rather than cooking at one a.m.

I used a no-rise pizza crust my sister recommended and it worked pretty well. The recipe makes 4 fun size or 2 meal size. The filling can be whatever you like, though I recommend either cheese or sauce be in them or else the pastry is a little tough, like pizza crusts. I made 2 fun size as barbecue chicken and 1 meal size as pepper jack ranch chicken. You can also use pre-made pizza crust, like the Pillsbury kind.

These actually remind me more of meat pasties. Originally from Cornwall, United Kingdom, they were filled with meat, potatoes and onions. Tradition claims that the pasty was originally made as lunch for Cornish tin miners who were unable to return to the surface to eat. The story goes that, covered in dirt from head to foot they could hold the pasty by the folded crust and eat the rest without touching it, discarding the dirty pastry. The pastry they threw away was supposed to appease the knockers, capricious spirits in the mines who might otherwise lead miners into danger.
So eat the filling and throw the crust into the compost.... or else !

Homemade Hot Pockets

No-Rise Pizza Crust

1 (1/4 oz.) package dry yeast
1 cup warm water
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt

Dissolve yeast into warm water in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients. Beat vigorously for 20 strokes and let sit 10 min. Take (1/4 for fun size, 1/2 for meal) dough and place on floured surface. Shape into a round and place filling in center and fold top half over to about a 1/2 inch from lower edge. Fold lower edge and tuck in to make seam.
Bake at 425 degrees for 15 - 20 minutes or browned. Serve now or later

My Filling today
3 chicken breast tenderloins, browned and sliced
1 tbsp diced onion
1/3 cup barbecue sauce

Place all in small bowl and toss until coated. Scoop into crust

Barbecue Beef and Mashed Potatoes

This is a favorite dinner of my husband and son. It makes for an especially great one too because you can make do with not so fabulous cuts of meat. I use anything from sirloin pieces to boneless ribs. You can substitute fake mashed potatoes too, if your pressed with time, because the sauce covers that not quite homemade taste that only fresh potatoes give you. A quick tip on fresh mashed potatoes is to cut them thin, into slices as if you were making scalloped potatoes. I have found that they cook twice as fast as chopping into chunks. When you brown the beef, I recommend to only sear the outsides. If you leave them still a little rare in the center they don't become tough as you simmer them in the sauce.

Barbecue Beef and Mashed Potatoes

Mashed Potatoes

5 med. Yukon (or just white) potatoes
1 cup Milk
1/2 cup Butter

Peel and Slice Potatoes. Place in medium saucepan and fill with water until it just covers the potatoes. Cover and bring to a boil on high. Lower to med-high and let cook until potatoes break apart with just a stab from a fork. Drain and place back in saucepan. Add milk and butter and mash until creamy. Add salt and pepper if desired.

Barbecue Beef

4 boneless beef ribs ( or 3 cups of chopped sirloin)
1 bottle barbecue sauce
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup diced onion
1 Tbsp Steak sauce

In large skillet on medium heat brown beef. Add worcestershire, barbecue sauce and onion. Lower heat to med-low and simmer for 7-8 minutes. Add steak sauce and stir.

Serve immediately.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

First Day Trying this Out...

I'm kinda new at this blogging thing but my sister has an awesome one going and I thought I would give it a try. My blog is probably going to be mostly about food, with some things I learn along the way, thrown in. I hope it helps or entertains!