Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A Casserole For A Cold Night

My family is a little strange when it comes to eating habits. Let me demonstrate my culinary talents, given our eclectic tastes....Take an excellent cookbook and pick a recipe that we love - with modifications so all four of us will actually eat it. Come on a journey with me....

This is an excellent cookbook, one that I'm using more recipes than any other cookbook I own (except for The REST of The Best.... second cookbook)

This is the recipe I chose to make for supper last night. Although we do not usually enjoy hamburger meat this recipe is one of the few exceptions. It looks simple enough but it contains hidden messages to different members of my family. Hubby doesn't eat cheese in ANY shape or form, Daughter won't eat any kind of Son...well his tastes are pretty flexible although he's not big on onions.

Thus the substitions begin. The 7.5 oz can of tomato sauce is replaced with pizza sauce and the 14 oz can of tomatoes is replaced with tomato sauce. We are out of whole garlic so I just sprinkle a little dried garlic into the mix.

Those ingredients in the above photo are added to the meat, once the lean hamburger is browned. Up to now everything is still relatively normal as to following the directions. This mixture is then simmered for 45 minutes.

Now the substitutes/omissions begin. I prepare the noodles as directed but they remain in the colander, plain. In another bowl I grate heaps of cheese and in a third bowl are different vegetables such as onions, green peppers, corn and carrots.

The oven has been turned up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit in preparation for the next step in cooking. I do NOT add any of the cream ingredients to the noodles (or the recipe) but add the noodles in with the cooked hamburger meat at this stage. Half the meat mixture is then removed to one of the pans and the vegetables are mixed in with the meat remaining in the pot. The two square pans are almost ready for the oven...there is one final ingredient to add to the pan on the right.

Cheese! The kids (and I) love cheese! So shredded cheese is sprinkled on top of their pan. Since I like what is in BOTH pans, I try to take a little from each to satisfy my wants.

Voila! The finished product. If you look again at the recipe and then review what I actually would have to say that recipes are only guidelines for me to follow!

Bon Appetit!