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Not So Sloppy Joes!

28 Jun

Kraft Recipes has a recipe called “Cheeseburger Joes” that I have been making for the past few years. While my husband likes the Manwich Sloppy Joes, I have never liked the canned stuff, so I was thrilled to find a “Joe” recipe that I could easily make myself.

Cheeseburger Joes

My version of Kraft Recipes Cheeseburger Joes.

I followed Kraft’s recipe to the letter, except I used shredded cheese, instead of sliced american cheese.

RECIPE

1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 cup KRAFT Original Barbecue Sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
4  hamburger buns
4  KRAFT Singles

BROWN meat in large skillet; drain.  ADD barbecue sauce and ketchup; mix well. Cook 5 min. or until heated through, stirring occasionally. FILL buns with meat mixture and Singles.

The Verdict

Easy dish to make that the kids love.

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Cheeseburger Mac – My Kids Love This!

4 Jun

I subscribe to the “Food & Family” Magazine that Kraft Foods produces and they have a recipe called ‘The Cheesiest Cheeseburger Mac‘ that is the basis for my cheeseburger mac. I made a few changes to the original recipe, of course. For starters, I prefer Kraft Deluxe Macaroni & Cheese, instead of the macaroni & cheese dinner. Also, I use less beef than the original recipe calls for, it was a little too beefy, and too dry, for me.

Cheeseburger Mac

Cheeseburger Mac

 

RECIPE

1 pkg. Kraft Deluxe Macaroni & Cheese

1/2 lb cooked ground beef

2 slices American Cheese

1/4 cup ketchup

1 tbsp. mustard

 

Prepare the macaroni & cheese according the package directions. Add the cooked ground beef,  American cheese, ketchup, and mustard. Cook and stir until heated through.   The dish smells like a cheeseburger! My kids love to add more ketchup to the Cheeseburger Mac before they eat it.

The Verdict

This is one of those quick and easy dishes that any mom can make, and it is a great hit with the kids!

Cheesy Baked Penne

27 Mar

Baked penne is an easy classic to make, and just one of the many Italian dishes that I make on a regular basis. We eat a lot of Italian in my house, much to my daughter’s annoyance. But, really, who can pass up pasta, tomato sauce, and melted cheese? If you can, you are way stronger than I am. Of course, I did not use a recipe for the Baked Penne, but I do have a few little quirks that make my dish my own.

Chessy Baked Penne - www.KidsWorkDinner.com

I used the Barilla Piccolini Mini Penne, I like the smaller pasta sizes, so I buy the mini versions whenever I can. I used three different meats in the dish, ground beef, ground turkey, and ground sausage. Throw in an 8 oz. bag of shredded cheese, either mozzarella, pizza blend, or a combination. Toss in a jar of spaghetti sauce, and my secret ingredient, a little bit of zesty Italian dressing (a trick I learned from Kraft Foods). Mix in all in a baking dish, bake covered at 350˚ for about 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 10 minutes.

 

Cheesy Baked Penne - www.KidsWorkDinner.com

 

The Verdict

Baked penne is main stay in my house because it is a hit with everyone in the family. This is one of those dishes where the leftovers are just as good, if not better than the first time around.

Steak Tips & Gravy…Beef tips with a steaky twist

23 Feb

I love, love, love my slow cooker. I love the ease of “set it and forget it”. I especially love the way my house smells after something yummy had been in the slow cooker all day. I walk through the door and am welcomed by this wonderful aroma, the house feels warm, and somehow cozier, just because of that slow cooker. The icing on the cake is that I feel like someone else has cooked dinner for ME…what a welcome change! The only problem is that, in the past, I have only used my slow cooker to roast a whole chicken, or to make beef stew. I need to find more recipes.  Well today I used my slow cooker; I made ‘Steak Tip & Gravy’.

How is ‘Steak Tips & Gravy’ different from beef tips & gravy? Well, it is pretty much the same, except I added steak sauce to not only the slow cooker while the beef was cooking, but to the jar of gravy that I bought, and it tasted great! My 9-year-old was hesitant to try beef tips and gravy because he had it at school for lunch and did not want to try it. He does, however, LOVE steak, so I had a light bulb moment and it worked, he ate it all.

Steak Tips & Gravy - www.KidsWorkDinner.com

Steak Tips & Gravy

1 ½ lbs. beef tips

2 cups water

½ cup steak sauce

¼ cup Worcestershire sauce

1 onion, sliced

2 cups cooked rice

Salt

Pepper

Seasoning Salt or Mrs. Dash

1 jar beef gravy

¼ cup steak sauce
Season and brown the beef in a pan, then drain and transfer to the slow cooker. Add onions (I did not have an onion, so I used chopped dried onion), steak sauce, and Worcestershire sauce. I added more seasonings, but that is just how we like things. Cook on slow for 8-10 hours. Spoon beef onto cooked rice.

For the gravy: pour a jar of beef gravy in a small saucepan and add steak sauce to taste, about ¼ cup, depending on how much gravy you use.

Steak Tips & Gravy - www.KidsWorkDinner.com
The Verdict
‘Steak Tips & Gravy’ was a hit in my house. The beef was fork tender and the gravy really made the difference. Now, I need to find a recipe to make my own gravy.

What about you?
What are your favorite slow cooker dishes? Do you know a trick to use the slow cooker, without having the meat fall apart? Please share your ideas!

Organization is key, right?

3 Jan

I know, I know, organization is to the success of this cooking adventure, but why did I go shopping without a real plan? As my husband and I grabbed a quick lunch at Zaxby’s I scribbled some ideas down before we headed into Wal-Mart. Since it was Monday, I only needed to plan for four dinners, how hard could it be?

I got home, looked at what I bought versus what I needed for the recipe that I wanted to try, and quickly realized that I was going to have to wing it. I had ground beef and I had pasta, what to do? I went to the Kraft Food website and found a recipe for ‘One-Pan Italian Pasta’ and while it had promise,  I was going to have to tweak it…trying to force my kids to eat zucchini on day one was not going to go over well. So, I made a few changes and ended up with ‘Cheesy Beef Pasta’.

'Cheesy Beef Pasta' - A dish that I had to create based on what I had available.

The “recipe” is pretty simple.

1 lb. ground beef

1 1/2 cup bow tie pasta

1 tbsp Italian Dressing

1 1/2 cup shredded cheese (I used half “pizza blend” and half “fiesta blend”)

1 can chicken broth (I know it its a beef dish, but it all that I had available)

1 can cheddar cheese (It is in the soup aisle)

1 cup milk

I boiled the pasta using water and the chicken broth, while I browned the beef (season the beef to taste). I then combined the beef the pasta and the shredded cheese, and while it tasted okay, it was pretty dry. I then added a can of cheddar cheese and a cup of milk. I heated it all through, added a few more seasoning and it was done. It was served with sweet white corn.

The Verdict 

My family gave this dish an average of three (3) stars of of five. I have to say that this rating was weighted down because my uber picky daughter gave it a one star. Overall, not bad for the first day and each day will get progressively better.

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