Cheeseburger Ring

This is from another cookbook I’m getting rid of, but I remember we used to make this recipe quite a bit and really enjoyed it.

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup onion, chopped
  • ¾ pound lean (90%) ground beef
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
  • 9 slices (¾ ounce each) American cheese, divided
  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 16 dill pickle slices
  • 3 large plum tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 cups lettuce, shredded

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°.

Cook ground beef with onion in a skillet over medium heat for 8 – 10 minutes, or until beef is no longer pink. Drain. Add ketchup, mustard, and 5 of the cheese slices (cut up). Stir until cheese is melted. Remove pan from heat.

Unroll the crescent dough, separate into 16 triangles. Arrange triangles in a circle on a round baking sheet/pizza pan, with wide ends of the triangles overlapping in the center and points toward the outside. (There should be a 5-inch diameter opening in the center.)

Scoop the meat mixture evenly on the widest end of each triangle. Top each scoop with a pickle slice. Bring points of triangles up and over the filling, tucking the point under the wide end of dough at the center of the ring. (Filling will not be completely covered.)

Bake 20 – 25 minutes or until deep golden brown. Remove from oven. Cut each of the remaining 4 cheese slices into 4 triangles. Arrange cheese triangles over top of rings. Arrange tomato slices around inside center of ring, and add lettuce to the center of the ring. Cut ring into 8 slices and serve with additional ketchup and mustard, if desired.

Mini Ham Puffs

Given that recipes are now so accessible online, we are giving away a bunch of cookbooks that we don’t really use anymore. I wanted to keep this recipe from one of them.

Ingredients

  • 1 package (2.5 ounces) ham or smoked turkey, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • ½ cup (2 ounces) shredded Swiss or cheddar cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon snipped fresh parsley
  • 1½ teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 package (8 ounces) refrigerated crescent rolls

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease mini-muffin pan(s). (24 mini-cups).

Mix together all ingredients except crescent rolls.

Unroll crescent dough and press into a large rectangle. Cut dough into 24 squares (pizza cutter works good here). Press one square of dough into each mini-muffin cup.

Fill each muffin cup with a small scoop of ham mixture. Back 12 – 14 minutes, or until puffs are light golden brown. Remove from pan; serve immediately.

Easy Pasta Sauce

We just threw this sauce together tonight for a pasta dinner. My boys loved it. Normally I’m pretty good with measuring quantities of spices, but this time we did just add a little of this and a little of that. So add your spices to taste and enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 5 – 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 15-oz can tomato sauce
  • 1/3 cup red wine (Whatever is on hand, I used a red blend)
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • ½ to 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • black olives, chopped – to taste (I used about ½ of a can)

Directions

Heat large (deep) skillet over medium-high heat. Add EVOO, garlic, and onion, cook until onion is soft – about five minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pan. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally. Serve over your favorite pasta.

Taco Casserole

We decided to try a taco casserole last night. I had a few recipes I looked at for the basics. Here’s what we came up with. My boys loved this twist on our usual taco night.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ½ yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes and green chiles
  • 3 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • tortilla chips
  • ½ green bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced (divided in half)
  • 2 – 3 roma tomatoes, chopped (divided in half)
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (8 oz)
  • ½ cup sliced black olives, plus more for topping
  • shredded lettuce
  • sour cream (optional)
  • avocado (optional)

Directions

Heat oven to 350°. In a large skillet, cook beef and yellow onion over medium-high heat until the beef is browned and cooked through (about 7 minutes). Drain. Add beans, canned tomatoes/green chiles, and taco seasoning. Reduce heat to medium, and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 5 – 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In an ungreased casserole dish (mine was approx 9 x 13), layer the bottom with roughly broken tortilla chips. Top with the beef mixture. Sprinkle the bell peppers, half the green onion, half the diced tomato, and the ½ cup of olives. Cover with cheese.

Bake uncovered 20 – 30 minutes, until hot and the cheese is melted. Top the baked casserole with lettuce and the remaining green onions, diced tomatoes, olives, and a little more broken tortilla chips. Serve with sour cream and avocado.

Note: Not sure how many tortilla chips we used. I just broke them right into the casserole dish, lining the bottom. I had about ¼” to ½” of a layer on the bottom, it made a nice crust. I didn’t add too many additional chips to the top.

Ham, Sweet Potato, & White Bean Soup

Last spring, right after Easter, our friends invited us over for a delicious ham-bone based soup. It had been thrown together with ingredients they had around the kitchen and was so tasty. I decided I wanted some of that soup today, so I searched around the internet for a recipe. None of them were quite right. I made this instead; it was really easy and tasted great. We didn’t have a ham bone, but I plan on trying a version of this soup using a stock made from the ham bone next time we have a holiday ham.

This made a huge amount of soup. The four of us had dinner and then we saved some for leftovers this week and froze the rest in order to pull it out on a busy night this winter. Half this recipe if you don’t want this many leftovers.

Notes:
¹ I used dried beans, you could use an equivalent of canned white beans, drained and rinsed. This was a huge pot of soup, so I would guess three cans. Plus or minus one.
² The store was out of fresh thyme so I used dried.

Ingredients

  • 1 – 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • Yellow onion, chopped
  • 5 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ham, roughly chopped into bite size pieces
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (~¼” to ½” cubes)
  • 1 pound dried great northern beans (soaked per package directions)
  • 8 cups veggie broth
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Pepper to taste

Directions

Soak beans per package directions. If you think of it in time do an overnight soak. I did the quick soak method, which took about an hour.

I used a large dutch oven. This recipe makes a lot of soup, so be sure to have a big pot. Add EVOO to pot over medium-high heat. Cook onion, carrots, and garlic for a few minutes. Add ham, and cook for 5 or 10 minutes, until ham begins to brown and onions and carrots are soft.

Add veggie broth and then all remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for a few hours. Remove bay leaf. Serve with fresh bread.

“Sprincle Cupcake Recipe” (by my seven-year-old son)

My youngest boy, age seven, has been very interested in helping in the kitchen the last few months. On our first cooking adventure, we made a spaghetti sauce from scratch with items we had on hand, and he just thought that was the best. (I was pretty impressed too, normally I need a recipe, but it turned out great!) Monday night he helped me make some Cheddar Cheese Soup, and was a super assistant.

Tuesday he handed me this recipe for Sprincle Cupcakes. He made it up all on his own. I am thinking we should whip these up so he can see his recipe in action. 😉 My favorite part is step 4.

Sprinkle_Cupcakes