I know. It’s way too early on a Monday morning to be talking about things like tater tot casseroles.

I’m sorry.

I was sick all weekend - all weekend! – and didn’t have time to get a bunch of yummy things baked and photographed. I made this and it’s delicious and amazing but I couldn’t stop coughing long enough to take pictures. Being sick is the worst.

I threw this together for my kids yesterday and there wasn’t a tater tot left by the end of dinner. They loved it! I won’t lie, I didn’t think it sounded very good but I stole a couple bites and didn’t hate it. I like sloppy joes, I love tater tots – so yeah, I think I’m just embarrassed to say that I liked it.

One year ago: Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken
Two years ago: Caesar-Stuffed Eggs
Three years ago: Toffee Bar Brownie Torte
Four years ago: Coconut Cupcakes
Five years ago: Chicken Shawarma

Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole

adapted from All The Cooks

Ingredients

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 pound lean ground beef
salt and pepper
1 (15.5 ounce) can sloppy joe sauce
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
16 ounce bag tater tots

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Brown ground beef, breaking it up, until no pink remains. Drain, return to pan, and season with salt and pepper. Add sloppy joe sauce and cream of mushroom sauce. Stir until everything is combined.
  3. Pour mixture into a 9x13-inch pan. Top with sharp cheddar cheese. Arrange tater tots on top.
  4. Bake for about 25 - 30 minutes or until tater tots are cooked and golden brown.
http://fakeginger.com/2014/03/31/sloppy-joe-tater-tot-casserole/

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I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser.

We are approaching one of my favorite seasons: burger season!

I just love that time of year. The sun stays up a little longer which means you have extra time to get your burgers grilled and it’s just warm enough to enjoy your burger on the back porch.

We had snow two days ago. So yeah, I’m ready to #SayCheeseburger!

That also explains why I made my burgers on the stove instead of the grill. But you can definitely grill them if you’ve already escaped winter!

I went to Walmart earlier in the week with a mission to get ingredients for a classic cheeseburger. I think everyone in the world has a different opinion on what a classic cheeseburger includes. For me, the classic cheeseburger is meat, cheese, and veggies.

And bacon.

Bacon’s a classic, right?

So I picked up everything I needed including Kraft Lite Mayo and Velveeta Slices. If you haven’t tried the Velveeta Slices on a grilled cheese, please do me a favor and go buy some now. I won’t make a grilled cheese without it!

But this is about burgers.

I think burgers get better the more stuff you put on them so I loaded mine up. But you can, of course, leave stuff off or add more. I left the burger patties themselves pretty plain – just ground chuck, salt, and pepper – so add whatever flavor you want on top!

My trick for keeping bacon from sliding right off your burger? Put the bacon on top of the burger and the cheese on top of the bacon. The cheese gets gooey and melty and keeps the bacon in place! 

What’s YOUR idea of the Classic Cheeseburger?

Classic Cheeseburger

8 burgers

Ingredients

3 pounds ground chuck
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons canola oil
8 sliced bacon, cooked
1/2 cup Kraft Lite Mayonnaise
8 Velveeta slices
8 burger buns
lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions, ketchup, mustard

Instructions

  1. Divide the ground chuck into 8 even portions. Shape each portion into about 3/4 inch-thick burger. Season both sides of each burger with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat a tablespoon of the canola oil over medium-high heat. Add 3 burgers and cook until deeply browned, about 3 minutes. Flip over and cook until done, another 4 or 5 minutes.
  3. Top each burger with a slice of bacon and then a slice of Velveeta. Cover and heat another minute, just until cheese in melted. Remove to plate and repeat with remaining canola oil and burgers.
  4. To assemble burgers, spread about 1 tablespoon of Kraft Lite Mayonnaise on each bun. Top with bacon and Velveeta-covered burger. Add other toppings as desired.
http://fakeginger.com/2014/03/20/classic-cheeseburger-saycheeseburger/

I have written this post as part of #CollectiveBias.

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I’ve never really been much for St. Patrick’s Day. In school I was way too uptight for the construction paper shamrocks the other girls pinned on their uniforms so I had to deal with the “Where’s your green?!” questions all day long.

As I’ve gotten older and now have kids that I can dress in green, I enjoy it a lot more. But I’m still not one for traditional St. Paddy’s food. You won’t see me slow cooking corned beef and cabbage or anything like that. My favorite thing to do this time of year is go to Costco and get a huge block of Kerrygold Dubliner and then eat it on top of black pepper Triscuits for a week straight. Never gets old.

I managed to save a little bit of my Dubliner to make these Corned Beef and Irish Cheddar Sliders and I’m so happy I did.

They start with super soft potato rolls (found in the bakery section) smeared with mayo. Then you pile on the deli corned beef and Dubliner before pouring a delicious mustard sauce on top. Bake until the cheese is melted and gooey and omg, so addictive.

My kids are weirdly picky about sandwiches and tend to just stick to peanut butter and marshmallow fluff but I had zero complaints about these.

Three years ago: Beggar’s Linguine
Four years ago: Pane Siciliano
Five years ago: Potato Rosemary Bread

Corned Beef and Irish Cheddar Sliders

adapted from I Am A Honeybee

Ingredients

10 deli potato rolls
1/4 cup mayo
7 ounce package sliced corned beef
1 1/2 cups shredded Irish Cheddar cheese (I use Kerrygold Dubliner)
For the sauce:
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon mustard
2 teaspoons dried minced onion
1/2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Slice the potato rolls in half, sandwich style. Put the bottoms on a rimmed baking sheet. Spread the mayo evenly among the bottoms of the rolls.
  3. Divide the corned beef among the bottoms and top with a good sized mound of shredded Irish Cheddar cheese.
  4. Put the tops on the sliders.
  5. In a small bowl, mix together the sauce ingredients. Pour it evenly over the sliders and allow it to set for about 10 minutes before baking.
  6. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 12 - 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Remove foil and bake for 2 more minutes.
  7. Serve warm!
http://fakeginger.com/2014/03/11/corned-beef-irish-cheddar-sliders/

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One of my favorite things in the world to cook is pot roast. I don’t even like it much as far as eating it but I just love making it. I think there is just something so satisfying – and I realize this makes me a weirdo – about cooking a big roast with all the veggies arranged around it.

This one is different from my usual roasts because it’s not cooked in the slow cooker. It’s browned and then cooked in the oven for a couple hours. It doesn’t have that falling-apart quality that slow cooker roasts have but it tastes so much better!

I have made this recipe so many times over the years and my husband goes nuts for it each time. At the end of the recipe, you actually make a sauce for it but because I go heavy on carrots, my sauce is always bright orange. So you’re not seeing photos of that because it’s just not very pretty.

Just as the name suggests, this is the kind of pot roast you could serve to company and not feel bad about. It’s so delicious and my husband says it’s better the next day on sandwiches.

Three years ago: Bacon & Cheddar Scones
Four year ago: Pain de Campagne
Five years ago: Italian Mac & Cheese

Company Pot Roast

Ingredients

1 (4- to 5- pound) prime boneless beef chuck roast, tied
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
All-purpose flour
Good olive oil
2 cups chopped carrots (4 carrots)
2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
2 cups chopped celery (4 stalks)
2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (2 to 4 leeks)
5 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 cups good red wine, such as Burgundy
1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes in puree
1 cup chicken broth
1 chicken bouillon cube
3 branches fresh thyme
2 branches fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon unsalted butter at room temperature

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Pat the beef dry with a paper towel. Season the roast all over with 1 tablespoon salt and 1½ teaspoons pepper. Dredge the whole roast in flour, including the ends. In a large Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the roast and sear for 4 to 5 minutes, until nicely browned. Turn and sear the other side and then turn and sear the ends. This should take 4 to 5 minutes for each side. Remove the roast to a large plate.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the Dutch oven. Add the carrots, onions, celery, leeks, garlic, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1½ teaspoons pepper and cook over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender but not browned. Add the wine and Cognac and bring to a boil. Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, bouillon cube, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Tie the thyme and rosemary together with kitchen string and add to the pot. Put the roast back into the pot, bring to a boil, and cover. Place in the oven for 2½ hours, until the meat is fork tender or about 160 degrees internally. Turn the heat down to 250 degrees after about an hour to keep the sauce at a simmer.
  4. Remove the roast to a cutting board. Remove the herb bundle and discard. Skim off as much fat as possible from the sauce. Transfer half the sauce and vegetables to a blender or a food processor fitted with the steel blade and puree until smooth. Pour the puree back into the pot, place on the stovetop over low heat, and return the sauce to a simmer. Place 2 tablespoons flour and the butter in a small bowl and mash them together with a fork. Stir into the sauce and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring until thickened. Taste for seasonings. Remove the strings from the roast, and slice the meat. Serve warm with the sauce spooned over it.
http://fakeginger.com/2014/03/06/company-pot-roast/

 

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Lasagna is one of those meals that you really can’t beat. It seems like everyone loves it and it doesn’t require a whole lot of fancy ingredients or complicated steps.

Today I’m bringing you a twist on the classic. Ragú asked me to turn lasagna into a New Tra-Dish with a fun spin. Since I love lasagna so much, I wanted to make it easier and faster to prepare while keeping the taste pretty close to the original.

I’m sure you guys know that lasagna is kind of a labor of love. You have to make the sauce which can take hours depending on your recipe, cook the meat, boil the noodles, and then layer, layer, layer.

In my version, you use the Ragú Old World Style® Traditional Sauce - which, if you didn’t know, has 11 juicy tomatoes in each jar – and frozen meatballs to cut down the recipe prep by more than half! I love using Ragú in recipes like this because it has than authenic Italian taste that I love and really tastes like it’s been simmering on the stove all day.

Everyone in my house loved this recipe! I think all kids love meatballs so of course mine went nuts when they realized there were meatballs in the lasagna. The whole dish took me about 15 minutes prep thanks to Ragú, the meatballs, and the no-boil noodles. This makes it a perfect weeknight meal!

For more easy and delicious Ragú recipes, head over to their Facebook page and then stop by the Ragú Better and Better Sweepstakes for a chance to win great authentic Italian themed prize packs, including the grand prize of a trip to Italy for 4!

Easy Cheesy Meatball Lasagna

15 ounce container ricotta cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1 egg
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
salt and pepper
12 ounce package frozen Italian-style meatballs, thawed and cut in half
2 24-ounce jars Ragú® Old World Style® Traditional Sauce
1 pound no-boil lasagna noodles
1 cup mozzarella cheese
½ cup Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350.

In a mixing bowl, beat together ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper until everything is combined. Set aside.

To assemble, spread about 1 cup of Ragú® Old World Style® Traditional Sauce onto bottom of a 9×13” casserole dish. Top with lasagna noodles in a single layer. Spread ⅓ of the ricotta mixture on the noodles. Spread 1/3 of the halved meatballs out on the noodles. Sprinkle with ⅓ of the mozzarella cheese. Top with ⅓ of the remaining sauce. Continue this pattern until you use all the ingredients. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over top.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes or until the noodles are cooked and the cheese is bubbly. Allow to cool about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

 

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.  Legal residents of the 50 United States (D.C.) 18 years and older.  Ends 5/6/14.  To enter and for Official Rules, including odds, alternate method of entry, and prize descriptions, visit www.RaguSweeps.com.  Void where prohibited.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Ragú®. The opinions and text are all mine.

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