I’ve really been failing at dinner since my husband deployed. My seven year old actually asked me why I never cook anymore.

To which I said, “What are you talking about? I made 6 kinds of ice cream last week!”

Apparently ice cream does not count as real cooking.

I go through this whenever my husband is gone. When he’s here, I know that whatever I cook, it’ll get eaten. When it’s just me and the boys, we always have leftovers for days and then I still end up trashing stuff. And that’s really frustrating to me. We end up doing sandwiches and Cheetos for dinner just about every night.

So I made this pasta for dinner to prove to the kid that I actually still know how to cook. It was a HUGE hit. I don’t go for cottage cheese in pasta dishes usually but no one really noticed it in this. It melted and got super creamy. And I have been eating nothing but ground turkey for months so actual ground beef?

I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. But that is besides the point.

Sour Cream Noodle Bake

Ingredients

1 pound lean ground beef
1 (15 ounce) can Tomato sauce
1 (8 ounce) can Tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
8 ounces Egg Noodles
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/4 cups small curd cottage cheese
1/2 cup green onions, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. Brown ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat, breaking it up as it cooks. Drain grease if necessary and return to pan; add the tomato sauce, salt and pepper to skillet. Stir mixture and reduce heat to low. Let simmer for about 5-10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, boil egg noodles in a large pot of water until al dente. Drain water. Set noodles aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl, stir together sour cream and cottage cheese. Gentle stir in cooked egg noodles. Sprinkle with a little black pepper and gently stir until noodles are coated. Stir in green onions.
  4. Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan with non-stick spray. Layer half the noodles in the bottom of the pan, spread out evenly. Spread half of the meat mixture over the noodles, sprinkle with half the cheese. Repeat layers again, with remaining noodles, the rest of the meat mixture and then ending with the cheese.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
http://fakeginger.com/2014/06/17/sour-cream-noodle-bake/

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My kids have been obsessed with meatballs lately. I guess I should say more obsessed because meatballs have always been a favorite. But lately, they can’t get enough. I made spaghetti the other night and all the meatballs were gone well before the noodles were!

Since a couple of my boys are currently going through weird picky stages, I’ve decided we’re having meatballs for every meal!

No, not really but I figured I could make them more often and switch it up from the usual spaghetti.

My kids ate this entire recipe of Hawaiian Meatballs. In one sitting. And then asked me to make them again when I told them they were all gone.

I thought they were really good too and I was happy that the recipe didn’t call for ketchup because you guys know I hate (and by hate, I mean I secretly love) when recipes call for large amounts of ketchup in the sauce.

But this one is just pineapple juice and brown sugar! Feel free to make your own meatballs if you’re feeling more ambitious but the frozen ones worked just fine!

One year ago: Grapefruit Margaritas
Two years ago: 
Grown-Up Strawberry Slushies
Three years ago: French Dip
Five years ago: Anadama
Six years ago: Cinnamon Rolls

Slow Cooker Hawaiian Meatballs

Ingredients

3 pound package frozen meatballs
20 ounce can pineapple chunks, drained BUT save the juice!
1 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2/3 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon cayenne, optional

Instructions

  1. Put meatballs and pineapple chunks in slow cooker.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together pineapple juice, brown sugar, cornstarch, white vinegar, soy sauce, and cayenne (if using). Pour over the meatballs.
  3. Cook on low for 3 - 4 hours.
http://fakeginger.com/2014/05/15/slow-cooker-hawaiian-meatballs/

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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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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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