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Cheesy Ham and Potato Bake

There’s something about hot gooey cheesy casseroles that is just so comforting on rainy days. Like this Cheesy Ham and Potato Bake, with it’s creamy and cheesy goodness. It’s easy to and quick to put together too, which is another added bonus. There’s no chopping involved here since I use frozen potatoes O’brien which already has the onions and peppers. No need to thaw anything so that takes away a lot of the brain work, and believe me, after a long day, I don’t want to think anymore!

All you have to do is dump all of your ingredients into a bowl and mix it up. If you’re not a fan of broccoli, or don’t have any on hand, any frozen vegetable will work. Cauliflower would be great, carrots, green beans, whatever you like. Or maybe even a combination of veggies. Just try to keep it between 12-16 ounces of veggies and you’re golden. If you have leftover ham, this recipe is perfect to help use it up. However, I didn’t have leftover ham, so I bought ham already cubed and ready to go from the grocery store. No chopping involved. Just open the packages and dump.

Spread that deliciousness into a prepared glass 13×9 inch dish, sprinkle with as much or as little Parmesan cheese as you desire, and it’s ready for the oven. I think a grated Asiago cheese would be awesome on this in place of Parmesan, or maybe even a mixture of the two. This dish is really versatile folks.

Pop that baby in the oven, and in 1 hour dinner is ready to enjoy! Add a delicious tossed crisp green salad to accompany this yummy casserole, and you’ve got a well rounded meal, with little effort.

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Cheesy Ham and Potato Bake Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Spray 13x9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  3. In a large bowl, combine potatoes O'brien, ham, broccoli, soups, sour cream and cheddar cheese. Mix well.
  4. Spread into prepared baking dish and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  5. Bake for 1 hour or until bubbly and lightly browned.
Recipe Notes

Adapted from allrecipes.com

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Broccoli-Sausage Macaroni

It’s supposed to be Fall. Right? I mean, here in Southern Indiana, it really doesn’t feel like Fall. We are in desperate need of rain, and we’re still in the mid to upper 80 degree weather! However, the evenings have become a lot cooler. Down in between 55-60. Beautiful nights for some bonfires, if you ask me. In fact, friends are starting to schedule their Fall bonfire parties. Let the potlucks and fires begin! These get togethers are why I love Fall so much. A big part of it anyway. Another reason I love fall, comforting casseroles like this Broccoli-Sausage Macaroni.

Broccoli-Sausage Macaroni is full of delicious flavor, and creamy cheesy goodness. It’s easy to fix, perfect weeknight meal for busy families. With Fall brings school and all those extra activities that come with that like sports. So having a nice comforting filling dish is greatly needed during this time of year.

What I like to do, is I look at my recipe the night before, and see what I can prep ahead of time. For instance, in this recipe, I need to chop a few things up. I’m not exactly a pro with a knife, so chopping things can take some time. I do all my chopping the night before and store them in Ziplocs, or plastic containers. That way, when I get home and I’m ready to start dinner, the time consuming chopping is already done. Just take it out of the fridge, and toss it in the pan, or mixture, or whatever the recipe says to do with it.

For this recipe, it’s real simple. Cook your elbow macaroni (or any short pasta you prefer) according to the package directions. While that’s cooking, steam  your broccoli. I get the packages of frozen steamable broccoli, and do this in the microwave. No extra dishes, you just do it right in the package and it’s quick. Just be sure you buy the packages that are steamable. Then melt some butter in a pan, and saute the onion, bell pepper and sausage until the veggies are crisp tender. Sprinkle a little flour over that, and cook it just for a minute to get that flour taste out. Gradually add your milk, bring that to a boil and cook and stir for about 2 minutes or until it’s thickened. Cut off the heat and add your cheese and seasonings and stir until the cheese is melted. Drain the macaroni and if necessary, the broccoli. Mix the cheese mixture, broccoli and noodles together.

Transfer this creamy deliciousness to a greased 13×9 glass baking dish. The dish is going to be full. If you’re worried about it spilling over in the oven, just set the dish on a foil lined baking sheet and don’t worry about clean up. It’ll be easy peasy! Sprinkle your breadcrumbs and butter mixture over the top, and bake this at at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until heated through.

All that’s left, is to serve this beautiful comforting casserole, and enjoy!

 

Print Recipe
Broccoli-Sausage Macaroni Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Meanwhile, steam broccoli according to package directions.
  2. In a large saucepan, saute the onion, sausage and red pepper in 1 tablespoon butter until vegetables are crisp-tender. Sprinkle with flour; stir until blended. Gradually stir in milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
  3. Stir in the cheese, parsley, mustard and seasonings until blended. Drain broccoli and macaroni; stir into cheese sauce. Transfer to a greased 13x9 baking dish (dish will be full).
  4. Combine bread crumbs and butter. Sprinkle over top. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until heated through.
Recipe Notes

Adapted from Taste of Home

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Pea Salad with Bacon & Creamy Ranch

Long weekends equal lots of fun and food with family and friends! At least it does in my neighborhood, if you can call it a neighborhood out here in the sticks.  We had two full, very busy, yet very fun days with family friends as we wave goodbye to summer and fit in at least one more (or two more in this case) cookout.

And out here in the sticks, we know how to have fun! Labor Day weekend marking not just goodbye to Summer, but also bringing out the first of many bonfires/chimney log fires of the new Fall season coming.

Of course the adults aren’t the only ones having fun. My little guy, Joe, had an absolute blast at his very first “neighborhood” party. If you are new here and don’t know, my son Joe is Autistic and would have never handled this much activity (aka a cookout/party) without getting overloaded and ending in a melt down. So, this is his first very successful party. He had a blast on the playground at our friend’s house, and lasted as long as I did! The score: Mom 1 vs. Melt Downs 0. Awww yea!!! Hang on a sec, I need to victory dance! Of course a lot of thanks goes to his Grandma. She kept up with him and enjoyed herself too. It was a good day!

The really cool fires and the playgrounds aren’t the only thing that bring us folks out here in the sticks together. Oh no, it’s the food! Isn’t it always the food? Our potluck parties (or pitch-ins as the native Hoosiers like to call them) are always incredible! There’s always so much food! Way more than I can justify eating in one sitting. I want to, I just can’t justify it. 😂 Seriously, we had pork loin, ribs, lamb chops, sausages, and of course hot dogs and burgers! My mother in law brought her amazing mac & cheese, and I really need to wiggle that recipe out of her so I can share it with all of you. There was so much more food than what I just listed, including this Pea Salad with Bacon & Creamy Ranch.

This salad is incredible. It’s incredibly easy, incredibly delicious, it has incredible tasty bacon. See? Incredible! It comes together super fast. Although you can substitute real bacon bits for the bacon in this salad if you’re pressed for time, but I seriously recommend cooking bacon and crumbling it. I cook my bacon on a sheet pan in the oven and clean up is a breeze! Just heat the oven to 400 degrees, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, put your bacon on there and bake it for about 15-20 minutes or until it’s crisp. Then put it on a paper towel lined plate and let it cool before crumbling. Clean up?! What clean up?!

I hope you all get a chance to enjoy this salad as much as I enjoyed sharing it with my friends and family.

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Pea Salad with Bacon & Creamy Ranch Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Salads
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Salads
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Drain peas in a colander, if necessary. Mine had a little liquid from being frozen, but not much. We don't want that liquid.
  2. In a large bowl add peas, cheese, onion, sunflower kernels, crumbled bacon and ranch dressing. Toss gently to coat.
  3. Add salt & pepper to taste, and toss gently one more time to mix it in.
  4. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving.
Recipe Notes

Adapted from Dinner Then Dessert

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Mashed Potato Hot Dish

This casserole is the perfect dish to serve your family on busy weekdays. You probably have all of the ingredients already in your pantry. This dish has a lot going on for it. It’s budget friendly for one, it’s easy to put together, and it tastes fantastic! All you need to round it out is a simple salad to serve on the side. Easy Peasy! Oh, and one other thing I love about this recipe, it’s topped with my favorite mashed potatoes. I make double the mashed potatoes for what I actually need in this recipe, so there are leftovers that I can serve as a side dish the next day. I mean, if I already have to make them, I might as well double up. That makes for an easy dinner the next day, since I don’t have to worry about a side. The potatoes go with anything, meatloaf, chicken, steak, pork chops. Oh I can name a million things that go with mashed potatoes, and trust me, after you taste these, you’re going to want more.

So lets get cooking!

There’s nothing to it really.  You’re just gonna take your ground beef, garlic and onion, and toss that in a large pan. Brown  up that hamburger and drain the fat if necessary. Then add your green beans, cream of chicken soup, and salt and pepper. Next layer!

Cheese! Oh yea. You’ve got to have cheese. If you’re worried about the fat content in this recipe, don’t be worried! I’ll let you in on a little secret. I used low fat cream of chicken soup, reduced fat cheese, 1/3 less fat Neufchatel cheese (instead of full fat cream cheese), and light sour cream. No one noticed! Just as I suspected. If you’re worried about the beef, switch it out for ground turkey. It’ll work out just the same and be fabulous, just the same. In fact next time I’m going to use ground turkey. So there go, don’t be scared, now put that cheese layer on. Next layer!

The mashed potato layer. These potatoes are easy to make, and this is also where the cream cheese, sour cream, butter and ranch dressing mix comes into play. But like I said above, you can lighten it up. I did! So spread that deliciousness over the cheese.

No, I’m not kidding. More cheese. That’s your final layer. Now plop that in the oven at 350 and bake it until it’s bubbly and the cheese is melted. About 20-25 minutes, which was the perfect amount of time for me to clean up those pans I used, and toss together a crisp green salad.

Enjoy!


Print Recipe
Mashed Potato Hot Dish Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Place potatoes in a large pot. Cover with water, and bring to a boil. Boil potatoes for 15-20 minutes or until fork tender; drain well.
  2. Return potatoes to large pot and add cream cheese, ranch dressing mix, sour cream and butter. With an electric hand held mixer on low speed, blend ingredients together. Once combined, turn to faster setting and whip potatoes until smooth. Cover and set aside.
  3. In a large skillet, cook beef, onion and garlic over medium heat until no longer pink and onion is soft. Drain if necessary.
  4. Stir in soup, green beans, and salt and pepper to taste
  5. Transfer beef mixture to a greased 2-qt. baking dish. Top with 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese. Top cheese with mashed potatoes. Sprinkle top of potatoes with remaining cheese.
  6. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is melted.
Recipe Notes

This recipe makes double Mashed potatoes than what you will need for this casserole. I like to make extra and then eat the left over potatoes as a side dish the next day. If you don't wish to do that, then just cut the mashed potato recipe in half.

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