Lazy Bistro Burgers

You ever get that lazy feeling? Where you’ve been busting your hump all week, you know you’re not finished, but all you want to do is as little as possible, and then just before you put your feet up in your favorite chair with a nice glass of wine, you realize you still have to prepare dinner. I love to cook, obviously, but there are days like that and it’s frustrating.

Not to fear though! I have for you today, a wonderful lazy day recipe! This recipe is so quick, and requires such little prep, that you’ll be back to that easy chair and glass of wine in no time flat! This is also perfect for a rushed weeknight meal too.

To be honest, I was not rushed when I came up with this burger. I found a recipe for a beautiful macaroni salad on Pinterest, and I really wanted to try it. So, I came up with this burger recipe to go with it. I made the salad earlier in the day, and then when dinner time came around, slapped these burgers together and YUM was all around! Everyone should have this salad in their lives, so after you’re done here, you might head over to Cooking Classy and check out her Classic Macaroni Salad. YUM!

Ok, so on with the burgers!

You only need a few ingredients. Grab 2 pounds of ground beef, an envelope of onion soup mix, about 1 tbsp of hamburger seasoning (I use McCormick Grill Mates Hamburger Seasoning), and 3 tbsp of water. With your clean hands, get into that meat and mix it all up. You want this mixture mixed thoroughly. Then all you need to do is separate it into 6 equal portions, and shape into patties. I lined a baking sheet with wax paper to my patties on, that way it made it easier for my hubby (aka personal Grill Master), to take them out to the grill.

You can choose any kind of cheese you want, or no cheese if you don’t want it. We chose Pepper Jack and it really worked well with this burger. Once you’ve got your burgers cooked, your buns toasted and your cheese melted, top your burger with whatever you fancy! We chose lettuce, tomato (we have some home grown thanks to mom-in-law), and sliced red onion.

Serve this delicious, big fat juicy burger with a side of that Classic Macaroni Salad, and you have an easy dinner, your family is going to love!

Enjoy!

Print Recipe
Lazy Bistro Burgers Yum
Recipe by: Christine Titus
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine beef, soup mix, hamburger seasoning and water. Combine thoroughly (I like using my hands for this).
  2. Separate beef mixture into 6 separate portions. Shape each hamburger patties.
  3. Grill burgers, covered, over medium heat for 5-7 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees and juices run clear. Place buns cut side down on grill for the last 2 minutes to toast.
  4. Serve the burgers on the buns, and along with any of your desired toppings.
Recipe Notes

Adapted from Campbell's

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5 Bean Chili – #SundaySupper

Ok, so how many of you have kids that are just so sick of sandwiches? Or just don’t care for them? OR are just picky?! I happen to have a couple of those, and yet they want so badly to take lunch to school. I can’t blame them, the cafeteria food at their school is just, gross. I tried to come up with a more polite way of saying it, but lets face it, it’s gross. Poor kids don’t even get access to salt & pepper! Savage, right?!

Not to worry! #SundaySupper, along with our gracious host Christie Campbell from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures, are here to give you ideas for hot lunches to send your kids to school with. I never thought I could send hot lunches to school with my kids. I don’t know about your kids, but mine do not have access to a microwave while at school. So how do you keep food hot?

You would be amazed at the items available these days, from insulated lunch bags, to insulated containers that go beyond a thermos. Here’s one I really like:

Thermos Foogo – They have other colors besides pink, of course. This is a 10 oz food container, vacuum insulated to keep food hot or cold. It keeps things warm for 5 hours and cold for 7. The outside of the thermos doesn’t get hot, so it’s fine to put it in your lunch bag with cold items. Also, it’s easy to open. This particular one was designed with kids in mind. Yea it’s a thermos, but you can put so much more than just soup in it. Try leftover pasta from the night before, or a real kid favorite like mac & cheese.

Or, how about the recipe I’ve got for you today? This would go perfectly into that cute container, and would stay hot/warm until lunch time. My 5 bean chili! Now, I make my chili on the mild side because that’s just how I roll. My kids appreciate it too, and in fact they love this recipe. Even my bean hater doesn’t mind mom’s chili. It’s so simple too, because I make this in my 6 quart, black, oval Crockpot, and I just LOVE my Crockpot!

First you want to brown up 2 pounds of ground beef along with a bunch of chopped onion. I used two medium onions. As you can already tell, this recipe makes quite a bit of chili. It’s perfect for taking to a potluck, or you can freeze some of it. I have some in the freezer right now.

Once you’ve got the beef all browned up and the onion soft, drain it, if necessary, depending on how lean your meat is. Then just dump it in the slow cooker! The rest of this recipe, is pure dumping.

Drain your 5 cans of beans, and dump those into the slow cooker on top of your beef. I’ve got light red kidney beans, Cannellini beans, black beans, dark red kidney beans, and pinto beans.

Now dump in your 3 cans of Rotel, chili seasoning mixes, tomato sauce, water and salt & pepper. Then mix it up to combine it all real good. Cover, and cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4 hours.

Garnish however you wish. For mine, I went heavy on some low-fat Mexican cheese blend, and a nice dollop of light sour cream. There are a lot of ways we have topped this delicious chili. We’ve used corn bread, fritos, tortilla chips, chopped fresh cilantro, jalapeno slices for those that enjoy a spicy kick. Top it with whatever your favorite toppings are.

Like I mentioned before, this makes a ton of chili, so why not turn leftovers into chili dogs? Or, how about Chili Cheese Burritos? I found that recipe over on Meggan’s blog Culinary Hill. So as you can see this chili is versatile, easy to make, delicious, and perfect for packing into your child’s thermos to take to school for lunch. Add a home made corn muffin, some fruit or a veggie like carrot sticks & celery along with their favorite dip and you’ve got a full and happy kid! It’s time to go beyond sandwiches, and add extra love into the lunch boxes!

 

Sunday Supper Hot Lunch Ideas

Hearty Hot Lunches

Soups and Stews

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Print Recipe
5 Bean Chili Yum
Recipe by: Christine Titus
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a skillet over medium-high heat, brown ground beef with the onions, breaking up clumps.
  2. Transfer beef mixture to slow cooker.
  3. Add beans, Rotel, seasoning mix, tomato sauce, water and salt and pepper. Stir everything together well. Cover and cook on high setting for 4 hours or on low for 7 to 8 hours.
  4. Ladle into bowls and serve with your favorite toppings and some cornbread.
Recipe Notes

Adapted from Sandra Lee

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Lighter Three-Cheese Pasta Bake

Happy Friday everyone! Wow did this week go flying by, or is it just me? I’ve been so busy with back to school stuff that it just seems like it flew by! Can you believe it’s time for back to school already?! I managed to get all of the school supplies, sports physicals are done, we’re working on clothes, and more paperwork for the schools. It hardly leaves time for anything else it would seem.

However, if you are a planner like I am, you probably plan ahead your meals. Or at least your dinners. One thing I have been doing lately is planning budget friendly meals, mostly because of the expenses of back to school. With budget friendly meals, it always helps to have at least 1 meatless dish a week, and lets not forget to keep it healthy! Budget friendly doesn’t have to mean “bad for you”.

So, I’ve got a great meatless casserole for you today! Originally I found this casserole over on Krystin’s blog, Lil Luna. Her recipe is phenomenal! Don’t get me wrong! In fact I love it so much, I really wanted to make it a bit healthier so I can enjoy it more often. Plus I made a few other minor changes to make it more of a meal. By the way, if you don’t want this to be a meatless dish, you can always add some chopped cooked chicken, turkey or ham to it as well.

So here’s what I came up with to lighten it up, and twist it a smidge. First of all, you want to get your ziti pasta cooking. Cook that according to the package instructions until it’s al dente. While that’s boiling away, heat your broccoli cuts according to package directions. Now I bought frozen steamable broccoli cuts, so I just had to plop the package down in the microwave and nuke it according to what the package said. Drain  your pasta, put it back in the same pot, add your broccoli.

Now, take your Alfredo sauce and sour cream and mix that together real good.

Then dump that sauce into the pot with your ziti and broccoli. Toss that together until it’s all evenly coated.

Spread half of the noodle mixture into a lightly greased 13×9 dish.

Now combine together your ricotta, eggs, Parmesan, salt & pepper.

Spread that evenly over the pasta mixture in the baking dish. Spoon the remaining pasta mixture on top of the ricotta mixture.

Sprinkle the top with mozzarella cheese.

Bake it at 350 degrees F. until bubbly and the cheese has melted.

Just look at that cheese! Using light roasted garlic Alfredo sauce, light sour cream, ricotta cheese made with part skim, and reduced fat mozzarella cheese, you’re still left with a rich, creamy, delicious pasta casserole. By the way, no one in this house had a clue I used light or reduced fat anything in this recipe. Now I can enjoy this casserole more often with reduced guilt!

One last note, to make it a bit more healthier, and if you wish, you can replace regular ziti pasta with whole grain or whole wheat ziti. We are just not fans of whole wheat pasta, but that doesn’t mean  you aren’t! Enjoy!

 

Print Recipe
Lighter Three-Cheese Pasta Bake Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Prepare ziti according to package directions until al dente; drain and return to pot.
  2. While ziti is cooking, heat broccoli cuts according to package directions. I used steamable, so just used my microwave.
  3. Once ziti is drained and returned to the pot, add the broccoli
  4. Stir together Alfredo sauce and sour cream; toss with ziti and broccoli until evenly coated. Spoon half of mixture into a lightly greased 13x9-inch baking dish.
  5. Stir together ricotta cheese, eggs, Parmesan, salt and pepper. Spread evenly over pasta mixture in baking dish. Spoon remaining pasta mixture evenly over ricotta cheese layer; sprinkle evenly with mozzarella cheese.
  6. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until bubbly.
Recipe Notes

Feel free to add meat to this dish if you want! Just throw in some chopped cooked chicken, turkey or ham with your pasta and broccoli.

Substitute whole grain or whole wheat pasta if you like.

Adapted from lilluna.com

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Amazing Blue Cheese & Bacon Burgers

This summer has been quite amazing so far! We’ve had a lot of cookouts, and a lot of time spent with family and friends. Although back to school is coming, and coming fast, it may feel like summer is coming to an end. In reality, we still have quite a bit of summer left! So lets not waste it! Fire up that grill! I’ve got something amazing for you!

I recently had my dad visiting from South Carolina. Although some would say my dad is a very picky eater, I wouldn’t classify him as picky. I would put him in the “simple” category. He’s a very simple person when it comes to food. He’s all about easy, traditional, and a meat & potatoes kinda guy. So for me, that’s super easy to cook for. I know the man pretty darn well, and I know that there are three things he loves a lot! That’s burgers, blue cheese, and bacon. So I created this Amazing Blue Cheese & Bacon Burger for him, which I slightly adapted from a Kraft. Before I get into the recipe, I just want to let you know that although I mention McCormick Grill Mates specifically, this is in no way a compensated post. I just really like the stuff.

Burgers, in my opinion, are always simple. Especially since I don’t run the grill. If you have yourself a personal grill master, all you have to do is mix it all up, smash some patties together and present them to the grill master! Your work is done! I happen to absolutely love my grill master.  😉

So take all of the ingredients listed, except for the bun of course, and mix it all up. I use my hands for this. Clean hands of course! Sometimes, you just gotta get down and dirty to get all those ingredients mixed up completely. It works really well. I do the same thing when I make meatloaf.

When it comes to the bacon bits, please don’t use that dried up nasty crunchy stuff like Bacos. I am using Real Bacon Bits which are located with all of the other salad toppings, usually in a plastic resealable bag. It makes a world of difference. You can also fry up some bacon and crumble it. The real bacon bits just save me that step and make it more convenient.

Feel free to top your burgers with your favorite toppings. We had lettuce and tomato for ours, but you could add pickles, and onion and all sorts of things. The sky’s the limit! Whatever you like!

Sit back, relax, and enjoy this juicy burger! I kept this very simple by serving it with some potato salad. But you could do a pasta salad, or perhaps from potato wedges or fries. What do you like to serve your burgers with?


Print Recipe
Amazing Blue Cheese & Bacon Burgers Yum
Recipe by: Christine Titus
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat your grill to medium heat.
  2. In a large bowl, mix ground beef, blue cheese, real bacon bits, steak sauce and hamburger seasoning. I use my hands (clean of course) to mix it all up. It works so much better than a spoon and really gets it all incorporated into the meat.
  3. Divide meat into equal portions and shape into 8 patties (for hamburgers) or 12 patties (for sliders).
  4. Grill burgers, covered, over medium heat for 5-7 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 160° and juices run clear. Place buns, cut side down, on grill for the last 2 minutes to toast the buns.
  5. Fill buns with burgers, and desired toppings.
  6. Enjoy!
  7. Serves: 8 hamburgers or 12 sliders
Recipe Notes

Slightly adapted from Kraft

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South of the Border Hot Dogs – #SundaySupper

My wonderful #SundaySupper family has put Creative Hot Dogs on this Sunday’s menu. I love hot dogs! I swear I could live off of them. There are so many great ways you can serve up hot dogs, or include them in your meals. They are more versatile than one might think, as you’re about to find out. This is all largely thanks to our wonderful event hosts Stacy from Food Lust People Love and Mary Ellen from Recipes, Food & Cooking.

So lets do this! Fire up the grill, prepare the microwave, pre-heat the oven, get out your roasting sticks and light that fire! However it is you like cooking your hot dogs. I’ve got some South of the Border goodness for you that you are going to want to give a try! Your family will love this. If you don’t like spicy food, don’t worry, you control the heat. Make it super spicy, medium spicy or not at all spicy. You pick!

Personally, I enjoy hot dogs on the grill, or roasted over a fire. For this recipe we grill them, but you can cook them any way you wish. But first, you’ll want to prepare the taco meat. I used ground beef, but you can use ground turkey if you wish to cut down on the fat. Just brown it up, and then add a packet of taco seasoning and the water called for on the packet. Simmer as per the instructions on the packet.

While you’re preparing the taco meat, you can get the cheese sauce heating up in a small saucepan. All it is, is a can of condensed Fiesta Nacho Cheese Soup. It was a bit too thick for my liking, which you can tell after it gets warmer. I just added a tiny bit of water at a time until it got to where I wanted it. One can is plenty of cheese sauce for 8 hot dogs, but I used two cans because I served some of the cheese sauce on top of fries to go along with this delicious hot dog.

Once the taco meat is cooked, and the cheese sauce is heated through, you can put them both on low, slap a lid on the pot and pan, and all that’s left to do is grill those dogs and build it! Split the hot dog bun, liberally spread guacamole over the inside of the bun. Then add your hot dog, top with taco meat, cheese sauce, crushed Doritos, and any other taco toppings your little heart desires, like red onion, sliced black olives, jalapenos, salsa, etc. The sky is the limit! You may want a fork and knife for this one.

Now dig in, and enjoy! Perhaps serve it like I did, alongside some cheesy fries. YUM!

Sunday Supper Creative Hot Dog Recipes

Cheesy Dogs

Meaty Dogs

Regional Dogs

Tex Mex Dogs

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Print Recipe
South of the Border Hot Dogs Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Cuisine Mexican
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Cuisine Mexican
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet, cook ground beef until no longer pink; drain.
  2. Add taco seasoning mix to ground beef along with 3/4 cup water. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat, and alow to simmer for about 5 minutes or until most of the water has evaporated.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat condensed soup, let simmer until heated through. If it appears to be too thick, just add a very small amount of water until desired consistency.
  4. To assemble: Top buns with guacamole, hot dog, taco meat, cheese sauce, crushed chips and any other desired toppings.
  5. Serve, and enjoy!
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Delicious Ranch Potato Salad

The weather here is just perfect. A beautiful 78 degrees which is perfect for me! Not too hot, not too cold. It’s wonderful, and it’s got me wanting to gather up the clan, and go to a park for a picnic. I don’t know about you, but I love picnics. Ever since I was a kid, my favorite picnic food was potato salad. As far as I’m concerned, you can’t have a picnic without potato salad! It just wouldn’t be right. It also wouldn’t be right to make the same old potato salad over and over again either. I don’t know about you folks, but I like variety. I get bored with the same ol’ thing.

So lets switch it up! I’ve created this Delicious Ranch Potato Salad, and I served it at a potluck cookout very recently. It was a huge hit with my family and friends, and I know it will be with you and your family too. Like most potato salads, this one is super easy. You can even make it a day ahead of time.

First you want to get your potatoes cut up and into the pot of salted water, get that boiling. While those are cooking, take the rest of your ingredients and combine them in a large bowl. I like to use my giant Pyrex glass bowl for almost all of my salads. I like the extra tossing room.

Once your potatoes have cooked and are fork tender, which will only take about 8-12 minutes, you’ll want to drain them well. Then add them to your dressing mixture in your giant bowl. Toss it all together, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. I use red potatoes in this recipe. I prefer to use a waxy potato in potato salads like red potatoes, fingerling potatoes are new potatoes. The waxy potatoes hold up much better, where as starchy ones like russet potatoes tend to fall apart too easily, and turn your salad into mush. Ew…

 

Print Recipe
Delicious Ranch Potato Salad Yum
Recipe by: Christine Titus
Course Salads
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Salads
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Clean and cut potatoes into chunks, then place in a large pot with salted water to cover potatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to keep it at a gentle boil and let cook until potatoes are fork tender,, about 8-12 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, combine all other ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Once potatoes are done, drain well, and add to the dressing mixture and toss to thoroughly combine all ingredients. Place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to let flavors mingle and chill.
Recipe Notes

You can make this salad a day ahead of time, just keep covered in the refrigerator. Light ranch dressing may be substituted for regular to save a few calories.

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Raspberry Lemonade Sparkler

Welcome to Summer! Has it been crazy hot where you live? It sure has been  here in Southern Indiana for the past few weeks. When it gets close to the 90s with humidity on top of it, I’ve got to find a way to beat the heat. Out here in the country, we like to visit our “neighbor’s” house, who happens to have a very lovely swimming hole. Complete with a fun slide to slide down and make huge splashes in the water. It’s a ton of fun, and my kids love it.

Another thing I like to do on a nice hot summer day, sit on a shady porch with good company, and share a delicious, refreshing, ice cold beverage. It doesn’t have to be an adult beverage, but in this case, it is an adult beverage. I introduce to you, the perfect hot summer day beverage, my Raspberry Lemonade Sparkler.

You’re going to love this cocktail. Not only is it super simple to make, but it’s incredibly refreshing, and absolutely delicious.

When you make this drink, be sure you are using Pink Moscato Champagne and not just Pink Moscato wine. You want the bubbles in this beverage. It makes a HUGE difference in the final outcome.

I hope you enjoy this wonderful cocktail as much as I did, and as always, when drinking an adult beverage, please drink responsibly.

Now, go mix one of these up, take it to the porch, sit back, relax, and enjoy!

Print Recipe
Raspberry Lemonade Sparkler Yum
Course Beverages
Cuisine American
Servings
serving
Ingredients
Course Beverages
Cuisine American
Servings
serving
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Pour Raspberry Lemonade into a glass with ice to a little more than halfway.
  2. Add a splash of grenadine.
  3. Top with champagne.
  4. Garnish with frozen raspberries and lemon slice.
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Penne Marinara Casserole with Brown Sugar Bourbon Smoked Sausage

Ever find yourself without a plan for dinner? I’m a planner, it’s what I do. I have to have a plan for just about everything and that includes dinner. Sometimes though, plans fall through, or I forgot a minor detail that turns out to be a huge big deal! This is how this Penne Marinara Casserole with Brown Sugar Bourbon Smoked Sausage was born. My plan for dinner fell through because of a few forgotten ingredients and so I found myself at the last minute digging into my freezer and cabinets saying to myself “Now what?!” Since I live way out in the countryside, just jumping in the car and going to the store for forgotten items just isn’t all that feasible, or appealing. 😂

This turned out to be great though! It wasn’t a disaster at all. My kids gobbled this casserole up, and I gotta say, I enjoyed it too. You can use any variety of sausages in this casserole, but the Brown Sugar Bourbon Smoked Sausage is what I had on hand. I really liked the subtle sweetness it gave the dish. It’s not overpowering at all, just a background sweetness. You’ve just got to try it! Here’s how to make it! It’s easy peasy!

First you want to get your water going for your pasta, and cook your pasta according to the directions on the package. Just until al dente (cooked, but firm to the bite). While that’s doing it’s thing, you can brown up your ground beef (or turkey if you prefer) along with your onion and garlic. Once the beef is cooked, then just slice your sausages into coins, like above. Toss that in the skillet with the beef.

Toss your pasta sauce and seasonings in along with your sausage and stir it up to combine. Then just let it simmer and heat through while your pasta finishes cooking. Once the pasta is done, drain it and return it to the pot.

Take your meat mixture, and dump that in with your pasta and give it a good stir.

Transfer the pasta to your prepared casserole dish, and top with the cheeses. It is now ready for the oven!

Pop that in a 350 degree oven, and in about 10-15 minutes (or until the cheese is melted and the casserole is heated through) you have a delicious dinner.

Full of two different kinds of meat and cheesy goodness, what more do you need?! Perhaps a fresh, crisp green salad to go along side it wouldn’t hurt. 😉

 

 

Print Recipe
Penne Marinara Casserole with Brown Sugar Bourbon Smoked Sausage Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 2 1/2 – 3 quart baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions, until al dente.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef with onion and garlic until beef is no longer pink and vegetables are tender.
  4. Slice sausages into coins, and add to the skillet along with pasta sauce and seasonings. Stir to combine, and let simmer to heat through while pasta finishes cooking.
  5. When pasta is cooked, drain thoroughly and return to pot.
  6. Stir meat mixture into pasta and transfer to prepared baking dish.
  7. Top with Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
  8. Bake for 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes, or until cheese melts and heated through.
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Wine Pairing Wednesday – Tailslide Pinot Noir

It’s no secret that I enjoy a good Pinot Noir. You may not believe this, but I used to have a total aversion to red wine of any kind. I used to think it was so bitter, and just not pleasant. I liked the sweetness and mild flavors of a good white or a blush. Never a red! That was until I decided to try a Pinot Noir at the urging of a waiter at a very nice restaurant. I asked him what he recommended to go with my red meat entrée. When he recommended the Pinot Noir, I explained to him that I am not a fan of red wine. So he brought me a sample, and that’s the end of that story.

These days I do try new reds, and I do like a lot of them. Nothing beats a good Pinot Noir though. It’s my favorite. It has a nice balance between not too bitter, and not too sweet. Perfectly balanced. This is exactly why it’s my favorite wine hands down. There is a such thing as a bad Pinot Noir though. It all depends on what vineyard it came from.

The Pinot Noir I bring you today is not one of those bad ones. Oh heaven’s no! I wouldn’t bring you a wine I didn’t like. Tailslide has produced a beautiful Pinot Noir. Tailslide is a California wine. Folks, I can’t say this enough, but in my opinion, the best wines in the United States tend to come from the West Coast. Maybe I’m biased because I originated from Washington state, I’m not sure. It’s possible!

Once you pop the cork on a bottle of this wine, you can immediately pick up on the inviting aromas of mixed berry and cherry blossoms. Pour a glass, and you can see it has rich, beautiful ruby red color. And  yes, that’s my Owen Valley Winery glass. This however is not an Owen Valley Winery wine. I’ll be introducing them at a later time. It just happens to be one of my favorite wine glasses. 😂 This, like other Pinot Noir I’ve tried and loved, is dry yet fruity. Very silky and smooth. It has exactly the perfect balance.

According to some looking around Google, this particular wine pairs well with Meatloaf and Lasagna. Pretty laid back stuff! In fact, it even has a lovely laid back price. You can find this wine from anywhere between 6.99 – 8.99 a bottle. I got mine at Aldi for 6.99. It was their red of the month.  This of course doesn’t mean you can’t dress this up and make it special. Pinot Noir to me, is special. I don’t pair it with things like Meatloaf and Lasagna. Not that there’s anything wrong with it.

So what do I pair it with? Well, this particular one, I paired it with a beautifully grilled 28juicy NY strip steak. In fact I have the recipe for you. It’s called Jack’s Ultimate Steak Marinade. Thanks again to Stephanie over at Plain Chicken for yet another incredible recipe. Now, before you go rushing over to get the recipe, I made some very minor changes.

For the red wine called for in the recipe, I did NOT use the Pinot Noir I am featuring here. I used the Cabernet Sauvignon from a box I told you all about a few Wine Wednesdays ago. Stephanie’s recipe also calls for Prime Beef Fillets, which I bet was incredibly amazing! I used Ribeye for my hubby and kids because that’s their favorite cut, and I used NY Strip for myself. That’s all I changed! This marinade is truly incredible, and pairs perfectly with Tailslide Pinot Noir.

Unfortunately I do not have any photos of my beautiful steaks, because for whatever reason they came out all blury! I was sad. But it’s ok because Steph takes better photos anyway. I hope you all enjoy Jack’s Ultimate Steak Marinade and have a chance to pair it with Tailslide Pinot Noir!

***I am in no way being compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.***


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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