Category Archives: Cooking

Ham-n-Tots Casserole


Do you ever just get the “I don’t want to and you can’t make me, nanny, nanny boo-boo’s”?  Today, that was my attitude.  The last thing I wanted to do was come home and cook dinner.  (Dang, why did I give the maid the night off?!)  I had promised my husband for quite sometime that I would make him a tater tot casserole.  Tonight was the night!  Originally, I was going to make it as a side dish, but because of my laziness, I decided I wanted to make it into a complete meal.

The original recipe does not include meat.  On Cooks.com,there were several recipes that incorporated browned ground beef and some added green beans or broccoli.  I remembered I had some ham in the freezer and thought that would be a good idea.  I chose not to add veggies because I planned on serving a side salad.

It is a good, hearty meal, and I think this would be super on a cold fall or winter night, especially before heading out to the football game on a Friday night.  It was effortless.  Exactly what I was looking for.  Kids would totally dig this too!

Thanks for stopping by!  Enjoy the rest of your week!

TATER TOT CASSEROLE-adapted from http://www.cooks.com
Ingredients:
  • 1 (32 oz.) package frozen potato rounds
  • 1 (16 oz.) container sour cream
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 3 cups shredded ham
  • 1 (10-3/4 oz.) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 (6 oz.) can French-fried onions

Directions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 350°F. (175°C.).
  • Grease a 9×13 inch-baking dish.
  • Arrange tater tots in the prepared baking dish.
  • Spread ham evenly over tots.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine sour cream, cheese, and mushroom soup.
  • Pour this mixture over the tater tots.
  • Sprinkle onions over the top of the casserole.
  • Bake for 45 to 60 minutes.
  • Let it sit for 6 or 7 minutes before serving.

Food Fact Fridays!


Garlic Bulbs

Image via Wikipedia

Garlic

 I love garlic.  Anything I can put garlic into and get away with, I will.  My husband will tell you that in the early months of our marriage he worried that garlic would show up in the pancakes or cookies.   Unless I am baking, if it calls for salt, I reach for garlic salt.  Two things I am never without; minced garlic in my fridge and garlic salt and powder in my spice cabinet.

 An interesting bit of information I found is that China is the leading producer  of garlic.  The U.S. is number 5 on the top 10 list.  For those who are curious, Italy was not on that list.  Here’s a bit of trivia: garlic is grown in 49 of the 50 states.  Alaska is the only state that does not grow garlic.  The self-proclaimed “garlic capital” of the world is Gilroy, California where much of the garlic in the states is grown.

Garlic, kin to the onion, is pretty easy to grow, is very hardy, and is rarely attacked by pests and disease.  For those of you who have a “green thumb” and grow your own vegetable gardens might consider planting garlic to protect your veggies.  No. Not from vampires; from rabbits and moles. That’s good news for those who choose to stay organic and not use pesticides.

There are a lot of claims stating that garlic is very beneficial to the body.  Supposedly it helps with lowering cholesterol, blood pressure, preventing cancer in the stomach; however, none of these claims were supported with clinical studies.  In fact, some lab tests have proven that there was no evidence found to support the claim that consuming garlic or garlic supplements regularly will drop cholesterol.  Just remember, you should always consult your physician before making adjustments to your diet or medication.

Garlic, while it might not be beneficial to your health, per say, it is beneficial to your tummy! Okay, well, maybe my tummy.

 Hope you are having a great week and please, have a wonderful weekend!

Sources:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garlic

Wasting away again in Margaritaville…


It wasn’t until I moved to Texas that I really acknowledged Cinco de Mayo.  And although I don’t have full knowledge of the reason behind the holiday,  I do know  it is a holiday celebrated in the U.S. and not Mexico.  It certainly doesn’t take much of an excuse to celebrate a holiday and whether it’s at home or in the local Mexican restaurant, you can always find a fiesta on this day.

 A few years back, in the office I worked in before, myself and the other front desk clerk, Gracie, were the unofficial party planners of the building.  She enjoys cooking as much as I do.  In fact, if you remember, she is the one who gave me the recipe for the hot sauce I posted about before.  Anyway, a few years back we planned a Cinco de Mayo potluck.  Because no Cinco de Mayo party is complete without margaritas, we began searching for margarita recipes sans tequila.

 The recipe I am going to share is the one we decided to try.  Even if you are not a margarita fan, but love the lemon-lime combination, you will love this.  It was a HUGE hit at the party.  In my new office, I shared this at a bridal shower we had last summer.  Again, it was the talk of the party.  In both occasions there were multiple requests for a copy of the recipe.

 I suggest doubling the recipe.

“Frozen Mock Margaritas

 Things you will need:

  • Blender
  • 4 Liter container (Be sure it has a lid. I save the ice cream containers that are the plastic buckets with a handle, works great)
  • Punch Bowl (For the day you will serve)

 Ingredients:

  • 6 cups of ice (divided)
  • 1 Cup Confectioners’ sugar (divided)
  • 1 Frozen Limeade concentrate, slightly thawed (divided)
  • 1 Frozen Lemonade concentrate, slightly thawed (divided)
  • 1 Liter of Club Soda (Keep chilled in fridge until ready to serve)
  • Lime wedges
  • Coarse salt or sugar

 Directions:

The night before or the morning of the party/gathering:

  • Place 3 cups of ice, ½ cup confectioners’ sugar, ½ each of the limeade and lemonade.
  • Use the “ice crush” setting or whatever setting is comparable on your blender and mix until smooth.
  • Pour into storage container.
  • Repeat with the remaining half of the ingredients just used in steps above.
  • Place container in **freezer until ready to serve.  (if you wanted to add tequila, this would be the time to stir-in one cup)

**Please note, the mixture will become firm and will not freeze solid.

 For the party/gathering:

  • Remove the container from freezer 30 minutes before serving.
  • Rub rim of glasses with lime.  Place salt or sugar in a saucer and dip the glass rim into salt or sugar.
  • Transfer lemon/lime mixture to punch bowl.
  • Stir in club soda until it becomes slushy.
  • Pour into prepared glasses or allow your guests to serve their selves.

 What is so nice about this recipe is that you can make a batch to keep in your freezer and scoop out enough into a glass and add club soda for a single serving.   It’s great to have on hand to enjoy on a hot summer day or when unexpected company arrives.

 Gracias por parar cerca. ¡Tenga una gran semana!

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