Goulash

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Look at this adorable card she made for Jeremiah’s birthday. He LOVES Minions and Stuart is his favorite.

My mother-in-law is super creative. She quilts and scrapbooks. Never a holiday goes by that we don’t receive a handmade card. So, I knew Lynn could take an item I found at a craft show and help me replicate it for our wedding favor.

Starbucks

We did our first look just outside the Starbucks in the Kansas City Overland Park Marriott. It was the venue of our wedding. Photo by: Joseph Sands Photography

Jeremiah and I went on our second date to Starbucks. It was after dinner at Bonefish Grill. We often debate if our first kiss was in the parking lot of the restaurant or at Starbucks. But we know we sat on the patio and talked for hours. Since we both love coffee, we go to Starbucks a lot for dates, meetings, or working on projects. Sometimes, it’s even motivation to workout. We also had three Keurig makers at one time. On any given day, we probably have between 100-150 K-cups in our apartment. What can I say, we like variety? That said, we do have our favorite flavors of coffee.Starbucks2

Lynn examined the sample I gave her and listened for my vision of having “Love is Brewing” and “Mr. & Mrs.” on each of our favorite kinds of coffee. Lynn searched the internet for a template and a video tutorial. Then, she made a template. Her scrapbooking friends even sent her some tools to add a little extra to the design. The next step was trips to Jo-Ann’s and Michaels. (Lynn is also price conscious so she helped me find some coupons to save us some money on the purple paper.) She scored all the paper so all we had to do was assemble them. It sounds simple but we spent almost an entire day making 60 of these K-cups. My sister and her friend Susan also joined us late in the day to finish the project.

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The “Mr.” was Donut Shop Regular. The “Mrs.” was Gloria Jean’s Hazelnut. We also made some without coffee for people like my mom who have a Keurig but don’t drink coffee.

 

This adorable little piece cost us about $1 each to make.

Today’s recipe comes from Lynn. Both our mothers forgot to bring recipe cards to the wedding but we knew what recipes we wanted them to share. Jeremiah was like, “I love my mom’s goulash.” I was like “I hate goulash.” He was like, “You have to try my mom’s recipe, it’s soooo good.” When I think of goulash, I think macaroni noodles with barely any meat and tomato sauce scooped with an ice cream scoop onto a lunch tray. Thank you, school lunch ladies, for making it so bland and gross looking. But I have to admit, Lynn’s recipe is really good. It has cheese. That’s what was missing in the version I had eaten in elementary school.

We don’t know for sure if the recipe is from his Oma (Grandma Martin) but we are guessing that his Oma probably made some sort of goulash as Lynn was growing up. Lynn’s parents meet in Germany as her father was stationed there in the military. In fact, I think Lynn didn’t move to the states until she was six years old. Goulash is typically a Hungarian dish but there are German versions too.

I’m really proud of Jeremiah because he made this dish all by himself. I was running late getting home from work so he started cooking without me. Normally we tag team cooking. I will tell you though to pay attention to the words “cooked macaroni”. Jeremiah didn’t know pasta doubles in size. So, needless to say, we then had some extra noodles cooked for another dish. He thought it was a little cheesier than his mom makes it but I thought it was just perfect.

Hamburger Goulash by Lynn Slater
IMG_01071 lb. ground beef
½ c. chopped onions
½ tsp. salt
3 c. cooked elbow macaroni
1 can (16 oz.) diced tomatoes
1 T. chili powder
½ tsp. pepper
2 c. Velveeta cheese cubed

Brown beef and chopped onion. Add spices and tomatoes. Add cooked macaroni and cheese. Cook until cheese melts.

Not Your Mama’s Meatloaf

For our wedding, we did things a little less traditional. One thing I was adamant about was asking for guest to provide a recipe in lieu of signing a guest book. My thought process was to put together a cookbook/photo album. The idea being we would look at our photos more often. Plus, we would think of all our amazing friends and family being at our wedding when we prepared their recipes.

c21ff084-03cf-4e12-89d3-ec296f8c478cThe first step was creating a recipe card. In a former life, I used to spend a fair amount of my day creating items in software like InDesign. When I couldn’t find what I wanted or wasn’t willing to pay the price on Etsy, I created items myself for the wedding. This is a copy of the recipe card I created. We mailed them with the wedding invitation so people could be prepared. I figured none of my friends and family have a web-based recipe blog like I do actually pull up their favorite recipes when they arrived at the wedding.

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Photography by Joseph Sands Images

After the wedding was over and we had the disk of our photos, I spent several days putting this cookbook together. This included everything from picking just the right font to counting the number of family members on each of our sides in the photos to make sure it was a fair representation. The end result was a cookbook that we printed for our parents and siblings as a Christmas gift. A few years back, I had done a family recipe cookbook for my mom and sister. They loved it and use it often.

The first recipe we prepared from our cookbook came from Jeremiah’s Uncle Johnny and Aunt Angie. I think the first people I met in Jeremiah’s family may have been Johnny and Angie. As you know, we are breakfast/brunch people. We used to go early on Saturday mornings to Corner Café before I headed out to work. Johnny and Angie would join her family for breakfast at the restaurant. They’d usually be arriving as we were leaving. Such a sweet couple. Unfortunately, we are no longer close to that Corner Café so we don’t run into them at breakfast time anymore.

Johnny and Angie shared their meatloaf recipe. It’s very tasty. That said, I would make a recommendation that you mix it right before you cook it. We get home so late from work that we decided to prep it the night before. When pulled it out of the fridge to cook it the next day, the pan was a little watery from the diced tomatoes. We hope you enjoy this more complex meatloaf recipe – and Jeremiah’s artist side with the pepper rings.

Meatloaf by Jon and Angie Slater
17a48f63-44df-484b-b762-ecf7fdaf6d13
1 lb. ground beef
½ c. chopped yellow onion
½ c. chopped green pepper
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 c. canned diced tomatoes with juice
½ c. quick oats
1 ¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp. black pepper

Topping
1/3 c. ketchup
2 T. brown sugar
1 tsp. yellow mustard

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, mix all meatloaf ingredients except topping. Shape into a loaf in baking dish. Mix all topping ingredients in a small bowl and spread over loaf. Bake for 1 hour.

Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole

When my husband was out of town a few weeks ago, I was cooking up a storm. This is a recipe I found on Pinterest. The pin generated several re-pins from a few of my friends and family. Jeremiah asked if it was like my mom’s Hamburger Casserole but I said it reminded me more of Crockpot Chicken Casserole.

IMG_1133Bacon Cheeseburger Tater Tot Casserole from Plain Chicken
1 1/2 lb. ground beef, cooked
3 oz. pre-cooked bacon
2 c. cheddar cheese
1 package of tater tots
1 can cheddar cheese
16 oz. sour cream

Mix ingredients in a bowl and pour into a 13 x 9 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.

Notes:

  • I halfed the recipe and cooked it in a 9 x 9 baking dish. I halfed all the ingredients except I used 1 lb. of ground beef, full serving of bacon, and a full can of soup. I cooked it at the same temp and time.
  • I used light sour cream, 2% cheddar cheese, and real bacon.
  • I think you could cook some onions in the beef and it would be good. 

 

 

Gipes

In fall 2014, Jeremiah and I took our first class at the Culinary Center of Kansas City. I had wanted to go forever but just been able too. We took as tasting class called Drive Ins and Dinner Done Right. Aka – how to cook fried food. We made fried tacos, onion rings, and adult root beer floats (so good). We were so stuffed by the end of the night!

Our chef educator’s family used to own a restaurant. In fact, you may have seen her on television. She beat out thousands of chefs to appear on America’s Next Great Restaurant. She was very entertaining and had lots of great stories to share along with cooking tips.

The class was very hands on and we had to learn to cook with strangers. Jeremiah and I learned that we cook really well together. Unfortunately, we did not cook well with strangers. We were always the last group to finish. But in our defense, I think the other groups knew each other and our stove was clear on the other side of the room.

Jeremiah and I made this recipe once for his parents. It was a little liquidy when we made it the first time so we decided to cook our some of the juice this time. We liked it a little better this way. And to be quite honest, I don’t normally eat Sloppy Joes/taverns. It was also a hit with Jeremiah’s parents. The best part of the night though was Don offering to wash the dishes. If you know me at all, it’s one of my least favorite task.

Gipes (Italian Sloppy Joes) by Sandy Digiovanni
IMG_00531 lb. of ground beef
1 onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
5 garlic cloves
¼ c. fresh parsley
¾ c. beef broth
1 can crushed tomatoes
butter, softened
slice fresh mozzarella cheese
a package of Ciabatta rolls

Brown the ground beef. Add onion and pepper. Cook 5-8 minutes. Add broth, tomatoes, 4 garlic cloves, and parsley. Cook on a higher heat to reduce liquid.

Mix remaining garlic, butter, and x. Spread on slice Ciabatta rolls. Top one side of the roll with cheese. Broil in oven for 2-3 minutes to melt. Top with meat and serve.

Notes:

  • We used smaller Ciabatta rolls and cut slices of cheese in half. It made 12 sandwiches.
  • We used a yellow onion and green pepper. I think you could use whichever onion and pepper you wanted too.
  • We used reduced sodium beef broth and dried parsley.

Taco Braid

The first time I tried Stromboli was with my Grandma Fletcher in Yuma, AZ. She took me to this little pizza place in strip mall and said, “you have to try it.” If you aren’t familiar with Stromboli, it is a turnover filled with meats, cheeses, and/or veggies.

At the Minsky’s in Independence, MO, they have something similar called a Mexican Pizza Roll. I actually ended up with it by mistake one night. They gave me someone else’s order – something I realized just as they were calling me to apologize. Since they couldn’t take the pizza and pizza rolls back, I ended up trying these tasty bits that seemed to me like a Mexican Stromboli. Since I no longer live in Independence, it is a rarity that I make it back over to the only Minsky’s location I know to make these delicious bites.

I ran across this recipe on Pinterest some time ago. I forgot about it until Jeremiah and I were looking for some new recipes in my Pinterest boards before we headed out to buy groceries. It’s good but I still miss the Mexican Pizza Rolls at Minksy’s.

Taco braidTaco Braid from Pinterest
1 can of refrigerated pizza dough
1 lb. ground beef
1 envelope of taco seasoning
1 c. of water
1 can of refried beans
½ c. salsa
2 c. shredded cheese

Cook a pound of ground beef. Drain the grease. Add packet of taco seasoning and 1 cup of water. Cook until a boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes. Layout pizza dough and form into a rectangle. Cut in edges in strips about 3 inches in on each side using a pizza cutter. Spread with refried beans in the middle of the crust. Top with cooked taco meat. Spread with salsa. Sprinkle with cheese. Lace up crust and bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.

Notes:

  • I used half the can of refried beans. I used about ¾ lb. of ground beef.
  • I used Wildtree Taco seasoning.
  • I only used about 1 cup of cheese. It was a mix of mozzarella and cheddar cheese.
  • I wish I had prepared it on the pan or foil as it was difficult to transfer to the baking sheet. I’d also suggest maybe not buying the store brand of pizza crust as it tends to come apart a little easier than the Pillsbury brand.
  • My fiancé suggested we kick it up a notch. Perhaps by adding some cilantro or green onion to the bake. Jeremiah added some spicy salsa on top before eating his second piece. We also said guacamole or sour cream on top would be delicious.

 

Doritos x 4

Yes, this is another Doritos recipe. Apparently, I have so many on my blog that my coworkers bought Doritos to celebrate my b-day. But I have to tell you, it is my favorite of the casserole versions I’ve made. You can’t go wrong with crescent rolls as a base.

Doritos_Crescent BakeTaco Bake from Pinterest
1 lb. hamburger
1 package of taco seasoning
8 oz. sour cream
1 package of crescent rolls
1 (8 oz.) can of tomato sauce
1 c. diced tomatoes (optional)
1 c. shredded cheese
¾ package of crushed Doritos

Brown hamburger and drain. Add taco seasoning, tomato sauce, and tomatoes. Bring to a simmer. Line a 13 x 9 pan with crescent rolls. Top with hamburger mixture, sour cream, cheese, and Doritos. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Notes:

  • I used Wildtree taco seasoning.
  • I used reduced fat crescent rolls, fat free sour cream, no-salt added tomato sauce, and 2% cheese. You could use 93% fat-free ground beef or ground turkey to make it healthier.
  • I accidently add the whole can of Red Gold diced tomatoes (14.5 oz.). It still turned out fine.
  • I used a ½ bag of Doritos and it was more than enough. Another option would be to use Baked Doritos.
  • I baked the crescents for 7 minutes before adding ingredients. I do this to prevent a doughy crust.

Goodbye 2013

Looking back at 2013, I thought I would share a few of my favorite new recipes. In no particular order, here are my top 13:
Breakfast QuicheBreakfast recipes:

Dinner recipes:

Dessert recipes:

A New Kind of Meatloaf

When I was a kid, my mother made meatloaf a lot. My mother especially liked adding this season packet to it. I hated when she did that. As a kid, I liked the plain old ground beef, oatmeal, egg, and ketchup. As an adult, I want something with more flavor. But probably not as much onions as my grandmother puts in her meatloaf recipe.

My sister wasn’t a huge fan of meatloaf. But as an adult, I remember her saying that she had found a mini-meatloaf or meatball recipe she liked. It looks like I must have printed this mini-meatloaf recipe off from a Betty Crocker email. I liked the smooth consistency of using Bisquick instead of oatmeal. I also thought the sausage wasn’t over powering. BBQ sauce was the perfect mix of sweetness. Hope it spices up a classic from your childhood.

30-Minute Mini Meat Loaves30-Minute Mini Meat Loaves
1 lb. of hamburger
1/2 lb. of ground pork
1/2 c. Bisquick
1/4 c. chopped onion
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 egg
1/2 c. ketchup
2 T. brown sugar

Heat oven to 450 degrees. In a large bowl, combine brown sugar and ketchup. Reserve 1/4 c. for topping. Add to bowl remaining ingredients and mix well. Spray a 13 x 9 pan with cooking spray. Place meat into pan and make a 12 x 4 rectangle. Split down the center with a spatula, crosswise split into six equal sections. Separate into 12 mini-loaves and make sure they aren’t touching. Brush with remaining ketchup mixture. Bake 18-20 minutes. Makes six (two piece) servings.

Nutritional Information (per serving): 300 calories (140 calories from fat), 16 g. fat (6 g. saturated fat, 1 g. trans fat), 105 mg. cholesterol, 440 mg. sodium, 17 g. carbs, 0 g. fiber, 11 g. sugars, 22 g. protein.

Meat Loaf Wellington

The other day I was thinking about how I haven’t made meatloaf in while. I decided to flip through my cookbooks to see if I had any jazzed up meatloaf recipes. I ran across one for Meat Loaf Wellington that I had made once before when my mother had come to visit. I remembered it was good so I thought I would give it another spin.

Meat Loaf WellingtonMeat Loaf Wellington by Wanda Orton (Emporia, KS)
1 can of beef gravy
1 1/2 c. day-old bread
1/4 c. chopped onion
1 egg
1 tsp. salt
2 lb. ground beef
1 tube of refrigerated crescent rolls (8 oz.)

In a bowl, combine 1/4 c. gravy, bread cubes, onion, egg, and salt. Crumble meat over mixture and mix well. Press into a greased loaf pan and bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour. Remove from loaf pan and drain on paper towels. Place on a greased 13 x 9 pan and wrap in crescent roll. Bake 10-15 minutes longer or until pastry is golden brown. Heat remaining gravy and drizzle on meatloaf.

Notes:

  • I used croutons instead of day old bread. I crumbed them in a baggie before mixing with the meat.
  • I used only 1 pound of ground beef and 1/2 a crescent roll container. I baked for 45-50 minutes since I was using less meat.

Creamy Spaghetti Sauce

I think recipe came from an issue of Kraft Foods. It incorporates cream cheese into the sauce. It’s a nice quick dinner recipe.

Spaghetti a la PhillySpaghetti a la Philly
1/2 lb. spaghetti, uncooked

1 lb. extra-lean ground beef
1 jar (24 oz.) spaghetti sauce
4 oz. cream cheese
2 tsp. grated Parmesan cheese

Cook spaghetti according to package. Meanwhile, brown hamburger. Add sauce and cream cheese. Cook on low for 3-5 minutes until sauce is heated. Add drained spaghetti to sauce. Top with Parmesan cheese and serve. Makes four servings.

Notes:

  • I used 1/3 less fat cream cheese. Fat free would probably work OK as well in this recipe.
  • I made my sauce using a can of tomatoes and Wildtree seasoning. I still added the meat and cream cheese. It was a little healthier but took longer to taste the favors. I might add some fresh basil, spinich, or zucchini the next time I make it.