Cumin, Where Art Thou?

It’s taco night! Nope, just kidding.

This was the quote that sent rage through my house. My kids went straight from pleasant to demonic and it just so happens my husband was out of town. They don’t handle change very well anyhow, but when you take away their taco dreams and they are already hangry. No, just no.

Obviously, my minions are taco FANATICS. I make my tacos with a homemade seasoning mix to go into the ground beef. I also add in refried beans and my kids love it. They don’t even realize they are eating the beans, but it’s my secret way of stretching the taco filling and getting some sort of extra protein into their tummies.

The reason my dinner plans changed? As soon as I started rummaging through my spice cabinet, I realized I was missing cumin. At this moment, cumin and I are NOT on good terms.

I had to figure out something to feed the kids so I made Cheeseburger Macaroni. I don’t know if it’s an actual recipe I got somewhere or not, so I’ll improvise and type something up below. I usually make this when I have no plans and need something quick.

Here are the necessary ingredients:

I started by boiling the macaroni noodles. I didn’t/don’t have a measurement for this. I have always cooked the entire box and my husband takes any leftovers to work for lunch for a few days.

While the noodles were boiling, I browned the ground beef and onion together in a skillet on medium/high heat. 

Once the noodles were soft and the meat properly browned, I drained both and combined them in a large pot. On a side note, make sure the pot is LARGE. If not, this happens:

I could barely move the spoon. I ended up needing to move the mixture to a large skillet, but that was almost too small as well.  Next time I prepare Cheeseburger Macaroni, I will make sure my big pots are clean….

The cheese mixture needed to be watched and stirred constantly. For this reason alone, I always do the sauce last. First, I warmed up a 1/2 cup of milk on the stove until it was right at boiling (I also threw in a big pinch of salt and pepper).

Next, I mixed in a (generous) cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese. It is very important that the cup of cheese is put into the milk in 3 or 4 handfuls. After throwing in a “handful”,  I whisked the cheese until it was completely melted before adding the next handful.

If you throw all the cheese in at once, it tends to clump (I know this from experience!) Also, it’s gross to get a big clump of cheese in your meal!

Once the cheese sauce was fully melted, I poured it over the noodle and meat mixture and stirred until combined.

I mixed it on the stove top eye that I was using to cook the food. It was turned off at that point, but it was still warm so it helped the sauce mix in better and kept everything hot. If you do the same, just be careful that it doesn’t burn!

Here it is! My two big kids ate it and my youngest complained. She’s a threenager so her judgement is skewed.

Print Recipe
Cheeseburger Macaroni
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
people
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
people
Recipe Notes
  1. Bring LARGE pot of water to a boil and add macaroni noodles.
  2. While water is boiling, brown ground beef and onion in a separate skillet.
  3. Drain water and meat/onion mixture and combine in large pot.
  4. Bring milk to a boil and turn heat down to medium.
  5. Add in cheese one handful at a time and stir until melted before adding next handful.
  6. Once cheese sauce is melted completely, pour over meat and noodle mixture and mix well.
  7. Serve and enjoy.
Share this Recipe

 

 

Cheeseburger Macaroni

Print Recipe
Cheeseburger Macaroni
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
people
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
people
Recipe Notes
  1. Bring LARGE pot of water to a boil and add macaroni noodles.
  2. While water is boiling, brown ground beef and onion in a separate skillet.
  3. Drain water and meat/onion mixture and combine in large pot.
  4. Bring milk to a boil and turn heat down to medium.
  5. Add in cheese one handful at a time and stir until melted before adding next handful.
  6. Once cheese sauce is melted completely, pour over meat and noodle mixture and mix well.
  7. Serve and enjoy.
Share this Recipe

Colander Calamity

Last night was a doozy- even for me.

To begin, my husband and I either ate something bad or we had a small virus, but he and I were both feeling pretty crummy. I thought that some chicken noodle might do the trick and I’ve been wanting to try homemade for a while, but didn’t have a recipe. I raided my pantry and hoped for the best.

The night actually got off to a decent start considering the crummy day I had experienced. I had all these awesome ingredients! Surely something good could come out of it. (And yes, bacon doesn’t normally go into chicken noodle, but it’s bacon. Who turns down bacon?!)

I got the chicken broth boiling and dumped in the tomatoes. This was going well! I needed to get the carrots and celery in next so they could boil for a few minutes longer than the pasta and get tender. Unfortunately, I still had unwashed, unpeeled, and undiced vegetables. I worked as quickly as I could with the vegetables to get them into the pot.

Once the veggies were taken care of, I decided to start the bacon. I avoided burning it on the stove altogether and opted for the oven. (In hindsight, I should have started the bacon first. I’ve adjusted the recipe to reflect this.)

Once the bacon was in the oven and the vegetables had boiled for a few minutes, I added the pasta to the pot along with the concoction of seasonings I had put together. I even measured this time to keep up with what I used. I was feeling fancy! Once everything was in the pot and mixed together it looked kind of gross, but I kept pressing forward!

 All was going well until my two youngest children came into the kitchen singing the song of their people. If you have children, you know it well. It’s the “I want a drink!” and the “What is for dinner?” songs masterfully sung in the key of whine. I shooed them out and got back to making dinner.

I realized the pasta was overcooking and grabbed my collapsible colander (strainer). I popped it out and set it in the sink to use. I did not have intentions to drain the entire pot because I was still wanting chicken noodle, but I had entirely too much liquid for my liking.

I started to pour liquid into the colander and then it happened. I tipped forward a little too much and, unbeknownst to me, the colander didn’t pop out properly.

 

Disaster. Full-scale, disaster. During the commotion the kids came in again, saw my face, and ran away quickly. Just as I was about to have a nervous breakdown, the timer on the oven went off. The bacon was done. I doused my frustration with a piece of the bacon.

I took what tiny amount of pasta I had left in the strainer and crumbled a few pieces of the bacon to place on top. I had to try my pasta creation since I literally made up the recipe as I was going.

It was good! It was actually REALLY good! It’s too bad no one else in my family got a chance to give it a try.

Maybe next time…with a new colander.

Easy Peasy Pasta

  • 6 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) petite diced tomatoes (undrained)
  • 4 carrots- diced
  • 4 celery stalks- diced
  • 1 bag of medium egg noodles (12 oz)
  • 1 pack of bacon
  • 1 Tbsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp basil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400. Once ready, put bacon into the oven for 20 minutes. (May need to flip it halfway through.)
  2. Bring chicken broth to a boil.
  3. Once boiling, put undrained tomatoes, diced carrots, and diced celery into the pot and let boil for 5 minutes.
  4. After 5 minutes, place noodles and spices into the pot and stir well. Let boil until the noodles are al dente.
  5. Drain pot (leave a little liquid for a soup type consistency)
  6. Crumble cooked bacon on top
  7. Serve- should be 4-6 servings if you don’t dump it into the sink.