Italian Ground Beef Casserole

Adapted from Taste and Tell

Italian Ground Beef Casserole

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of ground beef
  • 5 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 28 oz can of diced tomatoes (drained)
  • 1 can of sweet corn (drained)
  • Italian seasoning (2 tablespoons)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Hot or regular paprika (1/2 tablespoon)
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup of ricotta cheese
  • 24 slices of provolone cheese
  • 16 oz tube of refrigerated biscuit dough
  • butter
  • pepper

Directions

Season and brown your ground beef (adding the soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce as well). Add the carrots, onion, and celery and cook until they soften (about 10 minutes).

Add the can of diced tomatoes and the can of corn, and cook for about 20 minutes over medium heat. Stir frequently.

Stir in the cup of ricotta cheese.

Spoon half of the ground beef mixture into a 9 X 13 baking dish. Layer the 12 slices of provolone. Cover with the rest of the mixture, and then layer in the other 12 slices.

Top with the biscuit dough. Brush the biscuits with butter and sprinkle them with pepper.

Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes.

Serve and enjoy!

Homemade Sloppy Joes

Sloppy joes are pretty easy to make when you have ground beef and a can of Manwich. I had the ground beef…but no Manwich. I decided to make my own!

Homemade Sloppy Joes

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of fresh ground chuck
  • 1 onion
  • 2.5 cups of ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 1.5 tablespoons of mustard
  • 4 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 teaspoon each of the following: salt, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon each of the following: crushed red pepper flakes, sriracha, red curry powder, turmeric

*You can add whatever spices you want. I threw in whatever I felt like. Just make sure you have enough salt & pepper.

Directions

Season your ground beef with all the dried spices. Brown your ground beef, and drain the fat.

Add your onion to the skillet (with the ground beef), and cook til it softens.

Mix up the sauces and water. Pour over the ground beef mixture and stir. Let this cook over medium heat for at least 10 minutes. The longer it cooks or the longer it sits, the better it tastes! If you have time to let it cook longer, cook over medium/low heat.

Serve with delicious hard rolls, buns, or over hot dogs. Enjoy!

Meaty Egg Bake

Meaty Egg Bake

Ingredients

  • 8 thin ham slices (I used Superior EZ Carve)
  • 2 pounds of loose Mild Hot Sausage
  • 8 slices of thin mozzarella cheese
  • 8 eggs
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 bag of Oreda hashbrowns (or make your own…this was just for convenience’s sake)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Thaw your hashbrowns in a skillet over medium heat.

While the hashbrowns are thawing, brown your sausage. Set aside to drain.

Melt butter in a giant foil pan (just place it in the oven for about a minute), and layer your hashbrowns on top. Bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes until the edges get crispy.

Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Whisk the eggs in a bowl with salt & pepper.

Layer your ham slices on top of the hashbrowns; layer your loose sausage on top of the ham slices. Pour the eggs evenly. Bake for 35 minutes.

Pull out the pan, and layer the mozzarella over the eggs. Bake for another 2 minutes.

Enjoy!

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Crispy, Glazed Chicken Wings

I have never marinated chicken wings before. The smart thing to do would be to Google some recipes, and check and see what other people do. I did none of these things. I made up my own marinade with no measuring and no plan.

Can you even bake marinated wings? Will they get crispy enough? I knew I was going to find out. I’m lucky though…Because these wings turned out DELICIOUS.

Crispy, Glazed Chicken Wings

Ingredients for the Marinade

  • Rice wine vinegar (1/4 cup)
  • Soy sauce (1/2 cup)
  • Sriracha (1 tbsp, more if you like it hot)
  • Brown sugar (2 tbsp)
  • Curry paste (1 tbsp)
  • Crushed or chopped garlic (1 tbsp)

*This doesn’t have to be exact.

Ingredients for Baking

  • Jumbo cut chicken wings (I used 2 pounds)
  • Olive oil (enough to brush on each wing, maybe 2 tbsp)

Ingredients for Glaze

  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of sriracha
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped/crushed garlic
  • 1/4 cup of honey

Directions (marinade)

Mix all your ingredients together in a large Ziplock bag. Add your wings. Let sit overnight (or for at least 2 hours before cooking).

Directions (Glaze)

Bring all the ingredients to a boil, and stir it frequently to dissolve the honey. Turn it down to low, let it simmer, and cook for about 8 minutes.

Strain (to remove the garlic). Set aside and let thicken.

Directions (baking)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Pat your wings dry. This will take quite a few paper towels, but it’s worth it.

Brush your wings with olive oil. Bake (on a roasting pan-this is the key to crispy wings) for 45-50 minutes.

Brush your wings with the glaze, and bake for another 10 minutes.

*I don’t have a roasting pan…But I do have cooling racks that you use for baking. I made my own roasting pan using a brownie pan and the cooling racks!

**Special shoutout to the Facebook users that assured me you can, in fact, marinate wings!

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Jalapeno Cheddar Bread Grilled Cheese with Potato Soup

On Sundays, I work at Yorkville Bakery in Yorkville, OH. Let me tell YOU: their bread is delicious.  They make a Jalapeno Cheddar bread that I just HAD to make grilled cheese out of. I think stuffing will be my next project.

Jalapeno Cheddar Bread Grilled Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 # of sliced bacon cut into pieces (I used Indiana Kitchen Thick Cut Bacon)
  • Sliced American (I used Land O’ Lakes brand) – 2 pieces for each sandwich
  • Jalapeno Cheddar Bread
  • Butter

Directions

Slice your bread to the desired size. I cut it length wise and then cut it in half for each sandwich. Put aside.

Preheat your oven to 170 degrees.

Fully cook your bacon and set aside to drain.

While the bacon is cooking,  create your sandwiches so they’re ready to go. Layer 1 slice of bread, 1 slice of cheese, 1 layer of bacon, 1 slice of cheese, and then another layer of bread on top of one another.

Melt a pat of butter, and cook your grilled cheese so that the outside is nice and crispy and the cheese is melted. If you’re doing these in batches for a large group of people (like I usually am), wrap the finished sandwiches individually in foil, and then place them in the oven to stay warm.

Potato Soup

Ingredients

  • Leftover broth from chicken and dumplings (I had a 5 # bucket full)
  • 4 cups of water
  • 7 potatoes (peeled and cubed)

Directions

Heat up your broth and water (mine was frozen so I had to thaw it). Dump in your cubed potatoes. Bring it to a boil, and then reduce the heat to medium. Cook for about 10 minutes. Serve with extra cheese and bacon from the grilled cheese.

Serve with the grilled cheese.

*It was delicious.

**You might not need the 4 cups of water if you have plenty of broth.

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Shredded Chicken Sandwiches

Mike looked at me this morning around 8:30 and said, “So…what’s for lunch today?” Good question, Mike. Good question. I decided to make a french toast bake for tomorrow’s lunch but had nothing in mind for today! I wanted something quick and easy that I wouldn’t have to babysit.  I love pulled pork but didn’t have enough time to make any. So I thought, why not pulled chicken!?

Shredded Chicken

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of sriracha (or pepper)
  • 1/4 cup of rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons of fresh, chopped garlic

*I didn’t really measure. Just add what you think, but remember that soy sauce is salty!

Directions

Add everything to a crock pot, and cook on high for 2.5 hours.

After 2.5 hours in the crock pot, remove the chicken and sauce and add it to a heated skillet on the stove-top. Cover and simmer for 1 hour, flipping at least twice during that time.

Remove the chicken and shred while the sauce is still cooking/reducing.

Add the chicken back into the sauce and cook for a few more minutes.

We ate ours on Yorkville Bakery hard rolls with a little bit of barbecue sauce. It was SO good! Serve with homemade chips (or not…no judgement here).

*Don’t let the picture fool you. That pan was completely full of chicken. I made the mistake of waiting to get a picture! The guys had already gotten to it.

Smoky Italian Spaghetti Sauce

Spaghetti is one of the easiest things for me to make at work because I don’t have to babysit it. This is a rich, delicious sauce with some kick to it.

Smoky Italian Spaghetti Sauce

This fed 8 people, and they each had 2 servings! I still have almost a 1/2 a pot of sauce left.

Ingredients

  • 1 box of pasta (I used angel hair and then another gluten free in a different pan)
  • 2-3 pounds of fresh, loose (bulk-not in casing) Mild Hot Sausage
  • 1.5 pounds of Smoked Italian Sausage
  • 1 can of Hunt’s tomato sauce (the 6 pound 9 ounce huge one)
  • 1/4 cup of sriracha (omit if you don’t like it too spicy)
  • 1 tsp paprika (not necessary…I add it to literally everything)
  • 1 tsp of fresh, chopped garlic
  • 1 large onion
  • 1/2 stick of butter

Directions

Brown your Mild Hot Sausage until there is little to no pink. Set aside to drain.

Cut your Smoked Italian Sausage (I cut it in half, and then cut it into little chunks). Brown for 5 minutes. Set aside to drain.

Peel your onion, but leave it whole. Add all your ingredients to a large pot. Cook on medium high (covered) for one hour stirring occasionally.

After 1 hour, remove the onion (I throw it away), and boil your pasta as the directions recommend.

That’s it! Serve and enjoy!

It’s easy, it tastes awesome, and it feeds a bunch of people.

*If you’re feeding less people, just scale everything way down.

**You won’t need to add any salt or pepper. The sausage adds all the flavor you need.

***I leave my pasta and sauce in separate containers because I usually have leftover sauce.