Monday, January 17, 2011

Beef and Noodle Casserole

It's a quiet Monday - one of those Mondays when I don't have to teach and don't have a mountain of papers to grade, no one has to go to work or the dentist, no one has cheerleading or tumbling or major surgery :) So we made a trip to the mall, took Kami's guitar in to be fixed, found Ali's birthday present, exchanged a Christmas present (psssst... there are no lines 3 weeks after Christmas!!) and bought a birthday gift for a friend. All in all, it was a productive day. There were relatively few fights and I was able to make dinner and do geometry. Well, we are still working on the geometry part, but at least dinner is finished!

I found a great ground beef recipe, changed a few things that I didn't like (aka, I didn't have in my pantry) and even got a thumbs-up from Kami, my picky eater. THAT, my friends, is a success! When I make ground beef recipes, I usually brown 2 pounds at the same time and then package half of the meat for later, either pop it in the freezer when it is cooled or the fridge if I know I will use it in a couple of days. I will pop a large onion, 3 or 4 stalks of celery, a carrot or two and maybe a bell pepper (any color) if there are any in the fridge. I pulse them to chop them fairly well and then heat a large skillet with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. I let the vegetables saute for a few minutes and then add the beef. When it is all cooked up, I divide it in half and I am good to go for 2 meals - it's good in soups, chili, stroganoff or shepherd's pie. I try to do that with chicken too. If I roast one bird, I will roast 2 so I have a spare for those nights when I forget to thaw something. Cooked chicken (or beef) thaws much faster than raw! Be prepared!! I'm a good boy scout. I am NOT, however, a photographer. My cell phone doesn't do such a great job - but this will have to do. This was dinner tonight.


1 lb ground beef
1/2 large onion
2-3 stalks celery
1 large carrot
1 clove garlic
1 T olive oil
1 lb. pkg. egg noodles, cooked and drained
14 oz. can fire-roasted tomatoes
4 oz. can tomato paste
10 oz. can corn
10 oz. can green beans
1 c. sour cream
8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1/2 c. milk
1 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1 c. shredded cheddar

Preheat oven to 350'. Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside. In hot oil saute onion, carrot and celery for 3-4 minutes. Add 1 clove garlic, minced and saute an additional minute. Add ground beef and cook until no longer pink. Stir in tomatoes, paste, salt and pepper. Set aside. Combine cream cheese, sour cream and 1/2 cup milk until well blended. Grease a 9x13 casserole dish. Layer 1/2 noodles on the bottom, top with 1/2 meat mixture then 1/2 of the cream cheese mixture. Layer on the corn and green beans. Top with remaining meat and then the noodles. Lightly spray a sheet of aluminum foil and cover casserole and bake 45 minutes. Remove foil and top with remaining cream cheese mixture and shredded cheese. Return to oven for 15 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Ok, back to geometry!! Until next time, stay warm and loved, my friends!!

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