Chili Mac

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I love this recipe because you can easily customize it to fit your taste. I like to use a little less macaroni and add another can of black beans and a can of chopped green chiles. You can also add more cheese or hamburger if you like. More carbs, less carbs, more protein, less protein, it’s all up to you. Any way you slice it, it’s umm umm good!

  • 2 – pounds lean ground beef
  • 4 – ounces spaghetti, broken into small pieces
  • 1 – large onion, chopped
  • 1 – 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 – tablespoon freeze-dried minced garlic
  • 2 – teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 – 15 ounce can black beans, do not drain
  • 2 – tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 – 8 ounce bag shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Preheat the oven to 350. Brown and crumble the ground beef, onion, and garlic in a large skillet over medium high heat. Do not drain off the liquid if you used lean meat. Stir in the tomato sauce, chili powder, Worcestershire, black beans and raw spaghetti, one at a time in that order. Spread the beef and noodles evenly in a 13x9x2 pan. Bake for 60 minutes. Sprinkle the cheese over the Chili Mac during the last 10 minutes of baking.

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Chick N Rice Casserole

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Dontcha just love cream of chicken soup in a casserole? This is an easy dump casserole for those cold winter days. For more wonderful recipes, please buy my cookbook – Caveman Chemistry, Bringing Science Back into Cooking.

  • 2 – cups Minute Rice
  • 1 – 12 ounce package frozen peas
  • 2 – 15.25 ounce cans whole kernel corn
  • 1 – 8 ounce bag shredded cheddar cheese (or more)
  • 2.5 – pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 – 10 ounce cans cream of chicken soup
  • 1 – soup can full of milk or water

Preheat the oven to 325. Spread the rice over the bottom of a 13x9x2 pan. Sprinkle the peas and corn over the rice, including the corn water. Layer about half of the cheese over the vegetables. Lay the chicken in a single layer across the cheese. In a small mixing bowl, stir the milk into the soup and pour the soup over the chicken. Bake the casserole for 90 minutes, until the chicken is cooked all the way through. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top and bake 5-10 minutes to melt the cheese. Let the casserole sit for about 5 minutes before serving. Serves 6-8.

Dino Dinner

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Who doesn’t love dinosaurs? This casserole is especially appetizing to children because it’s covered with dinosaurs. If you’ve never tried dinosaur, it tastes a lot like chicken. I totally understand that most people have not hunted dinosaur as it’s hard to find and even harder to field dress and carry home. And who’s got a freezer that big??? Your family and neighbors would be eating dino for years, whether they prefer white or dark meat. So for this recipe, we’re using dino from the grocery store. Your kids will love making this dish. If you like this recipe, check out others in my blog and definitely check out my first cookbook, Caveman Chemistry, Bringing Science Back into Cooking. It’s available on lulu.com.

  • 1 – 10.5oz can chicken with rice soup
  • 1/2 cup uncooked Minute Rice
  • 1 – 12oz package frozen broccoli with cheese sauce
  • 1 – 10.5oz can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese – or more
  • 12 – 16 frozen Dino Buddies chicken nuggets

Preheat the oven to 350. Pour the chicken with rice soup into a 9×9 pan. Add 1/2 soup can of water and spread the soup across the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the Minute Rice over the soup. Layer the frozen broccoli over the rice. Drop spoonfuls of the cream of chicken soup over the broccoli. Sprinkle the grated cheese over the soup and broccoli. Put a single layer of frozen dino nuggets on top of the cheese. Bake the Dino Dinner 45-50 minutes, until the broccoli is cooked and the cheese is melted. Let the casserole cool for 5 minutes before serving.

 

Breakfast Casseroles

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Breakfast casseroles are great. You build them the night before and then slip them into the oven in the morning. So handy, and Oh So GOOD!

When I was in high school, we lived in the #1 hog producing county in the US. And when the wind was right, you knew it. Sure hog farms can have a bad smell from time to time, but the ham, bacon, sausage, roasts, and ribs we get make up for any discomfort from the smell. Growing up with pigs, it’s no wonder we used pork to make some of our best breakfast casseroles. Since I moved to Texas, I have added a little jalapeño to spice it up. This is one of my favorite breakfast casseroles.

Sausage Potato Breakfast Casserole

  • 1 – 2 lb. bag frozen Southern–style hash browns, thawed
  • 1 – pinch cayenne pepper
  • 2 – tablespoons butter
  • ½ – teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 – small onion, chopped
  • 1 – 16 or 32 ounce tube ground pork sausage
  • 1 – 8 ounce package sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 – 8 ounce bag shredded cheddar cheese, I like more
  • 1 – teaspoon thyme
  • 1 – 8 ounce bag shredded mozzarella cheese, or more
  • 1 – teaspoon basil
  • 9 – eggs
  • 1 – tablespoon freeze-dried red jalapeño
  • ½ – cup half-n-half, milk, or cream
  • 1 – pinch paprika

Spread the hash browns in a 13x9x3 lasagna pan. Salt and pepper to taste. In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the onion and mushrooms in the butter with the thyme, basil, jalapeño, paprika, cayenne, and garlic salt. When the onion is soft, brown and crumble the sausage with the onion and mushrooms. Add half of the cheeses to the sausage and cook until the cheese is melted, stirring occasionally. In a large mixing bowl with a mixer on medium speed, beat the eggs and half-n-half. Pour the eggs over hash browns. Top the potatoes with the sausage mixture. Cover the pan and refrigerate the casserole overnight. Some people like to put the sausage mixture on top of the potatoes and then pour the eggs over everything.

Preheat the oven to 350. Bake the casserole, uncovered, for 1 hour, until brown and bubbly. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the casserole and continue to bake until the cheese is melted, about 10 more minutes. This is one of those great recipes you can really customize to your own tastes. You can add bell pepper or hot peppers. You can add more eggs if you like it to be more like an omelet. You can stir the potatoes and sausage together before you add the eggs. The only thing I wouldn’t do is add more milk. It makes the casserole too runny. Add more cheese; you can’t have too much of that.

 

The Cookbook is NOT All Sugar

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Yes, there are many dessert chapters, but the cookbook contains other recipes, too.  In the Midwest, we are known for our corn, casseroles, corn, Jell-O salads, corn, cheeseballs, corn, and desserts.  And corn.  We absolutely love our corn.  And it is oh-so-good eaten right off the cob – just pick, cook, and eat.  Wow!

If you don’t have access to corn right out of the field, there are many ways to prepare canned corn.  Here’s one of my favorite corn recipes.  I don’t have a photo, so just picture cornbread in your mind as you read and make the recipe.

Cornbread Casserole

  • 1 – 8.5 ounce box Jiffy corn muffin mix
  • 1 – 15.25 ounce can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 – cup margarine, melted
  • 1 – 8 ounce tub sour cream
  • 1 – 14.75 ounce can cream style corn

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9x9x2 pan. In a large mixing bowl, combine the corn muffin mix with the margarine. Stir in the corn and sour cream. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake the casserole for 1 hour. This is the best cornbread casserole in the world. Double the recipe for potluck dinners and  it still won’t be enough.