The Bored Girl's Kitchen











{April 3, 2016}   Leftover Ham Casserole

One of my favorite things about casseroles is the fact that they’re so open to interpretation.  You can throw almost anything together in a baking dish and call it a casserole; and on top of that it’s a great way to use up random leftovers that you’re not 100% sure what else to do with.

We recently celebrated Easter, and with Easter comes  a lot of Easter ham.  If your family is anywhere near as awesome as my family you also got sent home with an abundance of leftovers from both events you attended.  I made a few omelets, but mostly stared at the ham for a while before I shrugged my shoulders and decided to do what I’ve become quite adept at lately: throwing things in a casserole dish with some cheese and seeing how it turns out.

What I used to make this is pictured below, but boils down to:

  • leftover ham – if I had to guess, I’d say it was probably in the neighborhood of a pound
  • an onion
  • pasta
  • one packet of pot roast seasoning mix
  • one 8oz package of cream cheese
  • one 8oz package of shredded cheddar cheese
  • milk
  • some butter
  • one pint of french onion soup (not pictured because I forgot the canning jar after I used it)

DSCN0017

I started out by putting a pot of water on to boil.  While that was working, I set to chopping up the onion.  I went with more of a rough chop but you can cut them down to whatever size you like. They went into a separate pot with some butter while I started cutting up the ham.

 

Unfortunately that’s the only picture I managed to get of the ham before it made its way into the rest of the mix.While I was cutting, I periodically checked the onions to stir and make sure they weren’t burning. As you can see there was a fair amount of fat left on some of those pieces. You can choose to discard or keep as much of that as you want; I got rid of most of the big pieces of it. The water had finished boiling before this point, but I waited to add the noodles until I had finished dicing up the ham and had turned my attention back to the onions. This is also about where I set the oven to 350 to start preheating.

The pictures above take you through making the sauce I used. To the now softened onions I added the packet of pot roast seasoning and 1 1/4 cup water and mixed it in.  Once it started heating up I added in the cream cheese.  This is where it started getting really thick, so I added in a cup of milk and a pint of a beef broth based mushroom onion soup I had previously made and canned. Once everything was mixed up and seemed pretty even I added in the ham chunks and the noodles so I could transfer everything from the pot to the dish.  If you used a smaller pot to make your sauce in, you can mix it all together in a large bowl or even just in the baking dish if you’re feeling extra risky.

I like to spray my baking dishes with a non-stick spray just to be safe most of the time, it’s up to you if you want to do the same thing. On the left you see it all mixed together, and on the right is the extra cheese that I added to the top before baking. Cover in foil, bake for 20 minutes covered and an additional 15 minutes uncovered then let it cool for a while before eating.

DSCN0018

This is what it looks like as it comes right out of the oven.  Husband got home shortly after this picture was taken and proclaimed the house to smell wonderful. After digging in, I think I could have used all of the ham my mother-in-law sent me home with instead of half, but it was delicious either way!

Advertisements


{September 3, 2013}   Clops

Verdict: Delicious, as always.

Clops are one of those things I’ve never really been able to explain to people very well.  I usually settle on “meatloaf patties.”  I honestly don’t even really know the history on it other than my mother says that it’s a Hungarian dish and she grew up eating it and made it for us and that’s what it’s always been called.  She always makes it better than I do, but I like to think that mine aren’t half bad either.

So what you’ll need for this:

– Ground beef.  I used two pounds and ended up using two bowls to make what you see below.

– Seasonings: Salt, pepper, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, other seasonings you may want to add.

– Onions.

– A few slices of bread.

– 2 eggs, but you can use more if you want.

– A splash of milk, although I forgot to add the milk.

Step 1: Make sure that your meat is all thawed out and all that good jazz. Cut up your onion and tear up your bread.

Step 2: Add all of your extra ingredients in and mix well.  It will probably work best to add them one at a time for the most part.  So egg, mix, onion, mix, bread, mix, milk, mix, seasonings, mix, etc.

Step 3: Form the meat into patties and put them on a plate to get them ready to be cooked.  You could probably grill them if you want, but we’ve always made ours in a pan.  As long as they’re not really touching, you can put as many in the pan as you want.  Flip them after a few minutes when they’re cooked about halfway through.

At some point you may notice an excess amount of grease in the pan.  You really don’t want to let your clops soak and cook in this stuff, so you’ll want to periodically drain it.  Don’t be me and grab the closest thing to you that turns out to be a red solo cup.  They melt.  Use something sturdy and solid.  If you use something disposable like a styrafoam cup you can just toss it once its solidified, but don’t just drain it down the sink.

Oops.

Once they’re all cooked, go ahead and enjoy them! I like mine with ketchup, but you may want to put them on a bun with cheese.  It’s all up to you!

If you have any questions or comments you can either leave them below, or email me.  If you have a suggestion for a recipe or any other ideas, that email address is theboredgirlskitchen@gmail.com.

Happy cooking!



{June 17, 2012}   Take one at tacos

Verdict: Coulda been better, but weren’t terrible.

Every now and then I get some serious cravings for tacos, and not the kind with ground beef.  I’ve never really made them before and always sought them out, but being on a bit more of a budget than I have been in the past I decided to give it a shot.  What you see below is what I was able to do with what I found around the house.

To copy me exactly, you’ll need:

– Some really freezer-burned meat masquerading as steak

– Various veggies: I used a sweet onion and some avocado

– Seasonings: I used garlic powder, roasted garlic red pepper, and celery salt

– Butter

– Tortillas.  I usually prefer flour, but all I had was corn.

– Cheese

Step 1: Cook the meat.  You can defrost it completely first, or do what I did and try to defrost it a bit then toss it in the pan with a lid on low heat to have it cook and defrost at the same time.  Once the outer edges are at least no longer frozen and can accept seasonings, you can season your meat now if you’d like.

Step 2: While the meat is cooking, go ahead and get your veggies and the like sliced up.

Step 3: Once cooked at least pretty much all the way how you want it, pull it from the pan and cut it up.  You can do strips or chunks or whatever you want.  I ended up with strips because I was too lazy to cut everything up into small chunks.  Then everything goes back into the pan for some more frying in butter.  You’ll also add your onions and season to taste here as well.  Once everything’s all done, drop your meat onto a plate.

Step 4: You can choose to heat your tortillas up a bit if you want, or just start building your tacos right away.  I chose to heat mine on the stove for a few seconds.  Once they start moving – changing shape, curling edges, bubbling – it’s probably time to pull them and start building your tacos.

You can assemble with more onions, tomatoes, avocados, whatever you want.  I opted for just avocados and cheese and even more onions.

This was nowhere near as good as authentic tacos, or even how I butcher assembling tacos when friends make them fairly authentically, but it hit the spot for the moment and I was happy enough with it.

If you have any questions or comments you can either leave them below, or email me.  If you have a suggestion for a recipe or any other ideas, that email address is theboredgirlskitchen@gmail.com.

Happy cooking!



{May 10, 2012}   Customized Pizza

Verdict: Not half bad!

With my new schedule comes getting used to a new schedule.  That meant that when I didn’t eat breakfast in the morning and then didn’t get a lunch, I was very hungry for a short while, and then by the time I got home I wasn’t all that starving anymore.  A few days of eating a normal sized dinner and nothing else led to me feeling like no matter how much I ate I was still hungry, so I got home from work one day and decided I was making myself a pizza and playing a game of how much of it could I eat before I felt full.

To do what I did, you’ll need:

– A frozen pizza of whatever brand you like.

– Slices of cheese.

– Notes: You can use more shredded cheese if you have that, but I had slices and they just stacked so darn neatly.

I promise you the steps for this are super easy.

Step 1: Unwrap the frozen pizza, taking note of the cooking instructions.

Step 2: Add as much cheese as you want to the pizza.  Eat some of the cheese while you’re adding it.

Step 3: Follow the given cooking instructions. Adjust the time if after the allotted time it isn’t cooked to your liking yet.

Step 4: Allow to cool, and then cut and enjoy!

I managed to make it through about half the pizza before I didn’t want to eat anymore, but didn’t feel full until after I ate my next meal.  This is something you can do to spruce up just about any frozen pizza you can buy.

If you have any questions or comments you can either leave them below, or email me.  If you have a suggestion for a recipe or any other ideas, that email address is theboredgirlskitchen@gmail.com.

Happy cooking!



{April 29, 2012}   Chocolate Chip Snickerdoodles

Verdict:  Omg tasty!

I like making cookies, but I don’t eat them all that often.  At least not often enough to really justify making them that often.  I think what I like so much about making them is that I think it’s really cool to watch all these (not so) random ingredients turn into something delicious.  My best friend of … well, let’s not start counting… a very long time, wanted to make cookies, so we sat down with one of my mom’s cookbooks (The New Pillsbury Family Cookbook circa 1976) and took at look at what cookies there were to make.  We settled on the snickerdoodles.  What we did varies slightly from the written instructions, but you can follow either one.

In the original recipe, the instructions are all one paragraph that’s essentially one long step.  I broke it up to make it easier to follow with pictures.

What you need:

– 1 cup butter or margarine, softened. To aid those of you who don’t do a lot of baking, that’s two sticks.

– 1 1/2 cups sugar

– 2 eggs

– 1 teaspoon vanilla

– 2 2/3 cups unsifted Pillsbury flour*

– 1 teaspoon cream of tartar

– 1/2 teaspoon soda

– 1/4 teaspoon salt

– 2 tablespoons sugar

– 2 teaspoons cinnamon

– 1 cup of chocolate chips (this is optional, and I decided to added it myself.  Well ok, it was Connie’s idea, but still an addition not in the original recipe)

– Notes: They say you can use whole grain flour if you want, and if you’re using self-rising flour you should omit the cream of tartar, soda, and salt.

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. For a softer, gooier, cake like cookie set it to 380 instead. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar.

Step 2: Beat in the eggs and vanilla.

Step 3: Stir in the flour, cream of tartar, soda, and salt. Once everything’s all mixed, add in the chocolate chips.

Step 4: Combine the sugar and cinnamon together.

Step 5: Shape the dough into balls, using a rounded teaspoon of dough for each.  We opted to use a mini ice cream scooper that worked pretty well, and we decided to put the dough in the fridge for a while to firm it up some.  It worked great for a short while, but after the third ball it was gooey again, so that part is totally up to you. Roll the balls of dough in the sugar mixture, and place 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet.  We used parchment paper and it worked just fine.  The instructions say to bake 8-10 minutes or until the edges are set.  We had our heat turned down and baked them about 15 minutes and they came out perfectly.

Step 6: Allow to cool, and enjoy! Ours stayed on each sheet about 15 minutes or so before being transferred to a plate.

The chocolate chips were actually seriously tasty in there, and the cookies had what I would describe as pretty much the perfect texture.  The outside had a light crisp and the inside was fluffy, almost like cake!

If you have any questions or comments you can either leave them below, or email me.  If you have a suggestion for a recipe or any other ideas, that email address is theboredgirlskitchen@gmail.com.

Happy cooking!



{April 26, 2012}   Quick Avocado Snack

Verdict: Success!

I was hungry one day, but didn’t really feel like making anything.  Also, there were a lot of dishes piling up and I didn’t feel like cleaning them to make enough room to really make anything. (Have you senses a recurring theme yet?) Anyway, I spied some avocados and decided that what the hell, I’ll make a quick snack.

What you need for this:

– 1 small avocado

– Salt

– Crackers of your choice.  I used Triscuits because I had those around.

Step 1: Take your avocado in hand.  Halve it, and then pit it.

Step 2: Slice lengthwise in about 1/4″ strips, and then widthwise in about 2″ chunks. Spoon it onto a place and add a light coating of salt.

Step 3: Put on cracker and enjoy!

If you have any questions or comments you can either leave them below, or email me.  If you have a suggestion for a recipe or any other ideas, that email address is theboredgirlskitchen@gmail.com.

Happy cooking!



{April 24, 2012}   Poor Man’s Burgers

Verdict: Yum!

I enjoy burgers, and anything I don’t really have to cook myself. My mom enjoys shopping at Costco.  During her most recent trip she picked up a bunch of what was essentially ground beef patties. While she was freezing the ones she knew we weren’t going to use before they went bad, I snagged a few of them and decreed that we were eating burgers that evening. So I took the husband outside and headed to the grill.  The result? Tasty burgers! I seasoned, he grilled, we ate.

What you need for this:

– Ground beef to make the patties.  You can use whatever patties you want.  Ours ended up coming in half pound balls that my mom flattened a bit to make into better shaped patties and we just ran with it.

– Seasonings: I used celery salt, garlic powder, and a roasted garlic with red pepper mix

– Bread for buns. You can use real buns if you want instead.

Step 1: Turn on the grill, and wait for it to warm up.  While you’re waiting, go ahead and season your patties.

Step 2: Put them on the grill when the meat sizzles when it touches it. When you start getting some well defined char lines, go ahead and flip them.  Feel free to season this side of the burger too, and flip it again to cook the seasonings in when you start getting good char lines on that side too.  You can cut into the middle to check for doneness, or go off your gut.  But they’re done when they’re cooked how you like them.

(Grilling, complete with even more waiting!)

Step 3: Serve on sliced bread with any condiments you may want.  That’d be your cheese, ketchup, mustard, onions, pickles, tomatoes, or whatever else you may want  or have laying around. You can have a side dish as well if you want.  It’d go great with chips or a cold salad (either regular salad, or a pasta salad, or potato salad, or anything else served cold).

If you look carefully, you’ll see on the right that I started eating my tasty burger and then discovered we had cheese.  Yay cheese.

I enjoyed the hell out of my burger, and so did my husband and my mom.  Quick, easy, delish.

If you have any questions or comments you can either leave them below, or email me.  If you have a suggestion for a recipe or any other ideas, that email address is theboredgirlskitchen@gmail.com.

Happy cooking!




Verdict: Not too bad.

Fair warning, this is a long post.

Every now and then, my friends and I get together with a random mix of ingredients, see what we can make, and then eat it.  So far these have all been varying degrees of successful, and I wanted to start chronicling them for all of you.  Since I’m not usually the one cooking for these, and the kitchen is usually a bit of a hectic area during them, the picture taking isn’t always the greatest.  However there should be enough information to get the gist across.

So the basics on what we do are as follows.  For the White Elephant ones, everybody brings one or so things from their pantries or kitchens that aren’t getting used.  Once everything is all laid out, we attempt to reach a unanimous decision as to what to make, but it usually ends up falling on MacKenzie.  She refuses to do a Russian Roulette Potluck (where everything gets tossed into a pot and we hope for the best), so we end up with something resembling real meals.  We try to use everything that gets brought, but that doesn’t always work since we’re allowed to add in other things to make it an edible dish. Also, this particular one was a bit lame.

At this particular event we ended up with:

– Avocados

– Red peppers

– Tomato puree

– French Onion Soup

– Quinoa

– Instant potatoes

– Stovetop stuffing

– Swiss Miss

– Shredded Wheat

– Vegan beef stock

– Ground beef

– Angel hair pasta

Initially we were going to also make a dessert that utilized the sweeter elements, but ultimately decided not to because of time and everybody deciding to leave. So not everything on this list got used.  MacKenzie took over, and grumbled about having to document everything anyway, so just read along to figure out what she did.  Also bear in mind that we had a few different things going on at once, but I’m going to tackle them one at a time.

First up, I made guacamole.  This was not my best batch, so I’ll end up making a better batch in a single post later.  I think the downfall was the avocados being too ripe and mushy. I bought them a few days ahead of time meaning to make something sooner but didn’t get around to it.

For the guac I made at this event, you’ll need:

– 2 avocados

– Seasonings: I used roasted garlic and pepper, celery salt, and garlic powder

– Worcestershire and lime juice

(Not pictured: the garlic powder I forgot to grab until later)

Step one:  Halve the avocados and remove the pits.  I also cut out the dark parts. Using your knife, make a few slices lengthwise down each half on the inside, and use a spoon to scoop them out into a bowl.  When the avocado is harder, I usually have my husband mash it up for me but this time I just took that spoon and stabbed at all the big chunks until they were smaller chunks.

Step two: Add the lime juice and Worcestershire sauce and stir well. Then add in the various seasonings to taste.

Step three: Chill, serve, and enjoy!

Next we have the Quinoa. For this you’ll need:

– The Quinoa

– The vegan beef stock

– Water

Step one:  Combine all ingredients into a pot.  Cook until the Quinoa is fluffy.  She said that it goes a lot better with vegetable stock, but that it wasn’t all that bad.  A somewhat decent “finished” picture will be located at the end of the post.

And for the main event! For this we used:

– Ground beef

– 1 sweet onion

– 1 red pepper

– Olive oil

– French Onion Soup

– Tomato puree

– Instant potatoes

– Angel hair pasta

– Half and half

– Various seasonings.  I believe she used salt and garlic powder the most

Step one: Chop the onion and the red pepper.  MacKenzie has a fancy shmancy way of cutting the onion that taught me how I want to do it in the future. Saute them in about a tablespoon of oil in a large sauce pan (you’re going to add everything eventually) onion first, then the pepper.

Step two: When they’re soft, add the ground beef.  We had about two pounds.  Once the beef is cooked, heat up the French Onion Soup and pour it over the beef mixture.  Let it simmer for a few minutes, and then add the tomato puree.  Let it simmer until slightly reduced on medium high.

Step three: If you want to thicken it up a bit, you can add some of the instant potatoes.  We also added a bit of half and half for a slightly creamier consistency, but it’s totally not necessary to add either of those. Oh, you should probably start your spaghetti now too.  Ours was about done at this point.

Step four: Serve meaty concoction on either the spaghetti or the quinoa, and enjoy!

If you have any questions or comments you can either leave them below, or email me.  If you have a suggestion for a recipe or any other ideas, that email address is theboredgirlskitchen@gmail.com.

Happy cooking!



{April 15, 2012}   Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

Verdict: Teh noms

Breakfast isn’t something I normally do, but I do enjoy breakfast foods.  So I compromised and decided to make this in the afternoon after I realized that oh shit, I had a cup of hot cocoa while grocery shopping and some bits and pieces of the stuff I had stuffed in the crock pot, but nothing else.  I had remembered to pick up apples at the store, and decided to give this recipe that I found on Urban Nerd Runner a shot. He wasn’t kidding when he said it was easy!

What you’ll need:
– 1 apple.  Don’t use the whole thing if you don’t like super apple-y oatmeal.

– Oatmeal

– 1 tablespoon cinnamon

– 1 tablespoon brown sugar

Step 1: Slice up that apple.  You’ll want bite size chunks, so whatever is bite sized for you is what I’d go with.

Step 2: If you’re preparing your oatmeal on the stove go ahead and start your water over some heat to get it boiling.  If not, just go ahead and toss your apple chunks into a pan to start sauteing them.  Well, I’m honestly not 100% sure how to properly saute something, so we’re just gonna heat them up real nice in the pan.  I let mine go until they were starting to brown up from the heat and had smelled the whole kitchen up deliciously.

Step 3: Prepare your oatmeal.  I microwaved mine and guesstimated at how much to put in for everything. It seemed to work alright.

Step 4: While the oatmeal is preparing and your apple chunks have been cooked to your liking, add your brown sugar and your cinnamon.  I just did mine to taste, and it was teh noms. Stir it all together and get ready to add it to your oatmeal.

Step 5: Mix them together, and enjoy! Garnish the top with some extra cinnamon and brown sugar if you’re so inclined.  It’s tasty either way.

Yes, that’s my Ramen bowl.

This is probably the perfect “I need something solid and quick but don’t feel like doing much work and don’t want something boring” breakfast meal there is.  At least that I’ve come across so far.  It’s tasty-riffic, relatively quick, and super easy.

If you have any questions or comments you can either leave them below, or email me.  If you have a suggestion for a recipe or any other ideas, that email address is theboredgirlskitchen@gmail.com.

Happy cooking!



{April 13, 2012}   Hamburger Potato Casserole

Verdict: Super nommy

I have something like 3 crockpots.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that since I’m pretty sure they’re all different sizes at least, and at least two different shapes.  The part that’s wrong is that I’ve never actually used any of them.  I got one as a wedding gift and it ended up in storage, I got one from my dad that we cleaned out and has been making the kitchen table its home for a while now, and I recently picked up an awesome crockpot from Target.  Well, I was determined to use at least one of them, and I love that damask print one a lot, so I sat down with The Everything Slow Cooker Cookbook and decided I was making a meal.

What you need:

– 1 pound lean ground beef

– 3 medium potatoes

– 4 medium carrots

– 1 medium sized yellow onion

– 1 cup fresh peas

– 2 tablespoons dry white rice

– 1 teaspoon table salt

– 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

– 1 cup tomato juice

– Prep time is listed as about 20 minutes for a pot size of 4-6 quarts.  Cooking time is 7-9 hours, and should serve about 4.

– My notes: I used 4 potatoes because the one looked kinda wimpy and small, I used a sweet onion instead of a yellow onion, and I used tomato puree instead of tomato juice.  Also, I’m pretty sure the rice I used wasn’t white, or at least wasn’t bleached white.

(Spot my sweet crock pot in the background?)

Step 1: Brown the meat in a medium skillet on medium high heat.  I used a pot because it was handy.  Unless you happen to be a real ground beef connoisseur it probably isn’t going to make much of a difference.  Mine took a while to cook because despite putting it in the fridge from the freezer the night before it still wasn’t fully thawed.  Oh well.  It all turned out ok in the end.  Once it’s all cooked, drain the excess grease.  I poured mine into a canning jar, because once it’s all solidified I can just dump it into the garbage.  If you have a disposable cup anywhere those are also great because you can just dump them when it’s cooled.

Step 2: While the meat is browning, and probably for a bit afterwards (depending on how fast it cooks and how fast you can peel), peel the potatoes, carrots, and onion. The potatoes should be cut into 1/4″ slices, the carrots into 1/4″ rounds, and the onion into 1/4″ pieces.  I didn’t measure mine, and I’m pretty sure they’re bigger than 1/4″, but I like chunkier veggies.

Step 3: Combine all the ingredients except the peas in the slow cooker and stir well.  Cover and cook on low for 5-7 hours.

Step 4: Go do something productive to kill the next 5-7 hours. Or sit on Facebook and watch a movie.  That sort of counts.

Step 5: Add the peas.  I had a can of peas and had already washed my measuring cup, so I just dumped the whole can in and went with it.  If you like mushy peas, you can add them when you add everything else.  Cook for about 2 more hours. I forgot the camera when I did this step (blame being hungry and in a rush), but I assure you it went off without a hitch.

I cooked it for about another hour and a half or so and it came out just fine. I garnished mine with some cheese and that made it super nommy, but you can serve it without cheese and it will also be tasty.

If you have any questions or comments you can either leave them below, or email me.  If you have a suggestion for a recipe or any other ideas, that email address is theboredgirlskitchen@gmail.com.

Happy cooking!



et cetera
%d bloggers like this: