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)

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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.

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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!



{April 21, 2014}   Stuffed Shells, Takes 1 and 2

Verdict: My husband prefers the one I cobbled together, I agreed with him until my first full plate of recipe 1 and then decided I preferred that one instead. It’s a bit creamier and almost a little sweeter, but recipe 2 almost tastes like little personal lasagnas.

On a Monday, I decided I wanted to make stuffed shells. I headed to the grocery store to get my supplies, recipe I fully intended to doctor in hand. Well, in phone. I planned to make them Tuesday, but something came up. Wednesday wouldn’t work because we host a weekly dinner with friends that had already been planned and had stuff divvied out for people to bring. Turns out on Thursday he wasn’t going to be home early enough to put them in the oven if I prepared them ahead of time. Friday rolls around and I realize it will probably be almost another week before I get a chance to make them for dinner, so I said “fuck it” and made them Friday afternoon as lunches for however long it took everything to run out. The bonus to waiting? I got to use up the the leftover meat from Wednesday too!

I could post the original recipe I messed with, but you’re probably here to see what I did and not what that lovely woman from Pinterest did, so I’ll just go with that. Stuffed shells are another one of those awesome dishes that there really isn’t a wrong way to make. Well, I’m sure there are actual wrong ways, but there’s definitely more than one right way.

What you’ll end up needing for sure:
– Jumbo pasta shells
– Sauce to line the bottom of the pan and pour on top of the shells
– Stuff that works well with your sauce and itself (ingredients that play well together)

What I used for recipe 1:
– Ground beef mixed with pizza sauce, leftover from making calzones
– 1 cup ricotta
– 1 cup cottage cheese
– A small Tupperware container of chopped mushrooms
– Salt and pepper to taste
– A can of pizza sauce
– Mozzarella and three cheese shredded cheeses

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What I used for recipe 2:
– Leftover taco meat
– A jar of spaghetti sauce
– The rest of the ricotta
– Shredded sharp cheddar
– Feta cheese
– Pepperoni

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I started by boiling water for the shells and got to work setting up a spot to start mixing things together for recipe 1. In a large bowl I combined the meat, ricotta, cottage cheese, and mushrooms and mixed it all together with a spatula.

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I noticed the water was boiling and added the entire box of shells to it. At this point I realized that I am not a smart man, and my pot was too small. So I got out a bigger one, transferred the contents, added more water, and wandered off to do some laundry, open a bottle of wine, and started preparing the baking dishes. Both dishes have different dimensions but seem to have roughly the same capacity so I wasn’t too picky with which one I was going to start with, and your biggest criteria should be that it holds what you’re making and won’t break while you’re cooking in it.

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Taking the dish nearest to me, I poured a thin layer of pizza sauce along the bottom. Once the shells are done cooking, drain them however you want and bring them to your work space. Fill the shells with the delicious concoction in your mixing bowl and place them in the dish. You’re done filling it when you run out of space, filling, or shells. I ran out of filling first, although I did cram the last few in there because I knew I was running low on filling and didn’t want to have a pan with only a handful of that flavor. Pour the remaining pizza sauce over the shells, top with the shredded cheese, set aside to start working on the other dish!

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Having run out of filling but not shells, I set about to make more filling.

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Raiding the fridge I saw the leftover taco meat, feta, and pepperoni and decided to give that a shot. I tossed the meat into the mixing bowl, added some spaghetti sauce and feta, and stirred. It didn’t look quite right, so the rest of the ricotta went in there too. Declared my new filling good enough and went to preheat the oven. The last time I made shells I swore the temperature was 350°. This recipe called for 400°, but I was using glass and according to my momma should drop the temperature 25°, so I settled on 375° and got back to the shells.

Line the new baking dish with some spaghetti sauce, making sure everything is covered evenly. Stuff your shells and add them to the dish. Cover them with the rest of the sauce, sprinkle some more feta and the sharp cheddar across the sauce, top off with a few pepperonis, and you’re just about ready for the oven!

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Cover your baking dishes with tin foil and put them in the oven. Set your timer for 20-25 minutes and go enjoy a glass of wine. Come back and take off the foil but leave everything in the oven for another 10 minutes or so to let the cheese really melt.

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Remove from oven and allow to cool before attempting to enjoy.

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And look at all the lunches we got!

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If you enjoyed this recipe, share it with your friends and let me know how it turns out for you!



{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 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!



{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!



{April 6, 2012}   Pot Fried Noodles

Verdict: Damned delicious

I like pasta a lot, but sometimes it can get old and boring.  Something that never seems to get old for me though is doctoring up elbow noodles.  So that’s what you’re seeing today!  I was initially going to make just enough for myself, but my friend came over and made himself busy cleaning out my fridge, so I decided to be nice and make a little extra so he could have a good lunch as payment for his hard work.

To make this you’ll need:

– Elbow noodles

– Various veggies – I used a can of green beans.  The more people you’re feeding, the more veggies you can add in.

– Various seasonings – I used garlic powder, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and the last of that steak seasoning you’ve seen me use the last few recipes.

– 1 tablespoon butter

– Cheese (completely optional)

Step 1: Cook the noodles.  Drain, and return to the pot.

Step 2: Add butter, stir noodles until butter is melted evenly. Add a low head, and add all of your seasonings and veggies and stir often enough to keep the noodles from burning. When you’re about ready to serve it, add a splash of Worcestershire sauce. You can see in the photo about how much I added.

Step 4: Garnish with cheese if you want, or just enjoy without it.  Tasty either way!

This is a quick and easy dish I usually whip up in some variety just about any time I’m making something and don’t know what kind of side to add.  It’s more exciting than plain noodles, and can be customized and catered to just about any palate. It was delicious with the cheese, it was delicious without the cheese.  The friend who enjoyed it with me said that it wasn’t something that you’d want to eat right before kissing anybody, but if you’re anything like me you don’t care because you just love garlic that much.

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 5, 2012}   Boredom Soup: Take 1

Verdict: Well, my husband liked it.  I shouldn’t have added the Italian seasoning.  I don’t know why I did.  I don’t even like Italian seasoning.

So the other day I was bored and hungry, and decided to whip together a little soup dish.  Another endlessly customizable dish, there are things I would have liked to add to this one that I couldn’t, and things that I wouldn’t add if making it again. however it’s a decent basic soup type thing that can be relatively quickly enjoyed.

For my “recipe” you’ll need the following:

– small can of meat, or meat that you like and have cooked.  I used a can of chicken for this one.

– Bouillon cube of your choice, I used beef.

– Various vegetables.  I had potatoes and celery available.

– Various seasonings.  In this dish I used freeze dried onion (in lieu of real onions), garlic powder, steak seasoning, and Italian seasoning.

(Substitute one of those garlic powders for a jar of freeze dried onions, I don’t pay as close attention as I should sometimes)

Step 1: Chop up your potatoes and start them cooking.  While the potatoes are cooking, go ahead and prep any other veggies you want to put in there.  They don’t have to be chopped super fine, just small bite sized pieces will work.

Step 2:  Once the potatoes are done cooking, or if you have pre-prepared potatoes like I do above (thanks mom!), make sure there’s just enough water in there to cover the potatoes.  With that pint sized jar up there, I put the whole jar in and added another jar full of water.  Then add the bouillon cubes and the veggies.

Step 3: Once the bouillon is dissolved, go ahead and add the seasonings and stir it. After that, add the meat and 3/4 of the package of Ramen.

Step 4: After the Ramen has softened, serve! Garnish bowls with the other 1/4 package of Ramen, and enjoy!

I couldn’t even finish that bowl that you see there, but that was from the Italian seasoning.  I firmly believe that if I were to remake this without that, I’d eat the whole pot there. I’d also only use one bouillon cube instead of two because for just me it was a bit too salty.  However, my husband enjoyed the leftovers, and took them to work for lunch, so it wasn’t a total bust.

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!



{March 27, 2012}   Casserole Salad Sandwich

Verdict: Pretty Damn Good

This is yet another one of those ever subjective and customizable recipes in that it’s less a recipe and more me being bored and throwing stuff together.  I was in the mood for something like chicken salad, but have never made any official chicken salad recipe before, and didn’t even know if I had everything needed to make an “official” chicken salad.  So I perused the kitchen and got together a whole bunch of stuff and started making food.

To follow my “recipe” you’ll need the following:

– 1 carrot

– 2 small stalks of celery

– 1 can of salmon (but you can use a can of chicken or tuna or whatever else, or not add it at all)

– Any seasonings you want.  I used steak seasoning, garlic powder, freeze dried onion/garlic (didn’t have any fresh stuff around), and some taco seasoning

– lime juice and Worcestershire sauce

– Miracle Whip

– elbow noodles

(Not pictured: Bread or Worcestershire sauce, because I forgot to grab them when taking the picture)

Step 1: Start your water boiling, and then cook the noodles.

Step 2: While the water is boiling and the noodles are cooking, prepare all of your additives.  This is where you would chop up your celery and carrot and any other choppable veggie you want to add.  You’ll want to make sure you get as close to diced as you can.  I’m lazy and easily influenced and love my Slap Chop, so that’s what I used to get my veggies chopped up nicely.

Step 3: Once the noodles are done, drain them and put them in a bowl.  Open the can of whatever meat you’re adding and drain it as well as you can then add it to the bowl as well.  Add enough Miracle Whip to coat everything evenly, and mix it all up.

Step 4: Add the chopped up veggies and all your seasonings to taste.  I had a splash of lime juice and Worcestershire and just a pinch of taco seasoning and steak seasoning, and I was pretty liberal with the onion and garlic.   Stir it all together and  continue to season to taste.

Step 5: You can either add it to bread to make a sandwich, or chill it and serve it as a side.  I chose bread for sandwiches. I estimate there was enough for about 6 sandwiches, but I got 3 1/2 and had tasty bowl eating leftovers. Enjoy!

I know, it might have been easier if I had given you specific measurements.  Wait, no, it wouldn’t have.  Because this way you don’t have to take extra time to measure anything out! Another reason I don’t have any specific measurements is because I like just experimenting with things, and just add dashes and pinches until I like the way it tastes.

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!



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