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Cottage Pie Casserole with Ground Beef Easy Dinner Recipe

beefpiedinnerThis Cottage Pie Casserole was a go to meal when my kids were growing up because it was an easy dinner those nights when you got home late, still had so much to do before bedtime and you wanted comfort food that was easy to make. Bonus: any leftovers freeze well to pull out another night.

The ground beef with onions, olives, parsley, celery and tomato paste make a delicious combination. Layer over that, creamy fluffy homemade mashed potatoes and top with cheddar cheese for a delicious lunch or dinner.

You can use your own recipe for homemade mashed potatoes or (I can’t believe that I am going to say this!) Instant potatoes…….. I only add this because, yes I am guilty of using them a couple times when dinner just had to get on the table.

2 lbs Hamburger Meat Ground Chuck
1 med Onion
1-1/2 Stalks Celery
1/2 Green Pepper (1 whole pepper if very small)
4-5 Green Olives w/ pimentos chopped
1 can 12 oz Tomato Paste
1 tsp Garlic Powder or 2 Fresh Clove Garlic crushed
1 tsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Oregano
1 tsp Basil
1 TBS Fresh Parsley chopped
1 TSP Olive Oil
8 oz or 2 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste – Add Salt at end since the olives are salty

Cut up celery and onion in bite size pieces, saute in Skillet with a little oil, until onion is translucent. Remove vegetables, add hamburger and cook until done. Drain grease and return hamburger to pan with the celery and onion add green olives. Add all spices and 1/3 cup water. Let simmer uncovered 8 minutes or until the water has almost all evaporated. Add tomato paste mixing well. Set aside.

Potatoes

3 lbs Idaho Potatoes
1 Bay Leaf
1 tsp Salt
1 Stick Butter
1/2 cup Container Sour Cream
1/3 Cup Parmesan Cheese
1/2 – 3/4 cup Milk
1 TBS Mayonnaise ( not Miracle Whip)

Peel potato’s and add to pot of cold water with enough water to cover potatoes. Add in a bay leaf, and salt. Boil uncovered about 10 minutes or until fork tender.  Drain water and return potatoes to pot. Remove bay leaf. Add stick of butter and mash until soft. Add Sour Cream and mix well. Heat up milk in Microwave or stove top. Add Milk to potato’s a little at a time while using a mixer. When the potatoes have absorbed the milk, add the mayonnaise. Whip potato’s until a fluffy consistency. You can also add a cup of cheese to the potato’s for more cheesy flavor.

Other things you can do to for more flavor is add some onion powder, salt and pepper, or what ever spices you like in your home made potatoes.

The  mayonnaise will make them pop with flavor and very few know why your potato’s are so great!
For a richer mashed potato you could also replace 1/3 cup of Milk with Evaporated Milk.

In a 13 x 9 Baking Pan,  place the meat mixture on the bottom, cover with potatoes and top with the cheddar cheese.
Bake on 350 degree’s for 20 minutes.

Hint: Better made the day before or make and freeze for another night.

Enjoy :}

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Easy Spinach Bacon and Swiss Cheese Quiche Recipe

ID-10060761This is such an easy meal to make. Spinach, bacon and Swiss cheese go so well together. Put that into a pie shell and you have a delicious treat you can enjoy for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

5 Large Eggs
1/2 LB Bacon (thick cut)
1 Lb Frozen Spinach
8 oz package Swiss Cheese Slices
1 Pint Half and Half
1/2 tsp of each Salt /Pepper
2-Pie crust 9 inch frozen or home made.
1/2 tsp Nutmeg

On a Baking pan with a wire rack, lay out slices of Bacon and bake at 350 degrees until crisp. About 15- 20 minutes. When cooled enough to handle, cut into small bite size pieces. (you can cook the bacon in a skillet, I prefer the oven for even crisp bacon)

Add frozen spinach to a strainer and run water on it until defrosted. Squeeze out excess water.
Double up about 4 paper towels and add spinach. Squeeze out any more excess water, you want very dry spinach so your quiches is not overly liquid.

Chop up bacon and Swiss cheese into small pieces.

In a mixing bowl, whip up eggs, add spinach, bacon, cheese, Half and Half, salt, pepper, nutmeg and stir.

Divide mixture into two pie crust evenly. Sprinkle top with a bit more Nutmeg. Place pies on a baking sheet. Bake on 350 degrees for 45min to 1 hour. Check that it is cooked same as a cake, insert a toothpick and when it comes out dry they are finished. Serve with any seasonal fruit.

*Hints: If you see the rim of the pie shell is browning to quickly, add aluminum foil around the edges.

Keep pie shells frozen until ready to use, this will make easier to handle.

To give as a gift, let Quiche cool and wrap in a colorful saran wrap with a pretty bow or ribbon!

**If you do not like Bacon, substitute with crab meat, ham or breakfast sausage to taste.

Serves 6-8

Photo Courtesy of piyato at FreeDigitalPhotos.net