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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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How To Make Ricotta Cheese Recipe/Video by Epicurious

ID-100315388Homemade Ricotta cheese it is easier to make then you think, if you have never made it before. With just four ingredients and a cheesecloth you can have creamy delicious Ricotta in under 30 minutes. Put it on Pizza, in Lasagna, Ravioli, Cannoli, Desserts, Top Crostini with Ricotta, a drizzle of olive oil, smoked ham, tomato and basil. Try this homemade version and you may not buy grocery store Ricotta cheese again according to Epicurious!

Get the easy Ricotta Cheese recipe Here

See the Video Here

Thanks Epicurious…

Enjoy :}

 

 

Photo Courtesy of Apolonia at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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Breakfast Crepes – Blintz Recipe

ID-100155656I remember trying these light, delicious, blintz for the first time at a friends house when I was a kid. It was a tradition of sorts that her mom make these up at least one Sunday each month. They have a light pancake,  crepes consistency that hold the filling quite well. You could add a different flavor like almond  instead of the vanilla and top it with with fruit preserves like blueberry, raspberry, strawberry and a dollop of sour cream.

Filling

1 cup Ricotta Cheese
1 (3 ounce) package softened cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of Salt
Mix the ricotta and cream cheese by hand in a mixing bowl or with a mixer until smooth. Stir in the sugar, egg and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Keep refrigerated until you are ready to finish the crepes.

Batter

1 – 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
2 cups milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (divided)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Dry Ingredients: Sift flour, sugar and salt into a bowl and set aside.

Wet Ingredients: Combine the egg, milk, butter and vanilla extract in another bowl and stir until smooth. Add wet mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until blended into a smooth batter. The batter will be thin. Let the batter rest for 30 minutes in the refrigerator. (The batter may be prepared to this point and stored in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours)

Heat a crepe pan or small non stick skillet over medium heat. Brush the pan with melted butter. Pour 1/3 cup batter into the pan, swirl and coat the bottom moving the batter around the bottom of the pan to make it even. Once the first side is set and has a little color, about 2 minutes, turn over to the other side about 1 minute more. Stack the crepes between layers of parchment paper until ready for use.

Heat the filling just a bit in the microwave. Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of the cheese filling onto each crepe and fold like a burrito, going from bottom to top, turning in the sides. Place the crepes seam side down in a skillet with melted butter and cook until heated through about 2 minutes have a bit of crisp and more color.

Serve immediately, 2 – 3 crepes per serving, with your choice of  fruit preserves.

Photo Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Nachos Cheesy Party Dip Recipe

ID-100214331This is such a yummy recipe for game day or any occasion!

1 lb. ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
2 cans (16 oz. each) re-fried beans
1 pkg.(1-1/4 oz.) taco seasoning mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup chunky taco sauce – mild, medium or hot
1 can (4 oz.) green chiles, sliced
1 cup sliced black olives
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
tortilla chips

In a large skillet, brown the ground beef and onions. Drain well. Add the taco seasoning mix and cumin; stir and set aside.
In a mixing bowl combine the re-fried beans and Monterrey Jack cheese and mix well.
Spread the bean mixture in a shallow 10″ x 15″, oblong or oval baking dish.
Cover with the ground beef/onion mixture. Spread the chunky taco sauce over the beef.

Top with the Cheddar cheese.
Scatter green chilies and black olives, over the cheese.(At this point, you may made ahead and refrigerated until party time, but do not freeze.)

Bake in a preheated oven, uncovered, at 400º for 20 to 25 minutes or until thoroughly heated through.
Place the baking dish in the center of a large tray or platter, surrounded by a generous supply of tortilla chips.
Serve with sour cream and/or guacamole on the side.

Photo Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net