Thursday, March 15, 2012

Runza Casserole

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Raw Ground beefImage via WikipediaOne of the most economical ingredients to cook with is Ground Beef. I discovered Runzas many years ago.

According to WikiPedia, a runza (also called a bierock) is a yeast dough bread pocket with a filling consisting of beef, cabbage or sauerkraut, onions, and seasonings. They are baked in various shapes such as a half-moon, rectangle, round (bun), square, or triangle. In Nebraska, the runza is usually baked in a rectangular shape. The bierocks of Kansas, on the other hand, are generally baked in the shape of a bun.

My recipe uses a much easier and tasty version. I use Crescent Rolls to make a Runza Casserole.

Runza Casserole

2 packages Crescent rolls
1 pound ground beef
1 medium size onion, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1 medium head cabbage, chopped
1 can condensed Cream of Mushroom soup, undiluted
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Cook cabbage and onion in about 2 or 3 tablespoons oil cooking until onions are translucent and cabbage is tender crisp. Brown ground beef; Drain and combine with cabbage mixture. In the bottom of a 9-inch x 13-inch x 2-inch casserole dish, unroll and seal the seams of one can of crescent rolls. Cover dough with beef and cabbage mixture. Spread mushroom soup evenly on top if beef and cabbage and sprinkle with the shredded cheddar cheese. Unroll and place remaining package of crescent rolls on top. Bake for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
( you can cheat to save time by using 2 packages of packaged shredded cabbage or Cole slaw mix)
Leftovers freeze well.

The Old Guy

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Sunday, March 11, 2012

A & W Copycat Recipes

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A dish of baked beans over scrambled eggs on t...Image via Wikipedia

A & W Baked Beans

1/2 cup A & W Root Beer. (Mason's or Dad's or Mug will work too)
4 bacon strips
1 cup chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans (1 pound 5 oz. size) pinto beans. drained
1 cup ketchup
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
oven baked beans
Boston Baked Beans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cook bacon strips in a small skillet until crisp; cool and crumble. Reserve 1 tablespoon bacon drippings.
Saute onion and garlic in reserved bacon drippings over medium heat for 10 minutes or until translucent. Place bacon, shopped onion, garlic and remaining ingredients in a 2 quart casserole dish; stir until well blended. Bake, uncovered, for about 1 hour, or until done.

A & W Hot Dog Sauce
Coney dog, a type of chili dogImage via Wikipedia
1 pound ground chuck
1 (6 ounce can) Hunt's tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
1 tablespoon dried onion, minced onion
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 heaping teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
In a 2 quart saucepan, brown the ground chuck, breaking into small pieces (I use my potato masher). Add salt and pepper while cooking. Do not drain. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Simmer, uncovered, 30-35 minutes or until it thickens, stirring often.

Serve over hot dogs(I like Koegels Vienna natural casing hot dogs, boiled with a warm bun)
Top with yellow mustard and chopped onion
The Old Guy

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Household Tip

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Solar lamp in the border P1550356Solar lamp in the border P1550356 (Photo credit: tomylees)Why didn't I think of this one........

I have a friend who used her solar lights inside at night when her current was off during the hurricane. She stuck them in a jar or bottle and said they gave off plenty of 'free light'. She put one in each room and would put them back outside in the daytime and bring them in at night as long as the current was off. They are safe to use and cheaper than batteries. Bring in a solar light one night and test it.

Due to a thunderstorm, I lost power for about 5 hours. I was scrambling around in the darkness, looking for matches, candles, flashlights, etc. I looked outside, and noticed my solar lights shining brightly all around the patio, stairs, dock, etc. They were beautiful. I walked outside, and brought several of the solar lights inside.

I stuck the solar light pipes into plastic drink bottles containers and they made the nicest, brightest, safest, lighting you could ever imagine.

I put one in the bathroom, the kitchen, the living room, etc. There was plenty of light. There are all types of solar lights available. I bought mine at Meijers. I put them all around my yard. They look nice and they do not attract flying bugs like the outdoor lights around the doorway.

The lights I have fit into the small (20 oz) water bottles and they also fit into most of the larger liter bottles. If you need a weight in the plastic bottle to keep them from tipping over, you can put a few of the pretty colorful "flat marbles" that they put in aquariums, and vases. (you can also use sand, aquarium gravel, etc., whatever you have available).

The lights I have were perfect inside my home. They burn all night long if you need them.

The next day, you just take your solar lights back outside and they will instantly recharge and be ready for you to use again any time you need them.

Perfect for power outages, hurricanes, etc.

I never thought of it, and now you don't have to.

Enjoy this tip.
The Old Guy

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Friday, March 2, 2012

Homemade Ground Beef "Helpers"

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Raw Ground beefImage via WikipediaAbout 0ne-fourth of the United States food shoppers say that speed and easy preparation are their most important considerations when they buy food. That's why meals-in-a-box have become so popular.

But, these convenient foods pose problems. They are usually high in fat and sodium..two items that most of us would like to reduce in our diets. These foods are also expensive. In a typical dinner, you may find a few cents worth of noodles, a packet of spices and a sauce mix. You add the milk and the meat..the two most costly ingredients. And, after a while, these dinners are boring.

Another way to save time is by using mixes. But instead of buying the mixes already made, try preparing some of your own. If you make them in large batches, not only will you save money, but you will also save time. As an added benefit, you control the nutritional value of the mix.

Use the following recipes for Homemade Ground Beef Helper to save you time and money.
Serve all of these one-skillet dinners with a dark green tossed salad side dish and fresh fruit for dessert.

Homemade Ground Beef Helper

2 cups nonfat dry "instant" milk
1 cup corn starch
1/4 cup unsalted chicken or beef bouillon powder
2 tablespoons onion flakes
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1 tablespoon garlic powder
Mix the ingredients together and store in an airtight container. Use the above "Helper" mix as a base for the following dinners. (each serves 4-6 people)

Chili Tomato Mac
Brown one pound ground beef or turkey and drain off fat. Add one cup of water, 1-1/2 cups of uncooked elbow macaroni, 2 (15 ounce cans) diced tomatoes, 1 tablespoon chili powder (more or less to taste) and 1/2 cup of the "Helper" mix. Simmer covered 20 minutes or until macaroni is tender.

Ground Beef Stroganoff

Brown one pound ground beef or turkey and drain off fat. Add 2 cups water, 1/2 cup "Helper" mix and two cups uncooked medium egg noodles and stir. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer covered for 15-20 minutes or until noodles are tender. Top with 1/2 cup sour cream. Serve immediately.

Hearty Potato Casserole

Brown one pound ground beef or turkey and drain off fat. Add 3/4 cup water, six peeled potatoes sliced very thin, one cup frozen mixed peas and carrots and 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon of the "Helper" mix. Simmer covered for 20-30 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Stir, uncover, and cook until the excess water is evaporated.

Skillet Lasagna

In a large skillet, brown one pound lean ground beef until crumbly. Drain off fat and add 1/2 cup of the "Helper" mix, 1 chopped onion, two cups water, 16 ounces of tomato sauce, 3 cups dry egg noodles and 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring until thickened. Top with 2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese five minutes before serving: turn off heat, stop stirring and allow cheese to melt.
Serve with garlic toast and a salad.

The Old Guy

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