Monday, August 22, 2011

Casserole Crazy

Well....it's Monday again. This is both good and bad. Good....because I definitely need some consistency with a dash of normalcy thrown in for good measure. Bad because....well...I need to sleep about two more days to make up for all the sleep I lost over the weekend. But if you have to have a Monday.....this last weekend was a great lead in.

So it is raining out and making me feel very fallish once again (even though it feels to be about 80+ degrees outside). In the fall I think of comfort foods and to me....comfort foods  a lot of times come in the form of casseroles. Casseroles are favorites because there are so many concoctions and variations to any one recipe that you can have a little culinary fun. Prep time for a casserole (depending on type) is usually anywhere from 5 minutes to 30 minutes and bake time is usually anywhere from 30 min. to an hour. Casseroles can usually be prepped the night before or the morning of and then hit the oven as soon as you hit the door in the evening. Once baked....add a side dish/veggie/bread/salad and you have an easy meal with leftovers for the next day. So get ready folks....cause this is how I get casserole crazy!

My first casserole is one that was sort of suggested to  me by my mother in law and then after tweaking it.....became one of my family favorites. It is called Cabbage Casserole. Its origins began with the original Cabbage Rolls. My family loved them but for the kids.....they were just too messy and if you didn't get the cabbage cooked just right.....it either fell apart or was too tough to cut. My mother in law showed me a casserole where instead of rolling the meat and rice....you layered it with the cabbage. I took it one step further and used shredded cabbage. It is less mess (boiling the cabbage, etc.) and it gives a bit of a crunch. So here is my version of Cabbage Casserole

1lb ground beef browned
1/2 a medium onion diced and cooked with beef (may also use onion flakes to equal a 1/2 med. onion....about a tablespoon or so)
1 1/2 a large cabbage (red or green) finely chopped (coleslaw consistency) or 1 bag of already chopped coleslaw
1 giant can of tomato soup
Instant rice about 4 servings prepared according to box directions
Season salt to taste
Cracker or bread crumbs
1 TBSP of butter/margarine to dot the top with
Prepare your rice and brown your beef and onion. In a 5 qt. baking dish with a lid spray the bottom and sides with Pam. In another bowl mix the can of tomato soup with about 1/2 a can of milk or water. Whisk until smooth. In a large bowl big enough to hold all ingredients, add the rice, beef mixture and soup. Mix until all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated. Then add the finely chopped cabbage and fold it into the mixture until it is thoroughly incorporated. Add Season Salt mix again and then put all ingredients into the sprayed baking dish. Cover with cracker or bread crumbs and dot the top with butter/margarine. Bake covered for 30-45 min. at 350 degrees. This casserole is so good and because the cabbage is not as evident as in cabbage rolls....kids tend to want to eat it more. Add a salad and crusty bread and this just screams fall in a dish.
This next casserole is one of my mom's that I also tweaked a bit. It started as her own version of scalloped potatoes, but with a bit of this and that magic....it goes from a side dish to a main dish with just a few additions. This is an awesome choice for the family that is all about the meat and potatoes.
Mom's Scalloped Potatoes and Such

5 lbs med. potatoes microwaved in skins until almost soft.
1 reg. size box of Velveeta cheese
1 lg. onion thinly sliced
Milk
Your choice of 1lb of any of the following: diced ham, browned ground beef, browned sausage, sliced polish sausage, shredded roast beef or diced pork steak (have also added pepperoni....but that is an acquired taste).

Spray your 5 qt. baking dish with with pan spray. Peel your almost done microwaved potatoes and cut into thin slices. Cut your box of Velveeta into thin slices. Begin layering. Start with a layer of potatoes, then a layer of cheese, then onion, then meat. Then start the process over. Your last layer should be meat and then cover the top with cheese. You should still have a little room at the top. Take milk....about 1/2 to 1 cup and pour over entire casserole and down sides. Cover with lid and bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour. This casserole is wonderful straight out of the over and even better as leftovers on day two. I have also added green beans or corn into the mix to change it up a bit. I usually mix them with the meat and layer them with the meat. With the added veggies you can add bread and have an entire meal or you can add a side dish or salad. Yummy!

So this is how I get casserole crazy. Believe me....there are tons more that I have up my sleeve and in my many, many, many.........cookbooks, but these rank amongst my favorites. If you give them a try....let me know what you think and if you have your own casserole idea to add.....please do so. I can always use knew ideas.

Time to get this Monday started. Hope you all have a wonderful. Happy Monday!


9 comments:

Anonymous said...

What kind of crap are you trying to pass off as food? Neither of those sounds the least bit appetizing. In fact it sounds like it is full of fat and grease. You obviously don't care about your body, your families bodies or the bodies and health of your readers. I HATE this!

A Very Hungry Girl said...

Anonymous,are you insane? Both of those sound heavenly. The cabbage one especially. I love cabbage roles but hate to make them. This sounds so much easier. The potato one sounds good too. I plan on trying them both. Anonymous, has anyone ever told you what a pain in the ass you are? If not, consider yourself now told!

J'nelle said...

Loving Hungry Girl and loving your casseroles!

Becca Rowden said...

WOW! Anonymous seems to have enough guts to complain but not enough guts to be anonymous!

Anonymous said...

Hey Anonymous,

You need to learn some manners buddy, and if you're a woman I've got a female friend that greatly encourage you to shut the heck up. But something tells me your mom didn't love you very much and that your underwear was always a little too stretched out after sophomore gym class.

And I'm guessing you vote for liberals and expect others to make you happy. Ya wuss! Get a spine and a fresh pair of panties.

That aside, Lisa, I would love to try it. When's dinner? Keep the great blog going.

Your tattooed bike riding, 2nd Amendment loving and manner teaching buddy,

Steve Johnston

adagio said...

Lisa, I love your casseroles!
I may try 'em!

Anonymous, you are a coward.

Anonymous said...

How is it that any time someone is not saying how great this blogger is that there is hell to pay? Can cmom not take negative criticism? Does she have to have people constantly come to her defense? This woman is not so great and yet according to those that feel the need to run rescue her, she is the greatest thing since sliced bread? No one is that great and yet people seem to run to her defense. I am starting to think that the only reason you run to her defense is just to disagree with anyone who doesn't think she is wonderful. Wow what a world.

Cmom said...

Anonymous...no one needs to defend me. Just as not everyone needs to agree with me. If you are trying to be odd man out...you win and you are. If you want me to remove your remarks just so you can be proved right...that I can't stand the heat, it's not going to happen. You don't need to like how I feel about finding a relationship, tattoo's or food. You don't have to like me and most of all....you don't have to quit expressing your opinion (within reason). If you want an argument...you will not get one from me. Oh...and these people that seem to have my back...they are called friends. You should really try getting some of your own. They are who I blog for and what makes my world go round! :)

Anonymous said...

Anonymous,

No Lisa isn't perfect. Nor, has Lisa ever claimed herself to be perfect. As a TRUE friend of Lisa's I except her failures as well as her victories in life.

She is someone that has faced more challenges than most. And through it all Lisa will put her troubles aside to help someone else in need.

I have been on the receiving end of her grace. A year ago when I was going thru some of my darkest days, it was Lisa that was comforting and encouraging me with her prayers, thoughts and kind words. My friend is truly Christlike.

You on the other hand are a gutless wonder that hides behind a computer screen and a keyboard to attack like a snake. If you're a man, get a pair. And if you're a woman find a heart. You've shown no compassion and no understanding.

I've faced your type before. You feed off other's pain. There is no honor in your cowardice. Even so, I will pray for you nonetheless. I will pray that the light of TRUTH is turned on for you.

I suggest you find someone else to spew your hatred towards. Any thieving politician will do. And there are many to select from. Pray that I don't show up at your doorstep. Your writings are revealing who you may be.

Steve Johnston