Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tator Tot Casserole

This is such an easy meal to make, and it calls for ingredients that are usually on hand already. Many of you have probably made this old stand by for sometime now, but I have heard recently that there are a few who have never heard of it nor tried it. So this is for the newbies. (we were all new to it at one time, so bare with me.) *grin*

Tator Tot Casserole
2 lbs. ground beef
1 family size can cream of mushroom soup; undiluted
2 cans evaporated milk
1 small bag frozen tator tots
1 cup grated cheese (optional)

Brown meat in a medium size skillet. Drain fat.

Transfer drained meat to a casserole pan. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan combine soup and milk. Stir over medium heat until blended well and warmed thoroughly.

Top with a layer of tator tots.

Pour soup mixture over meat in casserole. Evenly sprinkle with grated cheese if using.

Bake at 350* for 35-45 minutes or until tots are golden and sauce is bubbly.

Click HERE for printable recipe

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Bread & Butter Pickles

Today hubby and I went to the vegetable farm and picked up some goodies. One of those were 5 lbs. of cucumbers. Since they were priced well below the grocery store fees, I thought I'd make up a batch of Bread & Butter pickles.

Bread & Butter Pickles
5lbs. small cucumbers, thinly sliced
3 very large yellow onions (about 3 lbs. total), thinly sliced
1/2 c. canning salt**
ice cubes
4 c. sugar
5 c. cider vinegar
2 T. mustard seed
2 tsp. ground turmeric
2 tsp. celery seed
9 pint jars with bands & seals

Place sliced cucumbers & onions in the sink. Sprinkle with canning salt. Toss to coat.

Layer ice cubes over cucumber & onion mixture. Let stand for 2 hours. Do not skimp on this step as this helps ensure crisp pickles. Drain and rinse well.

Wash jars, seals & bands then sterilize in water bath canner by bringing water to a full rolling boil and allowing to boil for at least 15 minutes. I also like to boil my jar tongs, funnel & magnetic lid wand.

In a large pot combine vinegar, sugar, mustard seed, celery seed and turmeric.

ring mixture to a boil and let boil for 5 minutes.

Add cucumber & onions and bring to boil again.

Remove mixture from heat and ladle into hot jars. Leave 1/4" head space when filling. Wipe rims clean with a damp towel and place on lids & seals. Tighten until only finger tight. Do not over tighten.

Place jars back into water bath canner and fill with enough water to cover jars. Cover with lid and bring to a boil. Once water has come to a full rolling boil start timer for 10 minutes. Process for the full 10 minutes.

Remove from canner and allow to cool. As jars seal you will hear the lids make a "ping" sound. If jars do not seal, remove lid and seal and start with a new set. Begin processing procedure again. Let jars cool completely and store in pantry or any other cool dry place. Enjoy!

Click HERE for printable recipe

** What is the difference between canning salt & table salt? can I use them interchangeably? For the answer go here then scroll down to questions #12 & #13.

Homemade Hamburger Buns

I happened upon a recipe for homemade hamburger buns a few weeks ago and thought today would be a great day to try my hand at them. The recipe was found on Hand Made With Love's blog.

V's Hamburger Buns

2 c. warm water
5 Tblsp. sugar
1 1/2 Tblsp. yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c oil
5-6 c. flour
1 beaten egg white
1 Tblsp. water
sesame seeds or dried onion flakes

Combine the water, sugar, yeast, salt and oil in a mixing bowl. Add in flour, a cup at a time, until its a nice bread dough that doesn’t stick to the sides.

Transfer to a clean counter top or bread kneading board that has been dusted lightly with flour to keep dough from sticking. Knead for 10 minutes.

Grease a separate bowl to transfer dough once kneaded. Turn once to coat both sides of dough with oil. Cover and let rise until doubled in size.

Punch down and knead the air bubbles out. Divide into 12 pieces for hamburgers or 18 pieces for hot dogs or brats. Roll between hands into correct shapes.

Place on greased cookie sheet for 20 minutes to let rise (hot dog rolls should be squished together so they rise UP and not just out.)

Carefully brush with mixture of egg white and water and sprinkle with seeds or flakes if desired (flakes are excellent for hamburgers.)

Bake at 400* for 20 minutes or until nicely browned. Let cool 5 minutes and then break apart and move to a cooling rack so the bottoms don’t get soggy.

Hubby was sure happy with his dinner tonight. He grilled our beef patties and boy were they tasty and juicy. Doesn't that picture just make your mouth water!?! *grin*

Click HERE for printable recipe