McDonald’s Cheeseburger Casserole – Nance and Robyn make the same recipe

Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was McDonald’s Cheeseburger Recipe. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.  The original recipe was submitted by reader Kris.

Robyn’s Take:

This week’s recipe was submitted by reader Kris, who submitted it wayyyyyy back in May. I’m not kidding when I tell y’all that we have a backlog, so if you’ve submitted a recipe and we haven’t made it yet, that certainly doesn’t mean we aren’t going to. Be patient – it’ll happen one day. Or not. You’ll just have to wait and see.

I worked at McDonald’s as a teenager, and to this day when I go into a McDonald’s (or, more accurately, drive through), the onions-and-pickles smell makes me nostalgic.

(And then I thank my lucky stars that I no longer work there. I worked there for three years, and can’t believe I made it that long. On the other hand, I think every kid should be required to work in the service industry for at least a year. It might cut down on the number of ASSHOLE CUSTOMERS out there.)

So I was all for giving this casserole a try, even though I don’t eat fast food burgers any more because every time I consider it, I think of the “pink slime” stories and my whole body just says “UM, NO.” (No, I’m not providing a link. You’re ON THE GODDAMN INTERNET, do your own search. I don’t want to have to look at that shit again.)

I don’t eat fast food all that often, really (except for the occasional Egg McMuffin), but when I do it’s usually something from the poultry side of the menu (I KNOW, I KNOW, caged, factory-farmed chickens, shot up with hormones, living terrible, miserable lives, I DIDN’T ASK YOUUUUUUUUU.)

Okay, let’s do this. Your ingredients:

Cheeseburger Casserole (1)

Lean ground beef, chopped onion, chopped dill pickles, ketchup, yellow mustard, American cheese, an 8 oz. can of crescent rolls, milk, and sesame seeds. Not pictured: water.

Regarding the chopped dill pickles: the recipe calls for 1/4 c. chopped dill pickles, and when I bought pickles at the store I grabbed one of those big jars of the huge dill pickles because they were the SAME price as the much smaller jars. What’s that about, I ask you? It only took me one of those dill pickles to get 1/4 c. of chopped pickle.

I love pickles. I can’t make a decent pickle to save my life, but I’ve always got a jar or two of pickles on hand. Dill, bread ‘n butter, sweet gherkins, I love ’em all. (I do make a mean sweet pickle relish.)

This is a pretty simple recipe (you know how I love that!) First, brown your ground meat and onion.

Cheeseburger Casserole (2)

You’re also supposed to add salt and pepper to taste, but I spaced on this part. I don’t think it made a difference, honestly. Salt and pepper are overrated. Unless I’m having a salt craving, and then it’s like “WHY SO STINGY?”

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“My nipples and I would like to know if you’re EVER going to make something that doesn’t have onion or chocolate in it, so that the kitties can partake. Would that be so much to ask?!”

That’s my foster kitty Livia. She and her nipples are supporting 7 (yes, 7!) 2 week-old kittens at the moment. My hat is off to Livia, because she’s making it work even though I’m ready and willing to step in and bottle feed if the need arises. They’re fat and sassy little things, and Livia is doing a bang-up job. You go, girl!

Drain the fat off your browned meat and onions. I’d show you this part, but I didn’t get a picture of it. Imagine a whole mess of browned meat (and onions) in my fancy-bitch collapsible colander, which is awesome. My only gripe is that it doesn’t come in red or yellow, so it doesn’t really GO with my kitchen, but that’s a minor gripe. It’s not like I really decorate with it (let us take a moment to guffaw over the idea that I “decorate” with anything), it sits in the cupboard unless I’m using it, so that’ll just be our secret, the way the colander doesn’t match my kitchen colors.

Throw your drained, browned beef and onions back in the pan and then toss in your chopped dill pickles, water, ketchup, yellow mustard. Mix together well.

Cheeseburger Casserole (3)

On a side note, Kris mentioned that the measurements on these ingredients is really more of a guideline. If you are a particular fan of pickles or ketchup or whatever, go ahead and toss in more. It’s all up to you.

Spread your meat-and-other-stuff mixture in the bottom of a 9×9 pan (or if you don’t have a 9×9, use an 8×8. That’s what I used.) Cover with slices of American cheese.

Cheeseburger Casserole (5)

Clearly I really wanted to get it all well covered with cheese. Hey, I like cheese.

Then take the crescent roll dough and pinch it together the best you can to form a crust to cover the entire pan. I ended up overlapping the dough in the middle.

Cheeseburger Casserole (6)

Yeah, I know. Kinda ugly. Make small slits in the dough to allow steam to escape. Brush milk over the dough, and then sprinkle generously with sesame seeds. On a side note, I just want y’all to know that I know that McDonald’s cheeseburgers do not have sesame seeds on the buns. But I like sesame seeds, so I used them. McDonald’s cheeseburgers start with pink slime, too, so I guess we’re not being 100% authentic here.

Cheeseburger Casserole (7)

Bake for 25 – 30 minutes.

Cheeseburger Casserole (8)

Kinda looks like a giant cheeseburger, doesn’t it? Check out that cheese, bubbling up from the side.

Cheeseburger Casserole (9)

And here it is, scooped out onto a plate.

Cheeseburger Casserole (10)

It’s impossible to take a really good picture of any casserole.

The verdict? I liked it. I liked it A LOT. Fred liked it, too, although he was hesitant to give it the full two thumbs up because it’s not the healthiest thing in the world. I bet it’s healthier than the actual McDonald’s cheeseburger, amiright? We are absolutely going to be eating this again – Kris had mentioned that she doubles everything to make a 9×13 pan, and I was wishing I’d done that, too. We had leftovers for dinner the next night, and it was even better than when it was fresh from the oven. Two thumbs up from me, one and three-quarters thumbs up from Fred.

Thanks for the submission, Kris!

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Have a recipe you want us to make? Check out this page (there’s also a link to that page up there under the banner) and follow the instructions to submit a recipe!

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Nance’s Take:
Because I am all about full disclosure you need to know that my 19-year-old son works at McDonald’s. This means absolutely jack shit to me, but it may matter to some of you (Amanda). We’re just not fast-food people anymore, but I do love a cheeseburger. And rumor has it that this recipe could do the trick.  I’m in, but I’m guarded because you know, casserole.

Another disclosure: We were HUNGRY and ready to eat! Rick and I were scrambling to get this thing in the oven so we would know whether or not we had to order pizza.

McDonald's  Cheeseburger Casserole
I put Rick to work browning the ground beef.  Pretty hard to fuck that up, right?
McDonald's  Cheeseburger Casserole
I went to work chopping those damn onions. I am just like Rick on this subject. We like onions in recipes, but you’re never going to catch me eating a raw one on purpose. I wanted these bad boys to be small because I know how we are. That’s one of those clear plastic mats that I’m cutting on. They suck.McDonald's  Cheeseburger Casserole
I finally gave up and decided to use the electric mini chopper so I was sure those onions would not be heavy on our tongues. We are a bunch of pussies. Sigh.
McDonald's  Cheeseburger Casserole
Here, you don’t need to see everything I put in it one single item at a time. Just know that I put in all the shit that the recipe called for and as you can see, I stirred that shit.
McDonald's  Cheeseburger Casserole
A made a decision to change the recipe. I had bought a two pack of crescent rolls so I decided to do a top and a bottom bun. Somebody that wasn’t me opened this bad boy up because I’m kind of afraid of them. I will do it if I have to, but if someone is available, it’s their job.
McDonald's  Cheeseburger Casserole
Those man hands are really Rick’s! He was really in a hurry and ready to kill me about this time. I was dawdling.
McDonald's  Cheeseburger Casserole
Conehead.
McDonald's  Cheeseburger Casserole
I par-baked the bottom crust until it was light golden brown. With my oven it was 6 minutes at 375 degrees. Then I dumped my fixings in it. We decided to stay true to the recipe when it came to the “guts” of the casserole (this ain’t no Burger King up in here). 
McDonald's  Cheeseburger Casserole
There’s a reason that the cheese on the bottom right is missing a chunk, but the reason is so stupid that I’m not even going to tell.
McDonald's  Cheeseburger Casserole
Roll the top crust crescent roll dough over the top and pinch those holes closed.  And then add a few slits for steaming. Which, I suppose, would have worked just as well if you didn’t bother pinching those perforations, but what the hell do I know?
McDonald's  Cheeseburger Casserole
This is what it looked like. Rick was snapping my picture.  As you can see, I have good veins. You could also probably see that I completely forgot to add the sesame seeds.  And, for once, I had them!  
McDonald's  Cheeseburger Casserole
I didn’t get a good picture of this, but it was delicious. Seriously. Not only is this one a keeper, but it’s definitely going into rotation. Everybody in the house loved it. ALL FOUR PEOPLE.  Miracle. A motherfucking miracle.

The leftovers microwave beautifully.  I was surprised because I expected rubbery consistency, etc., but it did great.  I had some for breakfast!

Winner, winner, winner!!!!

McDonald's Cheeseburger Casserole - Nance and Robyn make the same recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
: Entree
Cuisine: FastFoodlandia
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • ¼ c. chopped onion
  • ¼ c. chopped dill pickles
  • ½ c. water
  • ½ c. ketchup
  • 1 - 1½ T yellow mustard
  • American cheese slices to cover hamburger mixture (it takes about 4 slices)
  • 8 oz can Crescent Roll
  • 1 T milk
  • 1 - 2 T sesame seeds
Instructions
  1. Brown ground beef with onion, add salt and pepper to taste. Drain off excess fat. Add the chopped pickles, water, ketchup and mustard to the beef and onions, and stir until well mixed.
  2. (If you want to add more of any of the ingredients except water, go ahead and do so - it's a matter of personal preference.)
  3. Spread the beef mixture into the bottom of your pan. Cover with slices of American cheese.
  4. Take the crescent roll dough and pinch together as best you can to form a crust to cover the entire pan. Make small slits in dough to allow steam to escape. Brush milk over the dough and sprinkle generously with sesame seeds.
  5. Bake at 375ºF for 25 - 30 minutes, until golden brown.
  6. *Recipe can be easily doubled; use a 9x13 pan, but do NOT double the amount of water, just use the ½ c, or you may end up with a runny casserole.
  7. *Note: If you prefer to have a bottom "bun" in addition to the top "bun", use an additional can of crescent dough and layer it on the bottom of your pan. Parbake it at 375ºF until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Then pick up with step 3 (spread the beef mixture in your pan) and go from there.

 

CORE Salsa Meatloaf

I don’t recall where I found this recipe, but I know it’s been many years since I did. In fact, I think Fred sent it to me because he spotted it in some forum and thought it sounded good. I used to make it all the time, and then the recipe disappeared from my recipe box and I hadn’t made it for years. Then recently, I stumbled across it again, and made it.

I had forgotten how good it is! In fact, when Nance and I made meatloaf earlier this year or last year, or whenever the hell we made it, I declared that that was my go-to meatloaf recipe forevermore. But the good thing about the CORE Salsa Meatloaf is that it’s got shredded veggies in it, which means it’s good for you!

If you’re on Weight Watchers, it is also Weight Watchers CORE program compliant. I’d love to tell you exactly what that means, but I haven’t got a clue. I assume it’s a good thing?

Anyway. Your ingredients:

Core meatloaf (2)

Ground beef, egg whites, shredded zucchini, carrots, and onion, Worchestershire sauce, garlic, salt and pepper, oatmeal, and thyme. Also, salsa – but warning: I didn’t use the salsa because I had a better idea for the topping.

Really, aren’t all meatloaf recipes pretty much the same? Throw all the ingredients in a bowl and mix them up.

Core meatloaf (3)

When the ingredients are well-mixed, shape them it all into a loaf and put it in a loaf pan; bake. As an aside (and to use our brand-spanking-new Amazon affiliate link, woohoo!), I have this meat loaf pan. I like it because it allows the grease from your meatloaf to drain through into the bottom pan, and thus you’re consuming less of the grease and fat. I CALL THAT AWESOME.

Core meatloaf (4)

I veered away from the recipe. The original recipe says after the meatloaf has baked for 40 minutes, spread 1/2 cup of salsa on top of the meatloaf and cook another 20 minutes.

I didn’t do that, because salsa on meatloaf is just gross to me. I know, I’m a picky bitch.

What I did was steal the idea for the topping from the meatloaf Nance and I made, the 1/4 c. ketchup, 1/4 c. BBQ sauce and 2 T. brown sugar, spread that on top of the meatloaf and then cooked it another 20 minutes.

It was DIVINE.

Core meatloaf (5)
Look – NO ONE takes a decent picture of meatloaf. IT CANNOT BE DONE.

You know how sometimes meatloaf is just a big, solid mass of meat? This meatloaf is much less dense, and it’s tasty and it’s chock-full of veggies, and really just SO good. Give it a try – shredding the veggies is a pain in the ass, but it’s very much worth it, I promise!

 

CORE Salsa Meatloaf
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
: Entree
Cuisine: Weight Watchers
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 4 egg whites (or ½ c. pasteurized egg whites) (or two whole eggs)
  • 1 c. old-fashioned oats
  • 1 onion, grated
  • 1 c. grated zucchini
  • ¾ c. grated carrot
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 t. Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp each dried thyme and pepper
  • 1¼ lbs extra-lean ground beef
  • ½ c. salsa
Instructions
  1. Throw everything but salsa in a big bowl; mix together well. Don't be a priss; use your hands to mix that stuff up.
  2. Place in a greased loaf pan. Bake at 350ºF for 40 minutes. Spread salsa over top (see note below if baked salsa on top of meat grosses you out); bake an additional 20 minutes. Makes 8 servings.
  3. Note: as an alternate topping if you prefer not to use salsa, mix ¼ c. ketchup, ¼ c. BBQ sauce, and 2 T brown sugar. After meatloaf has baked for 40 minutes, spread on top of the meatloaf, and bake an additional 20 minutes. (If you go with this topping, the nutritional information below is incorrect.)
  4. Nutritional information (if made with the salsa topping) Per serving: 206 calories, 22 g. protein, 7 g. total fat (3 g. saturated fat), 12 g. carb, 2 g. fiber, 47 mg cholesterol, 382 mg. sodium.

 

Bacon Cheeseburger Soup – Nance & Robyn make the same recipe

Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Bacon Cheeseburger Soup, found over at Food.com. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.  

Robyn’s Take:

This week’s recipe was Nance’s choice. I’m a big fan of cheeseburgers, so of course I was all for it. Then I looked at the ingredients, and I was like, “Holy clogged arteries, Batman!”

Bacon Cheeseburger Soup (3)
And Batman said “Um, what are arteries?”

So I opted to use half the amount of bacon.

Your ingredients:

Bacon Cheeseburger Soup (1)

Bacon (in that red bowl), 2 lbs ground chuck (back there in the background, peeking out at you), chopped onion, minced garlic, low-sodium chicken broth, a can of petite diced tomatoes, a can of cheddar cheese soup, dill pickle relish, and Worchestershire sauce.

Before I go on, let me also say that I was reaaaaaaaaally iffy about that dill pickle relish. I mean, relish? In a soup? I had decided to leave it out, but then Fred was intrigued rather than grossed out at the idea, so I decided to go for it. I figured the worst that could happen would be that it was terrible, whereupon the chickens would love to finish it off for us.

First, cook your bacon in a large Dutch oven. Or a big pot. I don’t think it HAS to be a Dutch oven, but then there’s a lot I don’t know.

Bacon Cheeseburger Soup (2)

My Dutch oven is CLEANED, but STAINED (or, as OldCat suggested, “rustic”). A few years ago, not long after I got it, I was boiling a chicken in it and I kind of wandered off and forgot it was on the stove, and the Dutch oven boiled dry and the chicken burned, and good CHRIST, what a nasty mess I had. I’m actually amazed the pot looks as good as it does.

(And as another aside – the word “pot” just reminded me – I was surfing around on my iPad in bed this morning because I didn’t feel like getting up, and I started surfing around looking at odor removal products (my house doesn’t smell like cat, despite the large number of litter boxes and, y’know, CATS, but I like to keep on top of what’s out there in case Fred suddenly starts getting his way and we end up with 30 cats) and then I realized I was on a site meant for people growing pot. I’m probably on some kind of law enforcement list now, and they’ll be breaking down my door and dragging me off to jail any minute.)

(PS: I did not learn of any new and exciting odor removal products; you’d think the pot growers would have all kinds of exciting ways to remove odor, wouldn’t you? Sadly, not so much. Carbon based filtering systems seem to be the best way to do it. If you ever wondered.)

So cook your bacon, is what I’m saying. Then drain it on paper towels.

Bacon Cheeseburger Soup (4)

Throw in your ground beef (or ground turkey if you prefer. I do not use ground turkey in ANYthing. Something about ground turkey grosses me out), onion, and garlic, and cook ’til the meat is cooked through and crumbly.

Bacon Cheeseburger Soup (5)

When it’s cooked through, drain it.

Bacon Cheeseburger Soup (6)

That’s my new colander, ain’t it fancy? It’s made of silicone, and it collapses so that it takes up less space. I’m all for kitchen gadgetry that takes up less space. This was the first time I used it, and it did a good job and cleaned easily.

Throw the ground chuck, bacon, and all your other ingredients into the pot and cook it over medium heat until it’s heated through, 10 – 15 minutes.

Bacon Cheeseburger Soup (7)

The recipe suggested you garnish it with french-fried onions, which I didn’t have on hand. I opted for a sprinkle of Cheddar.

Bacon Cheeseburger Soup (8)

And the verdict? It was good, and the dill pickle relish wasn’t actually all that odd. I would happily eat it again – though if I had to do it over again, I’d rinse the meat instead of just draining it. Also, I’d probably add less broth. I expected a thicker soup for some reason, and so did Fred.

Will I make it again? Probably not. If I were going to make a soup again, it’d be the Lasagna Soup. However, I’ll happily eat the leftovers for dinner tonight and tomorrow night, and so will Fred.

(PS: I totally did not notice the chunky tomato pieces while I was eating, but if you hate chunky tomato pieces even more than I do, you could substitute tomato soup or tomato sauce for the diced tomatoes.)

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Nance’s Take:

Sheesh, I do not know what it is with me and the picking of soup recipes.  I don’t even really like soup.  And yes, I know I’ve mentioned this fact on the site before.  Who does shit like that?  Who would pick a recipe for something they don’t even like?   Oh, I know…lazy-ass people like me who like the idea of throwing a bunch of shit into one pot and calling it done.  Yay for soup!

Cheeseburgers are the all-American food, right?  Just like apple pie.  And Rice Krispie™ treats.  Heh.  I honestly picked this recipe because I thought it would be the least like soup.  That’s also why I picked that lasagna soup recipe, too.  And since it was another Paula Deen recipe I figured I would have another one-pot winner.

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Miss Maddy sits atop the refrigerator to watch how this is all going to go down. She’s also hoping to snag some bacon. She’s on a special renal diet that doesn’t allow much protein so all of the sudden, Maddy loves her some meat and she will do anything to get it. Sigh.

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I put Shirley (aka: my mom) to work making the bacon because I have no patience with that shit. The waiting and turning and flipping over…OHMYHELL, just kill me now! If my mother ever quits cooking bacon, we are screwed.

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I went to work on the ground beef. Ugh, look at the amount of grease up in that pot and think about your arteries. I drained the shit out of that and I was this close to rinsing it out in a strainer, but I was afraid of losing all of the flavor so I didn’t.  And also, I figured it would make a helluva mess.  The recipe didn’t call for salt and pepper, but I added some anyway.

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Of course, the onions were added in with the ground beef because that’s really the best way to do it. You get the flavor without the crunch that reminds you that you’re eating a vegetable. What? We’ve been dicing shit up extra, extra small in order to fool certain people in my family for years.

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Bacon’s done!

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I may or may not have cropped this picture so Rick could have it as a background for his computer.  Don’t worry, I’ve already checked into the life insurance situation.  Homeboy’s not going to leave me sitting here broke when he checks out from a heart attack!

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This is where things started to get ugly. Seriously. I re-checked the recipe to make sure that it was only one can of cheese soup because I figured that bad boy was going to be watered down into nothing by the time I added the chicken broth and tomatoes.

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This is after I dumped everything in. I drained the tomatoes before I put them in even though I wasn’t sure if I should. I like my soups thicker anyway, but you’ll soon see how that didn’t happen.  I also cooked it for more than the 20 minutes that the recipe said.  I was so hoping this mess would boil down into something thicker than what I was seeing.

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I had this fantastic idea to toast a couple of buns like garlic bread to eat along with the soup (hello, cheeseburgers/buns/duh). Shirley slapped my ass down because the hamburger buns were new and she thought I should use the old bread instead. Really, Shirley? Mind you, the hamburger buns were a package of SIXFUCKINGTEEN buns.  So I didn’t bother using my fantastic idea and just made homemade croutons instead. But I have news for you, Shirley. I threw away that old bread and used the new loaf of bread to make the croutons. You’re not the boss of me! Wheeeee!

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Maddy again. Keeping an eye on Rick because she hates him.  No lie.  She’s the only animal in the house that has no time for Dr. Doolittle and it breaks his heart.  Dr. Doolittle done got his ego checked by The Madster.  Ha!

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It is what it looks like…boiled meat with some extra stuff thrown in to make it soupier. We all tasted it and voted nay so this  isn’t going to make it to the recipe binder. But I can tell you that we eventually managed to gag it down, after a large amount of croutons and grated cheddar cheese were applied. Clogged arteries be damned!

Comments closed due to spamming.

Bacon Cheeseburger Soup - Nance & Robyn make the same recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Original Source/Author:
: Entree
Cuisine: American?
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 10 slices bacon, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 2 lbs ground chuck or ground turkey
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 32 oz low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (14½ ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 (10¾ ounce) can cheddar cheese soup
  • ¼ cup dill pickle relish
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Instructions
  1. In a large Dutch oven, cook bacon until crisp. Remove to a piece of paper towel and let it drain.
  2. Add ground chuck, onion, and garlic. Cook until cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well.
  3. Put drained ground chuck/ turkey back in Dutch oven, add all other ingredients and cook over medium heat until warmed through, 10 - 15 minutes.
  4. Garnish with french-fried onions or shredded cheese.

 

Meatloaf – (Nance & Robyn make the same recipe)

Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Meatloaf, found over at Mennonite Girls Can Cook. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.

Robyn’s Take:

This week’s recipe was my choice, and it came about when I said to Fred “I need to choose a recipe for next week. What do you want to eat?” and he said “We haven’t had meatloaf in a long time!” and I said “Hmm. I have a meatloaf recipe in my stack!”, and I shuffled through my six foot high stack of recipes-to-try, and found this one.

I mean, seriously – a hunk of meat mixed with a bunch of good stuff and then topped with ketchup, BBQ sauce and brown sugar? Sign me up!

Ingredients: BBQ sauce (I used Bulls-eye because that’s what was in the fridge), ketchup, oats, bread crumbs (I have a Panko bread crumbs addiction and I buy them whenever they’re on sale. I probably have like 10 boxes of bread crumbs in my pantry.), grated Parmesan (I buy the pre-grated big-ass container from Sam’s. Don’t tell me how freshly grated Parm is 73 times better, I haven’t got time for the pain.), milk, onion, and 1 1/4 pounds of lean ground beef.

Meatloaf (1)

Throw everything in a big bowl, like such:

Meatloaf (2)

And squoosh it together with your hands until it’s well mixed.

Meatloaf (3)

What do people who don’t like to touch raw meat with their bare hands do when they’re making meatloaf? Use a mixer? Don gloves?

So the recipe says to form the meat into a loaf and put it on a baking sheet. Instead of doing that, I opted to use my fancypants meatloaf pan. You can’t tell from the picture, but it’s a pan with holes in the bottom set inside a larger pan that will catch the grease that drops from the top pan. Don’t be jealous of my high society ways.

Meatloaf (4)

So I was MINDING my own damn business, mixing up the topping for the meatloaf when what happens? Here comes that INSPECTOR again, all “Out of my way! I gots to inspect!”

Meatloaf (5)
“Big hunk of meat and cheese in pan. I approve! BUT there’s onion in there, so I cannot have a bite. Sixty-three demerits for you!”

Meatloaf (6)
“Counter seems clear. Ten points for you. BUT WAIT…”

Meatloaf (8)
“What’s all this crap over here? It’s ALMOST like you just shoved all the crap to one side of the counter for picture-taking, like your readers are going to BELIEVE you are organized and neat. TEN THOUSAND demerits for thinking the readers are that stupid, and another hundred million demerits for leaving chocolate where Inspector Stompers might accidentally eat it. Are you trying to poison Inspector Stompers??”

Meatloaf (9)
“Bowl of ketchup and BBQ sauce. This is a nice touch.”

Meatloaf (10)
“But you forgot the brown sugar, stupid.” (I seriously forgot the brown sugar. Like, I JUST NOW realized I forgot it! Grrrr.)

Meatloaf (11)
“And ketchup on the counter. Another 16 demerits for slobbery. You shut this operation down!”

Once again, I bribed the inspector with crunchies and packed him off for nap time so I could get this done.

BBQ sauce/ ketchup mixture, dumped over the top of the meatloaf:

Meatloaf (12)

And baked for an hour. This is what it looked like when it was done:

Meatloaf (14)

It’s impossible to get a decent picture of meatloaf. I didn’t hardly even try, obviously. (Now just watch, Nance is going to post a picture of the most beautiful meatloaf ever. DAMN HER.)

The verdict? Holy crap, it was good. SO good. We ate it for dinner one night, had leftovers for dinner the next night, and we both had it for lunch. Two thumbs up, and it’s going into regular rotation, I can tell you that.

I bet it’ll be even better when I remember to put the brown sugar in the topping!

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Nance’s take:

True Confession Time: I have spent the last 3 days stuck in an Internet rabbit hole because hello, Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, Divorce and Scientology! Please tell me that I’m not the only one that has lost hours of precious time reading up on The Crazy That Is Scientology. How can I even think about making a meatloaf when I had to watch an incredible documentary about Scientology (BBC television – the reporter has a fabulous accent)?  I have read and watched so much stuff about it that I am starting to get a little bit nervous that the Xenu people may be following my IP address and OHMYHELL, RUN, NANCE, RUN!

Yeah, I am probably a little crazy right now.  But I did manage to finally make the meatloaf (yesterday morning). And for the record, meatloaf in July is a HORRIBLE IDEA, ROBYN.

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I buy my ground beef at Sam’s Club and break it down into smaller bags (approximate weight is one pound). If you think that I actually measured/weighed the meat for these bags or this recipe, you don’t know me at all. Here’s another little secret about me: This picture is totally pissing me off because Rick had the audacity to write on the bags…IN HIS HORRIFYING HANDWRITING. Rick knows better. I have rewritten entire grocery lists rather than walk around the store looking at his handwriting if he had added something to the list. Yeah, you may call it being a bitch, but I prefer to say that it’s just being particular. Heh.

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I did not understand the need to foil my pan. But I went with it since I normally just throw my meatloaf into a bread pan. I was determined to follow this recipe to the letter because I was hoping it would be a meatloaf that everyone in my family would eat.  My son Trey doesn’t like meatloaf because it’s old people food.  Shirley just laughs, but I am deeply offended because I love meatloaf and I’m not that OLD!  Hmph.

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There’s not much to write about when it comes to a meatloaf recipe. I just started dumping all the stuff into the bowl. And then I hit a road-block…

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The recipe calls for one cup of grated cheese. Well. What KIND of grated cheese? I went back to the site and even stalked the comment section to see if anyone had asked about the cheese. Nope. It appears that this group is in the know about the cheese situation and doesn’t want to let anybody else in on the secret. Robyn and I do not usually discuss the recipes that we make, but I broke down and sent an email this time.

N:  What kind of grated cheese did you use for the meatloaf?

R:  We used parmesan because we had a big-ass container of pre-shredded stuff (from Sam’s), but I think cheddar would have been good, too.

N:  do you think I should you parmesan from a can (that Kraft shit?)

R:  Oh, I wouldn’t use that stuff. I’d use any other kind of cheese you have laying around (don’t tell me you don’t have cheese laying around).

I never received her last reply until it was too late. Way TOO LATE.  And check her out, accusing me and assuming that I have cheese laying around.  Which I do.  But STILL. I didn’t want to have to grate it.

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I didn’t even have enough to make one cup so I had to figure something out. And for the record my mother was not very helpful. Had it been her making this recipe she probably would have added a can of baked beans to it and called it a day.  The really sad part of this is that most of you think I’m joking right now.

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I ended up just adding bread crumbs to the cheese that was in the measuring cup until it was a full cup.

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THIS is how you mix meatloaf. And meatballs. And any other kind of ground beef that needs mixing. Just don’t do it too much or you’ll toughen your meat. I don’t know if that’s true or not.  All I know is that I make sure I don’t mix the hell out of it because that rule is stuck in my brain and now it’ll probably be stuck in yours. You’re WELCOME.

And shut-up about my man hands.  I know.

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Make it into a loaf (or a flattened football if your name is Nance) and put an indentation in the center. I sorta kinda made a meatloaf bowl, huh?

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Yeah, yeah, blah, blah. By this time I wasn’t very interested because my mother was in the kitchen and I was pontificating about something important I’m sure. Like how fed up I am with the political bullshit that is showing up on my Facebook. I was raised that you should never talk about politics, religion and sex in mixed company. Apparently all the rules of polite society go out the window when it comes to Facebook.  And, of course, I’m being a hypocrite and I’m well aware that I have “shared” some political stuff on my Facebook.  That’s not the point.  The point was that I was in the mood to pontificate and I had a captive audience.  And also, meatloaf = boring.

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I wish I had a pretty brush to show you how I painted this damn meatloaf with the glaze. Secret: I have the brush planted in the glaze so you can’t see how bristly and unkempt it  really is. I’m being all sneaky with my photography!

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As you can see, I flunked art in first grade and it never got any better after that.

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This is what it looked like when I pulled it out of the oven. When I saw this I just had to laugh and it certainly explains the need for foil. Look at the cracks all up in that meatloaf! And that burnt glaze! I’m thinking I just failed home ec. with this recipe. What do they call Home Ec. now? It used to be Home Economics back in my high school days. It’s a class where the girls (and the occasional guy) learned how to cook and sew.  I wonder if they even have it anymore.

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Ugly meatloaf stays ugly.

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Horrifying to look at, but pretty good to eat!  Everyone liked it so it’s a keeper.

Meatloaf - (Nance & Robyn make the same recipe)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Original Source/Author:
: entree, main
Serves: 6(?)
Ingredients
  • 1¼ lbs lean hamburger
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ½ cup dried bread crumbs
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • ½ onion, chopped or 1 – 2 tsp onion flakes (I used an entire small onion)
  • 1 cup grated cheese (I used Parmesan, but most any kind of cheese would likely be good! You can't go wrong with cheese.)
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • Topping:
  • ¼ c ketchup
  • ¼ c BBQ sauce
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
Instructions
  1. Prepare a 9 X 13 pan by lining it with foil or parchment paper. (Or prepare a loaf pan by spraying with cooking spray.)
  2. Mix all ingredients well and shape into loaf (or press into a loaf pan).
  3. Place on baking pan and make an indentation along the top of the loaf.
  4. Cover meatloaf completely with topping.
  5. Bake at 350F about 60 – 75 min., depending on shape.
  6. For two people: Mix whole recipe using fresh hamburger, shape and divide to make 2 mini loaves. Bake about 45 min. Freeze one and cover with topping just before baking.

 

Quesadilla Casserole

So, every now and then Fred and I visit what we call “the cheap store.” It’s a store – of mostly groceries, though they do have shampoo and over the counter medicine, and I think they even have carpet in the back of the store (where we never go). A lot of the stuff they carry is close to its expiration date or the box is dented or the product is discontinued. We like to wander around the store and pick up a few boxes of cereal. I’ve found boxes of Panko bread crumbs there, and I usually buy all the boxes they have, because I like the Panko bread crumbs, and it’s a lot cheaper there than in the grocery store. (I know, I know, even cheaper would be making them myself, but I cannot be bothered.)

A couple of weekends ago we were in the store and Fred was looking at the cereal (he ended up buying cereal that had some incredible amount of fiber in it. The man loves his fiber.) and I was looking at the spices and such, and I spotted a rack of McCormick Recipe Inspirations packs. If you’ve never seen or heard of those, they’re these little packs with premeasured amounts of certain spices and the recipe on the back. Basically you buy it for the recipe and so that you won’t have to measure out spices, they’re already there for you in the premeasured pack.

It’s for the lazy among us. Though I guess for the TRULY lazy among us, it would have come with someone who’d throw the meal together for you. This was 99 cents. I pointed out the Quesadilla Casserole set to Fred and since he’s a big fan of anything Mexican, he told me I should get it.

The good part was that if we liked the meal, the spice measurements were on the back of the package, so I wouldn’t have to buy a whole new package or anything.

Ingredients:

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Ground beef, onion, tomato sauce, black beans, corn, chopped green chilies, flour tortillas, and cheddar. For spices: chili powder, ground cumin (which I dislike, so I tossed it in the trash), mince garlic, oregano leaves, and crushed red pepper.

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Chop your onion and add it to your preheated skillet along with the ground beef. Stir it around, chop up the ground beef with your spatula, stare down at the browning meat and get annoyed at how long it’s taking. God, browning meat is BO-RING. Thank god for podcasts, otherwise I’d die from the boredom.

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Once the ground beef is browned, drain it, and throw it back in the pan. Add tomato sauce, beans, corn and green chilies, mix well. Add all the spices except the red pepper.

Bring it a boil, then turn it on low and simmer for five minutes (for god’s sake, set the timer. You know how you like to go wandering off and forget about this stuff.) Add the red pepper if you want; if you’re not a red pepper kinda person, toss that in the trash, I won’t tell.

Spread 1/2 cup of the beef mixture on the bottom of a 13x9x2 baking dish which you have already sprayed with Pam or discount Pam or whatever cooking spray makes you happy.

Top the beef stuff with 3 of the tortillas, overlapping as needed, is what the recipe says. I prefer to cut my tortillas into smaller pieces so that I can just kind of sprinkle them across the baking pan. That’s just the kind of party gal I am.

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Layer with 1/2 of the remaining beef mixture and 1/2 of the cheese. Repeat with remaining tortillas, beef mixture, and cheese.

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(Ignore that jar of peanut butter. It lives on the counter for emergency situations and likes to supervise when I’m cooking something that’s not peanut butter-based.)

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Bake in a 350F oven for 15 minutes, or until heated through. Let it stand for five minutes before serving. Take a horrific picture of it that will never convince anyone that they want to eat it. Post about it on the internet.

I swear to god, I’m going to just start posting kitten pictures instead of pictures of the final product. Doesn’t this look disgusting? It was good, though, I swear it was. Anything with ground beef, corn, tortillas and beans in it can’t be bad. It’s the law.

Fred liked it, I liked it, it was easy enough to make, it’s going into regular rotation!

 

Quesadilla Casserole
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
: entree, main
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • ½ c. chopped onion (I used one whole onion; we love onion)
  • 2 cans (8 oz each) tomato sauce
  • 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 8¾ oz can whole kernel corn, undrained (wtf? I used 2 c. frozen corn.)
  • 1 can (4½ oz) chopped green chilies, undrained
  • 6 8-inch flour tortillas
  • 2 c. shredded cheddar
  • Spices:
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin (bleh, I left this out)
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • ½ tsp oregano leaves
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F. Spray a 9x13x2 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Brown beef and onion in large skillet on med-high heat. Drain.
  3. Add tomato sauce, beans, corn and green chilies; mix well. Stir in all of the spices except red pepper.
  4. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 5 minutes. Add red pepper, if using.
  5. Spread ½ c. of the beef mixture on the bottom of your baking dish. Top with 3 of the tortillas, overlapping as necessary (I cut mine into smaller pieces to make it easier to deal with them).
  6. Layer with ½ of the remaining beef mixture and ½ of the cheese. Repeat with remaining tortillas, beef mixture, and cheese.
  7. Bake 15 minutes or until heated through. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.