Category Archives: Beef

Tater Tot Casserole

Tater Tot Casserole


Have you ever enjoyed a good comfort meal full of flavor, creamy and deliciousness? There is nothing more satisfying than a wonderful meal full of comfort especially on a cold, cloudy day.

This meal will forever remind me of post pregnancy and my mom visiting and helping out for two weeks. She made this meal and it was one of the only meals I would/could eat. I was sick as a dog but this cheered my upset tummy to no end. My tummy craved tater tot casserole made from the very hands of my adorable mother.

Not only was this meal great for post pregnancy but my mom was recently in the hospital as well. This meal is the epitome of hospitals and healing, full of comfort. Praise be to God as my mom is doing okay and has high spirits given the situation! Bless her soul.



  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 tbsp minced dried onion
  • 2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • dash of pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 cups fresh green beans (frozen works too)
  • 2 cans cream of mushroom soup**
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 32 ounce tater tots

In a large skillet begin to brown the meat with chopped dried onion, garlic, paprika, salt and pepper.


Stir in chopped onion.


Cook until meat is no longer pink and onions are tender.


Turn on low heat and Cream of mushroom soup**


Mix together well and pour into a greased casserole dish.


Top with green beans

IMG_6479Sprinkle with cheese and…
IMG_6468Top with tater tots.


Bake at 350 degrees for 45 min -1 hour. Or until bubbling and tots are golden brown.

IMG_6471Let stand for 15 minutes and serve.

IMG_6474MMMMMM amazingly comforting and great for healing.


**If opting out of using the cream of mushroom soup. Follow these instructions:

When it comes to adding the cream of mushroom simply add in

  • 6 ounces of cream cheese
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup milk

Continue as normal with the remainder of the recipe. :)

Sweet And Savory Crockpot Beef Stew

Sweet and Savory Crockpot Beef Stew

Fall weather is officially taken a turn and come to land in Portland for the next few months. I know this to be true because at 3 am when I heard a ticking sound, I thought to myself how something horrible was about to happen. But in all reality, that horrific sound that scared me still as could be was only our rain gutters. They finally failed to keep up with the rain that was quickly filling to the brim. The amount of rain these past few days had been impossible to keep up with. Needless to say, my evening scare was fulfilled with something entirely meaningless which allowed me to peacefully fall back to sleep.

I do love the cool crisp mornings, but I must say, I truly do not enjoy the rain for extended periods of time. A little here and there but not torrential downpour for days. There’s something about a rainy day that is comforting but not a hurricane taking over my life. I may be protesting a bit because my son loves outside no matter the weather. Tornadoes and hurricanes mixed with a little snow and ice and my son wouldn’t know the difference as long as he was outside playing. I on the other hand, can handle being outside if it’s not too nor too cold. Hmmm we shall see how this will play out the remainder of winter. I’m a little snow bird who loves to bundle up by the fire with socks, jammies (aka pj’s), blankets and a hot cup of tea or coffee. God changed my life when he brought not only a baby to my life, but a boy.

Enough of my complaining about the rain, I have many months I can continue this banter on rain as it is just beginning. ;)

Anyway, Michael’s step dad was coming over for pumpkin carving and dinner. I always enjoy a cozy meal on a beautiful fall day. This meal was perfect and allowed me to spend time carving pumpkins rather then slaving away in the kitchen.

Here’s what to do:

First- have a rainy day (check)
Second- have pumpkins (check)
Third- have a crockpot and LOVE to use it (check)

VIOLA, watch the magic happen!!!!!


  • I lb Stew Meat
  • 1 cups baby carrots (as is)
  • 4 Celery Stalks, chopped
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 6 Red Potatoes, chopped
  • 2 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 4 tbsp beef Bouillon
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • 2 1/2 tbsp flour

In a crockpot add stew meat, carrots, celery, onion and potatoes.


Add in water and beef bouillon and stir.


Top off with rosemary, bay leaf, garlic, pepper and parsley. Allow to sit for 6-8 hours on low heat.



20 minutes before serving, take a cup of broth and add flour. Mix together until no lumps are present. Pour into the stew and give it a good stir. Let sit for 20-30 minutes.

Serve with fresh garlic toast and a fresh cut green salad.

While the crockpot was cooking, I was enjoying watching my son try and drill holes into his pumpkin.


“Cheez” my boys scooping out the guts…

Yes that’s right, Cooper has scissors in his hands.

pumpkin carvings

The pumpkins are coming to life…or maybe that’s just us.


Marlin, Michael’s step-dad getting in on the magic as well.

pumpkin carving

Helping daddy cut some eyes out.


And here is masterpiece in action. 

Carving pumpkins is never really “my thang,” but I do it for the simple joy it brings my son to watch things transform and get goop all over his hands. It was fun and we had a great time together with good food and good conversation.

Flavorful Beef Stroganoff

Flavorful Beef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff

Wanting a recipe that is beyond easy, tastes fabulous and is wonderful for company? This meal is all three combined.

I first had this dish while visiting my sister one night and all of us devoured the entire dish. There was absolutely NO leftovers. Isn’t that the type of meal you want to serve your guests? Isn’t this the type of meal you want to be served if visiting family or friends?

I tell ya, this meal is literally too easy but amazing!!! I can’t stress to you enough how important the Dijon mustard is and I would encourage you all to use exactly what the recipe calls for because this is the “secret” ingredient that makes this meal stand out!

See for yourselves!


  • 4 tbsp Avocado Oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 lb mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2-3 tbsp beef bouillon (or 1 packet Auju Mix)
  • 3 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 16 ounce egg noodles cooked to package instructions

Heat oil in skilled and add chopped onion.


Add in mushrooms and cook until softened.


Add in ground beef and cook until no longer pink.


Stir in beef bouillon (Auju mix), mustard and pepper.


Remove from heat and add sour cream and fresh parsley. Serve on top of egg noodles and enjoy with garlic toast and Caesar salad.


My sister graciously gave me this recipe and is allowing me to share with all of you this amazing, delicious, easy meal!

Jalapeno Burgers

Jalapeno Burgers

IMG_7435Michael has been longing to make burgers from scratch. I went to the store and picked up the ingredients to come home and be told he did not want turkey but hamburger meat. He is an extremely visionary man and wants what he sees. I must embrace this about my husband as his food visions are always very delicious and must be followed by the imaginary picture inside his head. I headed back to the store again and was quite pleased a couple hours later with his masterpiece.

Michael’s step dad came to embark on this glorious dinner and brought fresh tomatoes from his garden. Fresh vegetables simply make everything taste better. This fresh jalapeno burger with tomatoes literally was mouthwatering.


  • 2 lbs Ground Beef
  • 8 oz Gorgonzola Crumbles
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/4 cup Jalapenos
  • 1 tbsp Teryiaki Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Montreal Seasoning
  • 4 Ciabatta Rolls
  • 4 slices pastrami


  • Tomato
  • Avocado
  • Munster Cheese
  • Lettuce
  • Mayonnaise (optional)

In a large bowl combine ground beef, Gorgonzola, Worcestershire garlic salt, jalapenos, teryiaki and montreal seasoning together. Mix together with your hands. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours (you do not need to refrigerate the meat but this helps the flavors soak in).


After three hours, form meat into 6 patties and toss onto the barbecue.


Meanwhile, while the burgers are cooking, fan fry the pastrami until lightly fried. Top with pastrami and cheese and allow to melt. IMG_7428Prepare your toppings and compile your burger.


Be prepared to be wowed and watch the juices flow. The jalapenos make this burger incredible and not too spicy. OH-MY-GOODNESS, makes me want one right now!


Served with sweet potato fries and a fresh cut green salad.

Sloppy Joes-Bagel Style

Sloppy Joes-Bagel Style

I must give credit to my beautiful mama. She always has the best dinner ideas when I fail to let my mind come up with…well anything. I have many days where coming up with a dinner “idea” is challenging for me. Those are also the days I love to sleep in, lay in pj’s all day and watch romantic movies and not clean an item in my house. :)

Anyway, my mom brought this idea to the table and we devoured it. It was so delicious and a quick last minute option.

Sloppy Joes 7

Sloppy Joes used to be my nemesis when I was younger. For some reason they scared me to death and looked like meat out of a can almost like spam. Who wants meat from a can with the name “sloppy”? You get my drift, I must have been caught up on the name for years. The name itself is entirely unappealing. Who want’s ‘Sloppy’ and a Joe in their dinner? Lets be real here, how did this name even come to fruition?

But through time, a lot of time, I sure learned that you can spice up the flavor and make it taste like a delicious spaghetti sandwich without the pasta. It is wonderfully flavored and easy eating, well not so much in the sense of the “sloppiness” but more in the full-flavor making it easy. Make sense? Good, lets move on.


  • 1 lb Ground Turkey
  • 1 tbsp Minced Garlic
  • 1 Small Onion
  • 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Coriander
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 1 Spoonful Brown Sugar
  • 1 Can Tomato Sauce
  • 1/3 Cup Ketchup
  • 1/4 cup Dijon Mustard

In a large sauce pan begin cooking the turkey, minced garlic and onion. Add in chili powder, paprika, cumin, garlic salt, coriander and water.

sloppy joes 9

Allow to simmer until the meat is fully browned.

sloppy joes 10

Once the meat is cooked, add in the tomato sauce and brown sugar.

Sloppy Joes 1

Keep at a low simmer and add in mustard and ketchup.

Sloppy Joes 8

Once everything is stirred in, allow to simmer for 1-2 minutes.

Meanwhile butter your bagel and sprinkle with garlic salt. Toast in a toaster oven and top with Sloppy Joe mix. Sprinkle with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.

Sloppy Joes 6You can also serve upon a non-freezer-burned Ciabatta roll.

Let’s set the mood.

Originally these sloppy joes were to be served upon a nice garlic toasted ciabatta roll. Once toasted and ready to devour, I about lost my cookies with one single bite that made it directly back out of my mouth and into the sink. I had not eaten cookies, but it was that bad, my tummy was about to lose cookies that hadn’t even been eat. Yes it was that bad. It was horrible, so horrible!

Out it came and on with the better idea to stack it with a bagel.

Sloppy Joes 5

I’ll try not to disgust you with my loosing-of-the-cookies next time I experience a horrific taste in my mouth!

Summer Sausage and Orzo

Chicken flavored orzo with summer sausage and fresh vegetables.

The great thing with orzo is not only the incredible taste but the simple fact that it can be cooked in so many ways with numerous ways to flavor it. I absolutely love orzo. Mmmm so delicious and versatile.

This particular night, I cooked the orzo in chicken broth leaving the pasta flavored so beautifully that nothing needed to be added to the pasta; not even butter.

This meal is less than 30 minutes and is a very inexpensive option to serve the family for dinner.



  • 1 lb kielbasa sausage
  • 1 lb mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • Orzo
  • 1 tbsp Better than bullion chicken flavored
  • Vegetables of choice

Bring water to a boil, add chicken stock and orzo. Follow package instructions on how long to cook.

Meanwhile, slice sausage, onions and mushrooms. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and add in minced garlic. Stir frequently to keep garlic from burning. Roast garlic for 2-3 minutes until fully cooked.

Keep the heat on medium and add in the onions and mushrooms. Continue to saute garlic mixture until onions and mushrooms are nice and tender.

Toss in sausage and heat through.


Serve with vegetables and orzo and enjoy.

Quick Sausage

This is great for a snack, side dish or main course. My son, husband and I love sausage and often when I know he wont eat what I will be preparing for dinner, I think of other options that will be a hit and have a variety of protein and vegetables.


  • Sausage
  • Mushrooms
  • Onion
  • EVOO
  • Garlic Salt
  • Salt & Pepper

In a skillet, saute all ingredients until heated through and cooked.


Serve over rice as a main dish or simply serve as is for a side dish.

My silly little goose wearing the colander as a hat.


Showing off his little modeling skills

Tonight we had Mahi with rice and salad. I decided to serve the sausage as a side dish as I know my son absolutely loves it. 

My sweet little baby enjoying dinner with Leo the Lion.


We all love to eat dinner and hang out on our patio….boo hoo for when summer decides to leave us! :(

Corn Dogs

Easy-peasy yummy and easy. Who doesn’t love a corn dog, I know I would eat them all the time if they were as healthy as the blueberries we grow.

Anyway, this recipe developed through a long time pondering what to make for our annual movies in the park picnic. All week long I had thought and contemplated what delicious picnic to pack. It was opening night for movies in our neighborhood park this past weekend and my conclusion ended with these delicious homemade corn dogs.

With a busy day watching a girlfriends two kids and my son getting pictures all in the same afternoon, I was hoping to conquer my desire to make these corn dogs as well unsure how long it would actually take. Preparing early in the morning was my best friend. This enabled a helpful evening of simply frying them during Cooper’s nap so when we returned home, dinner would be DONE!

Waking my son up from a nap led me to believe pictures would be a challenge let alone, a long evening with a late bedtime. To my surprise, my little bundle exceed expectations and we returned home by 9:30 with a very happy baby. I love nights where my son is uber-snuggly and interacting with me on a level I didn’t realize he was old enough for. It was precious to play with his super-duper sweet attitude while we also laid on the blanket looking up at the sky. The trees that billowed out above us and a pink sky surpassing the quiet trees was absolutely astonishing. His little mind taking in the essence of a “pink” sunset was adorable. So much so we even talked about it the following morning.


We played on the blanket with toys and even played in the water feature the beautiful park holds. We left when the movie got going as my son wasn’t there for a quiet evening but rather, an active, loud adventure. We enjoyed our corn dog picnic and couldn’t have asked for a better night.



  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup unbleached flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk

Hot Dog Prep:

  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 8-10 hot dogs
  • 3 cups Vegetable Oil
  • 4-5 wooden skewers, cut in half

Mix together all the dry ingredients for the batter into a small bowl or measuring cup and mix well.


In a separate bowl mix together egg and milk.


Add in dry ingredients. Place in refrigerator for 20-30 minutes.


Meanwhile, in a fry pan, add your oil and heat on low heat. I use this pan specifically for frying only. It’s become that pan.


While the oil is heating, prep your hot dogs….


Cut skewers in half and slide hot dog onto skewer.


On a small plate with flour, coat your hot dog. This helps the cornmeal stick to the dog.


After cornmeal has been refrigerated, dip the dog into the batter. This will take some manuvering to get the batter to stick. I basically dump the batter on top. Let it rest, than flip the dog and do the same on the other side.

IMG_5136Quickly transfer dog to oil and slightly turn up the heat. 

Use tongs to help hold the batter close to the hot dog.


After the batter begins to cook, flip the hot dog with tongs to keep from burning yourself with the oil.


Once fully cooled, place on a foil lined baking pan to catch the oil.


Serve with a delicious honey mustard or spicy mustard. Mmmm so good!


Adapted from

Pot Roast

“Meat loaf, beat loaf, double meat loaf. I HATE meat loaf.” Have any of you ever seen a Christmas Story with Ralphie? His little brother chanted this saying over dinner will forever remind me of my deep hate for meat loaf as a child. Or shall I say meat in general–I hated.

Chanting this song over dinner reminds me of the days I hated eating meat. My mom was the best cook in the world so I would fill up on all her incredible side dishes and opt out of anything that came from an animal…unless… it was a hot dog. :)

My new found love for meat is sticking around forever and that is why tonight you should make my delicious pot roast. Your crock pot will do all the work for you except make the gravy. :)

I grew up in small town no-mans-land where you grow your own meat and live off the ground. I had a hard time with this as I hated meat for 26 years of my life. I literally hated meat. I was not a vegetarian as I had a deep love for hot dog. But on the other hand, hamburgers, steak, pork, roast, anything and everything that required a slab of meat to be your dinner, was definitely not appealing to me. Truth be told, I did not like the taste of the meat. It had nothing to do with raising a “friend” and sending them off to the butchers. I never grew attached to our livestock as they were quickly turned into dinner and were stinky ol’ animals.

Years of homegrown beef and pork was something I missed out on. Becoming pregnant brought out the essence of who I am that I never knew existed. A girl who loves crispy bacon. juicy hamburgers and a good medium rib eye. Okay. This may not be the essence of who I am, but pretty darn close. I have a new found obsession with steak, hamburgers and bacon that cannot be explained. I could eat steak 5 nights a week.

Anyway, now that my new found love as arrived and seems to be staying forever, I opted to make pot roast for dinner. I was preparing dinner for my family while preparing an entirely different meal for a dear friend who just had her 4th baby. Cooper and I went to visit them in the hospital this past weekend and got to enjoy the presence of baby Matthew while only being a mere 36 hours old. He was tiny and adorable; definitely made me miss the days of a tiny little infant. :(

While I was focusing on their dinner, I wanted to make something as incredible as pot roast but without all the hassle; crock pot it was. I knew making two separate meals would be time consuming so I opted for something so delicious and yet allowing my crock pot to cook for me while I made their dinner.

Pot roast is always delicious especially with potatoes and gravy and while leftovers are wonderful, a pot roast sandwich is always on my list of must haves. Our roast came from Costco, they have really great meat and though they can be a bit spendy, you get a lot of meat. I bought two roasts awhile back and froze them both, you could not even tell they had been frozen by how tender they were.


  • 1 medium pot roast
  • Garlic salt
  • 2 tbsp garlic, minced
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Thyme
  • Parsley
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 3 cups potatoes, diced
  • 2 cups mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, diced

Place roast in crock pot with 1 cup water and turn heat to low. Season with garlic, minced garlic, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, parsley and thyme. IMG_4918Chop potatoes and mushrooms. Place on top of roast. 

Add onions and celery. 
IMG_4920Season with additional seasoning if you wish, and drizzle with EVOO. 
IMG_4922Cook on low heat for 6 hours. When ready to eat, spoon out all vegetables and roast and use the drippings to make gravy (click here for recipe). 
IMG_4924If you have leftovers, use the roast and gravy to make the best sandwiches EVER! YUMMY!

Meat loaf, beat loaf, I LOVE meat loaf now as well as anything that has come from an animal. :)

Sweet and Savory Stuffed Bell Peppers

Tonight I wanted something a little different, something with a pop. I am sick of the Mexican style stuffed peppers that everyone makes. I wanted something a little Sweet & Savory for a change. I taste tested along the way until I found what I believe to be the best combination of flavors.

Tonight was a night I didn’t really want to cook. It seems as of recent with the whirlwind of life, I often have days that I simply am not motivated. With that in mind, I knew I couldn’t skimp on dinner as I have a family to feed. So, while my son napped, I cooked the meat and stuffed the peppers. When he woke up we went for a long walk and came back and popped the peppers in the oven. My son thoroughly enjoys our long walks to the dog park to watch the puppies frolic in the park or to head into the woods on the walking trail and look at the water along the way. Today…we did both.

Anyway, while the peppers cooked, I used my wonderful rice maker. I love my rice maker as it does all the work for me and gets the rice perfect every time.


  • 1 lb ground turkey (Beef or opt out for vegetarian)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 medium mushrooms, diced
  • 1 small parsnip, diced
  • 1 heaping cup bok choy, thinly chopped
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • Garlic Oil (EVOO works as well)
  • ¼ tsp garlic salt
  • ¾ tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp thyme
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp honey
  • ¼ cup green salsa
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 Large green peppers, sliced in half
  • Blue Cheese, Ranch or Sour Cream for topping (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a large skillet chop onion, mushrooms, parsnips, bok choy, and garlic.


While the veggies begin to cook on medium heat and add the meat.


Once meat is cooked and vegetables are tender, add in 1 cup of cheese.


Wash and slice peppers lengthwise and place on a foil lined baking sheet.


Use a spoon to fill in the crevasses that are hard to get.


Pile high and bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.

IMG_4880After 15 minutes sprinkle with cheese (optional) and broil for 2 minutes or until cheese is melted.


Serve with rice! Enjoy!