Archive for the ‘Beef’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Chili

Last week my mom came to visit for the entire week – Audrey and I had such a blast having her here. When the week was over we were both very sad to see her leave. We relaxed at home, went out a little (if it wasn’t too windy), played with Audrey a ton (of course!), ordered in food, and cooked a little at home as well. It was a chilly week so my mom made her famous chili (no pun intended) and it definitely hit the spot. Delicious chili with loved ones is a perfect combination. Kelly and I loved it and enjoyed it as leftovers even after she left. This chili gets (even) better as it sits so make sure you make enough to have leftovers…..mmmmm! I wouldn’t change a thing except maybe add a little hot chili powder in to give it a little kick. Other than that, please make this soon to enjoy with your loved ones.

And because I can (hey, it’s my blog), here’s a cute picture from last week. She has my mom wrapped around her little finger. :)



2 lbs. hamburger
1 small onion, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 can chili beans, drained and rinsed
2 cans tomato soup
1 can (11.5 oz) tomato juice
5 teaspoons chili powder
3/4 cup elbow noodles

Heat a large stockpot over medium heat. Crumble the hamburger into the pan and cook evenly until brown. Add all ingredients except the elbow noodles. Stir to blend, then cover and simmer over low heat for at least an hour, stirring occasionally.

In a separate medium pot, cook the elbow noodles. Add them to the chili 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with shredded cheese.


Source: My mom


PostHeaderIcon Classic Lasagna

My husband and I both agreed that this was the best lasagna we have ever had. I have always enjoyed the standard lasagna recipe with bottled sauce, cottage/ricotta cheese, etc. but this recipe takes lasagna to a whole new level. In place of the bottled sauce and cottage/ricotta cheese, you make a wonderful homemade red sauce and white bechamel sauce. The two sauces compliment each other perfectly. Once you make this recipe there’s no looking back. It’s truly incredible. So incredible that we had this for dinner on a Monday and the finished the leftovers the very next day, and let me tell you that rarely happens in this household.

This was probably the most time-consuming dinner I’ve made in a very long time but it was well worth the effort. This lasagna does dirty a lot of pots and pans so do yourself a favor and use no-boil noodles, it will give you one less pot to clean.

Classic Lasagna

Red Sauce:
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon butter
6 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
1/2 large onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
2 (8-ounce) cans tomato sauce
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

White Sauce:
3 cups milk (not skim, I used 2%)
5 Tablespoons flour
4 Tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

9 lasagna noodles, boiled for half the time or 12 no-boil noodles
1 pound ground hamburger
1 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded
8 ounces Parmesan cheese, shredded

Lightly grease a 9X13-inch baking pan with cooking spray or with a napkin dipped lightly in olive oil. Set pan aside.

In a large skillet, brown the ground hamburger over medium-high heat. When cooked through, drain and set aside.

In a medium-size saucepan over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and one tablespoon butter. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. When oil/butter is hot, add the garlic, stirring constantly. When the garlic is lightly browned, add the onion and mushrooms. Continue cooking on medium-high heat until the vegetables are soft and browned and the fluid has mostly cooked out. Remove from heat and either using a handheld immersion blender or transferring the vegetables to a blender, blend the vegetables to a paste-like mixture. Return the pot to the heat (pour the pureed vegetables back in, if using a stand-alone blender) and add the tomato sauce and tomato paste. Stir to combine. Then add the diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Stir. Cover and let the sauce sauce simmer for 30 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Right before using the red sauce in the lasagna, stir in the reserved ground turkey.

While the red sauce simmers, if using lasagna noodles that need to be boiled, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and boil the noodles for half the time suggested on the box. Once the noodles are cooked, drain, but do not rinse. Add a dab of olive oil to keep them from sticking together. Skip this step if you are using no-boil noodles.

Also while the red sauce is cooking, melt the four tablespoons butter. When the butter has melted add the flour, stirring constantly to combine and letting the mixture cook, while stirring, for a minute or two. Gradually add in the milk, whisking constantly. Add the salt and pepper. Slowly whisk the white sauce, ensuring it doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pan, while cooking it over medium heat. Continue slowly stirring or whisking while the white sauce cooks and thickens quite a bit, about 5-7 minutes (it may take a little longer but it will thicken).

Preheat the oven to 350° F. To begin layering the lasagna, keep in mind that you’ll have three layers of noodles as well as three layers of the sauces and cheese – so plan on splitting all the sauce and cheese piles into thirds so you don’t run out at the end. On the bottom of your lightly greased baking pan, layer three pre-boiled noodles/four no-boil noodles, slightly overlapping the no-boil noodles. Layer the red sauce, white sauce, Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses, spreading all to the edges and top with another layer of noodles. Again, layer the red sauce, white sauce, Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses and top with the final layer of noodles. Layer the sauces and cheeses again.

Cover with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.  Remove the foil and return to the oven for 10 minutes more.  Allow to cool 10 minutes before slicing and serving.


Source: Mel’s Kitchen



PostHeaderIcon Baked Meatballs

I found this recipe for baked meatballs last week and I instantly put it on my to-make list since I knew my husband would love it. I mean, don’t all men love red meat? I know it’s a huge stereotype but I think it’s pretty true. Don’t you agree? I’m not a big fan of spaghetti and meatballs but I still very much enjoyed this dinner. The meatballs are very easy to make; you just toss all of the ingredients in a bowl, mix together with your hands, shape into mini balls, place over pasta sauce, and bake for 20-25 minutes. I think I checked my meatballs at 22 minutes and they were perfectly done. I love the addition of panko crumbs in the meatballs, it gives them a nice texture. I halved this recipe and I think it made enough for three people, but it depends on your portion size.

Bite Size Baked Meatballs

makes 30-40 mini meatballs


1 1/4 pounds lean ground beef

1 egg

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/3 cup romano cheese

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried parsley

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

3 cups of your favorite pasta sauce



Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large bowl, add ground beef, egg, oil, cheese, breadcrumbs, garlic, salt, pepper, basil and parsley. Mix to combine, gently tossing a few times with your hands. Don’t overmix – it will result in tough meatballs! Spray a large baking dish with non-stick spray and add 2 cups of pasta sauce. Roll beef into mini meatballs (about a tablespoon of beef) and set in sauce. Once all meatballs have been added, sprinkle additional cheese and breadcrumbs over top. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through. Serve with additional sauce and whole wheat spaghetti noodles.


Source: How Sweet It Is


PostHeaderIcon Crock Pot Burrito Soup

I want to try as many crock pot recipes as I can before I have my little girl in July. July is still months away but I know time is going to fly by (as it already has). I would like to accumulate a bunch of go-to tried and true crock pot recipes so I can have them easily accessible on my blog for my upcoming sleep deprived months. In June/July I will also be making and posting some great freezer-friendly recipes as well! I want to make sure our freezer is stocked with plenty of pre-made meals so my husband and I can enjoy our little one as much as possible.

Most of the traditional crock pot recipes use either chicken or pork so I was intrigued when I found this recipe. Since this recipe does contain beef, you do need to brown it on the stove before putting it in the crock pot but that was probably the hardest part of this recipe. You may either put the uncooked rice in the crock pot and let it cook in the crock pot or cook the rice on the stove and serve it with the soup. I did the latter of the two and it worked out perfectly.

I just scooped some cooked rice in a bowl…

poured some soup over the rice…

and garnished it with sour cream and shredded cheese.


Crock Pot Burrito Soup

Serves 6


2 tsp. canola oil
1 large onion, diced
1 lb. extra lean ground beef
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
5 cups beef broth
2 Tbsp.  chili powder
1 Tbsp. cumin
2 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
2/3 cup corn
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup uncooked rice (or, cook rice separately)


Heat a large  heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat and add oil. Cook the onions for a couple minutes before adding the beef. Brown the beef with the onion and drain if necessary. Put  back on the heat and stir in the garlic, just until fragrant.

Pour the beef mixture into the crock pot and then add the tomato sauce, beef broth, spices, corn and black beans. Cook on low for…however long you’re gone.

Increase temp to high and add the rice, just until cooked. Alternatively you can put the cooked rice in bowls and ladle the soup over it. Garnish with your favorite toppings.

Source: Elly Says Opa!


PostHeaderIcon Sloppy Joes

I grew up eating sloppy joes and have always loved them. I was never a picky eater growing up but I vividly remember getting excited whenever my mom made sloppy joes for dinner (even though I remember getting excited over most meals). It’s such a delicious comfort food. I never had the kind from “a can” (ewe!) but I can bet these are so much better.

I’ve made these sloppy joes a few times already and my husband and I both love them. They are very easy to make and I love the addition of celery and green bell peppers. They also make great leftovers!

Sloppy Joes


1 tablespoon canola oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1/4 cup finely diced green bell pepper
1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
1/2 cup ketchup-style chili sauce
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon firmly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
6 sesame-seed sandwich buns, split


In a large fry pan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onion, celery and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, about 5 minutes. Add the beef, increase the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring and breaking up the beef with a wooden spoon, until it is no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup water, the tomato sauce, chili sauce, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring frequently, for about 20 minutes to blend the flavors.

Toast the buns. Place the bottom halves of the buns, cut side up, on warmed individual plates and top with the beef mixture, dividing it equally. Cover with the bun tops and serve immediately. Makes 6 sandwiches.

Source: Williams Sonoma