Monday Menu – Meal Planning

I’ll be honest with you… I suck at meal planning on a regular basis. I’m really terrible at it for some reason, but when I do sit down and come up with a meal plan for the week it’s amazing. I go to the store with a complete list of everything that we need for the week, coupons (if I find the right ones), and I usually stick with my list and don’t over spend.

Something else that I noticed when I do meal planning is that I tend to make fewer trips to the store throughout the week, I spend less money, and we eat a little a healthier. Oh… and my husbands favorite result of meal planning… no leftovers. He’s not the biggest fan of them and will usually do what he can to avoid them.

So in an effort to help me with this meal planning, saving money, and no leftover thing I joined the eMeals Blogger program. I have to say that’s it’s pretty awesome too.

eMeals - Easy Meals for Busy People!
Here are few of the dinners from the most recent plan that they sent me.

  • Marinated Pork Tenderloin with Wild Rice Salad
  • Tomato Lentil Soup with a Baby Salad Greens with Apples, Goat Cheese and Pecans
  • Roasted Chicken with Sweet Potatoes, Black Bean and Corn Salad

It seems that every week there is also salmon in my meal plan but I skip that and substitute chicken or something because it’s one fish that I don’t like at all. For lack of bette words… it’s too fishy.

When I signed up I selected the clean eating plan but there are several other choices you can choose from such as; classic, natural & organic, paleo, gluten free, and simple gourmet. In addition to the type of meal plan you also select your family size and in some cases the store you would shop at. Once you have that done (it’s super simple really) you get your weekly meal plan emailed to you along with the recipes and the complete shopping list. Meal planning made easy!

You can change the meal plan that you get if you decide to try something new or if you don’t like the one you’ve been trying. There are plans for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (the one I currently get) that you can subscribe to as well as the ability to add multiple dinner plans. You can also check out some of their sample meal plans before you make your final decision which one you want. I’m sure that you’ll join after looking at all of them too because eMeals makes it so easy to figure out what’s for dinner and helps you stick with your plan.

Slowly… ever so slowly I’m doing better at meal planning and making sure that what we have as leftovers are things that heat up well or can be used in other ways.

Make Time For Family - eMeals Blog

If you are interested in joining the Blogger Network, use my blog name, With Just a Bit of Magic, in the “How did you hear about us” field.

Disclosure: I am a part of the eMeals Blogger Network. This is not a compensated post, though there are affiliate links included.

Monday Menu – Whole Wheat Banana Muffins

Over the weekend I shared a picture of the whole wheat banana muffins that I was making for our weekend breakfast on Instagram and a couple of people asked me to post the recipe. I was pretty excited! I don’t ever remember anyone asking me to post a recipe on my blog!

whole wheat banana muffins

Monday Menu – Whole Wheat Banana Muffins

Ingredients

  • 3 C whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2/3 C coconut oil
  • 1 C honey (you could use agave too)
  • 4 eggs (I used egg beaters)
  • 2 C mashed bananas (I used little red bananas because that's what the store had on sale)
  • 1/2 C hot water
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. Preheat the over to 350 degrees.
  2. Stir the dry ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Mash the bananas in a small bowl.
  4. In another large bowl whisk together the coconut oil and honey until combined, add in the eggs and then bananas. Whisk until their all combined.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and alternate with the hot water (to make it easy add the vanilla to the water). Make sure that you mix well after each addition.
  6. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tins. I used a large muffin pan and a regular sized one and got 6 large and 12 regular. You can use any combination that you want.
  7. For the regular sized muffin pan bake for about 15 minutes.
http://www.withjustabitofmagic.com/whole-wheat-banana-muffins

bananamuffins

They were good! Even more than that they were a bit more healthy than the traditional recipe that I normally make which is full of butter. Yes… that is butter on the muffin you in the picture there… I had to. Why? Everything is better with butter even if it’s not healthy for us.

As a simple, base recipe this is pretty good. But I think that you could jazz them up (that sounds lame doesn’t it?) by adding in some oatmeal, diced apples, chopped walnuts, or even a few mini chocolate chips.

I’ve been trying lately to find way to make some of my baked goods a bit more healthy by using less butter or vegetable oil, sugars, and white flour. Obviously this isn’t going to work for everything but muffins are a great start.

What do you do to make your recipes a bit more healthy?

Monday Menu ~ U.P. Pasties

Many years ago in what seems like another time and place I would spend weekends in northern Michigan with my parents (yes, parents. Meaning they were still married) at my moms parents house. My grandparents were amazing people and I loved spending time with them and listening to the stories that they told of times gone by. Stories of when my mom and her siblings were growing up in Detroit, how my grandparents came to this country from Italy and lived in the U.P.

grandparents

Over the years my grandma would make pasties for us but to make things easier she would use a 13×9 cake pan and make one huge pasty. It was so delicious and I loved watching her and my mom putting it together and the smell of it as it baked.

U.P. Pasty

So what is a pasty? It’s a meat & veggie pie that originated in Cornwall, the westernmost county in England. The pies were made for the mine workers who could take them in their lunches and eat them easily with one hand without silverware. The pasties have even been made with a custard filling on one half and the meat and veggies on the other side so they had dinner and dessert all in one easy to handle package.

pasty prep

Even to this day when we all meet together at my aunts house there is pasty made just the way my grandmother used to make it for us all of those years ago. It’s amazing how something like a meal can hold so many memories in it’s simple prep, delicious aroma as it bakes, and flavors.

pasty prep 2

Every once in a while I find myself wanting pasty and often will buy them from the grocery store. They’re pretty good but they’re not the same as what my grandma made so this time I decided to make it from scratch. Just like she did.

U.P. Pasties

Ingredients

    Pasty Crust
  • 3 c flour
  • 1 c Crisco
  • 1/4 butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ice water
  • Pasty Filling
  • 1 - 2 lbs ground beef - I used ground chuck (80/20)
  • 2 - 3 potatoes
  • 3 carrots
  • 1/2 rutabaga
  • 1 onion
  • 1 - 2 tsp garlic
  • salt & pepper
  • couple of tablespoons of butter

Instructions

    For the crust:
  1. Cut the Crisco and butter in the flour and salt until it resembles sand with a pastry cutter, a fork, or a food processor. I went the more traditional route and used the pastry cutter just like my grandma used to.
  2. Add in the water a tablespoon at a time until it forms a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes or so.
  3. For the filling:
  4. Peel and chop all of the veggies into small bite sized pieces and mix them together in a bowl.
  5. Put it together:
  6. Cut the dough into two equal pieces and roll one of them out to fit the botton and up the sides of a 13x9 pan. Carefully roll the dough up onto the rolling pin and then roll it out into the pan and press into place.
  7. Layer the veggies and ground beef until the pan is full. You'll have to crumble the ground beef with your fingers to get it into small bite sized pieces.
  8. Roll the other piece of dough to cover the top, roll over the rolling pin as before, and unroll on top. Pinch the two crusts together and it's ready for the oven.
  9. Bake:
  10. Place the pan on a cookie sheet and place it in a preheated 350 degree oven. Bake for about an hour.
http://www.withjustabitofmagic.com/monday-menu-u-p-pasties

I was impressed because I truly did not expect my pasty to turn out as well as my grandma’s but it did. Everything about it took me back to another time and place. A place where my grandma was in the kitchen baking, my grandpa was in his recliner watching the Tigers game, and my brother, sister, and I were running in and out playing games only kids can imagine.

Do you have a special memory that centered around food?

Monday Menu – Challah Bread

One of these days I’ll share a recipe that is healthy, full of fresh veggies, and oh so delicious. But until that day comes I guess you’ll have to live with the tasty baked treats that I come up with and truth be told … my family likes the baked goodies a lot better than the veggie dishes.

This week I had a great idea after seeing a picture of homemade ricotta that my brother posted on Instagram and immediately made my list and started planning out what I was going to do with it. But I got stuck. I couldn’t decide if I wanted sweet or savory and didn’t make it even though I have the majority of the ingredients waiting in the fridge.

So instead of the ricotta I made bread. I may have mentioned a time or two that I love baking and I’ve been wanting to try my hand at Challah. It always looks so pretty sitting on the shelves at the store and I’ve heard such wonderful things about it that I knew that I had to make it.

challah bread

I won’t lie… it took a while to make the bread. It wasn’t a quick bread by any means but it was definitely worth all the hard work and there is something about actually working with the dough. Kneading it, working it from something soft and mushy into something smooth and pliable and I just love the smell of the yeasty dough.

Challah Bread

Ingredients

  • 4 teaspoons active dry yeast (2 packages
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 cup warm water (about 110 degrees)
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 egg, beaten

Instructions

  1. Place the yeast, honey and warm water in a mixing bowl. Stir and let stand for about 10 minutes, until creamy and foamy.
  2. Add the melted butter and eggs and mix well.
  3. If you're using a stand mixer make sure you have the dough hook attached and add the flour one cup at a time until it forms a soft dough.
  4. Place the dough on a well-floured surface and knead until the dough becomes smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. I tried to let my mixer do the kneading but it didn't seem to like it all that much so I pulled it out and did it by hand.
  5. Place the dough in a large, well-greased bowl, then flip the dough over to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and then with a clean towel and let it stand in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  6. Punch the dough down and let it rise again for about 30 minutes or so.
  7. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  8. At this point you can place to dough in to greased loaf pans or you can divide the dough into 3 equal pieces and braid.
  9. Brush the braid with the beaten egg and bake for 30 - 40 minutes. About half way through baking brush the bread with the egg again to get into all of the creases and spaces that opened up more from baking.
http://www.withjustabitofmagic.com/monday-menu-challah-bread

I will say that when I braided the dough it looked amazing and then once it was done rising it didn’t look so good anymore. I’m not sure what happened but it looked like it was pulling apart in places. I pinched some of it back together the best that I could and just went with it because it looked good enough for my first try.

making Challah bread

Andrew had to get in on the kneading action too. It never fails that he’ll show up every single time I’m doing something in the kitchen because he wants to help. Sometimes he’s helpful… but only sometimes.

The bread turned out amazingly well and everyone loved it. I’m planning different things that I can do with the bread… french toast & bread pudding came to mind first.

So, do you have any suggestions for what I can do with leftover Challah bread?

Monday Menu ~ Crock Pot Jambayala with Mrs. B!!

Today is pretty awesome! Yea… yea… I know it’s Monday and that aside it’s a good day. Why you ask? Because today I have the talented Jen Bardall here visiting  from The Misadventures of Mrs. B and if you’ve ever been to her blog you know that she makes some pretty amazing dishes like this peanut butter cup cheesecake or her double chocolate brownies! So, let’s give her a magical welcome as she shares one of her amazing dishes with all of us.

Hi, everyone! It’s great to be here with Jackie and with you all, sharing a recipe which I am so glad my husband found and tweaked over time because it has become a huge favorite of ours.

I mean, what’s not to love about the flavor you get from chorizo, shrimp, chicken and veggies left to simmer for hours? Not to mention the fact that it feeds an army. When it comes to the three of us, we normally get two dinners and a few lunches worth of jambalaya out of this recipe. It’s saved our hungry hides many a weeknight.

And – hello! – it’s a crock pot creation. Set it and forget it, as they say.

You can always adjust heat level as you like. The original recipe called for only one teaspoon of hot sauce, but it was virtually undetectable to me and I have low heat tolerance. I bet you could use chicken or vegetable stock in place of water, too.

I hope you take the time to chop all those veggies and make a pot of jambalaya for your family. Be warned, though: The smell will darn near kill you as this cooks. You might want to leave the house for a while so as to avoid temptation, unless you’re a much stronger person than I.

Enjoy!

Jambalaya

Crock Pot Jambalaya

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 sweet red peppers, diced
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup long grain brown rice
  • 12 oz chorizo or preferred sausage, cut into ½ inch thick rounds
  • 3 chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 lb raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tsp hot sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbs fresh thyme
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tbs fresh parsley, minced

Instructions

  1. In a slow cooker, layer the ingredients in this order: Onions, garlic, celery, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, rice, chicken and sausage. Add hot sauce, salt, pepper and thyme. Pour water over all. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
  2. In the last hour, add the shrimp and parsley, then stir to combine all ingredients. Add more water if jambalaya is dry.
http://www.withjustabitofmagic.com/crock-pot-jambayala

Want to hear a funny story? I bought this delicious chicken andouille sausage with making jambalaya in mind. I usually wing it when making jambalaya and just toss this and that into the pot. For the most part it turns out but is always a little different each time. I think that it’s time for a change… if I used a recipe like this one I’d have more consistant results and it’d always be awesome!

Thank you Jen for sharing your recipe with all of us!

You can find Jen on her blog,  Twitter, Facebook, and of course Pinterest.

Monday Menu ~ Homemade Marshmallows

Welcome to Monday!!

Okay, I know that Monday’s aren’t all that exciting but this recipe is AND the new recipe plugin that I installed. Now you’ll be able to easily print the recipes that I share with you. The little plugin will also help with the SEO on my recipes which we all know is pretty darn important, right?

It’s the middle of winter here in Michigan and all this cold weather (and now lack of snow) has left me and probably many others longing for warmer weather. Sunny days with a nice breeze at the beach and starry nights sitting around a campfire. Sounds nice, huh?

So, what goes perfectly with a campfire? S’mores!

Homemade Marshmallows

I figured that instead of the regular boring s’mores that I’d jazz things up this week and try my hand at making homemade marshmallows! At first I was a bit intimidated because while I can bake up a storm candy making isn’t my thing. Candy, you ask? Yes, homemade marshmallows are considered candy making because of the boiling sugar.

marshmallows

After a lot of reading and research I was ready to give it a shot. Besides the worst that could happen is that they turned out to be a big sticky mess….

prepping marshmallows

Homemade Marshmallows

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 envelopes unflavored gelatin (I used Knox)
  • 1 cup cold water, divided
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • Powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Spray a 13x9 cake pan with cooking spray or line with parchment paper and then coat with powdered sugar.
  2. In a bowl sprinkle the gelatin over 1/2 cup of the water.
  3. In a mixer beat the egg whites and vanilla until there are stiff peaks.
  4. While the eggs are beating stir the remaining 1/2 cup of water, corn syrup, and sugar until the sugar has dissolved and then boil until it reaches 230 degrees on a candy thermometer. Once this reaches temperature remove it from the heat and stir it into the gelatin until dissolved.
  5. With the mixer going pour the hot sugar/gelatin mixture in slowly and beat for 5 - 7 minutes. The marshmallow fluff with triple in volume and have stiff peaks when it's done and look like really thick cake batter.
  6. Pour the marshmallow fluff into the prepared pan and smooth the top as best as you can. Dust the top with a powdered sugar.
  7. Chill, uncovered, for at least 3 hours or until set. I left mine in the fridge overnight.
http://www.withjustabitofmagic.com/monday-menu-homemade-marshmallows

Well, they didn’t turn out to be a big sticky mess. As a matter of fact they were really easy to make and turned out great! I will say that I didn’t use parchment paper and wish that I would have because the combination of the cooking spray & powdered sugar left a funny film on the bottom of them.

Soft, spongy, and perfect! I really think that it was the egg whites that made a huge difference. There were so many recipes out there that didn’t call for egg whites and only a handful that did so I gave it a go with the egg whites.

So what can you do with a homemade marshmallow to make it even better? Put it on a graham cracker and top it of with some dark chocolate ganache and now you have a phenomenal dessert. It’s like a grown up s’more minus the charred marshmallow.

I know that I can just run out and get some marshmallows from the store but they’re not the same. Trust me! They’re is a huge difference and best of all you control the ingredients.

Have you ever tried homemade marshmallows?

What do you think of the new recipe plugin?

Monday Menu ~ Cranberry Orange Scones

This past week while wandering around the produce section at the grocery store I happened to find some fresh cranberries. I grabbed a few bags with the plan of freezing some and then making some bread with the others. But then I thought that bread seemed like more work… cutting it all that once it’s baked as opposed to something that you can just pick up and take a bite out of.

Muffins… no… I only had one pan that makes the jumbo sized muffins and I didn’t want to use the little ones.

Finally, it came to me. Scones! I honestly have no idea why it took me so long to think of them because I love them! In just about any form I will eat a scone… sweet or savory.

I set out to make the most amazing cranberry orange scone ever and after scouring the internet for the most perfect recipe I finally found two that were close to what I wanted. I did what any other brave baker would do… I combined them. So thanks to Smitten Kitchen and Two Peas & Their Pod for creating inspiring recipes.

cranberry scones 1

 

Ingredients

3 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 tbsp cold unsalted butter – I used unsalted butter & Melt (coconut oil) spread
1 tbsp fresh grated orange zest
1 1/4 c fresh cranberries – chopped
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk/half & half/heavy cream
1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1 tsp vanilla

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Either spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray or line with parchment paper.

You’ll need to use a food processor to chop up the cranberries or you can do it by hand but it takes a little bit longer. I love my food processor… it makes so many jobs a lot easier on me and actually a bit less messy since I don’t have things flying all over the counter and floor.

With a micro plane or veggie peeler remove the zest from the lemon. If you used the veggie peeler you’ll need to finely chop it up.

cranberry scones
In a large bowl or food processer mix the dry ingredients, orange peel, and butter until it resembles course sand.

In a small bowl beat the eggs, vanilla, milk, and orange juice. Gently fold the wet ingredients and cranberries into the dry just until it’s combined. It will look a little lumpy but that’s okay.

Scoop out of the bowl onto a prepared baking sheet.  I was able to get 12 good sized scones out of this recipe but you can make them as small or as big as you’d like.

Just a quick note… this dough is pretty wet & sticky so that means rolling it out and cutting is into neat squares, triangles, or using a round cutter is almost impossible. I know this to be true because I tried and failed.

Bake for about 15 – 18 minutes. Remove from the baking sheet and cool for a few minutes on a wire rack.

If you want to make a bit of glaze for them mix together some orange juice and powered sugar and then drizzle over top of them

The end result is a very moist and tender scone that is truly delicious!

Monday Menu ~ Oreo Surprise Cupcakes

A few weeks ago I entered to win the Oreo Play Up Dessert challenge set forth by A Nut in a Nutshell (I didn’t win by the way) and put together a very tasty dessert.

So here’s a riddle for you… what do you get when you put together a tasty cookie and a moist delicious cupcake and then top it with creamy vanilla frosting?

Awesomeness! Pure bliss… Oreo Surprise Cupcakes.

My family wasn’t sure what to think since I haven’t been making a whole lot of desserts lately but that didn’t stop them from enjoying every last cupcake that we had in the house. I was surprised that they lasted more than two days!

oreo surprise cupcakes

Such a delicious dessert is beyond easy to make and is really only one more step than regular cupcakes!

Ingredients

1 cake mix – any flavor made according to the directions
1 box of instant pudding – vanilla for a yellow cake and chocolate for chocolate
Oreos – your choice of flavor
Frosting – your choice

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and put cupcake papers in a regular sized cupcake pan.

Make the cake according to the package and then stir the dry pudding into the cake batter…. trust me, this is delicious and adds a lot of moisture to your cake or cupcakes.

oreo surprise cupcakes

Place approximately 1 tablespoon of batter into the cupcake liner, place a Oreo on top, and then top with more batter making sure that the cookie is fully covered.

Bake for about 15 – 18 minutes. When you can handle the cupcakes (about 5 minutes or so) take them out of the pan and let them cool on a rack.

Frost & top with crushed Oreo’s if you like.

To crush the Oreo’s throw some into the food processor and pulse until you have fine crumbs or put them in a ziploc bag and crush them with a rolling pin. The latter is a great way to take out some stress too!

I should let you know that there is nothing low calorie… low fat… or healthy about these at all! But I didn’t have to tell you that though… so that means that just one Oreo surprise cupcake won’t hurt your New Year’s resolution.

Monday Menu ~ Awesome Rolls and a Kitchen Aid & Keurig Giveaway!

Year after year I create a wish list full of the things that I want and need and for years I’ve had a Kitchen Aid mixer on that list. Last year I finally got one! Yup… best gift ever! I think it was the day that I tried to make bread with my non-Kitchen Aid mixer and had to hold it down while it was trying to jump off of the counter that finally changed my husbands mind.

Now, I can make bread or just about anything that tickles my fancy with ease!

Like these awesome rolls!

simple dinner rolls

My Kitchen Aid mixer had no trouble with the dough at all and I didn’t have to hold the mixer so it didn’t jump off of the counter!

Ingredients

2 c. milk
½ cup + 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
1/3 cup butter
2 teaspoons salt
2 packages active dry yeast (or 4 1/2 tsp.)
2/3 cup warm (105-115-degree) water
8-9 cups all-purpose flour
3 beaten eggs – Yes! They need to be beaten ahead of time

Method

Combine milk, 1/2 c. sugar, butter, and salt in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat until butter melts. Remove from heat. Allow to cool to lukewarm.

While the milk mixture is cooling, dissolve the yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes… you’ll know when it’s done by how much it grows.

roll ingredients

In a large mixing bowl, combine 3 c. flour and milk mixture. Beat on low for 30 seconds, scraping sides of bowl constantly. Add yeast mixture and beat on high for 3 minutes.

Stir in as much remaining flour as needed to make a soft dough. This dough should be very soft–it will be coming away from the sides of the bowl, but it will still stick to your finger when you touch it. Place the bowl in a warm place and cover with a clean towel and allow it to rise for 1 hour.

dough

Punch the dough down. Lightly flour the work surface and turn the dough out onto the surface. Divide the dough in half and then shape it into a rectangle and cut into 12 even pieces.

Spray 2 13×9 pans with cooking spray, shape into balls, and arrange the rolls in the pan. Cover with a towel and let rise for 30 minutes.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15 – 18 minutes. When they’re done remove them from the oven and run over the tops with a stick of butter.

These are awesome while they’re still warm!

Now on to the really good part!

The Giveaway!!

Kitchen Aid Mixer & Keurig Brewer Giveaway

A group of incredible bloggers and I have teamed up this holiday season to bring you an exciting giveaway! We have a Kitchen Aid mixer in the color of your choice AND a Keurig Platinum coffee maker for two lucky winners! These are perfect for your holiday baking and entertaining… Don’t you think so?

All you really have to do is enter using the Rafflecoptor below. The only mandatory entry is leaving a comment on this post and the rest are optional but get you lots of extra entries!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY

Giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.

Two winners will be chosen by Rafflecopter (powered by Random.org). The first prize winner will have the option of choosing between a KitchenAid Artisan Mixer – winner’s choice of color – (MSRP $429.95) or a Keurig Platinum Single-Cup Brewer (MSRP $179.95). The second prize winner will be awarded the item that was not chosen by the first prize winner.

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. You understand that you are providing your information to the owner of this Facebook page and not to Facebook.

This promotion is powered by Rafflecopter. Metric Feat LLC (“Rafflecopter”) does not sponsor, administer, or endorse this promotion. Participants must read and agree to Rafflecopter’s Privacy Policy before entering and participating in this promotion.

This is a non-sponsored post.

Monday Menu ~ 30 minute chili mac soup

Okay… first things first! I am beyond excited to tell you all that I have been featured on BlogHer! I was shocked when I got the email on Sunday afternoon… at first I thought that it was wrong or something but as I read more and then clicked over, there is was… my post about a soldiers homecoming. I don’t know how the process work… how they select someone’s post to be featured… but all I do know is that if you keep writing your best and from the heart it pays off.

So, now on to the regularly scheduled post. Today on the Monday Menu I have yet another soup… one of these days I’ll make something different. I promise! But for now I have a really easy dinner for you, 30 minute chili mac soup.

30 minute chili-mac

My family isn’t big fans Hamburger Helper and I hide the box for this recipe when I bought and then made sure that they never saw it while I was cooking. They never knew what it was and even commented how much they liked it and then I told them what was in it and they were pretty surprised. Of course they sighed and went on about how they don’t like Hamburger Helper and blah…blah…blah… Regardless of the complaining they still liked it and ate it.

 

Ingredients

1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 32oz carton of beef broth
1 cup of water
1 box Hamburger Helper® chili macaroni
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 28-oz can of diced or crushed tomatoes
1 can corn with red and green peppers – drained
1 can of black beans – drained & rinsed

ingredients

Method

In 4-quart Dutch oven, cook beef, onion and green pepper over medium-high heat 5 to 7 minutes, until the beef is thoroughly cooked; drain.

burger & onions

Stir in the broth and water water, sauce mix (from Hamburger Helper box), chili powder, garlic salt and tomatoes.

spices

Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally.Reduce heat; cover and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in uncooked pasta (from Hamburger Helper box), corn and beans. Cover and cook 10 minutes longer.

After a day this thickened up pretty good and it tasted even better! Now, that I have this recipe I’m going to try using Hamburger Helper for other quick soups!

What’s your go to 30 minute or less dinner?