----------Today I had my LAST duty day of the school year at preschool. I cannot believe that the school year is nearly OVER. Where did that year go? Our oldest will be starting KINDERGARTEN in September! Didn't I just have him? Seems like yesterday, not 5 years ago!
Today also happened to be a dreadfully dreary day. We're caught in some wicked weather system that is dumping rain, rain, rain on us. It was a homemade chicken noodle soup kind of day, but with my necessity to be at school, I didn't have the time to put it together. So it became spaghetti night, or so I thought.
Once school was over, I had NO DESIRE to make spaghetti. But what could I do with the ground beef that I had laid out? Meatloaf? My boys would LOVE that...me, not so much. What to do, what to do. I thought about my Dad's "Hash" recipe (which essentially is a whole bunch of stuff hashed together...with a ground beef base and add in all the leftovers from the fridge) - but we are all out of leftovers. So then I thought about Hamburger Helper. I've seen it on TV many times, never tried making it on my own. A quick little google search, read through some recipes, and found one to base dinner on. The recipe I used was found at Food.com, and modified to include more vegetables. Here is the recipe:
Homemade Hamburger Helper
1/2 lb ground beef
1 lb macaroni
1/2 cup onion, diced
1/4 cup green pepper, diced
1 cup frozen peas
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
2 cups tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Cook the pasta according to the box directions. Drain and set aside.
While the pasta is cooking, cook the ground beef over medium in a large skillet. Cook until the meat is browned. Add in all the dry seasonings (including the flour) and stir until combined.
Add in the milk, tomato sauce and peas. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 2 minutes.
Add in the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, stir until melted. Add in the macaroni, stir to combine. Serve immediately.
This was an absolute HIT. Our five year old had THREE helpings. And my husband loved it too. he didn't want to share the leftovers for tomorrow's lunch, he wanted them all to himself. This could easily be a new go-to recpe for us in place of spaghetti! Yay!!
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