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Archive for September 5th, 2010

This week my son gave me a challenge.  A friend of his eats a lot of  Hamburger Helper.  My son with his autism does not do well with the MSG in this product so it’s not a staple on our shelves. However, the homemade version of this is.  So per his request, I am posting a list of the “Almost Hamburger Helper” “Almost Chicken Helper” and “Almost Tuna Helper” recipes I use to make these convenient meal.

Those who know me, know I am not very big on store-bought box mixes.  I can not find logic in spending extra money for far less then  you could create buying the ingredients and making the mix yourself.  This combined with why one would deliberately want to put artificial substances, chemicals, and preservatives into ones system, in name of “convenience”, baffles me.  Taking the extra time (a hour at most one day a month) to mix up a couple months worth of mixes, measure them out so they are readily at hand, and label them seems more convenient and the wiser choice to me.

To make this quicker and easier for yourself.  I suggest looking at the ingredients in the Sauce Packets, most contain similar starter points with a few other items added in to give it unique flavor. Premix these into several serving and bagging them up to be used throughout the month.  Also pre-measure out the pasta’s needed and bag those also.  Using rubber bands (these are cheap and easy to find) or tape, secure the sauce bag to the pasta bag.  You can use a larger baggy also to hold it all in.  Nice thing about this. All the baggies can be washed and reused.

Beef Stroganoff

Sauce Packet

1 tbsp corn starch, 2 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp parley, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp black pepper

Pasta

1 1/2 cup small egg noodles

Add to

1 lb ground beef (browned),  1 cup hot water, 2 cups milk (OR 1 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup sour cream) ,1 can sliced mushrooms (optional) (OR 1/2 cup dried mushrooms)

Mix all but sour cream together and bring to boil, then simmer 20-30 minutes until noodles tender and liquid evaporated.  Fold in sour cream and serve.

Cheesy Beef Taco

Sauce Packet

1 tbsp corn starch, 1 tbsp chili powder, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar

Pasta

1 cup rice

Add to

1 lb ground beef (browned), 2 1/4 cup water, 1/2 cup milk, 1 cup diced tomatoes.

Combine and bring to boil, then simmer 20-30 minutes until rice cooked.

Add

1 cup cheddar cheese (shredded),  and 1 cup lightly crumbled Fritos (or other corn chip)

Cheesy Italian Shells

Sauce Packet

1 tbsp corn starch, 1 tbsp mixed Italian herbs, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp garlic, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar

Pasta

1 1/2 cup small pasta shells

Add to

1 lb ground beef (browned), 3/4 cup water, 2 cups milk, 1 cup diced tomatoes.

Heat to boil then simmer 20-30 minutes until pasta done.

Add

1 cup cheddar cheese (shredded).

Cheesy Jambalya

Sauce Packet

1 tbsp corn starch, 2 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp basil, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp garlic, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar.

Pasta

1 cup rice

Add to

1 lb ground beef (browned), 3/4 cup water, 2 cups milk, 1 cup diced tomatoes.

Heat to boil, reduce to simmer and simmer 20-30 minutes or until rice done.

Add

1 cup cheddar cheese (shredded)

Cheeseburger Macaroni

Sauce Packet

1 tbsp corn starch, 2 tsp paprika, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar.

Pasta

1 1/2 cup elbow macaroni

Add to

1 lb ground beef (browned)

1 cup hot water

2 cups milk

Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer and simmer 20-30 minutes until pasta done.

Add

1 cup cheddar cheese (shredded).  (Can do 1 1/2 cup if you -really- like cheesy texture)

Chili Mac

Sauce Packet

1 tbsp corn starch, 1 tbsp chili powder, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar.

Pasta

1 1/2 cup elbow macaroni

Add to

1 lb ground beef (browned), 2 1/4 cup water, 1/2 cup milk, 1 cup diced canned tomatoes.

Heat to boil, then reduce to simmer for 20-30 minutes until pasta done.

Add

1/2 cup shredded cheddar or jack cheese (or mix)

Lasagna

Sauce Packet

1 tbsp corn starch, 1 tsp mixed Italian herbs, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar.

Pasta

1 1/2 cup small egg noodles or lasagna noodles broken into pieces.

Add to

1 lb ground beef (browned), 2 1/4 cup water, 1/2 cup milk, 1 cup diced canned tomatoes.

Bring to boil, then simmer 20-30 minutes until pasta done.

Add

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella, and sprinkle top with Parmesan cheese.

Potato Stroganoff

Sauce Packet

1 tbsp corn starch, 2 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp parsley, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp black pepper

Add to

1 lb ground beef (browned), 1 cup hot water, 1 1/2 cup milk, 1 1/2 cup diced or sliced potatoes. 1 can sliced mushrooms (or bits and pieces).

Heat to boil, reduce to simmer 20-30 minutes until potatoes are tender.

Add

1/2 cup sour cream folded in.

Salisbury

Sauce Packet

1 tbsp corn starch, 1 tbsp onion powder, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp black pepper.

Pasta

1 1/2 cup small egg noodles

Add to

1 lb ground beef (browned), 1 cup hot water, 2 cups milk, dash Worcestershire sauce.

Bring to boil and reduce to simmer 20-30 minutes until noodles cooked.

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I’ve seen many recipes for Raisin Bran Cereal cookies using true Raisin Bran cereal.  I imagine you could use this recipe the same, but I began making these as a healthy snack for my children, and they really like them. This makes a Raisin Spice Cookie.

Raisin Bran Spice Cereal Cookies

3 cups bran flake (non sweetened) or corn flakes cereal.

3/4 cup butter (I use real butter not margarine, but you could use either)

2 eggs beaten

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup milk (may add more if needed)

2 1/4 tsp baking powder

2 cups flour

1 – 1 1/2 cups raisins

1 tbsp cinnamon

2 tsp allspice

1 tsp nutmeg

Mix milk with cereal and let sit overnight in refrigerator to get soggy. Add all other ingredients and mix, the dough should be spongy and thick but not dry.  Spoon by teaspoons full onto greased cookie sheet.  Bake 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until golden.

Makes 3 1/2 dozen.

**These freeze really well so don’t be afraid to make up a large batch and freeze them. **

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