Crustless Hamburger Pie

Ok, so I have been AWOL for the last few weeks. So sorry about that. My stay-at-home-mom status changed about 2 weeks ago when the need arose for a new church secretary. I’ve been helping out in our church office each morning for a few hours. It is a fun change although a bit challenging since I’ve not had any formal secretarial training! My college degree was in education, and I was a teacher in traditional schools for 7 years and a home schooling mom for 20. However, I am enjoying learning something new even if it means getting out the door (properly dressed!) by 8:40 in the morning!

I was looking for a new ground beef recipe the other day and found several for hamburger pie. I did a little combining and came up with this one that the family enjoyed. While one recipe called for ground beef, other ground meats can be used as well. Next time, I will probably try a combination of ground beef and sausage. I really liked the way it all held together without a crust. Pair it with a green leafy salad, and you have a delicious THM meal!

1 lb. ground beef, browned and drained

1/2 c. tomato sauce

2 tbsp. ground flax

1/2 tbsp. Italian seasoning

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. minced garlic

1 egg, beaten

Combine all these ingredients and stir together well. Pour into a greased 9-inch baking pan. A pie dish works well, too.

For the topping combine the following ingredients:

2 eggs, beaten

3 oz. softened cream cheese

3 tbsp. heavy cream

1/2 tsp. dry mustard

1/4 tsp. black pepper

Whisk the topping ingredients well and pour over the meat mixture. Spread about 3/4 c. grated white cheddar cheese on top.

Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until the center is firm and the top is lightly browned. This recipe serves 4. Double it for a larger family!

5-Cheese Layered Quinoa Casserole

I needed ideas for supper last night, so I asked the hubby if he had any suggestions. I told him it had to use hamburger since that is what I had thawed and ready. Between the two of us, we came up with this casserole. I am just estimating on the amounts because I really didn’t measure the spices or most of the cheeses! It must have been a success because there are no leftovers!

3/4 c. dry quinoa (I used tri-color quinoa)

1-1/2 c. water

Combine the water and quinoa. Bring water to a boil and cook quinoa for about 15 minutes. While it is cooking, work on the beef mixture.

1-1/2 lbs. ground beef

2-3 mini sweet peppers, diced

1/2 medium onion, diced

Brown the ground beef. Add the peppers and onions to the meat and cook until tender. Drain off fat. Sprinkle the beef mixture with (maybe 1/2 tsp each) salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, basil and chili powder. Stir in well. Add a medium handful of fresh spinach, stir, and cover. Turn off heat and let rest while you make the cheese sauce.

8 oz cream cheese

1/2 c. cottage cheese

2-3 eggs

1 c. ricotta cheese

1/2 c. Parmesan cheese

Add the cheeses and eggs together in a large mixing bowl and mix well. I used my stick blender, but a hand mixer is fine, too.

Lightly grease a 9×9 inch baking pan. Spread half of the meat mixture on the bottom of the pan. Layer half of the quinoa on the meat and then half of the cheese mixture. Repeat layers. Spread grated mozzarella cheese on top. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Serve with a fresh green salad!

Serves 6-8.  If you make it for 6 servings, there are just 13 carbs per serving. If 8 servings, there are 10 carbs per serving.


Crack Slaw–Low Carb

Yesterday I made this amazing cooked slaw for the hubby. I had half of a large head of cabbage left after having made him the cabbage steaks the other day, and I really wanted to try this recipe.  It was a hit!

I made just a few changes in the recipe since there were a few ingredients that I didn’t have.  I used part of a red onion in place of the green onions, Truvia in place of the Splenda, and ground ginger in place of ginger paste.  If you don’t have any sriracha sauce, you can use just about any hot sauce that you happen to have.  And Hubby said that next time I can leave the sweetener out since it really isn’t needed.


Italian Wedding Soup

I am one excited mother! In just 6 days I get to see my youngest son for the first time in over 8 weeks! He has been working very hard in basic training, and our contact with him has been limited to snail-mail and only 2 short phone calls. I’ve never been so out of touch with him in his entire life, so this has been a rough 8-1/2 weeks. I must say, that Sam has been fairly good at letter writing.  He averaged sending us one letter a week. I am impressed!  We ordered a banner for him which we will hold during the Airmen’s Run…the first time we will get to see him next week!


In addition to writing Sam every day…yes, every day, I have been crocheting for our new grandgirl scheduled to arrive in about 6 weeks! We had a shower for my DIL last night, and this is what I made for her.



The hubby watched one of the late night cooking shows a few weeks ago and saw this recipe for Italian Wedding Soup. He doesn’t remember which show it was, but apparently there are many recipes for Italian Wedding Soup. Just do an internet search for it, and you will see what I mean!  Here is how my hubby made it. Amounts are approximations since he doesn’t remember exactly how much he used!

1 lb. ground beef, turkey or pork (or a combination of them)

1/2 c. dry rice (he said a handful!)

1/2 c. diced onions

3/4 tsp. fennel seeds

salt and pepper to taste

several gloves garlic, minced

1/2 c. Panko bread crumbs

olive oil

3-4 c. tomato sauce

3-4 c. chicken broth

2 medium tomatoes, peeled and cut up

1 can black, red or white beans, drained (more if you really like beans)

Combine the meat with the rice, onions, fennel seeds, salt, pepper, garlic and bread crumbs. Shape into about a dozen or so meatballs.  Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Brown meatballs, turning as needed. They do not need to cook completely. Once all are browned, add the remaining ingredients to the skillet. Stir and bring to a boil. Simmer gently for about an hour, or until meatballs are thoroughly cooked and rice is tender. Serves 8.


Of Patty Melts and Potato Tots

Several weeks ago, the hubby asked the ages-old question that every husband asks the wife.  “What’s for dinner?”  Of course, since it was not even 3:00 in the afternoon, I hadn’t even given dinner a thought.  He, though, already had.  He found two recipes on line that he wanted me to make…that night…and it had to be those exact recipes that he had found, not recipes that were similar.   Often this doesn’t bother me, but I must have been stressed that day and really wasn’t in the mood to make such dishes that particular night.  I would have preferred to study the recipes, make sure I had all the ingredients, and make them another day.  Although I was a little grumpy about it, I did make him his recipes.

Both these recipes are very good, but a little time-consuming when making both of them for the same meal.  Next time, I will not serve them at the same time!!

Here is the link to the Patty Melts recipe.  The only changes I made were to use cheddar cheese instead of Swiss since I had no Swiss on hand, and  home made bread instead of rye since I had no rye.


The Potato Tots were amazing!  My son Sam said they were the best potato tots he had ever had!  They do take time to make, so make sure you plan accordingly!

Shepherd’s Pie

Before I share my Shepherd’s Pie recipe, I want to tell you about my mixing bowl disaster!

About two weeks ago I broke one of my absolute favorite mixing bowls…the green one to my vintage Pyrex set that once belonged to my father’s sister.  It just slipped from my fingers when I was drying it, fell to the floor and shattered into a gazillion pieces.  My heart was as broken as my bowl!  I did a little searching to see if I could find one to replace it.  I did find one on-line, but with an asking price of nearly $40 plus shipping, I decided not to go with that one!  I let my thrifty niece know about my bowl, and she found several on-line for me at a price I could afford!!!  I could hardly contain my excitement today when I arrived home to see a box sitting on my counter…my new (to me) green mixing bowl!  Now that I realize that these bowls are from the 1950s and possibly even from the 1940s, I think that I will retire them from regular use.  I had no clue that they are that old!  Since I prefer using glass bowls instead of metal ones,  I have a shopping trip in my near future for a new set of  mixing bowls!


Now to my recipe.  This dish is a wonderful way to use up leftover beef and gravy.  I have made it before but not with a pie crust.  It turned out just great! I really can’t give exact amounts here, so you just sort of eye it up.

Cooked roast beef, cut into bite-sized pieces…ground beef works fine, too (about 2 cups)

olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

Beef gravy (about 1 cup)

corn…I used frozen, but one can would be just fine

Mashed potatoes (about 1-1/2 cups)

salt, pepper, paprika

1 pie shell for 9-inch pie

Saute the onion in the olive oil until tender.  Add the beef and gravy to the skillet and  heat through. If the mixture seems a little dry, add more gravy, but don’t let it get to watery.  Season with salt and pepper and pour into pie shell.

Cover with a layer of corn.  Cover corn with mashed potatoes, spreading to seal the edges.  Sprinkle potatoes with paprika.

Bake in 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes until heated through,  crust is cooked, and potatoes are lightly browned.


Taco Soup

I absolutely loved the weather today…slightly overcast with a light breeze, and temps in the low 50s!  Definitely fall here in the south. Of course, by Wednesday it could be 80 again!  Anyway, the day just called for taco soup for lunch.  I found 2 recipes in our church cookbook.  By combining them I came up with a wonderful soup for the crockpot. It is easy and fast to put together, too!  By lunch the whole house smelled amazing!  Serve with cornbread and a lettuce salad!  Yummy!

1-1/2 lbs. ground beef

16 oz. can black beans

1-1/2 c. frozen corn

1 packet taco seasoning

1 packet ranch dressing mix

2 c. water

1 lg. can crushed tomatoes

In a large skillet brown the ground beef and drain off fat.  Combine all ingredients in a crockpot and stir well.  Set on low for about 4-5 hours.

Salisbury Steak

With grocery prices continuing to rise, I find myself trying to come up with new ways to serve foods to help stretch my dollars.  I remember my mom doing the same when I was young.  Salisbury steak is just a fancy name for hamburgers.  I have also heard it  called Poor Man’s steak.  Mom didn’t like calling it that, so she preferred Salisbury Steak. I used ground beef, but ground turkey would work well, too.  (sorry, no picture this time!)

1-1/2 lbs. ground beef

2 tbsp. minced onion

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. crushed marjoram

1/8 tsp. black pepper

1 envelope mushroom gravy mix (I used cream of mushroom soup)

1 can mushroom pieces, drained

2 tbsp. red wine vinegar

In a large bowl combine ground beef, onion, salt, marjoram, and pepper; mix well.  Divide meat into 6 portions and shape into oval patties about 3/4 inch thick.  Broil steaks 3 inches from heat for 3-4 minutes; turn and broil the other side for another 3-4 minutes or until done.  Prepare gravy mix according to pkg. directions; stir in mushrooms and vinegar.  Heat through and pour over steaks.  Serve with mashed potatoes or rice.

Slow Cooker Enchiladas

We had a busy weekend here at our house.  Barbi came home for the weekend, and my Citadel Knob came home for Spring Break…so I had all 4 of my kidlets home for one final weekend before my son Russ heads out for USAF Basic Military Training.  If all goes according to schedule, it could be Thanksgiving before all of us are together here again.  That is such a long time to think about for this mama!

Tonight’s recipe came from a cookbook that is slow cooker recipes only.  I’ve had this cookbook for several years and have randomly perused it before, but just never tried any of the recipes until tonight.  I found that I had almost all of the necessary ingredients on hand, and what I didn’t have could easily be substituted.  Knowing that I had to be away for several hours this afternoon, I wanted a simple recipe that could cook while I was gone.

This recipe is made with ground beef, but shredded chicken or turkey would be great to use instead.    Serve with a dollop of sour cream on top and a crispy green salad on the side!

1 lb. ground beef

1 c. chopped onions

1/2 c. chopped green peppers

16-oz can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

15-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained

10-oz can diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained

1/3 c. water

1-1/2 tsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1 c. shredded Monterey Jack or pepper Jack cheese

5-6 flour tortillas, 6-7 inches in diameter

Cook beef onions, and green peppers in skillet until beef is browned and vegetables are tender. Drain.

Add next 8 ingredients, stir, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover; and simmer about 10 minutes.

Combine cheeses.

In slow cooker, layer about 3/4 c. meat mixture; one tortilla, and about 1/3 c. cheese. Repeat layers until all ingredients are used, ending with cheese.

Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until heated through.

Use a knife to cut into wedges like a pie…6-8 pieces.  Gently lift each piece out onto plates; put spoonful of sour cream or guacamole on top.

Barbecue Beef and Corn Shepherd’s Pie

It is hard to believe that we are already through the first week of March! I usually enjoy this month because winter is on its way out and spring is trying  very hard to arrive!  Thankfully, for us here in the south, winter was very mild, and spring has been arriving slowly for weeks now!  My plum tree was in full bloom on Monday…about 3 weeks earlier than normal!

March also brings us St. Patrick’s Day and all its festivities.  I am not usually one to celebrate St.Patrick’s Day although I do have Irish roots. My grandmother’s maiden name was Kelly.  Originally it was O’Kelly, but the “O” was dropped when the family came to America.

Tonight for dinner I was looking for something fun to make where I could use what I had and not have to worry about missing ingredients.  Thanks to the email I received today from the Betty Crocker  website, I discovered this amazing recipe for Shepherd’s Pie.  I didn’t have all the ingredients that it called for, but I could make substitutions.  And it turned out great! The hubs even took seconds!  Serve with home made bread and a salad on the side.     I will share the recipe with you as it is but also tell you what I did differently.

1 lb. ground beef   [I used about 1-1/2 lbs]

8 medium green onions, sliced (1/2 c) [I used 1/2 medium onion, chopped]

1/2 c. chopped red pepper [I added this]

1 c. barbecue sauce

1 can (11oz) Mexicorn (corn with red/green peppers), drained [I used regular whole kernel corn]

1 can (4oz) chopped green chiles, undrained [I didn’t use these]

1/2 package (7-oz size) Four Cheese mashed potatoes (1 pouch)

1-1/2 c. hot water

1/3 c. milk

2 tbsp. butter

[I made real mashed potatoes since I didn’t have the potato mix.]

1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 c. parmesan cheese [I added this]

1 c. corn chips


Cook ground beef with the onions and peppers until meat is brown and veggies are tender.  Drain off fat.  Stir in barbecue sauce, the corn, and chilies.  Heat to boiling; reduce heat, and keep warm.

If using mashed potato mix, cook as directed on package for 4 servings using the milk, hot water, and butter. Let stand about 5 minutes.  If using fresh potatoes, peel about 5 medium potatoes. Cut into large cubes and bring to a boil until tender. Drain off water and mash using butter, parmesan cheese,  salt, and milk to taste and smooth consistency.

Spoon potatoes onto center of beef mixture leaving about a 2-inch rim around the edge of skillet. Sprinkle cheese over potatoes. Cover and let stand about 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.  Sprinkle corn chips around edge.  Serves 6.