Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Cheeseburger Mac

Ok, truth time.  How many of you are fans of Hamburger Helper?  Don't worry, no judgment here, I use it sometimes as well.  So easy, quick and throw it with a veggie or salad and call it dinner right?   Back in the day we were one Hamburger Helpin' family.  Between practice for swimming, or football, dances, baseball, work, social lives, etc., it was just so dang handy and quick.  I wasn't as much of a cook as am I now back in those early days of marriage and family so we do the best with what we have, right?

Jump ahead to now.  I by no means am an ingredient princess.  I am guilty of rarely reading ingredients, but more and more often it is occurring to me to do so.  (baby steps friends, baby steps).  I mean, am I the only one who can't pronounce half the stuff on most ingredient lists?  I don't need preservatives, because I am making it fresh.  Does mine taste EXACTLY like Hamburger Helpers Cheeseburger Macaroni or whatever it is?  Heck no.  I think it is better!  I suppose if you want to change out the grated cheddar for Velveeta or something it might taste more like the cheese powder we all know and love.  (or don't love).  Notice mine isn't yellow/orange!  You can add your own spices, put own little spin on it.  How about some chili powder and Monterey jack cheese for a little "chili mac" inspiration?  I could go on and one but as a mom, I know how precious these one pot recipes are.  This fed 4 people just fine, but double it, if you have growing boys and girls and hungry parents!!

You Will Need:
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. onion powder
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 tbsp. butter
2 1/2 cups water
2 cups milk
4 1/2 cups short cut pasta of your choice (uncooked)
2 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese (or cheese of your choice)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

In a medium pot, brown hamburger, adding in garlic, onion powder, salt and black pepper.  Drain ground beef if it gives off to much fat. 

Add back to your pot and add in butter, water, milk and pasta. 

Place a lid on the pot and bring to a simmer for the amount of time recommended on your pasta package.  Stir every couple of minutes to minimize sticking.  When the pasta is cooked, turn off the heat and add cheeses. 

Stir until melted.  Let sit a couple of minutes before serving. 

I hope you enjoy this one pot dinner.  I know as a mom, of a once busy child, how much these "one potters" are cherished!!


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