Friday, October 30, 2015

Super Easy Dinner!

Recently, I was extremely busy but needed to make dinner. What I came up with satisfied us. It was cheap, easy, and tasty, which are pluses in my book any day!

Hamburger Patties and Gravy

1 lb. hamburger (more or less)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 1/2 - 2 cans water
1 package dry beef gravy mix
salt, pepper, and seasonings to taste (optional)
Cooked mashed potatoes or noodles

Make patties using the hamburger meat to which you've added salt, pepper, and any seasonings you desire. You can also include a bit of finely diced onion.

Brown the hamburger patties in an oven-proof pot. I use my cast iron and that works super well.

While hamburger patties are browning, mix together the cream of mushroom soup, water, and beef gravy mix. When the hamburger patties have been browned on both sides, pour the soup mixture over the top. Cover the pot with a lid and place in a preheated 350 degree oven; bake until the meat is done and the gravy is bubbling hot. I let mine bake for about 45 minutes with no ill effect--no burning--but it could be because I was using cast iron.

Dish up the hamburger and ladle the gravy over the mashed potatoes or noodles. Serve.

In the photo above, you'll notice the spinach soufflé. It's actually Stouffer's Spinach Soufflé Side Dish. You can find it in the frozen food section of your grocery store. It's good! In fact, I sometimes thaw it out (something you don't need to do if you're baking it in the container it comes in--just follow directions) and stuff large button mushrooms with it. I add a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and bake them until the soufflé is done, about 45 minutes.

Well, there you have it. I think of this as a semi-cheater's meal because of the canned soup and dry gravy mix. I don't usually go that route, but like I said, I was in a tearing big hurry. And it's still an inexpensive meal, even with the packaged goods, so I thought it was worth sharing.

Hope all is well with you and your loved ones. The hot summer weather and drought conditions have finally broken around here. We have had several rain fronts move through, and today is no different. We are scheduled to have rain for the next week, and I'm glad for it. I just hope our reservoirs fill back up to capacity. (Without, of course, raining so much that flooding becomes a concern.)

Enjoy the weather!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

German Runzas Recipe

I had lots of cabbage. Lots and lots of cabbage. There's just so much sauerkraut you can make before you rebel. So I decided to make German Runzas, which are cabbage and meat stuffed buns. They're easy and delicious. And keep in mind that you can actually add anything you want (even no cabbage if that's your druthers!) and make stuffed buns that will tickle your taste buds.
Runzas with a dollop of sour cream

German Runzas

4 cups shredded green cabbage
1/2 - 1 lb. hamburger
1 small onion, diced
1/2 cup green or red bell pepper (or a combination)
4 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. caraway seeds (optional)
bread dough, enough for 2-3 loaves (see note below for an easy workaround)

Brown the hamburger; only drain off fat if there's a lot. Some fat is good because it soaks into the buns while baking. Add the cabbage, onion, bell pepper, and garlic and saute until the onion is translucent and the hamburger is cooked, about 5 minutes more. Add salt, pepper, and caraway seeds (if using) to taste. Add a spritz of water or broth so the filling isn't bone dry. (Although this isn't absolutely necessary, I like to do that.)
Runza filling

Now turn your attention to the bread dough.

NOTE: You can actually buy bread dough or even pizza dough at the grocery store if you don't have the time to make your own. But you do need to use a yeast-raised bread dough of some kind. (Not biscuit dough.)

Pull off small hunks of dough and pat or roll them out. You want the dough to be on the thin side, but not so thin that it tears when you add the meat mixture. Mine end up being about 5 inches on each side. Place a spoonful of the meat mixture in the middle of the dough square and wrap the dough around the meat mixture. Seal the edges so it's a little round packet. Place seam-side-down on a greased cookie sheet--although I use my silicon baking mats and I think they make better runzas because the bottoms don't get too brown. But suit yourself.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the runzas in the oven and immediately turn down the heat to 375 degrees and bake for about 25-30 minutes. (The time will vary depending on how big and how thick your runza buns are, so check them after about 20 minutes.)

Plate them up and serve them with sour cream. Yum!

Talk about simple. And tasty. And filling. And cheap. Some of my favorite attributes for meal-getting.

Be creative. Really, you could make just about any kind of stuffed bun, so use what you have on hand and enjoy the adventure.

Blessings to you and yours. I hope you are enjoying the cooler days of autumn. The leaves are changing color and it's a beautiful sight to behold. I love this time of year!