Hamburger, Potatato and Green Bean Casserole

Hamburger potato and green bean casserole

Hamburger, Potato and Green Bean Casserole
Adapted from my husband’s Aunt Shirley’s recipe
1  pound of fried and drained ground beef
1/2 – onion, diced and fried till caramelized
1 – package tater tots (32 oz) OR whole box of  made up mashed potatoes (or 2 1/2 cups of leftover mashed potatoes)
1/2 – 8 oz container sour cream plus 1/4 cup milk to thin sour cream

1 can  Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 cans green beans, drained
1  cup grated sharp cheddar cheese 

1/2 small can French Fried Onions OR buttered, dry bread crumbs for topping
1/4 teaspoon paprika
cracked pepper, to taste
Lawry’s or Johnny’s season salt, to taste

You can make your own bread crumbs by crumbling up a piece of bread….add 1/2 Tablespoon butter, mash it together and put it on top of your hamburger and potato and green bean casserole….easy and inexpensive bread crumbs! 
I’m getting out my Mexican dinnerware and placemats for Cinco de Mayo this week! Ole!  

This is a yummy and easy recipe. It is great to use when you have leftover mashed potatoes from a previous big dinner.  I think it is great with Tator Tots too, as they add a little more crispy texture.  But both taste great. 

Normally I’d use a sweet, yellow onion, (like a Vidalia)  but I only had a purple one today….so I used it up!  Start with your golden, caramelized onion…..
Then, Brown your ground beef and drain the grease….then add back in the caramelized onion pieces…
Leftover mashed potatoes make this recipe a great way to use them up….. 

I like the French Style green beans but either will do fine. 

Brown ground beef and diced onions, Drain. Pour ground beef & onion mixture into the bottom of a 9 x 13 casserole dish. Add the green beans. In a separate bowl mix together the soup, sour cream (and a little milk to mix it up) and add pepper and seasonings to taste.

This is the bread crumbs for topping, the golden fried onions are a good crunch topping too for your hamburger potato green bean casserole. 

Pour the soup mixture over on top of the ground beef and green beans layer, spread evenly. Top with tater tots or mashed potatoes, sprinkle grated cheese over the casserole. Bake at 350 degrees  for about 30 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and edges are golden brown. 

Add a salad and some hot rolls and you’ve got an easy meal! Kids love it too because it’s simple food. Simple and yummy Hanburger potato and green bean casserole. 
Hey, guess who we went and saw last night? Yeah, funnyman Dana Carvey. I laughed so hard I cried! 

Testing Baking powder and soda for freshness

Chemical leaveners, like baking powder and baking soda, can lose their potency over time. This is especially true when they are not stored in airtight containers. And old baking powder and soda can cause flat cakes, dense or flat cookies  Tthere is a very simple test that you can do to see if that nearly-forgotten box of baking soda is still good enough to bake with.

For baking soda put a teaspoon into a 1/2 cup vinegar in a small bowl. You should see lots of fizzing. Otherwise it needs to be replaced. It has lost it’s potency. Always keep these leaveners in a Tupperware or some other airtight containers for the best shelf life.

For Baking Powder put a half cup of warm water into a small bowl and add a teaspoon of baking powder. The mixture should make a fizzing noise and, after a moment, the baking powder will begin to fizz and the water will become very cloudy with tiny bubbles. The more bubbles, the fresher the baking powder.

I like the square, stackable containers because they leave room in my fridge for other stuff. I don’t like the round containers margerine and whipped topping come in for that very reason. They take up space and are not stackable. So there you have it!  

French Vanilla Cream Puffs

My Easter desserts… Cream Puffs!  
And they were so cute on the dessert bar!  
Yummy and easy Cream Puffs! 

My French born sister-in-law Danielle makes these TO DIE FOR cream puffs every year at 4th of July. Everyone has come to expect and love them. She actually can’t make a different dessert or everyone gets all bent out of shape. So I have been calling her to get her recipe. I wanted to make them for Easter.

The ingredients for cream puffs are only 4….so easy! 
Water, butter, flour and eggs….
Batter before adding the eggs…..I let it beat a little to let off some of the steam….
Then I added 1 egg at a time and beat for a minute in between eggs…..
The cream puff batter is  like pudding…

Easy Cream Puffs:  My French sis-in-law Danielle’s recipe
1 cup water
1/2  cube butter
1 cup flour
4 eggs
Heat oven to 400. Heat water and butter to a rolling boil. Stir in flour untilmixture forms a ball. Remove from heat. Let cool a bit till batter is not hot. Beat in eggs one at a time. Drop dough 1 Tbsp size onto baking sheet using a pastry bag. Mine were about 1 3/4 inches oval x 1 1/2 and I got about 30 little cream puffs.

Cook until puffy and golden. I did 14 minutes at 400 and then turned oven down to 350 for 5 minutes. I think from posts I read on other blogs 20 minutes is perfect for smaller cream puffs. Larger ones about 20 minutes at 400 and 4 minutes at 350 but watch them the last 3 minutes. Your oven might be different as I am at high altitude.

Bunny cream puffs
These are darling cream puffs too. I LOVED these from HERE at Land O Lakes website.
I piped the batter onto a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper….

I added a blob of cream puff batter to each of the 4 corners…then pressed the parchment paper on top. It helps
“glue” the paper down to the cookie sheets. 

Here are my finished cream puffs….just out of the oven! 

Now they are ready to fill with the creamy, rich pudding filling….each one was a half a handful ! 

Cool. Cut a slit in the side of puff with a knife. Fill cream puffs with a pastry bag filled with the french vanilla pudding mixture.  Make chocolate icing and spread over top.  Keep refrigerated. Makes 12 large or 24 small cream puffs (mine made 30 little round ones- bigger than the Costco size) I think this is a perfect dessert to bring to Easter dinner because if you have other desserts, this can be a side garnish and they are so cute and yummy too.

French Vanilla Cream Filling
1/2 pint whipping cream (smallest carton)
1 small box instant French vanilla instant pudding
1/2 cup milk
Whip until thick.

1/2 cup milk, pint of cream and small box of french vanilla instant pudding….

Whip it up and then put into a pastry bag….

Squeeze inside of your little puffs….so easy! 

The filling is really rich and creamy too…I had to pop one in my mouth to taste test it! 

 Chocolate Fudgy Glaze
1/2 slick butter
2 Tbsp. cocoa
2 Tbsp. milk
2 cups powdered sugar ( I used a little less, just add it till desired consistency)

Heat until melted, stirring constantly-add 2 cups powdered sugar until melted. Shake a fork
back & forth and then the other way to ice tops of cream puffs if you want a cool design. Or just frost with a knife.

This was the most delicious chocolate glaze!  

It was easy and quick….

And it tastes like the most divine fudge!  Really!  

I just frosted mine. I spread the fudgy icing on very generously!  This chocolaty glaze was finger licking delicious! 
My finished plates of cream puffs…. I wasn’t done sprinkling the sprinkles! And this recipe made 30 puffs….

That was 2 full plates full….enough for a crowd of people….
I added some purple Peeps to the plate of cream puffs… it added the cuteness factor….yeah! .

And I know somebody CUTE who LOVED my cream puffs!  

And somebody else who loved the Easter egg hunt too! 

Hope everybody has a wonderful Easter!