Monday, February 21, 2011

Cheesy Tuna Noodle Thing: A recipe (sort of)

My dear husband asks me each day what I have written. When I have made a post, I give him a brief description, to which he usually says, "You're title is about aprons, you should post a recipe."

So I am posting a recipe.

My children love this casserole, and since they can never remember the word "casserole," they have given it the above name. To give credit where credit is due, I originally took this recipe from "The Tightwad Gazette" by Amy Dascyzn, which is well worth the money (all 3 volumes). I have modified it to suit my own needs and will show you some other modifications you can make as well.

NOTE: This makes a huge casserole (I have 7 table food eaters plus myself and husband). It will probably overflow a 9x13 inch pan, so use a bigger one (mine is 4.8 quarts or about 10x15) or two 8x8s or 9x9s.

NOTE (#2): My recipes are somewhat vague as I tend to measure in "handfuls" and "spoonfuls." For this I apologize. I try to give a range of measurement when I can't say exactly how much of something to use. You can adjust it to your family's tastes.

Cheesy Tuna Noodle Thing

5 to 6 cups dry pasta, prepared according to package directions just to tender *1
1/2 to 1 cup white cooking wine (or broth if you prefer)*2
1/2 cup to 1 cup mayonnaise *3
2 cans cream of chicken soup *4
at least 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese *5
1/2 to 1 teaspoon dill *6
2 cans tuna, drained (6 oz. each) *7
your desired casserole topping*8

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cook pasta, drain, set aside.

Mix wine and mayonnaise. Add soup, dill, and cheese. Gently mix in tuna and noodles.

Pour into baking dish, cover with foil, bake 30 minutes. Remove foil, top as desired, and cook 5 minutes more.

Modifications

*1 I use elbow noodles. They are cheap and bulky. I like little shells, too. If using a different meat, use a different pasta. Tri-colored rotini goes well with chicken, for example. I have also done the mix and match thing because I had small amounts of 3 different pastas in my cabinet and wanted to use them up.

*2 I use wine in cooking. I realize some people have a moral objection to all alcohol, so use broth. It will alter the taste, but not in a bad way.

*3 If you use Miracle Whip, use less as it has an overpowering flavor. I would replace the extra with a little milk or else the sauce will be really thick.

*4 You can honestly use just about any cream soup and not really change the flavor much. Cream of celery is probably the best choice, I just always seem to have chicken on hand. You can also replace the soup altogether with about 4 cups of very thick white sauce (recipe follows) made with bouillon for flavor. I actually prefer it with the white sauce.

Simple white sauce to replace cream soup:

Pour 2 cups milk into a jar with tight fitting lid. Add 6 tablespoons all purpose flour. Close lid and shake like crazy until very smooth. Empty into a saucepan. Add 2 more cups milk, 1 to 2 tablespoons butter or margarine and 1 or 2 chicken bouillon cubes, if you want. Heat slowly to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil one minute, still stirring constantly.

*5 I say you can never have too much cheese, so I put in a couple of healthy handfuls. You can use different cheeses to change the flavor. If you are using chicken, for example, monterey jack is good. Swiss is nice with crab.

*6 Of course use a different spice with different meat. Poultry seasoning goes well with chicken, as does Italian seasoning.

*7 You can use just about any meat and get a decent result. I have used chicken, crab, and shrimp. I also have used salmon, which worked out really well (you might want to pick out the bones and skin, though, because they just don't look very appetizing in a casserole).

*8 Most people have something they always top a casserole with: breadcrumbs, french fried onions, parm cheese. I leave this one to personal preference.

So there you have it: a vague, sort-of useful recipe for a cheesy tuna noodle thing. My real point in posting it was to show how you can adapt a recipe to what you have on hand and still have it work out. I used to think you had to follow a recipe exactly or else it would be wrong! I rarely follow a recipe exactly anymore.

If anyone has success (or failure) with it, please let me know.

Warm regards,

Shannon

Monday, February 1, 2010

Caution! Under Construction!

Hi! Welcome back to my life!

I am in the process of rearranging my life, which has spilled over to rearranging my blogging.

This blog will house recipes, menus, and food-related musings. I will be moving my favorite old posts to my new blog, Not Just Any Old Momma. I also have a couple of neat new homes for home education related information. A Posse ad Esse is the place for our "big kid" school, and Busy Hands, Smiling Faces is all about "little kid" school.

I hope you like the new look of things. This year promises to be a great one for me, and I am excited to get a fresh start, here and everywhere!

I look forward to seeing you again soon,

Warm regards,

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Generally, I don't agree with these things, but...




You Are Traditional and Dependable



You are optimistic, friendly, and cheerful. People appreciate the hopefulness and good vibes you bring to any situation.



You are hungry. For food, yes. But more than anything, you are hungry for power.



You're easy going and easy to be around. You aren't picky or high maintenance.



You seek security in your life. Feeling safe is important to you.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

I don't even like ice cream sandwiches...




You Are an Ice Cream Sandwich



You are well grounded, reliable, and very balanced.

You love to work hard, but you also know how to take it easy.



People might be surprised to know you have a very goofy side to you.

You like to let loose and have fun. You just don't let yourself go too crazy!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Practically Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies


I have been searching for the perfect peanut butter cookie recipe, soft and chewy without being overly sweet. I haven't found it yet, but this one came pretty close. It originally came from All Recipes, but I had to change it quite a bit to make it the way I wanted it. The cookies were fairly devoured, so I think I'll stick with it, at least for this year.

Practically Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1 cup butter, softened
3 eggs
1 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (or use part crunchy)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
In a medium bowl, combine flour, soda, and salt. Mix well and set aside.
In a large bowl, blend sugars, using an electric mixer set at medium speed. Add butter, and mix to form a grainy paste, scraping the sides of the bowl. Add eggs, peanut butter and vanilla and mix at medium speed until light and fluffy.
Add the flour mixture and mix at low speed until just mixed. Chill for 30 minutes or so, and keep dough chilled between batches. This dough spreads a lot if it's not chilled.
Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. (You can gently press cookies in a crisscrossed pattern with a wet fork, but they get REALLY flat. I left them as drop cookies) Bake for 15-18 minutes or until slightly brown along edges.

Makes approximately 6 dozen.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Menu Plan through January 31


The following is my menu plan through the end of the month. Much of the meat is coming from the freezer, as we need to get it emptied out. I will not be eating most of the carb selections, but try to fit my diet around what everyone else is eating. I didn't type in the days of the week, but the plans run Monday through Sunday.

Warm regards,
Shannon

Menu January 14-20

Breakfast


Eggs
Toast
Juice

Pancakes
Sausages
Juice

Eggs
Toast
Juice

Oatmeal
Applesauce
Milk

Eggs
Toast
Juice

Cereal
Milk

Egg casserole
Toast
Juice

Lunch

Tuna salad sandwiches
Carrots with dip
Peaches
Milk

Rice with vegetables
Mandarin oranges
Milk

Lentil soup
Pears
Buttered bread
Milk

Raman noodles
Mixed vegetables
Milk

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
Pineapple
Milk

Bacon
Hash browns
Eggs to order
Juice

Cold meat sandwiches
Vegetables and dip

Dinner

Bean burritos
Spanish rice
Corn

Garlic chicken
Spinach salad
Noodles

Crock Mock Beef Bourguignon
Mashed cauliflower
Green beans
Crusty bread

Meatloaf
Peas and carrots
Roasted potatoes

Homemade pizza

Halibut nuggets
French fries
Carrots

Leftovers

January 21-27

Breakfast

Eggs
Toast
Juice

Pancakes
Sausages
Juice

Eggs
Toast
Juice

Oatmeal
Applesauce
Milk

Eggs
Toast
Juice

Cereal
Milk

Egg casserole
Toast
Juice

Lunch

Salmon patties
Carrots with dip
Peaches
Milk

Rice with vegetables
Mandarin oranges
Milk


Bean and vegetable soup
Pears
Buttered bread
Milk

Macaroni salad
Mixed vegetables
Milk

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
Pineapple
Milk

Sausage gravy
Biscuits
Eggs to order
Juice

Cold meat sandwiches
Vegetables and dip

Dinner

Cabbage roll soup
Brown rice
Crusty bread

Pepper stuffed herd chicken
Noodles
Broccoli

Mountain goat roast in the crock
Baked potatoes
Green beans
Corn on the cob

Salisbury steaks
Mashed cauliflower
Bussels sprouts

Homemade pizza

Halibut nuggets
French fries
Green beans

leftovers

January 28-31

Breakfast

Eggs
Toast
Juice

Pancakes
Sausages
Juice

Eggs
Toast
Juice

Oatmeal
Applesauce
Milk

Lunch

Macaroni & tuna casserole
Carrots with dip
Peaches
Milk

Rice with vegetables
Mandarin oranges
Milk

Tomato soup
Pears
Buttered bread
Milk

Raman noodles
Mixed vegetables
Milk

Dinner

Turkey divan
Mashed cauliflower
Rolls

Moose burgers, grilled
French fries

Spaghetti with caribou sauce
Carrots
Garlic bread

Tacos
Corn
Rice

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Menu Planning Made Easy

I love it when someone makes my life just a little easier.

I was perusing one of my favorite blogs, A Happy Home, and came across a post recommending Menus 4 Moms. This is an awesome resource for inexperienced menu planners as well as us "old pros." If you are just beginning to plan menus, you can use her FREE menus, recipes, and shopping lists just the way they are. If you want, or need to, however, you can just use them as an outline. Even better news, as I looked over some of the menus, I saw that they would fit very well into a rather frugal grocery budget.

There are many terrific food related articles on the Menus 4 Mom website. I spent quite a while just exploring it. This site is going onto my sidebar as a really "Awesome Resource!"

Enjoy!

Warm regards,
Shannon