Category Archives: recipes

Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole–Jason Approved!

A post from Kelli–

As I’m sure many of you know, going back to work after a maternity leave is a bit difficult.  Obviously it’s hard to leave Georgia, but adjusting to a whole new set of “needs” and “need to do’s” can be a bit taxing.

Back in April before Dad passed away, mom, dad, and I had a talk and decided that we were all willing to pitch in to get things worked out so that mom would be able to watch Georgia while I worked.  The way things are now, I live about 35 minutes from Mom and then have another 30 to 35 minute drive to work…in the opposite direction.

At the time we knew that Dad probably wouldn’t be able to work like he had previously and he had mentioned that he would probably be able to meet me or Jason with Georgia a few times a week when I was working.  We also talked about maybe meeting up in the morning if needed.  We all had agreed that if nothing else, Dad getting sick had shown us all how family is really important and that we were willing to make sacrifices for important things–Like Georgie seeing mom and dad lots and being cared for by her Grandma!

Obviously things on the Dad front have changed, but Mom and I…and Kalissa and Jason and Jason’s mom Renee…have been working to still get things worked out so that Georgia can go to mom’s for childcare while I’m working.

With the extra driving and such, one thing that I’ve been working on is trying to make a supper that will feed both Jason and I for an evening meal and then at least one of us, if not both of us, for a lunch too.  I’ve been scouring the internet and such for quick casseroles that are fairly decently priced to make, but still tasty and make a decent amount…without making too much.

I also have a picky eater..Jason..(cough, cough)…to please.  Just the other day, he finally told me why he doesn’t like spaghetti and pizza–He doesn’t like tomato sauce!  So as you know, that can complicate quite a few casserole type dishes.   I have found though that if it is more BBQ based he will eat it….Strange. I know.

So you can imagine how excited I was when I found this recipe for Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole!

The picture does not do it justice in regards to taste!  It was AMAZING!!!!!

You can find the recipe HERE

I made a few changes as I didn’t look at the recipe before going grocery shopping….I ended up using one pound of sausage and one of hamburger as we were running a bit low on hamburger when I made it.  I also just used 2% milk in place of the whole milk and cream.  I also just used whatever sliced cheese we had in the refrigerator–I think it was provolone and muenster.  The last change that I made was that I added some pickle juice and cut up pickles to the meat sauce.  I knew that Jason wouldn’t eat it with the lettuce and onion salad on top and I also knew that it would be hard to take it to work for lunch that way, but I still wanted a bit of the pickle taste.

As you can see, I made a few minor tweaks, but it was so good!  And with any refrigerated pasta recipe, it tasted even more amazing the next day after spending the overnight in the refrigerator.  Needless to say, it got 4 thumbs up–2 from me and 2 from Jason!  I’ll definitely be making this one again!

Testing: Chocolate Banana Bread

I’m a little lazy sometimes.  I’ll admit that.  This is proof.

I was in town getting groceries and saw that bananas were 14 cents a pound.  They were the ones that were banana bread ready so I grabbed a couple sacks of them.

The kids at my house love banana bread and love smoothies.  I used these bananas all the time for both.  Plus Georgia and Gannon are both trying baby food (Gannon hates it-Georgie loves it) so these softer bananas work great for making our own baby food too.

Well about the same day I saw a recipe in my Facebook feed that was for chocolate banana bread.  That sounded interesting but I didn’t tag the recipe.

So…I was going to make banana bread with the bananas and remembered chocolate banana bread.  Shucks.  I didn’t tag the recipe.  Of course I could have gone to the computer and Googled “chocolate banana bread”, but like I said, I’m a little lazy.

Instead I decided to tweak my own banana bread recipe.


It’s my favorite recipe and came from our daughter Kayla.  This makes ONE loaf.

I ended up making it but I wanted TWO loaves and I wanted chocolate I made these tweaks.  I doubled everything but when it came to the flour this is the change I made-  1/2 cup cocoa and 2 1/2 cups flour.

Here the loaves are ready for the oven.

They came out looking like this…. Continue reading

Beef and Noodles in the Instant Pot

I’ve told you I love my Instant Pot and use it often.  I make so many things with no recipe…or a modified recipe.  Today I took a crock pot recipe and tweaked it for the Instant Pot.

I put a beef roast into the Instant Pot.  I put in enough water to reach the top of the roast.


I added:
a pinch of celery salt
2 tablespoons of Worchestire Sauce
2 tablespoons of beef soup base
1 large chopped onion
1 pack of dry onion soup mix
1 can of Cream of Mushroom soup

You can add salt or pepper but I prefer to wait until the end.  Many of the ingredients already have salt in them and I don’t want to add a lot more.  So I season to taste at the end.

I set the Instant Pot of Meat/Stew for 45 minutes.  Typically a roast doesn’t take this long but I wanted it to shred when it was done.


The roast will come out like this…. Continue reading

Pork Tenderloins (which are to die for)

A HUGE family favorite here are Pork Tenderloins.  I love them..the kids loved them.  Hubby especially loved them.

Last weekend I was on the computer writing blog posts when Karl called me.  He said, “Hey I’m in Cedar Falls at the HyVee Grocery.  They have pork loins on sale for $1.58 a pound.  Do you want one?”  YES!!  YES, I do.  So Karl brought it home.  $14.90 for this.  YES!!


Anytime they are under $2 a pound I buy one.  We love pork loins and the many things that I make with it.

This night on the menu were Tenderloins.  Oh my, I make a good tenderloin.  Come along and I’ll show you how I do it.

First off cut the meat about this wide.  My family gorges themselves when I make this so I end up making a lot.
From here I do a butterfly cut.  I cut the slice in half but not all the way through.  There’s a small amount of fat on it and I cut to the fat but not through the fat.  Just like that, it looks doubled in size.


Next it’s time to tenderize it.  I have the mallet to do that.  I always put the meat inside the bag while I hammer it out.  First I do one side and then the other.  This tenderizes the meat and makes the cut much larger.  This is how restaurants get the tenderloins so big that they hang way over the bun.


I happen to have a little helper to help me get all of the tenderloins tenderized…see?? Continue reading