Sausage Shepherds Pie

August 1, 2009

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE Shepherds Pie! I came across this recipe on All Recipes.com. I gave it a try and think it really is great. It meets all my criteria; cheep, easy, makes a lot. I was going to add some shredded cheese to it but forgot as I was making it.

  • 1 pound Ground Sausage
  • 1 (12 ounce) jar prepared beef gravy
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 (24 ounce) package Mashed Potatoes
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In skillet, crumble and cook sausage over medium heat until browned. Drain on paper towels. In bowl, combine sausage, gravy, vegetables and Worcestershire sauce.
  2. Pour into a greased 2-quart casserole dish. Spoon mashed potatoes into even layer on top. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until hot.

On piece of advice, do not add any salt. Between the gravy and Worcestershire sauce there is plenty of it! There is really not much to say about this recipe. You really can’t mess it up! I used “loaded” mashed potatoes, but you can use anything you want. Here are some photos of preparing the dish…

Browning the sausage…

At the same time I was preparing the mashed potatoes. Just follow the directions on the pack…

Next I just put everything into the meat mixture and spread it evenly on the bottom of my baking dish. The veggies go in still frozen if you were wondering…

The I smoothly covered the mixture with the mashed potatoes and it was ready for the oven…

Here it is fresh out of the oven…

And a bad shot of it on my plate…

Like I said, very cheep! Here is the price breakdown…

Sausage $2.50

Potatoes $0.99

Veggies $1.39

Gravy $1.19

TOTAL $6.07

Lots of fun for a little over $6.00! I already had the Worcestershire sauce, if you don’t just add a couple dollars to the total. You will find that Worcestershire sauce lasts a long time so get a small bottle. I hope you like this!

PS – The new website is taking a lot longer to get up and running! Sorry!

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Cheese Burger In A Can

June 17, 2009

In continuing the theme of strange food in a can, here is a Cheese Burger in a can…

I saw this a while ago and kind of forgot about it. I can’t imagine this coming out very good. The website has some videos that you might want to watch. Has anyone tried this? I can’t seem to find a place to order any. I would assume that buying some frozen beef patties would probably be cheaper and taste better.

At first I thought this might be a good idea. Then I saw the rest of the photos on Gizmodo! It really does not look too good. Has anyone tried it yet? It is kind of a neat idea. Just think about not having to worry about thawing out a frozen chicken or running to the store to get a fresh one. Now you can just open up your cupboard and pull out a can. Do you think I should order one to give it a try? You can get 6 cans for $49.99 on Amazon.

Circling back around to my frozen sandwich project, I decided to give frozen breakfast burritos a try. The best part of this is it is very cheap and makes a large quantity to freeze. If you purchase a breakfast burrito in a restaurant in the morning it will cost you around 2 to 3 dollars. This recipe brings the price down to 59 cents per burrito. I went to the store and got the following ingredients…

Ground sausage $2.50
Two cans black beans .78 per can total $1.56
Salsa $2.49
Shredded cheddar cheese $2.50
Onion $1.30
Two dozen eggs $2.44
Flour tortillas 3 packs of 10 $1.59 each total $4.77

Grand total $17.56

Per burrito .59

This recipe will make 30 breakfast burritos. You can easily substitute or add anything you would like. My first step was to brown the ground sausage.

While this was going on I chopped up the onion. I used a large yellow onion, but you can use any kind you would like…

I also washed the black beans under cold water and set aside. I then cracked all the eggs into a bowl and beat them.

After the ground sausage was browned I added the onion to cook a little bit…

Cooking such a large quantity of eggs takes a little longer than normal. Just make sure to stir them a lot to avoid burning. After this is all done I set up a little assembily line to make the burritos.

Take a few large spoon fulls of the egg and place it in the middle of the burrito a little near the bottom. I then added a few spoon fulls of the sausage mixture and a few spoon fulls of black beans. Top it off with some salsa and cheese.

Now it is time to fold the burrito. This takes a little practice, but you will soon get and hang of it. First fold two edges towards the middle…

Then all you have to do is roll it up. Once the burrito is rolled up I wrapped each individual burrito in plastic wrap. This process made 30 burritos which I then froze.

To heat up the burrito just remove the plastic wrap and wrap a paper towel loosely around the burrito. Place it in the microwave for about two minutes. Each microwave is different so you might have to play around with this. The whole process took me about an hour and a half. Time well spent to save so much money!

As I grew older, I discovered the need for vegetables in my diet. At first they were just an inconvenience next to the meat. Now I enjoy a nice side of veggies with my meal. As a single guy, sometimes it is hard to prepare just the right amount. They do sell “individual” portions of veggies at the grocery store, but they are so over priced. I found a very nice alternative.

You can easily buy a large size of frozen veggies for around $1.00. I then take my favorite spice and divide them into individual portions. When you are ready for some veggies, you just take them out of the freezer, add a little water and microwave them. I am sure some of you have already discovered this, but if not it is worth a try.


Sun Dried Tomato Pasta

April 8, 2009

So, I was wondering what to cook for dinner the other night. I looked into my cupboard and saw two half used packs of different pasta. I decided I should use that up! What else do I have around? Well, I also had half a rotisserie chicken. All I needed now was something to make a nice chicken pasta salad. A quick trip to the Kroger and I was home with some sun dried tomatoes, zucchini, and store brand salad dressing (sun dried tomato flavor). What a dish I can make with this!

I first boiled the assortment of pasta based on the recommended time on the pack. I cut up the zucchini and sun dried tomatoes to any size you like. After the pasta was done, I put it in a big pan and tossed in everything else. After about 15 minutes it was nice and tender. I served it that way, and LOVED it! Fast, easy, and cheap.



Squeez Bacon

April 7, 2009

I think I would like to try this!

“Vilhelm Lillefläsk’s Squeez Bacon® is fully cooked 100% bacon. Due to the patented electro-mechanical process by which Squeez Bacon® is rendered, it requires no preservatives or other additives. Each serving is as healthy as real bacon, and equivalent to 4 premium slices of bacon! You can put it on sandwiches, pizza, pastas, bacon, soups, pies, eat it hot or cold (warm Squeez Bacon® on toasted rye is to die for), substitute it for bacon in your recipes, or even eat it right out of the tube like we do! If it’s edible, it’s better with Squeez Bacon®.”

Meatloaf Cordon Bleu

February 22, 2009

Meatloaf, good. Cordon Bleu, good. Meatloaf Cordon Bleu, awesome! I received this in an email from allrecipes.com and had to try it. I was not disappointed at all! It is a little more complicated than normal meatloaf, but is well worth the additional effort. Here it is…

2 pounds extra-lean ground beef
1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1 small onion, chopped
2 eggs, beaten
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
4 ounces thinly sliced cooked ham
4 ounces provolone cheese, sliced
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. In a medium bowl, mix together the ground beef, bread crumbs, eggs, and onion. Season with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Pat the meat mixture out onto a piece of waxed paper, and flatten to 1/2 inch thick. Lay slices of ham onto the flattened meat, and top with slices of cheese. Pick up the edge of the waxed paper to roll the flattened meat up into a log. Remove waxed paper, seal the ends and seam, and place the loaf into a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
3. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the loaf is no longer pink inside.

Mixing together the first ingredients is just like any other meatloaf. I tend to do it in smaller amounts and slowly add everything together. That way I know all the spices are evenly distributed in the mixture. Here it is all mixed up ready for the next step…

Now it is time to make this meatloaf into Cordon Bleu meatloaf. I took the mixture out and placed it on some wax paper. I tend to have a lot of wax paper around, but if you don’t, it is very cheap at the store. I flatted the mixture out till it was about half an inch thick all around. I then placed the ham and cheese on top…

The next part can be a little tricky. I took one end of the wax paper and lifted it up. This started the meatloaf to curl a little bit. I then took the meatloaf and continued to curl it till it became a loaf again. I then sealed up the ends and seam…

Now it was time to put it in the oven. So the steps for this are really not to bad. It smells great as it cooks. When it was done I pulled it out and noticed I had not sealed the seams very well. It had split open a little bit. I am not to concerned with presentation and it does not effect the taste. The ham burned a little, but it still was great!

Here is a photo after I had cut a piece out. I did notice that the cheese and ham were closer to the top of the loaf. Next time I will flatten it out more so that they are closer to the middle. This is probably why it opened up in the oven.

Rotisserie Chicken Wrap

February 18, 2009

As you know, I have been cooking a lot of chickens in my new Showtime Rotisserie. One of the problems I have come across is I get tired of having just rotisserie chicken all the time. For something new I tried making a cool ranch chicken wrap. This came out great! I got some tortillas, diced up some tomatoes, added lettuce, bacon bits, ranch dressing, and some cold rotisserie chicken. I even tried added some cheese. It was great! A nice change of pace.

Frozen Sandwich Project

February 8, 2009

I keep seeing all these different types of frozen sandwiches at the grocery store. Unfortunately they are very expensive. I was thinking that maybe I could make my own sandwiches and freeze them. For me this is all about convenience. Sometimes I am running out the door for work and don’t have time to make a sandwich. I thought it would be nice to have a bunch of them in my freezer. Looking at the different variates available, I decided on trying a turkey with cheese and bacon bits on white bread. I did not add any mayonnaise.

I then used the ziploc freezer bags and air removal pump to seal them real tight. This really flattened the sandwiches out. I thought it would be better to get as much of the air out than to have the sandwich look nice.

A lot of my friends think I am crazy for trying this. I was very careful about what I used. I know mayonnaise is very bad to freeze. When ready to eat, just take it out of the bad and microwave for between one and two minutes. It is going to be interesting to see if this works. Anyone have any ideas about this?