Everyday Mom's Meals: My Dirty Little Secret
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Friday, February 27, 2015

My Dirty Little Secret

It's confession time. And believe me, it's not easy for me to admit this to you. Are you ready? Okay, here I go. Before I became this really cool food blogger (Look, it's my birthday today, so if I want to call myself cool, I get to. ) and was as comfortable in the kitchen as I am today, something used to show up on our dinner table that I am not proud of....Hamburger Helper.

Stop the gasping. Pick your jaws up off the ground. It's going to be alright. Let me start by saying, if you read that and said "Yeah, so, I still do!" don't feel bad. I'm not being critical of anyone who does. Ya'll know how much I believe in taking a little help from the store now and again if it makes life easier. I'm simply saying for me, looking back on it, I can't believe just how much I made it. That's all.

I feel like I have to defend my younger self. See, when were first married, I was still a working girl, and didn't get home until almost supper time. So anything I could make that we could be eating quickly was at the top of my list. Then Alex came along, and I was a new mother just trying to find my way. Then he got a little older, and he tasted it, and it was instantly a favorite. So then, I kept making it because he asked me to.

Such was the case a few weeks ago. We haven't had the stuff in years, but we happened to walk by it in the grocery store and he spotted it. Realized he hadn't eaten it in ages, and once again pleaded with me to make some. Now, do you want to know what my biggest problem with it is at this point? To feed this mutant child of mine (He's 10 and 5'2"), and still have enough for Mr. E and I to have some, I would have to make 3 or 4 boxes. That's just not economical unless I can find the stuff on sale.

So I decided I would trick him. Yes, I dupe my child. It's called creative parenting. I figured if I made something similar, that would satisfy him. I basically needed meat, pasta and cheese. Then I had a delicious brainstorm. What if I made all of that taste like another one of his favorite foods...a cheeseburger? Genius, I know.

His request and my ingenuity is your gain, because this stuff is YUMMY! He could not eat it fast enough and even had me freeze the leftovers so he could have it again. It really does taste like a big ol' juicy cheeseburger! Not to mention being a quick, simple meal you can have on the table any night of the week.

So, there you go. My dirty little secret has been revealed. I have to admit, I do feel better having that off my conscience. 

Skillet Cheeseburger Pasta
1 lb. elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
1 lb. ground beef
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp. steak seasoning
3 TBS ketchup
3 TBS mustard
3 TBS dill pickle relish
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained
3/4 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 bunch green onions, chopped, whites only
Salt and Pepper to taste

While pasta cooks, cook beef and yellow onion in a large skillet over medium heat until no longer pink. Drain if necessary. Return to skillet. Season with steak seasoning, salt and pepper. Add ketchup, mustard, relish and diced tomatoes. Stir well to combine. Cook 1-2 minutes for flavors to develop. Reduce heat to low. When pasta is cooked, drain well. Add to skillet. Stir well to combine. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover and keep on warm until cheese melts. Sprinkle with green onions and serve. 


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