Hey guys! I am Stefanie from the lil’ food blog Sarcastic Cooking. Don’t worry. My recipes don’t sass you or talk back or anything. I usually share fun and approachable recipes with a humorous, often times embarrassing story about myself that relates (sometimes more than others) to the recipe.
If there is one thing you need to know about me before we get going, it is that I will always tell you the truth. In fact, I am an oversharer by nature.
With that being said, let me tell you, if I had to pick one guilty pleasure, one thing that I would always give in to, it would be the cheeseburger. Cheese + Meat = Awesome! Now, I know some of you might be vegans or vegetarians and it’s ok. I get it. I was in your shoes about fifteen years ago.
It all started about when I was a junior in high school. If my memory serves me correct, I believe it was two or three days in a row in which breaded chicken patties were the main entrée for dinner. After that, I had a moment where (in my head) I stood up, put my hands in the air, and shouted, “I can’t take it anymore!!!” It was then I proudly proclaimed, I would be a vegetarian.
Before I go any further, let me just cover my tracks. I need to say, I’m not blaming my mom. I get it. She was a busy mom of three and weeknight meals are hard. It is hard for me just to come up for meals during the week for me and my husband and our baby who isn’t even eating solids yet.
My Mom, bless her heart, was my champion, even though I am pretty sure my new diet was annoying as heck to her. She made me extra vegetables and salads at every family dinner. She even made me homemade veggie subs which rivaled Subway sandwiches so much that my carnivorous younger brothers even wanted them for their lunches.
Stefanie, the vegetarian, went on for almost five years.
College Stefanie filled her belly with vegetarian nachos, pasta, PB&J, and microwaveable rice bowls for four years. Yeah, not the healthiest choices, but I had a good routine going.
Fast forward to my senior year of college. Every major at my college had a bar crawl to celebrate the graduation of it’s seniors. While out on my nerd-a-bout, aka the environmental health majors’ bar crawl, I met up with my friends at one of our favorite haunts. This place was famous for their $2 burger baskets and fried cheese balls/curds. At that moment, I was very excited for cheese!
I arrived and was having fun with my friends, celebrating the end of college. I am not quite sure who suggested this first, but somebody said something like, “Have a bite of this cheeseburger, you only live once!” So, since I was done with college, I gave in to peer pressure and took a bite.
Then I took one more. Then two. Then the whole burger (followed by the fries) was all gone. Ooops! But not really.
I forgot how good a cheeseburger tasted. I felt like a memory loss patient who had all these glorious meat filled memories (that’s what she said) come flooding back to her after one bite. And we lived happily ever after!
So naturally, while trying to delve into the BHG archives to pick a recipe to remake as my own, I had to pick something cheeseburgery. I chose this amazing cheeseburger and fry casserole. I love all things spicy so I had to make a spicy cheese sauce instead of the condensed cheddar cheese soup.
I melted 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter in a small saucepan over medium/low heat. I whisked in 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour. Then, while whisking, I slowly added in ¾ cup milk. Mix in 8 ounces of shredded jalapeno white cheddar cheese and then remove from heat. After sautéing the ground turkey with a little bit of salt, pepper, and chili seasoning, add it to the casserole dish. Mix the cheese sauce with the condensed mushroom soup. Top the cooked ground turkey with the cheesy mushroom mixture.
Then, for my next change, I used spicy seasoned sweet potato fries. Press those into the cheese layer and bake for 45-50 minutes.
We ate this two nights in a row. My husband, who may or may not be the cheeseburger tasting peer pressurer from yesteryear, loves all things cheeseburger too! We topped our casserole with sour cream, pico de gallo, avocado, jalapenos, and cilantro.
I hope you all enjoy this delve into the gloriousness of cheeseburger goodness as much as I did!
Thanksgiving is next week and its time to start planning your dinner menu. This time of year is a big deal in my family because we travel far and near to come together to give thanks. Each person is in charge of preparing a dish and bringing it to the dinner. One of my favorite thanksgiving dishes is the sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are always on the Thanksgiving table in my household.
This year I’m putting a spin on this recipe from Better Homes and Gardens for a Walnut Sage Potatoes Au Gratin by incorporating sweet potatoes. Like a traditional au gratin this dish is a blend of milk, cheese, fresh herbs, and sweet potatoes. The sage gives this dish an earthiness while the walnuts are a nice added crunch to this creamy side.
One of the great things about potatoes au gratin is that you can make this dish a few hours a head time before your guests arrive.
Start by peeling and slicing your sweet potatoes into 1 inch slices. Now in a medium to large skillet cook your diced onions and garlic until they softened. Add your flour to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Slowly stir in your milk until a creamy sauce starts to form. Remove the pan from the heat and add the sage.
Now layer your sweet potatoes in a casserole dish. Add the creamy mixture and cheese between each layer and bake in the oven covered with foil for 45 minutes to an hour. Once it’s out of the oven remove the foil top the potatoes with cheese and recover until it’s ready to serve.
This is the perfect upscale addition to the dinner table. Pair this dish with your Thanksgiving Turkey or Ham and a glass of red wine.