Thursday, September 27, 2007

Tater Tot Casserole

I know I will never live up to anyone like... say Betty Crocker for example, but a girl can dream right?! I won't deny ordering pizza on occasion (or cough! once a week) or throwing hamburgers on the grill or chicken wings in the oven once in awhile. But I really do want to learn, because some day I want to be the mom that slaves over a hot stove all day and puts a grand meal on the table every night of the week. The one that all the neighbor kids love because she makes them snacks when they visit or asks them to stay for dinner because she made plenty. Am I crazy? I have a long way to go so maybe it's just wishful thinking.

I figure I should start small. Get the basics down:

  • Can boil water - check.
  • Heats ready made meals in the microwave - check.
  • Follows simple directions on the back of Shake n Bake or Hamburger Helper boxes - check.
  • Can make mashed potatoes - check.
  • Has moved on to low maintenance recipes from mother, such as meatloaf - check
I may have missed a direction or two along the way, and I have burned my fair share of garlic bread but I'm getting there.

Yesterday, when I posted about my four favorite foods of the moment I listed Tatertot Casserole. A few of you asked what it was so I thought why not share the recipe? It's sooo easy to make and it's great for picky eaters(I'm talking to the mothers out there! And if you haven't guessed Clancy & I are pretty picky as well, hence why we eat this often). The meal was actually something that Clancy's mom used to make when he was growing up, so we modified it a little bit (we love cheese) and now it's one of our favorite dishes!

  1. Brown 1 lb. ground beef or ground turkey, drain grease
  2. Add 1 can of Campbell's cream of mushroom soup (I add a little milk too)
  3. Let simmer for 3-5 minutes
  4. Spread meat across the bottom of a medium sized casserole dish (I use the one a step down from a 13x9 but I can't think of the exact size right now)
  5. Sprinkle on a layer of shredded cheese (I use colby-jack)
  6. Top with a layer of frozen tater tots
  7. Cook uncovered according to the tater tot package directions (Usually around 425 degrees for 12-15 minutes)
  8. A few minutes before it's ready add another layer of cheese and cook for the time remaining (I used to put the second layer of cheese on before baking, but it tends to burn along the edges)
And there you have it - Tatertot Casserole! If it sounds like something you'd enjoy try it out and let me know how you liked it!

Anyone have any other simple recipes to share so that I can try something new?


Michelle said...

That looks REALLY good!!

And look at you, you shared a recipe, which makes you a regular Betty Crocker! (Sharing your recipes automatically makes you look like a good cook---like you're the authority on all things culinary.)

I'm putting this stuff on the grocery list--will keep you posted.

Lisa said...

Hee. That was what I was thinking too! Aww, look at you... all grown up and cooking. Hahaha. Ohnos. I'm the only left who can't cook to save her life.

PL said...

Spaghetti is really easy to make if you don't already:

Boil 1 box of spaghetti noodles until al dente (slightly firm but edible). Drain and set aside.

Brown 1 package of ground turkey. Drain. Put the turkey back in the skillet. Take your favorite marinara sauce and throw it over the turkey. Sprinkle about an 1/8 of a cup of parmesan over the sauce mixture. Add in canned mushrooms or any other veggies that you like.

Serve over noodles and for carb overload: with garlic bread (if you have it, but you can make it!). Voila! Spaghetti with meat sauce!

Also, warm bread (place in the oven for a few minutes) with sides of good olive oil, olives, and cheeses is always a great meal, too. End it with fresh fruit.

Oh, and pita or flat bread with hummus is a good lunch. I throw on a chicken breast, a sprinkle of cheddar cheese, top it with lettuce, and it's super good!

This is only a sampling! I'm obviously obsessed with food.

Ripe for Reading said...

I love tater tots, so I'll keep this recipe for a rainy day!

molly said...

I'll share my pot pie recipe if you want it. And also, we often get pizza once a week too. :)

DG said...

You are so cute - I can boil water too! So, when are you making me a tater tot casserole?

mcgee said...

hi =). i just stumbled across your blog while doing my daily reading and i had to leave a comment because i was TOTALLY scouring the internet this morning for easy but yummy new recipes and BAM! i find a really delicious sounding one on your blog that's making me hungry. thanks!

i haven't had a chance to to navigate your site extensively yet but i look forward to reading more.

and hooray for tomorrow being friday!

Lisa said...

Okay seriously spaghetti can be so healthy. I'm all into healthy. Sauce and noodles= blah blah we can do that. We can heat up sauce and boil noodles. And with little to no extra effort, you can also chop up some red and green peppers and half a zucchini, saute them (stir them around for a couple minutes in a frying pan with some olive oil) and add them to the sauce. Let the sauce simmer (boil then leave it covered for a bit) and WOW so delicious. AND WOW SO HEALTHY.

Number 2. Chicken quasadellias. I can't spell to save my life. Firefox wants to correct to quasilinear. Kay-sa-dee-ahs. You know. Get the boneless skinless chicken breast, throw it on the George Foreman (straight up- then theres no raw chicken clean up). Chop up some more peppers. Grate some cheese. Slice cooked chicken breast. Fold whole wheat tortilla wrap in half, and stuff it with peppers, chicken, and cheese. Then pop in the oven until the cheese melts. Put in salsa if you like, too. AND AGAIN- SO HEALTHY!

libby said...

that. sounds. delish. daaamn you've got my mouth watering!!!

Miss M. said...

Oh good old tator tot casserole--I think everyone who grew up in the midwest had this at least twice a month for dinner.

It's still a favorite of mine when I go home to see the family!

I, of course, would never make it on my own because it probably wouldn't turn out and definitely wouldn't taste as good as mom or dad's!

karen said...

looks yum! my daughter (who calls them "totter taters") would devour that.

i never cooked a thing til i was pregnant 5 years ago (nesting instinct took over i guess.) i started out small with simple chicken recipes and now i fancy myself pretty good. i've even had 2 dinner parties. and no one got food poisoning.

if you ever want any good, easy recipes let me know.

AJ said...

I wish you would have inserted a hyperlink for the word 'tatertot' for me. They're yet to hit the Australian market...

I recommend a vegemite sandwich. Vegemite is filled with some serious vitamins:

Just one slice of bread spread with vegemite has 50% of recommended daily intake of thiamine (B1), 25% RDI of niacin (B3), 25% RDI of riboflavin (B2) and 50% RDI of folate.

Also, vegemite is virtually fat free and low in kilojoules, supplying only 40kj per teaspoon and less than 1g of fat per 100g.

Okay, so I stole this information from and I still can't convince non-Australians to eat it!?! :-)

And I really don't know what a tatertot is...

stilettoheights said...

wow, besides the meat it sounds wonderful, now...I must get the bf to make this for me, I have been forbidden from using the oven in our house...

rachel said...

i will absolutely HAVE to make this - brian loves tator tots!

the fanny said...

That looks like some seriously delicious comfort food! Yums!

Ashley said...

That sounds yummy! I can't cook for the life of me (or more like i don't LIKE to cook. I will not be one of those mothers who make big elaborate meals--i can hear my mom crying right now) so i'm always looking for EASY recipes! One I used to always make that also involves lots of cheese is Tuna Casserole. So yummy!

Boil macaroni pasta (about 2 cups or 1 package)
Grease casserole dish and combine the pasta with the following ingredients and stir together:
-2 cups grated cheddar cheese
-1/2 cup of finely chopped onions (i skip this)
-1 Can of drained tuna
-1 can of cream of mushroom
-1 soup can full of milk.

Just stir together, put in the oven uncovered preheated at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Sooooo easy to make! And the leftovers? last for days. (which is also why i love this dish--who else doesn't love microwaving their dinner?!) I'm definately going to have to try yours! Let me know if you try mine and what you think! :)

Angela said...

That sounds so yummy! I have an awesomely easy enchilada recipe that I can send you when I get home. I make it pretty much anytime we have people over for dinner and it always gets rave reviews!