Friday, August 2, 2013

V is for Variation and Vegetables

I decided to make some Hamburger Helper Cheeseburger Macaroni, but I didn't want just what I'd get from the box. I also was going to use more than a pound of hamburger, so I grabbed a box of Larry the Cable Guy's Bacon Mac-n-Cheese to expand the quantity as well as a can of corn and a can of tomatoes with mild green chiles. Of course, the box of mac-n-cheese had "liquid" cheese in it instead of powdered like the Helper, so I had to change things a bit in how I put it together. I also increased the quantity of water the Helper called for because I was going to be adding more uncooked macaronis to the pan.

I browned the meat and added the cup of hot water plus the pasta. Then I added the two cups of milk plus the cheese seasoning mix. Realizing I'd need more water to cook more pasta, I added another almost two cups of water. In hindsight, maybe half of that should have been milk for more flavor. But it still turned out OK. When the pasta was all cooked, I added the can of tomatoes with mild green chiles (think Rotel mild) and a can of corn that I had drained. I stirred it all together and then opened the package of "liquid" cheese from the second box into the mixture and stirred it until that had melted into everything. (If you've seen Cheez Whiz, you know what consistency I'm talking about.) I let it simmer on the very lowest flame I could (and the pasta STILL stuck to the pan!) and finally turned it off and served myself a bowl. I texted my daughter to come eat, too. I had made so much.

We have often added vegetables to our Hamburger Helper. It saves on having multiple pans that

need to be washed afterwards. Our favorite veggies to add are: tomatoes, corn and green beans. I wouldn't mind adding limas, but Deb's not a fan. Broccoli is also a possibility, but I'd probably have to partially cook that before adding it because HH is a quick meal and broccoli isn't quite as quick to cook.

By the way, despite my love of bacon, this particular kind of thing with added "smokey bacon flavor" is NOT improved by the addition. I'm glad I opted to add other items to the combination. 

But, that's where my variation and vegetables come from for this A to Z Challenge!

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