life on the funny farm

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Kid-friendly, budget-friendly, Clock-friendly Dinner

A few nights ago, I made one of my Mom's old stand-by recipes for dinner. It's a very basic, nothin' fancy recipe, but it was quick, it was cheap, it was tasty. What's not to like?

I tweaked things a bit to make a larger pan, but otherwise....


1 "family size" box of macaroni and cheese, plus about 1/2 box of elbow macs
1 1/2 c butter
1c milk
2T dried onion flakes
Dash garlic powder
Salt and pepper
1lb ground beef
small can tomato sauce
Grated cheddar cheese

Prepare the family-size box of mac and cheese (plus the 1/2 box of elbows), with the butter and milk amounts above. Add in the seasonings.

While that's cooking, brown the ground beef, then drain off the fat.

Add the beef and tomato sauce to the mac and cheese, stirring gently.

Pour into 13 x 9 pan, cover with grated cheese, and sprinkle with dried parsley.

Cover loosely with foil and warm in 350 oven for a few minutes. Or prepare in advance and cook in oven for about 1/2 hour.

Serve with a salad and some Italian bread.

Basically, this is homemade Hamburger Helper, only it's cheaper and healthier. I fed my family of 8 for about $10, give or take.

Plus, it's usually stuff you have in your kitchen already. So when it's 6:00 and the kids are all crying
"What's for dinner????"

Now you know.

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Never got around to taking a picture, but found one online that looked similar at

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