You heard that right! It’s a 2 for! 2 recipes for one blog post!
I got so creative this week, that I cooked dinner and a warm dessert! Go me! I had just planned to cook dinner, but then Cooking Light had to go and post this delicious looking berry dessert and I couldn’t resist. I just had to make it.
So to start first with dinner, Beef, Cheese, and Noodle Bake from Cooking Light also.
We bought some really good ground beef from the Fresh Market this week (on sale!) so I found this recipe while searching for something different to cook. We usually tend to stick with spaghetti or tacos when we have beef.
I started the pasta water and then worked on sautéing the onions and carrots first, adding the garlic after a few minutes. I added in the beef, cooking it until it started to crumble. I added in the tomato sauce, salt and pepper and let that cook down until it just started to thicken. I drained the macaroni once it was finished and added it to the meat mixture, mixing it all together. Boy did it smell good!!
I spooned the pasta mix into a casserole dish and let it sit for a minute while I made a slurry with the milk, flour, nutmeg and the remaining salt, combining it into a sauce pan and letting it thicken up while I whisked it. I added in a cup of cheese and stirred it until it was melted and smooth. I poured cheesy goodness over the pasta in the casserole dish. Finally topped it all with remaining shredded cheese and put it in the oven to melt and brown. It looked awesome when I pulled it from the oven; super bubbly and cheesy. We couldn’t wait to dig in!
PROS: This was a great alternative for us instead of our usual spaghetti or tacos when we buy beef. It was a pretty easy dish to make too! I could see us pre-making everything on a Sunday and storing it in the fridge to cook on Monday. It tasted awesome! It was cheesy but not overkill. Adding in the slurry helped to thicken it without making it heavy, actually. A definite comfort food and would be great in the winter. We had a ton of leftovers which became lunches for the rest of the week. Huge plus! This will definitely make it’s way into our rotation!
CONS: Honestly, the only thing that I’d suggest would be to add a bit more salt. We just seasoned our dishes to taste when we served them. I think I’d add in some red pepper flakes next time too just to add another dimension to it.
Now onto dessert! The good stuff!
I love when I’m scanning through Facebook and Cooking Light posts something that just makes me want to cook it right then. That’s what happened with this recipe! With the blueberries and blackberries being so amazingly good right now, it was the perfect thing to make. I picked up the berries while shopping for our dinners this week. I didn’t find raspberries, so I just opted for just the black and blueberries for the compote. I washed all the berries and put them into our smaller sized crockpot. I added in the orange juice (no pulp!) and sugar and placed it on high and let it cook for 2 hours. About 15 minutes out from serving it, I mixed cornstarch and water and added that to the crockpot to help thicken up the sauce. I let it cook until it thickened up pretty good. We scooped out the warm yummy sauce and put it over pieces of cake. It was scrumptious!
PROS: Easy, so so easy! What’s better than throwing everything in the crockpot and letting it do the work for you! It is the perfect dessert to make anytime and would be awesome to make for guests or for an occasion where you needed to take a dessert. We love our smaller crockpot for that reason and have taken warm dips to parties before and this would be just the right recipe for make-your-own dessert. The gooey goodiness with the berries, with just a hint of citrus from the oj, make it just the right balance with the cake. I wish I would have bought some whipped cream to top them with! Seriously amazing!
Follow Runner Girl in a Rocking World