Monday, November 10, 2008

My Second All-Time Favorite Quick Hamburger Recipe ( I Cannot Deny That Spaghetti Is My #1)

Taco Casserole

So, if you use recipes, you're probably gonna have to look this one up for amounts. If you cook like my mom, you'll insist that Jiffy cornbread mix is nasty and you'll have to make a batch of cornbread batter from scratch. Me? I don't like to use recipes unless I'm baking cake or cookies or bread or need to make pie crust. Otherwise, for "food" food, not desserts, I like to just throw everything together from memory and/or according to whim.
This is what my brain can remember of the original recipe for this Taco Casserole. Mix up a box of Jiffy cornbread mix (yum! I happen to love sweet cornbread best!). Brown one pound of hamburger meat, drain grease off, and stir in a package of taco seasoning (which usually calls for some water, too). Spray or grease the bottom of a skillet or baking dish. Put part of the cornbread mix on the bottom of the skillet. Layer your taco seasoned hamburger over that cornbread. Add a layer of shredded cheddar cheese on top of the hamburger, and then top the cheese with the rest of the cornbread. Bake in 400 degree oven for approximately 20-25 minutes. Serve with salsa.
Little variations that taste good:
  • add chopped red bell pepper or green onion or both to the cornbread mix
  • add a thin layer of whole kernel corn
  • use a cheddar jack or other "mexican" mix of shredded cheese instead of plain cheddar
  • instead of a single skillet, use muffin tins to make handy sandwich style servings
  • eat the cold leftovers for breakfast :)

There ya have it. Now ya know that ugly truth about me in the kitchen-- I don't mind using things from a box, even though I know from scratch can usually be healthier, and I consider a cookbook a source of great suggestions, not a step-by-step instruction book.

You know what, now that I think about it, I'm this way about most instructions, unless I'm learning to use a power tool for the first time-- I find that reading first is a small price to pay to keep my fingers ;-)

I've been thinking about this because I would like to teach lampworking classes or workshops once the kids are a bit bigger. Do you think my laid back style would go over well with someone who's forked out money for a class? I can't see myself doing a specific step-by-step lesson with a predictable result. . .I *can* picture myself demonstrating a sculpture, talking about the possible variations as I work, and then coaching my students as they work on their own sculptures. You wanna learn to sculpt a frog or a fish? Well, let's google some images of real and cartoon versions and sketch the main lines of the form. Then, we'll take it to the torch and work it out. You wanna make your own take on the human form? Let me give you all the hints I can, whether they are ones I can do or ones I wish I could do, and then sit at your elbow and tell you what I see happening as you sculpt it.

Yep, I torch like I cook (and no comments from the peanut gallery about my cooking just because I don't like to fry everything, Bubby). . .don't know what that means for the future, but at least I have a pretty good understanding of how I operate :-)

Hmmm, all this talk about "cooking" glass makes me wish I could head to the torch right this minute! Toodles for now! Hope your Monday has been a good one and that your Tuesday is even better!


rosebud101 said...

The "recipe" looks great, Ang! You cook like I do. I like your idea of teaching too. That would be my kind of class. Very random, lots of play, and down right fun!

Kim said...

I'm going to have to try this one! I am usually a "by the book" person when it comes to cooking..otherwise it turns out bad...very bad. (and sometimes it still does!)

Diana Ferreira said...

Ange, if you teach sculpture, I think that the class needs to be more 'free' in appraoch, rather than a rule book of must's and must not's.

If I took a class with you, I do not want to reproduce a Bitchalina, but rather learn how to work with the glass in a sculptural manner. You know, all the behind the scene stuff - eg how to maintain a happy soft glass while working in the flame kinda thing. Prepwork for sculpting, where to you start, eg. And that is my 2 cents worth!

Studio Marcy - Marcy Lamberson said...

I think if you teach sculpture that perhaps male models might be a fun twist, eh? (I'll help you choose)

Capt Elaine Magliacane said...

I'd LOVE your classes, because I'm the student, that you say use blue paint... and a slather on hot pink instead... DON't TELL ME what to do... I've made this before... but did you know, if you put the whole batch of cornbread in the pan... hollow out the middle, dump your meat and cheese in when the corn bread rises it'll cover the stuff in the middle without any fuss from you at all... that's how I make it anyway... I like chopped Jalapenos in it too.

angelinabeadalina said...

Hey, Elaine, I never thought to dump everything in the middle and let the cornbread wrap itself around it...and I always wish I had more cornbread to finish covering the top. I'll remember to do that next time :)