noun: a small piece or amount of something, esp. one that is left over after the greater part has been used.
synonyms: noun: fragment - piece - bit - shred

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Casserole, Casserole, How Do I Love Thee?...

Hello, Happy Sunday and Welcome to the Farm!  I hope your past week was wonderful to you and that this coming week is the same! In our neck of the woods we have had snow, rain, wind and even some sunshine.  It's certainly been an interesting week for changing weather, and I'm told by the (not always accurate) weatherman that this week will be the same.  Well now, isn't that just grand!  Considering that last week my driveway got washed away, I'm pretty sure I'm not excited about this week's coming weather.

With the dreary weather; the ever-present cold; the getting up at 5:00 am and leaving by 6:00 am to get to physical therapy; pain associated with said physical therapy and the change that daylight savings time brought to us, I have been dog tired.  You know, that tired that really isn't sleepy tired, but just blah and no oomph tired? The kind of tired that makes you cranky.  It's dark when I leave and it's cold all day long.  Really?  Who wants to deal with that?  Not me.  Oh, heck no!  Add in the extra interest of me doing my old job AND learning a new one and you have one girl who is just glad to get home at night.  And, when I get home, I'm usually starving!

With hubby working on the barn at an incessantly insane pace, neither one of us has been particularly handy in the kitchen lately.  As much as I love to cook, there just isn't the energy or the interest for it.  Hey, I can't do it all!  I've got to have time to craft, don't I?  Well, DON'T I?  We just look at each other and groan that SOMETHING  has to be eaten for dinner, but neither one of us has a clue.  Go figure.  You'd think that in a house of just two adults, we could figure it out.  Uh, nope.  Ain't happenin' folks.  Just ain't happenin'.  Well, ALMOST ain't happenin'.  :) We do have our old stand-by foods that save us from starvation (thank the heavens!) and turning into flesh colored skeletons.  One of those is the ever-lovely and stupendously easy to make Tater Tot Casserole.  

Now, before you go rolling up your noses (like I did the first time I'd ever heard of it), think about this.  It's EASY.  It's GOOD.  It's fairly QUICK.  It's WARM AND CHEESY GOOEY. It's INEXPENSIVE.  And, best of all, it only has 5 INGREDIENTS.  Now, that's my kind of dinner!  Top it off with a salad and some garlic bread and you're good to go.  Really, it's that simple.

Hubby and I will sometimes decide to have this even if the weather isn't miserable. It's just one of those comfort-type foods, like soup or macaroni and cheese.  Makes you feel all warm and cozy inside, and satisfied.  It doesn't take much to fill you up and it's really delicious.  Everyone has a different way of making this dish and just about everyone puts some little added touch of their own into it.  I personally like it just the way it is in the recipe I'm going to give you, but you can add just about anything you want.  So versatile.  This is how I make mine:


1 32 oz pkg frozen tater tots
2 lbs lean ground beef
2 (10.75 oz) cans cream of mushroom soup
1 soup can of milk
Grated cheese (whatever kind and amount you prefer)

Bake the tater tots according to package directions (hubby likes to have them baked crisp so I leave them in a little longer) in a 9x13 inch pan.  While tots are baking, brown the ground beef; drain and add cream of mushroom soup and milk.  Cook until mixed through and bubbling.  Pour ground beef mixture on top of tater tots and top with cheese; place in oven (reduced to 350 degrees after tots are taken out) and bake until bubbling on sides and cheese is melted, about 20 minutes.  

Note:  I have added garlic, onion and different things at times, but I still love this original kind of mellow casserole.  I have also used ground turkey and mozzarella cheese for a super mellow flavor if I am making a spicier bread or salad to go with it. 

Speaking of comfort foods and dinner, I think I just may fix this tonight.  Enjoy!!


  1. HI! I am coming over to say THANK YOU SO MUCH for your sweet lil note about my bathroom makeover! It makes my day when I can inspire someone, or even just get a 'job well done'!
    Thanks again!

  2. Thanks for popping in Andrea!! Come back again! :)

  3. Thanks for stopping by my blog and thank you! This would probably be right up DH's alley. Anything with ground beef and cream of mushroom soup is always welcomed on his plate! :)

    1. Tracy, this really is good! Try it! :) Thanks so much for dropping in!

  4. Who doesn't like a hearty casserole? Very nice. Love the farm too.

  5. Exactly! Casseroles are so nice, especially when you're short on time or it's cold outside. Thanks Jay!

  6. Tater Tot "Hot Dish" is a tried and true favorite recipe here in MN...can't beat it :)
    Thanks for your sweet comment!!! Enjoy the rest of your weekend! Chat soon, Laurel

  7. Thanks for coming by Laurel! I love your blog and am so honored that you came to look.

  8. Happy Sunday to you as well! My family would be very excited to have this come out of our oven!!! YUMMMO!!! Have a wonderful, wonderful Sunday!

  9. Thank you Blesid! Your family will love it! Thanks so much for dropping in!

  10. I often wonder if my daughter would eat this? I can't get her to eat tater tots though, bummer, but this sounds delicious!

  11. It doesn't taste like tater tots once you get everything in it. :) Thanks for coming over! Hope to see you again. :)