The weather seems to have gone crazy lately. It has been beautifully warm like the summer was supposed to be. Yet, it has been crazy cold at times. A slight taste of what is to come?
I have been at the grocery store for quite a bit lately to pick up those one or two items that always seem to only be on sale near the beginning of school. My son loves the Capri Sun drinks and he is allowed to take one a day for lunch with a bottle of water. Normally, I can find them on sale for about $1.49 a box but the week school starts they are usually $.99 a box. So, I buy 25 boxes of them to hopefully last to Christmas Break.
But, what I have been noticing overall is that the prices have crept up $.10 to $.50 an item on many of the staples I regularly purchase. Flour, milk, butter, eggs, cheese, meat…. even the rock bottom sale prices I used to regularly be able to find have risen. I have refused for years to pay more than $3.00 a pound for meat, hence why we very rarely have steak, but it looks like my price point may have to rise a bit to $3.25 or $3.50. Adding a dime or two on one or two items is not such a big deal but when it seems to be across the board it adds up quickly to $10.00 – $20.00 more per shopping trip.
So, I am being extra careful not to waste food. I had 2 lbs. of red potatoes in the bottom of my cupboard that needed to be used . They needed to be cooked today or there was a good chance I would need to throw them into the garbage. Not wanting to do this I started searching for something to make that would be easy to cook and would also use the ground beef my daughter had taken out of the freezer last night.
I seem to be on a comfort food streak lately. Creamy and cheesy seem like the words that describe several of our dinners lately. This one was no different.
This was a hit. My son kept saying it tasted like Hamburger Helper only better. That is his version of a compliment. It was cheesy, with lots of hamburger and potatoes to bulk it up. There was just enough left for two lunch servings the next day and both of those were quickly claimed before the end of dinner.
I served this with a side of warm bread and butter and a green salad.
- 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
- 2 lbs. red potatoes, cut into 1/4″ cubes
- 3 cups water
- 3 TBSP chicken bouillon (you may use low sodium chicken stock in place of the bouillon and water to reduce the sodium)
- 1 onion, diced finely
- ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tsp Morton Season Salt
- 4 TBSP butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 1/2 cups fat-free half and half
- 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 4 oz Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
- parsley for garnish, if desired
- Brown ground beef in a large saucepan over medium heat. Break ground beef into small pieces with the spoon as it cooks. Drain the fat off the ground beef and set aside the meat.
- In saucepan melt 1 TBSP butter, over medium heat, and then add onion and Morton Season Salt. Cook until onion starts to become translucent.
- To saucepan add water, bouillon, potatoes and ground beef. Stir well and allow the mixture to come to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the temperature to medium once it boils and allow to cook 10-15 minutes until potatoes are fork tender.
- In a small skillet melt the 3 remaining TBSP of butter over medium heat. Add the flour and stir 3-5 minutes. The flour will start to thicken, bubble and turn a golden brown. Remove from heat and add to soup.
- Stir in half and half and cheeses. Stir until cheese has melted through. Taste and add black pepper or Morton Season Salt as needed. If soup is too thick add a bit of half and half until it reaches desired consistency.
- Sprinkle with parsley when serving if desired.