Corned Beef Casserole

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corned beef casserole

Estimated Cost:  $8.00

Prep Time:  10 minutes

Baking Time:  1 hour

Serves:  4

A casserole I remember fondly from my childhood.  Easy to make and guaranteed to make your family smile when you serve it!

6 oz. egg noodles, cooked
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup milk
1 can corned beef, broken up
1 cup shredded cheese
breadcrumbs or crushed potato chips
1 Tbs. finely chopped green pepper (optional)

1.  Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Place mixed ingredients into a greased 2-quart casserole dish. Top with breadcrumbs or crushed potato chips.

3. Bake for one hour.

Mike’s Comments: I’ve made this with just about every type of shredded cheese and it is always delicious. For an extra special casserole I break 4 pieces of bread in to small pieces and pan fry them in butter for the topping.


Recipe: Kenny Rogers’ Ice and Fire Chili

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Kenny Rogers Fire and Ice ChiliEstimated Cost:  $15.00

Prep Time:  20 minutes

Cook Time:  2 hours

Serves:  10

Served this at my first MtG home tournament.  Not a speck left!

1 can (20 oz.) pineapple chunks in syrup
2 lbs. lean boneless pork roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes
1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
1 can (4 oz.) diced green chili peppers
1 green pepper, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chili powder
4 tsp. ground cumin
1/3 cup jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
sliced green onion, shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream for toppings (optional)

1. Drain pineapple, reserving syrup. In a Dutch oven or large stock pot, cook pork, half at a time, in hot olive oil till brown. Return all the meat to the pot.

2. Add the first chopped onion and 1 clove garlic. Cook over medium heat till onion is tender, stirring occasionally. Add the reserved pineapple syrup, un-drained tomatoes, tomato paste, green chili peppers, green pepper, remaining onion, 2 cloves garlic, chili powder, cumin, jalapeno pepper and salt.

3. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer the chili for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

4. Add the pineapple chunks. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes more.

5. Serve with the sliced green onion, shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream, allowing guests to add their favorite toppings.

Mike’s comment’s:

~~So I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in~~

Nothing makes me happier then making a recipe I know Kenny Rogers has prepared some point in the past. I usually put on my favorite Kenny MP3s, not forgetting his work with The First Edition, and sing along as I cook.

Being the nerd, fantasy-fanboy that I am, I couldn’t resist changing the recipe title just a little. I had to tip the hat to Game of Thrones by transposing the Fire and Ice in the original recipe title.

My favorite part of this recipe is something I wrote down over 15 years ago, it was barely legible: “Kenny adds 2 more tablespoons of the jalapeno pepper to really light folks up.” As if he and I were personal friends, right? LOL.

Recipe: Easy Clam Cheese Dip

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Clam Cheese DipEstimated Cost:  $6.00

Prep Time:  10 minutes

Refrigeration Time:  2 hours

Serves:  8

I stumbled across this super-easy and equally affordable dip in one of my Mom’s oldest cookbooks.  With a ripped off cover, and spiral bound pages half torn, out it’s still one of her favorites.  “Betty Crocker’s Guide to Easy Entertaining: How to Have Guests – And Enjoy Them” ©1959.  I love the title, it’s so Hanibal Lecter. Scores HIGH on the munchies leaderboard.

1 can (6.5 oz.) minced clams, drained
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese
1 Tbs. lemon juice
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. MSG OR Old Bay Seasoning OR garlic powder
1/8 tsp. ground pepper

1. In a medium-sized bowl mix all ingredients. Chill for 2 hours (up to overnight). Serve with your favorite chips, Fritos, Dorritos, etc.

Mike’s comment:

Elegant enough for guests, tasty enough for game night – this simple recipe from the late 50’s is timeless.

The original recipe called for “flavor extender” which I had to Google. It turns out that’s what they called MSG back in that era. MSG gets a bad rap, mostly from culinary urban legend. It’s no more dangerous then salt. Here is an interesting article about MSG if you are interested:

Recipe: Wisconsin Cheese Sausage Soup


Wisconsin Cheese Sausage SoupEstimated Cost:  $10.00

Prep Time:  10 minutes

Cook Time:  20 minutes

Serves:  8

I’m “lifting” this recipe directly from my groovy “Hillshire Farm Cookbook” that was published to recently celebrate their 75th year of business.  I love their products and this soup is incredible.


1 pkg. (13 oz.) Hillshire Farm Beef Smoked Sausage
1/2 cup butter
1 med. onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups milk
3/4 cup beer
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1 bay leaf
2 cups (8 oz.) shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded Swiss cheese

1. Cut sausage into 1/2-inch cubes. Cook sausage in a 3-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes or until lightly browned. Drain sausage on paper towels and set aside.

2. In same pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, carrots and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, 3-4 minutes or until tender. Add flour and cook, stirring continuously, 1 minute.

3. Add chicken broth, milk, beer, Worcestershire sauce, salt, mustard, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil stirring constantly. Cook and stir 1 minute. Remove and discard bay leaf.

4. Slowly add both cheeses, stirring until melted and smooth. Stir in cooked sausage and heat through, about 3 minutes.

Mike’s comments:

Just before serving, sprinkle just a little more shredded Cheddar cheese on top of each bowl of soup. Serve with the rest of the beer!