I am one of those anal retentive people who plans out their meals a week in advance. This is great for budgeting, but not so great when Mrblocko is home unexpectedly for dinner. I try to have at least one back up meal in the arsenal for surprises like this. This time, I turned to Real Mom Kitchen's Hubby's Favorite Casserole. We just happened to have all the basics lurking in the pantry. (Well, except for the ground beef. That was hiding in the back of the freezer. The pantry would be pretty stinky if we stored ground beef there.)
This dish reminded me of a baked version of Hamburger Helper. (Yeah, I am one of those freaks who LIKES Hamburger Helper.) I think it was the ground beef/noodle combo. It came together just like boxed version too, with the exception of baking it in the oven. If you were hard pressed for time you could definately skip that step. Of course, then you wouldn't get the nicely browned crunchy bits of cheese on top. That would be pretty sad.
Speaking of cheese, I had a quite a bit of random bits of leftover cheeses that were all thinking about turning green. Instead of cheddar cheese, I used Swiss, cheddar, queso quesadilla, mozzarella, and Monterrey jack. Plain cheddar, or the shredded cheese with taco seasoning mixed in would have tasted better.
I didn't have any egg noodles, so I substituted medium shells and rainbow rotini. I happened to have just enough leftover in both boxes to make up 2 cups uncooked. I was a little uneasy that they wouldn't cook up properly because they were a thicker cut of pasta. They cooked up just fine. As an added bonus Blockette liked finding the "mermaid shells" amid the twisty noodles.
Since we've been eating so much chipotle, I think our taste buds have gone haywire. I wish that I had added spices to liven up the flavor. Mrblocko doused his portion in Tabasco sauce. (P.U!)) Next time I'll add some Chili powder and cumin or Italian seasoning. I also thought that black beans would be tasty if I went the chili/cumin route. Mrblocko suggested adding fire roasted tomatoes. That would be a nice addition to either spice addition.
(Edited to add: I removed the link because there was some sort of malicious virus attached to that particular website.)