Friday, January 29, 2010

Homemade Hamburger Helper

Let me just say first today, that I'm not against putting hamburger helper on your table every now and then. I'm not one of those women who look down on others if you use a box out of the pantry to get a meal on the table. I reason that hamburger or chicken helper is probably better than the drive through anyway as long as you serve a salad or veggie on the side. I gave up on perfectionism a long, long time ago and my mantra concerning meals is 'whatever works'! Plus, I found out after slaving over things like homemade macaroni and cheese that my kids really like boxed better.

Yes, it was a humbling experience to realize that Kraft macaroni and cheese was loved and mamma's homemade was not but I came to understand that 'whatever works' is sometimes good enough. My daughter came home from a friends house raving about the mac and cheese. 'The best ever', was the exact wording. I casually asked a few days later for the recipe and the mom started laughing hysterically and said 'it's Kraft'! I realized then and there that gourmet is sometimes lost on the young.

If you are a box reader like me, you're probably wondering how I get around all the sodium inside that little blue box. Well, I tell you, I first thought I'd be sneaky and buy a box mac and cheese but only buy an organic, whole wheat, good-for-you, taste like wallpaper paste brand that cost six times as much. It was a no-go at my house! So now I'll let you in on my dirty little secret....I only use half the package of powdered cheese! No one knows but me and I use the rest later to season rice or veggies! No one said a mom can't resort to underhandedness to save my famililes health!

Once I was able to pull that off and had no mutiny, I decided to try it in some of the other boxed meals. Worked like a charm! I do use the rest of the packet in brown rice for later meals. I also always add extra frozen veggies to the skillet after I add the seasonings and liquid. Now my kids think I'm really cool because I let them have hamburger helper sometimes and what they don't know, won't hurt them!

Tomorrow, I'll give you a recipe for homemade hamburger helper. It doesn't have all the salt and preservatives and is loved at my house. I call it mom's hamburger helper and no one knows it doesn't come out of a box! Hey, at my house, coming out of a box is exciting! (at least to the kids)

Look outside today and really see the gifts of nature that are around you! Little blessings really add up!

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