Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Day 5: Southwestern Casserole & You Can't Please them All

Strange title for a blog post, you say?  Maybe, but I try to be honest here and, well, it's true, you can't.  Any time you cook something you're taking a gamble that your crowd will like it.  This is what happened with our dinner last night when I made this casserole.  I loved it.  My husband said there was absolutely nothing about it that he liked.  I encouraged our children to be grateful that we had food to eat and so they shouldn't complain.  While attempting to not be frustrated with my husband for having different tastebuds than my own, I also tried convincing him to like it by saying that I had been so frugal in making it.  That didn't work; he still doesn't like it.  Did he eat it?  Yes, he did.  I know better than to try and serve him any leftovers.  

So, why did I love it when he hated it?  Chili is one of my favorite dishes to eat in the fall (and if you're looking for a GREAT recipe, check out my sister's blog for her favorite).  My husband doesn't care for it.  This casserole is basically chili in casserole form, with a few added ingredients, which is why I think it's wonderful.

To add to its wonderfulness (this must be a word because spell check didn't underline it), it is packed with protein and is quite inexpensive to make.  AND, the recipe makes two casseroles, so you can add one to your freezer for later.  (Based upon the previous paragraph, I suppose this is not a positive thing in my case).  But for you chili lovers it will be great!  

It's impossible to please everyone all the time with everything that comes from your kitchen, and that's okay.  Don't let the possibility of being a 'failure' keep you from branching out with new things.  Push yourself to be creative in the kitchen and you'll find some great recipes that you and others will love, but remember you can't please them all. 

Southwestern Casserole

1 package (7 ounces) elbow macaroni
2 pounds ground beef (I only used 1.5 pounds and it was fine)
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans (14.5-ounces each) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (16 oz) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
1 can (4 oz) chopped green chiles, drained
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese, or mixture of Colby/Jack

Cook macaroni according to package directions.  Meanwhile, in large saucepan, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink.  Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.  Drain.  Stir in the tomatoes, beans, tomato paste, chiles and seasonings.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Drain macaroni; stir into beef mixture. 

Transfer to two greased 2-quart baking dishes.  Top with cheese.  Cover and bake at 375F for 30 minutes.  Uncover; bake 10 minutes longer or until bubbly and heated through.  

If freezing one, cook it first, then, cool it, cover and freeze it for up to 3 months.  When ready to use, thaw in the refrigerator for 8 hours.  Cover and bake at 375F for 20-25 minutes or until heated through.

source: Taste of Home, Fall Freezer Meals, 2011


  1. This sounds like something I would love! I'm sorry not everyone else did :( That is so frustrating when that happens!! I always feel like quitting after Caleb doesn't like something I've made but then I realize I just have to get over it. I laughed at the part that you said this makes two casseroles to freeze one but guess that isn't so great for you! Haha!

  2. I think my husband I would both love this! I love southwestern style food! And no you sure can't please them all!

  3. Too funny! U move dishes like that and could probably eat the entire thing myself. But Jon never likes them. Oh, well more for me:)

  4. This sounds really good. I think both my husband and I will like this. I also liked that you put a link to your sisters chili receipe. I like chili and I really wanted an easy receipe. Thanks!


I would love to get your feedback on any post! Comments make my day, and I will do my best to get back with you as soon as I can. Thanks!