Friday, May 2, 2014

DIY Bacon Cheeseburger Hamburger Helper

When I first moved out on my own I don't think I really knew how to cook much. I've always loved both baking and cooking, but I admit I ate my fair share of convenience and packaged foods. My husband and I had our oldest daughter when we were both sophomores in high school; my mom recently told me she was a little worried about what we would be eating on a daily basis when we did finally get a place of our own!

Hamburger helper wasn't something I really ever liked, but because it was cheap and didn't involve much preparation, I do recall making it every so often. But things have changed, I've grown up, matured and my food views have changed a lot.

Fast forward to today, I honestly don't think I could even choke down hamburger helper. But this homemade version, not that's another story. It's made with real ingredients and flavored with real spices instead of preservatives. What's better yet is I was able to use up some leftover ground beef and bacon that we had sitting in the fridge. Yay for not wasting!

DIY Bacon Cheeseburger Hamburger Helper

1/2 lb. ground beef
4 slices bacon
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp  butter
1 tbsp flour
2 cups milk
1/2 cup water
3 cups elbow macaroni, cooked al dente
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper, to taste
1-1/4 cup Monterrey and cheddar cheese, grated

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon slices until crisp. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels to drain grease. Add in garlic and let saute for about one minute. Then add in ground beef and let cook until no longer pink and crumbled. Drain and then set aside.

In the same skillet, melt butter and then add in flour. Stir together well and let cook for a minute. Then whisk in milk and water.

Crumble bacon. Add pasta, hamburger and bacon into skillet and stir to combine. Add in all spices, then sprinkle with cheese and stir until melted through. Taste and add in additional seasonings if needed. Serve warm with additional cheese or bacon if desired.


We've got quite the exciting evening going on in our house. Our oldest daughter will be off to her 8th grade dance and I keep thinking where does the time go, she can't possibly be old enough for all of this. While the rest of us will be attending an end-of-the-year bowling banquet for the other two girls. Our first grader will be graduating tonight to the next level, sporting a cap and gown and all! I'm sure some pics will follow in the next few days.

Also, stay tuned for a virtual baby shower on Monday! Some fellow Iowa bloggers and I are hosting a shower for our friend Ally from Ally's Sweet and Savory Eats. She's due any day now with baby #3, a girl! I'm so excited and can't wait to share all of these amazing goodies with you. Have a great weekend!

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