October 05, 2011

Comfort food - Cinnamon Raisin Bread and Tater Tot Casserole

You know when you have one of those days where you just want to sleep?  Today was one of those days for me. It started yesterday night, my infant son did not want to sleep more then 20 minutes at a time so I decided, since I was up I might as well make something. I didn’t want to go all out baking so I used my bread machine to make some dough then I rolled it out and added butter, sugar, cinnamon and raisins then let it rise for a couple hours. By then it was 5am and my husband was getting ready for work. He was bummed that it was not baked yet at that point. After he left I baked it and then added some butter and brown sugar on top to caramelize.

Later in the day, after I finally got some sleep, I started reminiscing about fall weather foods. Pot pie, pot roast, and casseroles. Growing up we were not rich and not really poor either, but my mom made due with what we had using the food that was cheap but filling. One of the dishes that I always think of is tater tot casserole. It is really simple to make and can feed a family with little money and not a lot of ingredients.

To make it here is what you will need:
1- 1 1/2 lbs  Ground Beef or Ground Turkey
1/2 C           Minced Onion
1 Pkg          Brown Gravy mix
Spices as desired- I recommend pepper, seasoning salt and paprika
2 - 10 3/4oz  Cans of Cream of Mushroom soup ( My mom recommends Golden Mushroom, but you can use Cream of Chicken if you don't like mushrooms like me)
1/4 C         Evaporated Milk (You can use any type if you don't have that)
1 Pkg        Tater Tots Frozen (You can use hash browns in a pinch)
1 C            Shredded cheese for the top (opt.)

Brown the meat with the onion and spices, drain off any fat then spread in the bottom of a 9X13" baking dish. Wisk together the two cans of soup, packet of gravy mix and 1/4 C milk then pour over the meat. Layer the frozen tater tots evenly across your dish. If you run out you can use hash brown like I had to.

Bake at 400 F Degrees for 30-40 mins. Top with shredded cheese if desired. Serves 4-8 people.

My mom would also get tricky and sneak in a can or two of green beans on the bottom layer to make us eat our vegetables. But no matter what you put in it, just eating it brings back good memories. My husband and I were just disscussing that same idea the other day. How food is such a powerful part of who we are as people and a culture. Something as simple as food is enough to evoke emotion, memories and a sence of belonging. My suggestion to anyone that is having a bad day is just make something to remind yourself of who you are and where
you come from.

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1 comment:

  1. *** Only one thing, slightly cook the hashbrowns before you put it on top !!!