February 11, 2012

Dinner With George

Aunt Dawn text me a new recipe the other day.  After a busy week and a busy Saturday, I wanted an easy recipe for dinner tonight.  Enter, Tater Tot Casserole.  I made a few alterations to the recipe.  For ten minutes work to produce two 10x13 pans of deliciousness.  This will stay in our quick dinner repertoire.

The recipe called for  1 pound of ground beef browned with a chopped onion.  In the freezer I already had cooked ground beef flavored with taco seasoning.  We love Mexican so this was a great addition.  My recipe for taco meat is below.  Alternately, you could do the meat plain as the recipe calls for, add a package of taco seasoning, or use some other meat seasoning to suit your families taste.

In the casserole dish put your meat and onions.  I added 1 bag of frozen peas (thawed in the microwave), 1 can of mushrooms (drained) and a 1/2 pound of carrots (peeled and cubed).  You could easily use any vegetables you have on hand.

Dawn's recipe called for a can of cream of mushroom and a can of milk.  I used a can of sour cream in place of the milk..

After stirring well, I topped it with a layer of cheddar cheese.  My family loves cheese on anything!

The last step was to top with Tater Tots.  Now, I must admit, this was a funny thing, as Tater Tots are not something you usually see on our dinner menu.  But that's what the recipe called for.  So on went the Taters. I think hash browns or potatoes O'Brien would be good, too.

Then it went in the oven at 400 degrees until good and bubbly.

It was super delicious.  When making a soup or a casserole, I like to always make two.  It is no more work and then I have a second dinner ready to go when it gets busy during the week.

Now the family wanted to know what this new marvel was called.  I told them Tater Tot casserole.  Some people, I won't mention any names, said that it needed a new name.  Someone suggested George.  And well, there you have it.  Please do come to our table often. 

Taco Meat

Brown 1 pound ground beef.

Add:  1 teaspoon instant minced onion, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon corn starch, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper, 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano.

Add some water and stir well.  Bring to boil and simmer a few minutes until thickened.  
I make large batches of this seasoning at a time using the nice big containers of spices you can buy at Sam's club.  It's always ready in my cupboard.  This cost significantly less than those envelopes you buy at the grocery store.  To substitute just use 1 batch of this mix or, if you prepare large batches, use 5 Tablespoons to each pound of meat or beans.

Great for all Mexican dishes, beans, casseroles, soups... cooked up a bunch and freeze in one pound packages to have on hand for all your recipes calling for cooked ground beef.


  1. Mmm, that looks so yummy! Thank you for sharing it with us, Mrs. Wachter. :)

    Elizabeth Rose

    p.s. I love the new name. :P

  2. Haha! I love it. :) Looks delicious.


  3. I think there are a lot of variations to this particular dish. Of course the Duggars made it popular on their show, but we had a recipe variation before then. A friend of mine gave it to me; the ground beef, can of mushroom soup, tator tots, and cheese are all we use. I never thought of adding the veggies to it, we just always had them on the side. And of course we had to double everything, lol. We love this recipe too. :)