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My Favorite Foods

I don't always get to do it, but I like to take most Sundays and cook ahead for the week.  I've started back at teaching, all of my kids are back to school, and tomorrow starts after school practices.  I don't know about your kids but mine are usually starving when practice is over.  We always have the standby peanut butter in the cabinet or ham and cheese but my son loves hot meals after a workout.  I try to come up with things I can use one or two types of meat each week and build meals off of that.
76-This week I chose hamburger.  It's versatile and quick to cook out and can really be stretched a long way if needed.  I ended up cooking 6 pounds of hamburder and it may only last us until Thursday if the girls decide to pack these meals in their school lunches.

Menu for the week:
Homemade Hamburger Helper
Creamy Crock Pot Spaghetti
Super Nachos
Chocolate Chip Cookies

I got all my ingredients at the store today.

Spaghetti noodles
3 jars spaghetti sauce, I prefer Prego
6 pounds ground beef, (my parents raise the beef for us so we already have this in our freezer)
4 oz. Cream Cheese, (I used Best Choice)
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
2-3 Cups Chicken Broth
2 boxes of 18 count taco shells
2 packages of 12 count flour tortillas
1 large package of colby-monterary shredded cheese
2 bags of Santitos Tortilla Chips

I'm only going to include the recipe I tried today which is Creamy Crock Pot Spaghetti.  It is so rich and creamy and adding the chicken broth keeps it nice and moist.  What you will need to know about this recipe is that is cooks in three hours so you will need to be home to do this one or not gone all day.  I can't do most crock pot recipes anyway since I have more like 10-12 hour days gone from home.

 You pour the sauce into the bottom of your crock pot and break the spaghetti noodles up and drop them on top of the pasta sauce.  
 It calls for one pound of ground beef but we like ours chunky so I used two pounds.  I also added salt, pepper, fresh onions, and when it's almost browned garlic.  I used garlic from a jar and put a couple of tablespoons in the ground beef.   
You can find this giant jar at Sam's Club.  I believe it tastes just like fresh garlic and so much easier.  It can last about 6 months in the refrigerator.

 Dump the ground beef mixture over the noodles and pour 1/2 cup parmesan on top.  
 Chunk up 4 ounces of cream cheese over the top of the parmesan.
 Pour the second jar of pasta sauce over the cream cheese and parmesan.
Put the lid on and set it for 3 hours on high.  I had to set mine on four hours and set my timer to remember the next step.  After 3 hours give it a stir and add the third jar of pasta sauce and 1-2 cups of chicken broth and put the lid on for one more hour.  When you are finished you will have moist, creamy spaghetti.  

All the meals I mentioned above as well as this one I will serve with a vegetable or bread depending on what we have on hand.  I will also have salad and dressing on hand to serve.  The desserts will either be from a box or made ahead of time, yes I do make brownies from a box from time to time.  Once again, it depends on when I get home from running kids around, attending an events, or working late.  I thought I would at least share this recipe with you as an idea for this week.  It was delicious!

Go to the Picky Pallete to see the full recipe.  

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