Sunday, April 13, 2014

Tater Tot Casserole

Great memories were made this weekend!  Our middle daughter Bethany received her Fighting Texas Aggie 2015 Senior Ring at Texas A&M on Friday and dunked her ring with sorority sisters on Saturday night!  Getting to be foremost with all our daughters in Aggieland was wonderful in it's own right, but the added fun of getting to be around her's and some of our best friends, their sweet parents and making all those memories together will be something we will always cherish! 

Texas A&M has been college home for two of our daughters.  The years of football games and tailgates, parents' weekends, and moving them in and out of their various homes have been some of our very favorite memories.  Our favorite restaurants are there like Wings and More, La Bodega, Lane's and Chimy's.  And we enjoy The Dixie Chicken for a game of pool, and a good Aggie tent sale to buy more shirts than we will ever wear! 

We love you sweet girls.  Thanks for wanting us to be a part of your college fun weekends, being the role models you are for our little Audrey and for enriching our lives more than you will ever know! 


Tonight, as we arrived late home from Aggieland I contemplated one more meal out!  Our favorite family restaurant was calling my name as #1 I was tired and didn't feel like cooking, and #2 anytime we've been gone a while my favorite food to eat is always from there.  Feeling lazy and realizing our house guest Kyle had gone fishing on our place and Scott was busily working in our garden, I knew they'd be hungry as would our youngest thank God for the defrost button on my microwave and some frozen tater tots!  This meal was on the table in under an hour and will be great as leftovers tomorrow night when I don't feel like cooking again!

I've made this meal for years and can't believe I haven't shared it before now.  I've used ground pork  as well as beef and think ground turkey meat would be equally as good.  However, tonight I used ground beef and to be precise it was CHB, Certified Hereford Beef right off our place!  Kyle enjoyed it, as did the rest of us and I convinced him how easy it was to make!

The Ranch Kitchen's Tater Tot Casserole

2 lbs. ground beef, browned and drained
1 onion, chopped fine
1 can Campbell's Cream of Chicken Soup
1 can Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup
2 cups grated cheddar cheese or 8 slices American Cheese slices
1 cup water
1 teaspoon Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning or Allspice
1 teaspoon garlic salt
Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning, garlic salt to taste for top of casserole

Brown ground beef and chopped onion until all pink is gone and drain excess fat, if any.  Add to this both cans of soup and one can of water.  Stir well and add 1 teaspoon of Tony Chachere's Creole Cajun Seasoning and 1 teaspoon of garlic salt.

Pour this mixture in a casserole dish like a 9 x 13 Pyrex dish that has been sprayed or greased with Pam cooking spray or oil.  Sprinkle on cheese or place on 8 slices of American Cheese slices (that is what I used tonight as I was out of cheddar cheese).  Pour entire frozen package of tater tots in a layer on top of meat and cheese mixture.  Sprinkle tater tots with a small amount of Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning and garlic salt.  Place in an oven that has been preheated to 425 degrees and cook uncovered for thirty minutes or until tater tots are slightly browned! 

If you have a meat and potatoes kind of man around your house this is a sure pleaser of a meal!  It's a main dish that the most beginner of cooks can make and the most experienced will enjoy for the sure ease of it!  Enjoy! 

Cooks Note:  You can use ground pork or turkey for this family favorite meal as well.

Alise @ The Ranch Kitchen!

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