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Home and Macaroni Beef Supper

I spent the week of Thanksgiving in my childhood home. It’s been a very long time since I spent that much time at home. My family and I slept in my childhood room, which no longer resembles my childhood room. Twenty or so years ago, I never would have imagined that someday I’d be a guest in that room, along with a husband, a dog, and two little kids, with another on the way. It seems like yesterday that I was sitting on my bright pink carpet playing with Barbies and negotiating self-serving Barbie clothes trades with my sisters. It’s funny how quickly time passes and life changes.

I am fortunate to have grown up in a beautiful, wooded area, steps away from a New York State Park and the Long Island Sound. As a child, my siblings and I spent endless hours biking through the park, walking along the boardwalk, collecting rocks and shells on the beach, and precariously frolicking on the jetty. As a teen, the park provided a quiet refuge, when I needed a break from life. A hour or so on the swings or a peaceful walk on the beach would set me right as rain. I loved growing up by that park and the beach.

Fortunately, a wave of unseasonably warm weather swept through Long Island earlier in the week, creating the perfect opportunity to spend a little time in the park with the boys. We played in the playground, watched ducks swim between the reeds, and gazed at the peaceful Long Island Sound. Our afternoon at the park gave me one more thing to add to my long list of things I’m thankful for.

During our week at home, we ate like we ate when I was a child. My family rarely ate food which could be called fancy or gourmet, by any stretch of the imagination. But it was always fresh, delicious, and comforting; spaghetti and meatballs, grilled steaks with baked potatoes, baked pasta dishes, and roasted meats.

During one of our nights at home, my dad made one of his favorite weeknight meals. It’s not a recipe which I remember from my childhood, but rather a newer recipe he’s discovered since I’ve been gone. Ironically, this new recipe comes from a 1972 edition of the Better Homes and Gardens ground meat cookbook. It’s hard to beat the classics!

I’ve never had Hamburger Helper, but I’d imagine that this dish is similar, except it’s completely homemade, without all of the preservatives and excess sodium in the boxed stuff. And though I’ve never made Hamburger Helper, I can’t imagine that it would be any simpler to make than this dish is. So, when you’re looking to make a quick meal out of that ground beef you’ve got in the freezer, make this instead. It’s called Macaroni Beef Supper. You’ve got to love a dish that calls itself a supper. I know I sure do!

Macaroni Beef Supper

Adapted from the Better Homes and Garden recipe for Macaroni Beef Supper


  • 1 1/2 pounds Ground Beef
  • 1 Onion, finely chopped (Click here for my photo guide on How to Chop an Onion)
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 2 8-ounce cans Tomato Sauce
  • 1 6-ounce can Sliced Mushrooms, drained (or substitute 2 cups Fresh Mushrooms, sliced)
  • 1 pound Pasta, cooked and drained*
  • 1 Tablespoon Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Worchestershire Sauce
  • 1 1/4 cups American Cheese, chopped

*Slightly undercook the pasta, since it will have time to finish cooking with the other ingredients.


Cook the beef for a few minutes in a skillet over medium heat, using a spoon to break up the pieces. Add the onion and garlic. Continue cooking until the beef is fully cooked and the onion is tender.

Stir in the remaining ingredients, except the cheese.

Cover and simmer for 25 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of the cheese, until melted.

Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and serve.


I’m Baaaack!

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So nice to see you again! You’ve been missed.

We were away for a long weekend on Long Island to celebrate the wedding of a wonderful friend.

Our weekend had a rocky start. We ended up in the Emergency Room on Saturday morning with my littlest guy, whose allergic reaction to amoxicillin was worsening. My sweet little baby awoke covered in angry looking hives with swollen hands and feet and bright red swollen ears which protruded from his head. He was less than pleased with the visit to the ER, but the docs took good care of him and we headed back to my parents’ house with our puffy baby. A few doses of steroids, lots of extra snuggles, and an early bedtime brought the smile back to his precious face.

Snuggling my sick little guy

That evening, we enjoyed a delicious dinner with my parents and brother; grilled marinated chicken and hanger steak, corn on the cob, potato salad, and garlic bread.

Fresh herbs from the neighbor's garden, which were put to good use in the marinades and potato salad.

Sizzling chicken

Grilled hanger steak, garlic bread, corn on the cob, and potato salad

On Sunday, we attended a beautiful wedding for a beautiful globe-trotting couple. It took place on a riverboat!

The Lauren Kristy Riverboat

Bacon-wrapped pineapple - Bacon makes everything better, doesn't it??

Wedding Cupcakes!

The wedding was full of thoughtful little touches, laughter, and love. It’s evident how perfectly matched the bride and groom are. We wish them a lifetime of love and happiness.

Before we started for home on Monday morning, we met up with my Grandma for breakfast at her regular spot. I order my usual corned beef hash with two eggs over-well and rye toast. It’s always the perfect way to fill my belly for the ride home!

Now we’re back home and I’m ready to cook!

Check back later for something tasty…

New York Bacon, Egg, and Cheese on a Bagel

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I was born and raised on Long Island, New York. With countless aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, parents, and grandparents still residing on the island, there are many occasions for visits home. And, one thing makes every trip complete: Bacon, Egg, and Cheese on a New York bagel.

Here’s the catch though.  The sandwich must be prepared at the bagel shop.  Many an eager host has offered to make us bacon, egg, and cheese bagel sandwiches. I’ve got eggs, bacon, and cheese in the fridge, they say.  Just pick up the bagels and I’ll make you a sandwich. Our hearts pound a little faster and we feel flushed. How can we put this politely, without offending our gracious host? “No, no…it’s ok, we’ll just pick up the sandwiches. Thanks though!” What?  You don’t like my bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches?? Oh no. This isn’t going well.  We’ve hurt their feelings. How do we explain this? It’s just that, well, it’s just… Oh, I don’t know!  But, it’s how it has to be.

I think there’s a certain magic that happens when the egg hits the hot bagel shop griddle. Perhaps it’s the aroma of freshly baked bagels in the air? It might even have something to do with the white paper it’s so perfectly wrapped in.

Oh, and the bagels!! I hesitate to say only New York bagels, because it is not a statewide phenomenon. By New York bagels, I refer to downstate, New York City and Long Island bagels. Dense, chewy New York bagels. As a resident of Central New York, I can attest to the difference. Most bagels, outside of the downstate New York area, are more like rolls in a bagel disguise. They look like bagels, smell like bagels, and even feel like a bagel when your lips first touch the glossy exterior.  But inside, it’s just a piece of bread. So, so sad. Oddly enough, the one place that’s come closest to a New York style bagel was a small bagel shop we visited in Clearwater, Florida. Doughy and delicious bagels, with just the right amount of resistance to the bite. But, they did not make bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches. So, so sad.

So, now we’re home.  Bag of Long Island bagels in hand. Happy that we have reason to return in the near future!

The Gourmand Mom

Good food, seasoned with a dash of life

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