Leftovers…. made over!

This past week was a busy one…aren’t they usually? Monday evening, I was invited to a bunco club my sister belongs to, as they needed a substitute. It was a lot of fun as I knew almost everyone there, however, even though I didn’t win, the lady had gifts for all of us and I got a really awesome wallet! I need a new one but haven’t been able to find the type I wanted, so this is great for me. Tuesday was my afternoon for duty in the hospital gift shop. It wasn’t very busy, but I did have a few sales, (at least half of them were things I bought), but sales are sales. Wednesday morning, I headed to Devine and had an awesome time with my little great-grandsons and their new baby sister who now live in that area. We visited, had lunch and read Pete the Cat books. They loved it and I enjoyed myself immensely. That afternoon, I went to the next town, where my daughter was with two of her granddaughters and had some more fun interacting with them, and that evening, we went to bunco. Yep, got lucky, all three of us family members won prizes. Thursday my daughter and I went back to visit a little more with the two great-granddaughters and then on to lunch with my son in Hondo. I came home on Friday, and sort of relaxed that afternoon and evening; and then on Saturday, helped make noodles at church that will be sold at our picnic that is coming up soon. There were about 18 to 20 of us working at various stations, as there are several steps, and we used a case of eggs as well as another ten or twelve dozen, and about 90 to 100 pounds of flour. Now, it’s Saturday evening and quiet time for me. The ‘busy’ week was wonderful, and I enjoyed every minute of it, especially the time I got to spend with the great-grandchildren.
One night when my company was with me, we had hamburgers. I had a package of the pre-made patties in the freezer and we cooked them, then, the leftovers went into the fridge and the next meal we made something else, as we are prone to do. A couple of days later at lunch, I decided to do something a little different with the patties; they had been seasoned lightly as we have several members of the family who go very easy on the salt, and these patties don’t always taste great reheated, so, I cut them into pieces and following the directions for a pepper steak that is served with noodles instead of rice, used them to make the dish. Everyone said it was good and that I had a winner. If desired, you can use the pre-cooked frozen patties and prepare everything the same way. This is delicious also.
Another way to use the patties is make them into Salisbury Steak. Leave them whole, put a little oil into a skillet and slice a medium sized onion into the oil. Cook until the onion is transparent and then using a package of Pioneer® Brown Gravy mix, follow the directions on the package and make the gravy in the pan with the onions. When it has thickened, add the patties, turning them to coat with the gravy. Heat them over medium heat and when they are heated through, stir in a well-drained can of sliced mushrooms. This is served over either cooked rice or mashed potatoes and is delicious as well as being quick and easy to do.
Following is the recipe for the pepper steak that is served with noodles.
Pepper Steak with Cheesey Noodles
2 to 3 Tbs. cooking oil
6 pre-cooked hamburger patties cut into 6-pieces each
1/2 cup sliced onion
2 medium green bell peppers cut into julienne strips
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 can tomatoes (16-oz) whole tomatoes, broken or mashed up
1 beef bouillon cube
1 Tbs. cornstarch
2 Tbs. water
2 Tbs. soy sauce
1 to 2 teaspoons sugar
3 cups cooked, wide egg noodles
1 cup shredded cheese (your choice, American, Cheddar or Colby Jack)
Cut each patty into 6 pieces; set aside. Heat oil in a large skillet and add peppers, onion and garlic; cook and stir for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the meat and cook for 2 to 3 minutes; add the tomatoes and bouillon cube; simmer, covered for 5 to 10 minutes. Mix together cornstarch, water, soy sauce and sugar; add to meat mixture, stirring constantly until thickened. Cook an additional 5 to 6 minutes. Cook noodles according to package directions; drain well and stir in the cheese until melted. Serve the meat mixture over the hot noodles.
The following cookies are fun to make with children or grandchildren, or, in my case, great-grandchildren, they really enjoy helping roll these. The first time we made them, we used chocolate fudge cake mix and stirred in about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of mini-chocolate chips.
1 box cake mix (any flavor you like)
1/2 of an 8-ounce carton whipped topping (thawed)
1 egg
Powdered sugar to roll the cookies in.
(No amount was given, but you can start with a 1 cup or 1½ cups).
Break egg into a bowl and beat with a fork to mix it up. Using a knife or a rubber spatula, divide the carton of whipped topping in half and dump into the bowl with the egg. Add the box of dry cake mix and stir to combine, this will be a very stiff dough; roll into balls the size of (unshelled) walnuts. Then roll the balls in the powdered sugar and place on ungreased cookie sheets and bake at 350ºF until done, about 12 to 15 minutes. Since I made these the first time, I’ve learned to line my cookie sheets with parchment paper or foil and when the cookies are done, I just pull the liner off the cookie sheets onto cooling racks. As I mentioned, about 1/2 to 3/4 cups of mini-chocolate chips works well with chocolate cake mix. If you use lemon cake mix, add about 1 teaspoon of lemon extract to the eggs and follow the directions. Chopped nuts can be added if desired, as you’re mixing the dough.