Monday, June 28, 2010

Hotel Dinners--Spaghetti and Cowboy Casserole

Just because you stay in hotels this summer, doesn't mean you must do Take-Out. We are staying at a Residence Inn that has a full size fridge, 2 burner stove and all the pots/pans/dishes need to cook a meal. We are having Spaghetti tonight and Cowboy Casserole tomorrow night. By eating in the room, not only do we save money but we get to spend more time together without the STRESS of eating out with kids. After dinner, we can go down to the pool or just snuggle up and watch TV. I brought a grocery bag with me from my pantry-->2 cans tomato sauce, 1 can tomato paste, 1 can Cream of Mushroom soup, 1 28 oz can Bush's Baked Beans, 1/2 used bottle of BBQ sauce, spray butter and a few other snack stuff too. I packed my Seasoned Salt, Onion Onion and Dried Tomato and Garlic Pesto. When I went to the grocery store here, I only needed ground beef and sliced loaf of bread (in the deli)

{HINT-->I would think that if you just have a microwave/mini-fridge that you could still do this by taking a few Ground Beef Bags (see quick ground beef if unsure what this is) and then you could just mix it up and heat a few minutes. You could even carry ziploc bags with the salt and onion already together and then another with the DTGP to keep from carrying the whole jar}

You need to brown 3 lbs of ground beef and drain it. Be sure to season it with 1 TBS Seasoned Salt and 3 Tbsp Onion Onion (see quick ground beef for more-basically 1tsp salt and 1 Tbsp onion to each lb of meat). After you drain the grease, put about 1 lb (eye ball it) in a container and put in the fridge. Put remaining meat back in the pot. Add 2 15 oz cans of tomato sauce, 1 can Cream of Mushroom soup, 1 small can tomato paste, 2 capfuls of Dried Tomato and Garlic Pesto. Mix and simmer for a few hours. I put this on the stove and left in on LOW about 2pm when we went to the pool. It's 5pm now, so time to make to noodles which is just adding the pasta to water and boil. Serve with slice bread sprayed with butter and enjoy.

Tomorrow night-->I will mix rest of cooked meat in fridge, can of baked beans, BBQ sauce and then heat it. Serve with the rest of the bread.

All very simple and VERY affordable dinner away from home. No standing in lines at restaurants or having to drive through anyway and the price tag is about what ONE meal would cost out to feed all of us. :D This is working great for us! For those of you that don't know, Brian commutes 2 hours one way to work, right now. The Army is paying for his hotel, so we are just going with him. So we can have home away from home--somewhat ;)