Lazy J Bar C

Lazy J Bar C

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Farmgirl Helper

I have a confession to make. I haven't always been a Farmgirl. I used to live in a gated community in a suburb of Los Angeles, drove a two-seater red sports car and had my nails done. My idea of a home-cooked meal oftentimes involved Hamburger Helper. Nowdays, there is virtually no processed food in our house! :) I love to cook from scratch and use produce from the garden! But ya' know what, I LIKED Hamburger Helper and the convenience of a one-skillet meal so sometimes I just have to make it the Farmgirl way!

I used one of the Tatume Mexican squash in this particular batch and I just can't say enough good things about these babies! The flesh is nice and firm, they aren't watery, the skin is very tender and they taste amazing! If you have room in your garden next year, you might check into them. I got my seeds from Baker Creek year before last and they were still viable this spring. The plants started producing in May and they are still going, and going, and going!


One nice thing about making your own Farmgirl Helper is that you can add anything that is fresh from the garden and whatever spices you want. I didn't *really* follow a recipe but just started chopping and cooking! I used some of my Mexican Seasoning Blend in this dish. I use this stuff in everything, it is especially good in pinto beans! The recipe is from MaryJane's Ideabook, Cookbook, Lifebook and will be listed below.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound hamburger (I used half lean hamburger and half hot Italian sausage)
2 cups chopped summer squash
2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
Seasoning of your choice (I used some chili powder, cumin and some of my Mexican Seasoning Blend)
1 1/2 cups penne pasta
1 1/2 cups grated cheese (I used cheddar and Queso Blanco made from the goat's milk)

Cook the onion in the olive oil over medium-low heat until soft, add garlic and hamburger and cook over medium heat until meat is done. Add squash, tomatoes, salt and pepper and seasonings of your choice. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes. Add pasta and some water if there isn't enough liquid in the pan to cook the pasta. Cover and cook until pasta is done, stirring occasionally. Uncover and cook until the sauce is the desired thickness.


Remove from heat, sprinkle cheese over, cover and let sit a few minutes until the cheese melts.


Jerry said this was the best Farmgirl Helper yet! :)

Mexican Seasoning Blend
1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon dried garlic flakes
1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon dried onion flakes
1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon ground paprika 
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cayenne
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

4 comments:

Mooberry Farmwife said...

Beautiful squash! I make queso blanco, too--sometimes from our cow milk, sometimes from the goat milk--so I will have to give your recipe a try. I think I'll use zucchini for the squash. Thanks for the recipe, Candy. :)

Candy C. said...

Mooberry Farmwife,
I love the queso blanco, I'm trying to not buy cheese at the store and just use what I make. I still need to buy cheddar for some of the breads I make though.

TASO said...

I love your confession! It's a real-life success story! Love the sound of that recipe! And thank you for your award! You boosted me out of the rut I got lost in! Thanks!

Candy C. said...

Hey TASO! Missed ya' neighbor! ;)
Funny how some of my old friends wouldn't think of it as success at all, they would feel sorry for me! LOL!!
You are very welcome for the award, you deserve it! :)