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I'm Kendra, and I'm here to help you be a genius about the things that matter and lazy about the things that don't. Welcome to your people.

Make Your Own Hamburger Helper

Make Your Own Hamburger Helper

Monday night is pasta night at my house, and it’s been a thing around here for years. Monday and meal planning become tolerable when I don’t have to really think about what's for dinner. Here’s a tried and true favorite that everyone at my table loves. 

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INGREDIENTS

1 lb. macaroni noodles (or any “short” style noodles)
1 onion, diced (any color)
4-5 carrots, peeled and diced
1 lb. ground beef/turkey*
3 cups of chicken stock
¼-⅓ cup of heavy cream
1 heaping tablespoon of cornstarch
Fresh sage or rosemary 

*You can substitute the ground meat with a handful of frozen meatballs for added convenience. Life is hard sometimes, man. 

HOW TO MAKE IT

  1. Put water on to boil for noodles.
  2. Mix the heavy cream and cornstarch together while the cream is cold to avoid clumping. Set aside. 
  3. In a skillet, brown ground meat. Season with salt and pepper. Once cooked, remove from pan.
  4. In that same pan, sauté carrots and onions. Add oil if needed. Season with salt.
  5. Add chicken stock, bring to a boil.
  6. At this point, the pasta water should be boiling. Add pasta to the water once you can insert a fork into the carrots without resistance. This should make everything finish around the same time. 
  7. Add cream and cornstarch mixture to the skillet with carrots and onions.
  8. Boil for a few minutes until sauce thickens. Add cooked meat and herbs. 
  9. Remove pasta from water using a slotted spoon or spider tool, then add to skillet. Do not drain pasta water yet. 
  10. Stir pasta and sauce mixture. Add ¼ cup of starchy pasta water to sauce, if needed, to reach desired consistency.
  11. Taste it. If you moan from flavor happiness, you're good. If there's no moaning, add more salt. Still not there? Maybe more salt, more black pepper, more fresh herbs, or try a stronger flavored chicken stock next time. 
     
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