I may or may not drop everything and dedicate my life to recreating childhood classics. Hamburger Helper? I’ll have seconds, please. Cardboard box with an animated white gloved hand? Yup, that’s the one.
I’d like to question the marketing team behind that Betty Crocker-branded mascot. At what point did the board room decide that a cartoon hand with a face would be the prime representative of my beloved Cheeseburger Macaroni? Maybe around the time I decided to invest my life savings in pogs and cassette tapes. Because those were genius moves.
I don’t know about you, but I have the fondest memories of that gooey pasta piled on my plate. In an effort to relive the six o’clock hour of my childhood, plate piled with gooey pasta, me sitting with my nose just touching the TV screen in the kitchen, the episode of Full House where Stephanie has to say goodbye to Mr. Bear blaring a few decibels too high.
I’d say this homemade version does justice to both Betty Crocker and the Tanner family. Spirals of rotini twirling with gooey sharp cheddar cheese, juicy crumbles of ground beef, and chunks of sweet red tomato. A cheeseburger incognito.
In other news, I’ve started walking to work. It’s about a mile and a half each way which I think is the perfect distance. The one feat? I live on a massive hill. Walking home is a fifteen minute climb on par with Everest I assume. If only I had trained for this, spent a week at base camp getting acclimated. In a few months, I’ll either have unbelievably toned legs or a pocketful of police citations for the profanities I’m bound to utter halfway to the summit. It’s anyone’s guess.
Gasping for air and all, I do enjoy it. I get my daily exercise in, can listen to audiobooks all the way there and back, and save $5 a day in transportation. Ideal. And when I come home to nostalgic meals like this, the trek uphill is all the more worthwhile. The only thing I’m missing is DJ and the gang.
Cheeseburger Pasta (adapted from Taste of Home)
- 8 0z uncooked whole wheat pasta
- 3/4 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/4 cup chopped mushrooms
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) no-salt-added diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons ketchup
- 1.5 teaspoon steak seasoning- I used McCormick brand
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- Chopped green onions, optional
Boil pasta, drain, and set aside.
Add the ground beef to a large pan set over medium heat, breaking it up with a fork as it begins to brown.