Posted by: bree1972 | January 29, 2010

Never Eat More Than You Can Lift 01/29/2010

Today’s title quote was uttered by the beautiful, charming, and famous . . . Miss Piggy, of the Muppets. 

And I totally agree with Miss Piggy on this concept, having at times eaten so much that lifting myself away from the table proved to be an almost impossible task.  The holidays are prime examples of times we overeat – Christmas, Thanksgiving (especially Thanksgiving!), Mother’s Day (which means all the children come home, we moms get to cook, and since it’s our children we’re cooking for, we make everything that said children ever once in their entire lives mentioned even remotely liking).  All excuses to eat – more than we can lift.

Asking for casseroles this week stirred up lots of overeating memories – my Mom’s sweet potato souffle’, Ted’s Macoroni & Cheese (I always thought my Mom made the best Mac & Cheese until Ted perfected his own version), pot luck suppers at church (and church Homecomings), anything sweet that Marianne Lashley cooks  – the list goes on. 

Because they have so many different ingredients and flavors, casseroles are designed to get all our taste buds armed and ready to explode.  They are obviously well-loved in the South AND the North, because I received twice as many recipes this week as I did dessert recipes last week.  Again, I can’t use everything you sent on this post, but another casserole day will be planned soon – so dust off the ones you haven’t emailed, and plan to send some more.  I think I’ve chosen some pretty diverse recipes for today.  If you don’t see yours here, you can bet it will be used next time.

A special thank you to Lana Stuart of for the beautiful photo of her seafood casserole.  Lana has been out of town, but she promised to send this recipe to me the next time we do casseroles.

Here goes!

WESTERN SPAGHETTI (submitted by Charlotte DeBroka, Mishawaka, IN)

From Charlotte:  “This is one of our family favorites. For the 38 years my in-laws had a cottage on a lake in Michigan, we had this the day we opened and closed the cottage. Now when any of us have it, lots of great memories come back to us.”

  • 1 lb. ground beef, browned and drained of grease
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/2 lb. spaghetti – cooked and drained
  • 1 can tomato soup
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can cheddar cheese soup
  • You may add green peppers, onions, or anything you desire. 

Mix all ingredients together, and pour into a lightly greased 9 x 13″ dish.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.   

From Charlotte:  “Can be made ahead and kept in refrigerator until time to cook.  May need to bake a little longer after being in frig.”


MINNESOTA TATER TOT HOTDISH (submitted by Jane Kemp, Minnesota)

From Jane:  “In Minnesota, there is no such thing as a ‘casserole’!!  Any dish served hot is called a ‘Hotdish’!  The Tater Tot Hotdish is the ‘cadillac’ of all hotdish recipes for us – a favorite when the snow and cold arrive.  It’s so popular that at our annual State Fair, a version of it is served up deep fried and on a stick!”

  • 1 or 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cans Campbell’s cream soup (pick any two of mushroom, celery, or chicken).  Use undiluted – DO NOT ADD WATER!
  • 1 soup can milk
  • 1 can (regular size) mixed vegetables (Jane uses Veg-All Brand)
  • 1 (32 oz.) bag frozen tater tots (Jane uses Ore-Ida)
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Brown ground beef with onions; drain well.  Place in large mixing bowl.

To the ground beef mixture, add the 2 cans of soup, milk, and canned vegetables.  Stir together gently.

Spoon mixture into a greased 9 x 13″ pan or glass baking dish.  Cover with a solid, single layer of tater tots, placing them in rows (see photo).

Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees until mixture is bubbling and tater tots are brown and starting to get crispy – approximately 45-50 minutes.  Let set 5-10 minutes so removal from pan is easy. (Cooked casserole should not be soupy).

From Jane:  “Of course, true Minnesotans serve this with catsup for the top!  Goes nice with a vegetable or green dinner salad.”

Serves 8



ASPARAGUS CASSEROLE (Submitted by Ed Feagin – Lake Blackshear, GA)

Don’t you just LOVE it when a man can cook!

From Ed:  This is the first thing my daughter, Stacy, asks me to make when they come to the river.”

  • 2 (15 oz.) cans asparagus spears
  • 1 (6.5 oz.) can mushroom stems and pieces
  • 6 boiled eggs – sliced
  • 1 can either cream of mushroom or cream of asparagus soup
  • 16 oz. sharp, shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 (2.8 oz.) can French’s Fried Onions

In a 2 qt. casserole dish, layer in this order:

  • 1 can asparagus
  • 1/2 can mushrooms
  • 3 eggs, sliced
  • Salt and pepper

Spread a layer of soup over eggs.  Spread a layer of cheese.  Sprinkle 1/4 can onions over cheese.

Repeat, using the rest of onions as the last layer.

Bake, covered, at 375 degrees approximately 1 hour.


CHICKEN NOODLE CASSEROLE (Submitted by Alice Kelley – Temperance, MI)

From Alice:  “Yummy and really good warmed up the next day..wonderful leftovers!!”

  • 12 oz. No Yolk Noodles
  • 8 oz. shredded cheese (can use low fat)
  • 4 oz. can mushrooms (drained)
  • 1 lb. cooked chicken breasts, cut up or 1 or 2 large cans chicken breast
  • 3 jars Heinz Chicken Gravy
  • 1 tsp. garlic salt
  • Dash pepper
  • 16 oz. can mixed vegetables (drained)
  • 2 cups crushed reduced fat potato chips

Cook noodles by package directions. 

Mix cooked noodles and all other ingredients except potato chips and half the cheese.

Pour into 9 x 13″ pan (sprayed with Pam).  Top with potato chips and remaining cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.


CABBAGE CASSEROLE (Submitted by Jan Webster)

From Jan:  ” This one is definitely a ‘comfort’ food, but also gets in that cabbage that so many don’t like.”
  • 1 large head of cabbage, shredded (about 12 cups)
  • 1 onion, chopped (1 large, or 2 small)
  • 6 Tablespoons butter or margarine, divided
  • 1 (10 3/4 oz.) can condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
  • 8 oz. process American cheese, cubed (Jan uses Velveeta Light)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs

Cook cabbage in boiling, salted water until tender; drain thoroughly.

In a large skillet, saute onion in 5 Tablespoons butter, until tender.  Add soup and mix well.  Add cheese; heat and stir until melted.  Remove from heat. 

Stir in cabbage, salt & pepper. 

Transfer to an ungreased 2 qt. baking dish. 

Cook bread crumbs in remaining butter until brown.  Sprinkle over cabbage mixture.

Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes, or until heated through.

Serves 6-8.


SICILIAN SUPPER (Submitted by Samille Posey – Lake Blackshear, GA)

From Samille:  “This recipe was in the Macon Telegraph newspaper over 30 years ago.  I used to make it a lot for my son, Doss, as it was one of his favorites.  Now Doss, 33, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, asks for this every time he comes home from Boston.  Until I put it in the recipe book I made for him, he would often call me to get the recipe, so I’m thinking it’s pretty good.  It’s easy too.”

  • 1 lb. ground chuck
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, cubed
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese and/or Mozzarella cheese (Samille uses Mozzarella)
  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
  • 2 cups egg noodles, cooked

Brown meat, add onion, and cook until tender.  Drain grease.  Add tomato paste, water, salt and pepper.  Simmer 5 minutes. 

Heat milk and cream cheese; blend well.  Stir in 1/4 Parmesan (Mozzarella) cheese, garlic salt, green pepper, and noodles. 

In casserole dish, alternate layers of meat sauce and noodle sauce, beginning with meat on bottom and ending with noodles on top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.


G-DADDY’S MACARONI AND CHEESE (Submitted by Ted Horton, Lake Blackshear, GA)

I have to apologize here to Alice from Michigan.  After I promised to submit Ted’s recipe for Mac & Cheese (saying it was the best I’d ever eaten), she sent me HER version, and I have to admit it sounded pretty darn good.  But I promised G-Daddy’s recipe, so here it is.  Alice, I’ll get yours in on the next casserole day.

  • 8 oz. elbow macaroni, cooked
  • 2 (8 oz) packages shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup mayonaisse
  • 1/2 cup milk

Stir together all ingredients except 1/2 cup cheese.  Pour into lightly greased 9 x 11″ baking dish.  Sprinkle 1/2 cup cheese on top.  Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.

Serves 6.

Today’s post should keep everyone cooking and eating for several days to come. They all sound delicious, and I can’t wait to try each and every one – well, except for Ted’s, of course.  His is already a winner in MY book!

See you all on Monday, good Lord willing.  God bless!

 “All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.” . . . Ralph Waldo Emerson



  1. This may mean that I’ll have to start cooking. Keep warm.

  2. I may have to invest in some elastic waist pants (or as a co-worker calls them- her “buffet pants”) I think I can feel the pounds creeping on already with all these tastey recipes.. Yum, yum and YUMMM!

    Jane in Minnesota

    • I love it – buffet pants! I’ll have to use that term somewhere soon!

  3. Hi Brenda – I’ve been reading both of your blogs for a while now and love them! I decided I would comment today because I made the wonderful Asparagus Casserole from this post for Easter Dinner today and it was great! (Thanks for sharing your recipe Ed!) I kept this post and all the others from last year with the recipes so I could have some ideas for things to make for our family dinners since I don’t cook much. Everyone always asks where I get the recipes and I tell them – from your blog!

    A little about me – I found your Mackinac Island Blog through Facebook over a year ago. I live not far from you on both ends! Most of the year I live in Florida near Tallahassee. In the summer, my dad and I and also my sister and her family go to northern Michigan for a couple weeks and stay at my Dad’s lake cottage on Douglas Lake near the Pellston airport. I grew up in Michigan and lived in Cheboygan until I was 12 years old, then my family moved to Florida as a result of my Dad’s job transfer. The cottage that my Dad still has on Douglas Lake was my Grandparent’s. We only get to spend a couple of weeks there every summer, but I love it there. I am still a Michigan girl at heart. I’ve always wanted to spend time (more than a day) on the island, but have never got the chance. One day I will though! We went to the island last year for the day. I kept an eye out for you but didn’t see you. I think I might’ve seen Ted riding his bike, but not sure. Maybe one day I’ll get to meet you in person!

    Oh, and I am a dog lover too so I really enjoy hearing about Bear and Maddie! I have a house full of American Bulldogs so they keep me entertained and busy that’s for sure! I hope you keep blogging, I love to read about all your adventures! Take care – Wendi

    • Hi Wendi! Thank you so much for writing, and Wow! you made my day! It’s such a small world, isn’t it? We actually talked about buying property on a lake near the Pellston Airport (I don’t know if it was Douglas Lake or not) before we bought on the island. A lady that drove the shuttle from the Pellston Airport to the ferry docks (when we were just coming up on vacation for two weeks on the island) told us all about the lake on a shuttle trip, and she even sent us information about it in the mail. Just think, we could have ended up neighbors!

      I know God works in mysterious ways, but your comment was part of an answered prayer. I’ve been searching recently for the answer to whether or not to continue writing from the island. I sometimes feel that I’ve just already said it all, and who in the world wants to read about me walking to town and back. I go through this about twice a year, and so far every time I’m going through one of those “questioning” times, I’ve received a comment similar to yours – out of the clear blue sky – from someone who has never written before. It has really been amazing. Because of feedback like yours, I’m sure the blogging will continue, and once we’re back on the island I’ll continue to find things to write about.

      Thank you again for telling me your story. Please let me know the next time you’re coming to the island – I’d love to meet you!
      Brenda (Bree)

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