I don’t know about where you live, but it’s friggin’ cold here in New York.
Cold weather means hot drinks, roomy sweatshirts, the holidays, and most importantly… comfort food. And what’s more comforting than a big bowl of mashed potatoes?!
Oh… REALLY EASY & CHEESY mashed potatoes. That’s right… I make these right in the crockpot, and they require VERY little work. These are perfect as a Thanksgiving side because we all know you’ll be too busy cooking the bird & other fixings to worry about some mashed taters…
Like many kids who grew up in the 80’s/90’s and liked spending time in the kitchen, my first cookbook was the Alpha Bakery Children’s Cookbook. I remember my grandma ordering it for me from the back of a bag of Gold Medal flour. I remember how happy she was to give it to me when it came in the mail – and how excited I was to look through a cookbook with recipes made for children, complete with colorful cartoon illustrations and large font. I still have this book on display with the rest of my cookbook collection, and I proudly whip it out when I feel like cooking a blast from the past.
My favorite alpha bakery recipe was called “Quick Cheeseburger Pie”. I absolutely loved it, and I still do. But as I got older, my taste changed a bit. I’ve made quite a few modifications to an already great recipe, adding in some extra flavors and making the dish more bold.
This was actually the first time I’ve ever had barley.
I heard it was similar to rice – but with a heartier texture, nuttier taste, and a decent amount of protein. Sounds like a carb I could get used to.
However, I didn’t really know what to pair it with. I searched online for some recipes, but nothing really jumped out at me. Since a plain carb is somewhat of a blank canvas I decided to liven it up with sausage, peas, onions, and cheese – as if it were a pasta dish.
The result was absolutely delicious & super filling! My husband and I practically licked our plates clean, and I’m definitely looking forward to making this again.
September is drawing near a close, and the first full month of school is almost over. The mornings and evenings are becoming more brisk, and soon enough we will have true autumn weather.
Autumn is definitely my favorite season. I love the colors of all the leaves, the cooler (but not too cold) weather, apple and pumpkin picking, hot apple cider – the list can go on and on. But the BEST thing about the weather getting cooler is eating hearty, stick-to-your-ribs comfort food. That’s right – the warmer weather is on its way out, and its time for me to start turning the oven on once more.
This dish is the perfect segue between light summery meals and autumn comfort. You still get to eat a low-carb meal that incorporates beautiful peppers and a good deal of tex-mex heat, while the filling is hearty and cheesy.