Homemade Hamburger Helper

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Fail. Fail, fail, fail.

THE RECIPE: FAIL

So I read through the recipe and thought ok, this sounds easy enough. Surely I can handle browning meat, throwing in some macaroni, and letting it simmer for awhile. I can handle this.

Could. Not. Handle.

I browned the meat and drained it, no problem (even though draining meat it one of my pet peeves. I always make a mess. REALLY need one of these). I threw in some whole wheat macaroni – didn’t I mention I was eating healthier? That’s when things got stupid. The recipe called for 2 1/2 cups of milk and 1.5 cups of water. Hmmm…. that was a lot of liquid. I don’t know about you, but when I think of Hamburger Helper, I think of salty, creamy, gooey, cheesy goodness. That, my friends, was not happening.

It will thicken as it simmers, I logically, hopefully concluded. Not so. After the first 10 minutes, the pasta was still undercooked and the liquid was still thin and watery. In 15 minutes, the pasta was plump and wonderfully al dente, but drowning in all that unappetizing liquid. Desperate, I added a few healthy spoonfuls of greek yogurt. Let is simmer some more. Only slightly better. I mix another spoonful of cornstarch in water and pour that in.

This is when Nick comes home, finding me frowning at an overflowing pan of… goop. I apologize for making him slop and ask if he can save it. He throws in a little more cheese, lets it melt, and decides to take it off the heat to cool. Maybe that would help.

As we wait, Nick presents two cans of dog food he picked up on the way home. We feed our dogs dry food, but they had run out and this wet stuff was the only thing the gas station carried (this was after our grocery store had closed. Stop judging). As I opened it to feed them, all I found think of was how good it smelled, like beef stew, and how much more appetizing it looked than what was currently gooping on the stove. Maybe I was hungry.

THE TASTE: EDIBLE FAIL

Nick said it wasn’t that bad. I did eat a big bowl, but I think the dog food got my appetite up. But it was still sloopy. I’m a texture person. This is so disappointing. I even made extra with the hopes of having leftovers for lunch tomorrow. Nope.

DIFFICULTY: DON’T BOTHER

If you simply must try this recipe for yourself, adjust the liquid mightily. I’d suggest cutting both the milk and the water in half and then slowly adding more if it looks too thin. But I, for one, will stick to the store-bought variety, if I ever feel like indulging again.