My crockpot has never failed me when I’ve concocted something unique to have the convenience of dinner cooking (and making the house smell good all day) so all that’s left is plating the yummy food and enjoying dinner with friends and family. Until this past Saturday, that is.
See, Chef Boyardee is having this amazing and fun recipe contest, encouraging people to create new/easy/unique recipes with some of their famous ingredients. What kid doesn’t love Chef Boyardee? I know my kids love each and every one of these:
To assist in my fabulous Chef Boyardee Dinner Party, they were generous enough to send me all the tools I would need to prepare for a delicious night:
The set of colorful mixing bowls were something I’ve been needing to add to my kitchenware, especially since they have a ledge for easy gripping. I also love the set of Le Creuset bake-ware since those were sizes I needed but hadn’t brought myself to buying them.
Princess Nagger was thrilled with the Kid’s Curious Chef Cooking Set, especially it puts her toy sets to shame, since these can actually be used in the kitchen for real. She’ll be getting a lot of use out of that set, especially during her summer break since she’s been showing a lot more interest in helping me in the kitchen.
We also got a Chef Boyardee chef hat (that Princess Nagger begged to wear) and matching mother/child Chef Boyardee aprons. As if that wasn’t enough, there was also a Chef Boyardee insulated lunch bag, recipe cards, discount coupons, and several pads of Chef Boyardee Grocery list lined pads of paper.
So what did I create? Can’t you tell I’m stalling? Because what I created for our dinner party was a big fat failure. Not because of Chef Boyardee, oh no, this was all operator error. I thought I’d be creative with my Italian chicken that I like to cook in the crockpot, only add a different twist by changing up the recipe and adding the Chef Boyardee Ravioli to the last 10-15 minutes of cook-time. While it was a good idea in my head, the actual outcome wasn’t so great.
Forget about the fact that I didn’t think it through with beef ravioli and chicken breasts (I had cheese ravioli stuck in my head) but since I messed with my original recipe, the chicken was dry and the ravioli was mushy.
My dinner guests were magnanimous and kind (might have something to do with me plying them with my homemade wine while they waited) – I did plan for ‘Plan B’ just in case, and had an alternate dish prepared. I didn’t want my guests to go hungry.
I was still bound and determined to try to make something new and different, so I went back to the drawing board and finally decided on something I’d never made before, but had a recipe for…cheeseburger pie. It’s a simple dish, but one that the whole family enjoyed.
I just wish I would have thought of it sooner, so our dinner guests could have been ‘wowed’, too. The kids gobbled it down post-haste, and the hubby even declared it a success (after slathering it with his usual addition of comes-with-a-warning-label hot sauce). What can I say, the man sure loves his hot spices.
In my hurry to try to make the deadline for this post, and in the flurry of activity of everyone chowing down, I completely neglected to take pictures of everyone enjoying their pies. That in itself tells you it was actually good. But I have a special request from the kids to make it again this weekend, so I’ll be updating the recipe with a plethora of pictures.
I decided to make the small individual pies, rather than one big one, because I wanted to make sure when I baked them, they were baked completely through. Besides, it was fun for the kids to each have their own little pie for dinner, probably one of the reasons it was such a big hit with them. Without further ado, here’s the recipe for you:
|2 cans||Chef Boyardee Beefaroni|
|½ cup||Chopped Onions (more if desired)|
|to taste||Italian Seasoning|
|2 Cups||Shredded Cheddar Cheese|
|to taste||Salt & Pepper|
|Favorite pie pastry*|
Line pie plates (either on 9-inch one, or several individual ones) with rolled pastry dough.
In a medium bowl, combine Chef Boyardee Beefaroni, chopped onions, seasoning, salt & pepper, and shredded cheese until thoroughly mixed.
Fill pie plates with Chef Boyardee mixture, then cover with rolled pie pastry and vent.
Bake in preheated 350-degree oven until pie pastry is golden brown and pies are heated through.
Serve on a bed of lettuce with a garnishment of tomatoes, pickles and desired condiments.
*you can use your favorite pie pastry recipe (I have a guaranteed flaky recipe from my Swedish Great-Grandmother if you’re interested), or you can use store-bought pie pastry, or Bisquick, or refrigerated rolls pastry, whichever you prefer and is easiest for you. I opted for the actual home-made pie pastry because it’s so flaky and good.
You can also make these without the pie dough – simply coat ramekins with butter, add the filling, then pile on the cheese before baking. You can also use an alternate like biscuit dough for the top crust, but I wanted to present it as an actual pie to really sell it’s yumminess to the kids. Whatever it takes to get them to eat their dinner, right?
Right now Chef Boyardee is hosting the Make it Boyardeelicious Recipe Contest , where winners are chosen weekly. Here are the official details:
- Now through March 11, 2012, you can submit an original recipe that uses Chef Boyardee as an ingredient. Then simply upload a photo of the recipe, and share why your family loves it.
- Each week, a winner will be chosen based on creativity, all-family appeal, ease of preparation, and palatable appeal by an expert panel of judges.
- The weekly winner receives a $500 prize as well as $75 in Chef coupons. If you don’t win in one week, you can re-enter again the next week!
- Each of the top ten finalists from all the accumulated weeks will have the chance to win the grand prize of free groceries for a year. The winner will be chosen based on a combined score of taste points and voting.
- The voting period lasts March 26-April 8, 2012. Voters get entered into a daily sweepstakes for the chance to win $100. Share it on Facebook and get an extra sweepstakes entry.
I’d love to see what you guys come up with recipe-wise utilizing Chef Boyardee products – I’m betting they’ll all be something my kidlets will eat. Please let me know if you do.
Note: I wrote this review while participating in a In Home Party campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Chef Boyardee and received product samples to facilitate my party and review, and a promotional item to thank me for participating. See my disclosure policy here.