Welcome! Nuestra Casa Es Su Casa ...Our house is your house

A glimpse into the life of Daniel and Jaynee Lockwood and their 12 precious blessings. Thank you for visiting; we pray that what we share here may always bring glory to our wonderful God and Saviour. May you praise the Lord with us for the great things He has done and continues to do as we serve Him sharing the gospel here in the little town of Cuidad Insurgentes, BCS Mexico. He alone is good and faithful!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Hamburger Helper

I want to share something that I thought of around our second year of living here in Mexico. Mexican food is very good! We all like it a lot...good thing! :) But it does all kind of consist of the same ingredients....beans, tortillas, tomato, chili, rice, cheese, sometimes meat, lemon, salt, and pig lard :) Oh, there are other ingredients they use, but ater a while it can seem that everything is all the same...the difference is how you fold the tortilla!
There is also no such thing as "quick and easy" here. Everything is made from scratch. You really have to think and plan ahead...if you want dinner at 6 pm, you cannot go to the kitchen at 5 pm and have really much to choose from.
With what is available here, I try to include a balance of both Mexican and some of our favorite dishes from the states...or as close as I can get to them. Well, one day, I was thinking about Hamburger Helper. Now, we'd never really bought it, but I was thinking about the concept of just dumping these dry ingredient from a box into a pan with some water and seasonings and...walah...a no fuss meal in no time.
I began to think, "Is the noodles or potatoes or rice or whatever they put into that Hamburger Helper box all that special?" Would something like that work with just plain rice or noodles that I can buy here?
So I began to experiment and we've come up with lots of easy, inexpensive, no-fuss meals! One of the first ones I did, I have made both in a skillet and in the oven. It's so easy and good! Even my 5 and 6 year olds have made this completely on their own.
I just put a couple bags of pasta into a skillet or 9x13 pan (depending if I'm using my oven or stovetop). They add a jar of spaghetti sauce (I get lots of free tomatos, and make sauce regularly, so this just costs pennies). Then they add a jar of water and mix it together with a spoon. You can add previously cooked ground beef too, but we just eat it with the pasta.
Cover with foil if you are using the oven or a lid if you are using your skillet. And cook until tender! You don't have to stir or anything. While it's cooking (about 20-30 minutes I think??) I usually slice some homemade bread and make a salad. When it's cooked, I sprinkle some shredded cheese on top and let it melt. And suppers on!
I like how it just mixes together in literally about a minute and then while it cooks, I can do something else.
And we've done similar recipes with all sorts of things....chicken and rice; ground beef with cubed potatoes; chicken and pasta ect... lots of possibilities. :)


  1. I saw the post title on my blog roll... Hamburger Helper... This has been a running joke in my house since my wife and I got married. One of the first meals she made me was hamburger helper.... We haven't had it since. I'll eat crackers and broth before that again :) That's a great post though, a good picture. Here we have all these conveniences at our finger tips, 20 minute meals, and what is it I want, the made from scratch. If we had to spend an hour in prep for every meal I'd probably take a second look at Hamburger Helper, especially if it looks as good as yours.

  2. Yummy! I make a hamburger noodle dish that my husband really likes, too. You'd be welcome to glance around my recipe blog. I have listed recipes that my family of 10 enjoy that are (mostly) healthful and always homemade. Perhaps you can get ingredients for some of them where you are.

    BTW, our church is going to Tecate, Mexico in a couple of weeks. Is that anywhere near you?


  3. Mommaofmany,
    I'll keep your comment in my inbox so I'll remember to take a look over at your recipe blog. I usually search out recipes once or twice a month...not a lot of time as there's not a lot of time for that :), but I enjoy it when I can. Thank you for sharing!
    Tecate is about 800 miles north of us...near the US/Mexico border. When we lived in Rosarito our first year in Mexico (near the border also) my husband preached at a church in Tecate for a national pastor he knew.

  4. I always liked Hamburger Helper until I read all the unnecessary gross ingredients. I just glance at the picture, and figure how I can make it my own way with fresh ingredients and no added junk. Yours looks great.

  5. Great quick meal. We eat mostly from scratch too. It is so much cheaper and the food is much more healthy with out all those additives.

  6. i love it when you share recipes jaynee!thanks so much...my daughter Lily was sitting on my lap as I was checking blogs,and she saw the picture and said "Please can you make THAT today mommy?!"

    so...guess what we're having for lunch?!!

  7. Thanks Jaynee,
    You supplied me with a great lunch idea today :-)AND a great idea to have my 6 yr old, Gaela, make it. We had fun making lunch together today. It was yummy~


  8. This reminds me of my quick lasagna...ladies, you don't have to cook the noodles! Just layer those hard things in there along w/ everything else. Then dribble about a 1/2 hot water around the edges. Cover and let sit a few hours before baking. Or freeze. Another idea, Jaynee, which maybe you're already doing! Yay for you being such a resourceful mom & cook! blessings!

  9. whoops -- that is 1/2 CUP of water!

  10. It looks good from here, but I could see that it would get tiring.

    How do you keep the crickets away?


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