I made dinner last night. It was the first day at the new job for The Maifan-San and I figured the least I could do was make something yummy for dinner.
I also really wanted to try and stretch myself, so I decided to make something I had never made before… but I am a bit of a cooking “noob” so I needed something sort of simple.
Tuna Noodle Casserole!
I found a recipe online that promises ease and made a shopping list. Then I walked to the store ( 1.3 miles each way… Go, Go, “I don’t need a gym membership” legs!) At the store I ran into my first (of many) problems.
First ingredient: 2 Cups Macaroni.
This shouldn’t be a problem. I am standing in the noodle and pasta aisle. I see…. Rotini, Angel Hair, Lasagna, Pene, Egg, Spaghetti…. Okay. Yes, this is the epitome of stupidity… but are they all macaroni? Is there a type of noodle that is Macaroni specifically… or can I buy any kind I want?
I did mention the whole cooking noob thing right?
I must have stood there for five minutes trying to decide…. Before I called my sister who assured me Elbow or Pene would work. Ok! Hard part out of the way… off we go to…
“1 Package Cream Cheese” Ummm, what size package?
“1 can tuna” Agh! Tuna comes in multiple sizes of cans!
|Less than 9 bucks. Not bad.
At this point, I am getting frazzled. I am also running behind schedule and it is getting dark outside… not normally a problem but I still had the walk home on unfamiliar streets to deal with.
I figured I would wing it and if it sucked, well, he would love me anyway and we could eat pizza.
At home I set about preparing… first, cook pasta. Easy! Even I can cook noodles in water!
Second: “In casserole dish mix…” (Are all casserole dishes the same size? Is mine going to be okay? (Is it okay if I mix it in a different bowl and then transfer it into the dish?)
When did I become so obsessed with size?
Moving on: I mixed the cream of celery, the cream cheese, the milk…. I couldn’t get it smooth without enlisting the help of my mixer. I also managed to fling cream of celery soup/softened cream cheese/milk in small dollops all over the kitchen.
Added the tuna, the garlic, the dry mustad, the onion… oh crap, I forgot to chop the onion. Not to get back on the size wagon but I bought the smallest onion I could find but it still seemed huge. So, okay… adaption. I put in ¼ cup minced onion. Look at me… taking kitchen risks like a pro! (or a very scared noob… did I mention that The Maifan San is now home from work and this thing still has to cook for 45 minutes?)
Okay, it is mixed with the noodles and in the casserole dish. Wow. It fits. Nice.
Next: the recipe wants a topping, they recommend grape nuts and butter. I refuse to buy an entire box of a cereal I don’t like for this one thing… so again with the improvising I am using chopped almonds and butter. The almonds are slivered and spread pretty easily.
Into the oven!
It turned out pretty well. I think next time I will add more salt and pepper to it, we like things spicey in this house, but it went perfectly with some steamed veggies and there was leftovers that will make for some yummy lunches this week.
The Maifan-San had seconds (so did I) and thus, I am going to claim this as a success!
And… if you want my updated changed version of the recipe, here it is:
Kaylia’s Version of Tuna Noodle Casserole
2 cups elbow pasta
1 can Campbell’s Cream of Celery Soup
1 can tuna (small)
1 small package cream cheese (8 oz)
½ teaspoon garlic salt
½ teaspoon dry mustard
¼ cup milk
¼ cup minced onions
½ cup slivered almonds
2 Tablespoons butter
1. Preheat oven to 375. Cook pasta.
2. Mix cream of celery, softened cream cheese, and milk until smooth. (Feel no shame in using a mixer)
3. Add drained tuna, garlic, dry mustard and onion.
4. Place pasta in casserole dish and then add mixture. Mix well and flatten.
5. Melt butter and mix almonds into the butter. Spread mixture over top of casserole.
6. Bake for 45 minutes. Goes well with steamed veggies.