Another Toddler Interview & Recipe for Cheeseburger Casserole

And now it's time for more questions with Caleb. Why? Just because.

1.    Do you know why you like being a big boy? Why? Yeah, because I don’t like being a baby.
2.    What is something mommy always says to you? “You will go to bed now!”
At the Fullerton Arboretum in a wonderful little forest of bamboo.
3.    What makes you sad? Owies. Yelling. And bad words.
4.    How old are you? 3
5.    How old is Mommy? I don't know!
6.    How old is Daddy? I don't know!
7.    What do you like to do for fun? School.
8.    What is something that you think is funny? Going down the fire pole.
9.    What is your favorite thing to do? Play at school.
10. If you could be any animal, which one would you be and why? A cow. Cuz I would run away with a horsey.
11. What is something nice to do for someone else? Go to the play structure.
12. What are you really good at? Take a piece of cookie.
13. What are you not very good at?  Go away from the play structure.
14. What did you do today? I go to cars land. I went to take a piece of bread. I went to go on the play structure and slide. (None of these things happened, except the bread)
15. What is love? Its how people stay warm and comfortable.
16. What else do you think love is? Go to the fire station.
17. What is the grossest thing you can think of? Gross is all the way to North America.
18. What does rain feel like? It feels like a washing split. It’s how people go to North America, you see.
19. When are you a grown up? I think, I don't know how be grown up. 

Moving right along to the next segment of this post: Dinner. Idea brought to you by Skinny Taste

Gina, author behind the blog Skinny Taste, said her toddler "gobbled" this recipe for Cheeseburger Casserole right up. Sold. I tried it tonight. And Caleb did not gobble it up. No no, before he even reached the table, he told me, "I DON'T LIKE that kind of food!" He claimed to be against the "'matoes". He used to love tomatoes. Now he won't eat them at all. I snuck a lot in his bites, and did he notice them? NO. Well, he did at first, but towards the end, he did not at all. So perhaps this tomato aversion is somewhat of a bluff. Who knows. 

Either way, here is the recipe for the casserole. It was fine, but I'm not in love with it or anything. 

Cheeseburger Casserole 

  • 2 cups uncooked rotini pasta (use brown rice pasta for gluten free, which I inadvertently did and it was good!)
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1 1/2 cups onions, finely chopped
  • 1 minced garlic clove (I used 3)
  • 1 lb lean ground beef 
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 28 oz diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp Dijon Mustard (I used regular)
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese (I only used 1 cup and it was PLENTY)


1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9x13 dish with olive oil spray (or PAM). Start boiling a pot of water for the pasta. Salt the water for extra taste if desired. Cook pasta to al dente, and drain well once finished.
2) In a large skillet, heat the oil, then cook the onions for around 3-5 mins. Add the garlic. Careful not to burn them!
3) Stir in the ground beef and cook until brown. You can season with salt and pepper if you want.
4) Stir in the tomato paste, then add the diced tomatoes and mustard. 
5) Allow everything to bubble over the heat for around 2 minutes to thicken a little more.
6) Combine the meat mixture with the pasta, and put it in a 9x13 dish. Add cheese over the top of the casserole. 

7) Cook for 15 minutes in the oven. 
Caleb's dinner. He did not eat the salad, of course. And he was sort of coerced forcefully to eat his dinner.