Cheeseburger Casserole From SkinnyTaste – Tried It Out Tuesday

I recently came across a Cheeseburger Casserole recipe from SkinnyTaste and I was intrigued so by it, I just had to give it a whirl! I would have never even thought of enjoying a cheeseburger in casserole form until I saw this brilliant recipe of hers. My family really enjoys their cheeseburgers and we love our pasta too so this seemed like a winner winner cheeseburger dinner!

If you are not familiar with SkinnyTaste be sure to check out her website for some brilliant recipes that will help keep you on track with a healthy lifestyle. I made a gluten-free version of her Cheeseburger Casserole and my family enjoyed this recipe. I will be whipping up this dish again in the near future. Keep reading to hear more about this unique casserole dish.

Cheeseburger Casserole is a simple & easy recipe

What I really loved about this recipe from SkinnyTaste was the simplicity of creating it. The recipe was easy to follow and the ingredients were very simple to prepare. I started out by boiling the pasta and browning the beef. There was very little prep involved. I used two shallots in this recipe and had to slice those, easy peasy! The recipe calls for garlic as well and I just use my trusty Spice World squeeze bottle. I love simple recipes… who doesn’t?? They are wonderful on busy weeknights or when you are feeling too lazy to cook.


Ingredients I used for the SkinnyTaste Cheeseburger Casserole
Ingredients I used for the SkinnyTaste Cheeseburger Casserole

Gotta have my grass-fed beef in my Cheeseburer Casserole!

I recently made the switch to grass-fed beef. Grass-fed beef is not only more beneficial to your health but I believe it tastes better than regular beef. The grass-fed beef that I purchase at Kroger is also organic. That means that the cows graze on pesticide-free grass. Grass-fed cows also mean that the meat is free from added hormones that are typically given to cows. Sometimes I think of my body as an automobile. Your body needs good to fuel to run. You don’t want to put crappy fuel into your car so why would you want to put bad fuel into your body? Grass-fed beef costs a bit more than regular beef but I believe that the added benefits are worth the extra cost.

A few modifications to the Cheeseburger Casserole recipe

I made a few modifications to her recipe for my family. Instead of using an onion I used two sliced shallots. I discovered shallots earlier this year and prefer their taste and often swap onions for shallots now. I also incorporated some onion powder to the meat while browning it. I love the added flavor that onion powder lends to ground beef. Also, instead of using Dijon mustard I went with my favorite mustard by Boar’s Head. The mustard is a Delicatessen style and it gave the dish a wonderful flavor.

Browning the grass-fed beef
Browning the grass-fed beef
Grass-fed beef, tomatoes, shallots, and minced garlic
Grass-fed beef, tomatoes, shallots, and minced garlic


Gluten-free eating

Another swap that I did with this dish was that I used gluten-free noodles. I use Kroger’s ClickList and wanted some rotini pasta but they were out of stock and they gave me penne pasta instead. That was fine with me but I do think that rotini would have been best. I used Ronzoni brand and I believe that they do make a very tasty gluten-free noodle. I don’t think they taste much different than regular pasta. This dish would have been great with Banza’s chickpea pasta as well. They are another one of my go-to brands for gluten-free pasta.

Getting cheesy

A great cheeseburger has to have great cheese. I love Tillamook’s shredded cheese and I ended up pouring the entire bag of cheese all over this Cheeseburger Casserole. The recipe calls for 2 cups of cheddar and the one bag of cheese was equivalent to two cups. I used a sharp cheddar and this was a great choice for the casserole. Tillamook creates some damn good cheese. It is my go-to brand for shredded cheese. I also use their mozzarella on my homemade pizzas. They take great pride in creating their cheese and I can always rely on Tillamook to deliver a quality product.

Tillamook Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Tillamook Sharp Cheddar Cheese
SkinnyTaste Cheeseburger Casserole before going in the oven
SkinnyTaste Cheeseburger Casserole before going in the oven

Pickles on a casserole?

Who would have thought that pickles would be an acceptable topping on a casserole dish? I’m telling you guys, this works and the pickles actually turned out to be my favorite part! Any type of pickles will work well with this casserole. I ended up going with bread and butter pickles. Dill pickles would we splendid on this as well!

Giving it a whirl

I was so excited when my oven beeped and my casserole was ready to dig into. Check out that ooey, gooey melted cheddar, OMG! I love anything with melted cheese on it and this recipe did not disappoint. When the casserole came out of the oven I topped it with some bread and butter pickles. This dish was love at first bite. The cheeseburger really translated well into a casserole dish. I was amazed! This is a dish that I would gladly make for my family again since we all enjoyed it.

Cheeseburger Casserole from SkinnyTaste
Cheeseburger Casserole from SkinnyTaste


Kid-friendly meal

My daughter, Chloe, really enjoyed this recipe and she really got a kick out of those pickles that we topped the casserole with. Pickles are an ingredient that you wouldn’t normally use in a typical casserole. For us, the pickles were actually our favorite part of this dish! The more the merrier! The next time I whip up this recipe I will definitely be adding an abundance of pickles on top!

Who is SkinnyTaste?

SkinnyTaste was created by Gina Homolka. She is an author, recipe creator, and a photographer. She is a pro when it comes to the recipe world. SkinnyTaste began in 2008 and now has 3 million monthly viewers on her website… can you say goals?? I would love to someday achieve greatness like her. Her philosophy of eating is to eat seasonal, whole foods and to maintain portion control while eating. Her website has a wide variety of recipes for several different diets. I am sharing this with you today because her recipes are top-notch. Yes, I am a food blogger and yes she is a food blogger. I don’t see her as competition. When I fall in love with something I feel the need to share it with the world. I am sharing her recipe website because I believe in her philosophy and I like to encourage people to eat the right way.

Does this look like a recipe that your family would enjoy? What other SkinnyTaste meals sound great to you? Leave me a comment and fill me in!

You can see all of the recipes at SkinnyTaste on her website. The Cheeseburger Casserole recipe can be found HERE.



Trip To Eastern Market & DeVries & Company 1887 – Detroit

If you are local to the Detroit area, chances are you have been to Eastern Market at least once in your life. If you are a foodie like me then chances are you have visited several times. Eastern Market is a bustling area of visitors looking for the best deals on fresh produce, other food items, and flowers. Through Groupon, we have also discovered a miraculous place nestled down there in all of the action, DeVries & Company 1887. We regularly purchase Groupons to get some good bargains there and we went equipped with one yesterday to stock up on some unique foods.

Each and every time you visit Eastern Market it is a different experience because there are different vendors.

Eastern Market & DeVries & Company by Give It A Whirl Girl

Our trip to Eastern Market in Detroit and DeVries & Company 1887

My family of three really values these trips down to the city to explore all of the foods that Eastern Market has to offer. Yesterday it was just my husband and me on a little day-date while my daughter hung out with her friends. Our first stop was DeVries & Company 1887 and we got a wonderful haul there. Then we stopped into the sheds at Eastern Market with our canvas shopping bags and filled those bags up with a plethora of foods. When I come home from these trips I unload my bags and marvel in all of the glory of having these available in the Give It A Whirl Girl kitchen. My day is always made on these trips and I treasure them in my memory and mind.

There are beautiful murals all over the Eastern Market area
There are beautiful murals all over the Eastern Market area
Eastern Market in Detroit, MI - The home of many food vendors selling produce, meat, cheese, plants, and flowers.
Eastern Market in Detroit, MI – The home of many food vendors selling produce, meat, cheese, plants, and flowers.

First stop – A visit to DeVries & Company 1887

Cheese and Meats at DeVries & Company 1887- What they are best known for

DeVries & Company is a large historic building with three levels of fun finds. Yesterday we only explored the lower level where a majority of the foods are kept. The other two levels are gift shops where you can obtain some neat things.


This place is well-known for their cheeses. We have bought some in the past from DeVries & Company 1887 and had a cheeseboard full of them at a Wine & Onesies party and the cheeses were a big hit. There are numerous to choose from here and if you like cheese there is a cheese for everyone that can be located here. Check out their Facebook page to see their cheese offerings which are regularly posted. They also have a variety of interesting meats to pair with your cheeses. You will have the best cheeseboard in town if you stop in here to stock up!

DeVries & Company 1887 - Detroit, MI
DeVries & Company 1887 – Detroit, MI

Not just meats and cheese

DeVries & Company 1887 is more than just a meat and cheese shop. This place is like a little grocery store with gourmet foods and uncommon, specialty food products. Pro tip: grab a Groupon and save some money here. You can get a $50 voucher to shop with for around $20-$25 and get more bang for your buck here.

Balsamic vinegars & oils

If you recently stumbled upon my 100th post on the blog I discussed two different, unique balsamic vinegars used to create a chocolate-raspberry nice-cream. This is the place where you can pick up some bottles of those (there are several to choose from and they are all imported from Italy). There is also a wide variety of various oils by the same brand (Fanchone Gourmet) that you can sample here. You won’t leave empty-handed after trying these out. They all have interesting flavor profiles and they will help take your cooking to the next level. The Meyer Lemon oil was fascinating and I really should have bought that one because that would likely result in the greatest chicken piccata known to man!

A few items that I took home with me

I am a curious eater and I live for the adventure of trying new foods. You all know that. That’s why my blog is titled, “Give It A Whirl Girl”. In the photos below I am letting you see a sneak peek of a few things I took home with me. I am super duper pumped and excited to experience these foods.

Raspberry salsa

I have a major mad addiction to anything raspberry flavored and I couldn’t pass up this Traverse Bay Farms Raspberry Salsa. This was my first time seeing a raspberry salsa so I had to swoop this up! My husband also talked me into bringing home some mango salasa bag of chips from Aunt Nee’s.

Hibiscus sugar

Then I spotted this Mr. Gigglepants Hibiscus Sugar. I was instantly intrigued by this sugar made by Beautiful Briny Sea. It is described as:

A fun, tutti fruitti treat for your cupcakes, French toast, fresh fruit fancy drinks, just about anything that needs a giggle.

I really don’t have a plan for this sugar just yet. It was my big splurge item at DeVrie’s. It was $11 for a 14 oz can. I will figure something out soon though. Maybe I can whip up a batch of cupcakes next week and incorporate Mr. Gigglepants into it.

Root-beer BBQ sauce

Let it be known, I think Guy Fieri is annoying as hell. (insert lols here). I spotted his Root Beer Barbeque Sauce and could not pass it up. I bought it with the intention of making some pulled pork sandwiches with it. Whenever I made pulled pork sandwiches I always cook my pork in root-beer. Sounds weird right? But it is so good!

Our Visit To Eastern Market

Eastern Market in Detroit, MI
Eastern Market in Detroit, MI

When you go to Eastern Market there is a ton of stuff to take in and see all around you. There are tables set up with fresh fruits and vegetables, there are people selling their homemade salsas, honey, fresh pierogi, succulents, and flowers, etc.

There are two different ways to visit Eastern Market. You can arrive early when everything is all set up and available. Or you can arrive mid-afternoon when the vendors are about to close up for the day. They want to sell what they brought with them so you will be walking by and the vendors will be shouting out deals to you. It happened to me yesterday. We came late in the afternoon and I scored some great deals. I got a carton of strawberries for a dollar. I also got some blackberries for a dollar. Those prices sure do beat the local grocery store prices.

I do realize I made a bit of a boo-boo with my photos here. I must have been just vegetable obsessed because I just realized I did not shoot any photographs of fruit and Eastern Market has a huge load of fruit to choose from at really reasonable prices. So I am very sorry about that. Next time I visit I will be sure to snap some photos of fruits.

Ornamental Indian corn at Eastern Market
Ornamental Indian corn at Eastern Market
Bundles of rainbow carrots at Eastern Market
Bundles of rainbow carrots at Eastern Market – I can not leave this place without taking home some purple and white carrots
Beautiful vegetables at Eastern Market
Beautiful vegetables at Eastern Market
Jumbo stalks of Brussels sprouts at Eastern Market
Jumbo stalks of Brussels sprouts at Eastern Market
Purple kale at Eastern Market
Purple kale at Eastern Market – what a gorgeous color and it appears to be so fresh!
Quail eggs and duck eggs for sale at Eastern Market
Quail eggs and duck eggs for sale at Eastern Market – now that is something you do not see every day!
Spice Miser at Eastern Market
Spice Miser at Eastern Market – This vendor is a must-see! Spice Miser offers a huge variety of seasonings and spices. Be sure to take home a bag. I always make sure I bring something home from the Spice Miser.
Mushrooms galore at Eastern Market!
Mushrooms galore at Eastern Market! Many exotic mushrooms to choose from that are grown in Chesterfield, MI. Give and Grow Mushrooms LLC
Give and Grow Mushrooms LLC offers a wide variety of exotic, gourmet mushrooms at Eastern Market
Give and Grow Mushrooms LLC offers a wide variety of exotic, gourmet mushrooms at Eastern Market
This was a first for me! Black garlic but $5 a bulb. I was tempted. Eastern Market - Detroit, MI
This was a first for me! Black garlic but $5 a bulb. I was tempted. Eastern Market – Detroit, MI
Flowers and eggplants at Eastern Market in Detroit, MI
Flowers and eggplants at Eastern Market in Detroit, MI
Fresh and local honey at Eastern Market in Detroit, MI
Fresh and local honey at Eastern Market in Detroit, MI
Pepper obsessed! Eastern Market, Detroit, MI
Pepper obsessed! Eastern Market, Detroit, MI
So much to choose from and great prices on vegetables at Eastern Market
So much to choose from and great prices on vegetables at Eastern Market

Gorgeous little succulents at Eastern Market in Detroit

Be sure to see the murals

There are gigantic murals painted on the buildings all over the Eastern Market area. Be sure to take a stroll around and snap some pics of the art.

Ladies and gentlemen!

Here is my haul from both DeVries & Company 1887 and Eastern Market

As you can see here I have a pretty decent haul from both DeVries and Eastern Market. I love getting home and unloading all of my newly acquired foods. I am already looking forward to my next trip back.

Haul from Eastern Market and DeVries & Company 1887
Haul from Eastern Market and DeVries & Company 1887

Have you ever visited DeVries & Company 1887 in the Eastern Market district? Will you be purchasing a Groupon to shop there?

Have you ever went to Eastern Market in Detroit, MI? What is your best memory? Please share by leaving a comment.




Eastern Market & DeVries & Company by Give It A Whirl Girl


You might enjoy these posts at Give It A Whirl Girl!




Homemade Alfredo Sauce With Garlic & Lemon Served With Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Noodles – Awesome Sauce With Chef Shamy

Sometimes there is a dinner so phenomenal I just have to share. My husband and I had an appetite for some Fettuccine Alfredo. That is a dish that I used to make often and I have made it so much that I now have my sauce totally perfected. My secret to a great cheesy sauce like this is to use quality ingredients and you gotta have some fresh lemon juice and red pepper flakes. Homemade Alfredo sauce just can not be beat! Keep reading to learn more!

Homemade Alfredo Sauce With Garlic & Lemon Served With Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Noodles
Homemade Alfredo Sauce With Garlic & Lemon Served With Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Noodles

I have been trying to eliminate as much gluten as possible from my diet. It seems to be improving my health both mentally and physically so I am sticking to it. I have not reached a point of total elimination of gluten but I have cut down significantly. I needed a gluten-free, thick noodle to go with my alfredo. I ran into some difficulty at Kroger finding such a noodle and then I found it! I found some freshly made noodles that are made out of sweet potatoes. How perfect! I did have some fear in the back of my mind, though, that Joe would not approve. I took a leap of faith and added it to my ClickList anyway.

Now the details on the sauce. I have been going on and on lately about Chef Shamy’s gourmet butters.  I have a variety of flavors stocked in my fridge at the moment and figured my best bet was the Chef Shamy Garlic Butter with Parmesan Cheese and Basil. I can not say enough good words about this butter. Seriously guys, order some of this butter on Amazon and you will not regret it! I think that this butter really made my homemade Alfredo sauce shine. The butter gave it a marvelous flavor!


I used about 1/4 cup of that butter in my sauce along with one pint of Horizon Organic Heavy Whipping Cream.  Once I had the butter and the heavy cream well incorporated I added a great big squeeze of my favorite minced garlic from Spice World. My knife skill are no good and I do not enjoy mincing garlic so I go the easy route with my trusty squeeze bottle. I also added in some Italian Seasonings, salt, and a good crack at a peppercorn medley. I continued warming the sauce and then very slowly added some Simple Truth Organic Parmesan Cheese.

All of my ingredients were then well integrated and I almost had the perfect sauce. What I like to do to my alfredo Sauce is use the lemon juice from a freshly squeezed lemon (no picture here but you probably know what a lemon looks like). I simmer my sauce a bit more and let that lemon juice infuse the sauce.

The Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Fettuccine noodles were simple to cook. Just boil up the water, separate them well, and drop them in. The noodles were nice and al-dente in 3 minutes. I then drained the noodles well and I mixed the sauce and noodles up in one pot to ensure that every noodle was smothered in my cheesy sauce.

I like to put black pepper and red pepper flakes on top of my pasta and serve some lemon slices as a garnish, just in case you need another squeeze of that zingy lemon.

Homemade Alfredo Sauce With Garlic & Lemon Served With Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Noodles

So how does it look? I think it looks marvelous and I’m going to give myself a pat on the back for this dish. I am pleased to say, as well, that Joe 100% approved of these sweet potato noodles. He and I both agreed that they didn’t have a bit of funkiness or weirdness to them. I am being sincere here when I say that you wouldn’t have an idea that they are gluten-free unless I told you so.

I would also love to give a shout out to Chef Shamy for hooking my fridge up with a bunch of their tasty gourmet butter. I will most definitely be experimenting more with them in the Give It A Whirl Girl Kitchen. You can find out more about Chef Shamy by clicking this nice little link HERE.

Do you have any tips or tricks on making a decent alfredo sauce? Feel free to share here and let us all in on your secrets!

Grab two tubs of Chef Shamy’s Garlic Butter on Amazon. Give it a whirl!



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