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Lumberjack Macaroni

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I know there are some of you out there hanging on for dear life to your Hamburger Helper. Admit it. Even though it’s got TONS of additives and not-so-good stuff for you in it, you keep it. Like a safety net or a blankey. But guess what? You can make your OWN Hamburger Helper and it will taste even better. Bye bye additives and artificial coloring! Hello Lumberjack Macaroni! This post is for you, Tia Thomas!Guest posting for me today is my very close and dear friend, Brandy. You’ll probably get used to seeing her around here because I like her point of view. Thanks Brandy!

Stashed in the closet at my grandparents’ house was a box of cookbooks.  Not many other people in my family were interested in cooking from scratch, so I gladly accepted the box when my grandad offered it to me.  Mike and I took it home and looked through its treasured contents.  In it, there were many cookbooks and handwritten recipes–recipes I recognized.  The garlic toast, the Busy Day cake, the Economical Gold cake.  My Grandma Lois was known for her cakes and now I would be, too.  Two more wonderful surprises were the Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook and the Betty Crocker Cooky Book.  Both of these books are central to cooking in our home.  If I’m looking for a recipe for a pie, waffles, cookies or how long to broil a steak, I check Betty first.  One of my favorites from the Picture Cookbook is Lumberjack Macaroni.  I tried it first because I liked the name, but I also appreciate its simplicity and economy.  My daughter noted how much it was like “Burger Helper” (without all the creepy flavor enhancers).  Here is my modified version:

If you are offered old cookbooks from someone in your family, take them.  Treasure them.  If agriculture is the single most essential human activity, cooking is surely not far behind.

Comment Policy: I love hearing your thoughts and input on what I write. Since I write about what works at my house, what pleases my handsome hubby and darling children; I'm sure we'll disagree sometimes. In those cases, do what's right for you and yours. As with any form of communication, please only post comments that move the discussion in a positive direction.

About Stacy

Stacy is the author of Crock On: A Semi-Whole Foods Slow Cooker Cookbook and Keep Crockin': A Poorganic Slow Cooker Cookbook, and a stay-at-home and homeschooling mom to her three children, Annie (June 2009), Andy (August 2012) and Eli (September 2014). After an “awakening” in March 2011, her family switched to a more natural, whole foods diet. She likes to blog about how to live on less than you make and how to eat good food while doing it. Her passion is teaching others how to save money and she tag teams with her husband in this endeavor. At Stacy Makes Cents you’ll find information on how to save money in the kitchen, how to have fun with your kids, and how to be thrifty in all areas of life. Her passion is teaching others how to live debt free. Make sure to follow her on Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest and more to keep up with her daily antics.


  1. Easy peasy! Thanks for this recipe Brandy. I like Mr. Bell’s attitude, lol!
    Have you seen this post ever? It’s like a HH knock off bible. :)

  2. Yum – sounds simple & easy and GOOD! Thanks!

  3. Wow! The original recipe called for a LOT of butter!! :O :) Looks delicious. :)

  4. I may be uninformed — but isn’t American “cheese” actually processed cheese? If so, is processed cheese a “whole food”? This is in no way meant to be a criticism, if anything – it may be a stupid question. I figured you’d be just the person (or one of your readers) to answer this question. thanks

    ps I don’t eat American cheese, so I’m not really that familiar with it.

    • Dianne, you are correct. American cheese IS processed ( Our family doesn’t like it, so we don’t eat it. Any time a recipe calls for American, I substitute cheddar – without exception.
      You could easily substitute any cheese in this recipe. Even with the American cheese in it, a homemade version of HH is going to contain a lot less additives. :)

  5. Can’t wait to try it!

  6. do you have a homemade chili recipe??

  7. This reminds me a lot of the Mexican Mac & Cheese that we make quite often – I make mac & cheese, then stir in a can of chili beans and a can of diced tomatoes with green chilis. It is yummy!!

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