The Date: July 4th weekend, 2000
The Setting: A tiny little 2 bedroom apartment located in Southeast North Carolina
“Are you sure you don’t want to go out to eat tonight?” Husband Man asked as he watched me slip out of my black high heel shoes.
I gave him a look of exhaustion as I walked into our tiny little bedroom. I proceeded to change out of my work clothes, into a pair of jeans and a snug t-shirt and replied:
“I had a really long day at work and the last thing I feel like doing is jumping back into the car, driving to a restaurant, and waiting an hour to eat dinner. I’d rather make something here.”
He glanced at me with a hesitant look as he answered, “Ok. Then we’ll eat dinner here. What do you feel like making?” I could sense his mind was preoccupied with something that was bugging him. I decided not to question it and figured he would tell me if he felt comfortable enough. I smiled as I thought about what I wanted to make for dinner and said, “Your favorite! Husband’s Delight!”
As I proceeded to brown the hamburger meat and mix the spaghetti sauce, he started talking about his day….the good, the bad, and the ugly of being a Specialist in the U.S. Army. I heard it all that evening and part of me wondered if this was the reason why he looked preoccupied earlier. Unloading about his stressful work day seemed to help, however, I noticed while we were eating that he had a nervous smile on his face. When I asked him if he was ok, he responded with, “Of course! Never been better!”
The Best Husband’s Delight Casserole
We did the dishes together then settled down in the living room to watch Everybody Loves Raymond (our favorite show back then) on tv. Half way through the show, he stands up and tells me he has to go out to his truck because he forgot something. Not giving it a second a thought, I smiled and said, “Ok. Hurry back!” A few minutes later, he came back with that same nervous smile. This time, it was also mixed with a mischievous grin, kind of like “I know something you don’t know” type of grin. I smiled back, not really understanding why he was acting so strange.
Before I could ask what was going on with him, he kneeled down on the floor in front of the couch, took a tiny black box out of his pocket, opened it and asked, “Will you marry me??” Shock and happiness spread across my face as I finally realized why he was looking nervous the entire night. I, of course, said yes to his question. How could I not??
He explained minutes afterwards that his original plan was to take me out to dinner and propose then, however, he had to think of other plans because I wanted to stay at home that evening. It’s an inside joke in our house now that he proposed to me over a plate of this yummy Husband’s Delight Casserole! The name is VERY appropriate!
This casserole is the love child of lasagna and beef stroganoff. When you think about these two dishes together, it doesn’t add up. However, somehow in this recipe, they are perfect together. My mother found it while looking through a cookbook she purchased from a few fire fighters.
I guess she figured if it’s a recipe from a fire fighter, then it has to be good! She was correct! When I met Husband Man all those years ago, I would make this on occasion for him. It’s been with us for 17 years and we hope it will be a treasured family favorite in your collection as well!
Serving Size: 1 piece
- 1 lb. hamburger meat, browned and drained
- 24 oz. jar of spaghetti sauce, any flavor
- 1 envelope of dry and zesty spaghetti sauce mix
- 12 oz. package of medium egg noodles, cooked
- 16 oz. carton of sour cream
- 8 oz. bag of shredded Cheddar Cheese
- 8 oz. bag of shredded Mozzarella Cheese
- ½ cup of shredded Parmesan Cheese
- 1 tsp. garlic salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×13 inch casserole dish.
Mix the jar of spaghetti with the envelope of dry spaghetti sauce and 1 tsp. of garlic salt. Combine it with the browned hamburger meat.
Take the cooked noodles and spread them onto the casserole dish.
Spread about 1/3 of the meat mixture on top of the noodles.
Spread about 1/3 of the sour cream on top of the meat.
Sprinkle half of the Cheddar Cheese and half of the Mozzarella Cheese on top of the sour cream.
Continue this layering process and end it with the cheese. Sprinkle some Parmesan Cheese on the top.
Bake for 30 minutes and serve.
Recipe Source: My mother, who in turn found it in a cookbook.