Rush-Hour Recipes: Over 230 Quick to Fix Dinner RecipesYour Family Will Love…Even Slow-Cooker Meals and Potluck Dishes! by Gooseberry Patch, EPUB, 1612810306

December 13, 2017

Rush-Hour Recipes: Over 230 Quick to Fix Dinner RecipesYour Family Will Love…Even Slow-Cooker Meals and Potluck Dishes! (Everyday Cookbook Collection) by Gooseberry Patch

  • Print Length:
  • Publisher: Gooseberry Patch
  • Publication Date: January 6, 2012
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00VBI6HIO
  • ISBN-10: 1612810306
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612810300
  • File Format: EPUB

 

”Preview”

All of your Gooseberry Patch books are wonderful! I have many and they’re the first ones I go to when I want something different. I have given away many of my “other” cookbooks but yours I keep. I read your books like a novel… the recipes, sketches, helps and hints on every page make them a pleasure to open. Keep up the great work and keep those books coming.

Arden Regnier

East Moriches, NY

My very first Gooseberry Patch cookbook was a Christmas gift from my mom. I couldn’t believe how happy a book could make me! Mom always writes a little note inside and that makes it even more special. I have read your cookbooks cover to cover and love every page…all the recipes, stories, helpful hints and wonderful artwork. I hope Gooseberry Patch will be around forever!

Brenda Meadors

Mooresville, NC

This fall I purchased your cookbooks, 101 Homestyle Favorites and 101 Slow-Cooker Recipes, and I’ve used many of the recipes. For a working wife feeding her extended family, these books are incredible! I use them at least five times a week for well-rounded meals…quick, easy and done when I arrive home. It’s fun to use your recipes and add my own tweaks as I go. Thanks for making my life easier through the week. Blessings and bright days to you!

Velda Wise

Sunbury, OH

Dear Friend,

Whether you’re a busy stay-at-home mom, or a mom who goes out to work every day, you probably share our challenge…how to enjoy family meals at home, not in the drive-through lane.

Don’t worry…dinner just got easier! With Rush-Hour Recipes, you can bring the family together for satisfying weeknight meals. You’ll love easy 5-ingredient dishes like flavorful Honey-Mustard Grilled Chicken, Busy-Day Lasagna and All-in-One Bacon Cheeseburgers. Serve up Chicken Enchilada Bake, Creole Pork Chops & Rice and many other one-dish dinners…simple to make and simply delicious! Enjoy simmered-all-day convenience with slow-cooker recipes like Meatballs in Cream Sauce and Molasses Baked Beans.

For chilly days, stir up Hearty Healthy Minestrone or Texas Taco Soup…comfort in a bowl! Round out supper with delicious sides like Golden Parmesan Potatoes, Poppy Seed Slaw and Honey-Roasted Carrots. You’ll even be prepared for the next pop-up potluck with take-along casseroles and crowd-pleasing desserts and appetizers. Who can resist Mom’s “Chicken Wing” Casserole, Frozen Fruit Cups and Old-Fashioned Butterscotch Bars…yummy!

Most recipes are ready in 30 minutes or less and use familiar pantry ingredients. We’ve added plenty of kitchen shortcuts plus fun ideas for happy, healthy meals with family & friends. This is one cookbook you’ll turn to again & again!

Relax…dinner just got easier!

Vickie & Jo Ann

Gooseberry Patch

2500 Farmers Dr., #110

Columbus, OH 43235

www.gooseberrypatch.com

1·800·854·6673

Copyright 2011, Gooseberry Patch 978-1-61281-069-0

First Printing, September, 2011

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

Do you have a tried & true recipe…

tip, craft or memory that you’d like to see featured in a Gooseberry Patch cookbook? Visit our website at www.gooseberrypatch.com to share them with us instantly. If you’d rather jot them down by hand, use the handy form in the front of this book and send them to…

Gooseberry Patch

Attn: Cookbook Dept.

2500 Farmers Dr., #110

Columbus, OH 43235

Don’t forget to include the number of servings your recipe makes, plus your name, address, phone number and email address. If we select your recipe, your name will appear right along with it…and you’ll receive a FREE copy of the cookbook!

Contents

5-Ingredient Favorites

Bacon & Cheddar Chicken

Creamed Chicken Over Cornbread

Preston’s Zucchini Stir-Fry

Sausage Orzo Skillet

Zucchini Rodeo Casserole

Grilled Western Chicken Sandwich

Chicken Caesar Pita Wraps

Braised Pork Chops

Stuffed Cube Steaks

Sausage & Spanish Rice Skillet

Curly Noodle Surprise

Irish Supper

Pasta in Tomato-Basil Sauce

Pasta Pesto & Cherry Tomatoes

Pepper & Onion Brats

Smoky Sausage Skillet

Good Ol’ Sloppy Joes

Mini Onion Burgers

All-In-One Bacon Cheeseburgers

Mama’s Halushki

Spicy “Stuffed” Peppers

Hamburg Gravy

Amish Goulash

Tuna Pot Pie for Pennies

Tuna Pasta Dish

Mini Chicken Pot Pies

Busy-Day Lasagna

Tried & True Meatloaf

Melinda’s Mexican Manicotti

Chicken Chilaquiles

Hillary’s Pretzel Chicken

Parmesan-Crusted Chicken

Crispy Corn Flake Chicken

Hearty Potato Puff Bake

Family Love Spaghetti Pie

Quick Chicken Parmesan

Grammy’s Chicken à la King

Brandy’s Chicken on a Stick

Honey-Mustard Grilled Chicken

Hot Dog “Cupcakes”

Chili Dog Pizzas

Nan’s Stuffed Hot Dogs

Poor Man’s Lobster

Mom’s Salmon Crisps

Easy Garlic Chicken

Creamy Olive-Stuffed Chicken

One-Dish Dinners

Creole Pork Chops & Rice

Stir-Fried Pork & Noodles

Chicken & Mushroom Risotto

Deb’s Chicken Florentine

Inside-Out Cabbage Rolls

Deviled Hamburgers

Hamburger-Green Bean Skillet

Jackie’s Quick Stir-Fry

Mushroom Fried Rice

Virgil’s Veggie Fettuccine

Adam’s Vegetable Pasta

Chicken Noodle Bowl

Tomato & Chicken Penne

Spanish Rice & Beef

Texas Hash

Sweet-and-Sour Beef Bits

Cajun Skillet Rice

Speedy Sausage Ravioli

Nacho Kielbasa & Noodles

Mom’s Spaghetti & Meatballs

Rosemary Peppers & Fusilli

Spanish Omelette

Mama’s Quick Meatball Subs

Make-Ahead Pizza Burgers

Layered Tortilla Pie

Chicken Enchilada Bake

Mary’s Broiled Steak Tips

Shrimp Scampi

Deep-Dish Skillet Pizza

Spaghetti Amore

Mama’s Mucho Nachos

Taco Hot Dish

Swiss Ham Buns

Reuben Casserole

Tuna Tetrazzini

Spiced-Up Tuna Noodle Casserole

Hearty Wild Rice Dinner

Crumbed Honey Mustard Pork Chops

Hearty Pork Chops & Rice

Beefy Hashbrown Bake

Tasty Cheesy Bake

Good Ol’ Beans & Hot Dogs

Slow Cookers to the Rescue

Beef Tips & Noodles

Italian Beef Au Jus

Easy Cheesy Enchiladas

Tortellini Broccoli Alfredo

Lemonade Chicken

Chicken Yum-Yum

Herb Garden Chicken

“Hot Wing” Spicy Chicken

Hawaiian Honey Pork Roast

Teriyaki Steak & Rice

Sweet-and-Sour Meatballs

Meatballs in Cream Sauce

Stewed Chicken Verde

Beth’s Salsa Chicken

Easy Sauerbraten Beef

Saucy Short Ribs

Easy-Peasy Pork Chops

Lisa’s Pork Barbecue

Sweet Pork Barbacoa

Halftime Pork Sandwiches

So-Good Barbecue Buns

Simple Cheeseburger Sandwiches

Cordie’s Famous Sloppy Joes

Best-Ever Shredded Beef Tacos

Mexican Chicken Soft Tacos

Chuckwagon Chili

Yummy-Tummy Sausage Stew

Chicken Veggie Soup

Taco Chicken Soup

Poor Man’s Beef Stew

Hearty Minestrone

Ham & Potato Soup

Savory Red Cabbage & Apples

Spanish Rice

Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

Creamy Polenta

Slow-Cooked Pierogies

Farmstand Veggie Roast

All-Day Ratatoûille

Molasses Baked Beans

Mama’s Spicy Beans

Soup’s On!

Tom’s Chili Con Carne

Red, White & Green Chili

Escarole & Rice Soup

Hearty Healthy Minestrone

Greek Chicken & Rice Soup

Sausage Bean Gumbo

Y’all Luv It Veggie Soup

Stuffed Green Pepper Soup

Debbie’s Foolproof Potato Soup

Mom’s Classic Potato Soup

Chicken Corn Chowder

Quick Corn Chowder

Seafood Chowder

Hearty Shrimp Chowder

Zesty Mexican Noodle Soup

Texas Taco Soup

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

Granny’s Vegetable Soup

Chicken & Broccoli Soup

Katie’s 8-Can Soup

Sausage Soup Florentine

Tony’s Peasant Soup

Meatballs & Pasta Soup

Tomato Tortellini Soup

Cheesy Black Bean Soup

Julie’s Hamburger Soup

Beef Noodle Soup

Hearty Chicken Soup

Make-A-Meal Sides

Creamed New Potatoes & Peas

Golden Parmesan Potatoes

Chive Mashed Potatoes

Cheesy Mashed Potato Pancakes

Stovetop Baked Beans

Quick-Mix Poppy Seed Slaw

Herb Biscuit Knots

Anna Rae’s Baby Limas

Lynda’s Skillet Corn

Grandma’s Armenian Rice Pilaf

Garlic Butter Asparagus

Roasted Garlic French Fries

Parsley Baked Tomatoes

Spicy Baked Chili Fries

Herbed Ripe Tomatoes

Parmesan Supper Bread

Grandaddy’s Skillet Cornbread

Spicy Black Beans & Rice

Honey-Roasted Carrots

Golden Roasted Cauliflower

Buttermilk Biscuits

Best-Ever Fried Potatoes

Savory Green Beans

Sautéed Greens & Warm Pecan Dressing

Easy Almond Rice

Quick Brown Bread

Quick Squash Sauté

Oven-Baked Mexican Rice

Cheese & Garlic Biscuits

Chopped Salad

Chilled Broccoli Salad

Kickin’ Coleslaw

Mom’s Mayonnaise Muffins

Rainbow Pasta Salad

Quick & Easy Italian Slaw

Best-Ever Garlic Bread

Crunchy Potato Wedges

Lori’s Quick Potato Salad

Classic Waldorf Salad

Speedy Potluck & Party Foods

Crowd-Pleaser Taco Salad

Mouthwatering Chicken Quesadillas

Italian Hamburger Mac

Beefy Shellaroni

Freezer Meatballs

Swedish Meatballs or Kottbuller

Stovetop Mexican Macaroni

Quickie Cornbread

Mexican Pasta Bake

Cheesy Chicken & Angel Hair

Mom’s “Chicken Wing” Casserole

Ziti Bake Supreme

Sausage & Rice Casserole

Cheeseburger Casserole

Sloppy Joe Bake

Luau Baked Beans

Crunchy Taco Coleslaw

Cheesy Jalapeño Rice

Hamburger Soup

Chipped Ham Sandwiches

Nana’s Loaded Mashed Potatoes

Darlene’s German Potato Salad

Pretty Party Salad

Italian Bowtie Pasta Salad

22-Second Salad

Stir & Go Fruit Salad

Frozen Fruit Cups

Tropical Snack Mix

Sweet-and-Sourdough Nuggets

Spinach Party Puffs

Oven Cheesy Bread

Very Best Texas Caviar

Can’t-Miss Pimento Cheese

Homemade Hummus

Old-Fashioned Butterscotch Bars

Better Than Brownies

Fluffy Lemon-Raspberry Dessert

Pineapple Sheet Cake

Dinner Theater Dessert

To all of our friends who cherish sitting down to a home-cooked family meal…no matter how busy they are!

For taking the time to share your most delicious homestyle recipes with us…thanks so much!

Bacon & Cheddar Chicken

Kathy Grashoff

Fort Wayne, IN

Juicy chicken in a savory cheese sauce…yum!

1 T. oil

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/3 c. bacon, chopped

1/2 c. onion, chopped

1/2 c. milk

6 slices American cheese, chopped

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add chicken. Cook, turning once, for about 7 to 8 minutes, until golden on both sides and chicken juices run clear when pierced. Transfer chicken to a plate; cover to keep warm. Add bacon to drippings in skillet. Cook and stir over medium heat until crisp, about 2 minutes. Add onion; cook and stir until tender, about 3 minutes. Add milk and cheese; cook and stir until smooth. Return chicken to the skillet along with any juices that have collected on the plate. Turn chicken in sauce to coat. Serve chicken with cheese sauce spooned over it. Makes 4 servings.

Boneless chicken breasts are a terrific choice for speedy meals. They’ll cook up even quicker if placed in a large plastic zipping bag and flattened with a meat mallet.

Creamed Chicken Over Cornbread

Bobbi Greene

Mount Juliet, TN

This delicious, quick recipe helped stretch the family food budget when our daughter was young and I was a stay-at-home mom. For a change, serve over warm, split biscuits.

8-1/2 oz. pkg. cornbread mix

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces

2/3 c. water

10-3/4 oz. can cream of chicken soup

1 c. milk

1/2 t. pepper

Prepare and bake cornbread mix according to package directions. While cornbread is baking, combine chicken and water in a saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat until chicken is very tender, about 15 minutes; drain. In a separate saucepan, mix soup, milk and pepper; cook over medium heat until hot and creamy. Add chicken to soup mixture and stir to coat; heat through. Cut baked cornbread into squares. Split cornbread squares and top with chicken mixture. Serves 2 to 4.

Keep a notepad on the fridge to make a note whenever a pantry staple is used up…you’ll never run out of that one item you need for dinner.

Preston’s Zucchini Stir-Fry

Lisa Ellsworth

Sparta, MO

My husband Preston came up with this delicious dish one day while trying to figure out new ways of dealing with an abundance of zucchini. It’s fast, inexpensive and very tasty…even the kids love it!

1 lb. ground beef

1 to 2 zucchini, cut into bite-size pieces

1 onion, chopped

1-1/2 c. water

1-1/2 c. instant rice, uncooked

soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce to taste

Add beef, zucchini and onion to a skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until beef is browned and vegetables are tender; drain. Add water and rice; bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand until water is absorbed and rice is tender, about 5 minutes. Add desired sauce to taste. Serves 4.

Sausage Orzo Skillet

Julie Lundblad

Chardon, OH

This skillet meal is quick, easy and my whole family likes it! I’ve tried several flavors of sausage and they’re all delicious.

1 lb. ground pork sausage

14-1/2 oz. can beef broth

14-1/2 oz. can stewed tomatoes

1-1/4 c. orzo pasta, uncooked

Optional: Italian seasoning to taste

In a skillet over medium heat, brown sausage; drain. Add broth and tomatoes with their juice; bring to a boil. Stir in orzo; sprinkle with Italian seasoning, if using. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, until orzo is tender. Makes 4 servings.

Save time on kitchen clean-up…always use a spatter screen when frying in a skillet or Dutch oven.

Zucchini Rodeo Casserole

Cindy Brewer

Seguin, TX

We rodeo a lot, so I need a filling meal…and I prefer to fix it in one skillet. Yeehaw, everyone loves this! If your family likes a milder taste, use just half of the enchilada sauce.

2 lbs. ground beef

1 zucchini, shredded or chopped

15-oz. can green enchilada sauce

15-oz. can ranch-style beans

cooked rice or taco shells

Garnish: sour cream, shredded cheese, diced tomatoes and avocado

Brown beef in a skillet over medium heat; drain. Add zucchini, enchilada sauce and beans. Stir well and heat through, about 12 minutes. Serve over cooked rice or in taco shells, with desired toppings. Serves 4 to 6.

Declare a picnic night at home! Just toss a checkered tablecloth on the dinner table and set out paper plates and disposable plastic utensils. Relax and enjoy dinner…no dishes to wash!

Grilled Western Chicken Sandwich

Thomas Campbell

Hopkins, MN

The flavor of this simple sandwich is wonderful. Family & friends will think that there are tons of ingredients in it…only you know there aren’t! For a smoky taste, sometimes I use western salad dressing with bacon.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

12-oz. bottle western salad dressing

1 T. pepper

4 kaiser onion rolls, split and toasted

Garnish: 4 lettuce leaves, 4 thick slices tomato

Place chicken breasts, salad dressing and pepper in a gallon-size plastic zipping bag. Seal bag; shake gently to coat chicken. Refrigerate for 3 hours to overnight. Heat a grill to medium-high, about 350 degrees. Remove chicken from bag; discard marinade. Grill chicken until cooked through and chicken juices run clear when pierced. Place each piece of chicken on a toasted bun bottom; top with lettuce, tomato and top of bun. Makes 4 servings.

A ridged cast-iron grill skillet is handy for grilling on your stovetop whenever it’s too cold or rainy to use the grill outdoors.

Chicken Caesar Pita Wraps

Laura Witham

Anchorage, AK

My friends and I used to meet for lunch at a favorite restaurant. I always ordered the chicken Caesar pita sandwich…I really looked forward to it! Over the years, our lunch bunch broke up, so I decided to try making it myself. Now I can enjoy this wrap often. It’s quickly becoming my husband’s favorite, too.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Montreal steak seasoning to taste

3 T. olive oil

1/2 c. Caesar salad dressing

4 pita rounds

Optional: shredded Parmesan cheese

With a sharp knife, carefully slice horizontally most of the way through each chicken breast; open up and flatten. Sprinkle one side of chicken with seasoning. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to skillet; sprinkle other side with seasoning. Cook until golden on both sides and chicken juices run clear when pierced. Remove chicken from skillet to a cutting board. Let cool briefly; slice into strips and transfer to a bowl. Drizzle salad dressing over chicken; stir to coat well. Microwave pita rounds for 20 to 30 seconds, until warmed. Divide chicken mixture evenly among rounds. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, if desired. Serves 4.

When you bring home groceries, label any recipe ingredients before refrigerating so they won’t become snacks instead. Label any packages or containers of cheese, veggies and fruit that are intended for between-meal snacking.

Braised Pork Chops

Debora de Faria

The Woodlands, TX

The aroma of these pork chops on the stove brings back memories of my grandmother and mother’s kitchens. Both were wonderful cooks! The longer you cook the pork chops, the more tender they become. Serve with mashed potatoes to enjoy the flavorful gravy.

1 c. all-purpose flour

salt and pepper to taste

6 pork chops

3 T. oil

1 c. catsup

2 c. water

In a shallow bowl, mix flour with salt and pepper; dust pork chops completely. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork chops; cook until golden on both sides. Pour catsup over pork chops. Add water to skillet to cover pork chops completely. Cover and cook over low heat for 25 to 30 minutes, turning once or twice, to desired tenderness. Makes 6 servings.

Mashed potatoes are the perfect partner for creamy comfort foods. Make ’em in a jiffy! Quarter potatoes (no peeling required!) and cook in boiling water until tender, 10 to 20 minutes. Drain, mash right in the pot and stir in butter, salt and a little milk to desired consistency.

Stuffed Cube Steaks

Judith Long

Harriman, TN

This is a recipe that I have made for years… my family loves it! Just add a veggie and voilà, a quick & easy meal.

6-oz. pkg. stuffing mix

.87-oz. pkg. brown gravy mix

4 beef cube steaks

2 to 3 t. oil

Prepare stuffing mix according to package directions, adding a little extra liquid to make it extra moist. Place a heaping spoonful of stuffing on each steak; roll up and secure with wooden toothpicks. Place oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat; add stuffed steaks and brown on all sides. Meanwhile, prepare gravy mix according to package directions. When steaks are browned on all sides, add gravy to skillet. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for about 10 minutes, until steaks are tender. Serves 4.

Create a meal plan for one or even two weeks, including all of your favorite quick & easy meals…spaghetti on Monday, chicken pot pie on Tuesday and so forth. It can be very specific or more general. Post it on the fridge along with a shopping list…making dinner will be a snap!

Sausage & Spanish Rice Skillet

Kathy Smith

Cincinnati, OH

My husband and I came up with this tasty recipe. My daughters and grandchildren really enjoy it!

1 lb. smoked pork sausage links, cut into one-inch pieces

2 to 3 t. oil

1-1/2 c. instant rice, uncooked

1-1/2 c. chicken broth

8-oz. jar mild or hot salsa

2 c. shredded Cheddar cheese

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown sausage in oil; drain. Meanwhile, prepare rice according to package directions, using broth instead of water. Add rice and salsa to sausage in skillet; sprinkle with cheese. Cover and cook over low heat for a few minutes, until cheese melts. Makes 4 servings.

Curly Noodle Surprise

April Burdette

Parkersburg, WV

This recipe is fast and easy to make. My husband and kids love it.

1 lb. ground beef

1 onion, chopped

1 c. water

2 3-oz. pkgs. beef-flavored ramen noodles, crushed

2 14-1/2 oz. cans diced tomatoes

2 15-1/2 oz. cans kidney or chili beans, drained

In a large skillet over medium heat, brown beef and onion; drain. Stir in water, crushed noodles with seasoning packets, tomatoes with juice and beans. Bring to a boil. Simmer for about 5 minutes, until heated through and noodles are soft. Serves 4.

Laughter is brightest where food is best.

– Irish Proverb

Irish Supper

Erin Stamile

Waco, TX

This super-easy recipe was given to me by a friend as a go-to meal. It’s delicious…a household favorite! Serve with some warm Irish soda bread on the side.

16-oz. pkg. wide egg noodles, uncooked

1 lb. ground pork sausage

1 head cabbage, shredded

salt and pepper to taste

Cook noodles according to package instructions; drain. While noodles are cooking, brown sausage in a skillet over medium heat. Drain sausage and set aside, reserving some drippings in skillet. Add cabbage, salt and pepper to skillet; cook until cabbage is tender. Toss together cooked noodles, sausage and cabbage in a serving bowl. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

If a recipe calls for canned tomatoes, take advantage of Italian or Mexican style. They already have the seasonings added, so there are fewer ingredients for you to buy and measure!

Pasta in Tomato-Basil Sauce

Beth Schlieper

Lakewood, CO

After tasting this scrumptious dish at a favorite Italian restaurant, my husband and I came up with this very close recipe. I have been making it ever since…that’s nearly twenty years now!

3 14-1/2 oz. cans diced tomatoes, partially drained

1 onion, diced

5 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 c. olive oil

3 T. dried basil

16-oz. pkg. angel hair pasta, uncooked

Garnish: grated Parmesan cheese

In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine all ingredients except pasta and Parmesan cheese. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Serve sauce over cooked pasta; sprinkle with cheese. Serves 6 to 8.

Extra cooked pasta doesn’t need to go to waste. Toss with oil, wrap tightly and refrigerate up to four days. To serve, place in a metal colander, dip into boiling water for one minute and drain…as good as fresh-cooked!

Pasta Pesto & Cherry Tomatoes

Barbara Bargdill

Gooseberry Patch

My cherry tomato plants produced a bumper crop this year! This is the perfect recipe to use fresh cherry tomatoes from your garden or from the farmers’ market.

12-oz. pkg. rotini or fusilli pasta, uncooked

3 c. cherry tomatoes, quartered

salt to taste

1/4 c. basil pesto sauce

1-1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

Garnish: shredded Romano cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions, just until tender. Drain, reserving one cup of cooking liquid. Return pasta to cooking pot. In a bowl, sprinkle tomatoes lightly with salt and toss with pesto. Add tomato mixture to hot pasta and toss; add some of reserved cooking liquid to moisten. Add mozzarella cheese; toss to combine. Sprinkle Romano cheese over each serving. Serves 4.

Some other yummy ways to enjoy pesto sauce…serve with grilled meat or baked fish. Stir into hot pasta dishes or vegetables. Add to sour cream or mayonnaise to make a dressing.

Pepper & Onion Brats

Lorrie Smith

Drummonds, TN

I first tried one of these sandwiches at a large outdoor flea market. Now I make them at home and they are always a big hit! With a side of coleslaw or potato salad, they’re an easy dinner everyone enjoys.

1 T. canola oil

2 onions, chopped

2 green peppers, thinly sliced

6 smoked bratwurst sausages

salt and pepper to taste

6 hot dog buns, split

Garnish: mustard

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, peppers and bratwursts. Cover and cook about 5 minutes. Uncover; continue cooking until onions are translucent and golden. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place a brat and some of the onion mixture on each hot dog bun; top generously with mustard. Makes 6 servings.

Smoked sausages are a great choice for weeknight meals…just heat and serve. Different flavors like hickory-smoked or cheese-filled can really jazz up a recipe. Be sure to select fully-cooked sausages, not the uncooked kind.

Smoky Sausage Skillet

Carla Langston

Las Vegas, NV

One of my favorite go-to quick meals…it practically cooks itself!

14-oz. pkg. mini smoked turkey sausages

10-oz. pkg. sliced mushrooms

2 t. garlic, chopped

2 14-1/2 oz. cans cut green beans, drained

Optional: cooked rice

Spray a large skillet with non-stick vegetable spray. Brown sausages over medium heat. Add mushrooms and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are tender. Add green beans; cook over low heat until heated through. Serve over cooked rice, if desired. Serves 6.

Set out all the fixin’s for a baked potato bar for dinner tonight! Let the kids choose their favorite toppers…a fun way to serve a satisfying, simple meal.

Good Ol’ Sloppy Joes

Nancy Wysock

New Port Richey, FL

I used to take these to work and everyone loved them. They’re also much requested at church potlucks.

1 lb. ground beef chuck

1/2 c. onion, finely chopped

8-oz. can tomato sauce

2 T. honey

1/4 t. dry mustard

1/2 t. salt

1/4 t. pepper

4 hamburger buns or 8 slices bread

Brown beef in a skillet over medium heat; drain. Add onion; cook for 3 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients except rolls or bread. Simmer for 5 minutes. Spoon onto buns or bread. Serves 4.

Mini Onion Burgers

Mary Hall

Kentwood, MI

Just add chips and sodas for a quick, fun meal almost anytime!

1 red onion, sliced

1 lb. lean ground beef

1/4 t. salt

1/8 t. pepper

12 to 15 small potato rolls, split

6 T. mayonnaise

2 T. Dijon mustard

1/2 to 1 t. cayenne pepper

Optional: mustard, catsup or mayonnaise

Preheat a flat-top grill pan over high heat. Add onion and cook until tender, about 10 minutes; remove to a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix beef, salt and pepper. Form into small patties, about 2 inches across. Add patties to grill pan; cook 3 to 4 minutes per side. For Special Sauce, mix mayonnaise, mustard and cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Serve patties on buns with grilled onion, Special Sauce and other toppings, if desired. Makes 12 to 15 servings.

All-In-One Bacon Cheeseburgers

Beth Ann Richter

Canby, MN

One day I had these ingredients on hand and decided to toss them together. My sister tweaked the recipe a little bit and they were even more delicious. Now they’re a hit at all our family get-togethers!

1-1/2 lbs. lean ground beef

1-oz. pkg. ranch salad dressing mix

3-oz. jar bacon bits

8-oz. pkg. finely shredded Italian-blend cheese

6 hamburger buns, split

Place beef in a large bowl. Mix in remaining ingredients except buns, one at a time. Form into 6 patties. Grill over low heat, until burgers are lightly browned on one side. Turn and grill on other side. Burgers may also be cooked in a skillet over medium-low heat, covered, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. For either method, watch carefully to avoid burning. Serve on buns. Makes 6 servings.

Buttery, sweet corn on the cob is so delicious in the summertime…why not enjoy it more often? Place 3 tablespoons melted butter in a microwave-safe dish, add 4 husked ears of corn and roll to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 6 to 8 minutes.

Mama’s Halushki

Staci Prickett

Montezuma, GA

I grew up with this comfort food! It’s one of my favorites. Halushki is usually a meatless side dish, but Mama always added meat to make it a meal. Garlic salt and cracked pepper really add flavor to this dish, so don’t skimp on the seasonings!

8-oz. pkg. medium egg noodles, uncooked

1 lb. bacon or Kielbasa sausage, cut up, or ground beef

Optional: 2 to 4 T. butter, divided

1 head cabbage, cut up

1 onion, chopped

garlic salt and cracked pepper to taste

Cook noodles in salted water according to package directions; drain. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, brown meat. If bacon is used, reserve drippings in skillet; otherwise, drain and add 2 tablespoons butter. Add cabbage and onion to skillet; cook for 5 to 10 minutes. Season to taste with garlic salt and cracked pepper. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook cabbage to desired tenderness. Stir in drained noodles during last 5 to 10 minutes of cooking. If desired, stir in remaining butter. Makes 8 servings.

Give noodles and pasta lots more flavor in a jiffy…just add a chicken or beef bouillon cube to the cooking water.

Spicy “Stuffed” Peppers

Loreen Brooks

Indianapolis, IN

A new twist on an old favorite. The New Orleans-style rice mix gives it a very spicy bite that my family just loves!

1 lb. ground beef

1 onion, chopped

salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder to taste

2 8-oz. pkgs. dirty rice mix

14-1/2 oz. can stewed tomatoes, chopped

4-1/2 c. water

3 green peppers, halved

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook beef with onion. Drain; add seasonings to taste. Add rice mixes, tomatoes with juice and water to beef mixture; stir and bring to a boil. Place green peppers cut-side down into beef mixture. Cover and cook over medium-low heat about 20 to 25 minutes, until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. To serve, spoon beef mixture onto dinner plates; top each with a green pepper half. Makes 6 servings.

Keep a can of non-stick vegetable spray near the stove…quickly spritz on a casserole dish or skillet for easy clean-up later.

Hamburg Gravy

Debbie Grywalski

Summerfield, OH

This old-fashioned recipe is my mother’s favorite meal. It’s really scrumptious over mashed potatoes!

1 lb. ground beef

1/2 c. oil, divided

1/4 c. all-purpose flour

2 c. hot water

4 t. beef bouillon granules

salt and pepper to taste

mashed potatoes

In a skillet over medium heat, brown beef in 1/4 cup oil. Drain; remove beef from skillet and set aside. Add remaining oil and flour to skillet. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. In a small bowl, combine hot water and bouillon; stir until dissolved. Add bouillon mixture to skillet; cook and stir until thickened. Return beef to gravy in skillet. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve over mashed potatoes. Serves 4.

A quick & easy seasoning mix is six parts salt to one part pepper. Keep it close to the stove in a large shaker…so handy when pan-frying pork chops, burgers or chicken.

Amish Goulash

Leticia Edington

Clinton, IN

Serve with a tossed salad and hot rolls for a satisfying meal prepared in less than thirty minutes!

5 to 8 potatoes, peeled and diced

10-oz. pkg. frozen peas

1 lb. ground beef

10-3/4 oz. can cream of celery soup

8-oz. pkg. favorite shredded cheese, divided

Place potatoes in a stockpot filled with boiling water. Cook over medium-high heat until potatoes are almost tender, about 15 minutes; add peas. Meanwhile, brown beef in a skillet over medium heat; drain. Add soup and cheese to beef, reserving some cheese for topping. Stir until well blended and cheese is melted. Drain potatoes and peas; add to beef mixture. Stir together; top with reserved cheese. Serves 6 to 8.

Clip-type clothespins make such handy refrigerator clips…just glue a magnet on the back and they’re ideal for holding appointment cards, newspaper clippings and the latest new recipes to try.

Tuna Pot Pie for Pennies

Judy Lange

Imperial, PA

Keep these ingredients on hand to bake up in a pinch!

6-1/2 oz. can tuna, drained

10-3/4 oz. can cream of mushroom soup

16-oz. can peas, drained

7-1/2 oz. tube refrigerated biscuits

Combine tuna, soup and peas in a bowl. Place in a greased 8″x8″ baking pan. Arrange biscuits on top of tuna mixture. Bake, uncovered, at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, or until hot and biscuits are golden. Serves 2 to 3.

Tuna Pasta Dish

Helena Czanik

Alpharetta, GA

I used to love eating this as a child. It’s been a favorite with the kids in the family for as long as I can remember.

1 c. elbow or shell macaroni, uncooked

2.6-oz. pouch chunk light tuna, drained

1/2 c. favorite shredded cheese

5 T. mayonnaise-style salad dressing

5 T. catsup

salt and pepper to taste

Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain. In a microwave-safe bowl, mix remaining ingredients together. Add cooked macaroni to tuna mixture. Microwave on high for 30 to 60 seconds, until hot and bubbly. Serves 2, or one adult and 2 kids.

There’s no need to be formal with one-dish dinners…set the dish in the center of the dinner table and let everyone help themselves!

Mini Chicken Pot Pies

Amy Hunt

Traphill, NC

This is a speedy meal on a busy night. Just add some mashed potatoes, a vegetable on the side and a simple dessert.

7-1/2 oz. tube refrigerated biscuits

1 c. cooked chicken, diced

10-3/4 oz. can cream of chicken soup

2/3 c. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

salt and pepper to taste

Spray 8 to 10 muffin cups with non-stick vegetable spray. Place a biscuit in each muffin cup; press down and 1/4 of the way up the sides. In a bowl, combine remaining ingredients; stir until well blended. Spoon chicken mixture into biscuit cups, filling about 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes, until biscuits are golden. Makes 4 to 5 servings, 2 pot pies each.

Whip up some savory herb butter. Blend 1/2 cup softened butter, one tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, 1-1/2 teaspoons minced garlic, one teaspoon Italian seasoning and a generous squirt of lemon juice. Wrap well and refrigerate or freeze. To use, slice off a few pats and thaw briefly…ready to jazz up hot rolls, mashed potatoes, steamed veggies, scrambled eggs or even grilled steaks!

Busy-Day Lasagna

Meredith Martin

Austin, MN

This recipe is quick & easy when you just don’t have time to spend all day in the kitchen. If you buy the ravioli on sale, this recipe is much more budget-friendly than traditional lasagna, too.

2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

1 to 1-1/2 c. shredded Parmesan cheese

2 26-oz. jars favorite pasta sauce, divided

2 25-oz. pkgs. frozen sausage and cheese ravioli, divided

12-oz. pkg. frozen spinach, thawed and drained, divided

Combine cheeses in a bowl; set aside. Spread a layer of sauce in a lightly greased 13″x9″ baking pan. Arrange a layer of ravioli on top of sauce. Spread a layer of spinach on top. Add a layer of cheese mixture, completely covering the spinach. Spoon some sauce over cheese. Repeat all of the layers, ending with a layer of cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, until cheese is melted and sauce has reduced a little. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes before cutting into squares. Makes 8 to 12 servings.

Toss together salads for several days’ meals so dinner is ready in a hurry. Store salad greens in a plastic zipping bag, tucking in a paper towel to absorb extra moisture and refrigerate. They’ll stay crisp up to four days.

Tried & True Meatloaf

Lois Glines

Rogers, AR

I received this simple recipe from a 105-year-old lady I cared for. I have made this time and time again, and I promise it won’t last long at your house. Yummy!

1 lb. ground beef

1 egg, beaten

13 saltine crackers, crushed

1/2 c. onion, chopped

1/2 t. salt

1/2 c. catsup, divided

In a bowl, combine beef, egg, cracker crumbs, onion, salt and 1/4 cup catsup. Mix well and place in an ungreased 9″x5″ loaf pan. Spread remaining catsup on top. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, or until no longer pink. Serves 4.

Cook once, eat twice! Make a double batch of meatloaf, meatballs or taco beef, then freeze half. On a busy night, how wonderful to simply pull dinner from the freezer, reheat and serve.

Melinda’s Mexican Manicotti

Melinda Magness

Hodgen, OK

This is a recipe that I changed to fit my tastes. Even my picky boys love it! We like to have beans and rice with it.

8-oz. pkg. manicotti shells, uncooked

1 lb. lean ground beef

1-1/4 oz. pkg. taco seasoning mix

3/4 c. water

16-oz. jar mild or hot picante sauce

8-oz. pkg. shredded Mexican-blend cheese

Cook pasta shells according to package directions; drain. While shells are cooking, brown beef in a skillet over medium heat; drain. Stir in taco seasoning mix and water; reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. With a small spoon, fill cooked shells with beef mixture. Arrange shells in a lightly greased 13″x9″ baking pan. Spoon picante sauce over top; sprinkle with cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Serves 4.

Toss together a cool, easy side for 6…corn and tomato salad. Combine a drained can of corn, a drained can of diced tomatoes with sweet onions, 3 sliced green onions and 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro. Add 1/3 cup lime juice, 1/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar and salt to taste. Pop in the fridge and chill until dinnertime.

Chicken Chilaquiles

Sharon Gutierrez

Escondido, CA

I like to figure out shortcuts to make recipes quick & easy. I combined a few different recipes to make this extremely yummy dinner. Try it…I think you’ll agree!

1/2 c. oil

10 corn tortillas, cut into 1/2-inch strips

Optional: salt to taste

1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

1 c. shredded Cheddar cheese

2 c. cooked chicken, shredded

28-oz. can mild chile verde sauce, divided

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat, until hot. Cook tortilla strips, a few at a time, just until crispy. Drain tortilla strips on paper towels; sprinkle with salt, if desired. Mix cheeses in a bowl; set aside. Spray a 13″x9″ baking pan with non-stick vegetable spray. Layer half of the tortilla strips in pan; top with chicken, one cup sauce and one cup cheese mixture. Press layers gently down into pan. Repeat layering with remaining tortilla strips, sauce and cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until cheese is melted and golden. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Put your pizza cutter to work full-time. It’s perfect for cutting tortillas into strips and slicing cheesy quesadillas into wedges…you’re sure to discover other uses!

Hillary’s Pretzel Chicken

Hillary Pence

Grottoes, VA

I’m always looking for quick dinner ideas for when I get home after a hard day’s work. This recipe is so easy and my husband enjoys it too. Butter pretzels are tasty, but use whatever you have on hand!

1-1/2 c. pretzels

1/4 c. butter, melted

4 to 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Garnish: honey mustard or other favorite mustard

Place pretzels in a plastic zipping bag; seal. With a mallet, crush finely. Place melted butter in a shallow bowl. Dip chicken into butter; add to crushed pretzels in zipping bag and coat well. Place chicken in a greased 13″x9″ baking pan. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for about 20 to 25 minutes, until chicken juices run clear. Serve with mustard for dipping. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Parmesan-Crusted Chicken

Kimberly Hancock

Murrieta, CA

This recipe is so easy, I can make it with my eyes closed…terrific for a busy weeknight. Serve on a bed of spaghetti with marinara sauce

1/2 c. mayonnaise

1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 c. Italian-seasoned dry bread crumbs

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Combine mayonnaise and cheese. Spread mixture over chicken; sprinkle with bread crumbs. Arrange in a lightly greased 13″x9″ baking pan. Bake, uncovered, at 425 degrees for 20 minutes, or until chicken juices run clear. Serves 4.

Crispy Corn Flake Chicken

Dana Cunningham

Lafayette, LA

My family loves take-out chicken by the bucket, but this oven-fried version is healthier and just as yummy. Well, except for the time that I used sugar-frosted cereal by mistake…I won’t do that again!

8 chicken drumsticks and/or thighs

salt and pepper to taste

1 egg, beaten

1 T. water

2 c. corn flake cereal, crushed

1 T. olive oil

1 t. salt

Optional: 1/2 t. cayenne pepper

Remove skin from chicken; discard. Sprinkle chicken generously with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, whisk egg with water. In a shallow bowl, mix crushed cereal, oil, salt and cayenne pepper, if desired. Dip chicken into egg mixture; coat with cereal mixture, pressing it on well. Arrange chicken on a greased 15″x10″ jelly-roll pan. Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees until crisp, golden and chicken juices run clear, about 30 minutes. Makes 8 servings.

Need a quick after-school snack to tide the kids over until dinnertime? Hand out little bags of crunchy snacks…just toss together bite-size cereal squares, raisins or dried cranberries and a few chocolate-covered candies.

Hearty Potato Puff Bake

Amy Wade

Stephenville, TX

This dish was a favorite while I was working as a paramedic. It’s speedy to fix and easy to double so that everyone on shift at the station can enjoy a tasty hot meal. Serve as soon as it’s ready…you never know when you will get called away!

2 lbs. lean ground beef

1 c. onion, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

10-3/4 oz. can cream of mushroom soup

4 c. shredded Cheddar cheese, divided

32-oz. pkg. frozen potato puffs

In a large skillet over medium heat, brown beef and onion; drain. Season with salt and pepper; stir in soup and 2 cups cheese. Add beef mixture to a 13″x9″ baking pan sprayed with non-stick vegetable spray. Arrange potato puffs on top. Bake, uncovered, at 375 degrees for 25 minutes, until potato puffs are golden. Top with remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, for an additional 10 minutes, until cheese melts. Serves 8 to 10.

Speed up prep time on ground beef recipes! Brown several pounds of beef, adding onions and green peppers if you like. Divide into one-pound portions in large plastic freezer bags and flatten to freeze. Thaw overnight in the fridge, or even in the microwave anytime it’s needed.

Family Love Spaghetti Pie

Ilene Breton

Winchendon, MA

This simple get-together dish has been in our family for years. One of our family members would make four or five casseroles and we would all gather at their house to eat and have fun. The flavor is even better if you use a mixture of cheeses!

16-oz. pkg. spaghetti, uncooked

2 to 3 28-oz. cans whole tomatoes, drained and sliced

4 c. shredded white Cheddar cheese

Cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain. In a greased 3-quart casserole dish, layer half of spaghetti, half of tomatoes and half of cheese. Repeat layering, ending with cheese on top. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes, until bubbly and heated through. Serves 6.

For a side dish that practically cooks itself, fill aluminum foil packets with sliced fresh veggies. Top with seasoning salt and two ice cubes; seal. Bake at 450 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, or alongside a casserole at 350 degrees for a little longer. Delicious!

Quick Chicken Parmesan

Amy Blanchard

Clawson, MI

So easy and so good! If you prefer, use cooked boneless chicken breasts instead of the breaded patties.

16-oz. pkg. spaghetti or other pasta, uncooked

24-oz. jar favorite pasta sauce, divided

1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

4 to 6 frozen breaded chicken patties

1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. In a bowl, toss cooked pasta with 2/3 of sauce. Spread evenly into a 13″x9″ baking pan sprayed with non-stick vegetable spray. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese; arrange frozen chicken patties on top. Spoon remaining sauce over all; sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes, until heated through. Serve each chicken patty over a portion of pasta. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Ready, set, cook! If the oven will be used, turn it on right away to preheat. When pasta is on the menu, put a big pot of water on the stove as soon as you get home. Dinner will be ready in a jiffy!

Grammy’s Chicken à la King

Elizabeth Cerri

Stephens City, VA

This is a mainstay dish that my grandmother would whip up on snowy days in Connecticut. We’d come in from sled riding, chilled to the bone. Grammy knew just how to warm us up…with her quick Chicken à la King over biscuits or rice. Mmm!

1 T. oil

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes

2 10-3/4 oz. cans cream of chicken soup

1/2 c. milk

2 15-oz. cans mixed vegetables, drained

salt and pepper to taste

4 biscuits or cooked rice

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add chicken and sauté until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. In a bowl, whisk together soup and milk until smooth. Stir in vegetables. Spoon soup mixture over chicken in skillet. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes, until heated through. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve over split biscuits or rice. Serves 4.

Keep cooking oil in a glass bottle with a pouring spout. This makes it easy to drizzle oil just where it’s needed, with no waste and no mess…clever!

Brandy’s Chicken on a Stick

Brandy Golden

Baden, PA

Whenever I make these chicken sticks, the kids go crazy! My family requests them for every cookout. Yummy!

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/4 c. soy sauce

1/4 c. brown sugar, packed

2 T. honey

1 t. ground ginger

6 to 8 wooden skewers, soaked in water

Cut each chicken breast lengthwise into 4 strips. Pound strips until thin; place in a large plastic zipping bag. Mix remaining ingredients in a bowl; add half of sauce mixture to chicken in bag. Refrigerate chicken for 2 hours to overnight. Refrigerate remaining sauce mixture in a separate container for basting. Drain chicken; discard bag and marinade. Thread chicken strips onto skewers. Grill over medium heat for about 3 minutes on each side, basting with reserved sauce mixture. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Just for fun, serve fresh veggies on sticks, too…kids love it! Thread bite-size veggies like cherry tomatoes, whole mushrooms, yellow pepper squares and baby carrots onto skewers. Serve with ranch salad dressing for tasty dipping.

Honey-Mustard Grilled Chicken

Diana Chaney

Olathe, KS

So simple, yet so tasty! If you prefer to use boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut large pieces in half.

2/3 c. Dijon mustard

1/2 c. honey

1/4 c. mayonnaise

2 t. red steak sauce

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

In a shallow bowl, whisk together all ingredients except chicken. Set aside 1/3 of mustard mixture for basting. Coat chicken in remaining mustard mixture. Grill chicken over medium heat for 18 to 20 minutes, turning occasionally, until chicken juices run clear. Brush occasionally with reserved mustard mixture during the last 10 minutes. Makes 8 servings.

Don’t toss that almost-empty Dijon mustard jar! Use it to mix up a zesty salad dressing. Pour 3 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons cider vinegar and a clove of minced garlic into the jar, replace the lid and shake well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle over mixed greens…so refreshing.

Hot Dog “Cupcakes”

Bethany Newton

Centreville, VA

These taste just like corn dogs…kids love ’em! My girls gave this recipe its name. Dip them in catsup…yummy!

8-1/2 oz. pkg. corn muffin mix

1/3 c. water

1 egg, beaten

1/4 c. shredded Cheddar cheese

4 to 6 hot dogs, cut into bite-size pieces

Garnish: catsup

In a bowl, stir together muffin mix, water and egg. Add cheese and hot dogs; blend together. Fill paper-lined muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden. Serve with catsup. Makes 6 servings.

Chili Dog Pizzas

Jill Duvendack

Pioneer, OH

My grandchildren love making and eating these pizzas…soooo easy. This recipe serves Grandpa, Grandma, two grandkids and possibly Mom, if she gets here before it’s gone!

2 12-inch ready-to-bake pizza crusts

1 to 2 15-oz. cans chili without beans

6 to 8 hot dogs, sliced

8-oz. pkg. shredded Cheddar-Monterey Jack cheese, or more to taste

Place crusts on ungreased pizza pans. Top each crust with half of the chili; spread to cover. Arrange hot dogs over chili; top with cheese. Bake according to crust package directions, until golden and cheese has melted. Serves 4 to 6.

Fill the sink with hot soapy water when you start dinner and just toss in pans and utensils as they’re used…clean-up will be a breeze.

Nan’s Stuffed Hot Dogs

Nancy Rossman

Port Richey, FL

This simple recipe was passed down to me from my mother. We love these delicious dogs with a side of French fries or home fries. I fix two per person, but hearty eaters may want more!

16-oz. pkg. bun-length hot dogs

16-oz. can baked beans

8 long thin slices kosher dill pickle

6 slices American cheese, cut into thirds

8 slices bacon

Slice hot dogs lengthwise, but not all the way through. Spoon a tablespoonful of beans into each hot dog. Top with one pickle slice and 2 pieces of cheese; wrap hot dog in a bacon slice. Place on a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick vegetable spray. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until bacon is crisp on top. Makes 8 servings.

White paper coffee filters make tidy toss-away holders for hot dog buns, sandwich wraps or tacos.

Poor Man’s Lobster

Linda Stone

Smithville, TN

For the mildest tasting, most tender monkfish, choose lighter colored fillets. If you like, use olive oil for baking, then butter for dipping.

1-1/2 lbs. monkfish fillets

1 c. butter, melted and divided

salt, pepper and paprika to taste

lemon zest to taste

Garnish: lemon slices, fresh parsley sprigs

Arrange fish fillets in a lightly greased shallow 13″x9″ baking pan. Drizzle half of melted butter over fish; sprinkle with seasonings to taste. Add a little lemon zest to remaining butter; set aside and keep warm. Bake fish, uncovered, at 375 degrees for 15 to 25 minutes, until fish flakes easily with a fork. Garnish as desired; serve with warm lemon butter for dipping. Makes 4 servings.

Crisp coleslaw pairs well with fish dishes. Perk up your favorite coleslaw with some mandarin oranges or pineapple tidbits for a delicious change.

Mom’s Salmon Crisps

Andrea Ford

Montfort, WI

This was one of my mom’s recipes. A quick & easy supper.

16-oz. can salmon, drained and flaked

1 egg, beaten

2 T. milk

1/2 t. salt

1/4 t. pepper

1/2 c. fine saltine cracker crumbs

1/4 c. butter, melted

In a bowl, mix salmon, egg, milk, salt and pepper. Form into 8 to 9 oblong rolls. Roll each in cracker crumbs. Place rolls in a greased shallow 13″x9″ baking pan; drizzle with butter. Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Serves 4.

Roasted fresh asparagus is simply delicious…simple to fix too. Arrange spears on a baking sheet and sprinkle with olive oil and garlic salt. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Easy Garlic Chicken

Theresa Wehmeyer

Rosebud, MO

My family loves this chicken, and so do I! The short list of ingredients is easy to remember when I’m at the grocery store wondering what to make for dinner.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/3 c. mayonnaise

1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese

3 to 4 T. savory herb & garlic soup mix

2 T. dry bread crumbs

Place chicken in a greased 11″x7″ baking pan. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese and soup mix. Spread chicken with mayonnaise mixture; sprinkle with bread crumbs. Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, until chicken juices run clear when pierced. Makes 4 servings.

Creamy Olive-Stuffed Chicken

Renae Scheiderer

Beallsville, OH

This is a recipe that I’ve recently tried. It’s good for my diabetic diet…I’ve adjusted it a bit so that the whole family enjoys it!

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/2 c. cream cheese, softened

2-1/4 oz. can sliced black olives, drained

1/8 t. dried oregano

1/8 t. pepper

1/2 c. seasoned dry bread crumbs

1 T. olive oil

Flatten chicken breasts to 1/4-inch thickness. In a bowl, combine cream cheese, olives, oregano and pepper. Spoon 2 tablespoons of mixture down the center of each chicken breast. Fold chicken over filling; secure with toothpicks, if desired, and roll in bread crumbs. In a large, ovenproof skillet over medium heat, cook chicken in oil until golden. Place skillet in oven. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, until chicken juices run clear. Makes 4 servings.

Creole Pork Chops & Rice

Phyllis Covington

Guthrie, KY

This flavorful one-pot meal really smells amazing as it cooks…even the leftovers taste wonderful! It’s yummy made with boneless, skinless chicken breasts instead of pork chops too.

4 pork chops

1 T. oil

1 c. onion, diced

1 c. celery, diced

1 c. long-cooking rice, uncooked

29-oz. can tomato sauce

15-oz. can diced tomatoes

salt and pepper to taste

In a skillet over medium heat, cook pork chops in oil until golden but not cooked through. Add onion, celery and uncooked rice; stir in remaining ingredients. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer until rice is tender, about 15 to 20 minutes, adding more water as needed to prevent drying out. Makes 4 servings.

Homemade applesauce goes so well with pork chops…why not make some while dinner is cooking? Peel, core and chop four tart apples. Combine with 1/4 cup water, 2 teaspoons brown sugar and 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover and microwave on high for 8 to 10 minutes. Mash apples with a potato masher and serve warm, dusted with a little more cinnamon.

Stir-Fried Pork & Noodles

Jill Ross

Gooseberry Patch

Stir-fries are my easy answer to dinner in a hurry. They’re so adaptable too…you can use boneless chicken, beef or even portabella mushrooms instead of pork.

5 c. water, divided

2 3-oz. pkgs. Oriental-flavor ramen noodles, divided

2 t. oil, divided

16-oz. pkg. frozen stir-fry vegetables, thawed

1/2 c. onion, sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

3/4 lb. boneless pork chops, cut into strips

1 T. cornstarch

Optional: soy sauce

In a saucepan over high heat, bring 4 cups water to a boil. Add noodles; set aside seasoning packets. Boil noodles for 3 minutes; drain. Meanwhile, add one teaspoon oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add vegetables, onion and garlic to skillet. Cook and stir until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Set vegetable mixture aside in a bowl. Add pork and remaining oil to skillet. Cook and stir just until pork is cooked through. Remove pork to bowl with vegetables. Combine remaining water, reserved seasoning packets and cornstarch in skillet. Stir until simmering and well-blended. Cook for one minute, or until slightly thickened. Add noodles; toss to coat. Add pork and vegetables. Cook and stir gently over low heat until warmed through. Serve with soy sauce, if desired. Makes 4 servings.

Use a long-handled wooden spatula when stir-frying to lift and turn the food easily without scratching the pan.

Chicken & Mushroom Risotto

Judy Young

Plano, TX

I brought this recipe with me from England. It is simple to make but oh-so good!

1 c. long-cooking rice, uncooked

2 T. onion, minced

1/4 c. butter, divided

2 c. chicken broth

1/4 lb. sliced mushrooms

1/2 t. salt

1/8 t. paprika

1 c. cooked chicken, diced

1/2 c. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine rice, onion and one tablespoon butter. Sauté for one to 3 minutes; stir in broth. Cook, covered, over low heat for 30 minutes. While rice is cooking, sauté mushrooms in remaining butter in a separate saucepan. When rice is tender, stir in mushrooms and remaining ingredients. Cook an additional 5 minutes, until heated through. Serves 4.

Cook up a big pot of chicken to freeze for later. For juicy, flavorful chicken, cover with water and simmer gently until cooked through, then turn off the heat and let the chicken cool in its own broth. Shred or cube chicken, wrap well in recipe-size portions and freeze.

Deb’s Chicken Florentine

Deb Eaton

Mesa, AZ

My husband loves Italian food! When a local restaurant closed, he was sad that he couldn’t get his favorite dish anymore, so I recreated it for him at home. You can substitute frozen spinach, canned mushrooms or leftover rotisserie chicken. Serve with garlic bread sticks hot from the oven to sop up all the delicious juices!

16-oz. pkg. linguine pasta, uncooked

2 T. olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced

1-1/4 c. fat-free zesty Italian salad dressing, divided

8 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

8-oz. pkg. sliced mushrooms

5-oz. pkg. baby spinach

cracked pepper to taste

Optional: grated Parmesan cheese, chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. While pasta is cooking, warm oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook 2 minutes. Add chicken; cook until no longer pink. Drizzle chicken with one cup salad dressing. Stir in tomatoes and mushrooms; cover skillet and simmer until mushrooms are softened. Add spinach; cover skillet again. Cook another 2 to 3 minutes, just until spinach is wilted; stir and sprinkle with pepper. Toss cooked linguine with remaining salad dressing. Serve chicken and vegetables over linguine, garnished as desired. Makes 6 servings.

Good china and candles aren’t just for the holidays or special celebrations…use them to brighten everyday family meals!

Inside-Out Cabbage Rolls

Joyceann Dreibelbis

Wooster, OH

A low-fat, one-dish meal that gives you that down-home feel…and it’s ready to serve in no time!

1 lb. ground beef

1 onion, chopped

1 green pepper, chopped

10-oz. can diced tomatoes and green chiles

1 head cabbage, chopped

1 c. beef broth

8-oz. can pizza sauce

1 c. cooked brown rice

1/2 c. shredded Cheddar cheese

In a Dutch oven over medium heat, cook beef, onion and green pepper until beef is no longer pink; drain. Stir in tomatoes, cabbage, broth and pizza sauce. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, until cabbage is tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in rice; heat through. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with cheese; cover and let stand until cheese is melted. Serves 6.

Deviled Hamburgers

Lynn Knepp

Montgomery, IN

These yummy burgers marinate all day! This recipe came from one of my beauty salon customers who passed away over twenty-five years ago. Whenever I get out this recipe card and see her name written on it, I think of her, and that makes it extra special.

1 lb. ground beef

2 T. catsup

1 T. onion, chopped

2 t. mustard

1 t. red steak sauce

1 t. seasoned salt

1/2 t. pepper

4 hamburger buns, split

In the morning, mix together all ingredients except buns; form into 4 patties. Cover and refrigerate until evening. Cook as you prefer by frying in a skillet, or grilling on a countertop grill or an outdoor grill. Serve burgers on buns. Makes 4 servings.

Hamburger-Green Bean Skillet

Ann Smith

Columbus, OH

This dish started with ready items from my pantry. It has turned into easy, quick comfort food for my family!

1 lb. ground beef

6.2-oz. pkg. fried rice-flavored rice vermicelli mix

2 c. water

1 T. Worcestershire sauce

1 to 2 14-1/2 oz. cans green beans, drained

Brown beef in a large skillet over medium heat; drain. When beef is nearly done, stir in rice vermicelli mix. Cook, stirring frequently, until rice turns light golden. Add remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Serves 6.

Keep shopping simple…have a shopping list that includes all the ingredients you use often, plus a few blank lines for special items.

Jackie’s Quick Stir-Fry

Jackie Antweiler

Evergreen, CO

This is my version of a speedy stir-fry. Sometimes I use two kinds of meats or any extra veggies I have in the fridge for a tasty new meal made with leftovers.

16-oz. pkg. shredded broccoli-carrot or coleslaw mix

4 T. oil, divided

1 c. cooked ham, pork, chicken or shrimp, chopped or sliced

3 T. rice vinegar

3 T. soy sauce

3 T. sugar

salt and pepper to taste

3-oz. pkg. chicken-flavored ramen noodles

2-oz. pkg. slivered almonds

3 T. sesame seed

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook and stir shredded vegetables in 2 tablespoons oil. Add meat to skillet. In a small bowl, mix remaining oil, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, salt, pepper and seasoning packet from ramen noodle package. Add oil mixture to skillet; stir well. Add almonds and sesame seed. Crush ramen noodles and add to skillet; simmer until noodles are soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Makes 4 servings.

Slice stir-fry meat and veggies into equal-size pieces…they’ll all be cooked to perfection at the same time.

Mushroom Fried Rice

Jamie Courchesne

Alberta, Canada

My Aunt Merle often serves this dish when we’re invited for supper at her house…we enjoy it very much!

2 to 3 t. oil

1 c. sliced mushrooms

1 onion, chopped

1 c. cooked chicken, turkey or ham, diced

seasoned salt and pepper to taste

2 c. instant rice, uncooked

1/2 c. peas, corn or mixed vegetables

10-1/2 oz. can beef broth

1-1/4 c. water

1 t. soy sauce

1/2 t. dried parsley

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add mushrooms, onion, meat, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until mushrooms and onion are tender. Add uncooked rice and vegetables; cook and stir for 2 to 3 minutes. Add remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes, until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Serves 4.

Turn leftovers into plan-overs! When you create the week’s menu, plan two meals that use some of the same ingredients. Extra baked chicken can become shredded chicken sandwiches another night…extra taco beef can be stirred into a pot of chili. The possibilities are endless and real time-savers.

Virgil’s Veggie Fettuccine

Jodi Spires

Centerville, OH

My dad knew how to cook only a few things, but they were extraordinary! He has been gone for several years now…when our family sits down to this homemade meal, it’s as if he is still right there with us, smiling.

2 16-oz. pkgs. fettuccine pasta, uncooked

1-1/2 c. half-and-half

2 t. garlic salt or powder

8 c. broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces

8-oz. pkg. sliced mushrooms

salt and pepper to taste

2 to 3 c. grated Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. While pasta is cooking, combine half-and-half and garlic salt or powder in an extra-large Dutch oven. Heat over medium heat just until boiling. Add broccoli, cauliflower and mushrooms; stir to moisten. Season with additional garlic salt or powder, if desired, and salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat until vegetables are crisp-tender, stirring frequently; vegetables will cook down. Add cooked pasta; stir until everything is combined and heated through. Gradually add Parmesan cheese; stir until melted. Serve immediately. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

When a recipe calls for pasta, there are lots of shapes to choose from at the grocery store…why not experiment? Try using corkscrews, shells, bowties and rainbow pasta just for fun!

Adam’s Vegetable Pasta

Susan Curtis

Glen Gardner, NJ

My sister’s boyfriend, a professional chef, created this dish when they visited my husband and me in 1985, when we were first married. I’ve made this budget-friendly recipe ever since. I like it because it’s meatless and low-fat, my husband likes the meaty flavor of the portabella mushrooms and the kids like it because there’s always a vegetable they can pick out and refuse to eat!

16-oz. pkg. rotelle pasta, uncooked

2 to 4 T. olive oil

1 stalk celery, sliced

4 cloves garlic, sliced

1 sweet Italian frying pepper or cubanelle, cut into thin strips

1 zucchini, cut into thin strips

1 to 2 portabella mushrooms, sliced

28-oz. can diced tomatoes

1 T. sugar

1 T. cider vinegar

Optional: 1/2 to 1 t. lemon juice

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Meanwhile, add oil to a large skillet over low heat. Sauté celery in oil until soft. Add garlic; sauté about 3 minutes. Increase heat to medium. Add pepper, zucchini and mushrooms; sauté until soft. Add undrained tomatoes; bring to a simmer. Stir in remaining ingredients. Simmer until vegetables are tender. Serve vegetable mixture over cooked pasta. Makes 4 servings.

Whether dinner is casual, served in the kitchen, or a little more formal at the dining table, be sure to add simple, special touches…colorful napkins tied in a knot or perky blossoms tucked into a canning jar make mealtime more fun!

Chicken Noodle Bowl

Marla Caldwell

Forest, IN

This is a great fast-fix midweek meal! It takes just thirty minutes total cooking time.

8-oz. pkg. linguine pasta, uncooked

3 c. frozen broccoli cuts

2 carrots, peeled and sliced

2 t. oil

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips

1/2 c. zesty Italian salad dressing

1/3 c. teriyaki sauce

1 t. ground ginger

Cook pasta as package directs; add broccoli and carrots to the cooking water for last 2 minutes of cooking time. Drain pasta mixture. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken; cook until golden on all sides, stirring occasionally. Stir in remaining ingredients; cook until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally. Add pasta mixture to skillet. Stir until coated with sauce. Serve in individual bowls. Makes 4 servings.

Protect your favorite cookbook from cooking spatters…simply slip it inside a gallon-size plastic zipping bag.

Tomato & Chicken Penne

Stefanie St. Pierre

South Dennis, MA

This is a wonderfully hearty dish that’s easy to prepare.

16-oz. pkg. penne pasta, uncooked

1/4 c. olive oil

1 t. garlic, chopped

28-oz. can diced tomatoes, drained

1/2 c. fresh basil, chopped, or 1 t. dried basil

2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cubed

8-oz. pkg. shredded mozzarella cheese

salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic; sauté for one minute. Stir in tomatoes and basil; continue cooking for 2 minutes. Add chicken to skillet. Simmer for about 5 minutes, until heated through. Transfer mixture in skillet to a large serving bowl; toss with pasta and cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

After you unpack groceries, take just a little time to prep ingredients and place them in plastic zipping bags…wash and chop fruits and vegetables and place meats in marinades. Weeknight dinners will be so much easier.

Spanish Rice & Beef

Sue Hogarth

Lancaster, CA

This recipe is perfect when you need to get dinner on the table in a hurry, after working all day and shuttling the kids to their after-school activities. Warm up some dinner rolls…dinner is served!

1 lb. ground beef

14-1/2 oz. can stewed tomatoes

10-oz. pkg. frozen corn or mixed vegetables

1 c. water

1/2 t. dried oregano

1/2 t. chili powder

1/4 t. garlic powder

1/2 t. salt

1/8 t. pepper

1-1/2 c. instant rice, uncooked

Brown beef in a large skillet over medium heat; drain. Add undrained tomatoes, frozen corn or vegetables, water and seasonings. Bring to a boil; boil about 2 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Stir in uncooked rice. Cover; remove from heat and let stand about 5 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork before serving. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Make your own seasoning mixes! If you have a favorite busy-day recipe that calls for lots of different herbs or spices, measure them out into several small plastic zipping bags and label. Later, when time is short, just tip a bag into the cooking pot.

Texas Hash

Sharlene Casteel

Fort Mitchell, AL

I got this recipe from someone at church many years ago and it is still a family favorite…so easy! Add a side salad and dinner is ready in a jiffy.

1 lb. ground beef

1 onion, diced

1/2 red or green pepper, diced

1 c. long-cooking rice, uncooked

14-1/2 oz. can diced tomatoes

3 c. water

2 t. chili powder

1 t. paprika

salt and pepper to taste

In a skillet over medium heat, brown beef with onion and red or green pepper; drain. Stir in uncooked rice and remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer over low heat for about 25 minutes, until water is absorbed and rice is tender. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Breakfast foods are so warm and comforting…try ’em for dinner as a special treat! Scrambled eggs and toast or pancakes and bacon are easy to stir up in minutes. Or assemble a family-favorite breakfast casserole in the morning and pop it in the oven at dinnertime.

Sweet-and-Sour Beef Bits

Tammie Douglas

Ossian, IN

My mom is usually a “dump” cook, making many dishes from memory, so I was surprised when she gave me this recipe with actual measurements. She measures with an old plastic scoop she’s had for forty years. That old scoop has all the right measurements when it’s in her hands, though, because everything she makes turns out perfect!

2 lbs. beef round steak, cut into

1-1/2 inch cubes

4-oz. can sliced mushrooms, drained

3 T. butter

1/4 c. all-purpose flour

1 c. water

1/4 c. lemon juice

2 T. cider vinegar

1-1/2 t. dry mustard

2/3 c. brown sugar, packed

1.35-oz. pkg. onion soup mix

8-oz. can sliced water chestnuts, drained

chow mein noodles or cooked rice

In a large skillet over medium heat, brown beef and mushrooms in butter. Drain; transfer beef mixture to a bowl and set aside. Add flour, water, lemon juice and vinegar to skillet; cook and stir until golden. Add mustard, brown sugar, soup mix and water chestnuts; bring to a boil. Return beef mixture to skillet; reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Serve over chow mein noodles or cooked rice. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Let the kids plan the family dinner once a week. Younger children can practice basic cooking skills, while older kids and teens might enjoy choosing and preparing their favorite Mexican or Italian meals.

Cajun Skillet Rice

Janine Tinklenberg

Redford, MI

I adapted this hearty recipe from one that my mom gave me.

1 T. olive oil

1 c. onion, chopped

1 c. green pepper, chopped

1 c. red pepper, chopped

1 lb. Kielbasa sausage, sliced

2 t. Cajun seasoning

Optional: 1/8 t. cayenne pepper

14-1/2 oz. can fire-roasted or plain diced tomatoes

1-1/2 c. chicken broth

3/4 c. long-cooking rice, uncooked

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, peppers and sausage; sprinkle with desired seasonings. Sauté until onion is translucent, peppers have softened and sausage is lightly golden. Add undrained tomatoes, broth and uncooked rice. Bring to a fast simmer; turn heat to medium-low and cover. Cook for 20 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Serves 4.

No matter what looms ahead, if you can eat today, enjoy today, mix good cheer with friends today, enjoy it and bless God for it.

– Henry Ward Beecher

Speedy Sausage Ravioli

Tracee Cummins

Amarillo, TX

This quick recipe is great for busy nights…it’s light on the budget too!

1 lb. ground pork sausage

1/2 c. onion, chopped

1/2 t. garlic salt

1/2 t. dried oregano

2 15-oz. cans ravioli in sauce

1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

Crumble sausage into a skillet; add onion. Cook over medium-high heat until sausage is no longer pink; drain. Sprinkle with seasonings; stir in ravioli. Heat through over low heat. Sprinkle with cheese; cook just until cheese melts. Makes 6 servings.

Nacho Kielbasa & Noodles

Judy Lange

Imperial, PA

Wonderful on a cold evening!

16-oz. pkg. medium egg noodles, uncooked

1 lb. Kielbasa sausage, sliced

1 green pepper, chopped

1 onion, chopped

2 T. butter

2 10-3/4 oz. cans nacho cheese or Cheddar cheese soup

Cook noodles according to package directions; drain and return to saucepan. Meanwhile, in a skillet over medium heat, cook sausage, green pepper and onion until vegetables are soft. Add sausage mixture, butter and soup to noodles. Mix thoroughly; heat until warmed through. Makes 4 servings.

Tuck packets of gravy and seasoning mix into a napkin holder to keep the pantry tidy.

Mom’s Spaghetti & Meatballs

Elaine Lucas

Runge, TX

This started out with my mom’s recipe. Over the years I made it my own and it has become a family favorite…my adult children still ask me to make it when they come to visit. It’s easily doubled, which is a must whenever the whole family is together!

2 8-oz. cans tomato sauce

1/2 t. garlic powder

1/2 t. dried oregano

1/2 t. dried basil

16-oz. pkg. spaghetti, uncooked

In a large skillet over medium-low heat, combine tomato sauce and seasonings. Simmer while making meatballs. Add uncooked meatballs to simmering sauce. Simmer over medium-low heat for about 30 minutes, turning meatballs over once after 15 minutes. Meanwhile, cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain. Serve sauce and meatballs over spaghetti. Serves 4.

Meatballs:

1 lb. lean ground beef

1/2 c. shredded Cheddar cheese

2 eggs, beaten

1 slice white bread, crumbled

1/2 t. garlic salt

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl; mix well. Form into one- to 2-inch balls.

For flavorful, fast-fix garlic bread, brush Italian bread slices with softened butter. Sprinkle on garlic & herb seasoning blend and broil until golden.

Rosemary Peppers & Fusilli

Jennifer Niemi

Nova Scotia, Canada

This colorful, flavorful meatless meal is ready to serve in a jiffy.

12-oz. pkg. fusilli or rotini pasta, uncooked

2 to 4 T. olive oil

2 red onions, thinly sliced and separated into rings

3 red, orange and/or yellow peppers, very thinly sliced

5 to 6 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced

3 T. dried rosemary

salt and pepper to taste

Garnish: shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. While pasta is cooking, coat the bottom of a large, heavy skillet well with oil. Add onions; cover and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients except cheese. Reduce heat. Cook, covered, an additional 20 minutes. Serve vegetable mixture over pasta, topped with cheese. Makes 4 servings.

Watch for old-fashioned clear glass canisters at tag sales and flea markets…perfect countertop storage for pasta and dried beans.

Spanish Omelette

Elaine Day

Essex, England

This is a great big thick cake of an omelette packed with vegetables and cheese. It can be served warm as a main course, and tastes just as good cold. You can even take it on a picnic. Serve in hearty wedges with a chunky tomato & onion salad…delicious!

4 T. olive oil, divided

1 to 2 potatoes, peeled and diced

1 onion, sliced

1 red pepper, diced

1 green pepper, diced

1 zucchini, coarsely chopped

1/3 to 1/2 c. frozen peas

1/4 lb. smoked chorizo or Kielbasa sausage, diced

5 eggs, lightly beaten

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 c. shredded Cheddar cheese

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in an oven-proof skillet over high heat. Add potatoes and onion; toss to coat well. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add peppers, zucchini, peas and sausage; mix well. Cover and cook an additional 5 to 8 minutes, until vegetables start to soften. In a large bowl, combine eggs, salt and pepper. Remove skillet from heat; slowly pour vegetable mixture into bowl with eggs. Return empty skillet to stove; add remaining oil and heat over medium-high heat. Pour egg and vegetable mixture into skillet; cook for one minute. Reduce heat to low; cook, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle omelette with cheese; place under broiler for 3 to 5 minutes, until golden and bubbly. Cut into wedges to serve. Makes 4 servings.

When breaking eggs, if part of a broken eggshell makes its way into the bowl, just dip in a clean eggshell half. The broken bit will grab onto it like a magnet!

Mama’s Quick Meatball Subs

Cris Goode

Mooresville, IN

We love our local sub shop’s French bread. We often buy day-old loaves for a delicious way to dress up this yummy family treat.

1 lb. extra-lean ground beef

1/2 sleeve saltine crackers, crushed

12-oz. bottle chili sauce, divided

1/4 c. reduced-fat grated Parmesan cheese

2 egg whites, beaten

salt and pepper to taste

15-oz. jar pizza sauce, warmed

2 loaves French bread, halved and split

8 slices favorite cheese

In a bowl, combine beef, cracker crumbs, half of chili sauce, Parmesan cheese, egg whites, salt and pepper. Mix well; form into sixteen, 1-1/2 inch meatballs. Place on a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick vegetable spray. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, or until golden, turning meatballs halfway through. Add baked meatballs to warmed sauce. Fill each half-loaf with 2 cheese slices and 4 meatballs. Serve with remaining chili sauce on the side. Serves 4.

Saucy sandwiches are best served on a vintage-style oilcloth…spills wipe right up! Look for one with a colorful design of fruit or flowers.

Make-Ahead Pizza Burgers

Carrie Fostor

Baltic, OH

My mom used to make these tasty sandwiches often when we were kids. They’re terrific to have on hand, especially when there are hungry teenagers in the house!

1 lb. ground beef

1 onion, chopped

1/2 green pepper, chopped

2 6-inch pepperoni sticks, ground or finely chopped

16-oz. jar pizza sauce

1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

4 t. dried oregano or basil

1/8 t. garlic salt

Optional: 4-oz. can sliced mushrooms, drained

1/4 c. butter, softened

20 hamburger buns, split

In a skillet over medium heat, brown beef, onion and green pepper; drain. Stir in remaining ingredients except butter and buns; cook for several minutes, until cheese melts. Brush butter over cut sides of buns. Divide beef mixture among the bun bottoms; add tops. Burgers may be served immediately, or wrapped individually in aluminum foil and placed in the freezer. To serve if frozen: thaw in refrigerator overnight, or let stand at room temperature about 2 hours before serving. Bake foil-wrapped burgers at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, until heated through. Makes 20 servings.

Sweet potato fries are deliciously different! Slice sweet potatoes into wedges, toss with olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes until tender, turning once. Sprinkle with a little cinnamon-sugar and serve warm.

Layered Tortilla Pie

Katy Thompson

Cartersville, GA

This recipe is very kid-friendly…my kids love it! Use purchased enchilada sauce and guacamole or your very own homemade sauces…either way, it’ll be delicious.

1 lb. boneless chicken or beef, cut into strips

1 to 2 t. oil

1 c. enchilada sauce

1 t. chili powder

1/2 t. ground cumin

3/4 to 1 c. canned black beans, drained

3/4 to 1 c. canned refried beans

8 8-inch flour tortillas

1 c. guacamole, divided

8-oz. pkg. shredded Mexican-blend cheese, divided

Garnish: sour cream, salsa, guacamole

In a skillet over medium heat, brown meat in oil; drain. Stir in enchilada sauce and seasonings; remove from heat. In a separate bowl, combine beans; stir well and set aside. Place a tortilla in a lightly greased 9″ round cake pan; spread with half of bean mixture. Top with another tortilla and half of meat mixture. Add another tortilla and half of guacamole. Add another tortilla and half of cheese. Top with another tortilla. Repeat layers with remaining ingredients except cheese; pan will be full. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, an additional 3 to 5 minutes, until cheese is melted. Cut into wedges. Serve garnished with favorite toppings. Serves 4.

Whip up a zippy Tex-Mex side dish pronto! Prepare instant rice, using chicken broth instead of water. Stir in a generous dollop of spicy salsa, top with shredded cheese and cover until cheese melts.

Chicken Enchilada Bake

Sara Wright

Colorado Springs, CO

One evening I was in the mood for Mexican food, but didn’t have any taco shells or tortillas in the pantry. I decided to try using pasta…my family really enjoyed this new dish!

2 c. rotini pasta, uncooked

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and chopped

15-oz. can diced tomatoes, drained

1-1/2 c. shredded Mexican-blend cheese, divided

10-oz. can enchilada sauce

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. In a large bowl, combine cooked pasta, chicken, tomatoes and one cup cheese; stir in enchilada sauce. Spoon into a greased 2-quart casserole dish. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, until heated through and cheese is melted. Top with remaining cheese. Return to oven an additional 2 to 3 minutes, until cheese is melted. Makes 6 servings.

Serve your family dinner in an unexpected place, just for fun…a blanket in the backyard, a spread in the living room or even on the front porch. It’s quick & easy with a one-dish dinner and a delightful change from routine!

Mary’s Broiled Steak Tips

Beth McCarthy

Nashua, NH

A family tradition! A friend of my mother’s shared this scrumptious recipe with her when my younger brother was six years old. Now he’s thirty and we all still use this recipe, even though we live apart. We expect that it will be passed down to our next generation.

1 to 2 lbs. beef steak tips

1 to 2 8-oz. bottles Italian salad dressing

2 tomatoes, diced

1 green pepper, chopped

1 onion, chopped

Optional: 16-oz. can whole potatoes, drained

Optional: zucchini, yellow squash or other favorite vegetables, cut up

garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste

mashed potatoes or rice pilaf

In a large dish, cover steak tips with salad dressing; cover. Refrigerate overnight to marinate; drain and discard dressing. Place steak tips on a broiler pan along with tomatoes, green pepper, onion and any other desired vegetables. Season with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Broil to desired doneness, turning occasionally, about 5 to 8 minutes per side. Serve with mashed potatoes or rice pilaf. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Cheese always makes dinner tastier! Split brown & serve dinner rolls partly in half and sprinkle shredded Cheddar or Swiss cheese and chopped green onion inside. Press halves together and bake as package directs, until golden.

Shrimp Scampi

Vickie

Spoil your family a little! This dish seems so fancy, yet is simple to make. Serve it over quick-cooking angel hair pasta for a memorable meal in minutes.

2 lbs. uncooked, peeled large shrimp

1/2 c. butter

1/2 c. oil

2 T. white wine or lemon juice

1/4 c. green onion, minced

1/4 c. fresh parsley, minced

1 T. garlic, minced

1 t. salt

pepper to taste

Optional: lemon wedges

Place shrimp in a large bowl; set aside. In a saucepan over medium-low heat, combine remaining ingredients except lemon wedges. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring often, until well-blended. Pour most of butter mixture over shrimp; toss to coat well. Arrange shrimp on a 15″x10″ jelly-roll pan in a single layer. Broil 3 to 4 inches from heat for about 5 minutes. Transfer shrimp to a serving platter; drizzle with remaining butter mixture. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired. Serves 6.

Try a new side dish tonight…barley pilaf. Simply prepare quick-cooking barley with chicken broth instead of water, seasoning it with a little chopped onion and parsley. Filling, quick and tasty!

Deep-Dish Skillet Pizza

Linda Kilgore

Kittanning, PA

This recipe is my husband’s. He made us one of these pizzas for supper and now it’s the only pizza we ever want to eat. Delicious!

1 loaf frozen bread dough, thawed

1 to 2 15-oz. jars pizza sauce

1/2 lb. ground pork sausage, browned and drained

5-oz. pkg. sliced pepperoni

1/2 c. sliced mushrooms

1/2 c. green pepper, sliced

Italian seasoning to taste

1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

1 c. shredded Cheddar cheese

Generously grease a large cast-iron skillet. Press thawed dough into the bottom and up the sides of skillet. Spread desired amount of pizza sauce over dough. Add favorite toppings, ending with cheeses on top. Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes. Carefully remove skillet from oven. Let stand several minutes; pizza will finish baking in the skillet. Cut into wedges to serve. Serves 4.

Make assembly part of pizza night fun! Prepare the crust, then set out the sauce, pepperoni, veggies, seasonings and cheese. Let family members add toppings as they like…even little ones can help out. Bake, slice into quarters and dinner’s ready!

Spaghetti Amore

Marietta Forrester

Tulsa, OK

This recipe was a favorite when our two children were growing up in the 1960s, then with the grandchildren as they came along. I still make this for Sunday dinners after church, except now I have to make a double batch for it to go around!

8-oz. pkg. spaghetti, uncooked

1 lb. ground beef

2 T. oil

1/2 c. onion, chopped

Optional: 1/4 c. green pepper, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

10-3/4 oz. can cream of mushroom soup

10-3/4 oz. can tomato soup

1-1/4 c. water

1 c. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided

Cook spaghetti as directed on package; drain. Meanwhile, in a skillet over medium heat, brown beef in oil with onion and green pepper, if using; drain. Stir garlic, soups and water into beef mixture. Place spaghetti in a lightly greased 13″x9″ baking pan. Add beef mixture and 1/2 cup cheese; toss to mix. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until bubbly. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Bake for another 5 to 10 minutes, until cheese melts. Serves 4 to 6.

To test for doneness, insert the tip of a table knife in the center of a casserole. If the knife tip is hot to the touch when pulled out, the casserole should be heated through. Good to know when baking a casserole that’s been made ahead and stored in the fridge.

Mama’s Mucho Nachos

Janie Branstetter

Duncan, OK

This may sound like an appetizer, but it’s really a meal in itself! Add a crisp green salad and some fresh fruit for a dinner the whole family will love.

6-oz. pkg. tortilla chips

3 c. shredded Cheddar-Jack cheese, divided

15-1/2 oz. can fat-free refried beans

1 c. chunky salsa or picante sauce

1 lb. ground pork sausage, browned and drained

1 bunch green onions, chopped

1 to 2 tomatoes, chopped

Garnish: sour cream, sliced jalapeño peppers

In a greased deep 13″x9″ baking pan, place a layer of tortilla chips. Top with 1-1/2 cups cheese, refried beans and salsa or sauce. Sprinkle with sausage and remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 10 to 20 minutes, until heated through and cheese is melted. Remove from oven. Top with onions and tomatoes; add sour cream and jalapeño peppers, as desired. Serves 4 to 6.

Bored with tacos? Serve Mexican-style sandwiches for a tasty change! Called tortas, they’re hollowed-out crusty bread rolls stuffed with shredded beef or pork and cheese. Serve cold or toast like a panini sandwich…yum!

Taco Hot Dish

Julie Snow

Park Rapids, MN

When I was growing up, we got this recipe from one of my brother’s friends. It was an instant favorite…we still remember him because of it! Now my kids request it all the time. Guests love it too. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

1 lb. ground beef

1-1/4 oz. pkg. taco seasoning mix

1/2 c. water

15-1/2 oz. can refried beans

8-oz. tube refrigerated crescent rolls

6-oz. pkg. corn chips, crushed and divided

16-oz. container sour cream

2 c. shredded Cheddar cheese

Optional: salsa, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes

Brown beef in a skillet over medium heat; drain. Add taco seasoning, water and beans to skillet; simmer 5 minutes. Press crescent rolls into the bottom of an ungreased 13″x9″ baking pan; add half of crushed corn chips. Spread beef mixture over chips; top with sour cream, cheese and remaining corn chips. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes. Cut into squares to serve; garnish as desired. Serves 6.

Make your own taco seasoning mix…it’s easily adjusted to your family’s taste. In a large jar, combine 3/4 cup dried, minced onion; 1/4 cup each salt and chili powder, 2 tablespoons each cornstarch, red pepper flakes, ground cumin and dried, minced garlic; and one tablespoon dried oregano. Four tablespoons of mix equals a 1-1/4 ounce envelope.

Swiss Ham Buns

Rebecca Geyer

Bremen, IN

My late grandmother gave this recipe to me. It’s one I like to make and take to the fields during spring planting. The buns can be made ahead and wrapped, then baked at serving time.

1/4 c. mustard

1/4 c. mayonnaise-type salad dressing

2 T. onion, finely chopped

1/2 t. salt

1/8 t. pepper

12 hamburger buns, split

12 slices deli ham

12 slices baby Swiss cheese

Mix together mustard, salad dressing, onion, salt and pepper. Spread mixture on cut sides of buns. Top each bun with one slice of ham and one slice of cheese. Wrap buns individually in aluminum foil; place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Serve hot. Makes 12 servings.

It’s easy to shake up sandwiches at dinnertime…just offer a variety of breads to choose from. Focaccia, rye, pumpernickel, pita rounds and whole-wheat bread all make terrifically tasty sandwiches!

Reuben Casserole

Debbie Dowen

Schodack Landing, NY

A hearty, quick go-to casserole that’s a family favorite!

3/4 lb. sliced deli corned beef, cut into 1/2-inch squares

28-oz. can sauerkraut, drained and squeezed dry

1 tomato, diced

1/2 c. mayonnaise

1/4 c. catsup

4 slices Swiss cheese

6 slices rye bread, toasted

In a bowl, combine corned beef, sauerkraut and tomato. In a separate small bowl, mix together mayonnaise and catsup; add to corned beef mixture and mix well. Spread in a lightly greased 8″x8″ baking pan; top with cheese slices. Bake, uncovered, at 425 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly. Let cool for a few minutes. Serve hot corned beef mixture open-faced on slices of toast, with Oven Fries on the side. Makes 6 servings.

Oven Fries:

2 to 3 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 T. oil

salt or seasoning salt to taste

In a bowl; toss potato cubes in oil; add salt to taste. Spread on a baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes, until tender and golden.

Some like it hot! There are lots of ways to turn up the heat in familiar recipes…hot pepper sauce, spicy salsa, creamy horseradish, hot Chinese mustard or Japanese wasabi. Try ’em all…see what you like best!

Tuna Tetrazzini

Nancy Gasko

South Bend, IN

Stir in a small box of frozen peas to make this hearty casserole a complete meal.

8-oz. pkg. spaghetti, uncooked

4-oz. can sliced mushrooms, drained

1/4 c. butter

2 10-3/4 oz. cans cream of mushroom soup

3/4 c. milk

1/4 c. sherry or water

1/2 t. garlic salt

1/4 to 1/2 t. onion powder

1 c. shredded Cheddar cheese

2 6-oz. cans tuna, drained

Garnish: dry bread crumbs, grated Parmesan cheese

Cook spaghetti as directed on package; drain. Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven over medium heat, sauté mushrooms in butter. Stir in remaining ingredients except tuna and garnish. Add cooked spaghetti and tuna; toss to mix well. Transfer to a 3-quart casserole dish coated with non-stick vegetable spray. Top with bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, until heated through and golden. Serves 4 to 6.

It’s simple to make your own bread crumbs for crunchy casserole toppings. Save extra bread slices (leftover “heels” are fine) and freeze in a plastic bag. When you have enough, bake the slices in a 250-degree oven until dry and crumbly, then tear into sections and pulse in a food processor or blender.

Spiced-Up Tuna Noodle Casserole

Elizabeth Kolberg

Tolland, CT

Mom always made tuna noodle casserole and this is her recipe…but updated for some of us kids who liked things a bit spicier! I made this dish quite a bit during college and everyone always wanted more.

8-oz. pkg. medium egg noodles, uncooked

2 6-oz. cans tuna, drained

10-3/4 oz. can cream of mushroom soup

1-1/2 c. shredded Pepper Jack cheese

4-oz. can sliced mushrooms, drained

3 green onions, sliced

hot pepper sauce to taste

1-1/2 c. potato chips, crushed and divided

Cook noodles according to package directions; drain. Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix together remaining ingredients, reserving 1/2 cup crushed potato chips for topping. Mix in cooked noodles. Spread mixture into a greased 9″x9″ baking pan; top with reserved potato chips. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, until hot and bubbly. Serves 4.

A busy-day hint…if family members will be eating at different times, spoon casserole ingredients into individual ramekins for baking. Each person can enjoy their own fresh-from-the-oven mini casserole.

Hearty Wild Rice Dinner

Kay Marone

Des Moines, IA

Our favorite after-Thanksgiving recipe…the rest of the time, we make it with chicken. It’s too yummy to enjoy only once a year!

6-1/2 oz. pkg. quick-cooking long-grain and wild rice

3/4 lb. ground pork sausage

1 c. onion, chopped

8-oz. can sliced mushrooms, drained

8-oz. can sliced water chestnuts, drained

1/4 c. all-purpose flour

1/8 t. pepper

1-1/2 c. chicken broth

3/4 c. milk

2 c. cooked turkey or chicken, cubed

Cook rice according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a skillet over medium heat, brown sausage and onion; drain. Add mushrooms, water chestnuts, flour and pepper; mix well. Add broth and milk; cook and stir until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Continue cooking and stirring for one minute. Toss together sausage mixture, cooked rice and turkey or chicken. Place in a greased 3-quart casserole dish. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, until hot and bubbly. Serves 6.

While the casserole bakes, steam fresh broccoli, green beans or zucchini in the microwave. Place cut-up veggies in a microwave-safe container and add a little water. Cover with plastic wrap, venting with a knife tip. Microwave on high for 2 to 5 minutes, checking for tenderness after each minute. Uncover carefully to allow hot steam to escape.

Crumbed Honey Mustard Pork Chops

Sarina Skidmore

Urbana, MO

Just three ingredients…what could be easier?

8-oz. pkg. cornbread stuffing mix

1/2 c. honey mustard

4 to 6 pork chops

Pour stuffing mix into a shallow dish; set aside. Brush mustard over both sides of each pork chop; coat with stuffing mix. Arrange pork chops on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until juices run clear. Serves 4 to 6.

Hearty Pork Chops & Rice

Wanda Rhoades

San Antonio, TX

This recipe came from an Air Force friend in the 1970s. For a different dish, use boneless chicken and chicken broth.

2 c. instant rice, uncooked

8 pork chops

1 to 2 T. oil

2 10-1/2 oz. cans beef broth

2-1/2 c. water

Add rice to a lightly greased 13″x9″ baking pan; set aside. In a large skillet over medium heat, brown pork chops on both sides in oil; drain. Arrange pork chops on top of rice. In a bowl, whisk broth and water together; spoon over pork chops. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake at 425 degrees for 35 minutes, or until pork chop juices run clear and rice is tender. Serves 6 to 8.

No peeking when there’s a casserole in the oven! Every time the oven door is opened, the temperature drops at least 25 degrees… dinner will take longer to bake.

Beefy Hashbrown Bake

Sue Klapper

Muskego, WI

A tasty meal-in-a-pan that my family and I really enjoy.

4 c. frozen shredded hashbrowns

3 T. oil

1/8 t. pepper

1 lb. ground beef

1 c. water

.87-oz. pkg. brown gravy mix

1/2 t. garlic salt

2 c. frozen mixed vegetables

2.8-oz. can French fried onions, divided

1 c. shredded Cheddar cheese, divided

In a bowl, combine frozen hashbrowns, oil and pepper. Press into a greased 8″x8″ baking pan. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, or until hashbrowns are thawed and set. Meanwhile, in a skillet over medium heat, brown beef; drain. Add water, gravy mix and garlic salt to skillet. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Add frozen vegetables; cook and stir for 5 minutes. Stir in half of the onions and 1/2 cup cheese. Pour beef mixture over hashbrowns. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 5 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining onions and cheese; bake 5 minutes longer, or until cheese melts. Makes 4 servings.

Create a game of table talk! Make up some fun questions to write on file cards…What’s your favorite book? Where would you like to travel to? and so on. Pull a different card each night to discuss at dinnertime.

Tasty Cheesy Bake

Janie Reed

Zanesville, OH

This simple recipe is easy to modify with what you have on hand. I’ve used both sausage and shredded chicken instead of ground beef, and a Colby blend works fine in place of the Cheddar. The dish comes out all cheesy goodness with crispy, crusty edges. Yum!

1/2 c. margarine

5 slices bread, toasted

1 lb. ground beef, browned and drained

1/2 c. onion, chopped

1 T. prepared mustard

1/2 c. milk

3 eggs, lightly beaten

1 T. dry mustard

2 c. shredded Cheddar cheese

Spread margarine on both sides of toast slices; set aside. Combine beef, onion and prepared mustard. In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, eggs and dry mustard; set aside. In a lightly greased 8″x8″ baking pan, layer half of toast, half of beef mixture and half of cheese. Repeat layers; pour milk mixture over top. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until top is golden and cheese is bubbly. Serves 4 to 6.

Clean baked-on food from a casserole dish…no elbow grease required! Place a dryer sheet in the dish and fill with warm water. Let the dish sit overnight, then sponge clean. You’ll find the fabric softeners will really soften the baked-on food!

Good Ol’ Beans & Hot Dogs

Marilyn Morel

Keene, NH

A great-tasting dish to make after a busy day. My guys love hot dogs and baked beans, so this is always a big hit. Add a favorite veggie and cinnamon applesauce for a tasty meal!

2 T. butter

1 onion, chopped

1 green pepper, chopped

1 lb. hot dogs, thinly sliced

2 28-oz. cans baked beans

1/4 c. catsup

1/4 c. light brown sugar, packed

2 t. deli-style mustard

4 slices bacon

Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat; sauté onion and green pepper until tender. Add hot dogs. Sauté until hot dogs are lightly golden; remove from heat. In a lightly greased 3-quart casserole dish, combine hot dog mixture and remaining ingredients except bacon. Stir until well blended. Lay bacon slices over top of casserole. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes, until hot and bubbly. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Set a regular theme for each night of the week…Italian Night, Soup & Salad Night, Mexican Night or Casserole Night, based on your family’s favorites. Meal planning will be a snap!

Beef Tips & Noodles

Suzette Rummell

Cuyahoga Falls, OH

This is my daughter’s favorite dinner when she comes home from college. She always lets me know to put it on the menu before she arrives. We like to use Amish-made egg noodles.

3 to 4-lb. beef chuck roast, cubed

salt and pepper to taste

10-3/4 oz. can golden mushroom soup

10-3/4 oz. can cream of mushroom soup

2-1/2 c. water

.53-oz. pkg. French onion soup mix or 1 onion, chopped

2 T. all-purpose flour

3 T. cold water

8-oz. container sour cream

8-oz. pkg. medium egg noodles, cooked

Season beef cubes with salt and pepper; place in a slow cooker. In a separate bowl, stir together soups, water and soup mix or onion; add to slow cooker. Cover and cook on high setting for 6 to 7 hours, until beef is tender. In a small bowl, stir flour into water; add to slow cooker and stir gently. Cover and cook on high setting to desired gravy consistency, about 15 minutes. Just before serving, stir in sour cream. Serve beef and gravy over cooked noodles. Serves 6.

With work, school and after-school activities, dinner can be a challenge. Now’s the time to get out that slow cooker! Other than a quick chop of a few ingredients, recipes are usually a simple matter of tossing everything into the pot.

Italian Beef Au Jus

Tami Arsenault

Nashua, NH

This delicious roast is requested often. It’s easy to make…the slow cooker does all the work! I serve it as a main dish with potatoes and a green vegetable…very satisfying.

3 to 4-lb. beef rump roast, trimmed

14-oz. can beef broth

1/2 c. plus 2 T. water

1-oz. pkg. au jus gravy mix

1-oz. pkg. Italian salad dressing mix

Place roast in a slow cooker. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over beef. Cover and cook on low setting for 8 hours, or until beef is very tender. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Slow-cooked beef chuck roast is always a winner! Any leftovers will be equally delicious in sandwiches, soups or casseroles, so be sure to choose the largest size roast your slow cooker will hold.

Easy Cheesy Enchiladas

Julie Green

Blackwell, OK

After trying several slow-cooker enchilada recipes, I started experimenting and this was the tasty result. My husband loves it. I like to use different cheeses on each layer…yum!

1 lb. ground beef

10-3/4 oz. can cream of chicken soup

10-oz. can enchilada sauce

1.35-oz. pkg. onion soup mix

5 to 6 6-inch fajita-size flour tortillas

1/4 lb. pasteurized process cheese spread, cubed

1 c. shredded Cheddar cheese

Brown beef in a skillet over medium heat; drain. Stir in soup, sauce and soup mix. In a slow cooker, layer some of the beef mixture, one tortilla and some of the cubed cheese. Repeat layers with remaining beef mixture, tortillas and cubed cheese. Top with shredded cheese. Cover and cook on low setting for 2 to 3 hours, until hot and bubbly. Serves 4 to 6.

If you only use part of a package of tortillas, it’s fine to freeze the leftover ones in an airtight container. For the best texture, let them thaw overnight in the fridge before using.

Tortellini Broccoli Alfredo

Theresa Wehmeyer

Rosebud, MO

This easy meal really satisfies our family. It’s perfect for Lent or other times we just want to enjoy a meatless meal. You don’t even need to thaw the tortellini or the broccoli.

2 16-oz. jars Alfredo sauce

1/2 c. water

20-oz. pkg. frozen cheese-filled tortellini

16-oz. pkg. frozen broccoli flowerets

In a bowl, stir together sauce and water. Layer ingredients in a slow cooker as follows: 1/3 of the sauce, all of the frozen tortellini, 1/3 of the sauce and all of the frozen broccoli. Pour remaining sauce over the broccoli. Cover and cook on high setting for 3 hours, until heated through. Makes 8 servings.

Pick up a bundle of fresh flowers when you shop for groceries. Tucked into a pitcher or glass jar, even simple daisies are charming and cheerful!

 

Challenged to serve up satisfying, budget-friendly meals on busy weeknights? You’re in luck…Rush-Hour Recipes is jam-packed with 230 yummy, quick & easy dinner recipes everyone will enjoy.

You’ll find speedy 5-Ingredient Favorites like Bacon & Cheddar Chicken and Melinda’s Mexican Manicotti, plus Virgil’s Veggie Fettuccine, Deep-Dish Skillet Pizza and other tasty One-Dish Dinners. On chilly days, warm ’em up with recipes from Soup’s On! like Tom’s Chili Con Carne and Hearty Healthy Minestrone. Slow-cooker recipes like Beef Tips & Noodles and Easy Cheesy Enchiladas can’t be beat for cook-all-day convenience. We’ve even included easy crowd-pleasers like Italian Hamburger Mac, Luau Baked Beans and Old-Fashioned Butterscotch Bars…they make extra-large servings so they’re perfect to share with friends or tote to a last-minute potluck or bake sale.

Many dishes can be prepared in 30 minutes or less, using familiar pantry ingredients. This is sure to become one cookbook you’ll turn to again & again! Hardcover, 224 pages. (9-1/4″ x 6-1/2″)

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