A Step-By-Step of How To Have Your 8-yr-Old Make Dinner

Posted on June 14, 2014
Filed Under Cooks in Training, Easy meals

It’s easier than you think. In fact, Tiffany did it because I had another project going. My project was in the kitchen, so I was right there the whole time and pretty much just talked dinner into existence. :) That’s a lot different than how it used to be. It used to be that I wouldn’t let them cook unless I had my schedule cleared and plenty of time. And then my main job was damage control and cleaning up messes as fast as they made them. So, I’m here to say that there. is. hope. for little cooks to get trained. :)

tiff meal menu

So, here we go, a spaghetti & meatballs meal. I only have 2 pictures because I was busy doing other stuff.

Step # 1. Lower your standards. This is going to be a simple meal. Nothing gets mixed into the meat, for example. And there’s no garlic bread. She did want to get all fancy shmancy with the Parmesan cheese, though.

Step 2. Have a little lesson on how to turn the correct burners on on the stove (I actually thought Tiffany would know this, but she didn’t! I guess either I did it for her before, or they’re not born knowing this stuff.) So, we had a little lesson on how the “map” under each control matches the stovetop layout.

3. Have her get everything out: Spaghetti, kettle, frying pan, lb of burger, jar of pasta sauce, salt, Italian seasoning, canned green beans, bowl for green beans. That’s it.

4. Tell her to fill the kettle half full of water, sprinkle in some salt, put it on the stove, and turn the burner on Hi.

5. Tell her to put the frying pan on the biggest burner, turn it to 5, then take the burger and shape little balls and put them in the pan.
I had her use the stovetop frying pan even though I like the electric better… here’s why: the electric one has legs and a bit higher of sides, so it’s several inches taller and I thought she’d have a hard time comfortably seeing into it.
And it’s always good when a cook is able to see into her frying pan.
I had her fry instead of bake them because she hasn’t mastered the thing of getting stuff in and out of the oven yet, without burning her arm somewhere between her wrist and her armpit. She wants a pair of mitten hot pads that go all the way up her arms. Seriously, she does.  

6. The water was boiling by the time she was done making the meatballs, so I told her to put the spaghetti in and stir it a bit. Then flip the meatballs and to just kind of keep flipping them until no more pink was showing.

tiff meal cooking

7. The meatballs and the pasta were done around the same time, so I told her to turn the burners off and I helped her drain the fat off the meatballs, and then she sprinkled them with salt and Italian seasoning, dumped the pasta sauce over them, and turned the burner to Low.

8. Time to dump the beans into the bowl and microwave them for 2 minutes.

9. So now the beans are heating, the spaghetti is holding, and the meat is simmering in spaghetti sauce. Time to set the table, including getting out her beloved Parmesan grater and a chunk of Parmesan, and pour water.

10. Now everything is done. She was able to drain the spaghetti herself by dumping it into the colander in the sink. Time to dish up. Aaaaand grate Parmesan over everything. And call everyone to the table.

Thank you for making dinner, Tiffany. It was good!!

tiff meal done

She held the Parmesan grater hostage and the minute we dished food onto our plates, she was magically standing beside us saying, in what we call ‘the fancy lady voice’, “Would you like some Parmesan cheese?” and then we’d answer, with exaggerated politeness, “yes, I would, please” and she’d reach in and grate.

Comments

3 Responses to “A Step-By-Step of How To Have Your 8-yr-Old Make Dinner”

  1. Liz on June 14th, 2014 1:08 pm

    Kaitlyn thought this post was especially for me. :) Think she was trying to hint?

  2. Kay on June 14th, 2014 2:48 pm

    Ha, she’s so subtle. :)

  3. Shannon on June 14th, 2014 6:12 pm

    You go Tiffany! As soon as her cooking class is over I’ll be sending my girls down! :)

Chipotle Chicken Quesadillas

Summer is coming to Ohio. We think. Today we’re wearing jackets, but we’ve had a few warm days as teasers and the forecast looks promising.

These quesadillas are great for summer for 2 reasons: 1. They’re quick (summers seem busier, less time cooking) 2. They don’t use the oven.

These quesadillas are great year-round for 2 reasons too: 1. They’re easy. 2. They’re so good.

Sometimes when we have Grilled Chicken Breast Salad, I purposely have Shannon grill a couple more pieces of chicken than we’ll need. When I’m cleaning up after the meal, I chunk up the leftover chicken and put it in the freezer for such a time as this: Chipotle Chicken Quesadilla night.

chicken quesadillas

This is not a recipe from anywhere, it’s just a thrown together dish.

This is a good walk-into-the-kitchen-30-minutes-before-mealtime-thinking-“what-can-I-make-QUICKLY” option.

So, get out your frying pan and start heating it up, I set mine to 300 degrees, which would probably be medium-low on a stovetop. Get out the sour cream, frozen chicken chunks, tortillas, can of black beans, and shredded cheese. Put the chicken in the microwave for 1 min to thaw. Put a bit of olive oil in the frying pan, add the chicken, and sprinkle with chipotle seasoning. Fry and stir a couple times.
chicken quesadillas browning meat

While that’s frying, get the other stuff ready… Butter 1 side of each tortilla, drain the beans, open the sour cream and cheese.

Take the chicken out of the pan. Put 2 tortillas in the pan, butter side down. Smear with sour cream. Add chicken, beans, and cheese.
chicken quesadillas sour cream beans

chicken quesadillas sour cream beans cheese

Put the other tortilla, butter side up, on top.
chicken quesadillas frying

I didn’t time how long to fry it before flipping, I just waited til the bottom tortilla was nicely browned and the cheese started melting a bit. Flip quickly, but gently, if that makes sense. If you flip quickly and wildly, you may have beans and chicken chunks hitting the ceiling. :)
chicken quesadillas fried

After the second side is fried, put on a plate and cut into fourths with a pizza cutter. Top with sour cream and salsa.

For sides, I serve extra tortilla chips & salsa and applesauce.

I make four quesadillas total (only 2 fit in the pan at a time) and I tried something different for the second batch… Instead of layering, mix the sour cream, chicken, beans, and cheese together. Put 2 tortillas in the pan, divide the mixture between them, spread it out, and put the other tortilla on top. Either way works great and tastes the same.
chicken quesadilla

Now, for a bit of a concise recipe that doesn’t have pictures mixed in, in case you want to copy and paste it somewhere. These measurements will be very estimated because I never measure them and the chicken amount varies with how much leftover there is at the moment.

Chipotle Chicken Quesadillas …add or subtract to your liking

2 cups of chicken, chunked
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. chipotle seasoning
3/4 cup sour cream, plus extra for garnish
1 can black beans, drained
2 cups shredded cheese
8 tortillas, each buttered on one side

If chicken chunks are frozen, thaw in microwave for 1 min. Heat electric frying pan to 300 degrees or medium-low for stovetop. Sprinkle seasoning over chicken and fry in olive oil for several minutes, stirring now and then. Take chicken out and put 2 tortillas in, buttered side down. Put 1/4 of the sour cream, chicken, beans, and cheese on each tortilla OR mix those 4 ingredients together and spread 1/4 of the mixture on each tortilla. Fry for several minutes, flip gently, and fry the other side. Put on a plate, cut into fourths with pizza cutter, and garnish with sour cream and salsa. Round out the meal with tortilla chips, extra salsa, and applesauce. And dinner is served!

Summer, we love you and welcome you! Please come and stay for awhile!

Angry Birds, Fishing, Footballs, Pigs with Mud… and other lunches for kids

Posted on March 14, 2012
Filed Under Cooks in Training, Easy meals, Tidbits

I’m not sure who has more fun with this… me or the kids. The thing about kids is that they’re so forgiving. For example, if your lion lunch looks more like a sun with whiskers, they’ll love it anyway. And they’ll even call it a lion, and they’ll grrrr while they’re eating it. Those of you reading this will probably fall into one of 3 categories:
1. Think “That’s a waste of time.”
2. Think “That would take too long, but I’d like a few easy ideas to do someday… maybe one day when I have nothing else to do *hahaha, laughing at your own joke of nothing to do*, or for a birthday party for one of the kids or something.”
3. Think ”I need to make lunch anyway, so instead of cutting a sandwich in half corner-to-corner and throwing it and chips on a plate, I might as well take a couple extra minutes and cut a roofline at the top of the sandwich and place some Doritos here and there to make it a house-on-fire lunch. Not saying I do it all the time… just hit n miss for fun. Because psssssst *whisper* Sometimes I fix lunch in 30 seconds flat and my kids’ lunches look like this:”
kid-lunch-pkged.jpg

If you are person #1, I don’t care, I won’t try to change your mind… I’ll just feel privileged that you’re still putting up with me on here. 🙂
If you are person #2, do it, find that ’someday’, seriously, I can’t tell you how much the kids will love it.
If you are person #3, ahhh, let’s just remember that strengths and weaknesses lie side by side… because I’m pretty sure that spending time playing with food instead of folding laundry would be considered a weakness. ;)

You may notice that this is almost all grilled cheese sandwiches. Nothing fancy. No special recipes or anything.

I’m just going to put up 10 or so pictures here of ones I’ve remembered to take pictures of. Most of them were quickly snapped with my cell phone… without necessarily planning to post them, just more for my own interest. I thought of redoing them all and getting decent pictures, but you know what? I don’t specialize in the photography line like a few of my talented friends do. (My talented friends’ first piece of advice would probably be “use a camera, never a cell phone!”) :)

I think the pictures are pretty self-explanatory, but I’ll try to explain sorta what I did under each picture. I just used whatever I had on hand… nothing was planned ahead, so sometimes I had to improvise, like using melted chocolate on a ham and cheese sandwich… it wasn’t very much though, I just needed something dark for eyebrows. I think you’ll notice the improvising as you look at the pictures. ;)

1. Let’s Go Fishing
kid-lunch-fishing.jpg
Apple boat, fish-shaped grilled cheese sandwich, carrot fisherman, gummy worm, pretzel fishing pole, brown crayon fishing line, blue crayon water, edible marker face (well, just the ink is edible, not the whole marker ;) ), chocolate chip eye.

2. House on Fire
kid-lunch-house-fire.jpg
Sandwich cut into a house shape, windows doors and roof line out of crust, chimney cut from scraps, marshmallow smoke, Doritos fire.

3. Pig with Mudhole and Feeding Trough
kid-lunch-pig.jpg
Grilled cheese pig with ears from scraps and snout from one side of another sandwich, carrot eyes and nostrils, Pringles trough with snack mix pig food, chocolate pudding mud.

4. Caterpillar
kid-lunch-caterpillar.jpg
Trail bologna caterpillar with shredded cheese mouth and antennas, cheese eyes, cheese leaves, cookie & pretzel sun. I let them eat crackers with it, but I should’ve incorporated the crackers into the caterpillar to make it more interesting and varigated!

5. Butterfly
kid-lunch-butterfly.jpg
Snacking on cheese and pretzels on evening, Tiffany (5) suddenly came over to me and said “Look Mom! I made a butterfly with my cheese and pretzels!”

6. Sailboats
kid-lunch-sailing.jpg
Grilled cheese boats, licorice masts, strawberry sails (it was this lunch that I realized ”hey! It would be very easy to make hearts out of strawberry halves!”), Marshmallow clouds, cracker fish (swimming in invisible water, ha).

7. Semi and Car
kid-lunch-semi-car.jpg
Bake ham n cheese sandwiches with hot dog bun instead of hamburger buns. Get them out of the oven and add unmelted cheese details: wheels, smoke stacks, driver with face drawn on. For the cabs, I added one layer from another sandwich. The kids drove these around a bit before eating them. The wheels are held on by toothpicks. A toothpick is the perfect length to span the width of a hot dog bun and have a bit left over on each side to press the cheese onto. The faces stayed on because I put them against the hot melted cheese and they stuck.

8. Lion
kid-lunch-lion.jpg
Yeah, you can laugh at these lunches, I don’t care. :) Grilled cheese head, shredded cheese and cheese chunk face, Doritos mane.

9. Spiral and a Scissors
kid-lunch-spiral-pizza.jpg
Cut-your-own-piece pizza. The girls cut small pieces so they could use the scissors more often.

10. Dog and Bone
kid-lunch-woof.jpg
Grilled cheese dog, Pringles ear, piped chocolate pudding eye, nose, bone, and words.

11. Puzzle
kid-lunch-puzzle.jpg
Grilled cheese puzzle pieces… very simple, but Tiffany had fun playing with it anyway.

12. Are You Ready for some Football?
kid-lunch-football.jpg
Grilled cheese footballs with shredded cheese laces, carrot goal posts (not fastened, just arranged there, and they roll while transporting the plate, then you have to fix them again 🙂 ), cookie jersey (you can’t see it very well, but I used red edible ink to draw a 5 on it (because the tot eating it was 5) and drew lines at the end of the sleeves).

13. Angry Birds
kid-lunch-angry-birds.jpg
Head is round bread, round cheese, and crescent ham with ‘tufts’, cheese eyes and nose (I didn’t have yellow cheese, so I colored white cheese with an edible ink marker), melted chocolate eyebrows and ‘pupils’.

Ok, this ended up being 13… an unlucky number! I’m not superstitious, but maybe I should add another one that I just thought of that I made this week to go with a lunch, but didn’t take a picture:

14. A carrot man. Think stick man with 5 baby carrots: 1 carrot was the torso, 2 were legs, 2 were arms. The head was a round piece of cheese with a smile drawn on with an edible ink marker. Then, I put a raspberry upside down on his head for a cap. One carrot man was sitting and one was standing (or laying, rather). Everything was held together with little pieces of toothpicks. Could even dress them up with fruit roll-ups or cheese/ham slices or something… didn’t think of that till right now.

Have fun! We are! 🙂

Comments

11 Responses to “Angry Birds, Fishing, Footballs, Pigs with Mud… and other lunches for kids”

  1. Arla on March 14th, 2012 10:50 pm

    Kay, what I think is the neatest thing about this is that you’re taking time for your girls and loving it, too. It only gets better from here, I promise.

  2. Monica on March 14th, 2012 10:56 pm

    Thanks for all the ideas!! My children would love the Angry Birds, since that is one of their favorite things right now. I will have to try that.

  3. Kay on March 14th, 2012 11:46 pm

    Arla, I love your last sentence! Thanks for that encouragement! :)

    Monica, yeah, I think the Angry Birds one was about the biggest hit of them all here, too. :) And here’s a hint that I forgot to put into the post: a kitchen scissors is your friend for cutting the ham.

  4. Shannon on March 15th, 2012 7:50 am

    Kay! You are the tops!! My girls are leaning over my shoulder saying, “WOW Mom, you should really try that. She can do all that? She’s good!” :) I really really should try this sometime.

    I betcha when your girls have kids, they’ll say, “Here’s your lunch! Grandma used to do this for me when I was little.” My kids will give their kids a plate and says, “Eat!” :D

  5. cretora on March 15th, 2012 9:56 am

    that is SO cute! I’m thinking birthday party or boring summer day for me. Def. a fun idea for Cali to unleash her creativity in the kitchen. :)

  6. Audrey on March 15th, 2012 11:43 am

    This type of thing is something that I so admire about you. I probably fall into category #2, but then I hardly ever get around to this kind of thing. I know my kids would love it though. And some of them are so simple. Thanks a lot for sharing these with the rest of us!

  7. Renita on March 15th, 2012 3:09 pm

    awesome ideas. Will have to remember to try some. So often I’m in a hurry and just want them to eat their food instead of actually playing with it. :-) Thanks

  8. Kay on March 15th, 2012 4:43 pm

    Shannon, LOL about our kids as moms someday! :p You oughta do the house on fire… that was probably the biggest bang for time taken. There’s nothing to pipe and no shredded cheese to arrange and no faces to draw.

    Cretora and Aug, yep simple. Simple enough for even the older kids to do themselves!

    Renita, I don’t usually sit down with my kids to eat lunch, so I don’t care what they do. :) I usually eat something different than they do, so I make mine while they’re eating theirs.

  9. Beth on March 20th, 2012 9:26 pm

    Once again, you blow me away with your creativity! I should probably admit that I am #1, but I know the kids would love it if I’d do it. I used to cut dog shapes for their ham & cheese sandwich & they loved it! So maybe tomorrow when I get lunch together, I’ll think of you & do something special. :)

  10. Beth on March 20th, 2012 9:30 pm

    I forgot to say that I really love #7. Also, I will keep all of these in mind for parties! …since I’m still holding out on looking at Pinterest for ideas. :)

  11. Judi on April 24th, 2012 2:04 pm

    if I thought my picky eaters (granddaughters) would eat it I would do any of those things lol Although, this weekend we all made cupcakes and the pickiest of them all ate a whole cupcake – the one that eats anything only ate the frosting lol

    Love the ideas.

Grilled Chicken Breast Salad

Being a mom and having guilt go together like pancakes and syrup. It just goes with the turf. You wake up in the morning and right away you can think of things to feel guilty about. I should spend more time… I should not have gotten upset when…  I shouldn’t have let them… Maybe we should give them… I should be getting up, what with the baby yelling for me from her crib and all…

If you get that first paragraph, then you know what I mean when I say how it makes you feel when your children make good choices… despite all your mistakes, something is getting through.

Well, here’s my little triumph in the food dept… my girls count Grilled Chicken Breast Salad as one of their favorite meals. We have it at least every other week. It’s hard to get a healthier meal than this, really… fresh veggies, hard-boiled egg, lowfat mozzarella cheese, some croutons, and grilled (not breaded or deep-fried) chicken breast. In the tortured mental games that I sometimes put myself through, them liking salad seems like it, in some way, compensates for the times I say yes to ANOTHER piece of candy or that lazy Saturday when we had ice cream cones for breakfast (hypothetically speaking, of course, not like any responsible parent would ever actually allow that, or do it herself), or those times when I let the girls fend for themselves for lunch and it’s anything but a square meal, a triangle meal at best.

Chicken Breast Salad

chicken-breast-salad-closeup.jpg

I’ll show you how a meal that involves grilling is a joint effort for us… I’ll color code it just to humor myself.

Shannon’s 1st job: Starting the grill, either charcoal or gas. This particular time, he used gas because it gets ready faster.

My 1st job: Thawing the chicken breast. Here’s how I do it. It goes from freezer to thawed in 5 minutes… which is good news to any of you who don’t always plan ahead and don’t get the meat out the night before to begin thawing!  

Take this out of the freezer:
chicken-breast1.jpg

Put the frozen chicken pieces out on a dinner plate.
chicken-breast-frozen.jpg

Put the plate in the microwave on High for 1 minute. Flip the pieces, reposition them so what was on the outside is now on the inside, and if one was on top, don’t put it on top the next round… in general just move them around at random.

Repeat that step 4 more times. If we’re having rolls or breadsticks to go with it, during those minute intervals is when I’d be getting them in the oven. Trim off some fat and drain off the juice. Your plate of chicken breasts should look like this, thawed and ready to hand over to the master of the grill.
chicken-breast-thawed.jpg

He seasons them with Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Blackened Steak Magic seasoning. You can season more boldly when it’s going on a salad than if you’d be eating the meat by itself. If you notice the 2 small ones with little seasoning, those are the ones the girls will eat. Their tastebuds seem to not be mature enough yet to handle the extra kick, so theirs get only Lawry’s Seasoned Salt and I think Shannon might sprinkle some Lawry’s on ours too. And then he puts them on the grill.
chicken-breast-seasoned.jpg

Meanwhile, I’m making salads…
Lettuce
Tomatoes
Mushrooms
Hard-boiled eggs
Shredded cheese
Croutons
Whatever else you want or have on hand like Carrots, Bacon, Italian seasoning, whatever. And they don’t all need to be the same… personalize them to each person’s taste.
chicken-breast-salads-b4-chicken.jpg

Looks kinda refreshing on a hot day, huh?

chicken-breast-salad-b4-chicken-2.jpg

Meanwhile, the chicken is on the grill. I left my salad-making and followed Shannon out to the grill when he went out to flip them…
chicken-breast-for-salad.jpg

Those of you who want to make this salad, I hope you sorta know how to grill chicken breast because when I asked Shannon what he did and how and time on the grill and stuff, I got very sketchy details, but I also got some great tips.

For example, I asked how long they were on before he flipped them and he didn’t know. He said you need to be on the edge of your comfort zone with it, though, and not overdo it. He said alot of people freak out about making sure chicken is done and then end up with dry rubbery chicken. You want it so it’s just so done, not pink anymore, and juicy. So, of course, I asked how to know when that is and he said, “You just go by instinct.”

So, yeah, good luck with that.

You could use a meat fork thermometer. Shannon used to have one, but hasn’t for quite awhile because, uhhhh, one time yours truly immersed it in water because the handle was messy and, you know, of course one time of immersion wouldn’t matter… famous last words. Yet, grilled chicken breast around here always ends up being perfect… done, but still juicy.

My only job left is to get out the cutting board and the knife… HIS knife, I should say. Yeah, we each have our own knife this size and we each think our own is THE best. Sometime, I should put them both on here and take a poll. I’ll best mine would win because, if for no other reason… it has a case! ????
chicken-breast-cutting-board.jpg

Soon, he brings the chicken in, slices it,
chicken-breast-cutting.jpg

and places it on top of the salads.
chicken-breast-salads.jpg

Zig-zag some Ranch dressing over it…
chicken-breast-salad-with-ranch.jpg

And dig in!

You don’t think this salad is so healthy that it could actually take away those cavities caused by the extra pieces of candy, do you?

Comments

11 Responses to “Grilled Chicken Breast Salad”

  1. Amy Burkey on July 14th, 2011 3:32 pm

    I now know what I’m having for supper! Thank you!

  2. joe on July 14th, 2011 4:31 pm

    you need to coordinate ur posts to the days that i’m cooking!!!!

  3. Jolene on July 14th, 2011 4:54 pm

    Oh that looks GOOD!

  4. Rosalyn on July 14th, 2011 4:55 pm

    sounds wonderful. I’m sure it would be a hit in our household, too! :)

  5. Kay on July 14th, 2011 7:22 pm

    Amy and Jolene, you can’t go wrong with this, esp in the summer! ????

    Joe, sure, no problem, ha. :) I’m sure you wouldn’t need a post, though, for grilling days… you could probably add some tips to this one!

    Rosalyn, this just became a hit with my girls a year or so ago. Before when we’d make it, they’d just eat the chicken plain or with Ranch and then have a breadstick and piece of cheese on the side. Last summer sometime, they both decided to like salad. ????

  6. Twila on July 14th, 2011 10:35 pm

    Looks quite tasty! I grill alot of chicken breast and usually do it about 8 minutes per side. Of course that might depend on how hot the grill is, the thickness of the chicken etc. It usually turns out about right though. If I have a thicker piece I’ll cut it in half to make sure it’s done.

  7. Shannon on July 14th, 2011 10:41 pm

    I grilled chicken the other night and we had left overs. Tonight we had it in a salad. I love it and am so glad my girls eat it too! This looks delicious.

  8. Beth on July 15th, 2011 7:24 am

    How well I get your first post & the mommy guilt thing. And the eating ice cream for breakfast thing. Well, pretty much just everything you said in there! Love the mixture of humor & actual recipe in this post. :) Like the humoring yourself with color coding. cracks me up! :) And I also love the step-by-step process you went through, right down to getting the knife out. This salad looks to.die.for. YUMMY. Shannon gets a boo though for not telling me how long to grill chicken. lol I am an awful griller, because my instincts usually make grilled food turn out burned or pink. :( But I can just hear him say that’s not his problem. No, really. I doubt if he’d tell me, but I betcha he’d think it. Anyway, enjoyed the post (as if you didn’t know that already). I need better smile faces for this! ????

  9. Kay on July 15th, 2011 9:18 am

    Twila, thanks for the 8-minute tidbit. :) Shannon did say that too, about it always being different because of grill heat and thickness. Times like this is when I’m glad for the understanding at our house that I don’t touch the grill… grill = guessing games.

    Shannon, I often use our chicken salad leftovers for chicken and cheese quesadillas… so there’s an idea if you have leftover leftovers. ????

    Beth, glad you get me, ice cream thing and all. ???? Yeah, so Shannon would probably say that, so just read what Twila said, and cut one apart so you can see if it’s still pink or not. Or make Rod grill.

  10. Liz on July 16th, 2011 4:16 pm

    Ha, ice cream for breakfast? It’s all right as long as it’s a late breakfast and after 10. At least going by some people. Of course, some of those people also don’t like chocolate as much as we do either so maybe their advice shouldn’t be taken too seriously? :)
    I wish that you it would be easier to compensate for bad decisions. I think if I drink 2 glasses of water than that should cancel out the chocolate that ate. Or something easier like that.

  11. Michelle on July 16th, 2011 8:58 pm

    yumMY!

Haystacks

Posted on April 28, 2011
Filed Under Easy meals, Main dishes

I’ve been hungry for haystacks since February. Yeah, I know. You’d think I’d have made them before now, what with being in charge of the food around here and all! :roll: How I know it was February is because for a couple weeks in a row, the church bulletin had “Haystack Supper Fundraiser: Friday eve, Feb 25″ in the Upcoming Events section for this area. Seeing that every week got me more and more in the mood for them and THEN we ended up not going to the fundraiser! So, to make a long story short (after I already told the long story), last night was the night, and I finally got my haystacks craving satisfied. Man, I could dig my fork into this pile all over again!

haystacks2.jpg

Haystacks are kind of a ‘to each his own’ thing, so there’s not really a set way to do them… the components vary and the order of stacking varies. So, I’ll just show you how we like them and you can tweak it from there. I use the term ‘we’ loosely because I’m the only one who likes rice on it and the tomatoes are not very popular among the little people around here.

Speaking of rice, the rice totally flopped last night. I mean really. Rice. How hard can it be… get it to boiling in a pan and then let it simmer for 45 min WITHOUT lifting the lid, then when time’s up, you lift the lid and there is your rice, magically perfectly done, fluff it with a fork and put it on the table. Well, *ahem*. I now know what happens when you accidently put in too little water. The magic doesn’t happen. Half of the grains are fluffily cooked and half of them look like you just dumped them out of the bag and half of them look partially cooked— ok, I think I got too many halves here, but you get the picture. I noticed it when I was about to dish everything up, so I put more water in, cranked the burner to High and cooked the rice like crazy for about 10 minutes. It worked ok and was soft enough to eat.

Here are the components to our haystacks. We thought of salsa later, so that’s missed on the picture.

haystacks3.jpg

Here’s the order I layer it in:
— Corn chips, slightly crushed (you can also use crackers, but I like the extra flavor and crunch of chips)
— Rice
— Meat mixture (brown hamburger with onion, then add a packet of taco seasoning and a can of kidney beans)
— Cheese sauce (1/4 cup melted butter, 2 Tbsp flour, 1 cup milk; bring to boil, then stir in 1 cup cheddar or Velveeta)
— Lettuce
— Diced tomatoes (can also open and drain a can of diced tomatoes, a handy time-saver tip from my friend Linda Y.)
— Shredded cheese
— Salsa

Maybe there is something I miss that would make haystacks even better, so if you make them different than this and if you feel like it, I’d love to hear what variations you do to haystacks!

haystacks1.jpg

While I was making this, I was thinking that this would be a good meal option for those it’s-4:30pm-and-I’m-staring-in-the-fridge/freezer/cupboards-for-a-menu-inspiration moments. Or maybe you guys never do that… I do it more often than I care to admit. Anyway, I think I’m going to keep this meal option on hand from now on… The rice takes very little time to get it to simmering, the meat would be fast (especially if it would be already browned in the freezer), cheese sauce takes very little time and the rest of the stuff is basically just putting it on the table… which the kids did last night. Actually, this meal isn’t far away from the kids totally doing!

Speaking of which, my goal this summer after Lexi gets out of school is to perfect about 5 good, but easy enough, meals that the girls can do by themselves. Then, once in awhile, I can say, “Hey, you guys go make ____________ for supper, please.” ???? Haystacks may just be on that list.

Not sure what’s up next, but it’s seems like f.o.r.e.v.e.r since I’ve made or eaten sinful chocolatey richness, so I see that in my future for this weekend. And since I have to feature it on here in order to make it ‘legal’, that might just be coming up next……….

Comments

26 Responses to “Haystacks”

  1. Connie Stoll on April 28th, 2011 11:11 am

    We love haystacks for family get-togethers! We use crackers and corn chips, rice, meat sauce with beans seperate because there are always those who don’t like beans.:) Onions, sunflower seeds, tomatoes, lettuce and for a quick cheese sauce use canned cheddar cheese soup with some milk. Yum! Your post made me want some!

  2. Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary on April 28th, 2011 2:19 pm

    Oh we call these Frito Pies. I was looking for the haystacks saying, maybe they are coming up after the Frito Pies, lol. I guess it’s a cultural things. We never added rice though. Great addition!

  3. Shannon on April 28th, 2011 2:27 pm

    Now guess who’s hungry for haystacks! ????

  4. Larinda High on April 28th, 2011 2:33 pm

    We do Ritz crackers, rice, meat with chilli beans, lettuce, tomatoe, onion, green olives(a must have at this house), salsa, sour cream, cheese sauce, jalopeno pepper rings. We had hay stacks at our wedding:) We LOVE haystacks! I don’t make them near often enough. I often make them for the youth, or when I have company. It’s a very easy Sunday lunch for company!!

  5. Larinda High on April 28th, 2011 2:35 pm

    OOPs! I forgot to add chips…and it must be corn chips not dorito type chips:)

  6. Kay on April 28th, 2011 2:52 pm

    I’m lovin’ these new ideas!
    I always thought the corn chips take the place of the crackers… never thought of them in addition to the chips! :)
    Raw onions and green olives wouldn’t go over good with any of us here, but the sunflower seeds, sour cream, and jalepenos will definitely need to be added to the table next time!!
    I like the idea of using cheddar soup for cheese sauce and mixing chili beans with the meat… Larinda, do you not add taco seasoning to the meat/bean mixture then? That would be great… one less ingredient. ????

  7. Monica on April 28th, 2011 4:42 pm

    A haystack is NOT complete without crushed spicy nacho Doritos and homemade French dressing. :) Yeah, I’m weird, I know. :) :)

  8. Cheryl Weaver on April 28th, 2011 4:59 pm

    We had them last night too. One thing that my children WILL notice if it is missing is black olives. I like pepperoncinis on mine, too. And yes, the homemade French dressing is a MUST!

  9. Kay on April 28th, 2011 7:42 pm

    Wow, more ideas of stuff that all sounds good! Twila, chopped nuts? That actually sounds GOOD! I love nuts in salad.
    Karen, great idea to use refried beans… we had a bit of complaining about beans last night. ????
    You guys and your homemade French! :) I don’t even know how to make that! I’d be glad if you’d want to post a recipe here! Wonder if it’s like the ‘Tally-Ho’ my mom used to make.???
    Lorene, thanks much for the rice tips! Rice is always sort of blah to me, and how you said to do it almost sounds like it could have a little flavor if you’re not careful! ????
    Sandra, I did the butter really quick and no, they didn’t get soggy… did you do them right out of the oven? as in, at first they were almost too hot to hold. Not sure what else you could do different, unless it would’ve been the brand of the butter??? I used Land o Lakes, but you may have, too.

  10. Karen on April 28th, 2011 6:02 pm

    We like corn chips and doritos mixed…mushrooms,olives, jalepenos,hot salsa,sour cream or ranch….depending who you are, plus what you had. I mix refried beans with my meat/taco seas. mixture, that way the non bean eating ones don’t notice! =)

  11. Lorene Miller on April 28th, 2011 6:12 pm

    What lovely blogs you always post! Just a note on cooking rice…I learned from my sister who was a missionary in C.A. that if you put a tablespoon of oil in pan and stir fry the raw rice till it is a little brown before adding water it helps to get that stir fried fluffy rice that doesn’t stick together. After you add the water, bring to boil then turn down as low as possible. In 15 min. it will be perfect if you don’t lift lid. I always add some chicken base to the rice, but that is not a must.
    Thanks for giving me ideas!

  12. Liz on April 28th, 2011 6:29 pm

    Ok, now I’m hungry for haystacks!
    Like your updated profile pic too.

  13. Twila on April 28th, 2011 6:40 pm

    I like to add diced celery, somehow just adds a nice flavor. And we usually start with crushed crackers and also add the nacho chips somewhere along the way! I also like it with pork and beans but the kids don’t, so I don’t usually bother. My original recipe from 25 years ago also has chopped nuts as the very last item.

  14. Sandra Hershey on April 28th, 2011 7:16 pm

    Yeah i have a new meal for next week!!..I have made it before and but the kids never seemed to like it when they were little.
    I did make your yummy donuts…they were a hit!! Great for sunday morning breakfast!!Next time I need to a double batch:)
    Kay, i do have a question…when you rolled your donuts in the butter…mine got soggy..so i skipped that and rolled them in the cinn mix,they were ok.Did I do something wrong?

  15. Amy Burkey on April 29th, 2011 7:41 am

    We make the haystacks with Doritos, and the meat sauce is made with chili beans instead of kidney. And we just use real grated cheese and no cheese sauce. And I’m the only one who eats rice with it.:( Which is sad…. About rice. I’ve learned a few fun things. Always buy rice that says parboiled on the pkg. For rice that I’m using to eat with things mexican I like to put something tomatoey in for part of the liquid and add some cumin and other seasonings. For rice just to eat with pork chops or fish I like to throw in some real butter and dill, mint, cajun, and a little garlic and onion pwd and some lawrys when it’s done boiling…put it in in the “fluff with fork” process. It’s really good. And to cook the rice so it always turns out? simmer 10 min in hot liquid and then pour off excess water and put the lid back on with a wet towel to seal the lid good and simmer again for 10 more minutes. It fluffs beautifully. make sure you have a thick bottomed pan though and you will have a little crust over the bottom of the pan. Anyhow, enjoyed all these good ideas for haystacks..taco salad…whatever you call it! :)

  16. Arla on April 29th, 2011 3:44 pm

    I made haystacks for the Graber family once and didn’t have enough of it. I coulda died of embarrassment. Seems like desert took care of it, but those completely clean bowls and kettles was scary to me. Do you remember that, Kay? I would guess it’s one of our favorite meals around here summer or winter. And we use beans and rice too besides the meat. Cheese sauce is our pick for cheese, and we like onions,lettuce, ranch and salsa if I have it on hand. Lance uses hot sauce on his, and not many of us likes the tomatoes.

  17. Eleanor on April 29th, 2011 10:21 pm

    This was interesting. And my husband pretty much has a standing order for haystacks any time I want to make them. We do Doritos instead of corn chips and add salsa, sour cream and French dressing and usually just use cheese instead of cheese sauce.

  18. Sandra Hershey on April 30th, 2011 9:55 am

    Thanks Kay!..I did do it right when they were hot..but i never thought that it may be the butter.I used GV..so that could be it:)..They were still a hit!

  19. Kay on April 30th, 2011 11:37 am

    More rice tips! Thanks alot, Amy!!!

    Oh, Arla, I can just feel it… running out of food, but no, I do NOT remember that! At least it was just the Grabers… or should I say Oh no! and it was the Grabers of all people! ???? I have 3 major fears when it comes to serving a meal… something flopping, someone finding a hair, and not having enough!

    Eleanor and whoever else suggested Doritos, good idea. Seems like they’d add more flavor than corn chips!

    Sandra, I was more just grasping at straws… I don’t know if brand would’ve made a diff or not. The recipe actually calls for margarine!

  20. Freida on April 30th, 2011 11:48 am

    Nobody mentioned instant rice? That makes the meal even quicker. :)

    Our haystacks consist of taco meat mixture w/ chili beans, rice, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese sauce, chips, (for hubby) crackers (for me), salsa, and ranch dressing or my homemade french island dressing. Yumm! Now I’m hungry! Me thinks this will make a delicious Sunday lunch tomorrow. ????

  21. Tonya on April 30th, 2011 6:42 pm

    We do crackers, rice, taco meat, dorito chips, shredded cheese, lettuce, cheese sauce, salsa, olives, sour cream, tomatoes. We love them too and I don’t make them nearly as often as I should.

  22. Judi on May 3rd, 2011 4:18 pm

    I make a variation of this. I start with refried beans, seasoned beef, tomatoes, onions, cheese and sour cream. We then scoop it all up with corn chips. Yum… just had it last night.

  23. Jan on May 4th, 2011 7:22 pm

    Need another rice tip? I fry mine in a little oil, then dump in the water (slightly less than asked for)and some salt. I cook it until the water level is down to the rice level and then shut it off. I peek in all I want to. You have to so you can check the level. Let it set there for about twenty minutes or so and the water will continue to be absorbed. The end result is not sticky, undercooked, or overcooked. One of the few foods Dan is picky about is rice and he is proud of mine! I am cooking rice right now (Yes, for haystacks) and almost forgot to shut it off. ????

  24. amber on May 5th, 2011 3:30 pm

    i now know what we’re going to have for dinner.. :)

  25. Larinda High on May 10th, 2011 6:49 pm

    Yes, we still add Taco seasoning to the meat…it’s a must:) the spicier the better!

  26. Shannon on May 19th, 2011 2:32 pm

    Some GREAT ideas now that mine is all made! ha :) It will pass but it’s not great.

    I posses those same 3 fears when cooking! Failure, hair and not enough. Tonight I’m worrying about not enough because it’s the youth group and I have no idea how much they eat.

Herbed New Potatoes

Posted on July 20, 2009
Filed Under Easy meals, Side dishes

If you want quick-n-easy, here you go. These would honestly fit into a “30 minutes to mealtime” category. And 20 of those minutes is the potatoes cooking, so that’s some free time to fry some chicken, make a salad, or whatever else is for dinner. All you do is peel a stripe around the potatoes, throw them in a kettle to cook, then 20 minutes later, toss them with a butter and herb mixture and put them on the table.

This is one of those recipes I clipped a long time ago. Well, I didn’t technically clip it, I scribbled it down. When I have a clipped recipe, sometimes I can tell where they came from, but when I just wrote it, it’s only a guess. Maybe it was out of a magazine in a doctor’s office or somewhere (because, you know, I’d never rip a recipe out of someone else’s magazine!). I’ve seen this potato recipe in my stash of clipped recipes pretty often, but never tried it… maybe because it’s so hard and complicated. Just kidding.

Anyway, this recipe is definitely a keeper. It’s simple enough for a regular weeknight meal, but dressy enough for Sunday company. As I wrote that part about being dressy, I wondered what I thought makes it dressy and I guess it’s because of the peeled stripe around it and the parsley garnish. ????  We ate these with sour cream, but I wish I’d have thought of Ranch dressing. I’ll bet that would’ve been really good with them too!

And here’s the recipe:

Herbed new Potatoes

12 small new potatoes
4 tsp. butter
1 1/3 tsp. dried parsley (or 1 1/3 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley if you prefer)
1 1/3 tsp. chives
Fresh parsley for garnish

Peel 1/2″ strip around center of each potato. Place in cold water in saucepan. Boil potatoes about 20 minutes or till done. Don’t overcook.
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Drain and cover. Melt butter and stir in chives and parsley. Pour over potatoes and toss to coat. Spoon potatoes into bowl and garnish with parsley. Serve immediately. Serves 4. Variation: Can also sprinkle with bacon or finely minced greeen onions.
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Oh, and about ripping a recipe out of someone’s else’s magazine… *ahem* … Confession: I did one time several years ago at an oil change place while waiting on my car to get done. But only that one time. Seriously. ???? I forget, but I probably didn’t have a pen and paper on me. It was a garlic biscuit recipe of some sort, but not these Red Lobster ones.

Change of subject now: This article hit the news last week. ???? By Melissa Dutton for the Associated Press: http://www.wral.com/lifestyles/story/5579539/ I guess now you’ll know what Lexi’s 7th birthday cake will be. :)

Comments

6 Responses to “Herbed New Potatoes”

  1. liz on July 20th, 2009 10:17 am

    Way to go with the news article! Wondered if you were going to leave a link on here. Are you still going to talk to us commoners?:)

  2. Jo on July 20th, 2009 10:49 am

    Reminds me of a TOH recipe from years back. On Friday, Titus dug up a few new potatoes from his garden…and I have parsley growing in my raised bed, and chives in the fridge…so I might have to try your recipe sometime this week. Nothing beats the taste & texture of new potatoes! Mmm. my mouth is watering. :-)

  3. Ruthie on July 20th, 2009 11:14 am

    Wow!! You are now officially famous!! Even to the point where they call you “Martin”!! I’m a little worried, with Liz. Are we good enough for you now? =) You might have to let us know by baking a cake for us….. hee hee The potatoes are a good example of taking a plain, easy dish and adding a few ingredients to dress it up nicely. Very nice.

  4. Rosalyn on July 20th, 2009 11:56 am

    This is interesting, finding this on here…just this very weekend I found this recipe in an old TOH magazine, the picture looked almost identical to yours. :)
    I can’t wait to make this, we love new potatoes!! :)

  5. Kay on July 20th, 2009 12:36 pm

    Ok! So this recipe must’ve been copied out of a TOH magazine!!! I have some of the TOH annual cookbooks, I should see if it’s in there. ????

  6. Charlene on July 21st, 2009 5:46 am

    I was looking for recipes to use with my new potaotes, I will def be trying this one.

Fried Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich

Posted on March 19, 2009
Filed Under Easy meals, Snacks

Have you ever tried that? Yesterday, while we were making fry pies, Renita and I were talking about quick lunches or something (I forget exactly how we got on the subject) and she said that her son likes his pb&j sandwiches fried, like a grilled cheese sandwich. I had never heard of it, so I decided I’d have to try it.

Fast-forward to a couple hours later… I got home around 1:00 p.m. and hadn’t had lunch yet, so I was staring in the fridge when suddenly I remembered the fried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. So, I made 2, one for me and one for Tiffany (Lexi was at school). Then, after eating that one, I made another one for me. They are good! The peanut butter gets all warm and melty and gooey and the sandwich is crispy to bite into. It just kinda bumps plain ol’ peanut butter and jelly sandwiches up a level. ????

So, here you go, no recipe, just the process in pictures…

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Peanut butter & Jelly…
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Grilled cheese and tomato soup…
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Yup, I don’t use a frying pan for this type of thing, mostly which is grilled cheese sandwiches. And that reminds me of this post, which was written on my old blog before I started Kitchen Scrapbook. And when the posts were transferred to Kitchen Scrapbook, the comments didn’t come with them, so here are a couple other ideas that people had for doing right on a smooth top burner and skipping the frying pan: warm tortillas up, make quesadillas, and someone knew of someone who fries onions and sausage right on the burner! I haven’t tried that one! Someone also said this, “Something to try next time you have tomato soup.  Hard-boil 3 or 4 eggs, then grate or shred into soup just before serving.  Yummy!

I LOVE my smooth top stove! Not just for this, but because it’s easier to clean too.

Comments

12 Responses to “Fried Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich”

  1. Shannon on March 19th, 2009 1:33 pm

    Oh we love these, well the girls and I do. Eric ate them last year when he was sick and can’t handle them anymore. :) I’ll have to make them again, kinda forgot about them.

  2. Monica on March 19th, 2009 2:26 pm

    I just might have to try those!! Sounds interesting. That’s cool how you grill them on your stove top–that would be the only reason I would want one like that……….I like my gas stove!! :)

  3. Traci on March 19th, 2009 4:31 pm

    Yep….I do this all the time….try it w/ bananas and not jelly….YUMMY!!!

  4. Christy on March 20th, 2009 2:27 pm

    If we’re going to fry them and make them less healthful, why not make it peanut butter and chocolate? I bet that would be good!

  5. Kay on March 20th, 2009 7:21 pm

    Traci, I’ve heard of p.b. & banana sandwiches… I’ve gotta try it, never did.

    Christy, you are SO my kind o’ girl!!!! I oughta try that combo too. ????

  6. Msclovy on March 21st, 2009 1:26 pm

    You must like to clean a stove more than I do…I did think though that you really arent supposed to do that to a smoothtop???

  7. Michelle on March 23rd, 2009 11:49 am

    Tried the fried p&b and jelly sandwich today. Was very good. Much better than eating it cold.

  8. Shannon H on March 26th, 2009 2:19 pm

    Still frying pb&j? ???? Just had to ask! :)

  9. Kay on March 26th, 2009 4:23 pm

    Msclovy, I actually never asked anyone if it was ok to do that. Seems like you shouldn’t, but I’ve had my stove for 11 1/2 years and the burners still clean up good as new!

    Shannon, ha, yeah, the loaf of bread is about gone now, so we’ll switch to something else soon. ????

  10. Jessica on March 30th, 2009 1:42 pm

    Egg in soup? Well after going to a certain Bible school establishment a certain year (namely the one you came engaged) I just can’t handle eggs in soup. Too much like breakfast leftovers in my lunch. ugh.

  11. Jennifer on April 4th, 2009 9:22 am

    My daughter and son just loved these. They thought I was crazy at first when I suggested it. Now they won’t eat them cold anymore. Thanks!

  12. Tiffany on April 24th, 2009 9:46 am

    That looks so good. But, i have a gas stove at home. But i’m still going to try that today.(:

Cheesy Chicken Quesadillas, only 4 ingredients!

Posted on July 9, 2008
Filed Under Chicken and Turkey, Easy meals, Main dishes

The title actually sorta gives away what most of the ingredients are! Cheese (actually a can of cheese soup), chicken, and if it’s quesadillas it’s gotta have tortillas, and water. I got this recipe off of the soup can. Southwest Style Pepper Jack soup.
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It was kind of hard to find… have you ever stared and stared at shelves, just knowing it was there, but you couldn’t lay your eyes on it? I did that with this. I did it in the jello section looking for watermelon gelatin too just lately, but that’s for another time and another post. There is a difference though… with the watermelon gelatin, I was only hoping it was there, with the soup, I knew it was there.

The reason I knew it was there is because my sister-in-law Liz makes these quesadillas and she said Marketplace has the soup, but Walmart doesn’t. After I finally found the soup, I immediately looked on the label to see if the recipe was there and sure enough, it was. Then, I wondered HOW, out of all the soup can labels there, Liz found this soup and tried this recipe. And it was a hit with the family! Wonder how much more I’m missing out on by not trying other soup can label recipes.

There are 4 more recipes on the back (you have to cut the paper off of the can on the specified line and flip the paper over to see them, this is not something you should be doing in the store before purchasing). I think it’s the manufacturer’s trick to getting you to buy more… you can’t see the other recipes till you get home and cut the paper off of the empty can before throwing it away. Then some of the recipes grab you and “Southwest Style Pepper Jack soup” goes right back on your shopping list. The other recipes are: Nachos Grande, Cheesy Pepper Jack Tacos, Mexican Meatloaf, and Cheesy Southwest Potatoes. I’ll bet some of those would be good too. Especially the nachos, meatloaf, and potatoes. They all have 5-7 ingredients. The reason you don’t need many ingredients is because this soup has got LOTS of flavor and kick.

quesadillas1.jpg

Cheesy Chicken Quesadillas

Printable recipe

1 lb. boneless chicken breast halves, cubed
1 can Campbell’s Southwest Style Pepper Jack soup
1/4 cup water
8 flour tortillas (8″), warmed (I used 9″ tortillas, and only 6 of them)

Preheat oven to 325. Cook chicken in nonstick skillet until done and juices evaporate, stirring often. Add soup and water and heat through. Shannon grilled the chicken on the grill while I mixed and heated the soup and water. When the chicken was done, I chunked it up and mixed it into the soup.
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Spoon about 1/3 cup chicken mixture on half of each tortilla to within 1/2″ of the edge. Moisten edge with water.
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Fold over and seal. Place on 2 baking sheets (or 1, in this case). Bake 5 min. or until hot. I baked them for 7-8 minutes, until I saw a bit of browning.
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Cut into wedges and serve with salsa. And/or sour cream. I ate mine with sour cream. It was spicy enough without the salsa.
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Just delicious for something so simple! If you have a full-time job and need to come home and make supper, this would be a good thing for the main dish! It takes about 20 minutes from start to finish. For a quick idea of something to serve with it, how about tortilla chips and applesauce. Or peanut butter pie (I’m so hungry for peanut butter pie!). Or ice cream. Or something else cold and creamy to cool the mouth. Tiffany’s take on the quesadillas after a couple bites was, “I don’t wike da spicy.”

Comments

10 Responses to “Cheesy Chicken Quesadillas, only 4 ingredients!”

  1. Esther on July 10th, 2008 7:54 am

    yum!! They look good. We have a quesdilla maker that makes making quesdillas fun but i was wondering is this mixture kinda runny from the pic it looked like it was. Our thing closes tightly and i was wondering if i try if everything will get squished out? Keep the good recepies coming! I love your site. I finally found doughnut mix after lots of searching now i can finally make those raspberry things.

  2. Monica on July 10th, 2008 9:19 am

    MMMM!! They sound yummy!! I’ll have to try them.

  3. Shannon on July 10th, 2008 3:32 pm

    Sounds good. My girls would say the same things Tiffany did. Nothing spicy here!!

  4. Kay on July 11th, 2008 7:54 pm

    Esther, wow, I’d be making quesadillas all the time if I had a quesadilla maker. :) Yeah, the filling is kind of runny, but there’s enough chicken in it to keep it from running out, at least when they’re made this way. Not sure what it would do in a quesadilla maker. Might work to put less water in the soup.

  5. Liz on July 12th, 2008 4:15 pm

    Just FYI I didn’t find that recipe by myself. I think my mom got if off one of those adds in Readers Digest that is advertising for Campbells. She served it to us and that is how I found out about it. I sometimes think the same thing of how many recipes are out there that I don’t even see because I am not looking at recipes on the containers.

  6. anxiety on January 19th, 2009 6:01 am

    I just tried your recipe today and wanted to say thank you, because it was really tasty! :)

  7. Jennifer on May 25th, 2010 6:10 am

    I tried this last night and it was yummy! I substituted salsa for the water and added onions to it. We ate them up! Thanks!!!

  8. penguinracing on August 7th, 2010 2:13 pm

    I loved this receipe, and my step kids actually do too. I found the receipe on the label of the soup can. Too bad can’t find it anymore, no substitue found yet

  9. P.J. Scott on April 26th, 2014 12:11 pm

    I’ve spent the last 2 weeks searching for Campbell’s southwest style pepper jack soup and canops and Wegman’s’t find it anywhere. I live in Western NY (Niagara County) and have looked at Tops and Wegmans. Anybody know how I can locate this flavor?

  10. Cassandra on October 14th, 2014 7:27 pm

    I have looked for the last 2 years for this soup and can’t find it anywhere. It looks like Campbell’s isn’t making it anymore. If anyone finds a substitute flavoring, please let me know. This was so good and so quick and easy to make!! Miss it!

Your crockpot… use it!

Posted on February 4, 2008
Filed Under Beef, Easy meals

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Do you ever feel like a broken record when it comes to meals? Whenever I try to think of something different for Sunday lunch (I mean something dressier than a frozen pizza), my great ideas are always weeded out by “Nah, I’d have to get up too early” or “No, that needs basted while baking and I won’t be here” or “I’d never have time to make that AND get us out the door in time” etc. So, it often ends up being the good ol’ roast, potato, veggies in a crockpot meal. Not that I’m complaining… we love that meal! I’m just sayin’ I do feel like a broken record sometimes when I say, “I guess we’ll do a roast in the crockpot for lunch tomorrow”, even though I try to use a different voice inflection and wording than I did the week before.

One thing I LOVE about this meal is I don’t make it. Who wouldn’t love that?! Really, that’s even better than that meal that I said, “Seriously, I spent no longer than 35 min on this meal!” Here’s the secret: I have a husband who cooks better than I can.  (I am NOT kidding about that!!!!)  Anyway, he puts the frozen roast in the crockpot before we go to bed Sat night. He tries different things with seasonings and flavorings. Yesterday, it was Parmesan cheese, bay leaves, seasoning salt, and b-b-que sauce…
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He puts water in with the roast and seasonings and onion wedges
and turns the crockpot on Low.  roast3
In the morning, around 7:30 or 8:00, he put in potatoes, whole fresh mushrooms, and carrots.
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When we get home from church, everything is perfectly done.
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I usually put some crescent rolls from a popable can (speaking of a broken record, you may know by now that I’m a big fan of those too!) in the oven and set the table and dish everything and… lunch is served!
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Crazy thing is, as easy as that meal is, we still opt for a frozen pizza or grilled cheese and tomato soup lunch sometimes. Or something on the grill in the summer.

What do you usually do for Sunday lunch?

Note to Kitchen Scrapbook readers: There were some interesting comments on this post and I wish they would’ve copied over from my old site when I copied the posts onto Kitchen Scrapbook. It was surprising how many people have a roast on Sunday! Other common lunches were quick things, like leftovers or breakfast foods.

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  Valentine’s Day is coming up!  Stay tuned for a Valentine’s meal post in a few days!

Comments

What’s for supper?

Here is what we’re having this evening (my husband reads my blog, so now he’ll know what to get in the mood to eat  ):

supper
Turkey loaf, steamed broccoli, baked potatoes, and crescent rolls

We eat at 6:30, so around 4:00, I’ll get the meat in the oven (30 seconds). Around 5:00, I’ll scrub the potatoes and wrap them in tin foil and put them in the oven (5 min). Then around 6:00, Lexi and I will set the table, Lexi will make the crescent rolls, I’ll get the broccoli to cooking, and we’ll get ‘extras’ on the table like butter, jelly, S&P, and sour cream. Around 6:15, I’ll get the meat and potatoes out and put the rolls in, pour water, dish stuff out, and we’re ready to eat!

This is one of the easiest meals there is! I’ll get a picture of it on the table this evening, edit the post to add it in, and see if you think it looks like I fussed over it for longer than 35 min!

And, another good thing, cleanup is a snap because even with 4 things, I’ll only have dirtied one baking sheet (rolls) and one kettle (broccoli). The potatoes will have tin foil and the meat has it’s own disposable container…
supper meat

Edit: Here’s my plate at mealtime…

plate

And it actually didn’t take 35 minutes. I had time to kill hit-n-miss between 6:00 and 6:30.

Frying pan? Who needs a frying pan?!

grilled cheese

You flat-top stove owners, have you ever done this? Works like a charm! I’ve been doing this for years and my stove top still shines up as good as new. Turn the heat pretty low… you can actually see where I have it.

I am still using a kettle for the tomato soup though. Ha. …although, I’ve had boil-overs of unwatched tomato soup that would look like I was trying it without.

This is the only thing I do right on the burner though. What about you?

Comments

One Response to “Frying pan? Who needs a frying pan?!”

  1. Ali on April 18th, 2008 1:54 pm

    This was done on one of those coil burners, not a flat top, but my step dad would always butter tortillas and heat them up on the coil burners, which left a nice grill mark. :)

Are you a busy mom/wife/person?

Posted on March 1, 2007
Filed Under Easy meals

And, oh yeah , that’s right, you have to cook too!

Well, here you go…

This meal takes about 5 minutes of your time 2 1/2 hours before supper, then you don’t need to do anything else till about 15 minutes before suppertime!!! And the clean-up is a snap!

Turkey loaf
Baked potatoes
Cooked veggies
Brown & serve rolls
quick meal (Bird’s eye view because the others were already sitting down.) That’s iced tea in the glasses.

2 1/2 hours before suppertime , turn the oven to 350, take the turkey loaf out of the freezer, get it out of the box
quick meat1
and slide it in the oven. Then, get as many potatoes as you need, scrub them under running water, wrap them in tin foil,
quick pot1and put them in the oven. quick oven   Yeah,ok, admit it, your oven isn’t always clean either!

15 minutes before serving, get the brown & serve rolls out of the cupboard and put them on a baking sheet.
quick rolls  Turn the oven up to 425. Get a bag of frozen veggies out of the freezer and get them to cooking. Take the potatoes and meat out of the oven
quick meat2 and put the rolls in. Get the kids to set the table (that’s why the silverware is set wrong).While the rolls are baking for 8-10 min, get out the tea, butter, jelly, ketchup, sour cream, and serving dishes. Dish up the potatoes, meat, and veggies. Call everyone to the table while you get the rolls out. And there’s your supper!

Note: There is also condensed gravy in with the meat, plus directions to make more. I do that if I’m serving mashed potatoes with it.

This meal cost me about $5 or $6, plus we had leftovers, so it’s not like you pay alot for it for as quick and prepared as it is. I actually mixed up a batch of cookies and slipped a pan of them in the oven when I took the rolls out. During the meal, I got them out and by the time we were done eating, they were cool enough to eat. A can of peaches (or other fruit of choice) completes the dessert.

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On another note: I’m curious what you all do for bread at each meal.

What I do is have fresh-baked bread/rolls/breadsticks at pretty much every meal. I lean on the popable cans and brown and serve pretty hard. In the popable cans, you can get crescent rolls (our most popular), breadsticks, and French bread. I’ve tried the frozen dinner rolls, but they never get right for me. Frozen bread dough works though. I do make biscuits from scratch. (Yeah, I know, wow.)  Confession: I actually haven’t taken time to try yeast breads of any kind since you guys left all those great helpful tips! But, someday I want to… I just think I should really have more than just a little hand mixer to do it though.

When I was still at home, we always just got out the loaf of bread, stacked some pieces on a plate and that was our bread. On Sundays, we’d usually have fresh-baked homemade rolls though. I don’t know if that’s still what Mom does or not.

So, I know from before that alot of you are pros in making yeast breads… what type of bread do you put on the table each night? Or do you not have people in the family that will holler if there’s no bread on the table?

Comments

One Response to “Are you a busy mom/wife/person?”

  1. Ali on April 18th, 2008 2:21 pm

    I really love the Pillsbury brand bags of frozen Southern style biscuits. Especially served warm with honey and butter. They are my absolute favorite kind of premade biscuit ????