What’s for Dinner?

Do those three words make any of you cringe?

When we married, I told my husband that if he complained about my cooking, he’d have to cook the next meal. It’s been twenty years and he’s never complained—despite some of the sorry meals I’ve put in front of him (never put asparagus in a crock pot). It reminds me of a joke my father likes to tell about a group of men who go camping and draw straws for who will cook first. They agree that the first person to complain has to cook the next meal. Days go by and nobody complains as the fellow who drew the short straw serves progressively worse meals. He finally serves horse apples. On tasting it, one of his buddies says “This tastes like horse apples…but good!”

Unlike the implications of the joke, I don’t think the actual act of cooking is a problem, but I do get weary of deciding what to cook. There are just so many days that I can serve the same staple meals before I get bored. I spend a good part of each day chanting “what will I make for dinner.” Frankly, it wouldn’t be such a problem if it didn’t spoil the zen of my afternoon knitting. Most days, I don’t have an answer by 5:00 pm and I stare in the refrigerator and pantry for long minutes searching for inspiration.

But as I was making pasta (again!), I had the brilliant idea to set up a competition on my blog for easy, tasty recipes! Here’s how it works: You type the recipe for a favorite main dish in the comment box and I’ll send you an autographed copy (or not autographed if you prefer—the resale value is probably higher if I don’t deface it) of the Ann Budd book of your choice (see http://www.annbuddknits.com/ for a list of my books). If more than one person responds, I’ll put the names in a hat and draw a winner.

Winner will be notified March 5, 2010, at which time I’ll ask for your mailing address.
Important Note: The following ingredients are cause for disqualification: anchovies, brussel sprouts, any animal organ (ick).

39 thoughts on “What’s for Dinner?”

  1. Spicy Chicken Soup – This is my husbands favorite soup. Its super filling and delicious. I like to add tortilla chips to the top. mmmmm….

    6tbsp unsalted butter
    1 chopped leek
    1/2 tsp shredded fresh root ginger
    1 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp crushed black pepper
    1 fresh, seeded, and chopped jalapeno
    1 carrot, sliced
    1/2 frozen peas
    2 cups skinned, boned, cubed chicken
    2 tbsp chopped, fresh cilantro
    2 cups stock or water
    1 cup light cream

    Melt butter and saute leek and ginger until soft. Lower heat and add remaining veggies, salt, pepper, and half of the chicken. Cook until chicken is completely cooked, then add cilantro. Allow mixture to cool slightly, then add to a food processor and process until smooth adding stock/water as needed. Add remaining stock/water and combine. Cook the remaining chicken and set aside. Pour soup into a pot and bring to boil stirring occasionally. Lower the heat and gradually add the cream. Add the rest of the chicken. Cook gently for 2 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Enjoy!

  2. Easy Brocolli Cheese Soup

    This is so easy.

    Frozen brocolli florets
    Chicken broth to cover
    Bring to a simmer.
    Cube up Velvetta (type) cheese product
    Toss in and let melt
    Add milk or chicken broth to thin
    Salt and Pepper
    Cook till heated through

    (can we enter more than once?)

  3. Chicken, Rice and Veggies

    Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    Frozen stir-fry veggies
    Rice (your favorite variety. I like jasmin)
    White Wine or Chicken Broth

    This cooks up great in a cast iron skillet w/lid

    Heat up cast iron skillet
    add a tablespoon of oil
    brown chicken breasts on both sides
    add frozen veggies
    sprinkle in about 1/2 to 1 cup of rice
    Add broth or wine to cover other ingredients by about an inch.
    Bring to a bowl, turn to low and put the lid on and walk away. Come back in about 30-40 minute to dinner.

  4. Ham and Scalloped Potatoes…

    About four big potatoes – sliced evenly
    1 Big Ham Slice – cut up in pieces
    1 can Cheddar Cheese soup – do not dilute just out of the can

    In a deep baking dish –

    Put down a layer of potatoes
    A layer of ham
    then a couple of tablespoons of cheese soup

    keep layering until you fill dish – and end with a layer of potatoes…

    Add milk about half way up the baking dish. cook on 450 for 45 minutes…check to make sure potatoes are cooked through…if not cook until they are.

    It’s my favorite quick meal…

  5. Mexi Joes

    1 lbs of ground beef, browned
    1 can of Rotel Tomatoes w/peppers
    1 can of black beans
    1 can of corn
    1 small red onion (chopped)
    a bit of cilantro if you like it

    Serve with chips or on a bun like a sloppy joe.

  6. Rinse half-inch thick pork chops and pat dry. Sprinkle with steak seasoning and marinate in Combine a couple of tablespoons molasses, a couple tablespoons of olive oil, zest of an orange and chopped rosemary for about 20 minutes. Grill. Done.

  7. Broccoli and Bow Ties 2002 Barefoot Contessa Family Style

    This is super easy and yummy – the pine nuts are optional and we often do not add them.

    Broccoli and Bow Ties
    Serves: 6 to 8 servings

    Kosher salt
    8 cups broccoli florets (4 heads)
    1/2 pound farfalle (bow tie) pasta
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    2 tablespoons good olive oil
    1 teaspoon minced garlic
    1 lemon, zested
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
    1/4 cup toasted pignoli (pine) nuts
    Freshly grated Parmesan, optional

    Cook the broccoli for 3 minutes in a large pot of boiling salted water. Remove
    the broccoli from the water with a slotted spoon or sieve. Place in a large bowl and set aside.

    In the same water, cook the bow-tie pasta according to the package directions, about 12 minutes. Drain well
    and add to the broccoli.

    Meanwhile, in a small saute pan, heat the butter and oil and cook the garlic and lemon zest over medium-low
    heat for 1 minute. Off the heat, add 2 teaspoons salt, the pepper, and lemon juice and pour this over the
    broccoli and pasta. Toss well. Season to taste, sprinkle with the pignolis and cheese, if using, and serve.

    To toast pignolis, place them in a dry saute pan over medium-low heat and cook, tossing often, for about 5
    minutes, until light brown.

  8. We’re big taco salad fans at our house. You can buy those fancy restaurant taco salad bowls at the store (our grocery store has them in the lunch meat and cheese section). Pop those in the oven for about 10 minutes. While they’re crisping, cook some chicken or ground turkey with your favorite spices (we like chili powder, cumin, paprika and cayenne pepper). I like my taco salads with tomatoes, cheddar, raw onions and avacado; my husband goes the fajita route and uses sauteed onions and red and green peppers. It’s fast, easy, and the clean-up is a snap.

  9. Lentil and Vegetable Soup

    1 Tbsp olive oil
    1 medium onion, chopped
    2 stalks celery, chopped
    4 medium carrots, chopped
    4 small/medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
    1 tsp thyme, dried
    1 tsp rosemary, dried
    1 Tbsp parsley, dried
    12 cups chicken stock
    1/2 cup barley
    1 package green lentils, rinsed
    Mushrooms of choice (I used a pint-sized package of medium sized shiitake), sliced
    salt and pepper to taste

    Heat oil in stockpot and saute onion and celery until tender. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Cook about 30 minutes at a low simmer.

  10. I just made this for dinner and it was awesome. I happened to write down specifics because I’m planning to make it again in a couple weeks to feed this to a friend who watches her carb intake.


    1 large onion
    3 cloves garlic
    4 tbsp butter
    24 ounces raw baby spinach leaves
    2 generous cups of crumbled feta (11 oz)
    juice of one half lemon (~1 oz)
    1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
    1 raw egg, scrambled

    20 sheets (1/2 a box from the grocery store freezer section) of phillo dough
    + a small amount of additional melted butter for brushing on sheets of phillo


    -melt 4 tbsp butter in a big pan, and saute onion/garlic until clear. add spinach leaves and cook until they’ve cooked down. remove from heat.

    -when spinach mixture has cooled, use a slotted spoon to transfer to a large mixing bowl, leaving behind superfluous cooking liquids at the bottom of the pan. (you don’t want a watery pie.)
    -add scrambled egg, lemon juice, crumbled feta.
    -i added a tablespoon of whole wheat flour to the filling to absorb any excess liquid, but i think you could just as well leave it out.

    -melt a small amount of additional butter (i think i used maybe 2 tbsp) in a bowl in the microwave. using a paintbrush, brush a small amount of butter into the bottom of a pan (i used 8″ x 13″) and lay down a sheet of phillo dough. brush the sheet of dough with a small amount of butter and top with another sheet. repeat until you have ten sheets of phillo glued together in the bottom of the pan.

    -add spinach and feta mixture to the pan and spread it out.

    -lay down a sheet of phillo on top of the spinach/feta goo, brush it with butter, and repeat the process until you’ve used the rest of your roll of phillo dough

    -bake at 375F until phillo dough is golden brown, maybe 45 minutes or so. (I didn’t time it.)

    I would say this makes enough food for 6 to 8 people, depending on whether you were serving anything on the side.

    FYI, I have a baby due March 3, so I might not be answering email March 5. But I hope you enjoy the recipe no matter who wins one of your lovely books!

  11. Here are 2 of my favorites.

    Cream of Zucchini Soup:
    Chopped onions
    Salt and pepper
    Chicken Broth to cover
    Simmer until Veggies are soft
    Blend with a stick blender, food mill, or in small batches in a blender or food processor.
    Reheat, Salt pepper if needed, add Cream or half and half (do not allow to boil). Serve with a sprinkle of Parmesan on top and a great loaf of bread.

    Chille Relleno Casserole
    2 small cans Greens Chilles (diced or whole
    1 lb bulk sausage (I like Jimmy Dean)
    3 cups shredded Cheese (mexican blend, Cheddar, or jack)
    1 cup milk
    2 Tbs Flour
    1 dozen eggs
    13×9″ glass pan, preheat oven 350F
    Brown sausage in skillet. Spread Chilles in bottom of pan, cover with Sausage then cheese. Beat milk and flour, add and beat eggs. pour over ingredients in pan and bake for 50-60 minutes until eggs are set (poke center with a knife. Cover with foil if it gets too brown. Serve with Salsa, sour cream, black olives, shredded lettuce, more cheese or whatever you want. Great brunch item too.

    Bon Apetite!

  12. Absolutely the best! And also very easy to make. You can also add 1 lb of browned ground beef or chicken if you aren’t vegetarian. Yum!

    2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
    1 medium onion, finely chopped
    3 cups canned or packaged vegetable stock, found on soup aisle
    1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes in juice
    1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained
    2 cans (15 ounces) pumpkin puree (found often on the baking aisle)
    1 cup heavy cream
    1 tablespoon curry powder, 1 palm full
    1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin, 1/2 palm full
    1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, eyeball it in the palm of your hand
    Coarse salt
    20 blades fresh chives, chopped or snipped, for garnish
    Heat a soup pot over medium heat. Add oil. When oil is hot, add onion. Saute onions 5 minutes. Add broth, tomatoes, black beans and pumpkin puree. Stir to combine ingredients and bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and stir in cream, curry, cumin, cayenne and salt, to taste. Simmer 5 minutes, adjust seasonings and serve garnished with chopped chives.

  13. Here is a great recipe that I picked up from a friend’s food blog (bees knees recipes). I’m vegetarian, but my family loved this dinner and it didn’t last very long 🙂

    Indian-Spiced Braised Chicken

    1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
    1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
    1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes, drained
    2 T. tomato paste
    1 T. grated fresh ginger
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1/2 t. ground coriander
    1/4 t, cayenne pepper
    coarse salt and ground pepper
    1/2 c. plain yogurt
    1/2 c. chopped fresh cilantro
    1/2 t. garam masala
    cooked white rice, for serving

    In a 5-6 qt. slow cooker, stir together the chicken, onion, tomatoes, tomato paste, ginger, garlic, coriander, and cayenne; season with salt and pepper.

    Cook on high 4 hours (or on low for 8 hours) until fork-tender. Stir in yogurt, cilantro, and if using, garam masala. Serve with rice.

    [You can also make this in the oven by heating the oven to 350, placing the ingredients through the pepper in a heavy pot with 2 c. of water and baking for 2 hours. When finished, stir in the final ingredients.]

    *Recipe from Bees Knees Recipes (http://beeskneesrecipes.wordpress.com/page/2/), supplied by Natalie.

  14. Lovely Pulled Pork:
    4 lbs. pork roast (.99-1.48 at winco per pound) (cook all night on low) Drain all the liquid and add 1 jar of salsa (medium), 2 1/2 cups of coke or Dr. Pepper, 2 cups brown sugar and a little garlic powder. It shreds up perfectly once you stir it. Cook for 3 hours on low. You can make enchiladas, burritos, tacos, taco salad, pulled pork sandwich.

    What a great idea, Ann! All of us are hoping for one of your autographed books, but all of us also get a lot of wonderful recipes! Genius. Sheer genius!

    OK – my husband’s favorite meal is POT ROAST.

    EASY to make – but you do have to think ahead and get it in the oven as it takes several hours to cook – slowly. . . . .

    You’ll need a chuck roast, onions, carrots, potatoes, olive oil, butter, red wine, beef broth, salt, pepper, and herbs-of-choice.

    Use a big heavy covered pot that can go in the oven – heat olive oil and a bit of butter in the bottom (don’t use just butter, as it will burn without the olive oil).

    Season your chuck roast liberally with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper and then sear it on all sides in the bottom of the pot over a medium high to high flame. Put a nice edge on it – it adds flavor, and the slow cooking does not otherwise give a very nice color to the meat. You don’t want to burn it, but you DO want it to sizzle so you brown it! Be bold. Pull the meat out and put it on a platter – also sear your vegetables and make brown marks on ’em: onions cut into quarters, and carrots sliced in big chunks. Remove them to the platter.

    At the bottom of the pan, you will now have some brown stuff – pour in a half cup of either red wine or beef broth, and as it boils up, scrape the bottom of the pan with a wood spoon or spatula to mix that up into the broth. Once that’s done, turn off the stove top, add the meat and veggies back in to the pot – add rosemary and thyme – and whatever other herbs you like (herbes de Provence are great!) and add a couple cups of beef broth enough to come up to the half-point of the meat (you don’t want to cover it). Put the lid on, and cook in a 275 degree oven for 3 to 4 hours – it’s about an hour a pound of meat – so 3 hours for a 3 pound chuck roast – 4, for a 4 pounder.

    Serve with mashed potatoes. You’ll have tons of gravy! Some people throw potatoes right in with the roast, and that’s the easiest way to do it – in which case serve with roast potatoes!

  16. Here is an easy and fairly cheap dinner idea. I have kids and am on a budget. This is a hit with the family. You can pretty much use whatever seasonings/chopped ingredients you prefer in the recipe. I usually use what I have no hand.


    2 cans tuna fish (in water), drained
    1/2 onion, finely chopped (or chopped pickles)
    1/2 – 1 c. Italian bread crumbs
    2 eggs

    Mix all ingredients together until they stick to form patties. Form into thin cakes. Fry, in lightly coated with vegetable oil, skillet, on both sides. About 4-5 mins per side.

    Serve with baked potato and a salad. oh yes, and tartar sauce if desired.

    Also, these are great for leftovers. You can eat them on a bun, like a fish sandwich/burger. Crumble over a salad, etc.

  17. I have two easy but delicious meals. The first is a recipe I threw together in a effort to get my family (including me) to eat more vegetables. Since we’ll eat anything with tomato sauce on it this was a hit, in spite of the fact that my family normally won’t touch pasta sauce from a jar.(I had 2 jars of sauce someone gave me and I was just trying to use it up when I came up with this recipe.) It doesn’t really have a name but I guess its sort of my own interpretation of:
    Pasta Primavera
    1 large jar Tomato and Basil Pasta Sauce (Or Spicy Tomato and Basil Sauce)
    Zucchini, peppers, onions, tomatoes or whatever vegetables you like chopped into chunky sized pieces. Add as many as you like. (Tip: if you use tomatoes add them toward the end)
    You can add some basil, oregano, and garlic powder to taste if you want to doctor the sauce up a little.
    Good red wine to taste.
    Simmer until vegetables are cooked but still firm.
    You can stop there or add grilled or stir fried (in olive oil) chicken or shrimp if you like.
    Serve over your favorite pasta (adding shrimp or chicken if desired).
    This recipe can be doubled simply by adding another jar of sauce and increasing the amount of vegetables.

    The second is called:
    Cola Pot Roast
    3 -4 lb. pot roast
    1 can cream of mushroom soup
    1 envelope dry onion soup mix
    16 oz. bottle cola
    1. Place meat in slow cooker.
    2.Top with mushroom soup and onion soup mix. Pour in cola.
    3. Cover and cook on high 6 hours.

  18. er, i just went back and read my previous comment, and i noticed i forgot to specify what the recipe actually is. it’s a spinach and feta pie with a phillo dough crust. yummy!

  19. This is old school but really tasty and incredibly easy.

    Corn Bread Tamale Pie from the 1964 Joy of Cooking

    Heat oven to 425°.

    Saute 1# ground beef and 1 chopped onion in oil until meat is browned and onion is translucent.
    Add 1 can tomato soup, 1 cup water or stock, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1 tsp salt, 1 tbsp chili powder, 1 cup (drained)canned corn or frozen, 1/2 c chopped green pepper.
    Simmer 15 mins while mixing together 3/4 c cornmeal, 1 tbsp flour, 1 tbsp sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, 1.5 tsp baking powder. Mix in 1 beaten egg and 1/3 c milk then add 1 tbsp oil.
    Put meat mixture in a 2 quart casserole (I use a dutch oven) and cover with cornmeal mixture. The corn bread will sink in. Don’t worry. It comes back when you bake it!
    Bake for 20-25 mins or until topping is brown.

    This is really tasty. You can make the meat mixture ahead of time (you could even make enough to freeze) then you can top it and pop it in the oven at dinnertime.

  20. The best Mac and Cheese I’ve ever had:

    This is an Ina Garten recipe, it’s a little work, but absolutely worth it! I usually skip the bacon if it’s just us, and I don’t like bread crumbs on mac and cheese, so I skip that too – it doesn’t suffer.

    * 4 ounces thick-sliced bacon
    * Vegetable oil
    * Kosher salt
    * 2 cups elbow macaroni or cavatappi
    * 1 1/2 cups milk
    * 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    * 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    * 4 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (swiss works too)
    * 3 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, grated
    * 2 ounces blue cheese, such as Roquefort, crumbled
    * 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    * Pinch nutmeg
    * 2 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed
    * 2 tablespoons freshly chopped basil leaves


    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

    Place a baking rack on a sheet pan and arrange the bacon in 1 layer on the baking rack. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the bacon is crisp. Remove the pan carefully from the oven – there will be hot grease in the pan! Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels and crumble when it is cool enough to handle.

    Drizzle oil into a large pot of boiling salted water. Add the macaroni and cook according to the directions on the package, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well.

    Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don’t boil it. Melt the butter in a medium pot and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. While whisking, add the hot milk and cook for a minute or 2 more, until thickened and smooth. Off the heat, add the Gruyere, Cheddar, blue cheese, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add the cooked macaroni and crumbled bacon and stir well. Pour into 2 individual size gratin dishes (or one smallish casserole dish).

    Place the bread slices in a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until you have coarse crumbs. Add the basil and pulse to combine. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the top of the pasta. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.

  21. I have 2 for you!

    Zucchini Soup

    4 cups shredded zucchini
    1 chicken bouillon cube
    2 green onions
    1 cup shredded carrot
    ½ cup water

    Cook at a boil for 5 minutes. Puree in blender.

    3 Tablespoons butter
    3 Tablespoons flour
    1 chicken bouillon cube
    1 can evaporated milk

    Add to pureed mixture. Simmer until thick.


    Fiesta Torta

    1/2 pound cheddar cheese, grated
    1/2 pound Monterey jack cheese, grated
    5 eggs or egg substitute
    1/3 cup flour
    1 2/3 cup skim milk
    1 (4 ounce) can diced green chilies, drained
    1/4 cup salsa

    Mix the grated cheeses and spread evenly in a buttered, 10 inch deep pie plate. Beat eggs, add flour slowly, then add the milk. Make sure it is not lumpy, if it is, put it in the blender. Pour the egg mixture over the cheese. Sprinkle the chilies over the cheese mixture, then spoon the salsa over the whole thing. Bake for 45 minutes at 375 ºF or until the center is set.

  22. I have two recipes for you, both from Beverly Cox’s “365 Easy 20 Minutes Recipes.” The book is out of print, but if you can find a used copy, it will solve your “what’s for dinner” cringes for a long, long time.

    Angel Hair with Smoked Salmon

    3 T olive oil
    3 garlic cloves, minced
    1 1/4 C heavy cream
    1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
    1 T lemon juice
    1 tsp grated lemon zest
    3/4 tsp dried tarragon
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp pepper
    1 (9 oz) package angel hair pasta
    6 oz thinly sliced smoked salmon, cut into thin strips
    1 T capers, drained

    In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Add cream and zucchini, bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to medium low and cook uncovered until zucchini is tender-crisp, about 3 minutes. Stir in lemon juice, zest, tarragon, salt and pepper.

    Meanwhile, cook the pasta. When it’s ready, add it to the skillet and toss thoroughly. Transfer to a serving platter and put the salmon and capers on top.

    Fusilli with Tuna Sauce (do NOT turn up your nose til you’ve tried this!)

    1 lb fusilli
    3 T olive oil
    2 cans diced tomatoes
    1/2 cup sliced black olives
    1/4 cup chopped parsley
    1 T lemon juice
    2 tsp capers, drained
    1/2 tsp pepper
    2 cans oil-packed tuna, oil reserved

    Cook the fusilli, and drain into a colander.

    In a large skillet, heat oil, then add tomatoes, olives, parsley and lemon juice. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring, until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. STir in capers and season with pepper.

    Add cooked pasta to pan and toss to combine. Add tuna with oil and toss gently to break into chunks.

    Best comfort food ever!

  23. Sausage, Potato, & Veg Bake (serves 4, easily expandable)

    1 lb turkey, chicken, or meat sausage(either pre-cooked or not)
    6-8 thin-skinned potatoes (about size of tennis ball, about 2 lbs total) — washed, not peeled
    4-6 medium carrots, cut into hefty slices or chunks (not too thin or they’ll get mushy while baking)
    2 cloves garlic, sliced
    bunch of broccoli rabe or 2-3 heads of broccoli
    salt and pepper
    2T (approx.) olive oil

    Heat oven to 375. Pour olive oil into large roasting pan and put in oven while it heats (10-15 mins)

    Cut potatoes into chunks.
    Remove stems from broccoli rabe or cut broccoli into florets — set aside.

    Swirl oil around roasting pan, then toss in potatoes, garlic, carrots, sausage (if using uncooked sausage). Stir to coat with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

    [Note: you can do this prep work ahead of time. Toss potatoes, garlic, sausage, and carrots into a zip-lock plastic bag, pour in olive oil, seal bag and place in fridge until you’re ready to bake.]

    Bake 45 minutes in pre-heated oven.

    Remove pan from oven. Stir in broccoli rabe (or plain broccoli). If using pre-cooked sausage, add it to pan now.

    Cover pan with foil. Bake 15-20 minutes until potatoes and veg are fork-tender.

  24. so as to not cramp the afternoon knitting style…
    Crock pot Roast
    Put a 3 pound roast in the crock pot with
    an envelope of onion soup mix
    a can of cream of mushroom soup
    undrained can of diced tomatoes
    (dump them in, no mixing necessary)
    cover and cook low for 8-10 hours, high 5-6 hours.
    nuke a couple of potatoes, open a bag of baby carrots and you are golden.

    shredded pork is easy in the crockpot
    2-3 lbs pork shoulder and a bottle of bbq sauce
    cook on low all day.

    but the best cook book is called “Saving Dinner” by Leanne Ely. Google for her website, she has menu mailers in two serving portion size. She makes a weekly menu and writes the shopping list! NO THINKING NECESSARY and her recipes are tasty, simple and fast. I have been using her cookbook for years. love it.

  25. I hope this one isn’t already posted!!

    Cranberry Chicken

    you need:
    chicken (duh), either pieces or chopped up (whole doesn’t work well)
    1 can whole cranberries (not jellied, the other kind)
    1 bottle French dressing (big bottle or small, any kind of reddish or orangey dressing will do)
    1 packet onion soup mix

    Mix up the last 3 items and pour over the chicken. Cover with foil and bake at 375 for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for about 15 minutes longer. Then you eat it and worry about cleaning the pan later.

  26. Easy Mexican Chicken Thighs

    Package of boneless chicken thighs
    2 cans crushed tomotoes
    2 cans black beans
    1 can corn
    1 can diced green chilies
    1 chopped up onion

    Throw everything into your crockpot and cook on low for 6 hours. Store for a day or two in the frig. When you warm it up in the microwave, pile on heaps of shredded cheese. Serve with bunches of tortilla chips mashed on top.

    This is my husband’s favorite meal and you can’t get any easier.

  27. Must come back & read through recipes later!
    Chickpea Curry
    1 onion
    1-3 cloves garlic
    1 lg can tomatoes (I like chopped)
    2 cans chickpeas
    curry powder
    cayenne pepper

    Chop your onion & garlic & cook with a little oil until soft. Add everything else, seasoning to taste with the spices, put a little cilantro on top when you’re done. Simple & tastes even better the next day.

  28. Savoury Sauced Chicken

    1 small onion, sliced and separated into rings
    1 Tbsp. butter or margarine
    1 cup vegetable juice cocktail (V8)
    2 Tbsp. parsley (or frozen chopped spinach)
    1 Tbsp. cornstarch
    1/4 tsp. dried marjoram, crushed
    1/4 tsp. dried basil, crushed
    2 whole chicken breasts, cut into strips
    2 Tbsp. gated parmesan cheese

    In a sauce pan cook onions in butter till tender not browned. Combine V8, parsley, cornstarch, marjoram, and basil; stir into onion mixture. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 1-2 min. more. Arrange chicken breast strips in an 8x8x2 inch dish. Pour mixture over chicken. Bake at 350F for about 1hour, covered. Remove cover and add parmesan cheese and bake uncovered for 10 more min.

    I usually serve this with mashed potatoes and steamed green beans. This has been a favourite of mine since I was a young girl, my Dad used to make this for me.

  29. Lovely quick meal I made last night, in a hurry between coming in from training and watching NCIS.

    Boil a big pan of potatoes, new or maincrop. Boiling more than you need is useful because then you have cold potatoes to fry up for another meal.

    Poach a piece of (naturally) smoked haddock in enough milk to cover until it flakes easily, then remove from the milk and flake over the potatoes (you can either set up individual servings or one big one). Put the milk in a jug, wash the pan, then make a white sauce with butter, flour and the fishy milk. When it’s cooked and thickened (needs to be a thick pouring consistency) add a dollop of mustard and enough strong cheddar cheese to add its flavour. Pour over the fish and potatoes and eat. I added coriander/cilantro leaves but parsley would have been better – I didn’t have any.

    Easy both to cook and eat, lovely in cold weather.

  30. Chicken Piccata

    * 2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (1 1/2 pound total)
    * 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
    * 1/3 cup flour
    * Salt and pepper
    * 4 Tbsp olive oil
    * 4 Tbsp butter
    * 1/2 cup chicken stock or dry white wine
    * 3 Tbsp lemon juice
    * 1/4 cup brined capers
    * 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley

    1. Cut the chicken breast halves horizontally, butterflying them open. If the breast pieces you are working with are large, you may want to cut them each into two pieces. If the pieces are still thick after butterflying, put them between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound them with a meat hammer to 1/4-inch thickness.

    2. Mix together the flour, salt, pepper, and grated Parmesan. Rinse the chicken pieces in water. Dredge them thoroughly in the flour mixture, until well coated.

    3. Heat olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet on medium high heat. Add half of the chicken pieces, do not crowd the pan. Brown well on each side, about 3 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the pan and reserve to a plate. Cook the other breasts in the same manner, remove from pan. Cover with aluminum foil and keep warm in the oven while you prepare the sauce.

    4. Add the chicken stock (or white wine), lemon juice, and capers to the pan. Use a spatula to scrape up the browned bits. Reduce the sauce by half. Whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Plate the chicken and serve with the sauce poured over the chicken. Sprinkle with parsley.

    Serves 4.

    (This recipe can for Chicken Piccata can be found at this link. It’s sooooooooo tasty!)

  31. This is really easy and fast.

    Corn Chowder and Corn Muffins

    Dice about four peeled potatoes and chop some onion. Put in a pan and add a small amount of water – just to cover or a little less and boil until potatoes are cooked. If there’s too much cooking water in the pan, some can be drained off (or keep all of it) before adding a can of cream style corn and a quart of milk. Stir and add a chunk of butter. It will melt after a while. Heat slowly. While it’s heating, I usually make corn muffins from a package mix – I like the Jiffy brand – comes in a blue box.

    Yummy and easy and quick.

    JeaninMaine(Rav ID)

  32. Potato Soup

    Dice potatoes and cook in a large pot with enough chicken broth to cover them, and while they’re cooking, add salt, pepper, and some onion. A couple sllices of bacon, crumbled, can go in too if you like. When the potatoes are soft, add a little meat of your choice….smoked sausage, turkey ham, more bacon, anything’s good in here….and some butter, and mash everything up. Use milk or cream to thin the soup till you like the consitancy, add the rest of the meat, cheese, and sour cream. Easy and so good.

  33. This is one my husband loves.

    Mixed Shellfish Pasta

    1/2 pound or so of mixed shellfish (I use a bag of thawed,frozen shrimp and scallops so maybe its a pound?)
    2 cloves garlic minced
    2 Tbsp oil
    2 Tbsp butter
    a whole bunch of chopped sundried tomatoes (to taste?)
    1 Tsp basil or more
    1/2 tsp lemon pepper
    2 Tbsp capers, drained
    1/4 tsp red pepper flakes/crushed red pepper
    Juice of one lemon
    Salt and pepper to taste
    Grated Parmesan cheese
    1 pkg long pasta, cooked

    Heat your oil and butter in a pan. Gently sautee the garlic. Add shellfish and continue to cook until shrimp begin turning pink. Add the capers, sun dried tomatoes, lemon, basil, crushed red pepper flakes, and lemon pepper. Sautee and stir. Adjust seasoning of salt and pepper and whatever else you feel needs a boost. Add some freshly grated parmesan cheese and toss the whole mess with cooked linguine or spaghetti. Serve with a sprinkle of parmesan on top and a nice salad or vegetable side.

    I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. Its a fast meal…by the time your pasta is cooked the shellfish “sauce” should be ready to toss with it.

  34. This is one that the guys in my house seem to like and it makes a good pot luck dish as well.

    Sausage Bean Bake.

    Can be made on the stove top or in a crock pot.

    1 can each, drained:
    kidney beans, butter beans, black-eyed peas
    1 can pork and beans
    1/2 to 1 lb of any smoked sausage you like slice into bite size pieces – I have used kielbasa, Andouille and hot dogs.
    3/4 cup ketchup or any tomato based sauce (good way to use up small amounts of spaghetti sauce or salsa)
    1/4 mustard (any kind you like)
    1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
    1/4 cup dried chopped onions (optional)

    Combine everything in whatever pot you are using and heat at least 15 min on medium low heat.

    I have made this into a vegetarian meal by substituting vegetarian sausage or omitting the sausage and adding another bean such as black beans or chick peas.

  35. I have 2 that are my ‘what to make tonight’ default recipes. Both are artery cloggers though! First is
    Bacon Potato Chowder
    1/2 lb bacon diced
    1 cup diced onion
    1 cup thinly sliced celery
    2 cups potato cut in 1/2″ cubes
    2 cans chicken broth
    1 can cream of mushroom soup
    1 cup water
    1 cup sour cream
    1 cup milk

    cook bacon until crisp, drain reserving 1tbl bacon fat. saute onion and celery adding a touch of water if necessary until onions are cooked down and clear. add potato, broth and water to pot simmering until fork easily pierces potato. Add bacon back to pot with mushroom soup and water. Bring to hard simmer then add milk and sour cream stirring constantly until heated through. Yummy with fresh hot rolls!

    The second is even easier- found it years ago in some magazine.

    Cheesy Hamburg Pie
    1 lb. lean ground beef
    1/2 cup diced onion
    1/2 cup dried bread crumbs
    1 egg
    8 oz Velveeta Cheese cut in cubes
    2 cups cubed potatoes

    Mix beef, onion, bread crumbs and egg. In glass or other solid bottom pie plate place mixture and press against sides and bottom to form ‘crust’. Bake in 350* oven until center of beef crust is no longer pink. Meanwhile cook potato until done, drain, add cheese cubes and using hand mixer whip until smooth adding a small amount of margarine and milk if needed. When crust is done, fill center with potatoe mixture, return to oven and cook until top is lightly browned and bubbly. My husband LOVES this one!

    Sue O.

  36. I made this a couple of weeks ago and loved every bite…

    Salsa Chicken and Black Bean Soup
    (from http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2008/11/salsa-chicken-and-black-bean-soup.html)

    1 c dried black beans, soaked overnight & drained
    2 large frozen chicken breasts
    4 c chicken broth
    1 c sliced fresh mushrooms
    1 c frozen corn
    16 oz jarred salsa
    1 1/2 t cumin

    Place everything into crockpot (in order). Stir gently but don’t disturb the beans on the bottom. Cook on low for 8 hours.

    The original recipe suggests serving with sour cream, avocado, shredded cheese, and/or cilantro, but I thought it was excellent right out of the pot.

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