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Archive for the ‘Cooking’ Category

We’ve all had it happen. At the last minute, one of the kids (including that biggest of kids, dear husband himself) will say “Oh yeah, we’re supposed to bring something with us.” Um, we are? “Yeah, just a dessert or something.” This, an hour before we’re supposed to be there, and its a 20 minute drive. Or, you have unexpected company for supper…you don’t really have enough prepared, but a dessert will ensure that everyone gets more than enough to eat.

So I have a standard fall-back. Thirty minutes isn’t enough time to do my most-requested dessert (homemade banana pudding), so I go to this one in a crunch. I make sure I always, ALWAYS have at least one can each of peaches in heavy syrup and apple pie filling in the pantry. ALWAYS.

Homemade cobbler (or crisp)

1 large can peaches in syrup OR apple pie filling
1 – 1 1/4 cups sugar
cinnamon (for apple pie filling)
1 stick butter or margerine
3/4 cup flour

*Pour can into baking dish. For peaches, sprinkle 1/4 – 1/2 cup sugar over top. For apple pie filling, sprinkle lightly with cinnamon. Mix
* melt 3/4 stick of butter or margerine. Mix melted butter with 3/4 cup sugar and 3/4 cup flour to make a “crumble” consistency.
*sprinkle crumbles all over the fruit in baking dish to form an even layer. Take remaining butter and dot or sprinkle (if melted) over crumbs.
*bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until topping is crisp and lightly browned.

Preheat your oven then make it and the oven is hot about the same time you’re ready to slide the dish in. At this point, I take the VERY hot baking dish, wrap it in towels, stick it in an insulated bag, and head off to whatever function the dessert was needed for, or for that unexpected company, serve warm, right out of the oven. Its always a huge hit. It takes literally 3-4 minutes to prepare. Fast, easy, and you look like a hero.

For more great Works for Me Wednesday tips, check out Shannon’s blog at Rocks in My Dryer.

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You get up, start your day, and you feel awful. Flu, cold, general malaise, you just don’t feel like doing anything, right? You get the kids off to school, and realize that while you can skip by without breakfast or lunch for yourself (or without something fancy at least) you HAVE to cook supper for the tribe tonight. What to do? You don’t have the energy to get creative.

My beef stew is good, REALLY good, even though I cheat like crazy making it. You’ll need:

1-2 packages stew meat (dependent on how many you’re feedng)
Lawry’s seasoning
Adolph’s seasoning
1 package Lipton’s Onion Soup Mix (any will work, I prefer Golden)
instant mashed potatoes
salt
pepper
carrots (I prefer the baby carrots…again, another cheat since they’re already peeled and the right size)
small red potatoes

if your stew meat is frozen, do a quick thaw in the microwave. It doesn’t have to be complete, just enough to break the meat apart into large chunks.

Put meat into large crockpot, cover with water until water is 2 inches above meat. Put crockpot on low-medium heat (depending on the cooker, and how long you have before the meal)

add lipton’s onion soup mix, and healthy amounts of Lawry’s and Adolph’s. You can use any seasonings you want really, but for me, the onion soup mix is a must.

let cook 3-4 hours, but be sure to check back after 30 minutes to break all the meat up if it was partially frozen when you put it in.

scrub potatoes under running water with a steel wool, leaving most of the peeling. Add 1-2 potatoes per person, and enough baby carrots to have 3-4 per person or more, depending on how well your family likes carrots. Add more water to cover all the meat and vegetables.

Let cook another hour. When carrots are floating, add 1-2 cups instant mashed potatoes to thicken. Add salt and pepper to season (this is important…your stew may taste perfect, but once you add those potatoes, you WILL need to add more seasoning). Make SURE you stir well while adding potato flakes. You may need more or less depending on how thick or thin you want your stock to be.

Let simmer until ready to serve. I serve mine over rice and cook biscuits to go with it. Its simple, its TASTY, and I haven’t had to worry all day over it, or slave over a stove to make a hearty meal. All total, I spend maybe 10 minutes in total preparation time. The rest of the day, I can either go to work, go back to bed, clean house (ha ha) or whatever.

Its not the way our mothers cooked it, but when my husband loves it (and his mother is the southern version of Julia Child), well then I know it works for me.

For more great Works for Me Wednesday tips, check out Shannon’s blog at Rocks in My Dryer.

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