Family friendly meals
Story and photos by
Phew! The past few weeks have been busy in my kitchen as I’m sure it has been in yours. Cookies and candies being prepared, turkeys baking, potatoes whipped up and the proverbial green bean casserole piping hot from the oven. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for some easy dinners to feed my crew during the Christmas break from school.
I’ve been saving these recipes for testing and can’t believe I waited so long. I love having reader-submitted recipes to test because as my daughter puts it “church ladies and farm moms have the best recipes.” And I love it even more when Jeff, my husband, offers to make the grocery store trip for me. He made the Ground Beef Bean Casserole featured in the photos and suggested we could add bacon (fried and crumbled) to the recipe or use ground pork as an alternative.
The past year has been full of many changes for our family. We’ve adjusted here and there and found our friendships with families across the state were stronger than we’d imagined. Likewise, we’ve had friends go through challenging times with health and jobs as well as many celebrations with marriages, births and anniversaries. Certainly faith has played the most important role in our lives. It nourishes our souls as food nourishes our bodies.
At Sutton Central, we find comfort in gathering around the table or the kitchen island and sharing a meal with those who are important to us. We find joy in delivering a favorite dish to a family during a time of need. We teach our children empathy by selecting extra items at the grocery store and dropping them off at the food pantry. Food is a natural theme for life lessons. Sharing recipes with readers and adding a bit of my thoughts has been a great joy this past year. I look forward to the coming year and sharing a cup of coffee in your kitchen and a new round of recipes each week.
Ground Beef Bean Casserole (featured photos)
Source: Barbara Koelling, Paradise, Kansas.
Note: Make sure your oven is ready before you start layering so your rolls do not absorb liquid and get mushy.
1 lb. ground beef
Brown ground beef; drain. Stir in salt, beans, barbecue sauce, brown sugar and onion; heat until bubbly. Pout into a 2 quart casserole. Cut biscuits in halves to form 20 half circles. Place cut side down around edges of casserole. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes until biscuits are brown. Sprinkle cheese on top evenly and return to the oven for 5 minutes.
Lasagna-Style Macaroni and Cheese
Source: Mrs. D. Lynd, Ellis, Kansas.
1 (4 oz.) box macaroni and cheese
Cook macaroni and cheese according to box directions; brown ground beef and onion. Add to meat mixture to spaghetti sauce, chili, olives and jalapeno peppers. Combine cottage cheese, parsley, oregano and basil, and 1/2 of the Mozzarella cheese. In a 2-quart casserole dish, first layer 1/2 of the spaghetti sauce mixture; second, layer 1/2 the macaroni and cheese. Third, layer all of the cottage cheese mixture. Fourth, layer remaining macaroni and cheese. Fifth, layer remaining spaghetti sauce mixture. Top with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake until bubbly, about 25 minutes.
R.J.’s Vegetable Medley
Source: Ruthye DeWard, Bazine, Kansas.
1/2 stick margarine, melted
Combine all ingredients in a large stock pot. Cook 1 hour on low heat, stirring often. Add any vegetables you like to the above ingredients.
Source: Jenny Pachta, Belleville, Kansas.
Note: Make sure your oven is ready before you start layering so your crescent rolls do not absorb liquid and get mushy.
2 lb. ground beef
Grease 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Cover the bottom of the pan with 1 package of crescent rolls. Brown ground beef with cabbage and onions; drain. Stir in cream of mushroom soup. Pour over crescent rolls. Layer top of ground beef mixture with Swiss cheese slices. Open second package of crescent rolls and layer over top of Swiss cheese. Try to cover all the cheese so the cheese does not get a brown crust on it. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.
Slow Cooker Noodle Casserole
Source: Beth Zucker, Bucyrus, Ohio.
Note: Beth suggests using ham, beef or chicken as another option as well as other types of cheese. Albacore tuna is worth the extra investment for this recipe.
2 1/2 c. dry noodles
Put ingredients in slow cooker in order listed (do not stir). Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Stir halfway through and occasionally after that.
Swiss Chicken Casserole
Source: Kimberly Chambers, Norcatur, Kansas.
Note: Kimberly uses “Stove Top” stuffing mix as her seasoned bread crumbs.
8 or 9 boneless chicken breasts
Lightly spray a 9- by 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Place chicken breasts flat on bottom of pan and cover evenly with soup and then cheese slices. Generously sprinkle the top evenly with bread crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
Source: Iola Egle
Note: Iola likes to garnish this dish with red bell pepper and chopped fresh cilantro.
1 c. salsa
In a large skillet, combine the salsa, peanut butter, honey, orange juice, soy sauce, crushed red pepper and ginger over low heat and cook until heated through, stirring occasionally. Stir in the fettuccine and chicken until evenly coated. Place salad greens on a serving platter and top with the fettuccini mixture. Toss just before serving.