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Simple suppers

By Angie Sutton

www.mothersapronstrings.com

Dinner time can be especially challenging if you have picky eaters at home. Luckily, there are plenty of simple, delicious dishes that will satisfy every member of your family.

I often find myself considering meal ideas during the last few minutes of the workday when I’m about to head home. Coming up with a meal idea is often the most challenging. Finding the recipe may be the easiest part. Some of the best meals come together without a real recipe like the sunrise sandwiches we throw together. A can of refrigerator buttermilk biscuits go in the oven for about 15 minutes while I scramble six eggs with crisply-cooked and crumbled bacon. Cut the biscuit in half, scoop on some eggs, top it with a slice of cheese and the biscuit top. Easy to prepare, easy to eat!

While I’m making dinner, the kids seem to begin the habitual foraging around the pantry for some pre-packaged filler and begin asking how long until dinner is ready. To satisfy them and keep the space in front of my stove, otherwise referred to as “action ally,” open for cooking business, I start them off with cut raw vegetables and ranch-flavored dip or diced fruit and yogurt dip.

When you have ample time, preparing recipes with fresh vegetables makes an enjoyable meal with great texture. Shortcuts however, are always in order. Cooking ground beef in bulk on Sunday and freezing selected amounts is a real time saver. Fry your bacon or cook it in the oven in bulk at the same time. Canned or frozen vegetables, including diced onions, celery and peppers, can cut your preparation time and dishes. I quick-start the cooking process by microwaving the frozen vegetables for a few minutes on defrost.

My family would like to send your family best wishes for a great school year as we send our kiddos back to school this month!


Sunrise Sandwiches

Personalizing this quick dinner idea is simple. For the adults, I dice green and red peppers and a bit of onion to add to our scrambled eggs. A few shots of hot pepper sauce or salsa are topper ideas. Shortcut the prep by using English muffins.

1 can (10.2 oz.) large refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
6 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
3 Tbsp. milk
1 Tbsp. butter
5 to 10 strips of bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled
5 slices American cheese

Prepare biscuits according to package directions. Meanwhile, fry bacon in a skillet until crisply cooked; drain on a paper towel and crumble. Combine eggs, parsley and milk and mix until well blended. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add egg mixture and cook for 6 to 10 minutes or until egg mixture is set. Stir and toss occasionally, adding the cooked bacon toward the end. Split biscuits in half and spoon on egg mixture, top it with a slice of cheese and the biscuit top.


Bite-Sized Meatball Gems

These little gems are a favorite of the younger set in our home. Easy to prepare and easy to eat! Make a double batch and freeze them for a quick defrost, heat and eat meal.

2 lb. lean ground beef
1 pkg. (6 oz.) stuffing mix for chicken
1 c. tap water
2 large eggs
1 bottle (16 oz.) barbecue sauce
1 can (16 oz.) whole berry cranberry sauce

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line two large (15- by 10- by 1-inch pans) with foil and a light coat of cooking spray. Combine the meat, stuffing mix, water and eggs until blended. Shape into 50 meatballs (about 1 1/2 inches each) and place onto prepared pans. Bake 16 minutes or until the center of the meatball reads 160 degrees F with a meat thermometer. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, bring the barbecue sauce and cranberry sauce to a boil, stirring occasionally. Add meatballs to sauce and toss to coat.


Meat & Potatoes Soup

If you’ve got the fresh veggies handy this soup tastes fantastic! Slice and dice your veggies thin and consistent for faster cooking. Shortcut the recipe by using canned carrots and Southern-style hash brown potatoes (give them a headstart by thawing in the microwave for 4 minutes). The cheese melts much quicker if you purchase the pre-shredded bag or grate your block into shreds.

1 lb. lean ground beef
3 c. chicken broth
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. carrots, thinly sliced
4 c. potatoes, diced to 1/4–inch
3/4 c. yellow onion, diced
3/4 c. celery, diced
1 1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. sour cream
1 pkg. (8 oz.) pasteurized processed cheese

Brown ground beef and drain. In stockpot over medium heat, add the chicken broth and whisk in the flour. Add the carrots, potatoes, onion and celery; cover and simmer until vegetables are tender. Add the milk and cheese, stir until melted and combined. Stir in the sour cream.


One Pot Bacon Cheeseburger Rice

Kid-friendly seal of approval!

1 lb. ground beef
1 3/4 c. tap water
2/3 c. barbecue sauce
1 Tbsp. prepared mustard
2 tsp. dried minced onion
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 c. uncooked instant rice
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 c. diced dill pickles
5 to 10 bacon strips, crisply cooked and crumbled

Start with a large skillet. Fry and drain the bacon; set aside. Brown the ground beef and drain. Add the beef back to the skillet with water, barbecue sauce, mustard, onion and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil and stir in the rice and then sprinkle with cheese. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in pickles and bacon.

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