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Easy recipes with a home cooked flavor

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Some of my best memories from childhood are of my Mom, Grandmother and Aunts all working away in the kitchen preparing these wonderful meals for our family get togethers, the smell of chicken roasting in the oven or a hearty stew simmering on the stovetop would fill the house. With todays busy lifestyles we just don't seem to have the time to put together those delicious "Home cooked" meals. Here are some recipes that are easy to make but will taste like an old family recipe.

<TABLE cellSpacing=3 cellPadding=3 width="100%" align=center border=0><TBODY><TR><TD bgColor=#ffffff>Classic Chicken Pot Pie

</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>What makes a classic? Chicken and mixed vegetables in a rich homemade white sauce fill a flaky pie crust that's perfection. <TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=3 border=0><TBODY><TR><TD colSpan=2>Ingredients:

</TD></TR><TR><TD colSpan=2>Crust</TD></TR><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap align=right>1</TD><TD>box (15 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box</TD></TR><TR><TD colSpan=2>Filling</TD></TR><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap align=right>1/3</TD><TD>cup margarine or butter</TD></TR><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap align=right>1/3</TD><TD>cup chopped onion</TD></TR><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap align=right>1/3</TD><TD>cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour</TD></TR><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap align=right>1/2</TD><TD>teaspoon salt</TD></TR><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap align=right>1/4</TD><TD>teaspoon pepper</TD></TR><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap align=right>1</TD><TD>can (14 oz) chicken broth</TD></TR><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap align=right>1/2</TD><TD>cup milk</TD></TR><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap align=right>2 1/2</TD><TD>cups shredded cooked chicken or turkey</TD></TR><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap align=right>2</TD><TD>cups Green Giant® frozen mixed vegetables, thawed

</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><TABLE width="100%" align=center border=0><TBODY><TR><TD colSpan=2>Preparation Directions:

</TD></TR><TR><TD vAlign=top>1.</TD><TD vAlign=top>Heat oven to 425°F. Make pie crusts as directed on box for Two-Crust Pie using 9-inch glass pie pan.</TD></TR><TR><TD vAlign=top>2.</TD><TD vAlign=top>In 2-quart saucepan, melt margarine over medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir 2 minutes or until tender. Stir in flour, salt and pepper until well blended. Gradually stir in broth and milk, cooking and stirring until bubbly and thickened.</TD></TR><TR><TD vAlign=top>3.</TD><TD vAlign=top>Stir in chicken and mixed vegetables. Remove from heat. Spoon chicken mixture into crust-lined pan. Top with second crust; seal edges and flute. Cut slits in several places in top crust.</TD></TR><TR><TD vAlign=top>4.</TD><TD vAlign=top>Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown. During last 15 to 20 minutes of baking, cover crust edge with strips of foil to prevent excessive browning. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

 
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Beef Casserole <TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 border=0 xmlns:fo="http://www.w3.org/1999/XSL/Format"><TBODY><TR><TD>
</TD></TR><TR><TD colSpan=2>From Southern Living</TD></TR><TR><TD>
</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>


Serve with a tossed green salad.



2 (8-ounce) cans crescent rolls, divided

1 1/2 pounds ground beef

1/2 small onion, minced

2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup chili sauce

2 tablespoons taco seasoning

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Toppings: sour cream, salsa

Unroll 1 can crescent rolls, and press into a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch pan.

Bake at 375° for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

Cook ground beef and onion in a large skillet, stirring until beef crumbles and is no longer pink. Drain. Stir in cheese and next 6 ingredients; spoon over crust.

Unroll remaining can of crescent rolls, and shape into a rectangle, pressing perforations to seal; cut into 1/2-inch strips. Arrange strips in a lattice design over beef mixture. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until golden. Let stand 10 minutes. Serve with sour cream and salsa, if desired.

Yield: Makes 6 servings

 
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Dinner Casserole

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 package onion soup mix
  • 1 can (10 ounce) cream chicken soup
  • 1 can (10 ounce) mushrooms (cut fine)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 cup crumbled potato chips
Brown the hamburger and drain the fat. Place in bowl, add onion soup and mix well. Add chicken soup, mushrooms, water, and rice. Mix well. Add to casserole dish. Top with potato chips. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 1 hour.This ground beef recipe serves 4 to 5.

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Oh yum, I love Chicken Pot Pie -- thanks for the recipe Harley!

I've been wanting to start cooking more (I feel like the boyfriend deserves a good hearty home cooked meal), but I really haven't cooked much in the past other than basics like pasta.
Can you tell I'm a recent college grad? haha!

Where would be a good but simple place to start?

 
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My husband and I both started cooking about a year ago so we are still learning too! You can find cookbooks with "Quick and Easy Recipes" or 5-ingredient recipes or things like that for some simple recipes. Other easy recipes besides pasta is just to experiment with pan-frying or broiling various meats and fish with different seasonings (for example, we use garlic powder, lemon pepper, and salt on steaks; lemon, butter, basil and/or lemon pepper on fish; parsley, sage, rosemary on pork chops). Usually we're lazy and just microwave a canned veggie or make a relish tray of raw veggies, and make instant mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, or canned biscuits to get a nice balance of protein, veggies, and carbs.

However don't be afraid to try more complicated recipes on the nights that you have enough time to experiment! There's a lot of recipes that have lots of ingredients and may take a while to prepare, but are still very easy as long as you follow the directions. When I'm on school breaks, I love taking the time to try new recipes -- once I do it once or twice, then I can usually make it faster and can learn a few tricks (like perhaps altering the amount of seasoning or something -- I once made a Kung Pao Chicken recipe that claimed to be "medium" but it was so hot I couldn't eat it, so next time I used drastically less red pepper seed!)

I get most of my recipes online, just looking around at sites until I find something that looks good. You may also ask your parents for recipes if they cook a lot -- since you would have already eaten those recipes, you will have a better idea of how it is supposed to turn out, and you may have seen your parents make it in the kitchen. Just don't be afraid to try new things, and you'll learn pretty quickly!

 
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Originally Posted by Joyeuux Oh yum, I love Chicken Pot Pie -- thanks for the recipe Harley!
I've been wanting to start cooking more (I feel like the boyfriend deserves a good hearty home cooked meal), but I really haven't cooked much in the past other than basics like pasta.
Can you tell I'm a recent college grad? haha!

Where would be a good but simple place to start?

You are very welcome Joy! I think girlgeek had some wonderful ideas, there are so many recipe and meal ideas we can find online now, possibly someone in you or your boyfriends family is a good cook who can share their favorite recipes with you too. One of the things thats important to me is having a good selection of herbs and seasonings, you can take a plain chicken breast and give it any flavor you want just by using something like Lemon/Pepper seasoning or maybe if you like it spicey, try Cajun. Last night we had a really good meal that was easy to make, I seasoned some fresh salmon with the Lemon/pepper and baked it, then I just steamed some fresh veggie mix (broccoli, cauliflower & carrots) that I buy at the grocery store, served it up with rice and we had a delicious dinner. I hope you will feel free to ask anytime if you need ideas or help for anything.
 
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Beef Stroganoff

1 1/2 pounds beef sirloin steak, about 1/2 inch thick

8 ounces mushrooms, sliced (about 2 1/2 cups)

2 medium onions, thinly sliced

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1/4 cup margarine or butter

1 1/2 cups beef broth

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup Gold Medal all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups sour cream

3 cups hot cooked egg noodles

Cut beef across grain into about 1 1/2x1/2-inch strips.

Cook mushrooms, onions and garlic in margarine in 10-inch skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are tender; remove from skillet.

Cook beef in same skillet until brown. Stir in 1 cup of the broth, the salt and Worcestershire sauce. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 15 minutes.

Stir remaining 1/2 cup broth into flour; stir into beef mixture. Add onion mixture; heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Stir in sour cream; heat until hot (do not boil). Serve over noodles.

Makes 6 servings

 
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I keep a container of the house seasoning in my pantry, I fill up a salt shaker with it and use it for seasoning all kinds of meat, it's excellant on steak, chicken, and hamburgers. It adds really good flavor, especially for grilling.

Pot Roast

<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=570 border=0><TBODY><TR vAlign=top><TD class=bodytext width="100%">1 (3-pound) boneless chuck roast

1 1/2 teaspoons House seasoning, recipe follows

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 onion, thinly sliced

3 bay leaves

3 or 4 beef bouillon cubes, crushed

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup

1/2 cup Chardonnay

Sprinkle roast on all sides with house seasoning. Using a skillet over high heat, sear roast until brown in oil. Place roast in a slow cooker, and layer onions, bay leaves, crushed bouillon cubes, garlic, and cream of mushroom soup. Add the Chardonnay and cover with enough water to cover all of the ingredients. Cook on the low setting for 8 hours.

House Seasoning:

1 cup salt

1/4 cup black pepper

1/4 cup garlic powder

Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

 
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Stuffed Red Peppers

Recipe courtesy Paula Deen

<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=570 border=0><TBODY><TR vAlign=top><TD class=bodytext width="100%">4 large red bell peppers

3/4 pound ground chuck

1/2 pound ground pork

1 medium onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons beef bouillon granules

2 teaspoons House seasoning, recipe follows

1 cup cooked rice

1/2 cup jarred cheese and salsa

1/2 cup sour cream

1 cup diced tomatoes

1/2 cup chopped green onion tops

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 cup hot water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Start by cutting the peppers in half lengthwise, leaving the stems intact, and halving them also. Remove the seeds and ribs inside the peppers. Using a hot skillet, saute the ground beef, pork, onion, garlic, 1 teaspoon of bouillon granules, and house seasoning together. Saute until onions become translucent. Drain the fat off. Add the rice, cheese, sour cream, tomatoes, green onion tops, and soy sauce. Mix well and stuff the mixture into the peppers. In a small bowl, mix the hot water and the remaining bouillon granules. Pour this mixture into a shallow casserole large enough to hold all of the peppers. Place the stuffed peppers in the dish, cover with foil and bake for 25 to 35 minutes. Remove the foil and spoon the juice from bottom of the casserole over the top of the peppers. Bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes.

House Seasoning:

1 cup salt

1/4 cup black pepper

1/4 cup garlic powder

Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

 

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