Monday, January 18, 2010

Everybody Returned Safely

disclaimer: the blog site won't let me space to make reading easier. I have spaced and spaced and it still is without any spaces.

Buzz LightYear has returned.
It was Saturday evening.
Ann drove home in rain but she got here safely to her little Andrew. They were all so glad to see him....and he was sooooo glad to see them.
I didn't hear them come in - I was upstairs getting him out of his bath. With that cold, I just thought that water would open up his head. He loves baths.
So we were at the top of the stairs and heard his family.
It's Monday. I've read Laura Beth's post regarding meals after John is born - after friends are no longer bringing meals - after Mom has gone home - (that's me) - and she asks - what is something quick and simple - any suggestions?
The obvious answer is prepare meals ahead and put them in the freezer. I've never been too good at that. I prefer to have things on hand that are quick and easy to prepare - but what is that?
Well - I recently had a meal at Mary Ann's and I think it's pretty good for a 5 ingredient easy recipe. It came out of Mary Ann's 5 ingredient Recipe Book.
Tortilla Beef Bake
1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 (10 3/4 oz.) can cream of chicken soup, undiluted
2 1/2 cups crushed tortilla chips, divided(I used fritos)
1 jar (16 oz) salsa
1 1/2 cup (6 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
Brown ground beef and drain. Stir soup in with ground beef. Sprinkle 1 1/2 cups tortilla chips in a greased shallow 2 1/2 quart baking dish. top with beef mixture, salsa, and cheese.
Bake, uncovered, at 350 degreese for 25 to 30 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle with the remaining chips. Bake 3 minutes longer or until chips are lightly toasted. Yield: 6 servings

Another thing I like to do is buy inexpensive chicken, when it's on sale, and take the time to cook quite a bit of it. The clean up is a bummer - all that chicken, all those bones - and I prefer to take advantage and season the water really good with onion and celery and garlic and salt and sage - and then take the time to strain the broth and let it cool so that any fat hardens so that it can be skimmed off. It's a project. I really don't ever look forward to it - but so glad to have that broth and that chicken in the freezer. Here is the best and easiest recipe if chicken is already available.

Chicken Escort
2 sleeves of buttery crackers
(it used to be Escort Crackers, but can no longer find them. Use Waverly Wafers)
Plenty of chicken, cooked to cover casserole dish.
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
8 oz sour cream
1 stick of butter
Cover regular Casserole dish with crushed crackers(1 sleeve)
place cooked chicken over these - covering the layer of crackers and being as generous as you prefer with the chicken. Not too thick of a layer, but not too thin, either.
Mix the soups and sour cream and spread over the chicken.
Next, the other sleeve of crackers, crushed and over the soup mixture.
place pats of the 1 stick of butter evenly on top of the crushed crackers.
Bake, at 350 degrees until bubbly - probably about 40 minutes.
So good, especially if you're at home with a new baby and you've got that "nursing appetite".
One more easy breezy thing.
A sirloin tip roast. 2 or 3 cans of beef broth.
Onions, sliced or diced or whatever, or easier - onion soup mix.
Brown the surface of the roast in a dutch oven and the onions, too. using a little oil. Then, cover with broth, or 2 or 3 envelopes of the soup mix with the right amount of water.
bring to boil and turn down to a simmer and let it cook until very tender. Comfort Food!
Open up english peas or whatever green veg your child or husband prefer. Green Beans or English Peas are standard at our house. Boiled Potatoes with Butter are great with this - or rice. Yummy. Brown and Serve Rolls are the cheapest.
Usually, with a small family, leftovers come with this meal...
and with the chicken escort - again - if the fam is small and few gigantic appetites.
Spaghetti is the other easiest in the world meal.
The ground beef, the spaghetti envelope, the tomato sauce and the diced tomatoes. Spagetti Pasta - and bread. Again, English Peas for veg if you want to be easy. I find Salads to be a bit labor intensive. But, whatever. Or canned peaches are good for children and tastes. Whatever canned fruit Ada or any child might like.
Let me think.
Other easy ideas. Pasta tossed with whatever one prefers. Love it. And the Crock Pot - surely the crock pot offers some ideas - but there's the clean up . Have to think about clean up. With bedtime and babies crying. Yipes.


LB said...

thanks for all the recipes!! I want to make that first casserole soon--it sounds really good, and I think Scott would like it a lot.

I do hope in the next week or two to cook lots of chicken, shred it for casseroles, and get it in the freezer for easier meal prep after John is here.

One more thing--a friend from church told me about these crock pot things that you insert in the crock pot before cooking, and then you just lift it out and throw it away. I am sure you still have to rinse out the crock pot, but it makes for much easier clean up. I think you can get them at Kroger or whatever grocery store is available. Surely Wal-Mart has them.

Stephanie said...

Hey LB, I use those crock pot bags because my crock pot has a tiny crack starting and I was afraid to cook food directly in it for fear of tiny ceramic particles getting into the food. Anyway, I am so excited about baby John coming!! :) I love your choice of names!! :) ANYWAY, Elizabeth, thanks so much for the recipes!! We miss you guys so much and I wish we all lived closer. God has blessed our family so much, I feel so blessed to be "related" to yall through marriage!! LOL I feel like we are one big family. :) Love, Stephanie Christensen