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I thought that everyone knew about Zesty Italian Salad dressing as a maranade but obviously not....put it over chicken breasts or salmon and refrigerate for an hour or so before you grill. The flavor is quite good and it's so easy.


What's in Gwen's Crock Pot?


1 LB Ground Turkey (or VERY lean ground beef)
1 28 oz can Stewed Tomatoes
1 16 oz can "red" beans (Kidney or Pinto)
1 16 oz can "white" beans (Navy or Northern)
1 Pkg Chili Seasoning

Place everything but the chili seasoning in a crock pot or slow cooker early in the day. Take a break and stir it once in a while if you get the chance (mostly to break up the meat). About 30 minutes before serving, add thechili seasoning and stir well. Serves 4

For additional interest try adding onions, mushrooms or canned whole kernel corn.

Gwen Bortner
Knitability, LLC
Kansas City, MO

One Pan Hamburger Stew

1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, diced

Mix together in a large deep frying pan and brown the above items.

2 cans drained Veg-All
1 can stewed tomatoes (any flavor)
1 large can of tomatoe sauce
Salt & Pepper to taste or as diet allows

Simmer 10-15 minutes to blend flavors and serve with biscuits or
toasted French Bread

Sharon Goucher-Norris

Beef and Cheese Enchiladas

Ok so this isn't quick and easy but they freeze well. I typed this up for a begging friend so I thought I 'd use it here too. You'll probably have to adjust the ingredient amounts but I can give you the general idea of construction

. Brown about 2 pounds of lean hamburger (sometimes I throw in breakfast sausage) and a very large onion or two until the onion is clear and the meat is browned. I also like to add a bit of garlic and used to put in a chopped bell pepper before I married the picky eater I live with now. Drain well, allow to cool a bit, and save the drippings.

The sauce is a good big heaping tablespoon or two of flour stirred into about 3 tablespoons of the drippings to make a roux, like you would do for gravy. I use a cast iron Dutch oven for this and make a lot of sauce. Add a large can of tomato sauce (not paste) and two or three cans of water (may be 4). Stir with a whisk until it boils and begins to thicken. Add a couple of tablespoons of good chili powder. Spice Islands is the best I've found recently. Don't use Durkee, it's too bitter. Williams is usually good but hard to find and sometimes inconsistent. You will also need to add salt, at least a tablespoon. Taste this and add more salt or chili powder until it's to your liking.

I buy mild cheddar that is really firm to the touch. I can't find the cut off the big wheel that I could buy in Texas, it was called Longhorn Cheddar. Anyway, it will take a couple of pounds. I grate it in the food processor until I have about as much cheese as I have cooked meat. Then I mix the meat and cheese and a couple of cans of chopped olives together in a big bowl.

Use corn tortillas and dip them in the hot gravy sauce to soften them so they won't crack when you roll them. I put the dripping tortilla in the baking pan I'm going to use (something like an 11x13x2). Put a generous amount of the meat cheese mixture in and roll the tortilla around the meat. Put the rolled tortilla in the baking dish with the edge of the tortilla down so they don't unroll and just line them up. Keep doing this until you run out of tortillas or meat. Pour the remainder of the sauce over the top and cover it with more grated cheese.

Bake it at 350 for about 45 minutes until it smells done and is bubbly and beginning to brown. I don't even set the timer anymore so I'm not even sure the time is right. It has a distinctive smell when it's done. I like to make a big batch and freeze some because it's so fast to pull them out when company comes or when I just don't feel like cooking..


Rub for grilling meat

When Bob was loading the van to bring me to the Northwest, he protested when I told him to leave room for my gas grill. Said that he didn't have one and we wouldn't need it. I insisted. After only a few meals, he decided that it wasn't such a chore to bring it along after all. When it gave up, we bought a newer, much bigger one. Below is one of my favorite rubs for pork. Buy loin that is about 1 1/2 inches thick and be very careful not to overcook.

In a mortar and pestal grind the following and rub into both sides of meat before grilling:

2 teaspoons dried basil

1 teaspoon thyme

2 teaspoons rosemary

2 teaspoons oregano

1 teaspoon fennel seed

1/2 teaspoon coriander (cumin)

2 teaspoons of garlic powder

1 tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper


Lemon Juice Marinate

I love to make things that Bob notices are different from the usual fare. This marinate was originally formulated for beef heart but we’ve used it for steaks and chicken too.

4 tablespoons of lemon juice, a finely chopped garlic clove, 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce, chopped parsley, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper.


In the freezer section…….
Birdseye makes a frozen skillet dinner in a bag called Chicken Voila that is quite tasty, well the garlic one is anyway. I dumped a package of stir fry vegetables in it one night to make it go further.


Roast Beef

For a different taste that makes your kitchen smell wonderful, pour a beer over the roast along with a package of onion soup mix. Bake covered as usual.



King Ranch Chicken – almost

Boil a chicken or buy one of those already roasted ones from the grocery store. Remove the bones and skin and shred meat.

Mix together: 1 can cream of mushroom soup, 1 can cream of chicken soup, 1 can Rotel tomatoes, ½c chopped onions, ¼ cup chopped bell peppers, 1 ½ teaspoons of good chili powder.

Grate about ¾ pound of longhorn cheddar cheese.

Put a layer of tortilla chips (something like Doritos) in a caserole dish. Top with about 1/3 of the shreded chicken, 1/3 of the soup mix, and 1/3 of the cheese. Repeat these layers, ending with cheese. Bake 350 for 30 to 40 minutes. Serve with a bag salad. This is one of those dishes that gets better as leftovers, but there’s never any left over.


Shanghai Beef

Adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks, Calf Fries to Caviar. I love cookbooks that give me ideas and remind me of basic dishes I've forgotten

Brown about a pound of cube steak that has been cut into strips in a very large skillet or dutch oven with a couple of tablespoons of oil. Add some of those frozen chopped onions and a jalapano chopped into very small pieces. I freeze washed jalapanos right out of the garden and chop them frozen, but it's easy to get too much so be careful. Put in a can of sliced water chestnuts, with the water, a generous swig of soy sauce and about 1 1/2 cups of instant rice. Put a couple of tablespoons of cornstarch in a jar with about half a can of beef broth. Put the lid on and shake until well blended. Pour this in with the remainder of the can of broth. Go spin for a few minutes and ask the next person that walks through the kitchen to give it a stir. When they tell you that the rice tastes done, stir in a small bag of frozen peas. I've used green beans too, but they need a little longer to cook and the peas can be served almost immediately.


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