Ccooking Tips For Beginners
Whether your culinary talents range from gourmet chef to boiling water, these are recipes that ANYONE can cook. Yes, anyone!
2 cups red apples, unpeeled
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup white raisins (though regular raisins will work, if that's what you have)
1/2 - 3/4 cup Italian or caesar (my preference) bottled salad dressing
Wash and core apples; cut into cubes. Combine ingredients in a large bowl; mix well. Chill for at least a couple of hours before serving (you can even make this ahead the night before and store in an airtight container in the fridge)
1 package of frozen broccoli, thawed
2 eggs, beaten
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Combine ingredients in the order listed; mix well. Pour into a casserole dish. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Can be made the day before and stored in fridge overnight until ready to cook. Good hot OR cold. If you're feeling froggy about your newfound cooking abilities, you can even top the casserole with bread crumbs (store bought, of course) about 15 minutes before it's done cooking, and it'll be extra "fancy".
Quickie Pork Chop Casserole
4-6 center cut pork chops
1 cup white rice, any kind will do
1 envelope of onion soup mix (Lipton's for example)
oil, for browning (any kind)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 1/2 soup can of water
You can cook this casserole at the same time as the broccoli, if you wish. Brown the pork chops in a skillet in just a little bit of oil. That means you use about three teaspoons of oil into a skillet, on medium-high heat, and you cook the pork chops on both sides just until they're a little bit brown (about 2 minutes on each side). Put the rice in the bottom of the casserole dish and sprinkle the onion soup mix on top. Put the pork chops on top of that and then pour the soup and water over the entire dish. Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour.
Hint: If you spray the casserole dishes with non-stick cooking spray before you use them, the ingredients will not leave a baked-on, caked-on mess for your dishwasher to have to deal with...
Blueberry Breeze Pie
1 small box of vanilla instant pudding
1 -21oz can of blueberry pie filling
1 -8oz carton of whipped cream
1 baked or graham cracker pie crust
Mix pudding according to package directions. Chill until set (usually a couple of hours). By hand (that means you don't have to get out the mixer), beat into the pudding 1 1/2 cups of whipped topping, just until blended. Fold in the blueberry pie filling, and cover with the rest of the whipped cream. Pour into the pie shell and refrigerate for a couple of hours until set. If you want it to look even more like Martha Stewart did it, you can top it with fresh blueberries.
Of course, you can add on other things that don't require much thought to them to complete the meal. Refrigerated store-bought biscuits or crescent rolls are always a nice touch to dinner. You can put out a fresh vegetable plate when your guests arrive, with cut up carrots, canned olives, and sweet pickles, coupled with some store bought veggie or salad dressing dip (which you have removed from the carton, of course!). Ambiance is half the battle, as well. Light some candles, put on some music, and make sure you dust!