No Oven April to October

Tomorrow is a big family reunion. David’s mother had 9 brothers and sisters, who married and had a few kids, and those kids are now grandparents. It’s a pretty big reunion! One cousin always brings homemade berry pie. (I try to get a piece every year.)

Since he has the pie covered, I bring a different dessert. One of my favorites is “Cherry Delight.” The only problem is, you bake the crust in the oven and I don’t like to use the oven from April to October. The last time I made it, I experimented baking the crust in the microwave.

Normally, I cook it 20 minutes in a 350° oven. This time I cooked it, on high, 30 seconds at a time in the microwave for a minute and a half. It didn’t get brown but the flavor was the same.

Cherry Delight Crust "No Oven April to October" frugalfish.org

Cherry Delight

1 Cup Flour

1 Teaspoon Sugar

1 Stick Butter, cut up

1 – 8 Ounce Cream Cheese

1 Cup Powdered Sugar

2 Cups Frozen Whipped Topping, thawed

1 Can Cherry or Blueberry Pie Filling

Stir flour and sugar together. Cut butter into mixture using a pastry blender or 2 knives. Press firmly into 9 x 13 glass pan. (I used and 7 x 11 pan because my microwave is smaller.) Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or 30 seconds at a time in a microwave on high for a minute and a half.

Mix cream cheese, powdered sugar, and whipped topping together. Spread over cooled crust. Spread pie filling on top of cheese mixture. Chill and serve later. It is best made a day ahead.

Cherry Delight "No Oven April to October" frugalfish.org

I may try lemon bars in the microwave next. Has anyone else used the microwave for their baking?

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Green Bean Casserole Dinner

I shared earlier how I added meat to my favorite corn casserole and made a dinner out of it. I did it again with Green Bean Casserole.

Green Bean Casserole Dinner

1 can of green beans

1 large can of Chunky Cream of Mushroom Soup

1 large can of milk

1 large can of French Fried Onions or 2 small cans

1 can mushrooms or fresh mushrooms

7 ounces of noodles

1 pound hamburger

1 Tablespoon minced onion

Cook noodles according to directions. Cook hamburger with salt, pepper, and minced onion. Mix green beans, mushroom soup, milk, and mushrooms. Add hamburger and noodles. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Top with French Fried Onions and bake for 5 minutes.Green Bean Casserole Dinner

The casserole tasted great, but it made way too much for three people. Next time, instead of baking it in a 9″ X 13″ pan, I am going to make it in two smaller pans: 11″ X 17″ and 8″ X 8″. I will use only half of the large can of French Fried Onions, (or one small can), and freeze the second pan after it cools. I can top it with the onions when I warm it up.Big pan or 2 small ones.

 

Any ideas of what I can add to candied yams?

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Easy Enchilada Sauce

I shared earlier about how I use up the small condiment packages that we get when we order out, see here and here. My family loves taco pizza and tacos. I ended up with a bunch of “hot sauce” packets.

I planned on making Enchiladas for dinner and I always make my sauce. I don’t know if I was being lazy or I just had a brainstorm. I decided to use up those packets. I poured an 8 ounce can of tomato sauce into a bowl and kept adding the packets until it was hot enough for me. Of course, my family dumped even more hot sauce on top!

Easy Enchilada Sauce

8 ounce can of tomato sauce

8-10 hot sauce packets

(You can add more or use less of the hot sauce.)

Making sauce this way makes it kid-friendly.Add hot sauce to tomato sauce.

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Easiest Fruit Salad Ever

My cousin’s wife, Sue, used to bring the best fruit salads to the family reunion…in November! I finally got up the nerve to ask her how she made it. She used frozen fruit.

I didn’t want the expense of frozen fruit. I make my fruit salad with whatever fruit is in season. What makes this salad so easy is the juice is already made.

Easiest Fruit Salad Ever

1 can of Fruit Cocktail, in heavy syrup

1 can of peaches, in heavy syrup

Any fruit!

The syrup keeps the apples and bananas from turning brown.Fruit Salad

I made this when we grilled out and used the leftovers for stuffed French Toast. I just put yogurt and fruit salad on it. French toast with fruit

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The Best Leftover Soup Ever!

Last week I made a big meatloaf with baked potatoes and corn casserole, see here. I baked enough potatoes for two meals, but somebody didn’t like baked potatoes. The second night I planned on meatloaf sandwiches, and both males rejected that idea.

It’s no fun cooking for these two.

I ended up with four baked potatoes. I went online and found a recipe for Baked Potato Soup, see here. It was so good!

The meatloaf was gone, and the potatoes were used. That left a few servings of the corn casserole.

******

We decided to go to Pizza Ranch for lunch on Friday for the Veteran’s Day half price buffet. After throwing his dog tags on the counter as ID, Mr. Frugalfish loaded up his plate with pizza and chicken. I headed for the salad bar.

Their soup of the day was Potato Chowder. I thought, “What if I mixed the leftover corn casserole in with the leftover Baked Potato Soup?” Sunday night I combined them and we each heated up a bowl.

It was fantastic!

We are hitting the busy time of year. Let’s get creative with our leftovers.

Note: I never reheat all of the leftovers at once. I reheat one serving at a time.

I mixed corn casserole with my baked potato soup.

Easy Peasy Macaroni Salad

I have 2 salads I make when we grill out in the summer. We grill out about once a week and I end up alternating between potato salad and macaroni salad. I know there are a million other recipes I can use, but I know I will always have the ingredients for these 2 salads on hand.

Easy Peasy Macaroni Salad

7 Ounces Elbow or Shell Macaroni

8 Ounces Frozen Green Peas

1 Cup Cubed Cheddar Cheese

1 Cup Sliced Pickles

3/4 Cup Mayonnaise

1 Tablespoon Dry, Minced Onion

Salt and Pepper

Cook macaroni. Mix macaroni, peas, pickles, onion, salt and pepper together. (The heat from the macaroni will defrost the peas.) Add mayonnaise and cheese last. Cover and refrigerate two hours.

Easy Peasy Macaroni Salad.

Easy Peasy Macaroni Salad.

Ham with Pasta for the New Girlfriend

I woke up at 4:15 am and could not get back to sleep.

(Thanks a lot Prednisone.)

I’ve been fighting an infection for a few weeks and just finished the second round of antibiotics. On Memorial Day, I didn’t lift a finger and just rested up.

That meant I needed to do my writing and clean the house before my friends came over on Tuesday evening.

I spent the morning writing and then decided to skip cleaning the basement today and pace myself.

(Yeah, right.)

As he was leaving, college boy said, “By the way, Mom, my new girlfriend will be here for dinner tonight and we will watch a DVD downstairs while your friends are here.

(Yep, cleaning the basement went back on my list.)

I had thawed out ham and planned on making “Ham with Pasta,” which happens to be one of his favorites. I decided to cut up fruit, candy a bag of baby carrots and rip up lettuce for a green salad.

I was finishing up with the vacuum, when he called to say she might beat him here. I started the sauce and made my first mistake.

I doubled the recipe.

While it was warming up, I set the table, cut up cantaloupe, added fresh blueberries and frozen raspberries to some dessert bowls. I hoped they would thaw before we ate.

The dryer stopped. I shut the sauce off, and folded the last load of laundry.

Back upstairs, I turned the sauce back on, started water for the pasta, mixed the ingredients to candy the carrots, and ripped up some green leaf lettuce.

The sauce would not thicken. My friends would be here in an hour and I turned up the heat. It started to stick and I worried it would scorch.

I shut it off and got out the soup bowls.

My husband teased me…asking where the croutons were…but besides that, the dish was a success. It had all of the flavor, but was runny.

(In desperation, I even tried adding 1/2 cup of corn starch to it, to no avail.)

It wasn’t the prettiest dinner I have ever served because the frozen berries stained the cantaloupe.

The next time your entrée fails, don’t call for pizza, just call it soup!

Ham with Pasta

1 Tablespoon + 1 Teaspoon Cornstarch

2 Cups Milk

1/8 Teaspoon Garlic Powder

2 Cups Cubed Ham

1/3 Cup Parmesan Cheese

2 Tablespoons Parsley

4 Ounces Pasta

In medium saucepan, blend cornstarch and milk until smooth; stir in garlic. Over low heat bring just to a boil. Stir in ham, 1/2 the cheese, parsley, and a dash of pepper. Simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Toss with pasta and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Ham with Pasta

Ham with Pasta