Although I have cooked meals for the family for many years, I still feel a moment of panic when I look at the clock and ask myself, “What am I going to fix for lunch?” Here are a few of my favorites.
My Special Spaghetti
(This is not Italian spaghetti, but it is really good.)
Cook a few strips of bacon until almost done. Drain and crumble.
In same pan, brown 1¼ lb. hamburger.
Add: 1 or 2 onions, chopped
1 diced green pepper
The crumbled bacon
1 can chili beans (or 2 cans if you have extra people at the last minute)
Small bottle of ketchup (enough to make desired amount of spaghetti sauce)
1cup water (enough to make sauce of desired consistency)
Several dashes of Worcestershire sauce
Salt, pepper, and chili powder to taste
Simmer for 15 or 20 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally. (This is a good time to cook the pasta.)
Optional: Add small can of mushrooms to sauce just before serving.
Serve over cooked spaghetti noodles.
I usually serve this with garlic toast and lettuce salad.
Mix together in large bowl:
1¼ lb. hamburger, thawed
About 8 slices of dried bread, broken in pieces
1 diced onion
Salt and pepper to taste. (Not too much salt since the mushroom soup is somewhat salty.)
Shape into patties and fry in lightly greased skillet.
When patties have been turned, spoon from a can of mushroom soup to cover each patty. Add water and simmer until soup is of gravy consistency and patties are cooked.
I like this served with fried potatoes, green beans, and cottage cheese.
This is always popular any time of the year. I started making this when I wanted to have kabobs but didn’t have any kabob skewers, so I put everything in the broiler.
Dice into 1” cubes:
2 lb. sirloin steak (it is easy to dice if still partially frozen)
2 green peppers.
Broil until steak is medium rare (or however you like it), stirring occasionally.
Season to taste.
Diced sirloin is good with baked potato and lettuce salad.
I usually make bread or rolls to go with this, but if time is of the essence, I have been known to butter halves of hamburger buns and put them in the toaster. Sprinkle with garlic salt.
I do this the easy way. I use hamburger buns or hot dog buns or Texas toast instead of pizza crust.
Brown 1¼ lb. hamburger or sausage.
Add 1 large can spaghetti sauce and stir until meat is covered. I like to add a can of mushrooms to the sauce at this point.
Arrange opened hamburger buns or toast on baking sheet.
Put a couple of slices of cheese on top.
Spoon meat sauce on top of cheese.
Bake about 8 or 10 minutes at 400*.
Top with grated cheese and allow to melt.
I like to add sliced olives, but not everyone likes them, so I usually put them in a dish and let people add their own.
This is good with carrots and dip.
Apple slices go well with mini pizzas, too.
Tacos are always popular at our place. I make my own taco seasoning, which is pretty good, if I do say so myself. I got this recipe during an Extension cooking class that was given in Mount Ayr to help us stretch our food dollars during the 80’s. We got recipes for soup mix, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, cocoa mix, and all kinds of things. Here is a taco seasoning mix that is really good.
Taco Seasoning Mix
In large bowl, stir together thoroughly:
1 ½ cup corn starch
4 oz. jar (¾ cup) chili powder
½ cup garlic powder
½ cup cumin (3 little round Tone’s containers)
½ cup thyme (3 Tone’s)
1/3 cup basil (2 Tone’s)
1/3 cup crushed red pepper
1/6 cup leaf oregano (1 Tone’s)
This will just fit in a 40 oz. peanut butter jar, and I just store it in the spice cupboard.
The original recipe called for salt and minced dried onions, but then it doesn’t fit in the jar, so I just add salt to the hamburger and skip the onions.
I use this for tacos, taco casserole, taco dip (refrigerated), or anything that calls for a package of taco seasoning. Use it the same way you would the little package you buy in the store. Use ¼ to 1/3 cup of the mixture (depending on how spicy you like your food) instead of 1 package.
Soft Tacos (a.k.a. Burritos)
Brown 1¼ lb. hamburger.
Add salt to taste.
Add 1 cup water and ¼ cup seasoning mix. Stir until thick.
Top with heated refried beans and taco meat.
Add toppings to taste:
Roll up tortilla and enjoy!