Saturday, November 5, 2011

Many people asked me tonight for a copy of my handouts at the retreat.  Here they are, copied and pasted from a Word document (so you could copy and paste them right back into a word document and print them!)  Sorry, I can't attach a word document here.

Had a great time tonight -- will write more later (may be Sunday, as tomorrow is an extremely busy and exciting day!).

Quick, Easy Meals for Busy Moms!


Pam Kaiser
Pantry Basics:
Group 1:
Pasta (noodles, spaghetti, etc.)
Rice (white, long grain, wild)
Vegetables (frozen, canned)

Group 2:
Spaghetti Sauce
Creamy soups (mushroom, chicken, celery, cheese)
Ranch Dressing

Group 3:
Group 4 (optional):
Add any spices that may enhance the meal, or special tastes that your family might like.
To make an easy casserole, pick one item from each list.  Mix together – may want to add cheese or top with cheese.  Bake at 350 (if meat is already cooked) for 30 mins.  Add a salad or fruit and dinner is ready!

To Die for Crock Pot Roast
  • 1 (4 -5 lb) beef roast, any kind
  • 1 (1 1/4 ounce) package brown gravy mix, dry
  • 1 (1 1/4 ounce) package dried Italian salad dressing mix
  • 1 (1 1/4 ounce) package ranch dressing mix, dry
  • 1/2 cup water
Place beef roast in crock pot.
Mix the dried mixes together in a bowl and sprinkle over the roast.
Pour the water around the roast.
Cook on low for 7-9 hours.

Easy Cheese Soup
2 cans Nacho Cheese Soup
2 ½ c milk
½ pkg hash browns
Mix soup and milk together in crock pot.  Add potatoes.  Cook on low 2-3 hours.  Serve with chopped onions, bacon bits.

Sausage Apple Bake
  • 6 Granny Smith or Jonathan apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 2 pounds pre-cooked bratwurst or kielbasa
  • 2 teaspoons butter, or to taste
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled, sliced thin
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded, diced
  • 2 zucchini, sliced thin
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella or Jack cheese (optional)
Peel, core and slice apples. Layer apples and sausage on the bottom of a 9 by 13 by 2-inch casserole dish and dot with butter. Then layer the onions, potatoes, bell peppers and zucchini. Bake in a preheated 300 degree oven for 1 hour. Once casserole is cooked, cover the top with cheese and bake until melted.

Cream Cheese Chicken

--1 can cream-of-something soup
--1/2 cup chicken broth
--frozen chicken pieces
--packet of Italian salad dressing mix
--2 cloves minced garlic
--block of cream cheese (to add later)


Put everything except for the cream cheese into the crockpot. Cook on low for 6 hours, or until the chicken is cooked through and begins to shred. Shred the chicken with two large forks, and mix in the block of cream cheese. Switch the crock to high and cook for another 30 minutes, or until the cream cheese is fully melted.
Serve over pasta.

Chicken Pammy

1 box chicken Stuffing
½ c. butter or margarine
6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup (Regular or 98% Fat Free)
1 c. sour cream
Swiss Cheese slices
Fresh mushrooms (optional)
·         Heat the oven to 350°F.  Melt butter and mix with contents of stuffing mix.  Set aside.
·         Lay chicken in pan (may want to cut in smaller pieces to help bake faster).
·         Lay swiss cheese slices over the top of the chicken.
·         Slice mushrooms over the top (if wanted).
·         Stir the soup and sour cream in a small bowl. Pour the soup mixture over the chicken. 
·         Spoon stuffing over the top of all
·         Cover the baking dish with foil.
·         Bake for 1 hour or until the chicken is cooked through.  I like to remove the foil the last 10 minutes or so so the stuffing gets a little crunchy.  Let sit for 5 minutes or so before serving.

Pulled Pork
1 pork loin (or any cut of pork roast)
1 bottle of Barbecue sauce (your choice – we like Sweet Baby Ray’s)

Roast meat until done (160 degrees) – about 1 ½ hours at 350 depending, on size of roast.  Remove any fatty pieces.  Shred with two forks.  Pour barbecue sauce over and mix.  Add a little of the juices from the roasting pan, or chicken broth to make a little soupy, especially if you are adding to crock pot.  Serve on buns. 

Italian Dressing Chicken (Amy Fullenkamp)
Chicken breast for each family member
Pour most of a bottle of Italian dressing
1/4 - 1 cup of soy sauce (to taste)
- this recipe can be put in a crock pot or marinaded and cooked over the grill.  Serve with baked potatoes in the microwave and too easy!

Beer Marinade.
I like this better with Beef.
Add most of a bottle of Italian dressing.
1 can of beer.
Marinade and grill.

Tator Tot Casserole (Amy Fullenkamp)
 (This is Fullenkamp recipe. For some reason, it tastes even better when reheated)
- Mix together one bag of tator tots, 1 bag (2 cans drained) of green beans, 1 can of mushroom soup, 1 lb cooked ground beef, and 1/2 a bag of mozzarella cheese.  Place in 9x13 pan.  Sprinkle rest of cheese on top and bake. 350 for 30ish(till warm and bubbly).

Fiesta Chicken (Amy Fullenkamp)
(This recipe has A LOT of room to play with.) Any chicken pieces - enough for family
1 bag frozen corn
1 bag frozen peppers&onions
1 Jar salsa/ 1/2 can rotel / 1 can rotel (started with salsa when the girls were young and ryan just added hot sauce to his.  Switched to rotel to please Ryan as the girls got older and could handle more
OPTIONAL:   (I have left these out to save prep time)
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp pepper
Shredded Cheese (place over top of the dish at the end)

1)Can be made in crock pot or in 9x13 pan
2) make above and serve over rice
3) Double corn and serve as chicken with corn/salsa side dish
3) Mince up the chicken and return to the mix. Serve with Tortilla chips as a hearty dip
4) Substitute chicken or add black beans to make it heartier and cheaper
5) make in crock pot. Dice chicken and return to crock.  Place cheese in everyone's individual bowl.  Pour mixture over top and stir together to melt cheese.  Makes a tasty quick take on tortilla soup.

Italian Potatoes (Amy Fullenkamp)
 (This tastes amazing like you put a lot of work into it.  However it is really easy. TONS of flavor with little prep work)
- Slice 1 onion and a potato and 1/2 for each person.  Layer potatoes, onions, and Italian dressing into a skillet till full.  Cook on medium heat for about 45 min, flipping as needed, until cooked through.

STEWS! (Amy Fullenkamp)
Probably my easiest, heartiest, stand by meals.
Add a protein - chicken, beef, sausage
Add several bags of frozen veggies
Add water, tomato juice/sauce/paste, or stocks ADD A GRILL MATE MARINADE.  Montreal chicken, garlic and herb, mesquite, etc.  Sure you use half a bottle that costs $2-$3.  However by the time you add all the other spices or bottles of flavors it is really not that expensive.  Plus you know that the spices will taste good.

Also, all you have to do is change one of the things in the lists above to totally change a recipe. Take a soup from broth-based to tomato-based to totally change the taste!  Lots of room to play which makes it hard to get in a rut.
Whenever Kroger has frozen bags of veggies on sale for $1, I stock up!

Skillet Barbecue Meal. (Amy Fullenkamp)
This is the best easiest "homemade" BBQ sauce we have found.  It is a GREAT base and then depending on how you like your sauce (hot, sweet, tangy), it is easy to add a little more of an ingredient to tweak the whole thing.  Family favorite for something a little different.

2 tbs minced onion
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup tomato paste (one of those little cans)
2 tbs brown sugar
1 tbs soy sauce
2 tsp lime juice
dash of salt

Coat skillet with cooking spray; place over medium heat till hot. Add onion and garlic. Saute 1 minute.  Add remaining ingredients to skillet and stire well.  Add a protein (chicken, pork chops) and bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until tender.  (20 minute for pork chops, longer for chicken) *this also works great in the crock pot. Just mix everything in the crock and set on low for the day.  AWESOME!  Add some quick microwaved baked potatoes and you have a full meal.
Also free of all top 8 allergens except Soy.
--From Light Cooking for Two.

Another barbecue sauce:
1 can tomato soup
½ c. brown sugar
2 T vinegar
Onion to taste
Dash of Worcestershire Sauce

Mix all together.  I like to put this over leftover hamburgers the next day.  Bake. 
This combination also makes an excellent topping for meatloaf.

Beef and Noodle Toss (Amy Fullenkamp)
Shocking flavor for so few ingredients. I usually make this whenever I see a manager's special on Mushrooms.

8 oz Noodles of choice
1 lb ground beef
1 cup crushed or diced tomatoes
8 oz mushrooms (they suggest crimini or button. I use whatever)
2 tsp minced garlic
1 14 oz can beef broth

1. Cooked noodles and drain.
2. Heat skillet and add meat; cook and drain.  Add tomatoes, mushrooms and garlic.  Cook 5 minutes.  Add broth cook 3 to 4 minutes more until beef is done and liquid is slightly thickened.
3. add cooked noodles to skillet and stir gently to coat.  Heat through and Serve!
--With Gluten Free noodles and the right broth this is free of all top
8 allergens
-- from Better homes and garden but I tweaked the heck out of it to price it lower.  Wasn't going to use excellent cuts of beef or pints of grape tomatoes on my little mouths. :)

Summer Corn Chowder (Amy Fullenkamp)
I make this when corn is in season.  It adds so much flavor I was shocked at the difference the corn stock made!  If I am making this for my family, I make it a bit easier than the recipe calls for.  We have corn on the cob and I save all the cobs.  I make this soup the next day and then add corn that I have in the freezer.  It is all the same I guess but then I don't have to sit in the kitchen cutting corn off the cob - bleh! too busy for that!

6 ears of corn
4 slices of bacon (or chopped ham)
1 onion chopped
4 cups milk
1 tbs cornstarch

1. Put the cobs in waters and sprinkle salt and pepper in a pot with a tight fitting lid over medium-high heat.  Bring to boil, then turn to low, cover and cook for 20 min.
2. In a separate skillet cook bacon/ham and onions until soft.
3. Remove cobs from stock and discard.  Add milk, corn kernels, ham, and onion to the stock and bring to boil.  Lower the heat so the soup bubbles gently.  Cook uncovered stirring frequently until the corn is tender.  About 10 minutes.
4. Whisk the cornstarch in a small bowl with 2 tbs water until smooth.
 Add to the soup; stir until soup thickens, about a minute.  Adjust seasoning as needed and serve!

Egg Casserole


  • 12 eggs, beaten
  • 2 c. milk
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground breakfast sausage
  • 16 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
  • 7 slices white bread, torn into pieces


1.      Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2.      Brown sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Drain off grease, and set aside to cool. Pour the eggs into a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish.
3.      In a separate large bowl, combine the sausage, bread and 12 ounces of the cheese. Mix well and pour this into the egg mixture. Top with the remaining 4 ounces of cheese and cover with foil.
4.      Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 15 minutes, uncover, and bake until casserole is golden brown and bubbly.
***you can substitute other meats if you want (bacon, ham, etc.) and cheese as well (swiss, provolone) as your family likes.

Brownie Bites

1 pkg. brownie mix, mixed according to package directions
Minitature Reese Cups, unwrapped, frozen

Mix brownie batter according to package directions.  Fill mini muffin pans about ½ - 2/3 full.  Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees.  Immediately upon removing from oven, insert a Reese cup in the center.  Let sit for 10 minutes or so until cool.  Using a plastic knife, circle around the cup to remove.

Father’s “Salad”
A priest friend shared with me that his mom always told him salad was good for him because it was colorful, and colorful was good!  So, he started to volunteer to bring salad to gatherings – he thought it was easy to make, and everyone seemed to like it.  It IS colorful!!!  J

1 pkg. plain M&Ms
1 pkg. peanut M&Ms
1 pkg. peanut butter M&Ms
Any other flavors of M&Ms that you can find and enjoy – add a bag of them!

Pour all into a bowl and toss gently.  Serve and enjoy!

My favorite cooking websites: (they have an area where you can put in ingredients you want to use and it will come up with recipes that you might like – I love this!)

A favorite family prayer:
God is great, God is good, and we thank him for our food!  Amen.

Enjoy your mealtimes together!!!  Make memories!  Make the dinner table an argument free zone, so that everyone enjoys the time together.  Instead, make memories!

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