Cooking by Feel
When the subject of cooking is discussed, I often hear the excuses "I just don't have time to cook anything" or "I don't know what to cook." As a person who enjoys cooking for his family, friends, acquaintances, or just about anybody who likes to eat, I say give it a try. I can not remember how often I stood in front of the pantry or refrigerator not having a clue about what to make. One day, I decided to just grab some items and combine them into a meal. The following are just a few examples of the results.
Kielbasa and Linguine
For this recipe I grabbed:
- 1 Whole Kielbasa
- 1 can of Cream of Mushroom Soup
- 1 package of Linguine Noodles
I sliced the kielbasa into thin slices and fried these in a little olive oil. Then I added the cream of mushroom soup and a half can of water. A little salt and pepper to taste, and allow the sauce to simmer slowly. The noodles were cooked according to the package directions, and mixed with the sauce and served. Quick and simple, about 15 minutes and it is on the table.
Biscuits and Beef
After separating 10 pounds of ground beef we had purchased, I needed something quick and simple for dinner. For this dish, I used:
- 1 pound of lean ground beef.
- 1 can of Cream of Mushroom soup.
- 1 box of pasta (I used Campanelle)
- 1/2 pound of shredded mozarella cheese
- 1 package Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
I browned the ground beef along with a tablespoon of dried onion flake and a teaspoon of garlic powder. To this I added the Cream of Mushroom soup, a can and a half of water, and some salt and pepper to taste. Bring this to a boil then allow to simmer.
While the sauce is simmering, I added the uncooked pasta to a 3 quart baking dish, poured the sauce over the pasta and spread the cheese on top of the sauce. I baked this for 15 minutes at 375 degrees, testing that the pasta was at least half cooked. I then topped this with the crescent rolls laid flat across the top and baked for another 11 minutes.
Total prep time was around 5 minutes and total cooking time was about 25 minutes.
Baked Taco Pasta
This dish came about from a surplus of Taco meat after my daughters third birthday party. For this, I used:
- 1 pound of ground beef
- 1 package taco seasoning
- 1 package uncooked pasta (I prefer Rotini)
- 1 pound cheddar or colby cheese
- 1/4 cup taco sauce (can substitute tomato sauce)
- 1/2 cup water
First start by preparing the taco meat as per the instructions on the taco seasoning. Then mix the beef, pasta, half the cheese, taco (or tomato) sauce, and water in a large enough baking dish. Bake this at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Top with remaining cheese and serve.
Total prep time was around 10 minutes and baking time is 30 minutes. If you have leftover taco meat from another meal, this can be a quick one-pan dish.
More to come!
There are many other experiments that I have tried - some work, some don't, and some require additional work. Remember to use ingredients that you like to start with, then combine them in various ways to find what you like. You will undoubtedly make some dishes once, and only once, and you might just find your new Family favorites.
Share your successes ( and even failures ) below for the rest of us.
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