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Updated on February 17, 2018

Aunt Joan’s Lasagna Recipe

When asked the question about how to make Lasagna, I merely had to get out the family cookbook I gave as a present to everyone last year. Here is Aunt Joan's Recipe. It's okay with her if you have it!

Ingredients: 1 medium onion, minced, 4 lbs hamburger, Chili powder, Oregano, Pepper to taste, Salt to taste, Mozzarella cheese, shred, Ragout sauce, 13x9 baking pan, 2 tsp oil, 2 boxes Lasagna noodles Skillet, and Wooden spoon

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In skillet add oil, hamburger and onion. Brown hamburger and onion then drain. Season hamburger mixture with chili powder, oregano, salt and pepper. Then, add Ragout sauce. Stir while mixture simmers over low heat. Begin to layer the baking pan with 3 repeating layers. [1] Layer of seasoned meat, [2] layer of cheese, [3] Layer of noodles. Do the layers over and over until the pan is full. Top with a layer of cheese and put in the oven to bake for 45 minutes to one hour.

Chicken Lasagna by Theresa

For those of you who have issues eating beef, here is a great Chicken Lasagna Recipe by my friend Theresa. Enjoy!

Ingredients: 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, 1 pkg. Flour tortillas 16 oz can tomato sauce, 1 pkg. Taco seasoning mix 1 cup milk, 1 can chili beans 2 cups cheese, shredded, Knife, *9x13 casserole dish, and *Crock pot * or pan.

Directions: Preheat oven at 375 degrees. Place chicken into a crock-pot or, on the stove top in pan. Add tomato sauce and taco mixture then cook meat until done. Remove chicken onto chopping block and cut chicken into bite size pieces. Put chicken into mixing bowl and cover with milk, chili beans and stir. then set aside. Cut tortillas in half. Begin to layer the crock-pot or casserole dish. Place 1/3 chicken mixture on the bottom, cover with 1/3 of the tortillas and sprinkle with 1/3 of the shredded cheese and repeat adding 1/3 chicken mixture, covering with tortillas and sprinkle with 1/3 cheese. Finish adding remaining 1/3 chicken mixture, tortillas and top with cheese. Place casserole uncovered in oven and bake for 30 minutes or in crock pot until cheese on top is bubbling and beginning to turn brown. Remove from heat cooling 10 minutes before serving. Serves six.

How to Make Pumpkin Seeds by Erin

Erin submitted this recipe stating that the seeds she gets at the store do not even come close to home made. This is the season for pumpkins!

Ingredients:

1 fresh pumpkin, Salt to taste, Spoon, Carving knife, Strainer, Wax paper, Cookie sheet

Directions: Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Remove the top of the pumpkin using the carving knife and using the large spoon and/or your hands scrape the insides of the pumpkin out separating the seeds into the strainer to wash. Prepare the cookie sheet with wax paper. Wash the seeds with cold water, removing any remaining pumpkin string, and place the seeds in a single row on the wax paper, add salt to taste. Place into the oven and bake for 15 to 30 minutes or until the seeds become darker in color; then remove. Once the seeds are cooled they can be removed and placed in a bowl to eat, or stored in baggies until you want to eat them.

Aunt Irene’s Sloppy Joe Recipe

Now that the weather is getting cooler, here is a specialty my Aunt Irene used to make: Sloppy Joes.

Ingredients:

2 medium chopped red onions, 2 tbsp vegetable oil, 1 red bell pepper, 4 cloves of garlic, minced, 1 tsp salt, ½ tsp pepper, ½ tsp fresh thyme leaves, 1 ½ lean ground beef, 1-cup chili sauce, 1-cup beer, 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, 3 tbsp red pepper sauce, 4 hamburger buns, and 3 tbsp scallions.

Directions: Brown meat in skillet using 1 tbsp vegetable oil until browned or, about 3 to 4 minutes and set aside. Brown scallions, bell pepper, garlic, salt, pepper and thyme in oil until scallions are soft not brown; about 10 minutes on medium-low heat. Add meat chili sauce beer, Worcestershire sauce and pepper sauce and stir. Heat to simmer about 15 minutes cover so that the flavor stays in. Toast buns in broiler and place on serving plates. Spoon Sloppy Joe mix over buns and serve with potato chips and pickles. Serves 8.

Chinese Chews by Chris

Chris sent in a recipe she enjoys stating that she now can use her oven to make goodies for the holidays.

Ingredients: ½ cup margarine, 1-cup sugar, 1 cup flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 2 eggs, 1 ½ cup dates, ¾ cup walnuts, Salt to taste, 1 tsp vanilla, 11 x 7 inch pan 1 ½ inches, Confectioners’ sugar (optional)

Directions: Mix ingredients together in bowl and spread in pan. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes. Cut while hot. Can roll in confectioners’ sugar prior to cutting if desired.

Aunt Joan’s Chocolate Éclair Cake

For everyone who enjoys chocolate and chocolate eclairs, you haven't lived until you try my Aunt Joan's easy to make Chocolate Eclair Cake!

Ingredients: 2 pkg. French Vanilla Pudding, 1 box Graham Crackers, 8 oz. Cool Whip, 3 c.cold milk, 1 container Chocolate Fudge Frosting, 9x13 glass casserole dish

Directions:Place Graham crackers into plastic bag and crumble the Graham crackers using a rolling pin. Using crumbled crackers, cover the bottom of the dish. Make pudding per directions and place ½ pudding on top of the Graham crackers. Add another layer of graham crackers on top of the pudding. Put another layer of pudding on top of the Graham crackers. Then add another layer of Graham crackers and place in the fridge to set. Meanwhile, get out the can chocolate frosting. Remove the chilled mix and add the frosting to the top of the Graham crackers. Put back into the fridge until ready to eat. This is very rich and needs to be cut into small bites for your guests.


Pasta Primavera from Erin

Here is a pasta recipe sent in from Erin who is attempting to choose food wisely.

Ingredients: 1 small zucchini, chopped, 1 cup carrots, finely chopped, 1 cup frozen peas, 2 shallots, chopped, 2 cloves garlic, chopped, 1-cup pasta (your choice), 1/2-cup cheese, grated, 3 cups chicken broth, 1/2 cup Parsley, chopped, 2 Tbsp. olive oil,1 tsp. curry powder, Salt & pepper to taste, Medium sized skillet, wooden spoon

Directions: Heat oil in skillet over medium heat while adding garlic, shallots, zucchini and carrots. Sauté five minutes. Next, add pasta, chicken broth & curry powder and bring to boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium. Stir constantly until the pasta absorbs all the liquid, about 10 minutes. Uncover and stir in the cheese, parsley, peas, and seasoning to taste. Once cooled is ready to eat.


Gunny Sergeant R Tolbert's Sukiyaki

This was one of my dad's favorite dishes. His pal Tolbert made it in the Navy and he kept the recipe. Thanks Gunny Sergeant!

Ingredients: 1 lg. round steak sliced thin 2 bags bean sprouts 1 1/4 lbs. mushrooms, sliced 4 bunches green onion, chopped 1 stalk celery, chopped 1 bottle Soy sauce Chafing dish

Directions: Stack the chafing dish in layers. Layer dish with mushrooms, sprouts, onions, celery and the steak on top then cook in the chafing dish for 30 minutes, or until the steak is done to your satisfaction. Serves 4. For more veggie dish ideas click on: the link .

Aunt Bernice’s Noodle Kugel

Aunt Bernice loved to spice things up with goodies. Here is a favorite recipe with pasta for you to try. If you are interested in calories of pasta check out my website: http:www.cookingfreedownload.com for information on calories! Enjoy!

Ingredients: 8 oz noodles – egg free 3 Tbsp. Margarine or butter 2 eggs or Egg substitute 12% cream 1 tsp. Cinnamon ¼ grated Lemon rind ¼ tsp. Nutmeg ¾ c. raisins 1 sm.can crushed pineapple ½ c. sugar 2 Tbsp. Apricot preserves 1/8 tsp.Salt 1 tsp. Vanilla 1 tsp. Lemon Juice Medium size pan Medium size bowl Casserole Dish Salad Tongs

Directions:Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Boil noodles until tender, drain and rinse with cool water. In the bowl add noodles, margarine, eggs, and rest of the ingredients save cinnamon and sugar. Toss well using tongs. Line the inside of the casserole dish with butter. Pour ingredients into casserole and add the cinnamon and sugar in sprinkles on top. Bake for 45 minutes or until crust turns light brown.

Aunt Sylvia’s Tuna Chow Mien Recipe

Here is a recipe enjoyed by my aunt Sylvia's family. Enjoy!

Ingredients: 1 med onion 1-½ c. celery ¼ c. green pepper ¼ c. butter / margarine 1 tsp. salt 1 ½ can tuna #2 Chow Mien Vegetables 1 tbsp. Cold water 1 ½ tsp cornstarch 2 tbsp. Soy sauce ¼ tsp. sugar Fried noodles or rice Skillet

Directions: Add butter or margarine to skillet. Clean onion then quarter to separate sections of the onion and put into the skillet. Cut green peppers into strips and add to skillet. Cook mixture for 3 minutes, or until onion is golden in color. Add hot water and salt to skillet and cook an additional 5 minutes. Meanwhile, drain and wash off tuna. Break into large pieces and place in skillet. Add vegetables and stir. Heat for one minute more then add cornstarch, soy sauce, sugar and cold water. Cook for another minute and serve over a bed of fried rice or noodles.


Cousin Karen's Tuna Cheese Casserole

Karen states that this is an easy, delicious, and reasonable meal.

Ingredients: 1/2 cup tuna 3 o. cream cheese Worcester sauce 8 oz. pkg. noodles 1/4 c. butter / margarine 1/4 c. flour 2 c. milk 6 c. boiling water Salt & pepper to taste Saucepan Mixing Bowl Casserole dish Colander

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook noodles in salted water until tender. Drain in colander and put into mixing bowl. Add melted butter, flour, and milk into saucepan. Stir gently over low heat. Blend in cream cheese and tuna using the oil from the can. Gently add mixture from the bowl and season then cook an additional minute. Scoop ingredients into casserole dish and bake for 20 minutes.

Note: Although Karen's recipe calls for putting the liquid in the tuna can into her recipe, I believe the more healthy choice would be to toss tuna into the colander and wash under running water to clean then put into casserole. If there needs to be more liquid, I would suggest olive oil instead.

Contest Winning Salsa sent in by Arlene

Arlene states that she is the hit of the office with this simple salsa recipe. She makes it at every office party because if she doesn't everyone tells her about it. Try it out and see for yourself.

Ingredients: 1 lg can of Tomato juice Garlic powder to taste, ½ tsp cumin ½ chopped onion 1/3 bunch of washed cilantro 2 cans of jalapenos 2-3 garlic cloves cleaned and mashed Salt to taste Bowl Blender Special notes: Use 1 can of jalapeno for mild; 1 ½ cans for hot; 2 cans for “fiery hot” Can substitute fresh jalapenos for canned.

Directions: Place onion and garlic with some of the tomato juice together and blend in a blender. Add jalapenos continue blending to make less chunky. Add cilantro and cumin while blending. Add canned tomatoes last and lightly blend. Add salt and garlic to taste.



Colleen's Turkey Meatloaf

Colleen sent in this recipe for a Turkey Meatloaf as a suggestion for what to do with the left over turkey you have after the holiday meal. Enjoy!

Ingredients: 1 pound cooked turkey, ground 9-inch loaf pan ¾ cup Spaghetti sauce ¼ cup Mozzarella or, Cheddar (low fat) Wooden spoon 1 Bell pepper, minced 9x13 Baking dish Non-stick spray Mixing bowl Wax paper

Directions: Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Spray loaf pan with non-stick spray. Get out the mixing bowl and mix together the ground turkey, spaghetti sauce and bell pepper. Scoop mixture into loaf pan and top with cheese. Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes. This dish has approximately 255 calories per serving.

Bread Pudding

Here is a family favorite for the winter season I originally found the recipe in an old magazine and have used it often. I looked up bread pudding on the Internet to see if anyone else is using the same old recipe and noted that it can also be found on www.crockpot.com. Hope you enjoy it.

Ingredients: 6-cups sour dough bread 1-cup raisins 6 lg. Eggs, beaten 1-3/4 c. milk 1 tsp. Vanilla extract 1-1/2 tsp. cinnamon 3-cups fresh strawberries 2-cups brown sugar Fresh mint leaves (optional)

Directions: Spray inside of crock-pot with Non-stick spray. Place bread, nuts, and raisins inside and toss with spoon. In mixing bowl whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla, sugar and cinnamon then pour over bread mixture in crock-pot. Set crock-pot on low and cook for 4 1/2 hours or on high for 3 hours. Remove Stoneware container from heating unit and allow mixture to cool at least 5 minutes prior to serving. Serve garnished with fresh strawberries and mint.






Brocoli Surprise - An Office Favorite from Leann

Ingredients: 2 pkg frozen broccoli chopped 1 cup cream of mushroom soup 8 oz cheese whiz 1 ½ cup Minute Rice cooked ½ small onion diced ½ stick margarine skillet baking dish

Directions: Microwave broccoli according to package directions. Sauté onions in margarine Mix cooked rice, onions and other ingredients in pan and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees

Helpful Kitchen Hints

 

  • Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store. If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster.
  • Store your opened chunks of cheese in aluminum foil. It will stay fresh much longer and not mold!
  • Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating. Peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for cooking.
  • Add a teaspoon of water when frying ground beef. It will help pull the grease away from the meat while cooking.
  • To really make scrambled eggs or omelets rich add a couple of spoonfuls of sour cream, cream cheese, or heavy cream in and then beat them up.
  • For a cool brownie treat, make brownies as directed. Melt Andes mints in double broiler and pour over warm brownies. Let set for a wonderful mint frosting.
  • Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light taste of garlic and at the end of the recipe if your want a stronger taste of Garlic.
  • Leftover snickers bars from Halloween make a delicious dessert. Simply chop them up with the food chopper. Peel, core and slice a few apples. Place them in a baking dish and sprinkle the chopped candy bars over the apples. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes!!! Serve alone or with vanilla ice cream. Yummy!
  • Reheat Pizza Heat up leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove, set heat to med-low and heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy. No soggy micro pizza. I saw this on the cooking channel and it really works.
  • Easy Deviled Eggs Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal, mash till they are all broken up. Add remainder of ingredients, reseal, and keep mashing it up mixing thoroughly, cut the tip of the baggy, squeeze mixture into egg. Just throw bag away when done easy clean up.
  • Expanding Frosting When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store, whip it with your mixer for a few minutes. You can double it in size. You get to frost more cake/ cupcakes with the same amount. You also eat less sugar and calories per serving.
  • Reheating refrigerated bread to warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated, place them in a microwave with a cup of water. The increased moisture will keep the food Moist and help it reheat faster.
  • Measuring Cups Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill with hot water. Dump out the hot water, but don't dry cup. Next, add your ingredient, such As peanut butter, and watch how easily it comes right out.
  • Goodbye Fruit Flies To get rid of pesky fruit flies, take a small glass, fill it 1/2' with Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 drops of dish washing liquid; mix well. You will find those flies drawn to the cup and gone forever!

Microwave Ovens are Fantastic

I don't know about you, but recently I have been listening to a Hugh amount of infomercials stating that their product was better than a microwave because microwaves take water out of the things they cook and cannot cook pastry or warm up pizza.

A long time ago I read the instructions in the microwave booklet that comes with all microwaves. While it's true that microwaves do use the water in things to heat them or cook them, the instructions clearly state that iIf you have a product that needs liquid, simply put a glass of water in the oven with the product and the moisture will remain in the product.

So it's okay to cook bread in the microwave as long as you put in a glass of water near the item being microwaved. I've made biscuits, pizza and cooked meats without issue when there is enough water to keep them moist.

No need to fix a wheel that isn't broken!

Happy Menu Planning

Hope you enjoyed the fantastic family favorite recipes sent in from my friends and family. My grandmother kept her family favorite a secret to her grave. Never to be tasted again. I always tell friends to publish what they make that others love so many can enjoy them.

Every new member of the family gets a family cookbook with the family favorites to help them along. I always request that they forward their family favorites along to add to our ever growing book. Sharing recipes is a tradition in our home. Hope you make it on in yours too!

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