Category Archives: Easy Cooking

Short ingredient list, things you usually have on hand, very little preparation.

Tamale Bites


2 cups crumbled cornbread

1 10 oz can mild enchilada sauce

1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef

1 8 oz can tomato sauce

1/2 cup shredded jack cheese (or try cheddar)

Combine cornbread crumbs, 1/2 cup enchilada sauce, and salt, mix gently. Add ground beef and mix well. Shape into 1 inch balls. Place in a shallow baking pan. Bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree F. oven for 18-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat together the tomato sauce and the remaining enchilada sauce. Served cooked meatballs in sauce topped with cheese. Makes aprox. 90 meatballs.

Susie’s Broccoli Salad


2 bundles of fresh broccoli – cut into bite size pieces (flowerettes)

1 can sliced water chestnuts

1/2 cup pecans, diced

1/2 lb bacon, browned and crumbled

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup yellow or red onion, diced

1 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup vinegar

The day before you plan to serve this dish, wash broccoli and place in a large bowl. Add chestnuts, pecans, bacon, raisins and onion. In a small bowl, mix mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar well, the pour over all other ingredients and stir to coat well. Cover and refrigerate at one for one night, maybe two. Stir and serve.



Garden Vegetable Casserole


2 small summer squash, sliced

1 med. zucchini, sliced

1 small white onion, sliced

1 tomato, sliced

2 T. grated parmesan cheese

1/2 tsp. seasoned salt

1/2 tsp. basil

1/2 tsp. thyme

Place all the sliced vegetables on a large cookie sheet or roasting pan. Mix the rest of the ingredients and pour over and lightly toss with vegetables.

Cover and and cook in a 350 degree F. oven on a middle rack for 20-25 minutes. Or place in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 8-10 minutes.

Pinto Beans (home cooked from dry stage)


For each pound of dry beans, add 6-8 cups of water in a large pan and bring to a boil; cook for 2 minutes and then remove from heat. Let stand for an hour or so. This produces softening equivalent to soaking beans overnight. After an hour has passed, drain beans and discard the water (helps reduce gas discomfort).

Add fresh water to cover, 2 tsp. salk, 1 T. fat (oil, shortening, bacon fat, butter, etc), cover and cook about an hour or more until beans are tender.

1 lb of dry beans + 2 cups cooked beans (approximately).

Uncle Richard’s “Joe’s Steak”


My Uncle had a friend named Joe that invented this recipe. I don’t remember the whole story but I’m trying to copy all of my hand-written family recipes and save on blogs or on my computer to have later.

Start with good quality large whole steak.

Lightly sprinkle with garlic powder. Place in a large ziplock plastic bag and pour a large amount of Gebhardt’s Hot Sauce (enough to cover completely). Massage the steak, close securely and place in a dish and refrigerate for 8-24 hours. The longer it marinates the less hot (spicy) it will be.

When ready to cook, sprinkle with Lawry’s Seasoned Salt and coarse ground pepper on both sides. Grill to desired doneness using indirect heat (sauce will burn if it’s directly over fire/coals), let rest a few minutes, then slice and serve.

Left-overs freeze well.

By my now deceased Uncle Richard Lytle, a loving and devoted father and grandfather.



Simple Croutons (from Williams-Sonoma Guide to Good Cooking software)


Prep: 10 mins

Cooking: About 30 mins

Total: About 40 mins.


2 oz slightly stale French bread or Italian bread

1 T. olive oil, melted butter or a mixture

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F. Cut the bread into slices 1/2-3/4 inch thick. Brush generously with olive oil, butter or mixture. Cut into 1/2-3/4 inch cubes and spread on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake, turning occasionally, until crisp and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove and let cool. Croutons may be stored in an airtight container for 2-3 weeks; check for freshness before using.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

From Williams-Sonoma Guide to Good Cooking 1996 by Broderbund Software, Inc. & Weldon Owen, Inc.


Mexican Rice


1 clove garlic

1/4 tsp whole peppercorns

1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds

long grain rice

1/2- 1 whole yellow onion, chopped to desired size pieces

1 green bell pepper, chopped to desired size pieces

vegetable oil

1 T. or more tomato paste

Use a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder used exclusively for grinding spices to grind garlic with peppercorns and cumin seeds. If using mortar and pestle fill with warm water and set aside. If using grinder, place in a small dish and add warm water, set aside.

Add a small amount of vegetable oil to a large skillet that has a lid over medium heat. Add enough rice to cover the bottom of the large skillet and brown over  medium heat. Add onions and peppers and saute until rice is browned and vegetable are bright. Add spices and water. Add desired amount of tomato paste for color and slight flavor. Add aprox 1 1/2 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and cook on low for 30 minutes. (figure out rice to water ratio based on pkg directions).


Sesame Broccoli (Cooking Light magazine Dec. 1992)


1 1/2 lb fresh broccoli

1 tsp vegetable oil

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce (or regular)

1 tablespoon sugar

Wash and trim then steam broccoli until just crisp tender (aprox 7 minutes). Drain and keep warm.

Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium low heat. Add sesame seeds and saute until lightly brown (be careful not to burn). Add lemon juice, soy sauce and sugar and bring to a boil. Drizzle over cooked broccoli tossing gently to coat. Yield 4 servings, 1 cup each

Jalapeno Pepper Poppers


8 oz pkg cream cheese

1 cup (4 0z) shredded cheddar cheese

1 cup (4 oz) shredded jack cheese

6 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled into small pieces

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. chili powder

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1 lb. jalapeno peppers, halved lengthwise & seeded (wear gloves)

1/2 cup dry bread crumbs

Combine cheeses, bacon and seasonings. Spoon 2 teaspoons of filling into each pepper half. Roll in breadcrumbs and put on a greased cookie sheet. Bake uncovered in a 300 degree F. oven for 20 minutes for spicy, 30 minutes for medium and 40 for mild.