Posts Tagged ‘make ahead’

OH.MY.GOODNESS!  This is revised version of an older recipe and is definitely one of my all-time favorites – ever – and I just have to share!  We will definitely be enjoying this at our next family brunch.  If you love cream cheese…and crescent rolls too…like I do…try it, you’ll like it!  It is mighty delicious!


2-8 ozs. pkg. crescent rolls (they make a whole sheet now you know=)
2-8 ozs. blocks cream cheese, softened
1-1/2 cup sugar, divided
1 egg, separated
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray  a 9″ X 13″ X 2″ baking dish, lightly with cooking spray. Spread first tube of rolls in bottom of pan, sealing perforations.  Beat cream cheese together with 1 cup sugar, egg yolk and vanilla.  Spread evenly over base. Spread second tube of rolls evenly over cream cheese mixture, sealing edges to pan.  Mix remaining 1/2 cup sugar, cinnamon and nuts.  Beat egg white slightly and brush evenly over rolls. Sprinkle with sugar-cinnamon-nut mixture and bake 30 – 35 minutes.  Serve warm.  Can be made a day ahead and refrigerated overnight.



Read Full Post »


I know some of you women are working outside the home, and it always feels good when you can get a few things done ahead for dinner. This is one of those ideas that can help you prepare some simple-to-throw-together meals.


2 – 2/1-2 # ground beef
1 – 2 pkg. taco seasoning, according to taste
1/3 cup water

In a large skillet, brown the ground beef.  Break up the larger pieces with your wooden spoon and stir occasionally until no longer pink.  Drain – place back in skillet and stir in the seasoning.  Add the water and let it simmer a few minutes until liquid has evaporated.

When meat has cooled, place it in a container and refrigerate, or divide into 2 or 3 labeled freezer bags for use later. It can be frozen up to 3 months.  When ready to use – defrost in the microwave and heat through for a quick meal.


10-12 flour tortillas (taco size)
1 tomato, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
lettuce, shredded
cheddar cheese, shredded
8 ozs. sour cream
To make the tortillas more pliable, place the stack of tortillas between damp paper towels and place in the microwave for 10 – 20 seconds on high.  Fill each tortilla with meat mixture and your favorite toppings.

(I love tacos with a crunch, and love to use the hard shell inside the soft shell, for easier eating).


1 head of lettuce, torn into pieces
5 plum tomatoes, diced
8 ozs. cheddar cheese, shredded
1 – 12 oz. bag nacho cheese or taco Doritos, crumbled
Catalina dressing
Prepare tomatoes, lettuce and cheese a day ahead. (Don’t use a knife to cut the lettuce – the edges will turn brown). Cover and store in refrigerator.  You may heat the meat a little, but not too much, because it will wilt the lettuce if added to the salad when it’s hot. Yield 8 – 10 servings

I recommend keeping everything separate – once you mix the tomatoes, lettuce, cheese & chips together, the leftover salad does not keep well.


Read Full Post »

I always enjoyed planning meals when my kids were growing up, but I think it had to come to me more naturally than for some.

I have tried many new recipes, and still do, and my family probably wished I would have served some things more often.  I would love to share some ideas to help those who tend to have a hard time creating menus for their family.

  • Post your weekly menu on the refrigerator door. You don’t have to stick to it, but at least you’ll have some ideas to choose from when you’re hungry for a certain taste.  If you have teenagers or younger trustworthy kids, maybe they could help by preparing a dish, or even preparing an item for dinnertime, like mixing/making muffins from a mix.
  • Set your own family traditions – have pasta on Wednesdays or grill burgers every Friday.  We love having breakfast for dinner, on Sunday evenings.
  • Come up with 3 or 4 weekly menus and rotate them. Keep them simple and learn to substitute fresh veggies and fruit when they are in season.  To make things easier, plan a week’s menu using the same cookbook.
  • Cook a double portion and freeze for a quick meal on a busy night.  This website has awesome ideas to help get you going with this great plan… Freezer Cooking
  • Don’t be afraid to try new recipes. Ask a friend who you know is a good cook, to share some of their recipes and menu ideas with you. I have to admit…I try many more dishes, because I’ve been given the recipe by someone I trust. They have helped me ‘blossom’ and grow in the kitchen – literally (teehee).
  • I’ve recently become acquainted online with a new cookbook author, Jane Doiron.  I’m thrilled that she sent me a copy of her new cookbook to review. Check out her website Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms . You can subscribe to her monthly newsletter there and have a recipe sent to your inbox along with it.

If you need some help finding forms to accomplish your meal planning, be sure to check out DonnaYoung.org or Organizing Junkie!

Whether you are someone who relishes your time in the kitchen or spends as little time cooking as possible, just remember that family bonds and memories are made around the dinner table.   Your kids won’t remember the meals they were served, nearly as much as they will remember the precious times you spent together.

Read Full Post »

These are some easy treats/snacks for the summertime. Very yummy and no heating your oven. Hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

This is an all-year-round family favorite. We have it for birthday parties, picnics or any kind of get together.


1 (lg. or sm.) can of refried beans
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1/2 pkg. taco seasoning mix

Top with your choice:
grated cheese
diced tomatoes
chopped onions
black olives

Spread beans on large platter or bottom of 9″ X 13″ glass dish.
Mix mayo and sour cream together – stir in taco seasoning and blend well. Spread over beans – then top with any, or all, of the toppings. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. I suggest letting the flavors blend for atleast 4 hours – so it’s a good ‘make ahead’ dish also. Serve with Tostito or Dorito chips.

I normally use fat free beans, lite mayo and sour cream – since there’s no baking involved, you could use fat free if you choose. Serve with baked chips.

I got this recipe from my dear friend Janean – these are some of my ‘favoritest’ snacks. I have to be careful not to eat more than my share!


1 cup white sugar
1 cup white karo
1 cup peanut butter, smooth or crunchy
1 tsp. vanilla extract
6 cups Rice Chex cereal
1 cup chopped nuts, optional

Bring sugar and karo to a boil in a saucepan – boil 1 minute – remove
from heat; stir in peanut butter and vanilla. Blend well, then pour over
cereal (and nuts, if using) and mix until coated evenly. Press into a 9″ X 13″ pan. Cool and cut – if you can wait until they’re cool. YUM-O!


11 regular sized, or 17 miniature ice cream sandwiches
1 jar (12 ozs) caramel ice cream topping
1 (12 ozs) tub frozen whipped topping, thawed
1/4 cup chocolate syrup
1 large (7 ozs) symphony candy bar, chopped

Arrange ice cream sandwiches in an ungreased 9″ X 13″ X 2″ dish.  Cut a sandwich, or two, in half length-wise, and fill in the spaces in the dish.  Spread with caramel sauce and then whipped topping. Drizzle with chocolate syrup. Sprinkle with chopped candy bar.  Cover and freeze for atleast 45 minutes.  Cut into squares when serving.  Makes 15 – 18 servings.

My variation of this dish is simple – I don’t use the syrups, but stir into the whipped topping –  1-1/2 – 2 cups chopped candies – malted milk balls, peanut butter cups, toffee pieces, (your favorite)  and spread over the sandwiches.  Cover and freeze.  This keeps well for over a month.

Read Full Post »