Hey Good Lookin’, Whatcha Got Cookin’?

I made a special catergory for recipies but noticed that I had yet to put anything in it.  I love to cook.  My favorite chef is Rachael Ray for the following reasons:

  1. She is happy.  I know that for some she is a bit too peppy, but I think she and I would have the best time!  She loves to entertain and cook for others. There’s just something about making something for someone and watching them enjoy it. 
  2. She is a real woman.  I have much love for Giada,but sheesh she’s thin for a chef! 🙂 
  3. She is quick – none of this 3 hours to make a meal nonsense.  I have a hungry family, and a rumbling tummy of my own.  Whatever I cook needs to take less than an hour or the natives grow restless.  I have 2 RR cookbooks, and true to form – it usually always takes about 30 minutes. 
  4.  Her stuff tastes good.  While she has her share of off-the-wall, “froo froo” recipies, there are just as many practical but creative meals that I have made that Jason and Jonah just rave about. 

So, what I would like to share with you is from my mama’s kitchen.  These are not fancy, but they are cheap and easy.  We did not have a ton of moola to throw around as a kid and with 3 kids to feed, meals needed to be simple and quick.

Without further delay – here are a couple of my “Morris Meals” that I enjoyed as a kid and still do from time to time.

  • Tuna Croquettes– if you love tuna, you will love these things.  Plus, tuna is cheap, cheap, cheap.  Here’s what you’ll need:  2 cans of tuna (water or oil doesn’t matter, but the better the quality the better the croquette), can of bread crumbs or smash up a package of saltine crackers, 1 egg, veg. or canola oil, green onion (1 palmful, diced).                                                                                       1) get a medium-sized fry/saute pan (bigger if you are making more croquettes), cover the bottom with  oil, turn on med-high heat.  2) open and drain tuna – dump into a mixing bowl and add egg. 3) whisk egg and tuna until blended and add 2 palmfuls of breadcrumbs/crushed crackers **make sure you don’t add too much or your croquettes will be too dry, just eye-ball it. 4) add diced onion/salt and pepper, and in my house we like Tony’s Creole Seasoning.  5) use your hands to mix until you can easily shape patties.  The # of patties you get depends on how big you want them.  6) place in pan, space 2 inches apart and don’t crowd the pan.  Cook on each side for 3-5 minutes and let cool on a plate with a paper towel.  These are great with salad and/or green veggies like asparagus or green beans.

  • Cubed Beef with Rice and Gravy –     this is also super-easy, cheap, and a winner with picky eaters.  I like it with mushrooms; Jason does not.    What you’ll need:  1 1lb of cubed beef (or pork – whatever!), jar of gravy/gravy mix/or make your own if you’re feeling saucy! ( ha ha), Veg/canoloa oil, brown rice (instant or old-school – again, whatever you prefer).  1) get the pan ready – I use a large skillet w canoloa, med-high heat.  2) the meat – you may want to tenderize it some more as cubed steak can get a little tough, also season with salt and pepper. 3) cook meat until browned and drain most of the oil or if you’re making your gravy from scratch – use the pan drippings for that. Turn down to low heat 4) you’ll probably want to start the rice immediately if instant and if old-school, you should have done this 30 minutes ago.  5) Get your gravy ready and add to pan with meat (and if you’re adding mushrooms, now’s the time too) 6) Turn back up to med heat and simmer for no more than 7 minutes.  7) Serve beef and gravy over rice.  This one simply needs some veggies.  We love peas, squash, or broccoli with this one. 



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