Rachel's Recipes

This is easy to put together in advance and makes a great alternative to the premade packets.

Ingredients

Single Serving (enough for 1 pound of ground meat)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon corn starch

Bulk
3/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons paprika
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cumin
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons pepper
1/4 cup corn starch

Directions
Mix all ingredients together. (I put mine in a jar and just shake it). For each pound of browned meat, add 3 tablespoons taco seasoning and 2/3 cup of water.

Source: Nothing but Crumbs

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This dessert is very delicious and takes about five minutes. As a bonus, it’s a nice, cool dessert for a hot day!

Ingredients
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 t vanilla extract
4 T. powdered sugar plus more if using for a decorative topping
1 T. heavy cream (I used milk)
1/8 t. cinnamon
1 t. fresh orange zest (I omitted)
2 T. mini chocolate chips
30 mini fillo cups (2 boxes)

Directions
Whisk together ricotta, vanilla, powdered sugar, heavy cream, and cinnamon. Fold in orange zest and chocolate chips. Using a teaspoon, fill the mini fillo cups. Sprinkle the fillo cups with additional powdered sugar, if desired. Serve immediately.

To prevent the cups from becoming soggy if not serving immediately, refrigerate the filling until ready to serve.

Source: Big Red Kitchen

I used skim milk and just a little butter for this recipe and it was still rich and delicious.

Ingredients
1 Tablepoon oil
1/4 pound chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
8 oz chopped broccoli, thawed
1 Tablespoon butter (technically I used 1.5 Tablespoons since that was the end of my stick)
1 Tablespoon flour
1 1/2 cups skim milk
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
pinch of nutmeg
3/4 cup Parmesan, grated
12 oz fresh fettuchine

Directions
Set a pot of water on the stove to boil.

In a small frying pan, heat the oil. Add the chicken. In the last couple minutes of cooking time, add the broccoli. Cook until the chicken and broccoli are cooked through.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan. Whisk in the flour and cook for a few seconds. Whisk in the milk and cook until slightly thickened. Add the spices and the Parmesan over low heat.

Add the chicken and broccoli to the sauce pan and combine.

Boil the pasta according to the package directions (just a couple minutes). Drain. Add to the saucepan, tossing to coat the noodles.

Leave it to Cook’s Illustrated to figure out how you can make mac and cheese using just one pot by cooking the pasta in a skillet! (Although I cheated and used my dutch oven because I didn’t trust myself not to splash things everwhere.) This is a really tasty, creamy, easy, and quick recipe to put together! Eric said next time he wants to try just sharp cheddar cheese, but I thought it was pretty tasty as is.

Ingredients
3 1/2 cups water
12 oz can evaporated milk, divided
12 ounces (about 3 cups) elbow macaroni
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small chunks
Ground black pepper to taste

Directions
Bring the water, 1 cup of evaporated milk, macaroni, and salt to a simmer in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat. Cook at a vigorous simmer, stirring often, until the macaroni is tender and the liquid has thickened, 9 to 12 minutes.

In a small bowl (or in your measuring cup), whisk the remaining 1/2 cup evaporated milk, cornstarch, mustard, and hot sauce together. Stir into the pasta and continue to simmer slightly thickened, about 1 minute.

Turn off the heat and slowly stir in the cheeses a little at a time until the cheese is fully incorporated. Stir in the butter and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Source: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe (adapted from The Best Skillet Recipes)

This is a meal that doesn’t require too much prep (you’re only chopping an onion and some garlic) and cooks all in one skillet, which makes it perfect for an easy weekday meal.

Ingredients
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound ground turkey (or lean ground beef)
1 onion, diced
3/4 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
15 oz can tomato sauce
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with green chiles
2 cups water
2 cups elbow noodles
1 cup frozen corn
2 cups shredded cheese (Mexican or cheddar blend)

Directions
Heat the oil in a 12 inch skillet. Add the turkey (or beef), onions, chili powder, cumin, and salt and cook until the meat is browned. Stir in garlic and brown sugar and cook until fragrant (less than a minute).

Stir in tomato sauce, tomatoes, water, and pasta and cover with a lid. Stir often to maintain a steady simmer and cook until the pasta is tender, about 12-15 minutes.

Remove from heat. Stir in one cup of cheese and the corn. Top with the remaining cheese and cover for a 2-3 minutes, until the cheese is melted.

Adapted from: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

For Christmas dinner every year, my grandmother makes homemade lasagna. It’s a family favorite and a nice change during a season filled with turkeys. You can also prepare this ahead of time and freeze it for an easy meal later.

Ingredients
1 pound ground beef
2 tsp Lawry’s seasoned salt (my spice blend doesn’t have salt in it so I add some of that too)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp pepper
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 package spaghetti sauce mix (Lawrey’s and McCormick make them–they’re near the taco seasoning and gravy packets)
8 oz can tomato sauce
1/2 pound lasagna noodles
1/2 pound Mozzarella cheese, sliced or shredded (I use one package of preshredded)
1/2 pound cottage cheese (the small container)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Directions
Brown the meat in a Dutch oven or deep kettle. Mix in seasoned salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, and spaghetti sauce mix. Stir thoroughly and cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

While the sauce is simmering, boil the lasagna noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse.

In a 9×13 pan, pour 1/3 of the meat sauce. Cover with the lasagna noodles, cottage cheese, and mozzarella. Repeat layers ending with the meat sauce. Top with Parmesan cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes until cheese is bubbly.

To freeze, prepare as for baking. When ready to cook, thaw and bake.

This was an easy dish to put together and clean up since everything is cooked in one pan.

Ingredients
1/3 pound bacon, cut into one inch slice
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size chunks
1 red onion, diced
3 cups water
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 ounces penne pasta
2/3 cup barbecue sauce
1/3 cup sour cream
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Directions
In a large 12-inch skillet cook the bacon over medium heat until cooked through. Remove from the pan and set aside, reserving about 1 Tablespoon of the bacon grease. Add the chicken and onions and cook until heated through. Remove the chicken and onions and set aside with bacon.

In the same skillet, add the water, chicken broth, pasta, and salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, until the liquid is almost absorbed, the pasta is tender and the mixture is thick and syrupy. Stir in the barbecue sauce and sour cream. Add the bacon, chicken, onions, and shredded cheese. Stir to combine and cook until everything is heated through.

Adapted from: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe