Thursday, January 15, 2009



Since we’re all really busy people, I’m throwing some FAST recipes at you all today.

I've long believed that being a good cook isn't about culinary art, it's about picking a good recipe.

I am completely capable of making more difficult dishes but I don't very often, when I've got recipes the family likes that are done in the time it takes to brown the hamburger.

The speed doesn’t always include baking time. These meals aren't all DONE in fifteen minutes or less. It's preparation time, which is what counts for me.

For example, the French Dip Sandwiches cook in a crock pot all day. That's the only way I make roasts anymore, too. But my time spent in meal preparation is 15 minutes or less.

One disclaimer note...I have read and reread these recipes, but if it says 1 cup of salt, USE YOUR HEAD. It's a typo. If you want to ask questions, email me at

French Dip Sandwiches
1 rump roast
1 C. beef consommé (buy it canned in the soup section of the store)
1 can beef broth (canned)
1 C. water
1 pkg. Good Season's Italian Dressing
Put in crock pot for 8 hours on low. Slice meat. Serve on hoagie buns. Use liquid for French Dip sauce. Serve sauce in coffee cups or small bowls.

Three Bean Hamburger Casserole
We actually call it Moosehead – My girls and I were just being silly. When you read Petticoat Ranch, you’ll get some idea why my husband, from a family of seven brothers, had a bit of trouble having four daughters--who named their food, then giggled for an hour over it.

1 lb. hamburger (browned)
1 can pork & beans
1 can butter beans
1 can kidney beans
I skip the extra beans most of the time and just use pork & beans. Otherwise the recipe is too big. Add:
½ C. brown sugar
½ C. catsup
1 T. mustard
Heat thoroughly, serve. The kids just love this. It's probably because of the brown sugar.
Peace Out
Bye from Elle


  1. Mary,

    Thanks for another recipe for the crockpot.
    Would the rump roast be about 3 pounds or does it matter?


  2. Okay, Cathy beat me to the question I had.

    Do you cook the roast on high or low?

    I've been looking for some reasonably priced meals. Of course, I've also been working on my culinary skills. On Monday, we had grilled parmesean chicken breasts. Tusday was bbq brisket and totally made-from-scratch scalloped potatoes.

    Last night we detoured and had breakfast for dinner. Vanilla Belgium waffles, eggs, and bacon. Someone who won't fess up at my bacon, but I won't complain because I'm almost Jewish and don't eat pork.

    I'm also a vegetarian.

    Although I really hate being legalistic about anything so I'll have to admit I'm not a strict vegetarian. I do eat beef, chicken, salmon, and an occasional slice of pepperoni pizza. Oh, and I do like salami on a sub sandwich.

  3. Oh, I thought of something else I ought to share because I promisted my friend I would.

    For those of you who may not know, many authors were disqualified from
    the RITAs this year due to the phrase "mass-produced" being slipped into the rules. That small phrase effectively eliminates all those who are epubbed, but have a print book. There are other inequities in RWA that have yet to be addressed as well. Until now.

    A good friend of mine, Kristen Painter (founder of Romance Divas and GH finalist in '05 & '07), has created the above petition in the hopes of changing these inequities for the better. She intends to present this petition and the garnered signatures at the general meeting in DC this year.

    Go, sign, and then tell every writer/author you know. Pass it on to your friends, your other writing groups, your chapters, who ever you know that might be interested in seeing these changes occur.

    On a side note, my word verification is CHICK. a couple nights ago during dinner, I told hubby about my afternoon shopping. I referred to the JCPenny cashier as a "gal."

    He said I'd been using that word a lot. I usually say lady.

    Oh, contraire, I answerd. See, a gal is someone younger than me or about my age. If she's older, than she's a "lady." If she's high school/college age, then she's a "chick."

    I can only conclude Mr. Word Verification thinks I look quite young for my age. I shall send him an e-kiss. *smooch*

  4. i DON'T THink it matters. Surely it'll be done. I've never paid attention the size of the roast.

  5. Thanks, Mare, now I'm starving!! Actually, the recipes sound good, especially Moosehead! :)


  6. Trying to get up to speed here, Gina, darlin'. You're saying that

    beef, chicken, salmon, and an occasional slice of pepperoni pizza and salami on a sub sandwich.

    You're a vegetarian. I'm so glad you wrote, because I just realized I'M a vegetarian, too. As you define it.
    I usually start it out on high because I am paranoid that it won't get done. I'm at work then so my husband checks it a noon, on high, sees that it is ALREADY DONE and turns it onto low for about five more hours.

    This is NOT a souffle, plenty of room for error and still a good end product.

  7. The kids just LOVE this moosehead, seriously.
    Makes a huge batch.

  8. Elle is beautiful! Look at all that hair!
    Major congrats Mary.

  9. So I could start it in the morning after I get the middle three kids off to school on Low then by dinner it'll be nice and tender? Trust me, roast is one of those things I've yet to get a knack for cooking well. I think I've only made one tender roast.

    Unfortunately I can't remember what I did right. Drat.

    Yes, Mary, it sounds like you're a vegetarian too. Just be sure to tell folks you aren't a strict vegetarian. (Between us, some "vegetarians" tend to be a tad close-minded about vegetarianism things, so you best be sure not to offend them. YOu could say your a quasi-vegan or vegan-ish.)

  10. Mary,

    What a proud grandma you must be with such a little cutie for a granddaughter! Love the hair.


  11. OMIGOSH, Mary, that baby is BEAUTIFUL!!! And I LOVE her name--but then I'm a Legally Blond fan.


  12. Elle is a little doll. Looks just like Grandma!

    Mary, can I add a recipe? Sure!!!

    Got this before Christmas from a friend and have made it twice.

    Actually, the second time, my sons made it while I was at work amid phone calls wanting to know if they were supposed to put the cheese in the crockpot! lol

    Taco Soup
    2 packs ranch dressing
    3 packs Taco seasoning (I prefer mild, but the boys bought HOT when they made it. The soup WAS hot, but still good!)
    2 cans shoe-peg or white corn
    1 can black beans
    1 can pinto beans
    1 can kidney beans
    1 can Rotel (mild, hot if you prefer)
    1 lg can diced tomatoes
    1 onion chopped
    1 lb ground beef (or turkey)

    Brown beef and onion. Dump everything into the crock pot. I didn't add any other seasoning. No salt, no pepper.

    Cook on low all day or high for 3-4hours. Serve with tostitoes and grated cheese.

  13. Pam you know what i LOVE about your recipe...everything is canned or dried (or frozen maybe for the hamburger, we always buy it ahead and freeze)...that means I can have it on hand.

    Recipes that have to be shopped for are a pet peeve of mine.

    BAH Cottage cheese for lasagna. Irritating, who does lasagna think it IS to force me to go to the grocery store????????

  14. How odd. Pam, I saw a similar recipe in my favorite cookbook and thought, "Hey, I should make this. I bet my kids would eat it or at least not throw too big a drama-tum when I tell them they have no choice."

    Alas, I have to go to the grocery store. Can't seem to make the soup when one only has hamburger and mild Rotel. Oh, and cheese. Not to mention a 1/2 a bag of Tostitos.

    I think I'll just make nachos.

  15. AWWWWWWW!!!! What a sweet baby! I miss kissing my babies. People tend to frown upon me kissing their babies, so I guess I'll have to wait until one of my kids has one.

  16. Oh, I love a good recipe exchange. So much fun.

    Beef Bar-B-Q

    2 nice, big, thick chuck roasts

    Sprinkle liberally with onion,
    garlic, salt and pepper. Toss in oven at 325 for a loooooooong time (crock pots tend to be a little small, but amount can be varied for you normal people)

    Add water (or hire Ivan to come do it) if necessary around lunch time.

    Meat should fall apart late day.


    Pull it apart into stringy goodness.

    Add a bottle of Famous Dave's (or your favorite) Rich and Sassy BBQ sauce.

    Serve on toasted rolls spread with garlic butter.

    Can be frozen, refrigerated or just eaten with a fork when you're really hungry and doing Atkins for the 47th time.

    Ruthy (who loves Gina's veganism)

  17. Mary, your little Elle is just beautiful!! Oh yeah, the recipes were nice, too : )

    I've got the ingredients, so Moosehead is on for Saturday. Thanks!

  18. Beautiful pictures! Congratulations again.

    What you call Moosehead (too funny) my kids call Calico Beans.

    I'm going to try the French Dip sandwiches next week.

    Congrats again, and I'm glad everyone's doing well.

  19. Beautiful!!!

    And I've got a pot roast in the crockpot right now!

    Thanks so much,


  20. Haven't been by in a while - but wanted to drop in.

    Hope your new year is BLESSED so far!

    Beautiful baby Mary!

  21. Mary, What a sweet baby. And I love quickie recipes.

    One of my favorites is a one pot chicken and rice dish. Mary, I need your kids to give it a name. Anyway--

    One box chicken Rice-a-Roni (or store brand is cheaper)

    1 can chicken breast (I buy these in bulk at sam's or you can use any leftover chunks of chicken you've thrown in the freezer)

    1 package frozen spinach or green beans

    Follow directions on Rice-Roni box. Throw everything in and bring to a boil. Then start counting the minutes stated on the box.

    If you have a large family, double the recipe. I've served this often to family and friends and haven't found anyone who doesn't love it.

    Mary, I've used that roast recipe too. Its great for parties. Thanks again everyone for the great ideas.

  22. Okay I am late to the party but want to toss in my recipe too.

    This is vegetarian pork chops from Denise Camp.

    Baked Pork Chops

    2 good sized chops, Italian bread crumbs, olive oil

    1.Dip in olive oil and use leftover oil to grease casserole dish.
    2. Use a Ziploc bag and dump the oiled chops in with the Italian Breadcrumbs.
    3. Cook 40 minutes at 400 degrees, uncovered. Turn halfway thru.

    Moist and delicious.

  23. Mary, she's beautiful!!! Congrats!!!

    Pam, I've had that taco soup, but with shredded chicken. It's yummy!