I have a lot of fond food-related childhood memories. We didn’t eat out very often. I had the occasional McDonalds when my grandparents took me out as a treat. The first time I was inside a Taco Bell, I was 14 or 15 years old and only because I happened to go with a friend. Sometimes, my family would go out to Pizza Hut, but that was mostly from my Pizza Hut Book It rewards from school. We ate out so rarely that I can still distinctly remember my father taking me to Arthur Treacher’s for Fish n Chips when I was around 8 years old. It’s the only time I ever went there.


My mom used a Crockpot slow cooker (doubled as a grill) at least once a week for classic meals like beef stew, chili, chicken and pot roast.  We ate a lot of big family meals and always ate together at the dinner table. My dad was an avid hunter and fisherman, so there were those meals, too. sigh. My mom was a great cook, but sometimes she used some convenience foods on busy nights or if she was sick. She bought frozen dinners, so I could make myself food sometimes, too. This changed by the mid-eighties as she went back to cooking healthier meals and processed foods were nearly banned from our home.

Looking back, there were some recipes that were popular with most families. Many are still popular now.

Here’s a few food brands I remember  (most are still around) and recipes that I remember, too. Some I will share an older classic recipe and a more modern version. I hope this helps anyone looking for 80’s theme party recipes, too.


1. Sloppy Joe’s:

I make these occasionally and to get my kids to eat them, I call them Crabby Patties. My mom made them when I was a kid using a McCormick season packet or a can of Manwich sauce for convenience and I was happy to have them for dinner and would often request them after Lent because I was desperate for meat. Lent was incredibly difficult for me. Let’s just say that I still can’t eat fish or seafood.




Sloppy Joes 500

Sloppy Joes

(makes 4+ servings)

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup onion (chopped)
1/2 cup carrot (chopped)
1/2 cup celery (chopped)
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
1/4 cup ketchup
2 cups tomato sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon mustard
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons gochujang (optional or 1 tablespoon chili powder and 1 teaspoon cumin)
1 (19 ounce) can kidney beans (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
4+ hamburger buns

Brown the ground beef in a large pan and set aside. Heat the oil in the pan.
Add the onion, carrot and celery and saute until tender, about 10-15 minutes.
Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about a minute. Add the ketchup, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar,
mustard, brown sugar, gochujang, beans, salt and pepper and simmer for a few minutes. –Traditional Sloppy Joe’s recipe and photo by Closet Cooking




Sloppy Joe Nachos

(this recipe makes enough for two people)

1/3 recipe of your favorite Sloppy Joe’s.  Here is mine. 
20 Ruffles potato chips
2 slices of American Cheese
20 pickles

Start by preheating the oven on broil. In a single layer, place the potato chips on a baking sheet.
Spoon a generous amount of hot Sloppy Joe’s on each chip.  Top with cheese and a pickle on each chip.
Bake for 2-3 minutes under the broiler or until the potato chips just start to brown and the cheese is melted. –Sloppy Joe Nachos Recipe and photo by Mrs. Schwartz’s Kitchen




Sloppy Joe Casserole

2 (10 ounce) cans refrigerated biscuit dough
1 pound ground beef
1 (15 ounce) can sloppy joe sauce
1 small onion, chopped (optional)
1 small green bell pepper, seeded and
chopped (optional)
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Cut the biscuit dough into quarters and press to cover the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish.
Place the ground beef into a skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring to crumble, until no longer pink. Add the onion and bell pepper about halfway through,
cooking and stirring until tender. Drain off excess grease and stir in the sloppy Joe sauce. Season with garlic salt and pepper. Pour the mixture over the
biscuits and spread to cover evenly. Bake in the preheated oven until the biscuits are cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven
and sprinkle the cheese on top. Return to the oven until the cheese has melted, about 10 more minutes. Sloppy Joe Casserole Recipe and Photo by Allrecipes


2. Bread bowl with dip:

I loved this and looked forward to it when our whole family would have get-togethers. Some people made chipped beef, others made it with a sour cream recipe or spinach or artichoke. Our family used Knorr Vegetable Mix to make dip and we usually used Pumpernickel or Rye bread. But we would always have other breads and various crackers served with it. Now tons of foods such as soup, stew, chili, eggs and various pasta dishes are served in bread bowls. And there are a lot of new ideas to use various foods other than bread as the “bowl”. For example, peppers, egg plant, pumpkins (and various squashes), tomatoes, mushrooms, potatoes, cucumber, biscuits, etc. And that’s not including dessert bowls. haha But hey, how about taking the Sloppy Joe recipe from above and putting it into a bread bowl and topping with melted cheese?


Hot Chipped Beef Dip

1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
8 oz. chipped beef, chopped
¼ cup onion, finely chopped
1 tsp dill
½ tsp. worcestershire sauce
1 (8-inch) round loaf pumpernickel or sour dough bread (optional)
2 tsp horseradish (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If using bread slice top off of bread and hollow out.
Reserve removed bread or you can just use bread for dipping and bake in a glass dish.
Beat cream cheese & sour cream on med for 2 minutes. Stir in all remaining ingredients and mix well.
If you like a little bit of a bite stir in some horseradish. Fill bread bowl or glass dish with dip mixture
Wrap completely in foil (bread only). Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour
Serve with reserved bread cubes and place around bowl for dipping. — Hot Chipped Beef Dip Recipe and Photo by Just 2 Sisters

Bacon Cheese Dip

1 round loaf (1 pound) sourdough bread
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1-1/2 cups (12 ounces) sour cream
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
1-1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
3/4 pound sliced bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup chopped green onions
Assorted crackers

Cut the top fourth off the loaf of bread; carefully hollow out the bottom, leaving a 1-in. shell.
Cut the removed bread and top of loaf into cubes; set aside.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add the sour cream, cheddar cheese and
Worcestershire sauce until blended; stir in bacon and onions. 
Spoon into bread shell.
Wrap in a piece of heavy-duty foil (about 24 in. x 17 in.).
Bake at 325° for 1 hour or until heated through.
Serve with crackers and reserved bread cubes. Yield: 4 cups. –Bacon Cheese Dip Recipe and Photo by Nicole Marcotte, BC

3. Tri-colored pasta salad:

I’ll admit, I still make this. I mix things up by using different pasta such as bow ties, mini shells, or tortellini. Sometimes I’ll turn it into an Antipasto, Caesar or Bacon Ranch salad, too. When making the recipe below, you can add cheese, broccoli and carrots, etc.

Basic Tri-colored Pasta Salad

1/2 lb. rotini pasta (cooked & drained)
8 oz. robust Italian dressing
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 lg. cucumber (diced)
1 medium onion (diced)
10 cherry tomatoes (sliced thin)
3/4 cup pepperoni (sliced)
sm. can black olives (sliced)
3 T parsley
1 T oregano
In large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Chill and serve. Rotini pasta may be replaced with any other favorite pasta shape.


4. French onion soup meatloaf (Lipton):



Muffin Tin Meatloaf

1 lb. (450 g) extra-lean ground beef
1 pkg. (120 g) Stove Top Lower Sodium Stuffing Mix for Chicken
1 cup water
125 g (1/2 of 250-g pkg.) Philadelphia Light Brick Cream Cheese Spread, cubed
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups hot mashed potatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 can (10 fl oz/284 mL) beef gravy, warmed

Heat oven to 375ºF.

Mix meat, stuffing mix and water; press into 8 muffin cups sprayed with cooking spray.

Bake 20 to 25 min. or until done (160°F).

Add cream cheese and garlic to potatoes; stir until cream cheese is melted. Stir in parsley. Scoop over meatloaves. Serve with gravy. –Meatloaf Recipe and Photo by Kraft



Here are some Lipton Recipe Secrets Recipes.

5. Chef boy Ardee pizza kit:

Sadly this specific kit has been discontinued, but there are still many products available to make pizza at home even if you don’t make the dough from complete scratch. You can buy boxed mixes, frozen dough, pizza shells, etc.  I’ve decided to share a pizza dough recipe for this one since convenience options don’t require much instruction.




Homemade Pizza

Yield: 1 – 13″ pizza

Pizza crust: (for three 13″ pizzas)

½ c. warm water
1¼ c. room temperature water
2½ tsp. active yeast
1 tsp. sugar
1½ tsp. salt
2 tbsp. olive oil
4 c. all-purpose flour

Sauce: (for three 13″ pizzas)

1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. (1/2 tsp. dried) fresh oregano, chopped
1 tsp. (1/2 tsp. dried) fresh basil, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Toppings: (for one 13″ pizza)

1 tbsp. olive oil
2 c. grated mozzarella cheese
¼ c. finely grated parmesan cheese
30 slices pepperoni
2 tbsp fresh basil or oregano leaves
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

In a 2-cup liquid measuring cup, add warm water and yeast. Sprinkle sugar over top and allow to sit for 5-7 minutes or until the mixture begins to puff. Add the oil and the room temperature water. Whisk gently to combine.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fit with the paddle attachment, combine salt, flour, and water mixture. When dough begins to form a ball, remove paddle attachment and replace with dough hook. With mixing speed on low, knead dough for 2-3 minutes or until a ball begins to form and the dough becomes smooth and elastic.

Remove dough from bowl and place in a large well-greased bowl (I prefer using olive oil, but you can also use Pam). Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 2 hours. You can also do a “quick-rise” method and stick the bowl in an oven that has been heated to 200 degrees and then TURNED OFF (that way it’s nice and warm in there, but please make sure your oven is actually off before sticking the dough inside). Let it rise for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, combine all of the ingredients for the pizza sauce in a small bowl. Refrigerate until needed.

To deflate dough, punch with fist. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and divide into two or three balls (depending on how big and how many pizzas you want to make… I make 2). Form into pizza shells to fit the size of your pan (or refrigerate the other dough for up to 48 hours. Place on a lightly greased pan (or one that has been dusted with flour or cornmeal).

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Brush the olive oil over the entire top of the pizza dough. Spread an even layer of pizza sauce over the pizza, leaving about ¾”-1″ of dough around edges for the crust. Top with the grated parmesan cheese, then the mozzarella. Place the pepperoni slices on then bake for 12-15 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with the red pepper flakes, allow to cool for 10 minutes before topping with basil or oregano (to prevent discoloration and wilting). Slice and serve immediately.

-The dough and sauce for this recipe are for three 13″ pizzas or two 15″ pizzas. The toppings however, are for one 13″ pizza. I usually make two or three different kinds of pizzas using the same dough and sauce but change the toppings.–Homemade Pizza Recipe and Photo by Life Made Simple Bakes

6. Chicken pot pie (Bisquick, Banquet, Swanson, Homemade):

Anyone else like me that hated when the frozen pot pie only had a crust on the top and not the bottom?




Chicken Pot Pie Turnovers

⅓ cup butter
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 carrot, peeled, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
⅓ cup flour
¾ cup chicken broth
1 cup half and half
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 cups diced or shredded cooked chicken or turkey
¾ cup frozen peas, defrosted
1 package refrigerated pie crusts
1 egg white
1 tablespoon milk

In a large skillet melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and carrot and cook 4 to 5 minutes.
Sprinkle flour on top of onion mixture. Cook and stir for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in chicken broth and half-and-half.

Add cream cheese, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon so that it melts and blends into the sauce. Cook until
bubbling and thickened, about 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in chicken and peas. Remove from heat.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Unroll piecrusts and use a rolling pin to roll them slightly thinner. You want to be able to cut 4 circles out of
each pie crust. Use a bowl that’s approximately 5 inches across to cut a total of 8 circles. Roll the scraps together and cut 2
more circles. Place filling(as much as you can and still be able to fold over the dough and seal it) on one side of a circle of

In a small bowl, whisk together egg white and milk. Use your finger or a small pastry brush to wet the edges of
the dough with egg wash so that they will stick together. Fold dough over, pressing to seal edges. Crimp around
edges with a fork.

Repeat with remaining dough circles. Place on prepared baking sheet and brush tops with egg wash.
Place in oven and bake for 15 to 17 minutes. Makes 10 Turnovers–Chicken Pot Pie Turnovers Recipe and Photo by Spicy Southern Chicken

7. Salisbury Steak:

Maybe you remember Banquet’s. Or maybe you were lucky and your family had a homemade recipe.




Homemade Salisbury Steak

Beef Patties:

1 lb. Ground beef
1 Egg
1 Small onion, peeled and finely diced
1/4 Cup breadcrumbs
1 Tablespoon chopped parsley
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1/4 Teaspoon pepper
1/4 Teaspoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
8 oz. Sliced baby Bella mushrooms
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
3 Tablespoons all purpose flour
2 Cups beef stock
1 Tablespoon chopped parsley
Salt & pepper to taste

In a bowl, combine the beef, egg, onion, breadcrumbs, parsley, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Mix by hand, gently and form into 4 equal patties. Heat the butter in a large skillet and cook the beef patties, on medium heat for 5 minutes on each side. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Add an additional tablespoon of butter to the pan along with the mushrooms and cook on medium heat for about 5-7 minutes or until slightly browned. Move the mushrooms to the sides of the pan and add the flour to the center. Slowly whisk in the beef stock, making sure to scrape up all the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Season with salt and pepper and return the beef patties to the pan.  Continue to cook on medium low heat for an additional 10 minutes for the sauce to thicken and the beef patties to cook through.  Finish by stirring in the final tablespoon of butter and the parsley. Serve over noodles or mashed potatoes. Makes 4 servings. –Salisbury Steak Recipe and Photo by Hungry Couple NYC

 Try Salisbury Steak Meatballs.


 8. Seven layer dip:

This dip was everywhere. It was so popular that often times, there would be more than one at a potluck or party. It’s still a crowd pleaser. Not much has changed through the years with this classic dip other than offering individual servings.




1 (16-ounce) container sour cream (2 cups)
¼ cup (1 packet) Old El Paso taco seasoning
2 (15-ounce) cans Old El Paso refried beans
3 cups freshly-made guacamole
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese
2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
½ cup sliced (drained) black olives
⅓ cup diced red onion
¼ cup thinly-sliced green onions
¼ cup fresh roughly-chopped cilantro leaves
In a small bowl, whisk together sour cream and taco seasoning until thoroughly combined.  Set aside.

Spread the refried beans out in an even layer in the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish.  Layer the guacamole in an even layer on top of the beans, followed
by a layer of the sour cream mixture, then the cheese, tomatoes, olives, red onion, and green onions.  Then sprinkle the cilantro evenly on top of the green onions.
Serve immediately with chips for dipping.  Or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 6 hours. –7 Layer Dip Recipe and Photo by Gimme Some Oven

Can put the dip in individual cups, jars, glasses, etc., too.



9. Hot chicken wings:

Oh man, the blue cheese and celery sticks.




Homemade Hot and Spicy Buffalo Wings

Serves: 4-6


20 chicken wings
1 cup flour
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon salt


¼ cup butter
¼ cup Frank’s Hot Sauce
2 dashes of ground black pepper
2 dashes of garlic powder


Mix together the flour, salt, cayenne pepper and paprika.
Put the chicken wings in a large bowl, pour flour mixture on wings and toss until they are evenly coated.
Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 1½ to 2 hours.
When you are ready to cook wings, line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spray it generously with non-stick cooking spray.
Spread wings out on cookie sheet and bake at 400 for 20 minutes. Turn wings over and bake for another 20 minutes.
Then broil wings for 1 minute on each side.


Put butter, garlic powder, pepper and hot sauce in a bowl and microwave until butter is melted. Then stir until it is well blended.
Toss wings in sauce and serve. –Hot and Spicy Buffalo Wings Recipe and Photo by I Save A 2 Z

10. Rice-a-roni:

I liked Rice-a-roni. My mom rarely made it (always homemade white rice daily), but my grandma did sometimes. I have made it, but don’t buy it often because much like my mom, I make my own rice using a rice cooker.




Homemade Rice a Roni

2 oz vermicelli, broken into half inch pieces (about 1/2 cup)
1 cup long grain rice (not instant)
4 tsp chicken bouillon
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp dried parsley
dash garlic powder
2 3/4 cup water
2 Tbsp butter

In a large skillet, melt 2 Tbsp butter. Add broken pasta and rice. Cook until lightly brown.
Add water and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover.
Cook 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until water is absorbed. –Homemade Rice a Roni Recipe and Photo by Plain Chicken

Here are some Rice-a-roni recipes.

11. Ambrosia:

I like Ambrosia salad. I used to just call it fluff or fruit salad. I still sometimes make a version of this with canned mandarin oranges and pineapple with orange jello and Cool Whip. It tastes like a Creamsicle. Some recipes have grapes or nuts, others don’t. Some use yogurt, others use sour cream or even pudding. Waldorf Salad was popular, too.



1 (10-ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained
1 (11-ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained
1 medium apple, cored and chopped
1 tsp lemon juice
1 cup grapes, halved
1/2 cup Plain Greek Yogurt
1/2 cup sweetened, shredded coconut
1 cup mini marshmallows
Add apple to a large bowl and toss in lemon juice to keep from browning. Add the pineapple, mandarin oranges, grapes, coconut, and marshmallows and toss to combine.
Stir in Greek yogurt, gently tossing to coat. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours prior to serving to allow the flavors to meld together. Serve chilled.
Notes After a day or so of sitting in the fridge, liquid from the fruit may pool at the bottom. If eating the leftovers, I like to gently pour some of this off before eating. –Ambrosia Salad Recipe and Photo by Tastes Better from Scratch


 12. Cocktail weiners in sauce:

Sometimes lil smokies were used instead. Sometimes they were in BBQ sauce other times in a grape jelly and chili sauce. But always with fancy toothpicks.

How about the Weenie tree? Oh weenie tree, Oh weenie tree…





Here’s 13 cocktail weiner recipes. Or try bacon wrapped cocktail wieners.


13. Swedish meatballs:

I love these served as an appetizer or served over egg noodles or mashed potatoes. The first version doesn’t have sour cream which is a bit weird to me. So I’m including one that does have sour cream, too.

You can make meatballs and put them in the same sauce as the cocktail weiners recipe I shared, too. Or make porcupine meatballs.

  • swedish meatballs 2

Swedish Meatballs (IKEA Copycat)

Makes about 35-40 1″ meatballs


1 cup breadcrumbs
2 TBS butter
1/3 cup white onion, mince (or a couple TBS. of dry minced onion)
2 cloves garlic, minced (or 2 tsp. pre-minced garlic)
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. white pepper
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
3/4 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 lb. lean ground pork
1 large egg, plus 1 egg white, beaten


2 TBS butter
2 TBS flour
1 1/2 cups beef broth
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce (I also added a splash of soy sauce)
1/4 cup heavy cream
Salt & Pepper (to taste)
Parsley (optional – garnish)

To make the meatballs: Heat the butter, in a skillet, over medium heat. Saute the onion, garlic, allspice, salt, and white pepper, for about 5 minutes, or until garlic and onions are soft.
(Using dried minced onions will take less take to cook) Add the milk and Worcestershire sauce to the mixture, and bring to a simmer.

Dump the breadcrumbs in a bowl. Pour the hot skillet mixture over the breadcrumbs and stir together. Add the beef, pork, 1 egg and 1 egg white to the bowl, and mix
until combined. Spray a sheet pan to grease, and roll the meat into 1 inch balls, and place on a baking sheet.

Cover your sheet with plastic wrap and refrigerate the meatballs for about an hour. (We skipped the chilling step and had no problems.)

Heat the oven to 400 degrees and bake the meatballs for about 20 minutes, or until cooked through.

To make the gravy: Melt the butter in a skillet and add the flour. Cook for a few minutes while whisking. Pour in the beef broth and Worcestershire sauce, bring to a simmer.
Finally, add the heavy cream and the cooked meatballs. Let simmer, until the gravy thickens, about 10 minutes Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Serve with good quality noodles and garnish with parsley. –Swedish Meatball Recipe and Photo by Jam Hands



Swedish Meatballs II

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour

Yield: Serves 8 to 10


2 Tbsp butter
1 large yellow or white onion, peeled, grated (use the large holes of a box cheese grater)
2/3 cup milk
4-5 slices of bread, crusts removed, bread cut into pieces
2 eggs
1 pound ground pork
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 teaspoons black pepper


6 Tbsp butter
1/3 cup flour
1 quart beef stock
1/2 to 3/4 cup sour cream
2 to 4 Tbsp of Lingonberry, red currant, raspberry or cranberry jelly, less or more to taste (optional)

Melt the butter in a sauté pan on medium-high heat. Stir in the grated onion and cook until translucent and softened, 3-4 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Place the pieces of bread in a large bowl and mix with the milk. Let sit for 15 to 20 minutes for the bread to absorb all of the milk.
Once the bread has soaked up the milk put the bread in a food processor and pulse until it has been completely broken up.
Return the pulverized milk soaked bread to the bowl.

Stir the cooled onions into the milk bread mixture. Add the eggs, ground pork and beef, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and cardamom.
Use your (clean) hands to mix everything together until well combined.

Use your hands to form the meatballs about an inch-thick and place them on a plate or sheet pan. This recipe should make between 40 and 50 meatballs

Heat 6 Tbsp of butter in a large sauté pan on medium heat. When the butter is melted and foamy, start adding some meatballs to the pan.
Working in batches as to not crowd the pan, slowly brown the meatballs on all sides. Handle the meatballs gently so they do not break apart as you turn them.

Once the meatballs have browned on all sides, remove them from the pan and set aside. You do not need to cook the meatballs all the way through
at this point, you only need to brown them. You’ll finish cooking the meatballs in the sauce later.

Once you have removed the meatballs from the pan, keep the remaining butter in the pan. You’ll use this butter to make the sauce.

If the butter in the pan has become burnt through the browning of the meatballs, remove and discard it, and add 6 Tbsp of fresh butter to the pan.
Otherwise use the existing pan butter, you should have 6 Tbsp total of butter in the pan. If not add more.

To make the sauce, first make the roux. Heat the butter in the pan on medium heat. Slowly whisk in the flour. Stir until smooth. Continue to stir,
allowing the flour mixture to cook, several minutes, until the roux is the color of coffee-with-cream.

When the roux has cooked to a lovely shade of light brown, slowly add the stock to the roux, stirring as you add the stock. The stock will sputter
at first and the roux may seize up, but keep adding the stock slowly and keep stirring. Eventually the sauce will loosen and become silky.

Return the meatballs to the pan with the sauce and lower the heat to low. Cover the pot and cook on low heat for 10 minutes.
You may need to work in batches.

Transfer the meatballs to a serving dish to serve. Stir in the sour cream. Either stir the jelly into the sauce or serve it on the side. –Swedish Meatballs Recipe and Photo by Simply Recipes

Try Swedish Meatball Casserole


14. Deviled eggs:

Deviled eggs are one of those foods that I’m extremely cautious over trying anywhere outside of my family. It’s frightening what some people can do to an egg. While I’m open to variations on deviled eggs (such as adding bacon), I prefer mine simple because that’s how my family always made them. I make my deviled eggs about the same way that I make my egg salad with the exception of sprinkling Paprika on top. I’ll pipe the yolk mixture if I have time, but it doesn’t bother me to have it just spooned into the egg halves.


Classic Deviled Eggs

Yield: 12 deviled egg halves
6 hard boiled eggs
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 tsp yellow mustard
1 tsp white distilled vinegar, optional
Salt & Pepper, to taste
Paprika for garnish

Hard boil, cool, and peel eggs. Cut eggs in half lengthwise and carefully remove the yolks. Place yolks in a bowl. Mash with a fork.
Add mayonnaise, yellow mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper. Continue mixing and mashing with a fork until smooth and creamy.
Spoon yolk mixture back into the egg white shells. Sprinkle with paprika for a garnish. Store in an airtight container or on a plate wrapped in plastic wrap in the refrigerator. –Class Deviled Eggs Recipe and Photo by Dessert Now Dinner Later



Deviled Egg Spread

1 dozen large eggs
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
Salt & pepper
Paprika for dusting

Shell the eggs and halve them lengthwise. Coarsely chop half the egg whites and transfer them to a large bowl. Add the remaining white and all of the yolks to a food processor along with
the mayo and mustard. Process until smooth. Scrape the mixture into a bowl and blend with the chopped egg whites. Season with salt and pepper.
Can be made ahead and refrigerated overnight.–Deviled Egg Spread Recipe and Photo by Cutting Edge of Ordinary

Here’s 50 deviled egg recipes.


15. Chili:

For a quick fix, I would sometimes request Hormel canned chili or Mccormick’s powder mix packet chili. My mom’s chili was awesome. We had chili dogs, chili fries, baked potato with chili, chili over pasta (chili mac), chili on nachos or with corn chips. Our family loved chili. haha. No con carne. Oh please no. I like my chili pretty plain. I like my chili with ground beef, onion, kidney and pinto beans, tomato sauce and diced and onion. Then bring on the sour cream and cheese. Love it with crusty bread, but I’ll take saltine crackers. But there are all kinds of chili recipes. Some have quinoa, pumpkin, or beer, etc. Clearly not everyone is as dull as I am about chili.





Dr. Pepper and Chocolate Chili

prep time: 5 minutes
cook time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
total time: 2 hours, 35 minutes
yield: 8-10 bowls
serving size: 1 1/2 cups per person

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 large yellow onion
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 each, red, yellow, bell pepper, minced
1 lb ground beef or turkey
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 heaping tablespoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne (or more to taste)
1 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon hershey’s unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1 12 oz dr pepper
1 tub knorr homestyle chicken stock see note
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 can, drained, pinto beans
1 can tomatoes for chili (or if you can’t find those you could use mexican style tomatoes)
sour cream, cheese, green onions etc for serving.

In a heavy bottomed pot, add the oil and heat over medium heat. add the onion and saute until tender, about 5-7 min. add the garlic, stirring everything together to not burn the garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. add the minced bell peppers and saute for another 2-4 minutes or until the peppers are tender.

Add the ground turkey to the pot and cook through until almost cooked through, about 5-6 minutes. dump all of the spices over the meat and quickly stir it all in. let the spices cook onto the meat for 1-2 minutes. add the dr pepper, tomato paste, and knorr stocksee note. stir until the tub of stock and paste have dissolved. add the pinto beans, and tomatoes and turn the heat down to a simmer. simmer for 30-all day. the longer it simmers the better the flavor. mine simmered for 2 hours on a very low heat. Serve with cool sour cream, grated cheese, green onions, and chips.

Notes: Knorr homestyle stock is a concentrated tub of stock that is very small and gel like. if you cannot find the tub just skip it as it is quite different than a liquid stock. –Dr. Pepper and Chocolate Chili Recipe and Photo by Oh Sweet Basil



Homemade Chili Seasoning Mix

4 Tbs. chili powder
2 Tbs. flour
2 Tbs. ground cumin
1 Tbs. garlic powder
1 Tbs. onion powder
1 Tbs. granulated sugar
2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried parsley

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Store the seasoning mix in an air-tight container for up to one year.
For use in chili, use about 2 1/2 tablespoons of the above mixture in a recipe that calls for one packet of chili seasoning; adjust to your taste.
To turn this into taco seasoning, omit the sugar in the recipe above. When making tacos using one pound of ground beef, start with 2 tablespoons plus
1 cup of water of the seasoning mix, bring to a simmer and allow sauce to thicken. Adjust seasonings to taste. Modify the mixture into
blackening seasoning by leaving out the chili powder and crushed red pepper flakes; add in 1 Tbs. granulated sugar and 1 tsp. ground thyme. –Homemade Chili Seasoning Mix Recipe and Photo by Bake Your Day


 Here’s some McCormick Recipes and a classic crockpot chili recipe.


16. Chicken fried steak:

I loved chicken fried steak. I would get cravings and ask my mom to buy me the Banquet’s version. Oh my. It was quick and easy, but the absolute worse to look at. But as a kid, I was just happy to make something myself. Thankfully there are plenty of chicken fried steak recipes.



Chicken Fried Steak

4 (1/2 pound each) beef cube steak

2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp black pepper
3⁄4 tsp salt
1 1⁄2 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1 tbsp hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco
2 clove garlic, minced
3 cup vegetable shortening, for deep frying
1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
4 cup milk
1 kosher salt, to taste
1 ground black pepper, to taste

Pound the steaks to about 1/4 inch thickness. Place 2 cups flour in a shallow bowl. Stir together baking powder, baking soda, 1 teaspoon pepper, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a separate shallow bowl; stir in buttermilk, egg, hot pepper sauce, and garlic. Dredge each steak first in flour, then in batter, and again in flour. Pat flour onto the surface of each steak so they are completely coated with dry flour.
Heat shortening in a deep cast-iron skillet to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Fry the steaks until evenly golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Place fried steaks on a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Drain the fat from the skillet, reserving 1/4 cup of the liquid and as much of the solid remnants as possible.
Return the skillet to medium-low heat with the reserved oil. Whisk in 1/4 cup flour. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a spatula to release solids into the gravy. Stir in milk, raise the heat to medium, and bring gravy to a simmer. Cook until thick, 6 to 7 minutes. Season to taste with kosher salt and pepper. Spoon the gravy over the steaks to serve. –Chicken Fried Steak Recipe and Photo by Kitch Me


 17. Cajun blackened anything:

I remember everything chicken , shrimp and fish was blackened. It’s kind of funny. As a kid, it looked burnt and with all the cajun spices, I was begging for PLAIN chicken. People were even blackening their turkeys. I was in fear for the holidays! Would it be a Cajun holiday?


Paul Prudhomme’s Blackened Seasoning Blend

1 tablespoon sweet paprika
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
3/4 teaspoon freshly-ground white pepper
3/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

Mix all ingredients well. This seasoning is fantastic when used on not only fish, but chicken and steak as well. Dip the meats in melted butter and then into this mix before cooking. –Blackened Seasoning Blend Recipe and Photo by Food.com



Blackened Chicken

Serves 2

1⁄2 tsp paprika
1⁄8 tsp salt
1⁄4 tsp cayenne pepper
1⁄4 tsp ground cumin
1⁄4 tsp dried thyme
1⁄8 tsp white pepper, ground
1⁄8 tsp onion powder
2 skinless, boneless boneless, skinless chicken breast, halves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet. Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat for 5 minutes until it is smoking hot.
Mix together the paprika, salt, cayenne, cumin, thyme, white pepper, and onion powder. Oil the chicken breasts with cooking spray on both sides, then coat the chicken breasts evenly with the spice mixture.
Place the chicken in the hot pan, and cook for 1 minute. Turn, and cook 1 minute on other side. Place the breasts on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake in the preheated oven until no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear, about 5 minutes. –Blackened Chicken Recipe and Photo by Kitch Me

Try Blackened Chicken Club Sandwich.



18. Potato skins:

I love potato skins. But I have to admit I prefer making baked potatoes with fixin’s because it’s faster. Potato skins take work. But they are definitely worth the time if you have it. I can’t apologize for all of the following potato skin recipes. it’s a must-have party food item and ya gotta have options. How about Sweet Potato Skins?


Classic Potato Skins TGIF Potato Skins Copycat

4 Russet Potatoes
1 tbsp Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 tbsp melted Butter
3/4 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/2 cup Chopped Crispy Fried Bacon

Preheat oven to 425.

Line a baking seet with aluminum foil.
Wash, scrub and dry potatoes.
Pierce each multiple times with a fork.
Rub with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Bake for 1 hour. Allow to cool.

Preheat oven to 375.
Cut each potato lengthwise into thirds.
Reserve middle slice of each for something else.
Use a spoon to scoop out white middles of each remaining slice, leaving about 1/4″ thickness in each.
Brush potato skins with melted butter and bake for 25 minutes until crisp.
Sprinkle with cheese and bacon and return to oven until cheese is melted.
Serve with sour cream and sliced green onions. –TGIF Potato Skins Copycat Recipe and Photo by Cincy Shopper


Potato Skins Mac and Cheese

24 oz. baby golden potatoes
2 Tb. vegetable oil, divided
1 lb. elbow macaroni
3 Tb. butter
1 Tb. flour
2 1/2 cups milk
1 cup sour cream
1 1/3 lbs. shredded cheddar cheese, divided
10 oz. cream cheese, divided
12 oz. bacon, fried and crumbled, divided
1 cup chopped green onions, divided
Cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of oil. Salt and pepper liberally and shake the pan a little to coat them with oil. Roast for 30 minutes, or until cooked through. Then set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, cook the macaroni in a large pot of salted water, according to package instructions. Drain and set aside in a colander.

Using the same pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Once melted whisk in the flour and cook the roux (butter-flour mixture) for 1 minute. Then whisk in the milk and add the sour cream and 8 oz cream cheese. Bring to a simmer and whisk until the mixture is thick and smooth.

Add 1 lb shredded cheddar and whisk until smooth. Then add a dash or two of cayenne pepper and salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the cooked macaroni, 2/3 cup crumbled bacon, and 2/3 cup green onions into the cheese sauce. Stir to coat.

Pour the macaroni into a 9X13 inch baking dish and set aside.

For the potato skins recipe: Preheat the oven to Broil. Cut each potato in half lengthwise. carefully scoop of most of the flesh, leaving just a little potato attached to the skin. Reserve the crumbled potato flesh.

Brush the potato skins with oil. With the remaining 2 oz. of cream cheese, place a scant 1/2 tsp dollop of cream cheese in each potato skin.

Sprinkle the crumbled potato over the mac and cheese. Then arrange the potato skins over the top. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 lb. shredded cheddar over the potato skins and add pepper to taste.

For creamy baked mac and cheese, place the baked mac and cheese in the oven under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, watch carefully. You want the cheese to melt and the tops to toast, but not burn.

For more a traditional “firm” baked mac and cheese recipe, turn the oven to 400 degrees, and bake for 20 minutes until the tops are golden.

Once out of the oven, sprinkle the remaining green onions and bacon over the top and serve warm. –Potato Skins Mac and Cheese Recipe and Photo by A Spicy Perspective



Potato Skins Medallions

4 large baking potatoes (washed)
3 TB butter, melted
2 teaspoons of kosher salt
1 1/2- 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
7 slices bacon -cooked and crumbled (or 1/2 cup bacon bits)

Pre-heat oven to 400°. Cover a baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
Wash potatoes and then cut the ends of the potatoes off and discard. Next cut the rest of the potatoes into approximately 1/2 inch slices.
Brush both sides and edges of the potatoes with butter and sprinkle with salt. Place on the foil covered pan and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until lightly browned. Turn potatoes onto the opposite side after about 15 minutes, to brown the other side.
When potatoes are done, top with cheese, bacon and green onions. Continue baking for 3-5 minutes, or until the cheese in nice and bubbly.
These also taste great topped with a little sour cream. Enjoy! –Easy Potato Skins Recipe and Photo by I Heart Nap Time


19. Steak-umms:

I LOVED steak-umms and begged begged begged for them.





Steak-umm Sliders

Boca Steak-umm® Sliders
Boca Raton Fire Station #5, Boca Raton, Florida

21 oz. pkg. Steak-umm® Sliced Steaks
18 potato dinner rolls, split
6 oz. Havarti cheese, shredded
2 large Vidalia onions, halved and thinly sliced
½ cup mayonnaise
2 garlic cloves, minced
¾ cup sweet Marsala wine
½ lemon, juiced
2 Tbsp. fresh Italian parsley, destemmed and fine chopped
5 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
4 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
Course sea salt
Black pepper

Combine mayonnaise, minced garlic, lemon juice, parsley and ¼ tsp. black pepper. Stir until all ingredients are uniformly mixed.

Marsala onions:
Add 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil to a large skillet on medium heat. Add Vidalia onions to skillet. Add ½ Tbsp. course sea salt and 1/4 Tbsp. black pepper. Cook for approximately 10 minutes until onions begin to look translucent and slightly caramelized. Turn heat to high, add ½ cup Marsala wine and cook for approximately 5 minutes until all of the wine has been absorbed by the onions and the onions are caramelized. Add the remaining ¼ cup Marsala wine to deglaze the skillet to finish.

Steak-umm® Sliced Steaks:
Add 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil to a large skillet or griddle set on high heat. Once oil starts to slightly smoke, add Steak-umm® Sliced Steaks. Cook 2 to 3 minutes while utilizing a metal spatula to break up the steaks. Finish with Worcestershire sauce.

Havarti cheese:
Fill a medium-sized saucepan halfway with water and set to simmer. Once simmering, place a smaller saucepan inside the simmering medium saucepan. Add the Havarti cheese and carefully stir until completely melted and smooth in consistency.

Spread 1 Tbsp. aioli over the bottom of a halved potato roll. Top with Steak-umm® Sliced Steak, Marsala onions and cheese. Cover with potato roll top and enjoy. 18 servings –Steak-umm SLiders Recipe and Photo by Steve Harvey

Here’s some Steak-umm Recipes.

20. Pizza rolls:

I still buy bags of frozen pizza rolls for my kids sometimes.




Homemade Pizza Rolls

from America’s Test Kitchen Feed

{Note: the original recipe also included 1/2 teaspoon of ground fennel, which was intended to lend some sausage flavor without actually adding sausage. I didn’t have any on hand,
and the filling was plenty flavorful without it, but I’ll leave the decision up to you.}

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons tomato paste
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained well (juice reserved) and chopped fine
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups (8 oz) shredded 6-cheese Italian blend
3 tablespoons minced fresh basil
5-6 dozen wonton wraps
vegetable oil for frying

Add the oil to a 12-inch nonstick skillet and set over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the tomato paste. Cook, stirring continuously, for about 3 minutes,
or until the mixture is a deep rust color. Add the garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes to the pan. Cook for about 30 seconds, or just until fragrant. Mix in the chopped
tomatoes and the reserved juice. Allow the mixture to come to a simmer, then continue cooking until it has thickened and reduced to a thick paste. This will take about
10 minutes, and when it’s done, you should have about 1 cup. Transfer to a heatproof bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 days.

Meanwhile, line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a fine mesh sieve, dust about half of the cornstarch onto the parchment.

Add the cheese and the basil to the chilled tomato mixture and stir to combine. Season the mixture to taste with salt and pepper. To assemble: Place the wonton wraps
on a plate and cover with a damp towel (this will prevent them from drying out). Fill a small bowl with water and set on your work surface. Working with a few wrappers
at a time, lay them on your work surface. Add 1 teaspoon of filling to the center of each wrapper. Dip your finger in the water, and moisten the edges of one of the wrappers.
Fold the bottom of the wrapper up and over the filling, then continue to roll toward the opposite edge. When you finish, the seam should be on the bottom.
Gently press your fingers on either side of the filling to work out any air, then press the edges to seal completely. This is optional but the sides will be a bit long,
so feel free to trim them down (I did). Transfer to the prepared baking sheet (seam side down). Repeat the sealing process with the other wrappers then continue to
fill and seal using the remaining filling and wrappers. (Note: place additional sheets of parchment dusted with the remaining cornstarch between layers of pizza rolls on the baking sheet.)

Once you’ve assembled all of the rolls, cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap and transfer to the freezer for at least 30-60 minutes (until they are firm) or up to 1 month.

Meanwhile, set a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet. Top the rack with a layer of paper towels. Add enough vegetable oil to a pot to measure about 1 1/2 inches deep – you can
do this in a large Dutch oven or a smaller pot but just be aware that you should fry fewer rolls at a time in the smaller pot so as not to overcrowd and drop the oil temperature
too much. Set the pot over medium to medium-high heat and heat the oil until it measures 375 F on a candy thermometer. Add the pizza rolls (how many depends on how
big a pot you used) and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring and flipping them over a few times so both sides brown evenly. Try to maintain the oil temperature between
350 and 375 F – adjust the heat under the pot as necessary. Use a spider strainer to transfer the pizza to the wire rack you prepared earlier to allow any excess oil to drain.
Return the oil to 375 F before frying the next batch of rolls. Continue until they’ve all been fried.

The rolls will be very hot when they come out of the oil so let them cool for a few minutes before serving.
Serve as is or with marinara sauce for dipping. Makes 5-6 dozen –Homemade Pizza Rolls Recipe and Photo by Traceys Culinary Adventure


21. Bagel Bites:

Pizza in the morning, Pizza in the evenin’, Pizza at suppertime! When pizza’s on a bagel, You can eat pizza anytime!






Homemade Pizza Bagels

2 plain bagels, split

1 small jar pizza sauce
1 pkg pepperoni slices
3/4 cup diced fully cooked ham
1/4 cup real bacon bits
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400. Place bagels face up on a baking sheet. Spread with pizza sauce. Arrange five to seven slices of pepperoni on each, covering the bagel hole with one slice.
Top each with ham, bacon and cheese. Bake at 400 for 12-14 minutes or until cheese is melted. –Homemade Pizza Bagels Recipe and Photo by Kevin and Amanda


 22. French bread pizza (pizza muffins, pizza bagels):



Homemade French Bread Pizza

3 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
pinch red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley or basil leaves, or a mix
Kosher salt
1 large loaf French or Italian bread (see note above), about 18 inches long and 4 inches wide, split half lengthwise and crosswise
1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
8 ounces freshly grated whole milk mozzarella cheese
2 ounces grated Parmigiano-reggiano

Adjust oven rack to upper position and preheat oven to 425°F. Heat butter and 3 tablespoons olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat until butter is melted.
Add garlic, pepper flakes, and oregano and cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is softened but not browned, about 2 minutes.
Stir in half of parsley/basil and a big pinch of salt. Remove from heat.

Place bread cut-side-up on a clean work surface. Using a rimmed baking sheet, press down on bread evenly until compressed to about 2/3rds of its original height.
Place bread on top of rimmed baking sheet. Using a pastry brush, brush half of garlic/butter/oil mixture evenly over cut surfaces of bread, making sure to get plenty
of bits of garlic and aromatics. Set aside.

Add tomatoes to remaining garlic/butter/oil mixture in pan, stir to combine, increase heat to medium, bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to maintain a bare simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until rich and reduced, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt.

While sauce cooks, spread 1/4 of mozzarella evenly over surface of bread and transfer to oven. Cook until cheese is barely melted, about 8 minutes.
Remove from oven and set aside until sauce is cooked.

Spread sauce evenly over bread, then spread remaining mozzarella on top of sauce. Transfer to oven and bake until cheese is melted and just starting to brown, about 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with Parmigiano-reggiano, remaining parsley/basil, and remaining tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil.
Allow to cool slightly and serve. –French Bread Pizza Recipe and Photo by Serious Eats


23. Beef stroganoff:

Many families in the 80’s used Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup for their Beef Stroganoff. or some made Hamburger Helper. You can use ground beef or meatballs in your stroganoff.


Ground Beef Stroganoff

1+ lbs ground beef
8 oz sour cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 t salt
1 t onion powder
1 t beef bouillon granules
1 pkg egg noodles

In large skillet,brown beef;drain.
Return meat to skillet and add all other ingredients,except noodles.
Blend together well and heat thoroughly on med-low.
Boil noodles while preparing meat mixture.
Serve stroganoff over cooked noodles. –Ground Beef Stroganoff Recipe and Photo by Reasons to Skip the Housework


30 Minute Beef Stroganoff

1 lb. wide egg noodles

4 Tbsp. (1/4 cup) butter, divided
1.5 lbs. thinly-sliced steak (I used top sirloin, but just about any will work)
salt and pepper
1 white or yellow onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. sliced mushrooms (I used a mix of button and baby bella mushrooms)
1/2 cup dry white wine (or you can substitute in more beef broth)
1.5 cups beef broth
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
3 Tbsp. flour
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt or light sour cream
(optional garnish) chopped fresh parsley

Cook egg noodles al dente in boiling salted water according to package instructions. (For optimal timing, I recommend actually adding the egg noodles to the boiling water at the same time that the beef broth is added to the stroganoff.)

Meanwhile, as your pasta water is coming to a boil, melt the butter in a large saute pan** over medium-high heat. Add the steak in a single layer, seasoned with a few generous pinches of salt and pepper, and let it cook undisturbed for about 3 minutes to get a good sear. Flip the steak, and cook on the other side until browned, about another 3 minutes. Then remove steak from pan with a slotted spoon, and transfer to a separate plate. Set aside.

(**If your pan is not big enough to fit all of the steak in a single layer, then add just 1 Tbsp. of butter to the pan and cook half of the steak. Then repeat with a second batch.**)

Return pan to heat and add the remaining 2 Tbsp. butter. Once it has melted, add the onions and saute for about 3 minutes. Add garlic and mushrooms, and stir to combine. Continue sauteing for an additional 5-7 minutes, or until the mushrooms are cooked and the onions are soft. Add the white wine, and deglaze the pan by using your cooking spoon to scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Let the mixture cook down for an additional 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk together the beef broth, worcestershire sauce and flour until smooth. Pour the beef broth mixture into the pan, and stir to combine. Let the mixture simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then stir in the Greek yogurt (or sour cream) until combined, and then stir the cooked steak back in. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed.

Serve over the egg noodles, garnished with parsley if desired. –30 Minute Beef Stroganoff Recipe and Photo by Gimme Some Oven



Stroganoff Burgers

1 1/2 lb ground beef
2 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp onion powder
1 salt and pepper to taste
1 lb sliced button or baby Bella mushrooms
4 slice American cheese or cheese of choice
3 onions
1 stick butter
1/3 cup sour cream
4 hamburger buns
2 sheet of tin foil or wax paper

Saute mushrooms with half stick of butter in pan until browned, set aside
slice onions in half, and thinly slice each half into half moons (this may seem like alot but they cook down)

Cook onion with 2 tablespoon of butter on med heat until caramelized roughly 15 min, stirring frequently (set aside)
in a bowl, mix beef, garlic, onion powder, salt and pepper together using a 1/3 measuring cup, form meat into 8 balls and set aside,( using measuring cup ensures equal sized burgers)
Place 1 “meatball” on tin foil or wax paper place other piece of foil/wax paper on top and using a small plate or pan press burger into thin patty continue this with all 8 balls
Take cheese slice and fold it in half and then half again. Place cheese in middle of one patty, and then cover with another patty, like a sandwich
Pick up sandwiched Patties and pinch around edges to seal tightly, to ensure no cheese oozes out during cooking.

Preheat grill or grill pan to medium heat. Cook Patties 6-7 mins per side flipping only once.
While burgers are grilling, butter buns and lightly toast. Let burgers rest for 5 to 10 mins after cooking !!!
Place burgers on buns, top with onions, mushrooms, and sour cream–Stroganoff Burgers Recipe and Photo by Vavra


24. Tiramisu:

“Pick me up” dessert which typically has coffee (some have alcohol, too) as an ingredient. I love it. There are a lot of variations. Here’s a recipe for classic Tiramisu, but very easy to make because it’s a slab.


the Lazy Baker’s Tiramisu

loaf of pound cake (found in frozen section)
8oz cream cheese, softened.
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
6 tablespoons powdered sugar.
1/2 cup of strong coffee, room temperature
2 tablespoons of rum, brandy, or coffee-flavored liqueur
optional: shaved chocolate

1. Slice the pound cake.
2. Beat the cream cheese, whipping cream, and powdered sugar together until light and creamy.
3. Mix the coffee and alcohol together.
4. On the bottom of a 9 by 9 pan (or a trifle dish) place a single layer of pound cake, trimming to fit.
5. Pour 1/3 of the coffee mixture slowly over the top.
6. Spread 1/3 of the cream mixture on top.
7. If desired, put shaved chocolate on top of the cream mixture.
8. Repeat until ingredients are gone.
9. Sprinkle the top with cocoa.
10. Place in the fridge for at least 4 hours, the longer this sits…the better! –Lazy Baker’s Tiramisu Recipe and Photo by Nellie Bellie


Chocolate Tiramisu

6 oz semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
1¾ cup heavy cream, divided use
6 egg yolks, at room temperature
7 oz (1 cup) granulated sugar
1 lb mascarpone cheese
¼ tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
24-30 soft lady fingers (up to 40 if using a 9×13 pan)
2 cups prepared hot chocolate, strong, cooled to room temperature

Place the chopped chocolate in a small bowl. Pour one cup of heavy cream into a small saucepan, and place the pan over medium heat. Bring the cream to a simmer, heating it until bubbles appear along the sides of the pan, but it is not yet boiling.

Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and allow it to sit and soften for a minute. After a minute, whisk the cream and chocolate together until the chocolate is smooth, shiny and melted. Press a layer of cling wrap over the top and refrigerate the chocolate briefly until it thickens to the consistency of soft peanut butter.

While the chocolate is chilling, prepare the mascarpone mixture. Place the egg yolks and sugar in the large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat the yolks and sugar together on medium-high speed until they are very thick and pale, about 2-3 minutes. When you stop the mixer and lift up the whisk, the yolks should slowly drip from the whisk in a thick ribbon.

Add the mascarpone cheese, salt, and vanilla extract, and beat on medium-low until the cheese is incorporated and the mixture is free of lumps. Don’t overbeat, or beat too quickly, since mascarpone is prone to breaking if it’s overworked!
Transfer the mascarpone cheese to another bowl, and in the same mixing bowl—no need to clean it—place the remaining ¾ cup heavy cream. Whip the cream to firm peaks, then gently fold it into the cheese in several batches.

To assemble the tiramisus, spread a thin layer of chocolate on the bottom of six 10-oz dishes or cups. Working one at a time, dip a ladyfinger quickly in the hot chocolate so that it is submerged, then place it in the serving dish. You may need to break the cookies into several pieces to make them fit into an even layer in the dishes. Repeat until all of the dishes have a first layer of soaked lady fingers.

Spoon a thick layer of the mascarpone cream over the ladyfingers—you may find that it’s easier to put the cream into a pastry bag with a round tip, or a plastic bag with the corner snipped off. Once all of the tiramisus have a layer of mascarpone, spoon a thin layer of chocolate on top. Repeat the layers, adding more ladyfingers, mascarpone, and chocolate, until you reach the top of your container. Make sure that you end with a layer of mascarpone cheese. Finish the tiramisus with a topping of shaved chocolate, unsweetened cocoa powder, or a big rosette of whipped cream. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, and serve!

Tiramisu keeps very well, and this dessert can be made up to five days ahead of time and kept, well-wrapped, in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
This recipe can also be made in a 9×13 pan. You will need more lady fingers to make it in a large rectangular pan, but the exact number will depend on the size of the brand you use. To make it in a 9×13 pan, start with a thin chocolate layer, then add dipped ladyfingers, mascarpone, chocolate, lady fingers, and mascarpone, in that order. Top with shredded chocolate or cocoa powder, refrigerate for at least 2 hours, and then serve!

You can substitute hard lady fingers (savoiardi) for the soft ones, if that is what you have available, but you will want to soak them for an extra second or two in the hot chocolate to make sure they soften. –Chocolate Tiramisu Recipe and Photo by Sugar Hero

Try Tiramisus Brownies


25. Oatmeal scotchies or blondies:

I used the oatmeal scotchies recipe on the back of the Butterscotch chips bag when I was a kid. I love Blondies, too.





Over 100 Blondies Recipes compiled by Crazy for Crust 


26. Mud pie:

What’s not to love about Mud Pie. Some are frozen. There are many variations with some people calling them silk pies. As a kid, I just used pudding, cool whip and a pre-made crust. If you’re thinking it is just like the dirt cups, you’re right.




 Chocolate Mud Pie

12 ounces chocolate wafer cookies (Nabisco brand works well), ground to crumbs in food processor
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
4 ounces (about 2/3 cup) granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 egg yolks
16 ounces (about 2 cups) whole milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled
6 ounces chilled heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks

Separate out 2 ounces of cookie crumbs and set them aside. In a bowl, stir together the remaining cookie crumbs and butter, and firmly press mixture into the
bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Freeze crust 30 minutes.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the sugar, corn starch, and salt. In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks with a whisk, then add them to the dry ingredients
and whisk well, until the yolks are pale and smooth, about 2 minutes. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine the milk and vanilla and bring to a low boil over medium heat. When the milk begins to boil, turn off the heat and
temper the egg mixture by adding a little of the hot liquid to the egg mixture at a time, whisking as you go. Once all of the milk has been added, pour
the mixture back into the saucepan and place it over low heat.
Cook, whisking constantly until mixture begins to thicken, about 3 minutes. Continue to whisk. Once the mixture bubbles, whisk for 2 additional minutes,
then remove from heat. Whisk in the chocolate until fully combined, then pour filling into chilled pie shell. Press plastic wrap over the top, and chill for 8 hours to set.
When ready to serve, top with whipped cream and reserved cookie crumbs. –Chocolate Mud Pie Recipe and Photo by Serious Eats

Try this Mississippi Mud Pie recipe.


27. Kabobs:

Our family used cubed stew beef. Sometimes the meat was marinated in Italian Dressing. Sometimes we made them using chicken or shrimp. It was pretty basic, we used metal skewers and added tomatoes, onions, potatoes, zucchini, bell peppers and mushrooms. I loved them and looked forward to whenever my mom made them. Kabobs are so popular now that there are tons of fruit, candy and dessert kabobs recipes. Basically, these days anything on a stick is popular. It’s like stick is the new toothpick.




Balsamic Rosemary Kabobs

8 new potatoes (I used baby Yukon Gold)
14-16 ounce rib eye steak
8 button mushrooms
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
⅓ cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
4 metal or wood skewers

Cut the steak into 16 equal pieces if using a thin cut and 8 equal pieces if using a thick cut. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Place the steak and mushrooms in a large bowl. Add the olive oil, vinegar, rosemary, and garlic, and stir until the steak and mushrooms are well coated. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes to 2 hours.
Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and add enough water to cover by 1 inch. Bring the water to a boil and cook potatoes until just barely fork-tender, about 5-7 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Add a piece of steak, a potato, another piece of steak, and a mushroom to a skewer. Then add another piece of steak, a potato, another piece of steak, and a mushroom again. Repeat with remaining 3 skewers and ingredients.
Heat a grill to medium-high and lightly oil the grate. Add the kabobs and grill about 5-6 minutes on both sides, flipping every 3 minutes. Sprinkle kabobs with remaining 1 teaspoon of salt and serve immediately.
– If using wood skewers, soak them in warm water for at least 30 minutes before using so they don’t burn on the grill.
– Clean the mushrooms before they go in the marinade by wiping any dirt away with a damp paper towel. –Balsamic Rosemary Kabobs Recipe and Photo by Love Grows Wild


28. Pulled pork:

Pulled pork is still one of my favorite summer foods. I loved pulled pork sandwiches, but the meat is delicious in tacos, in salad, on pizza, baked potatoes and sweet potatoes, nachos and in mac and cheese, too. Or make shepherd’s pie. Some people like pulled pork sandwiches plain or with cheese. I loved it with cole slaw!


Slow Cooker Root Beer Pulled Pork Sandwiches

2 lb pork loin roast
12 oz can of root beer (your favorite)
18 oz bottle barbecue sauce (your favorite)
8 hamburger buns

Place pork in slow cooker. Pour root beer over the pork. Cover and cook on low heat for 6 hours or until it shreds easily with two fork. –Rootbeer Pulled Pork Sandwich Recipe and Photo by Mom on Timeout

Here’s a recipe for Sweet Pork and one for Chipotle Pulled Pork.


29. Shake and bake:

I loved shake and bake. Mostly loved it on pork chops, but sometimes we had it on chicken, too. My mom would only make it if I begged, but I did love it and I’d ask my grandmother to make it when I stayed at her house, too.





Homemade Shake N Bake

4 cups flour
4 cups finely crushed saltine crackers
1/3 cup salt
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. onion powder
1 Tbsp. pepper
4 Tbsp. paprika
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Mix all dry ingredients together.
Drizzle oil over mixture then mix thoroughly until oil is well distributed and particles are fine.
Store mix, refrigerated, in a tightly covered container. –Homemade Shake and Bake Recipe and Photo by My Organized Chaos

30. Teriyaki Stir fry (beef, shrimp or chicken):

Growing up, I had a lot of stir fry. It’s still one of my favorite foods. I’m partial to using beef, but chicken is delicious, too. I’m not a seafood fan, but wow does the shrimp dish look good.


Shrimp Stir Fry

2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 3/4 cups Chicken Stock
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 Tablespoon Teriyaki Sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil (optional)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound fresh or thawed frozen medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 cups cut-up fresh vegetables (carrots, sugar peas, broccoli, red bell pepper strips etc)
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tsp minced garlic
4 cups hot cooked regular long-grain white rice

In another bowl combine the chicken stock, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce and sesame oil together, stir in the cornstarch, mixing until smooth.

In a large skilled heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil over medium high heat Add the shrimp and stir-fry until they’re cooked through, about 1 minute, Remove the shrimp from the skillet.

Heat the remaining vegetable oil in the skillet, add the vegetables, ginger and garlic and stir-fry until the vegetables
are tender-crisp.

Stir the cornstarch mixture and then pour over the vegetables in the skillet. Cook and stir until the mixture boils and thickens. Return the shrimp to the skillet heat 1 minute.
Remove from heat & serve immediately over hot cooked rice. –Shrimp Stir Fry Recipe and Photo by Grocery Budget 101

Here’s a honey teriyaki sauce and another teriyaki sauce recipe.


31. Poppy seed dressing:

Very popular dressing when I was a kid. I loved it. But I haven’t made or bought this type of dressing in years.




Homemade PoppySeed Dressing

This makes a large container of dressing. Store extra in the fridge-will keep for several weeks.

¾ C. White Vinegar
1½ C. Canola Oil
¾ C. Sugar
2 T. White or Yellow onion(I just eyeball a chunk of onion)
1¼ T. Salt
¾ t. Dry Mustard
1½ T. Poppy Seeds

Place all ingredients except for the poppyseeds in a blender.
Blend on high for at least 1 minute, or until the onion is fully chopped up and emulsified into the dressing.
Add the poppy seeds and pulse a few times until incorporated into the dressing. Refrigerate. –Homemade Poppyseed Dressing Recipe and Photo by the kitchen mccabe


Copycat Panera Strawberry Poppyseed Dressing

Yield: 8 servings

Serving size: 2 Tbsp

1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced

¼ cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp coconut oil
2 Tbsp Stevia®
1 clove garlic
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp black pepper
2 tsp poppyseeds

Place all ingredients except for the poppyseeds in a blender and blend until smooth. Add poppyseeds to blended dressing. Pour in a air-tight jar or seal-able container and shake it up.
Keep refrigerated. Let sit at room temperature for 5 minutes before using. This will allow the coconut oil to become less solid. Shake and pour. Dressing will keep for up to two weeks.
Makes about 1 cup of dressing. –Copycat Panera Strawberry Poppyseed Dressing Recipe and Photo by Skinny Mom


32. Italian Dressing:

My mom used Good Seasons Italian Dressing Mix for years. I LOVED it. I loved the little decanter. I loved mixing it. I was an Italian Dressing girl. The problem is as soon as I discovered Ranch Dressing, I never looked back. Now I mostly use it for pasta salad and the occasional recipe requires it. I still love it, but love other dressings more. I remember dressings that started to become more popular such as Bleu Cheese, Caesar, Thousand Island, Ranch, etc. etc. But whenever I have Italian Dressing, I remember being quite young and I always picture my mom and I in the kitchen together making salad.



Homemade Italian Dressing

1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon white sugar
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
1 tablespoon Kosher salt

Mix all the ingredients together and shake it up in an airtight container.
To make the dressing, pour 1/4 cup white vinegar, 2/3 cup olive oil and 2 tablespoons of water together in a container.
Whisk in 2 tablespoons of your mix. Store in the fridge. –Homemade Italian Dressing Recipe and Photo by A Southern Mom

33. Stuffed peppers:

My mom made stuffed peppers often. I wasn’t a huge fan of it, but I didn’t hate it either. I think it was just too much bell pepper to rice mixture for me as a kid.



Pepper Pott’s Stuffed Bell Peppers

1/2 lb Italian Sausage
1/2 lb ground beef
1 can Rotel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies
1 med onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 bell peppers
1 cup rice, raw
2 cups Mexican blend shredded cheese, divided
olive oil
salt & pepper

Get the rice cooking. Brown the sausage and ground beef and season to taste.
Cut the tops off of the bell peppers and use a spoon to remove seeds and veins as much as possible. Dice up the usable parts of the bell pepper tops and one medium onion.
In a clean pan, saute onions and peppers until onions are translucent and soft, about 6-8 minutes. Add garlic and continue to saute for 4-5 more minutes.
Combine Rotel Diced Tomatoes, ground beef and sausage mixture, onion and pepper mixture, and rice in a a large bowl.
Stir to combine all ingredients.
Add 1 1/2 cups of cheese to mixture and stir to combine.
Drizzle olive oil inside the bell peppers and season with salt and pepper. Stuff peppers with mixture and place in a greased 8×8 baking dish. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of cheese over the tops of the peppers and cover with foil.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes and then remove foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes. The cheese should be nice and bubbly! –Stuffed Peppers Recipe and Photo by Mom on Timeout 

Try Quinoa Stuffed Peppers. Or Jalapeno Poppers.


34. Clam’s Casino:

Everywhere get-together had clams casino. They’re delicious and I’m not a fan of clams.

Clams Casino

Clams Casino

1 lb littleneck clams
1/4 lb pancetta, diced
1/4 C Italian parsley, chopped
1 shallot, chopped
1 T lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C panko bread crumbs
1/2 C white wine
1/2 C shredded Parmesan cheese
2 T butter
2 C rock salt
Olive oil

Soak the clams in cold water for about 30 minutes. Discard any that don’t close when gently tapped. Put the clams in a pot and boil for about 5 minutes or until they are all opened. Discard any that don’t open. Let them cool slightly.

Separate the clam shells in half and scoop out the clam meat. Chop the clams. Spread the rock salt out on a sheet pan and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a skillet, cook the pancetta until crispy. Remove from the pan and drain. Add the butter to the same skillet and add the shallots and garlic and cook over medium heat until translucent. Add in the wine and deglaze the pan. Cook until most of the liquid is gone. Remove from the heat and stir in the pancetta, Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, parsley, lemon juice and clams.

Spoon the filling into the clam shells. Drizzle them with olive oil. Cook them for about 5 minutes or until the cheese starts to melt and the filling is hot. –Clams Casino Recipe and Photo by Bacon Butter Cheese and Garlic

Try Baked Hot Clam Dip or Linguine with Clams Casino or how about Clams Casino Pizza?


35. Stuffed Mushrooms:

If you want, you can use clams casino stuffing for mushrooms. I’m pretty picky about my stuffed mushrooms. I love them so much and some people make them just wrong. You know what I’m saying. Some are just soggy and gross. I am not a fan of the kind with cream cheese. Just saying. But there are tons of good recipes out there. I miss when everyone was making stuffed mushrooms. Since marriage, I have to say Life is too short to stuff a mushroom.  Ha! Here’s hoping you have the time.


Classic Stuffed Mushrooms

1 tablespoon olive oil
12 baby Bella mushrooms (clean by rubbing with damp cloth, don’t rinse)
1/2 cup diced sweet onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup finely diced sun-dried tomatoes, packaged in olive oil
2 cups baby spinach, torn into pieces
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs, we used whole wheat panko
1 (4 ounce) container feta cheese, low fat or fat free
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Remove stems from mushrooms and dice.
In a medium skillet, add oil and heat to medium-low, saute onion, mushroom stems and sun-dried tomatoes until tender, about 4 minutes. Add minced garlic and continue to saute one additional minute. Add spinach and saute just until wilted. Remove from heat and add the remaining ingredients but only 3 tablespoons of parmesan, stir to combine.
Stuff mushrooms with mixture, place on a cookie sheet, sprinkle with remaining tablespoon parmesan, and heat until cheese is melted, about 15 minutes. *Mushrooms are very hot coming out of the oven so be sure to cool a few minutes before serving. This appetizer is yummy warm or cold.
Note: The mushrooms may release liquid, so when removing from the cookie sheet lightly dap with a paper towel before serving. Stuffed mushrooms are a perfect dinner party appetizer.–Stuffed Mushrooms Recipe and Photo by Skinny Ms


36. Pasta Primavera:

I ate a lot of pasta in the 80’s. While I’m more of an Alfredo fan, everyone seemed to be eating pasta primavera and pasta carbonara.


Pasta Primavera

1 lb. fresh fettuccine
1/4 cup butter
1 cup diced white onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small zucchini, diced
1 lb. asparagus, chopped
1 small red pepper, diced
1 small yellow pepper, diced
1 cup diced carrot
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
salt & pepper, to taste
2/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
a little hot pasta water, if needed
In a large pot, saute onion, garlic, zucchini, asparagus, red pepper, yellow pepper and carrots in butter over medium heat until veggies start to soften, 5-7 minutes. Sprinkle with flour and cook 1 minute. Stir in chicken stock and let mixture turn into a thick sauce. Add in spices, seasonings and cream. Stir to incorporate and reduce heat to low to keep warm.

In another large pot, bring water to boil and salt water generously. Cook fresh pasta until al dente and drain. Pour immediately into pot of sauce, sprinkle over parmesan cheese and toss. If need be, add in a little pasta water to get sauce to desired thickness. Serve immediately. –Pasta Primavera Recipe and Photo by Lauren’s Latest


37. Risotto:

Love risotto and don’t make it often enough. I love how it’s rich and creamy. I’m very particular about my risotto. I don’t like when its overcooked at all. It HAS to be al dente and there can’t be too much liquid.


Asparagus and Mushroom Risotto

Serves 4
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 35 min

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound asparagus, bottom inch discarded, cut into 2 inch pieces
3 cups sliced mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 tablespoon butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 cup arborio rice
1 cup white wine

In a pan heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat and cook asparagus and mushrooms
until softened. About 7 minutes. Stir in kosher salt and black pepper. Reduce heat to low and cover
to keep warm.
In pot heat broth over medium heat and keep warm while preparing risotto.
In another pot, heat butter and remaining olive oil over medium heat. Once butter melts stir in
shallots and cook just until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in arborio rice just until it is coated in the
butter. Do not brown. Pour in wine and cook until wine absorbs. Pour one ladle of hot broth over the
rice and stir consistently until the liquid is absorbed. Repeat process, one ladle at a time, until all
liquid is absorbed by the rice.
Stir in asparagus and mushrooms. Serve immediately. –Asparagus and Mushroom Risotto Recipe and Photo by Life Ambrosia

Try Butternut Squash Rissoto (yum bacon, maple and sage)


38. Pasta in vodka sauce:

I’ve had this with all types of pasta (elbows, penne, rigatoni, tortellini, ravioli, etc) Love them all. Delicious with sausage or chicken. The sauce can be time-consuming. But it’s worth it.


Ina Garten’s Pasta Alla Vecchia Bettola

Source: The Barefoot Contessa’s Foolproof
Yield = 5 cups

1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium (or a few small) Spanish onion(s), chopped to yield 2 1/2 cups
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (If you are sensitive to heat, just use a pinch and adjust at the end. The 1/2 teaspoon makes for a seriously spicy sauce.)
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano (optional — I didn’t use. I love dried oregano, but I don’t always love it in tomato sauce.)
1 cup vodka
2 (28-ounce) cans peeled plum tomatoes
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3/4 pound penne pasta or whatever shape you like
4 tablespoons fresh oregano (I used basil)
1/4 to 1 cup heavy cream
grated Parmigiano or Pecorino

Preheat oven to 375ºF.

Heat the olive oil in a large oven proof sauté pan over medium heat, add the onions and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes until translucent. Add the red pepper flakes and dried oregano (if using) and cook for 1 minute more. Add the vodka and continue cooking until the mixture is reduced by half, about 5 to 7 minutes more.

Meanwhile, drain the tomatoes through a sieve. (Save the strained juice. I stuck mine in the freezer. It can be used for future sauce-making days as well as for homemade bloody Mary mix, etc. Maybe you have more thoughts for repurposing this strained juice? Would love to hear.) Put on an apron and crush the tomatoes into the pan with your hands — careful hear…you might make a mess all over your oven. Add 2 teaspoons salt and a pinch of black pepper. Cover the pan with a tight fitting lid and place it in the oven for 1 1/2 hours.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta al dente. (Note: Ina adds 2 tablespoons of kosher salt to her pasta water. I did this, too, and found it really seasons the pasta nicely. There is no need to save pasta cooking liquid in this recipe, but if there were, I think the 2 tablespoons would be a little too much — the reserved liquid would be too salty. Just something to keep in mind.) Drain and set aside.

Place the tomato mixture in a blender or food processor and purée in batches until the sauce is a smooth consistency. Place potholders or dishtowels around the handles of your pot to prevent burning your hands in the next step.(Note: I puréed a handful of basil with the sauce at this step and didn’t add anymore fresh herbs.) Return sauce to the pan.

Reheat the sauce, add 2 tablespoons fresh oregano (if using) and enough heavy cream to make the sauce a creamy consistency — start with a quarter cup; taste; add more as necessary. Add salt (if necessary) and pepper, to taste, and simmer for 10 minutes. Toss the pasta into the sauce and cook for 2 minutes more. Stir in a generous handful of grated cheese. Serve with an additional sprinkle of cheese and a sprinkle of fresh oregano (if using) on each plate. –Photo by Alexandra Cooks


Try Pasta with Pancetta and Vodka Sauce.


39. Dirt cups:

Placed in clear plastic or paper cups, small mason jars, small clay pots. So popular that Jell-o created their own product.




Pink Velvet Dirt Cups

Makes 5-7 cups, depending on the cups you use.

pink velvet cake
I used Bakerella’s red velvet cake recipe, but cut it in half and tweaked a few things.
You’ll only need batter for one round 8 inch pan.

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 egg
1 1/4 cup oil
1/2 tablespoon vinegar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk
1-2 teaspoons pink gel food coloring
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8 inch round pan with non-stick spray and line with parchment paper.
In a small-medium sized bowl, combine dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and sugar. Carefully whisk them together.
In another medium sized bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine wet ingredients: egg, oil, vinegar, vanilla, and 1 tsp pink gel food coloring. Mix well.
Measure out 1/2 cup buttermilk. Add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the wet ingredients. Mix well and until everything is completely incorporated.
If your batter isn’t as pink as you want it at this point, add some more food coloring one teaspoon at a time until you reach the desired shade of pink.
Pour batter into prepared cake pan and bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven and insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, your cake is ready. If not, put the cake back in the oven for a couple of minutes.
Let the cake sit for a few minutes, then transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely.
Once the cake is cool, cut it into small squares or slices and transfer them to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.

Cream cheese pudding
Adapted from my Oreo Dirt Cake.

1 3.5oz package instant vanilla pudding
2 cups milk
1 8oz package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 8oz container of Cool Whip
Pink gel food coloring
In one bowl, mix the instant vanilla pudding with 2 cups of milk. Whisk it until completely combined and let it sit in the fridge.
In another bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth and creamy.
Add the powdered sugar and mix well. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix again.
Check the bowl of pudding in the fridge. It should be thicker now. Add it to the cream cheese/butter mixture and mix until combined.
Add the cool whip and mix well.
I wanted the pudding to be a light pink color, so I added a small amount of pink food coloring, about 1/2 teaspoon. If you want it to be pinker than that, you can always add more.

One 8 inch round pink velvet cake
One recipe for cream cheese pudding
One package Oreos
Transfer the Oreos to a large Ziploc bag, and then put that bag in another Ziploc bag. There are several ways you can crush the Oreos from here. I used the end of a wooden spoon. I have also used a hammer and a sharpening steel thing from my mom’s knife set. If you have a food processor or a blender, you could do that as well. Basically, you want the Oreos to be in chuncks, not crumbs. So just keep that in mind.
Depending on the size of the cups you use, this will make 5-7 cups. I ended up using 5, but afterward I decided that the servings were a little too big (which totally wasn’t a problem, by the way), so next time I might use slightly smaller cups.
So if you want to start out with five cups just to be sure, and you still have some ingredients left over after that, you can make a couple more.
Add some of the sliced cake pieces to the bottom of each cup.
Then a layer of pudding. I transferred the pudding to a piping bag, cut off the tip, and piped the pudding into the cups.
Add a layer of crushed Oreos.
Then a layer of pudding. Then cake. Then pudding. Then Oreos. If you’re cups are smaller, you might not need to do this many layers. Just add the layers until the cups are about 3/4 full. –Pink Velvet Dirt Cups Recipe and Photo by The Collegiate Baker


Much easier version: Just add crumbled Oreos and a Gummy Worm to Pudding cups.


Photo by HWTM


Photo by Stuff Amy Made


JELL-O Mix-Ins Oreo Dirt Cup Pudding


 Here’s a Classic Dirt Cup Recipe.


40. Poke cake:

Many poke cakes incorporate either Jello gelatin or Jello pudding. There are just so many poke cake recipes, I had a hard time picking only a couple.

images (1)



Lemon Poke Cake

1 Lemon Cake, baked and cooled in a 9×13 pan (I used a Duncan Hines cake mix)
1 Lemon Curd Recipe, reserve 1/4 cup for drizzling
1 – 8 oz cool whip
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Use the bottom of a wooden spoon to evenly poke holes throughout the baked cake (approximately 20-25 holes).
Pour the lemon curd over the cake, aiming to fill the holes. Use a rubber spatula to spread the curd evenly over the cake.
Spread the cool whip over top. Sprinkle the white chips and pecans over top. Drizzle with remaining lemon curd.
Let chill for at least 4 hours. Overnight is best.
Serves 12

Note: the lemon curd can make this a bit tart– which I like. But if you are at all concerned about the cake being TOO “lemon-y,” ease up when pouring the lemon curd and don’t use the whole batch.

Easy Lemon Curd

1 cup lemon juice (fresh is always best!)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 eggs

Whisk all ingredients together in a large bowl (contents WILL bubble up when stirred, so make sure you have plenty of extra room to avoid a spill-over).
Microwave ingredients for up to 10 minutes. REMOVE AND STIR after every minute. Once mixture begins to thicken, you can discontinue heating. It generally takes mine 6-8 minutes to look just right.
Line a smaller bowl with a zip top bag (use a high quality brand so it doesn’t melt). Pour the lemon curd into the zip top bag and seal it up.
Fill the bowl with ice water and place the bag of lemon curd in the ice bath. Place the bowl in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Curd will be thickened and chilled once removed and ready to serve. –Better than Lemons Poke Cake Recipe and Photo by Something Swanky



Poke Cake Recipes Compilation and Photo by Life with the Crust Cut Off.  


 2 Bonus ideas because I-Just-Can’t-Stop at 40.


Pineapple Upside Down Cake:

Definitely a favorite for many people. Here’s a Classic Pineapple Upside Down Cake.  And one recipe for Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes. And two more delicious alternatives.



 Pina Colada Pineapple Upside Down Cake

1 box yellow cake mix
1 cup plain non fat Greek yogurt
1 cup water (I used coconut water)
2 tsp coconut extract
½ cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
12 slices of pineapple (it took 2 cans)
18 maraschino cherries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl mix melted butter and brown sugar
Pour evenly into a 13″ x 9″ pan. In a large mixing bowl combine cake mix, Greek yogurt, water and coconut extract
Beat for 2 minutes. Arrange the pineapple slices in an even layer on the bottom of the pan and push into the brown sugar
mixture. Place a cherry in the center of each pineapple slice and in the whole created where four pineapples meet.
Pour cake batter on top and spread it evenly. Bake for 40-45 min. Allow to cool in the pan for 5-10 min
Run a knife around the edges and place your plate on top of the pan. Flip but leave the pan on top of the plate
so that all the brown sugar can drip down. Serves: 12 –Pina Colada Pineapple Upside Down Cake Recipe and Photo by Real House Moms




Pineapple Upside Down Caramel Poke Cake

Caramel Glaze

1 cup (lightly packed) light brown sugar
½ tsp. salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) of butter
1/4 cup milk

1 fresh pineapple, cut into chunks (yes you can use canned, well drained though)

Cake (you most certainly can use a boxed cake mix)

2 cups flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
Preheat the oven to 350˚F.

Over medium heat, combine your brown sugar, butter and salt. Cook until sugar has dissolved completely. Add milk and mix well. Continue to cook for 3 minutes. Stir often.
In a medium bowl, beat remaining cake ingredients scraping down sides of bowl occasionally.
Coat a 9×13 dish with non stick spray. Pour 1/2 of your caramel mixture in the bottom of your baking dish. Add your pineapple chunks.
Pour cake batter over the top of pineapple.
Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. All ovens very, so begin checking around 25 minutes.
Before inverting your cake, use the handle of a wooden spoon and poke holes through out your cake. Drizzle the remaining caramel sauce into the wholes.
Place heatproof serving plate upside down over pan and then turn plate and pan over. Leave pan over cake a few minutes so brown sugar mixture can drizzle over cake; remove pan.
Enjoy warm (yummm) or room temperature. Delicious! –Pineapple Upside Down Caramel Poke Cake Recipe and Photo by The Hen Basket




When in doubt what to add to your 80’s party, pick up one of these bad boys. Nostalgia overload.




Additional ideas: Consider pesto, fried zucchini or mushrooms, mini cherry cheese cakes, Rubik’s cube cake, Nestle Toll House cookies, Snickerdoodles, Apple Crisp, 80’s chicken, Guacamole, Homemade Chex Mix, Chicken Kiev, Pasta Carbonara, Linguine and Clam Sauce, Cheese Ball and Crackers, Mini Quiches, Fondue (I know it’s from before the 80’s but fondue made a comeback in the 80’s), Egg Rolls with Dipping sauce, Made Rights, Rice Krispies Treats, Zucchini boats, and French Onion Soup. Truffles, Mimosa Punch. For more ideas visit the 80’s Food Timeline.


What 80’s recipes/foods do you remember?