The new dorm has a kitchen! Lord help us!
Just kidding, Shea. But, here are a few things to help you get
started in cooking for yourself. There are:
Our Simple Family Recipes
Things to do with 1
Box Prepared Mac-N-Cheese
Stuff to Do with Rice
Websites That May Help
Simple Recipes from Akamarti
It is ALWAYS Cheaper to get it frozen and
heat it up yourself than to go to a restaurant!
While you should not rely totally on convenience foods, you can
not go wrong here. Make it
a night in with friends and watch a movie. Tell them you are making
dinner but they need to bring soda/drinks/popcorn/candy!
Eat a can of veggies too! Then put away the
leftovers of the high fat, high carb stuff like meats & noodles. By
adding a can of veggies for .50c and making 2 meals out of your
meat/noodle dish, you will eat better and save $.
Salads: Eat them with meals or as a meal.
Pour right out of the bag. Top with chick peas, veggies, sliced meats,
cheeses, pasta salads.
Soup stretching: add a can of veggies to
whatever soup you have. It
makes it more stew-like. Add
more water if needed.
Beans = Meat: Both are proteins. Open a can of pinto or black beans and use them as your
protein item instead of meat.
Portions: Pay attention to portion size and
the number of portions in a product. You don't eat just one
portion/serving necessarily; you need several servings per food group,
per day. How much is ONE serving? Consult the Food
Pyramid to figure out how much you should be eating. In
addition to this, eat slowly. Take a drink between bites. Take small
bites. This helps you not to pig out totally and saves money
because you eat less and have leftovers. Need help with portion sizes
for things that don't have labels? Check out Calorie
Our Simple Family Recipes
2 boxes jiffy muffin mix or one box cake mix (you
pick the flavors)
1 can pie filling (make sure it will go with the
flavor of the muffin or cake mix)
1 stick butter
Preheat oven to 350
casserole (can use spray)
in pie filling
muffin or cake mix evenly over filling, pat down gently
butter in microwave; drizzle over muffin or cake mix
45 minutes or until golden brown
Especially good with ice cream. We liked using a
matching muffin mix/pie filling combo like both apple cinnamon or both
Cake Mix Cookies
cake mix, any flavor
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Combine all ingredients. Mixture will be thick. Drop by spoonfuls onto
greased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 7-9 minutes. Do not
over bake; they are ready when edges are a tiny bit browned. Cool on pan
for a minute before removing to paper towels or brown paper bags (like I
use). Makes 24 cookies.
Note: Add a ½ cup of chocolate chips, nuts, toffee or candy pieces,
etc. for variety. Also can sprinkle top with sugar before cooking.
1 can chili no beans (that means only meat…but
you could use the beans type if you wanted)
1 8 oz block of cream cheese or Velveeta (generic
is fine too)
cheese into chunks into quart size nuke-able bowl.
chili over cheese
1 to 2 minutes & stir
step 3 until cheese is melted
with tortilla chips
Can be made fancy if poured into a serving bowl and
topped with chopped onion, sour cream, and/or shredded cheddar.
Do not nuke for more than 2 minutes or it could burn.
Little Hot Dogs
3 lbs meatballs, hotdogs, or sausages cut into 1 to
2 inch pieces (ANY type or combo is FINE – we have tried them all!)
1 bottle BBQ sauce (ANY)
1 8 oz jar jelly (ANY, but grape is cheapest &
easiest – you can also mix and match to empty out the last bits of
jelly into crockpot & stir it like crazy to get it unjellied
BBQ sauce in and stir it with jelly
meats in crockpot
on low for 5 hours or high for 3 hours.
Italian Meat Sauce
1 lb ground beef
1 onion chopped
1 can spaghetti sauce
1 can diced or stewed tomatoes (if you want)
meat with onion in fry pan or pot, drain out grease (not in the
sink! Save a coffee can & put it under sink for that)
sauce/tomatoes & as much garlic powder as you like
30 minutes or so in pan or pour into crockpot and put on low all day
or high 4 hours.
Ways to serve: Serve over whatever noodles you have
prepared. Ladle it over bread. Mix
it with small noodles, shredded mozzarella and/or a cup of cottage
cheese. Bake in oven (350 for 45 minutes) and it is baked ziti. Always
good with salad on the side!
2 lbs chicken – boneless, skinless breasts are
good, but whatever you have. You can even do this with small whole
chicken, just rinse & put neck down in crockpot.
1 dry soup mix – garlic herb is best, but any is
½ cub water (ONLY ½ cup!
chicken & layer in crockpot with soup mix, sprinkling a bit over
on low for 6 hours, more is OK.
You can remove the chicken and add ½ cup rice to
the broth. Let it cook till rice is tender, add water if needed. Serve with chicken.
Do with 1 Box Prepared Mac-N-Cheese.
First, eat 1/3 to ½ the Mac-N-Cheese with dinner
the first night. The next
night, do one of these with leftovers.
ADD 1 lb Browned Ground Beef
Mix together with Mac-N-Cheese and do any of the
following for a complete dinner (makes 2 to 4 servings so it will last
for a couple meals)
in one can condensed tomato soup.
Just like beef-a-roni.
in one can condensed cream of whatever (you pick) soup.
in some salsa.
a canned veggie. The
ADD any of these combos to the Mac-N-Cheese
Stir in one can condensed cream of whatever (you pick) soup.
Add some Peas & Chopped Ham
Add some broccoli flowerets (cooked)
Some Chopped Chicken.
Some Chopped Ham
Bake in baked casserole dish, topped with shredded cheese.
Do with Rice
Recipe for Rice: 2 cups water, 1 cup rice.
Boil water, add rice, stir, put on lid, simmer 15-20 minutes or till
Souped-up rice: same as above except,
instead of water, add 1 can
cream of whatever soup and 1 ½ cans water. Cook the same, stirring
Top a pile of rice with: (heat them up first or
nuke the whole plate)
beans (black beans and chopped onions, YUM!)
of chunky soup.
That May Help
Aaron’s Easy Recipes
Click on the links to the left to check out other
categories. The main page
opens to chicken recipes.
Busy Cooks at About.com
Lots of options here including 4 and 5 ingredient
foods and whole meals! Also
one titled EASIEST recipes.
Lots of good links to basic kitchen questions, not
only recipes. Check out the lessons.
Their recipe index has pulldown categories; there
is one titled Easy/Quick Meals
Cooking by Numbers
Check off the ingredients you have and it will come
up with recipes you can make without having to run to the store.
Favorite Brand Name Recipes
There are tons of recipes here, not all are just a
few ingredients. This list
is 6 or fewer ingredients. It also has photos!
My favorite recipe sites are:
The recipe searches are great, you can even narrow
down the ingredients. The
recipes may not be easy; they are from Gourmet & Bon Appetite
If you love something you got in a restaurant
(usually chain stores only) this site will tell you how to make it.
Here is a crockpot site (may be a bit
overwhelming…tons of recipes)
Recipes from Akamarti
My son had only a one burner stove....not a lot you
could do on that!
Boxed macaroni and cheese...add a can of chili for chili mac which we
call pastafazoole and thought we invented. LOL!
Top Ramen (noodles) to which you add hard boiled egg, chives, dried
veggies or drained veggies or canned chicken.
One day a week he made it a point to hard boil a
bunch of eggs!
Stew in a can...not much you can do with it. Heat and eat.
Tuna helper...one pan and you have it. I add mushrooms and more veggies.
All of the hamburger helper meals are one dish, stove top.
Pasta-roni Angel Hair Pasta...drain a can of chicken and add to it. Side
dish of veggies, of course!
Buy a packaged salad and add tomato and julienne sliced meats. Or hard
boiled egg...or croutons...
Hot dogs are always fast and easy...I note I have slipped into thinking
in camping mode rather than using basic ingredients...I try to do as
little as I can when camping.
Ah..a camping recipe that cooks really quick. Costco or Sams club has
these premade hamburger patties. Fry (I broil at home) up the amount you
can eat. Remove from pan and drain off grease. Using gravy mix...(I
always add mushrooms and sometimes dried onions and always chives and a
few dried green peppers) mix up a couple cups of gravy. Plop the patties
in it and let them cook gently for a little bit. Using (perish the
thought...but for camping I do!) instant potatoes...Make the amount you
will eat in another pan.. Voila, "Salisbury steaks" and
potatoes. You CAN add veggies...but we prefer them on the side.
My absolute favorite camping recipe...that we eat a lot at home. Stir
fry. I buy bags of frozen veggies. I buy chicken tenders. I quickly stir
fry the tenders...I break them apart somewhat in the pan. I then add a
drained can of mushrooms and some chopped onion. Stir that quickly.
Then, I add the veggies and let it all cook for a while, peeking and
stirring often. I whip out the Minute Rice and get it going. By the time
the rice is done, I add teriyaki sauce to the veggie/chicken/mushroom
mixture and we have dinner. You can also do Chinese noodles as the side
dish or bean sprouts or whatever appeals to you.
Gently fry (boneless is best) pork chops until done. Add either tomato
sauce and whatever ingredients appeal to you, or canned spaghetti sauce.
Let it simmer for a while. Serve with whatever side dish you like. The
chops just fall apart and absorb the tomato flavor. We usually do it
with a side of spaghetti noodles.
Sloppy Joes are quick. Fry your hamburger and drain and add the canned
sloppy Joe mix and throw it all on a bun. Takes just minutes.
Let me think of ACTUAL cook in the kitchen things and get back to
you....I think I may have gotten toooooo simple here!
In keeping with Marti's camping theme..lol
If there's an oven here's a really simple thing
Use aluminum foil put into it
Chicken or hamburger patties
whatever veggies you want basically
add salt pepper..any other seasonings
cook 350 for maybe 30-1 hr
open up foil..toss the food on a plate and throw away the aluminum
foil..voila..no pots or pans to clean!!..lol
I have tons also..but saw Marti's camping thing and had to run with it