Thursday, May 9, 2013

Lovin' from the Oven!

I can attested to this at least four times over, that the best thing a new or ailing mother wants to do is feed her family a good, hot, home-cooked meal. I have a neighbor who recently had some surgery done and wanted to prepare a simple meal for her and her family. What says love more than home cooking?! I was racking my brain as to what I could fix and what would reheat well enough with minimal effort for my next door neighbors. I needed something that would warm up nicely so they could eat it at their leisure and leftovers wouldn't be a big chore. I thought with all thats gone on, she's had more than her share to worry about. Dinner shouldn't be another. Plus she, her husband and two wonderful daughters have always been good to my family and I.

I searched for a couple of simple easy recipes a-la'-Pinterest and came up with these two. Won Ton Tacos and a one dish wonder of Chicken-Green Beans-and Potatoes seasoned with ranch dressing mix. I added a simple side of home made Spanish Rice and pico for the tacos and frozen garlic bread for the Chicken Casserole. These are simple and sure to be (hopefully), a crowd pleaser.

Won Ton Tacos
1 lb of meat, browned. (you can use lean hamburger, turkey or chicken)
1 pkg of your favorite Taco seasonings
1 pkg Won Ton wrappers (I found these in the refrigerated section of the grocery store next to the tofu)
2 cups of shredded cheese, I used Sharp Cheddar
Pico and shredded lettuce for topping.
*preheat over to 350. Brown meat and drain, add seasonings (follow the directions of the seasonings on your package). Spray 12 cup muffin tin with non-stick spray. Place one Won Ton wrapper in each cup and press down any bubbles. Top wrappers with a couple spoonfuls of meat and a couple pinches of cheese. Bake 8-10 mins or until the edges are golden brown. Top with lettuce and pico. If you daring enough you can add some sour cream or your favorite taco sauce.

Won Ton Tacos with Spanish Rice

One Dish Chicken
This dish is even simpler than the last! I based these ingredients on a family of 4 with enough for leftovers. You can adjust this based on how much you need.
6 or 7 thinly sliced chicken breast
2 15 oz cans of cut green beans, drained
5-6 small white potatoes, washed and pared
2 pkgs of powdered Ranch dressing mix
1 stick of butter

*preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9x13 pan with non-stick spray. Open and drained beans and layer them down one side of the pan. Next layer the Chicken breast down the center of the pan next to the beans. Placed the pared potatoes on the other side of the chicken. Sprinkle everything with the 2 packages of the Ranch dressing mix on top of all the ingredients. Melt a stick a butter and pour it over the dressing. (Yes, one stick of butter, this IS comfort food after all!) Cover the pan with foil and bake for 1 hour. Done. That's it!
I bought cheap disposable foil pans to put the dinners in. I like to use these or disposable containers when I can because it makes it easier on you and your friends. When they are done, they can toss them out and you don't have to go hunting down your own pans. I think the little added expense is worth the frustration saved in the long run on this one!

Won Ton Tacos and One Dish Chicken

*The chicken isn't cooked in this picture.* I left directions on how to cook the casserole when I sent over the food so they could have it whenever they wanted. I'm sure it would freeze well too! To make your meals a little more special, when packaging the food up, you can include a card with the recipe on the back and reheating instructions on the front. Who knows, maybe if they like it enough they will pass it down and make it for someone else in need. You can always throw in a simple dessert like cookies or brownies for a no-fuss treat. If you are sending food to a recovering friend, why not include some books, magazines or movies that they can watch while recuperating. If its a new mom, you could add a baby outfit or some bubble bath and a scented candle to help relax mom. It's just the added little details that can make something as simple as a home-cooked meal, turn into a truly appreciative and thoughtful gift. I think nothing says lovin' more than some good home-cookin'-simply!


  1. Very nice! I like the idea of adding dessert and a little gift.

  2. Thanks, Jennifer! Who do we know who is going to have another baby so I can do this again? ;)