Over a Cup of Coffee: Making quick meals for calving season

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These days there isn’t much time for anything after a day of work outside the home and the anytime-day-or-night hours spent with calving cows.

Diane Prather

Diane Prather's columns appear in the Craig Daily Press and Saturday Morning Press. You can call her at 824-8809.

So there’s little time to be spent planning and preparing meals. Take this past week, for example.

We spent a bunch of hours caring for some twin calves, and when it was time to get supper, I didn’t have a clue as to what to fix. But I did have some thawed ground beef and a box of macaroni and cheese. So I made “Macaroni Skillet,” a recipe I put together using a little of this and a little of that — my own creation that I make when I don’t have much time but need a nutritious meal.

This past week, I also made “Ham­burger and Green Bean Casserole,” a recipe that lots of people make. This time, however, I didn’t have any tomato soup so I substituted tomato rice soup, and I think I liked the soup change well enough to use tomato rice soup from now on.

The hamburger and green bean casserole is a good recipe for using leftover green beans and mashed potatoes.

What are your favorite Easter dishes? If you have recipes that you would like to share, send them to P.O. Box 415, Craig, CO 81626 or call 970-824-8809.

Diane’s Macaroni Skillet

1 pound ground beef

1 box macaroni and cheese mix and ingredients for making it

About 1/4 cup chopped green pepper (to taste)

About 1/4 cup chopped onion (to taste)

1 (6-ounce) can tomato sauce

Salt and pepper (to taste)

About 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (optional)

Brown the ground beef with the green pepper and onion in a skillet. Meanwhile cook the macaroni according to the directions on the package. When the macaroni is ready, drain off the water and add the milk, seasoning mix and butter or margarine as directed on the package. Set aside. When the ground beef has cooked, drain off the grease. Add the macaroni to the beef. Mix in the tomato sauce and seasonings. Stir well. Heat through. Serve with garlic bread and a lettuce salad. Double the recipe if you wish.

Hamburger/Green Bean Casserole

This is a good recipe for using leftover green beans and mashed potatoes.

1 pound ground beef

1 can green beans or leftover green beans

1 or 2 tablespoons diced onions (optional)

1 can tomato soup or tomato rice soup

1 (4-ounce) envelope of instant mashed potatoes or leftover mashed potatoes

Seasonings, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown the ground beef with onions (optional). Drain off the grease. Add the drained green beans and tomato or tomato rice soup. Stir and add seasonings such as salt and pepper. Heat through. Pour into a casserole dish that is slightly smaller than a 9x13-inch pan. Prepare instant mashed potatoes or slightly heat leftover mashed potatoes in the microwave (so they’re spreadable). Spread potatoes on top of beef mixture. Dot with butter or margarine and then sprinkle with paprika. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 to 20 minutes, until the potatoes are lightly browned. Serve with a lettuce salad. Double the recipe to use a 9x13-inch casserole.

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