cranky kitchen


Quick & Easy is not just for the bedroom!

Mom's Manicotti
Claire fur
So I make the vegetarian version of this, which is basically to use everything except the meat. BUT, since it seems more people on here eat meat, I'll post the original recipe.


This is actually a Christmas meal we eat at my dad's side of the family. It's always requested, and easy for mom to make vegetarian.

8 manicotti shells
1 lb. ground beef (Or none! You can totally skip it! ;)
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 cup cottage cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 (15 1/2 oz.) jar spaghetti sauce
1/3 cup grated Parmesan

Cook manicotti shells according to package directions; drain. Rinse in cold water; drain and set aside.

Saute' ground beef and garlic, stirring to crumble beef; until beef is no longer pink; drain off pan drippings. Add cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese, salt, and mayonnaise to skillet. Stir well.

Stuff manicotti shells with meat mixture; arrange shells in a lightly greased 13x9x2 inch baking dish. Pour spaghetti sauce over manicotti. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 additional minutes.

Chicken Chesapeake - NOM
devil hat

6 skinless boneless chicken breasts

12 ounces backfin crab meat

1/4 cup mayonnaise

2 dashes tabasco sauce

3 ounces parmesan cheese, grated

6 thin slices of smoked ham

1/4 cup onion, chopped

1 teaspoon old bay seasoning

1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce

6 ounces bread crumbs

In a medium bowl mix together well the crab meat, mayonnaise, old bay, tabasco sauce, worcestershire sauce and onion. Make sure to mix gently to keep the crab meat in lumps. Make a cut lengthwise down the sides of your chicken breasts but not all the way through you just want to make a pocket. Fill each breast with the crab meat stuffing and then wrap each breast with a slice of smoked ham. Place all of the chicken breasts in a large greased casserole dish or in individual dishes season slightly with pepper and top each breast with parmesan cheese and bread crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Serves 6.

White CHILI!!!
check it out
 You need:

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked through and pulled apart with fork (or cubed, or whatever floats your boat)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 soup can of milk
1/4 c grated parmesan cheese
1/2 stick butter ( slice it up to help it melt faster... I also feel like it's more evenly distributed this way, but I'm funny like that)
1 can garbanzo beans, undrained (or whatever... kidney, black, limas... the original recipe calls for garbanzos, I prefer black beans)
1 packet chili seasoning

Mix all ingredients together in a large pot until heat on medium-low until heated through.  Or just let it cook in the crockpot all day on low.  My mom adds chicken-flavored ramen noodles, I prefer to serve it over spanish rice.  You can serve it however the hell you want - obviously this is a very strict recipe.  ;)

The Pioneer Woman's Apple Dumplings
devil hat

You must try these.  You. Must. Try. These.  But be warned, your mouth will NEVER be the same.



  • 2 whole Granny Smith Apples
  • 2 cans (8 Oz. Cans) Crescent Rolls
  • 2 sticks Butter
  • 1-½ cup Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • Cinnamon, To Taste
  • 1 can (12 Oz.) Mountain Dew Soda

Preparation Instructions

Peel and core apples. Cut each apple into 8 slices each. Roll each apple slice in a crescent roll. Place in a 9 x 13 buttered pan.

Melt butter, then add sugar and barely stir. Add vanilla, stir, and pour entire mixture over apples. Pour Mountain Dew around the edges of the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Serve with ice cream, and spoon some of the sweet sauces from the pan over the top.

They have a bazillion calories, but O.M.G. your mouth will think it has had an orgasm.  Seriously.

Cowboy Casserole

2 medium onions, chopped
1 lb of lean ground beef, browned and drained
4 - 6 medium potatos. sliced thin
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 15 oz can of kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 15 oz can of diced tomatos mixed with 2 tbsp of flour
Salt and pepper to taste

Layer ingredients in order listed in your crockpot.  Cook on low 5 to 6 hours.  Nom accordingly.

I generally top mine with some shredded cheddar.

VARIATION:  Add a can of bisuits to the top of the casserole and cook an additional 30 minutes until biscuits are done.  Because, you know, canned biscuits make everything better.

I think I originally stole this from Fix It and Forget It...I've made my own modifications though.  You can also use a can of condensed tomato soup instead of the canned tomatos.  I usually use the ones with chilis in them.

Gramma's Beef Barley Soup

Prepping the barley:
Bring 2 1/2 cups of water to a boil with 1/8 tsp of salt.  Rinse and drain 1c. of pearl barley, and add to the boiling water.  Turn down heat to simmer and let her rip for 45 minutes, until chewy.

For the soup:
1 large chuck roast (or whatever cut you prefer - I use chuck when its on sale) cut into bit sized pieces
olive oil
salt & pepper
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 large onion (softball sized) chopped
3 - 5 garlic cloves, chopped
1 shallot chopped
32oz beef stock
1 1/2 c. diced potatos (peeled or not is up to you)
1 c. diced celery stalk (chop the leaves too)
1 c. sliced carrots
1 c.  peeled and sliced parsnips
1/2 10oz bag of frozen vegetables (corn, peas, limas, etc.)
1 can of diced tomatos
1 c. of sliced button mushrooms
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp dried italian seasoning
1/2 small head of napa cabbage, chopped

Heat the olive oil (enough to coat the pan) in the bottom of a large soup pot over medium high heat.  Add beef, salt and pepper to taste, chili powder, and onion powder and brown.  Once browned, add the onions, shallots and garlic and cook until onions are transluscent.

Add the beef stock and reduce heat to low.  Add the remaining veggies, (obviously, you don't need to add those you don't like - I also add about a cup of chopped okra once in a while, when I can get it) and simmer over lower heat approximately two hours covered.  It is important to taste your broth and season accordingly - we like ours a bit spicy, so I generally add more black pepper and salt if necessary.

Add the cooked barley to the soup pot and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes more until barley is cooked.  Keep an eye on the soup - you may need to add more liquid if the barley soaks it up.

Remove from heat and serve.  This soup makes a lot - we eat it all week and it gets better the older it gets.  It also freezes really really well and is delicious served with crusty bread and butter.

Heather's super awesome lemon cookies
Claire fur

1 -2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup milk
1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter - softened
1 egg
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 to 3/4 c sugar - depends on how sweet you'd like them.


Preheat oven to 350.

Combine flour, baking powder, soda, and salt.

In a separate bowl, beat butter for 30 seconds, then add sugar and beat until fluffy. Add egg and zest, mix. Then add milk.

Stir in the dry ingredients slowly to the butter/sugar mixture.

Add your lemon juice last and mix well into your dough.

Drop from a teaspoon onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 12-14 minutes. Watch carefully, do not overcook. Remove at once onto a wire rack.

While baking, mix together the lemon glaze to be brushed on the cookies while cooling.

Lemon glaze:

1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
1 tablespoon of grape seed oil, or other mild oil
juice of half a lemon
zest of a whole lemon

Whisk it all together. Make sure to carefully add your lemon juice, too much and your glaze will be too runny, too little and add a tiny bit of water.

Once cookies are cool I dunk brush them with the glaze and NOM.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts - they're good, really!!
Claire fur
Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Candied Pepitas and Cider Vinegar

1/2 cup hulled green pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
2 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1/2 medium white onion, finely diced
1.5 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
2.5 tablespoons good tasting apple cider vinegar

In a small skillet over medium low heat, toast the pumpkin seeds until lightly brown and aromatic. Add the sugar and a big pinch of salt and stir until the sugar melts and caramelizes. Remove from heat and set aside. - Watch carefully!! I burnt these my first try.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high. Melt two tablespoons of the butter. Add the onion and saute for 2 minutes. Add the brussel sprouts and two big pinches of salt. Toss in the butter, and then spread out into an even layer. Turn them occasionally, but allow them to caramelize on the bottom. Keep cooking until they are quite tender when pierced with a fork. Taste and adjust salt. Remove with a slotted spoon to your serving bowl.

(side note - letting them caramelize and soften is the most important part of this recipe!)

Reduce the heat to low and add the apple cider vinegar. Use a spatula to scrape all of the delicious crusty bits into the vinegar. Break the remaining three tablespoons of butter up and whisk them into the vinegar. Add a pinch of salt. Add the sprouts back in and toss them in the sauce. Return to the serving bowl.

Just before serving, break up the pumpkin seeds (they will have stuck together from the sugar) and stir 2/3 of them into the sprouts. Garnish with the remaining 1/3.

My favorite portobello mushrooms
Claire fur
Grilled portobello mushrooms with mozzarella and tomatoes

Several tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for coating pan
4 large portobello mushrooms stemmed and gills removed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 small to medium sized vine ripened tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Several handfuls grated mozzarella.

After cleaning mushrooms, brush them with olive oil.

Drizzle olive oil in pan and heat to about medium. Put mushrooms in gill side down. Grill until starting to soften, several minutes.

While those are cooking, chop your tomatoes and add to a bowl. Drizzle with a little olive oil and add your minced garlic. Sprinkle a little grated mozzarella and stir to mix.

When Mushrooms are ready, flip over and add a small handful of cheese to the gill side. Continue to cook until mushroom is softened and the cheese is melted.

Take off heat and add to a plate, then spoon yourself a big ol pile of the tomato mixture right on top of the mushroom.

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As a vegetarian I use this as a main course and pair with vegetables like roasted brussel sprouts or broccoli.



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