Jonathon's Closet

Thursday, August 24, 2006

A Few of My Favorite “Cheats”

I have a few reasons for sharing my "cheats" today:

1. My brain is just worn out. I've been trying to help a couple of friends deal with some very difficult losses and I'm tired. Isn't that awful?!? I'm tired. I'm tired of lousy things happening to good people. It wears me out. I'm tired of the fact that we lose our spouses, our children, our parents, and others that we love. I'm tired of knowing what it feels like. Just tired.

2. I got a couple of e-mails that said "can you REALLY eat on that small of a grocery budget?" The answer is yes. We have for 7 years now. It's a challenge but it can be done!

3. Just in case your life is as hectic as mine can be, I thought I’d share a couple of my really quick dinner recipes – and they’re so easy that Jona makes them too, on nights when I REALLY don’t want to cook!

If you're tired. If you're feeling the exhaustion that grieving brings. If your life is hectic. If you really don't want to cook. Or whatever. Then these are for you:

Creamed Chicken & Mushrooms

1 onion, chopped
leftover cooked chicken or 1 large can chunk chicken, drained
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 small can sliced mushrooms, drained
1 package egg noodles, cooked
1 cup sour cream (if you don’t have sour cream, ½ cup of milk works ok too)

Cook onion in large skillet. Add chicken, soup, and mushrooms. Simmer 10 minutes or so. Stir in sour cream. Heat thru. Serve over noodles. Top with chopped green onions if you have them.

Tuna Pot Pie

2 cans tuna
1 can cream of whatever you have soup
1 16 oz package of your favorite frozen veggie mix (ours is broccoli, cauliflower and carrots)
1 can refrigerator biscuits

Mix the first 3 ingredients in a casserole dish. I usually add a little milk too - makes it creamier. Top with pieces of biscuits. Bake at 375 for 35-40 minutes.

Mom’s Special

Layer in a casserole dish (in this order):
1 lb ground beef (you don’t even have to cook it first)
1 chopped onion
2 cans green beans (Jona’s favorite)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 package shredded cheddar (or whatever cheese you have)
1 package tater tots (no, they’re not real healthy – but we like them!)

Bake at 400 til done (well, DUH Kate) about 35-45 minutes

Notice there’s not much cleanup involved in any of these – that’s because I hate to do dishes!

Note: These recipes just sort of evolved from the pantry in the past few years. Cooking became less enjoyable for me in the year after losing Don. Jona and I got creative together and these are some of the things we came up with. They’re also inexpensive to make, and I operate on a very tight budget! Nothing fancy, just good comfort food.

Whoever you are, where ever you are in your journey - I wish you comfort most of all.


  • I wish you comfort as well. I have noticed in my own life things are the hardest when you are tired physically and emotionally.

    Sending you well wishes and rest for your mind and body.


    By Anonymous Sarah, at 5:52 AM  

  • Thanks for the recipes! I love easy ones with just a few ingredients too. I will give one of them a try soon!

    By Blogger Lisa, at 6:54 AM  

  • We make the casserole you call "Mom's Special" around here, and that is an apt name for it, because Mom (me) tends to eat most of it herself.

    Comfot and peace to you and those you love. Hang in there.

    By Anonymous Becki, at 12:09 PM  

  • Get a covered casserole dish about one quart sized. Lay any meat on the bottom. Cut two potatoes into thick steak fries the long way and put on top of the meat. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, add any frozen veggie, I like broccoli, and give it twenty more minutes or until the veggie is tender.

    Dish out a layer at a time and enjoy.

    By Blogger Valerie - Riding Solo, at 12:08 PM  

  • I'm trying one of your recipes tonight. I think it's called "Mom's Special". I've never heard of it before. It was easy. Any excuse to eat tater tots is ok with me! We'll see how it goes over with my very picky five-year-old. Thanks for sharing.

    By Blogger BethGo, at 5:40 PM  

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