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Short on cash after Christmas… sick & tired of cooking and baking? This month we’re offering up a few easy, inexpensive recipes that I hope you’ll like enough to add them to your recipe book. All but one are taken from our Granny’s Buns cookbook, so you may already have them on the shelf.

First, a delicious crock-pot  roast  using Coca Cola as a unique and very effective tenderizer; you may already have that in the fridge. Next, how about a Tuna-Macaroni Casserole for a simple, but tasty, supper. For an easy side dish, we suggest Creamy English Peas and those Garlic Cheese Biscuits are always a family favorite.  Finally, for a simple dessert, you can’t go wrong with my Apricot Ritz casserole that can be put together at the last minute and ready when dinner is finished.

Coca Cola Roast


3-4 lb. boneless chuck roast

12-oz. can Coco Cola

1  (10-3/4-oz.) can cream of mushroom soup

2 medium onions, thinly sliced


Mix the cola and soup together.  Place roast in crock-pot*and pour soup mixture over top. Scatter onion slices evenly over roast and cook on low for 8 hrs. or high or 4 hrs. or until fork tender.


*I like to line my crock-pot with a slow cooker liner for easy clean-up.  Instant mashed potatoes (Potato Buds) with extra butter stirred in and a tossed salad makes an easy meal.

Tuna-Macaroni Casserole


2 cups elbow macaroni, cooked (8-oz. box)

1 (10-3/4 oz.) can cream of mushroom soup

1 (12-oz.) can evaporated milk

1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (4-oz.)

1 cup croutons, crushed


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine macaroni, soup & milk. Pour in a greased 2½ qt. casserole.  Top with cheese and croutons. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, till bubbly and brown. Makes about 6-8 servings.

Creamy English Peas


2 Tbsp. butter

1½ Tbsp. flour

½ cup milk or half-and-half

½ tsp. salt

1 (17-oz.) can English peas, undrained


Melt butter in medium saucepan. Add flour and stir with whisk for about 1 minute. (do not burn.) Slowly stir in milk, whisking constantly until smooth. Add undrained peas and salt. Cook, stirring constantly till thickened.      Makes about 4 servings.

Garlic-Cheese Biscuits

The kind some restaurants serve while you’re waiting for your meal.


2 cups Bisquick

½ tsp. garlic powder

1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

2/3 cup milk


Preheat oven to 450º.  Combine in a bowl, the Bisquick, garlic powder and cheese, mixing well with a large tablespoon. Make a “well” in center and add the milk, stirring just to moisten. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Brush with soft or melted butter immediately when they come out of the oven and serve warm.  Makes 8 to 10 biscuits.

Apricot Ritz

I served this often at Horseshoe Plantation as dessert with a game dinner.


4  (17-oz.) cans apricot halves

1 (4-oz.) stack of Ritz crackers

2/3 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed

¼  cup butter, melted


Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Crush the crackers to make crumbs.  In a 2-qt. casserole dish (I used a 9-inch glass loaf baking dish), alternate layers (in order given) of apricots, crumbs and brown sugar.  Pour melted butter evenly over top. Bake for about 45 minutes. To serve, ladle into individual dessert dishes.    Makes 6 servings.

When measuring flour from a canister, just "fluff" the flour with a fork; then it lightly in a measuring cup.  Flour settles in a canister or flour bag, so if not "fluffed" you'll get more flour than you need.  In some recipes the amount of flour is critical.  Always level it off with the back of a knife to avoid packing it down.

The juiciest lemons have a thin, smooth skin.  To get the maximum amount of juice from them, first roll the lemon on the counter, pressing down firmly with your hands, then cut and juice.  You should get 3 to 4 tablespoons of juice per lemon.

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