RECIPES INCLUDED: Easy and Delicious Chicken Breasts, Deb's Chicken Fingers, 5-Can Kielbasa Chili, Doug's 15-Bean Soup, Easy Cheesecake Pie, Quick and Easy Chocolate Sauce

Let me get this out of the way up front: Cooking is not my favorite thing to do. But raising a son who liked to eat meant I had to cook. My biggest problem is that if a recipe has more too many ingredients, my eyes cross and my brain shuts down. So I tend to zero in on recipes that don't have a long list of ingredients. I also tend to under-season everything, because I have an irrational fear of spices. I am always on the lookout for easy recipes and when I find one, I tend to cook it a lot. I also collect recipes from friends, cooking shows and anywhere else I find one.

One of my all-time favorite recipes came from my friend in Arizona. I love it because it only has two ingredients--which means even I can’t mess it up.

Easy and Delicious Chicken Breasts

  • 4 defrosted chicken breasts
  • Cream of Chicken soup
  1. Open can of chicken soup.
  2. Open container of chicken.
  3. Throw both in crock pot and let cook for several hours (4-6 roughly).
  4. Make some mashed potatoes, plop chicken on top. Wah-lah (My son, who likes things a bit spicy, adds something called “beer can chicken spice “ when he makes this recipe. I like it both ways).

When my son Mike was younger, my friend Deb gave me this recipe for quick and easy chicken fingers.

Deb's Chicken Fingers

  • Chicken breasts
  • Few tablespoons of Worcester sauce
  • Few tablespoons of Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons of margarine or butter
  • Italian bread crumbs
  1. Put the Worcester sauce, mustard and margarine (or butter) in the microwave for about a minute.
  2. Cut chicken into like size strips or "fingers."
  3. Dip fingers in the liquid mixture, then in the bread crumbs.
  4. Deb used to cook 'em at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes. I cook them at 375  degrees for a little bit longer.

Another of my favorite recipes I call 5-Can Kielbasa chili. I found it in a Taste of Home Simple and Delicious magazine. It is so easy and it doesn’t make me crazy. Here is what you need:

5-Can Kielbasa Chili

  • 1 can corn
  • 1 small can of sliced or chopped black olives (chopped olives makes it sweeter),
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes (I use the tomatoes with Jalapenos or chili powder)
  • 1 can of chili (turkey chili if you are dieting, also you can adjust the spice level)
  • 1 can of chili beans (I use hot sometimes, mild other times)
  • 1 Kielbasa or polish sausage (cut into small pieces)
  • Chili powder to taste (My son loves it hot, I like it hottish)
  1. I throw all the ingredients into a crock pot and let cook for 4-6 hours on low. 
  2. It’s great.

Another recipe I love comes from Doug, the morning news guy on KGAB. It is extremely simple but oh so good.

Doug’s 15-Bean Soup

  • 1 package of 15-Bean Soup mix
  • 1 onion (sliced)
  • Ham hocks or sausage
  • 1 can of tomatoes (optional)
  • Juice of one lemon (optional)
  • Salt
  • Flavor packet that comes with the soup
  • 8 cups of water
  1. Rinse the beans, drain and place in a slow cooker with onions, meat, garlic and flavor packet. 
  2. Add the water and cook on high for 5 hours, or low 7-8 hours until beans are tender. 
  3. Add tomatoes and lemon juice. 
  4. Cook for another 30 minutes. It’s great on cold days.

If you like a little dessert, I found this recipe in the Taste of Home magazine. I made it one Thanksgiving because no one in my family really likes Pumpkin pie. But the family loved this one.

Easy Cheesecake Pie

  • 1 chocolate graham cracker crust
  • 1 24.3 oz carton of ready to serve cheesecake filling
  • 1 package of Oreo cookies
  1. Crumble some Oreo cookies into the pie filling and fill the crust
  2. Use some of the cookies to decorate the top
  3. Chill for a bit and then eat

I was watching the Food Network one Saturday and I came across country singer Trisha Yearwood’s show called Trisha’s Southern Kitchen. I loved this recipe.

Quick and Easy Chocolate Sauce

  • 1 cup of cream
  • 1 cup of milk chocolate chips
  1. Warm up the cream and pour it over the chocolate chips.
  2. Stir. (I can’t think of anything easier.You can use this chocolate sauce on pretty much anything you like.)

While I don’t really like to cook everyday, I do like to bake on occasion. My mom was the same way. She would make home made bread, and home made jam depending on what fruit was ripe at the time. Upstate New York is loaded with all types of berries. We also would go to local orchards at harvest time to pick a bunch of apples for my mom’s homemade apple butter. She slaved over a stove to make it, now it can be made overnight in a slow cooker.  My mom passed away in 2006 and every time I bake or can it reminds me of her.

I will sign off with this question for you: Name one item in your kitchen that you could not cook without. For me it’s paper towels, that’s because when I cook I also clean at the same time. I like to have everything tidy by the time the meal is done cooking.