I can’t believe that this is September. Where has the year gone? I know, we’ve spent half of it so far dealing with the virus. There were so many things we could have been doing during that time, but I regret to say I didn’t get nearly all the things done that I should have. Now that the promise of cooler weather has been made, I hope that I can get back in the groove and accomplish some things I have let go.

I do want to say I’m back into canning mode, that is if I had anything to can. The garden is slowly going away. There isn’t much left out there except a few tomatoes. I did cook up a small kettle full, but I will probably leave the juice in the fridge to use later. I found a supply of canning lids that will probably do me for a couple years. The only thing I have left to can is relish. That is usually my big finale and then I can take my equipment back to the basement until next year.

Meetings are still on hold. I haven’t heard for sure about the Madison District Retreat. I hope enough signed up for it that we can have it, even if it is for one day only. I’m ready to see all our old friends again.

With the promise of cooler days and longer nights, it is time to fix casseroles. They always make a larger dish with enough left over for the next day.

MEXICAN CASSEROLE

1 package flour tortillas

2 cans cream of mushroom soup

1 pound hamburger

1 small jar salsa

8 ounces each: cheddar, and mozzarella cheese, mixed together

Spray a 9-inch round casserole with non-stick spray. Lay two tortillas in the bottom, covering the bottom of the dish. Brown hamburger; drain. Add soup and salsa; heat through. Place a layer of hamburger mixture on tortillas and add cheese. Repeat steps and end with cheese on top. Bake at 350 degrees until bubbly hot.

UPSIDE DOWN PIZZA

1 pound ground beef

1 tablespoon dried onion or 1/4 cup chopped fresh

10-ounce can pizza sauce

8 ounces mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup sour cream

8 ounces crescent rolls

2 tablespoons margarine

1/3 cup Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Fry beef and onion; drain. Stir in pizza sauce and heat. Pour into 9 x 13-inch pan. Cover meat sauce with mozzarella cheese. Spread sour cream over cheese. Place crescent rolls over sour cream. Combine Parmesan cheese and margarine until crumbly; sprinkle over dough. Bake for 18 to 25 minutes until golden brown.

CHICKEN BROCCOLI CASSEROLE

2 packages frozen broccoli, cooked

4 chicken breasts, cooked and cut up

2 cans cream of chicken soup, undiluted

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

Place broccoli in buttered casserole dish. Place chicken over broccoli. Place chicken over broccoli. Mix balance of remaining ingredients; pour over chicken and broccoli. Sprinkle with bread crumbs or butter cracker crumbs. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

ONE POT DINNER

1 – 2 pounds ground beef

3/4 pound bacon

2 cans pork and beans

1 can kidney beans, drained

1 can butter beans, drained

1 cup catsup

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon liquid smoke

3 tablespoons white vinegar

2 teaspoons salt

Dash of pepper

Brown ground beef and drain. Put beef in slow cooker. Brown bacon and onion; drain off fat. Add bacon, onion and remaining ingredients to cooker. Stir together well. Cook on low 4 – 6 hours.

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