Vickie's This and That, Nov 29th

November 27, 2017 - Hello, it has been a while, but I thought I would try to get “This and That” going again. For the next month or so I will only be sharing recipes. I would love for readers to share their favorite recipes with me. Your recipes can be emailed to

As you can probably already tell, I love collecting recipes. Most of the recipes I post are old ones. I learned my love for cooking from my mother who was an awesome cook. Mother could take 5 porkchops and feed 12 people. I know this sounds impossible, but it is a true story.

One evening as the five of us were sitting down for supper, company drove up and mother quickly took the plate of porkchops – minus one as my brother had already started eating his. You need to understand that porkchops were a special treat for my family as chicken was our main source of meat. (Daddy raised chickens). Mother quickly diced the remaining porkchops into bite size pieces, added Lipton onion soup mix, and raw rice to a skillet and fed us and the company. While the rice was cooking, she then made a big pan of biscuits to go with it. I gave my brother a hard time for getting to eat his porkchop and the rest of us had to share. My point is mother could take very little, feed a crowd a good meal and often did.

Thanksgiving has passed and the Christmas season is upon us. Many will be celebrating with family and friends. This means many hours will be spent in the kitchen cooking and getting ready for company. Enjoy every moment as some of the love ones we have with us now may not be there next year. Remember your neighbors and the elderly and share the holidays with them.

This week I am sharing some of my favorite old standbys. Enjoy

Tater Tot Casserole
2 lbs. extra lean ground beef
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 16oz Sour Cream
1 cup grated cheddar cheese (or more!)
1 pack frozen tatter tots
Salt and pepper according to taste

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees. Grease 13x9 inch pan. Brown meat adding seasoning as preferred, drain well. Layer the beef on the bottom of the pan, set aside. In a med mixing bowl add sour cream and mushroom soup and mix well. Then layer the mixture on top of the beef, then add cheese. Top with tatter tots. Bake covered for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 minutes longer, adding extra cheese here if desired. Once cheese is melted you will have one fabulous meal. This is an all-time favorite.

Incredible Baked Meatballs
1 lb lean ground beef
2 eggs, beaten with 1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 cup panko or bread crumbs
1 small onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup minced fresh basil (I just used dried as I don't always have fresh)

Mix all ingredients with hands. Form into golf ball sized meatballs. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Great to use with spaghetti or egg noodles. (Great recipe to use as an appetizer.)

Easy Peach Cobbler
2 lb frozen peaches or 2 16oz can of peaches (if you like cobbler to be a little soupy don’t drain)
1 box yellow cake mix
1 can diet 7up or sprite (regular drink works also)

Directions: Spread frozen peaches in Pam sprayed 13x9 pan. Sprinkle dry cake mix over peaches. Pour 7up/Sprite over cake mix. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Uncover and bake for 40 minutes.


How to Make Bigger Cakes from Mixes: Add 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 egg, 1 tsp. baking powder to the boxed mix.

Place a plastic bag over your hand to easily grease a pan without the mess.

Start pasta by boiling water. For a quicker boil, simply cover the pot. (Use about six quarts of water for up to one pound of pasta.) Salting the water just before adding the pasta enhances the flavor of the pasta and also helps it absorb sauce. When pasta is done, rinse it only if you're not saucing and serving it immediately, otherwise the starch that clings to the strands (giving it good taste and texture) will be lost.

To keep meringue from shrinking–Use correct proportion of sugar and egg whites–2 tablespoons to each white. Add sugar gradually. Beat until mixture is very smooth. Bake meringue slowly. Allow 10 to 20 minutes. Meringue will always stand up high and perfect if you use a generous pinch of baking soda while beating whites.