Read these 76 Cooking for Seniors Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Senior tips and hundreds of other topics.
You're not gonna believe how easy and fantabulous these are; some of you know them by Texas Millionaires and some by Turtles. Whatever you call them, your friends and family will call you for more!! This is a recipe of a friend from the former Themestream days, Belinda Mooney.
Yield: about 16 (little more if made smaller)
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1-1/2 cups pecan halves
28 caramels (unwrapped)
2 tblsp whipping cream*
Microwave half the chips in a glass bowl at HIGH for 1-1/2 minutes, stir after 1 minute. Remove from oven and stir until smooth; cool until slightly thickened. Drop
chocolate onto a waxpaper-lined baking sheet, smoothing into 16 ea. 1-1/2" circles. Reserve remaining chocolate. Arrange 4 pecan halves on to each circle (to look like turtle legs :o); chill until firm.
In another glass bowl put caramels and cream; microwave at HIGH 2 minutes or until caramels are melted; stir after 1 minute. Let stand 4 minutes or until slightly thickened. Spoon caramel mixture evenly over pecans. Microwave remaining chocolate at HIGH 1 minute, stirring after 30 seconds (you might want to add a drop or two of cream to make smooth); quickly spread over caramel mixture. Refrigerate until firm. In colder weather, you can cover with wax paper and firm naturally.
P.S. hide some away for yourself...before they are all eaten!!!
Note: *You can substitute milk or even water for the cream...but why not be decadent and use cream ;o). Also, be sure the bowl for melting caramels is large enough, the caramel mixture could bubble over.
For more of Belinda's recipes, check out my links...her's is "Dinner's In The Freezer"...
Your very own cranberry sauce; make ahead an chill.
Serves 8 to 12
2 cup water
2 cup sugar
2 (12-ounce) package cranberries, picked over and rinsed
4 tsp coarsely grated orange zest
1/2 cup orange juice (not concentrate)
In a 3-qt. saucepan on medium heat, combine water and sugar, heating until sugar dissolves. Bring mixture to a boil, but do not stir; boil for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, add cranberries and simmer, uncovered, for 5 to 10 minutes, or until sauce thickens. Skim top of the sauce (and discard), then add orange zest and orange juice, stirring to combine. Cool and chill in refrigerator, covered, until ready to use.
Note: when selecting cranberries, be sure they are firm to touch. During season, cranberries can be 'cheap'; buy extra packages and freeze (up to 1 year)for later use.
Good anytime, but would go wonderful with the 'sausage brunch' recipe I have in another recipe tip.
2 eggs, beaten
1 small onion, grated
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
6 medium potatos (approx. 2 lbs.) peeled
2 Tblsp. flour
1/4 cup oil.
Combine in a large bowl: eggs, onion, salt, pepper and nutmeg; mix well. Shred potatoes, pat dry with paper towels and immediately combine with egg mixture (this prevents discoloration). Sprinkle in the flour and mix well. Heat oil in a 10" skillet over medium heat. Drop mixture by heaping spoonfuls into the oil. Cook first side until crisp and golden brown (about 5 mins.), then turn and cook about 5 more minutes. Serve with applesauce as a side and sour cream for 'dollop'.
For a variety, add 1 heaping spoonful of horseradish to the applesauce.
This is especially a good brunch recipe for an OctoberFest celebration!
6 eggs, beaten
1 cup whipping cream
3/4 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
----dash of pepper
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded cheese, any of your favorite
1/2 lb. smoked sausage or Polish Kielbasa, chopped
1/4 cup green pepper, chopped
Combine first five ingredients, mixing until well blended. Add 3/4 cup cheese, sausage and green pepper. Pour mixture into greased 8" square baking dish. Bake at 350 deg. for 45 minutes (or until eggs are set). Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and continue baking JUST until cheese is melted.
This recipe serves 4-6 people. If you are having a large group, double recipe and use a 13" x 8" baking dish. Same oven temp., same timing.
Serve with potato pancakes (sour-cream side) and hot spiced applesauce.
Summertime (or anytime) is ideal for making/eating simple, fun foods. Try making these simple, finger sandwiches using whole wheat breads:
-spread bread with cream cheese, then add washed and sliced cucumber.
-spread bread with butter, add watercress or cilantro.
-spread bread with dressing choice, sliced tomatoes, and halved olives.
You can cut off crusts (option), then cut in slender finger pieces. Just be sure to make plenty! Kids, young and old, will love these ;o)
Ham rolls are easy to make and a tasty finger food; you'll need equal amounts of:
sliced deli ham (square pieces) and
thinly sliced swiss cheese
mayonnaise, Miracle Whip, or Dijon mustard (your choice)
green onions for each roll
Start with a slice of ham; thinly spread on mayo, Mir. Whip, or mustard; top with sliced swiss cheese and 1 green onion (at edge); roll up and secure 'roll' with toothpick. If not served immediately, cover and chill in fridge.
Note: grocery deli can slice your ham or cheese to right thickness; or purchase in package.
We're keeping it 'Kool' and easy!
1 package (16 oz.) frozen southern-style hashed brown
1 can (10-3/4 oz.) condensed cream of potato soup
1/2 cup dairy sour cream
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
In a 1-3/4-quart shallow microproof casserole, combine potatoes, soup, sour cream, and 1/2 cup cheese; mix well. Use COOK (high) cycle, cook 15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender, stirring once during cook-time.
Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cover and let stand 3 minutes, or until top-cheese is melted.
And it's g-o-o-d!
Cooking frugally for one: invite friends for dinner, fix large pot roast, plenty potatoes, carrots, and plenty of gravy. Utilizing a large roast allows for two or three meals for ourself later in the week. Slice some of the roast and heat in some gravy for open-face hot-roast beef sandwich; serve with left-over potatoes mashed, and some green peas.
Add zest to some meals with a butter/bread-crumb topper. This is great to sprinkle over cubed left-over roast with noodles. Melt two tbls. butter in saute pan, add 3-4 tbls. bread crumbs and dash of garlic powder. Mix well in pan. Let cool a bit and sprinkle over your meat/noodle meal.
A handy way to store onions or potatoes (and keep them fresh longer) is to store them into old, clean panty hose! Tie knots in panty hose after each placement of onion/potato to keep separated, then cut just above each knot as your needs arise for the vegetable. Hang/store on back of pantry or kitchen door to be 'out-of-the-way'
A great vegetable dish. Note that this casserole can be made 3-4 hours in advance, then refrigerate covered; baking time should be increased to 50 - 55 minutes.
2 cups chopped mushrooms
1/4 cup butter or margarine
4 pkgs (10 oz. each) frozen spinach, thawed
4 eggs slightly beaten
3/4 cup sour cream
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Saute` mushrooms in butter in medium skillet until
tender, about 10 minutes. Drain spinach *thoroughly*;
stir into skillet. Stir in eggs, sour cream, nutmeg,
salt and pepper. Spoon mixture into greased 1-1/2 quart
casserole; sprinkle with cheese. Bake in preheated
350 degree oven until hot, about 45 minutes.
Yield: 12 servings
For a great and simple corned-beef dinner: Purchase packaged 3-4 lb. corned-beef with spices, place in *large* stew pot or Dutch oven, cover with hot water (2" above meat), bring to boil; lower heat and simmer for 3 to 3-1/2 hrs. During the last 40 minutes, add 10 small/medium pared potatoes halved (larger ones quartered), and 10 pared carrots each cut in 3" pieces; after 10 minutes add one large head of cabbage cut in 8 wedges, sprinkled with salt and pepper to taste, and simmer for the additional 30 minutes; little more if cabbage not yet tender*. Be sure to thinly slice corned-beef across the grain. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers immediately after serving.
*Note: Add a bit of water if/when necessary.
This is for a senior light meal submitted by a newsletter subscriber and friend, Eileen W.:(add what you like if you are not watching calories or fats).
1 Large tomato
1 sm. can Tuna(in spring water)
small rib of Celery
light thousand Island dressing
rye crisp (or crackers)
Chop celery, mix with tuna put as much dressing as you like and mix all together. Cut out center of tomato, and spoon in tuna salad; serve on bed of lettuce.
Good also with onions, chopped olives, or sweet pickle relish (if substituting MiracleWhip) if you want, but since my surgery , onions upset my stomach. I love them so I use a little onion salt;-).
Thanks, Eileen...this sounds great for a light meal!!
If planning on feeding a large group, a simple and easy meal would be a spaghetti-and-sauce meal that would feed many. You could make meatballs ahead and freeze, then warm in sauce. Serve with salad and garlic bread(s). Leftovers can be frozen into 1 or 2-meal size containers or zip-lock sandwich bags if not left in freezer too long.
Low heat, high taste...
1 1/2 lb boneless chuck steak, 1 1/2 inch thick
1 clove minced garlic
1/4 cup wine vinegar
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp paprika
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp dry or prepared mustard
Cut the beef on a diagonal (across the grain) into one inch wide slices; place meat in crockpot. Combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl, pour over the meat, and mix. Cover and cook on Low for 3 to 5 hours.
For quick, good bean soup, combine one can of regular Ranch Style Beans and one can of Jalapeno Ranch Style Beans with 1-1/2 can water. Heat well and at the last minute top with fresh, coarsely chopped cilantro. If you can't tolerate jalapeno, use just the regular can of beans with 1/2 - 2/3 cup water.
This is really good and easy to prepare. You'll need:
1 5-oz. can of Hormel Chunked Ham or spread (but NOT devlied ham), with 1 8-oz. package of cream cheese (room temperature), 1/4 cup of chopped pecans, and three tablespoons of fresh chopped chives. Spread mixture on whole wheat sandwich bread. Serve with applesauce.
For a really nice presentation (as for special company) trim crust from bread before adding spread, and cut into finger sandwiches. These would go great with the Cucumber/Tuna Boat (see my recipe).
I told you the Crock-Pot can do almost anything! This is another goodie!
6 - 8 medium unpeeled baking apples, washed and cored,
but not all the way thru to bottom
2 tablespoons raisins (optional)
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 - 3 tablespoons butter
1 hand-full of red cinnamon candies
Mix raisins (if using) with sugar; fill center of apples with this. Sprinkle cinnamon and a few (4-5) cinnamon candies in center, and dot with butter. Place apples in Crock-Pot, stacking if necessary to fit; add 1/2 cup water. Cover and cook on *Low* overnight or 8 hours. If using a large 5-quart Crock-pot add a bit more water.
Ever bake a perfect pie only to overly-brown the edges? Here's how to avoid that: tear three 2" strips of foil from roll; connect each by folding together end-to-end; form around the long handle of a wooden spoon; shape around the rim of pie (both single or double crust) before baking. This protects the crust rim so it does not overly brown.
Most of us Seniors have plenty of practice cooking for more than just 2 people. This is a reminder for us, and also for others. One-pot-meals are much easier to fix: large pot roast, potatoes, carrots; with enough juices to make a gravy. Serve with a green or fruit salad. Easy clean-up afterwards. Got leftovers, see cooking for one for ideas how to use.
Note: pudding can be made 1 day in advance and refrigerated, covered, before mounding; heat over medium heat in saucepan and shape as directed.
2 lbs. carrots, pared, shredded
1-1/2 cups water
2 cups milk
1 cup whipping cream
1-1/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup butter or margarine
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 cup golden raisins
Heat carrots and water to boiling in saucepan; reduce heat and simmer until water is absorbed, 15 - 20 minutes. Stir in milk, cream and sugar; heat to boiling, reducing heat immediately to medium; cook until liquid is absorbed, 45 - 50 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients; simmer until mixture is very thick, stirring frequently. Shape into mound on plate. Serve warm.
Yield: 6 servings
When planning for a large dinner, prepare most of the vegetables and sauces ahead - a day or two. Refrigerate, then warm in microwave oven just before serving. Sauces should be stored separately, then added as needed. This will also relieve the needed use of stove top for last minute preparations.
With this 'tenderizer' you don't have to buy expensive steaks. For two small-to-med. steaks, pour 1 small can of pineapple juice in a plastic, sealable sandwich bag; puncture steaks two or three times with fork, on both sides; place steaks in bag and let marinate at least 6 hours in refrigerator for very tender steaks. Pour off juice, pepper and salt (light on the salt) prior to cooking on grill. Serve with salad and baked potato. One good rib-eye could serve two people.
Mmmmm, my mouth is watering as I write this :o)
1 to 2 lbs Polish or Smoked Sausage
cut into 4-inch lengths
1 tsp. butter or margarine
1 medium onion cut into wedges
2 16 oz. cans sauerkraut
1 cup apple juice
2 medium apples cut into wedges
4 - 6 medium potato cut into quarters
1 heaping Tblsp. caraway seeds
salt & pepper to taste
In a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven, brown sausage with butter; place to the outside part; arrange onion, saurkraut, apples, and potatoes to center. Top with apple juice; sprinkle the caraway seed and salt/pepper over kraut. Cover tightly and simmer over low heat (stirring once) for 30 minutes or until potatoes fork-test done.
Serve with a good spiced applesauce, and mustard for the sausages.
Note that dressing can be made 3 days in advance; refrigerate covered.
1-1/2 cups orange juice
3 Tbsp dried mint leaves
3 pkgs (8 oz. ea.) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
8 cups assorted fresh fruit
(grapefruit slices - red & white, orange slices, apple chunks - with skin, sliced kiwi, pineapple chunks - canned OK, but drain well)
Heat orange juice and mint to boiling in small saucepan; cool to room temperature. Strain; discard mint. Beat cream cheese until fluffy; beat in orange juice and sugar. Refrigerate, covered, several hours.
Serve dressing over fruit.
Yield: 12 servings (4 cups dressing)
Always thaw a turkey in original wrapping on tray in refrigerator; about 24 hrs. per 5 lbs. If turkey not quite thawed, place it in COLD water - breast side down - changing water every 30 minutes. NEVER thaw at room temperature, and remember to take out 'giblets' from BOTH cavities. Thawed turkey will keep in refrigerator 1 - 2 days...no more!
Well worth the effort (slight) to make...you'll need:
1-1/2 cups sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
1 10 oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed & drained
1 pkg. dry vegetable soup mix (Knorr is good)
1 8 oz. can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
3 green onions, chopped.
Stir ingredients until well mixed; cover, chill overnight (or at least 3 hrs. for flavors to blend)
On hot summer days, especially, that marvelous invention, the microwave oven, is a God-send. Don't overlook the use of this to avoid heating up the kitchen, and oursleves. There is such a great variety of foods in the frozen-food section of our grocery stores. Not just of foods, but of quantity: for one, two, or a large group. If you do dare to use the oven or stove, cook enough for two or three meals, then properly freeze the leftover (2 or 3 separate containers) for future micro-waving meals. It's summer, it's hot, it's 'Kool Cooking' time!!
A good meal for anytime, but great for a light lunch: Cucumber/Tuna Boat. Wash (get all the waxy stuff off) cucumbers. Cut in half lengthwise, scoop out all the seeds.
Slice a small section off bottom of the halved cucumber (keeps from 'rolling').
Fill with your best tuna salad (don't forget to add finely diced celery for a great, crunchy flavor). Really refreshing and cool (as a cucumber! :o). Serve with crackers and a fresh fruit salad. This is great to serve when you invite friends for lunch.
Been too long since making a GOOD B-L-T sandwich? Try using the thicker bacon from your butcher; fry to crispness (squeeze out excess fat between paper-towel sheets); use fresh spinach leaves in lieu of lettuce; spread bread with Canolla Mayo; don't skimp on amount of bacon or tomatoes. Pile 'em high, then cut in half from corner-to-corner. Mmmmm...mmmmm...GOOD!
During summer months, do you really want to heat up the oven to cook? Not me! I try to 'outdoor-grill' as often as I can, even if it is just for myself. I grill hamburgers, chicken breasts or de-boned thighs, a lean steak (once in a while!); even veggie-kabobs (see tip #57937 - Veggie-kabobs for recipe)! I used to use the charcoal grill, but now have a gas grill; it is really so much easier and faster for my needs. Even a small charcoal grill is oftimes adequate. If you don't have an outdoor grill, start thinking about getting one; you'll really enjoy not heating up the oven/range AND your kitchen!
Make for guests or just ourselves (we can eat it all!)
5 medium red Delicious apples
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup red seedless grapes (halved)
1/2 cup Miracle Whip
Wash (but don't peel) apples. Core apples, slice into wedges and cut into 1/2" cubed piece; sprinkle apples with lemon juice to prevent discoloration. Combine celery, pecans, grapes and Mir.Whip. Chill. Serve on sliced pineapple, lettuce or by itself.
Oh, do I have a good one for you! First, I use wooden skewers for my small items when grilling; and I soak the skewers in water for *at least* 30 minutes before using them (protects from burning easily). Skewer your favorite veggies, cook on gas (low) or coal outdoor grill , and baste with a mixture of 4 tbsp. melted butter or margerine, dash or two of Worcestershire Sauce and dash or two of garlic powder. Grill until tender, but do not let burn. My favorite veggies: cherry tomatoes, pearl onions, small pieces of yellow squash (skewer thru the skin area), flowerettes of cauliflower, bite-size-pieces of young (small) eggplant (having been soaked in salt-water for an hour to take out bitterness, then rinsed and dried), and broken chunks of green peppers. You can either make a skewer of the combined veggies - one for each person - or make several skewers of each type veggie. This latter allows proper grilling time for each type of veggie. But I always skewer my tomatoes with the pieces of green pepper. If you find your veggies are 'rolling' on the one skewer, add another skewer just about 1/4" away from the first; be careful with cauliflower-ette...not too close as to break-apart the veggie. These veggie-kabobs have always been a hit with my guests, even the 'picky' ones!
Great dish with turkey or prime-rib roast. You'll need:
12 - 16 oz. bag baby carrots
1 cup halved, sliced onions
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tblsp flour
1 can cream of celery soup
1 cup milk
1 tblsp fresh dill weed chopped (OR dry)
1 tsp sugar
salt, pepper and allspice to taste
Wash carrots and pat dry. Saute carrots with onion and garlic in oil for 5 minutes; sprinkle with flour and mix well. Stir in soup and milk; add dill, sugar, salt, pepper and allspice. Simmer until carrots are tender, about 30 minutes.
Serves 6-8 people.
I know, the fad seemed to have slipped away...but the CrockPot is really a time-saver and a 'Kool' cooker. Pull it out of storage, dust it off, and start using it again. The convenience of starting your meal in the morning (or the night before) and forgetting about it can't be beat. AND you won't be heating up your kitchen! Don't have one? Check on my 'products' list under cooking, Amazon has a great one waiting for you :o)
Of course your grandchildren will love this! And so will you.
Wash fresh corn, remove all the silky 'hair' but leave the green outer husts on the ears. Cut off ends so corn will fit in your Crock-Pot in a standing position(remember to wash thoroughly). 6 to 8 ears fit best. Cover and cook on *High* for 45 minutes, then turn to *Low* for 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Remove husks and serve the hungry 'droolers' :o) don't forget the butter!