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What are simple, easy recipes do you remember from childhood?


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I was making cornbread tonight and the little jiffy box got me thinking.

When I was a kid we made cookies using jiffy cake mix.

2 jiffy cake mixes (yellow usually but any flavor)

1/2 cup veg oil

2 eggs

Mix and add in chocolate chips and bake.

 

Goulash

1 pound ground beef, browned

1 cup (measure dry) elbow noodles, cooked

1 can tomato soup

 

Mush

Take left over cornbread, crumble it in a bowl, add milk and a bit of sugar.  Heat in microwave 30-60 seconds 

 

These were all super simple things that I remember fondly.   

Anyone else have any to share?

 

 

Edited by Ottakee
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12 minutes ago, Ottakee said:

I was making cornbread tonight and the little jiffy box got me thinking.

When I was a kid we made cookies using jiffy cake mix.

2 jiffy cake mixes (yellow usually but any flavor)

1/2 cup veg oil

2 eggs

Mix and add in chocolate chips and bake.

 

Goulash

1 pound ground beef, browned

1 cup (measure dry) elbow noodles, cooked

1 can tomato soup

 

Mush

Take left over cornbread, crumble it in a bowl, add milk and a bit of sugar.  Heat in microwave 30-60 seconds 

 

These were all super simple things that I remember fondly.   

Anyone else have any to share?

 

 

 I can't get past the part where you said "any flavor").  There's more than one kind of jiffy cornbread mix??!!

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Rice, milk and honey

It could have been an invention of my grandma

Cook some rice, leftovers from the main meal preferred. Poor on some  milk and drizzle on some honey. 

If it is cold left over rice from The day before you can warm up the milk 

Edited by Melissa in Australia
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  • Ottakee changed the title to What are simple, easy recipes do you remember from childhood?

My mom would spread a thick layer of sour cream on cod or other white fish filets, sprinkle with parmesan, salt & pepper and bake. Serve with a wedge of lemon. 

Couldn't be easier and still shocks me how good it is every time I make it.  

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15 minutes ago, jen3kids said:

 I can't get past the part where you said "any flavor").  There's more than one kind of jiffy cornbread mix??!!

I was making CORN BREAD tonight.  The cookie recipe though uses Jiffy CAKE mix.  We usually did yellow with chocolate chips but sometimes used chocolate cake mix with peanut butter chips.

The Jiffy corn bread just got me thinking of the jiffy coookies.

 

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Something my mom made sometimes: take chicken breasts and put in a casserole dish. Mix a can of cream of chicken soup (maybe add half the water?) with a package of dry onion soup mix, and pour over the chicken. Bake about an hour (if it is bone-in chicken breasts) and serve over rice. It was really really good! I rarely ever buy canned soups or use them in recipes any more, but I may have to try this and see if I still like it, lol.

As for me, as a kid I loved pudding as an after-swimming snack. I would cook a package of non-instant Jello vanilla pudding, and put frozen strawberries in it after it was done, but while it was still hot.

We would make cheese toast a lot. Put a slice of American cheese (now I think yuck!) on bread and put it in the oven on broil. The cheese would puff up and start turning brown around the edges. I'd first pull off the top layer of cheese and eat it, then I'd eat the bread and leftover cheese together.

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Don’t know what it’s called, but we would take a tortilla, spread it with butter, heat it on the griddle and then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

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English Toffee:  bring a pound of butter and a pound of brown sugar to a boil and cook until the hard crack stage. Pour into a greased cookie sheet, let it harden slightly and melt a 12-oz bag of chocolate chips over the top while still warm.  Add chopped nuts if desired.
 

Chili dip:  combine two cans of chili and a brick of cream cheese in a crockpot and heat until hot and cheese is melted in. Top with shredded cheddar and serve with tortilla chips. 

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A box of Mac-n-cheese, milk, margarine--and my mom would add an egg if she had one "to make it more nutrtious"

Chesseburger hamburger helper.  Pound of ground meat, water, and the hamburger helper box.

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My mommy took most of the good recipes from my childhood and printed them off and put them in a recipe book for each of us.  I have used it to death.

One of the simplest that didn't even need to go into the book was pork chops with mushroom rice.  She would put pork chops into a 13X9 and dump a can of cream of mushroom soup on it, then bake till done.  While the chops were cooking, she would make Minute rice, replacing half the water with another can of cream of mushroom soup.

That stuff was so good.  

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My dad used to marinate chicken in Good Seasons Zesty Italian dressing marinade and then grill it.  My mom used to buy the package and mix it up in the cruet that came with it.  She would put the chicken in the marinade and my dad would grill it when he got home while the kids swam in the pool.  It was SO good!  It will have to remain a memory for me, though, because the seasoning has wheat in it and I have a wheat allergy. 😞  Such a good, good memory, though.

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When my mom would make pie, she would use any extra pie crust to make a special pie for us kids. It was just pie crust, butter, brown sugar, a little cinnamon, and a few raisins - so basically like a flat cinnamon roll pie crust. But it felt special and was always yummy. 

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My mom made creamed chipped beef with dried beef that came in a glass jar, and a can of cream of mushroom soup. She would soak the beef for a while to get some of the salt out, then just cook it with the can of soup.  I loved that stuff so much. When I was an adult, I found that the Stouffer's brand was a reasonable facsimile and great for a hangover. 

 

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My mom would mask tuna casserole with tuna, cream of mushroom soup, frozen peas, and noodles.  I remember liking it, but I would never make it now because none of my family would eat it.

DH introduced me to his mom's tuna and rice recipe after we got married.  You cook up 4 cups of white rice, add tuna and a jar of cheeze whiz then bake for a few minutes.  I made it when we were first married for him, but we haven't had it in years.

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When my mom went back to school, she spent a week teaching me to cook for myself and my little brother. I still remember the first one, which was basically, here are thin pork chops. Here's a pan. Here's how you turn on the stove. Put it in the pan. Flip it. Eat it.

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I forgot about creamed tuna: can of tuna, tablespoon of flour, butter, heat in a skillet, add a little lemon juice and worcestershire sauce, stir in milk and let it thicken into a kind of gravy. Serve over toast. 

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My mom always made homemade spaghetti, but sometimes when she was away, my dad would have to make dinner. He'd make his spaghetti recipe: boiled noodles + jarred sauce (Ragu, always). That's it..and we (kids) loved it SOOOO much. 

Edited by alisoncooks
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My first Gramma and Grandpa are coming for dinner meal was meatloaf, baked potato, baking powder biscuits  and the candle salad. haha. It must have been in a kids cookbook. Put a lettuce leaf on plate topped with a slice of canned pineapple and half of a banana standing up in the middle to look like a candle. We were about 9 or 10 years old.

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53 minutes ago, Farrar said:

When my mom went back to school, she spent a week teaching me to cook for myself and my little brother. I still remember the first one, which was basically, here are thin pork chops. Here's a pan. Here's how you turn on the stove. Put it in the pan. Flip it. Eat it.

My mom taught me that recipe, but she added ‘cook them until they are bone dry and shoe leather tough’. 

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51 minutes ago, alisoncooks said:

My mom always made homemade spaghetti, but sometimes when she was away, my dad would have to make dinner. He'd make his spaghetti recipe: boiled noodles + jarred sauce (Ragu, always). That's it..and we (kids) loved it SOOOO much. 

That’s what I had for dinner last night - boiled spaghetti noodles and Ragu sauce. I was only cooking for myself and I had a nostalgic craving. 😉

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So many of your recipes remind me of my childhood!  I rarely make any of those myself, but they bring back good memories.  🙂

My mother almost always had an after-school snack for us when we came home -- often homemade cookies, or homemade bread.  If she didn't have time for that, we'd sometimes have a graham cracker sandwich -- two graham crackers with homemade frosting in the middle.

We had a lot of hot dishes (casseroles) with various combinations of cream of mushroom soup or tomato sauce, ground hamburger or canned tuna, and pasta.  Generally with frozen peas, corn, or french style beans on the side.

 

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After school treats were the best!  My favorite was Graham cracker sandwiches with canned chocolate frosting in the middle.

Mashed bean sandwiches were my grandma's favorite:  cold pork and beans on wheat bread, mashed with a fork.  It's much tastier than it sounds.

My brother made boxed mac and cheese as an after school treat.  Adding some canned corn made it even better.  

 

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5 hours ago, Melissa in Australia said:

Rice, milk and honey

It could have been an invention of my grandma

Cook some rice, leftovers from the main meal preferred. Poor on some  milk and drizzle on some honey. 

If it is cold left over rice from The day before you can warm up the milk 

I did this.  My kids do this.  It’s just so simple and satisfying.

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We used to have condensed milk apricot balls.  It was basically a couple of hundred grams of chopped dried apricot a couple of cups of coconut and a tin of condensed milk.  Mix roll and refrigerate.  Of course dried apricot tends to be more expensive now.

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My grandma would give me banana soup as a snack. Slice a banana into a bowl, pour milk over it, and then sprinkle with a bit of powdered sugar if you have it (sugar not essential). Eat with a spoon. Delicious!

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12 hours ago, Melissa in Australia said:

Rice, milk and honey

It could have been an invention of my grandma

Cook some rice, leftovers from the main meal preferred. Poor on some  milk and drizzle on some honey. 

If it is cold left over rice from The day before you can warm up the milk 

We did this with millet. It's even better if you add sliced banana!

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10 hours ago, Junie said:

My dad used to marinate chicken in Good Seasons Zesty Italian dressing marinade and then grill it.  My mom used to buy the package and mix it up in the cruet that came with it.  She would put the chicken in the marinade and my dad would grill it when he got home while the kids swam in the pool.  It was SO good!  It will have to remain a memory for me, though, because the seasoning has wheat in it and I have a wheat allergy. 😞  Such a good, good memory, though.

I have to give you this recipe, in case you don't have it. All this gal's salad dressings are fantastic, imo.  http://meljoulwan.com/2017/06/19/good-seasons-italian-dressing/

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My mom would put tenderized round steak (I think she called it cube steak?) in the crock pot with cream of mushroom soup and a packet of onion soup mix.  She would serve with mashed potatoes.  I haven't had this in years but we all loved it.  My mom wasn't an amazing cook and burnt a lot of things.  She also made the best pancakes and I still use her recipe.  She would also make chocolate icing that we would smear on graham crackers.
 

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I don't recall ever going to a Chinese resturant growing up. But my mother's special meal was a can of LaChow chow mein pured over the canned noodles.  I liked it at the time.  Every now and then, I see it in a market and get tempted to try it for old times sake.  The sodium content scares me off. 

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Eggplant spread

- place a whole eggplant (holes poked with knife first so it doesn't explode) on a dry, hot, cast-iron skillet on a medium to high heat

- cook on one side until charred, turn, cook on the other side until charred and "deflated" - it looks flat basically, no longer round

- let cool, cut in half length-wise, open and scoop out the flesh

- mash cooked eggplant with fork until fairly uniform and no longer stringy

- add finely chopped onion and garlic to taste

- optional - add finely chopped fresh tomato

- season with salt, pepper, and a little olive oil (or oil of your choice)

- mix everything, refrigerate until flavors mix

- serve on hearty bread a-la bruscheta

 

pan fried potatoes

- peel potatoes of any kind in any quantity that would fit in your frying pan

- cut potatoes in matchstick shapes (or rounds, whichever you prefer)

- heat some cooking oil in a frying pan on medium or medium-high heat

- place potatoes into frying pan, and cook without stirring until some crust forms on the bottom layer of potatoes

- turn/stir to expose another side of potatoes to the bottom of the pan

- if you have a cover for the frying pan, cover it now and let the potatoes finish cooking

- continue to cook until potatoes are soft

- season with salt and pepper

- serve hot for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack 🙂

 

 

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Smoked sausage and sauerkraut with mashed potatoes was my very favorite growing up, and I never make it now, because DH despises even the smell of sauerkraut.

But it is super easy, the way we prepared it. Open and drain a can or two of sauerkraut and put into a casserole dish. Add brown sugar to taste (we like it sweet). Cut a package of smoked sausage into serving sized pieces, prick with a fork, and arrange on top of the sauerkraut. Bake until heated through, or microwave for 10-15 minutes. Serve with mashed potatoes (Mom always made instant, which was also fast).

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The top two things would not be found in my house today.

Flank steak (at least, I believe it was flank steak, but it seems weird as it’s quite expensive today) topped with ketchup and onions.  Served with mashed potatoes. I actually loved it, but dh has a whole “secret recipe” for cook outs and would die if I suggested ketchup.

The other was canned sliced potatoes, chopped spam, the cheese packets from mac and cheese mixed with milk, and topped with buttery bread crumbs. I have crazy vivid memories of cold, rainy camping nights with that casserole in the oven and our camper windows fogging up.  I tried to recreate it with real ham, fresh potatoes, and actual cheese, but the kids still won’t touch it. They think I’m disgusting.

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11 hours ago, Bambam said:

When my mom would make pie, she would use any extra pie crust to make a special pie for us kids. It was just pie crust, butter, brown sugar, a little cinnamon, and a few raisins - so basically like a flat cinnamon roll pie crust. But it felt special and was always yummy. 

I remember my mom doing this, too! It was my favourite part of the dessert. I could easily skip the pie and just eat the cinnamon and sugar pie crust.

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1 hour ago, teachermom2834 said:

So funny how socially acceptable it was to make graham cracker frosting sandwiches for your kids a generation ago. And then you’d send them out to ride bikes unsupervised until dark. 

 

My BFF's mom would pack sandwiches for lunch consisting of white bread with butter and either sprinkles or chocolate Nesquik powder for the filling!  We lived in FL and the chocolate Nesquik would be all melty by lunch time - those sandwiches were soooo good!  My friend would always share, so eventually her mom just made extra for me.  😛

This was lunch - chocolate or sprinkle sandwiches!  

 

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6 minutes ago, Kassia said:

 

My BFF's mom would pack sandwiches for lunch consisting of white bread with butter and either sprinkles or chocolate Nesquik powder for the filling!  We lived in FL and the chocolate Nesquik would be all melty by lunch time - those sandwiches were soooo good!  My friend would always share, so eventually her mom just made extra for me.  😛

This was lunch - chocolate or sprinkle sandwiches!  

 

My lunches were typically Little Debbie snacks and chips. But my mom did insist on some protein. She was very adamant about it. So she would put in those little packages of crackers with the fake cheese you spread with the little red stick. 😂 

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I made up a burrito recipe that I used for a while after I became an adult: brown 1 lb ground beef, mix with 1 can Ranch Style beans. Cook until beans are warm through. Wrap in a tortilla.

and of course there’s the good old banana and peanut butter sandwich, which I learned from a Disney cookbook.

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1 hour ago, elroisees said:

I have to give you this recipe, in case you don't have it. All this gal's salad dressings are fantastic, imo.  http://meljoulwan.com/2017/06/19/good-seasons-italian-dressing/

Thank you so much!  We might have to try this before it gets too cold to grill.  And if it tastes the same...? I will cry happy tears and be forever in your debt. :)

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I love this thread!  Thanks so much for sharing.

One of my favorite homey recipes from my mom was frying up leftover spaghetti with onions and butter, and breaking in an egg or two.  You can do this with leftover potatoes, too.  I haven't ever done it but I was talking about it with her recently, and I think I'll try it.  It was so good!

From a young age I learned to make homemade vinaigrette.  We would never mix it up in a jar or cruet, but made it directly into the salad bowl.  The basic recipe, adjusted for quantity, is 2-3 tablespoon of tablespoons of vinegar, maybe a little less oil, salt, pepper and a couple of squirts of the secret ingredient, Maggi.  I still make it this way today, although often I will add a little mustard, too. 

https://www.amazon.com/Maggi-Seasoning/dp/B002UR987M/ref=asc_df_B002UR987M/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=312252985817&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=15398273932431771643&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9009602&hvtargid=pla-571556593915&psc=1

 

 

Edited by Serenade
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1 hour ago, gstharr said:

I don't recall ever going to a Chinese resturant growing up. But my mother's special meal was a can of LaChow chow mein pured over the canned noodles.  I liked it at the time.  Every now and then, I see it in a market and get tempted to try it for old times sake.  The sodium content scares me off. 

Same here! Wow, those meals were a treat!  I tried it again, once I was grown and married and had actually eaten in Chinese restaurants. (Spoiler alert: it was better in my memory...)

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2 hours ago, gstharr said:

I don't recall ever going to a Chinese resturant growing up. But my mother's special meal was a can of LaChow chow mein pured over the canned noodles.  I liked it at the time.  Every now and then, I see it in a market and get tempted to try it for old times sake.  The sodium content scares me off. 

Yes, I remember that too. For many years that was my idea of Chinese food. I was well into adulthood and working when I discovered how wrong that was. A group of coworkers went out for lunch and I was dreading it, thinking it would be like the canned chow mein I'd grown up with.  Imagine my surprise when I saw how wrong I was. 

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2 hours ago, gstharr said:

I don't recall ever going to a Chinese resturant growing up. But my mother's special meal was a can of LaChow chow mein pured over the canned noodles.  I liked it at the time.  Every now and then, I see it in a market and get tempted to try it for old times sake.  The sodium content scares me off. 

My mother used to make that stuff, too. I couldn’t eat it as the smell made me gag.  I was surprised when I was older and we actually had Chinese food from a place and no nasty smell. 

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