After four years of working for Camden in Arizona, this single Arizona gal transferred to sunny California and while every day I am continuously amazed at the beautiful scenery, I am still getting used to every day differences between these two neighboring states. One particular need that doesn’t seem to change with my zip code is the need for a fast, easy and tasty meal. While I do have a spacious 2 bedroom Camden apartment in Mission Viejo, having a roommate with shared custody of the oven, fridge and microwave seems to lend a lot of value to the term “fast and easy”. Whether you face a similar roommate appliance custody agreement or not I hope that you will enjoy these few recipes to make your day-to-day routine that much easier.
1.One of the hardest things for me is to get excited for breakfast. I’m lucky if I eat a pop tart or dare I say a piece of fruit or granola. Breakfast to me is extremely foreign, but given the proper preparation on a Sunday, it isn’t totally impossible. The following recipe is not only quick and easy, but it is very delicious. When I go home to Arizona to visit for the holidays, it would be a perfect morning meal to share with the family. Who doesn’t need something to prepare them for shredded wrapping paper pickup detail? Or giving them the extra energy to hear another one of Uncle Allen’s war stories, or Grandpa Albert’s never ending political rants.
Quiche me if you can! A breakfast life saver
5-6 bacon slices, crumbled
5 ounces of your favorite shredded cheese
3 ounces grated parmesan cheese
1 – pie crust
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup half and half cream
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Microwave the bacon slices until crispy, set aside to cool and crumble.
- In a bowl, mix the bacon, both cheeses and put this mixture into the unthawed pie crust.
- Mix the eggs and cream in a bowl and pour the egg mixture over the cheese mixture.
- Sometimes I throw a few pinches of frozen spinach in for good measure.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, and reduce heat to 350 degrees for another 35 minutes until the top of quiche begins to turn toasty brown.
Single Gal Cooking Notes: Wouldn’t it be fabulous to turn this fabulous dish into little bite-size wonders? Try taking this recipe a step further by pouring into a mini muffin pan, just add a pinch of grated cheese at the bottom of each to form a nice shell.
2.The second recipe is my favorite go-to veggie side dish that really does compliment a variety of dinners. It goes well with Pasta, Chicken Breast or even a juicy steak. The greatest thing about this dish is it can be dressed up and taken to a Holiday Pot Luck or Family Feast, and will most definitely become a family classic.
Oh Snap! A go-to Veggie Side Dish
6 cans whole green beans
1 stick of butter (say no to margarine)
6-8 slices of bacon
1 ½ cups of brown sugar
½ can of cola (I use this during the holidays & omit the rest of the year)
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Microwave the stick of butter and pour over the canned green beans in a casserole dish.
- Add the brown sugar and lightly toss so the green beans are completely covered.
- Microwave the bacon for about a minute and then lay flat across the top of the green beans.
- If the meal is for a special occasion or holiday I add ½ can of cola before I put it all in the oven.
- Once the oven is preheated, cook for a total of 30-35 minutes. After the dish has cooled, remove the bacon, crumble and stir.
Single Gal Cooking Notes: I make this quite frequently throughout the week, its super simple and you can omit some of the sugar to make it more of an everyday side dish. However, if you cook the bacon for 2 ½ minutes in the microwave it will lessen the amount of bacon grease in your Oh Snap recipe, unless you are like me and welcome the bacon fat and sugar!
3.What list of Holiday recipes would be complete without a fast and easy way to use those turkey leftovers? You can only swallow so many turkey sandwiches before your belly starts to write its own blog “Turkey Sandwich Annoyance: Beyond just ordinary leftovers”.
Turkey Enchiladas – Its What’s For Dinner
2 cups shredded Cheddar and Monterey cheese blend
1 onion, chopped
1 (2 ounce) can sliced black olives (optional)
24 (6 inch) corn tortillas
1 (19 ounce) can red enchilada sauce
4 cups cooked turkey, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish.
- In a small bowl, combine cheese, onion and black olives.
- In a small skillet, heat enough oil to lightly coat one tortilla, and cook until soft. Remove and dip in enchilada sauce to coat.
- I cook all of my tortillas at the same time, and separate them with a paper towel. And dip my tortillas in the enchilada sauce just before I stuff.
- Add turkey and cheese mixture to tortilla, roll and place in the dish. Repeat, and continue until baking dish is full.
- Spread enough sauce over top of enchiladas to cover and coat.
- Sprinkle with remaining cheese mixture. Bake 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cheese is melted.
Single Gal Cooking Notes: Again, I find that it’s easier to fry up all the tortillas at the same time and separate with a paper towel. I create somewhat of an assembly line as I dip each one in the enchilada sauce to coat, and then stuff my mixture in as I place in the baking dish.
4.One last sure to please recipe, for all those salty sweet fans out there! I was devastated when Ben & Jerry announced their retirement of the extremely delicious Late Night Snack. For four years I enjoyed the sweet vanilla ice cream, mixed with a swirl of salted caramel and chunks of fudge-covered potato chip clusters. I think I have finally found a replacement, even if this is a bit more prep than running down to my local grocery store.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Bark! – A comforting dessert
30 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
12 caramel candies
2 cups potato chips crushed
1 ½ cups creamy peanut butter
¾ cup caramel sauce
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons heavy cream
- Line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper.
- Place chocolate chips in a bowl and microwave in 20 second increments, stirring in between until chocolate is melted and smooth.
- Fold the crushed potato chips into the melted chocolate and stir until they’re all evenly coated.
- Pour the chocolate potato chip mixture into your lined baking dish and use a rubber spatula to spread out the mixture evenly.
- Combine your other ingredients (Peanut Butter, Caramel candies and heavy cream) into a medium saucepan and while stirring frequently, cook over medium-low heat until also smooth and combined.
- Remove from heat and drop spoonfuls of this mixture into the chocolate.
- I typically do about 9 spoonful’s and space them evenly across.
- Drizzle the caramel sauce over the top, then drag a knife through the peanut butter clusters (up and down; side to side) to get a marbled effect in your bark.
- Once you have achieved the desired pattern, place bark in the fridge and chill until chocolate is set and hardened.
Lastly, just remove the bark from the fridge and cut/break into small pieces.
Single Gal Cooking Notes: I like to use a salty caramel sauce, or even add little bits of sea salt on the top before putting in the fridge.
If you are like me I’m always looking for recipe’s that are easy to make. Preferably a recipe that doesn’t either have a million ingredients or a laundry list of special ingredients most of us don’t keep in our pantry. I hope there are few recipe keepers in this list for you and it helps make the holidays easier as you try and keep your holiday guests fed. Especially if it makes time with Uncle Allen and Grandpa Albert a little more enjoyable. Either way, I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and I’ll talk to you again after the New Year!
If you are looking for additional recipes for the holidays, please take a look at the following Camden blogs for even more yummy treats!