Easy Meals the Grandkids Will Love
Sometimes it is crazy hard to come up with meals when you are not used to having big families. After a few years of coming up with meals that are great for two or even one it can be overwhelming to figure out what to make for the grandkids when they come over. I have found a few recipes that are a big hit with my grandkids and with my spouse as well that I will share with you:
1. Easy Beef Stroganoff – This dish seems to have originated in Russia as far as I can tell. I know a lot of kids do not like sour cream but if you just do not let them know it has sour cream in it they usually love it! When my son was small he loved it when I made this and so do my grandkids. Just do not mention the sour cream, unless of course you know they love it.
1 lb. boneless top round steak or sirloin sliced into strips (or hamburger)
2 Tablespoon flour
2/3 cup water (sometimes it takes more, depending on how much flour you dredge your meat in)
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (or to taste)
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 – 1 ounce package onion soup mix
1 – 4 ounce can mushrooms (not drained) or fresh mushrooms
1 – 8 ounce sour cream
Serve over prepared egg noodles
You can add salt and pepper or garlic seasoning but the onion soup has quite a bit of salt and seasonings so I would taste before adding spices.
Slice steak into thin strips, dredge in 1 Tablespoon flour and set aside. Combine remaining 1 Tablespoon flour and 1/3 cup of the 2/3 cup of water and set aside for later. Cook steak in oil, in skillet over med-high heat, 5 minutes or until brown. Add remaining 1/3 cup water, soup mix and mushrooms. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Add flour mixture, stir constant until thick. Add sour cream, heat thoroughly, do not boil. Add Worcestershire Sauce to taste, about 1 Tablespoon or you can omit – we like it! Serve over noodles.
2. Spaghetti and Meatballs or Meat Sauce– A taste of Italy which most kids absolutely love! You can make this one really simple or if you like to cook you can make your sauce and meatballs from scratch. I have done both depending on my time frame and how I am feeling at the time. There are quite a few really good pasta sauces you can purchase now from a dollar to several dollars a can or bottle. There are also some pretty good frozen meatballs in the market today or you can just brown up some ground meat and add a little onion and seasonings and throw that into the sauce. Boil up your pasta and there you go. My crowd likes when I either make or purchase the garlic cheese toast. Everyone is happy on spaghetti day.
3. Macaroni and Cheese with Chicken Chunks and Broccoli – This is another dish I throw together when I am in a hurry and it is always a kid pleaser. I do not know many kids that do not like macaroni and cheese. This is probably an all American dish because we Americans do love our cheese! I just take basic homemade macaroni and cheese (I suppose you could use boxed?) and add bite sized pieces of boneless chicken that I have left over or I boil or bake some boneless frozen breasts. Then I incorporate cooked frozen broccoli (which you can omit but I like to get those vegetable in there). My babies do not seem to mind the broccoli if it is cut in very small pieces, sometimes you can find it finely chopped in the frozen section. Most kids like broccoli with cheese sauce because anything with cheese usually tastes good!
4. Cheesy Baked Chicken – I found this recipe some time ago and it was so simple and tasty that I have kept it in my go to recipes. It is quick, it is baked, and it has cheese. I hope I am not giving the wrong impression in all these recipes with the cheese; I do not eat cheese all the time because I do not want heart disease. But since I do not have my grandchildren around all the time I figure every once in a while a cheese dish is a good thing!
½ cup of butter
½ cup of Parmesan Cheese (fresh grated or out of the container)
¾ cup of Italian bread crumbs
½ cup of butter
Garlic powder to taste (if you would like)
¼ tsp each parsley, oregano, and black pepper
About 1/8 tsp salt
6 – 8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, fresh or frozen
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and either melt butter/oleo into a large casserole dish or a couple small ones. You could even use the butter flavored spray coating if you would like, just make sure it is covered well.
Pound the breasts down with a meat mallet or I have used a canned good in the past if I did not have access to a mallet. I also put my chicken breasts into a gallon bag or wrap in plastic wrap before pounding to keep splatters at a minimum.
Melt the butter and if you would like you can add some garlic powder to it to give your chicken more of a garlic flavor depending on your family.
Mix the two cheeses, breadcrumbs (I have also used a Ritz type cracker crushed and it turns out really yummy), and spices together and put in a bowl or on a plate that will be easy to dip your chicken into.
Dip the breasts into the butter then into the cheese and crumb mixture and put in casserole dish. You can put any leftover butter into the casserole dish when finished and add extra cheese/crumb mixture can be sprinkled on top.
Bake for thirty minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and the juices run clear.
These are some of my favorite go to dishes for when the grandkids or nieces and nephews come over and they have been a hit in our house. I hope a couple of them will work for you and your grandkids as well.