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A Meal That Cooks All At Once

Prepare this meal and it will bake for the same temperature and time!
Prepare this meal and it will bake for the same temperature and time!
photo: johnpoelstra.com

Often when preparing a meal for family or for company, you want all the dishes that you're serving to try to time out to where they're all completed, hot, and ready to be served at the same time. Naturally, that doesn't always happen. Unless you're fortunate enough to have double-ovens, you may have your oven tied up with one dish while waiting to bake another dish at a different temperature or time. This proves quite frustrating, especially if you have a famished family that's ready to eat!

Here is a menu that has all of the dishes baking at the same time and temperature. All you do is assemble the dishes, set them aside to go into the oven, then everything goes in at once to bake at 325 degrees for 1-1/2 hours. While the dishes bake, you can prepare the meat to be the main course of the meal. Or to make this a very easy meal, I would suggest cooking a meat in the slow cooker. Put the meat on early in the morning, such as a roast, stewing beef, or cube steak. Prepare the remaining dishes below, then place them in the oven. One suggestion about the potato dish: since potatoes typically take a longer time to bake than most vegetables, I would recommend preparing this dish first and placing it in the oven to start baking while assembling the remaining dishes. Then once those other dishes are ready to go into the oven, place them in with the potatoes and start timing for the 1-1/2 hrs. This would insure the potatoes being fork-tender when the other dishes are ready to come out.

During this 90 minute baking time, you can use the time to get ready for your guests if you're having them over for dinner. Or for a family meal, the time can be used to do some housework, help the children with their homework, or just to put your feet up and read a good book for a little while.

Whichever way you choose to serve this menu, all you need to add is a good bread and a beverage, and dinner is served!

BROWN RICE

  • 1 Cup Raw Regular-Cooking Rice
  • 2 Cans Beef Bouillion Soup
  • 1 Medium Onion, diced
  • 1 stick Butter, Melted (I use half this much)

Mix in a shallow 1-1/2 qt. baking dish, cover and bake at 325 degrees for 1-1/2 hours. Open and stir once or twice while baking.

BROCCOLI CASSEROLE

  • 2 Pkg. Chopped Frozen Broccoli, cooked according to package directions and drained well
  • 1 Cup Mayonnaise
  • 1/2 C. Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 1 Tbls. Dried Onion Flakes
  • Crushed Ritz Crackers and Pats of Butter for topping

Mix the mayonnaise, cheese, soup, and onion flakes; add well-drained broccoli and mix well; turn into a greased shallow 1-1/2 qt. baking dish; top with crushed crackers and pats of butter; bake at 325 degrees for 1-1/2 hrs.

BAKED RANCH POTATOES

  • White Potatoes, sliced 1/2 to 1/3 inch thick (may be peeled or not, according to preference)
  • Pats of Butter
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 Envelope Ranch Salad Dressing Mix

Layer potatoes in a greased shallow 1-1/2 qt. baking dish, alternating with pats of butter, salt & pepper, and sprinkles of Ranch dressing, according to personal taste, until dish is full; cover and bake at 325 degrees for 1-1/2 hrs.

APPLE (OR CHERRY) CRUNCH

  • 3 Cups Raw Chopped Apples or 2 Cans Red Sour Pitted Cherries
  • Pats of Butter
  • 1/2 Pkg. Pie Crust Mix
  • 1/2 Box Light Brown Sugar (about 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 Tsp. Ground Cinnamon (omit if using cherries)

Place apples or cherries in a greased shallow 1-1/2 qt. baking dish; top with pats of butter; toss together the remaining ingredients and sprinkle over the top; bake at 325 degrees for 1-1/2 hrs. Serve plain, or with ice cream or whipped cream.

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