How About Recipes?

Forever Day 2010

Many of us have the daily task of feeding our families and it is a lot of work.  Most nights I cook for eleven to thirteen people, and often more.  I can’t say that I love to cook, but I do love sitting at the table with my family and enjoying a good dinner…and that means planning, shopping, and cooking.  Noah does my grocery shopping, which is a lifesaver, and just think of all of the good preparation it is giving him toward living on his own.

I got an email today from Chris, a reader who recently brought home two new children from Ethiopia.  She said,

…we’re now a family of 8 kids.  Growing into a larger family, I am now looking at cooking a bit differently. (smile!)  I was wondering if you, or your readers might be able to share some of their favorite meals that they make for a crowd?  Of course with lots of young kids, I’m not able to spend lots of time in the kitchen, so any quick fixes are always a great find!

It is hard for me to choose one recipe; however this is a more recent favorite.  We love burritos, but it takes a long time to pass each item around the table for people to build their own.  My friend, Beth, shared this recipe in our church cookbook and it is a huge hit with my family.  I serve this in warm, soft tortillas and then each person adds lettuce, tomato, salsa, and other fresh ingredients.

Beth’s Tostada Bake

1 lb. hamburger

1/2 c. chopped onion

1 pkg. taco seasoning (I use chili powder, garlic salt, and cumin)

8 oz. tomato sauce

16 oz. refried beans

4 oz. chopped green chiles

2 1/4 oz. sliced olives

1 c. sour cream

1 egg

2 c. shredded cheese

Cook hamburger and onion.  Stir in taco mix, tomato sauce, refried beans, green chiles, and olives.  Spread into 8 X 8 baking dish.  Mix cheeses, sour cream, and egg.  Evenly spread cheese  mixture on top.  Bake 30 min. at 375 degrees.

I double everything except the meat and bake it in a 13 X 9 pan.  It takes minutes to throw together. I like to cook hamburger in large quantities and freeze it in quart bags (approx. 1 lb. each) for quick dishes like this.  Put this in warm tortillas and you can’t go wrong.

Let me know if you try it!

Let’s each take a few minutes to share a quick, yummy recipe that a busy mom (or her helpful kids) can fix for the family.  We can encourage each other and make our families happy at the same time.

If you would like the recipe for the Honey Curry Chicken we had on Forever Day, you can find it in THIS POST.  I’ve adapted it quite a bit, substituting olive oil and chicken broth for the butter, and my family loves it both ways.   We top it with green onions, chopped red peppers, peanuts, coconut, and anything else that sounds good.  It is another easy meal for a busy day.

Let’s have fun with this.  Which recipe will you share?


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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.


  1. DeeDee
    February 27, 2010

    Hey Lisa!
    Love this idea of sharing recipes! I am always on the lookout for something new. I love the blog It always has simple great tasting meals. And the slow cooker pulled pork would definitely feed a crowd! Enjoy!


  2. Mandy
    February 27, 2010

    I am a HUGE crockpot fan. A little work in the morning (or midday) and you have dinner in a few hours with minimal work! It's a beautiful thing.

    Here are 3 of our favorite (and EASY) crockpot recipes that easily feed our family of 6 and usually with extra leftovers:

    Ed's Chili

    1 lb. ground beef, browned and drained (2 lbs if you prefer a meatier chili).
    1 pkg taco seasoning mix
    12 oz salsa
    2 – 16 oz can kidney beans, UNdrained
    2 – 15 oz can black beans, UNdrained
    2 – 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, UNdrained
    pinch or 2 of sugar

    Put all ingredients in crockpot and cook on HIGH until mixture boils (about 3-4 hours). Reduce to Low and simmer for 1-2 hours more. To reduce liquids, continue cooking uncovered.

    Top individual servings with choice of cheese, onions, olives, fresh tomatoes, sour cream or any other topping preferences. Easy!

    Creamy Italian Chicken

    (I usually double this entire recipe, with the exception of the Italian dressing mix and the cream cheese)

    4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves or thigh pieces.
    1 envelope dry Italian dressing mix
    1/4 C water
    8 oz package cream cheese, softened
    1 – 10.75 oz can cream of chicken (or mushroom) soup
    4-oz can mushroom stems and pieces, drained

    Place chicken in crockpot. Combine salad dressings mix and water. Pour over chicken. Cook on Low for 3-4 hours.
    Combine cheese and soup in bowl until blended. Stir in mushroom pieces. Pour over chicken.
    cook on Low 1 hour or until juices run clear.
    Stir everything together to blend well.
    Serve over rice (our preference) or egg noodles.
    EASY and SOOOO yummy.

    Creamy Potato Soup

    8 C peeled and chopped potatoes
    1 small onion, chopped
    1 lb bacon (cooked and crumbled) – 1/2 lb in soup, 1/2 lb for soup toppings
    1 8 oz cream cheese, softened
    5-6 C chicken broth (I usually use 6 and throw in a few more potatoes to fill my crockpot)
    1 – 10.75 oz can cream of chicken (or mushroom) soup
    1/4 – 1/2 tsp pepper (or to taste)
    3 large carrots, diced (optional)

    Cook all day on Low. Serve with left-over bacon bits and shredded cheese for toppings. We usually have 1/2 of this soup left-over, it makes SO much! Another easy recipe. 🙂

    Looking forward to trying others' recipes!

    1. Chris
      February 27, 2010

      ooooh Mandy! These look great! putting them on my menu right now!

  3. Hilltrain
    February 27, 2010

    The website Dee Dee offered is great! And I have to say, Lisa, we LOVE your honey curry chicken recipe. Didn't know about the other toppings, so we'll try those too.… has some good recipes, esp. Chinese Orange Chicken.

    There's so much you can do w/ whole chickens (or just parts) in a crock-pot. BBQ sauce. 4 cloves garlic, 2 T rosemary, 1 t thyme 1 t salt, olive oil. Oriental–1/3c soy sauce, 2 T br. sugar, 2 T water, 1 garlic clove. Curry–1 chopped onion, 2 t OJ concentrate, 1 t chicken bouillon, 1t salt, 1/4 t pepper, 4 t curry powder. Can cook on low or high depending on how fast you want it done–4-6 hrs or so. Then you can make broth in the crockpot w/ the bones, carrots, celery, onions, (water 🙂 overnight for soup or cooking rice in.

    Look forward to some of the recipes above and seeing what others have to offer! 🙂

  4. Anita
    February 27, 2010

    We call this…"Britton Chicken"…very easy and kids love it…
    This recipe feeds 8
    1 large bottle French Dressing (we like the "sweet & spicy") No low or no-fat versions or you'll get watery sauce
    1 large jar of Apricot preserves
    2 envelopes of dry onion soup mix
    6-8 boneless skinless chicken breasts
    Mix the first 3 ingredients together in the bottom of your baking dish. Spoon some of the sauce on top of the chicken and cover. Bake approximately 45-60 minutes at 350 degrees. Uncover for the last 15-20 minutes.

    Thanks for your great blog! I've learned so much. We will be traveling this summer to pick up our little boy in ET!

    From a Blog Lurker named…

    1. OneThankfulmom
      February 27, 2010

      Anita, thank you for de-lurking. Welcome to the conversation and thank you for the recipe!

  5. heather Antoine
    February 27, 2010

    We're gluten-free for one of the members of our famiy, so dinners have been a challenge lately. One that's been a winner has been our rice and ground beef casserole. Brown 1 lb. of gound beed, add one cup uncooked rice, a can of cream soup of your choice (we use gluten-free mushroom), and one cup water. Throw in some onions and salt, and bake for 1-1 1/2 hours. You can make it go farther by adding extra rice and water. I think pickles make a great side dish. Thanks for all the recipes! I love trying new things!

  6. Melissa Y
    February 28, 2010

    Pizza Rice Casserole
    Important note #1: This recipe is adapted from the More With Less cookbook, which is an absolute staple in nearly every Mennonite home.
    Important note #2: We Mennonites love casseroles!
    Important note #3: This is an easy recipe to double or triple.
    Important note #4: A good Mennonite always serves applesauce with casserole. I have been known to put this casserole in the oven and quick race to the grocery store because I'd forgotten the applesauce.

    4 c uncooked rice
    1 lb ground beef (or veggie crumbles)
    any ol' veggies you like – i use mushrooms, onions, zucchini and chilies most
    1 jar pasta sauce
    1 can diced tomatoes (to stretch the sauce)
    1 lg container cottage cheese (which is the Mennonite equivalent of ricotta … go ahead and use ricotta if you must)
    as much cheese as you want – i use a "pizza blend"

    Start the rice cooker (is it even possible to make rice without one?). Brown the ground beef, and toss in any veggies that need to be cooked … until they're cooked. Add the jar of pasta sauce until heated. Add any extra spices you like (garlic? pepper?) and any veggies that don't need to be cooked. When the rice is done, dump it all in the casserole dish. Add the cottage cheese (or ricotta) in a thick layer on top of the rice. Add the meat/veggie/sauce on top of the cottage cheese. Top with cheese. Bake at around 350 until bubbly. Devour.

  7. Dianne
    March 1, 2010


    I just posted a recipe for the best Cream Cheese Poundcake ever! It's light and moist and would be great with any fruit or by itself. It's on my blog at Enjoy! I've enjoyed your website since I found it on my daughter Christy's blog at


  8. jen
    March 2, 2010

    My favorite thing to make for a crowd is posted here:

    Everyone that I have ever served this soup to has loved it! Hope you do too, if you have the opportunity to try it!

    I'll be lurking around here using some of the other great recipes that are posted and yours – thanks!

  9. Becky
    March 3, 2010

    I'm looking forward to trying some of these new recipes!

    One of our fast and low cost favorites is Potato Soup.

    1 1/2 cups chopped onion
    5 cups peeled and cubed potatoes
    3 1/2 cups chicken broth
    1/4 cup finely chopped celery, if desired

    Simmer above ingredients for about 15 – 20 mins. til potatoes are soft
    Mash about half way with a hand blender, potatoe masher, hand beater, etc.

    Add 1 can of evaporated milk
    1/4 tsp pepper
    1/4 tsp salt, if needed

    Warm and serve.

    This can be served as is, or topped with cooked bacon, or ham. A little shredded cheese on top is always a winner, too.


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