Some braindead dishes
by Goliad Cooks! by Darlene Montague
Sep 09, 2013 | 207 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Due to spending a couple of days back in San Antonio with Bil’s medical situation and the early holiday deadline given me to turn in my column, I’m having to think hard and fast about what to write this week.

But sometimes my brain just gets tired of thinking. Do you ever get like that? Our brains are always in a whirl over something and we just get to the point where we need to rest them. I guess that is why we all zone out watching TV every evening, or in my case, spend way too much time on Pinterest. I’m brain resting.

Now and again, I’ll get a call from my Aunt Naydine, who will turn 90 next month, and she will say, “I’ve had more time to think than you and…..,” after which she will go on and tell me her ideas and thoughts about something. It does take time to think.

Sometimes my brain also gets tired of trying to decide what to have for lunch and dinner all the time. It must be especially hard for busy moms with active kids to try to plan meals 3 times a day. Many, many ladies have told me, “I wouldn’t mind cooking if I just didn’t have to think about it”, meaning not having to worry about all the planning involved and trying to satisfy husband, kids, and self all in one swoop.

That is why we fall back on the familiar and resort to making the same recipes time after time. It doesn’t require that we think. We know how to make it and we know they will eat it. So even though I have hundreds of cookbooks and tens of thousands of recipes saved from the internet, I end up making the old favorites time and again. It saves me from having brain fatigue in trying to think what to fix for supper ... again. So when your brain is tired, here are some simple recipes to keep you from thinking so hard.

Italian Turkey Meatballs

(This comes together quickly in a food processor.)


• 1 English muffin, torn in pieces

• ¼ onion, chopped

• 2-3 cloves garlic

• 2-3 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

• 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds

• 1 tsp. dry Italian spices

• salt and pepper

• 1 lb. ground turkey

• 4 Mozzarella string cheese sticks (cut in 5 pieces each)

• 1 jar spaghetti sauce


• Place the first seven ingredients in your food processor and process until fine crumbs are formed.

• Add turkey.

• Pulse until just mixed together.

• Shape mixture into meatballs around a piece of mozzarella cheese.

• Place on a lined baking pan for easier clean up.

• Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until meatballs are done and cheese begins to ooze out.

• Heat a jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce in a saucepan and add cooked meatballs.

• Serve with your favorite pasta or put meatballs and sauce on a toasted bun with more grated mozzarella and parmesan cheese for a hot meatball sandwich.

Cook’s note: I haven’t checked lately, but H-E-B used to carry a basil and tomato mozzarella string cheese and that is what I use.

Fool-Proof Swiss Steak

(from Sissy Kilgore of The Woodlands who tells me this is her go-to supper after a day of fighting Houston rush-hour traffic.)


• 1 large (14x20) Reynolds oven bag

• 2 tbsp. flour

• shake flour in bag, place in a 9x13 baking pan

• add 2 cans (14½ oz. each) Italian stewed tomatoes

• 2 tsp. sugar

• 1 tsp. mustard

• 1/2 tsp. salt

• 1/4 tsp. pepper

• squeeze bag to blend in flour.

• add 1-1½ lbs. beef cutlets (like you use to make chicken fried steak)

• turn bag several time to coat meat with sauce

• arrange meat in an even layer in the bag

• close bag with nylon tie and cut 6 slits in the top

• bake 45-50 minutes or until steak is tender

Oreo Dessert

(from Jan Oldfather of Victoria who says this is her go-to dessert when she forgets it is her turn to bring something to the church supper.)


• 1 pkg. instant vanilla pudding

• 1 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened

• 1 12-oz. ct. Cool Whip

• 1½ rows Oreo cookies


• Prepare pudding as directed.

• Beat in cream cheese and fold in Cool Whip.

• Crush cookies and blend them in.

• Keep chilled until serving time.
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