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Old 02-15-2009, 03:10 PM
Location: In the real world!
2,178 posts, read 8,890,506 times
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As a tow boat cook, I have TONS recipes but I am always looking for new ones to try so if you have any that are a hit where ever you take them, I want those, especially the most often requested recipe you have! POST those for me! In exchange, I will post mine along with some of the favorites for the crews I cook for.. Sometimes, numbers speak louder than people. I also want the ones you have that the bowl and pot is always emptied on when you make it... Here are a few that are either asked for the recipe or bowls/pots are emptied on....

If you have never tried these, you have been highly cheated.. This is a MUST TRY! It is a T&T recipe! (T&T means Tried and True so if you see one marked with that, it means I make and highly recommend)
Chicken and Tortilla Dumplings Recipe
6 servings
time to make"1½ hours 30 min prep

6 chicken legs (5 pounds)
8 cups water
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 (10 3/4 ounce) can cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 (15 ounce) package 8-inch flour tortillas
Bring first 7 ingredients to a boil in a large Dutch oven; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes or until chicken is tender. Remove chicken, reserving broth in Dutch oven. Let chicken and broth cool. Skin, bone, and cut chicken into bite-size pieces; set aside. Skim fat from broth. Add soup to broth; bring to a boil.
Cut tortillas into 2- x 1-inch strips. Add strips, 1 at a time, to briskly boiling broth mixture. Add chicken, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes, stirring often to prevent dumplings from sticking.
Quick Tip: Substitute 8 cups chicken broth for water; omit bouillon cubes; reduce salt to 1/2 teaspoon. Proceed with recipe using 3 to 4 cups chopped cooked chicken.

I want to try this sauce on other things but haven't yet.. Think about it once you try this.. Instead of flour tortillas, how about using spaghetti or Lasagna and top with cheese?


This one has a funny story.. They will come in and see this one, turn up their nose but put a small amount on their plate. Sit down, take a taste and jump up and run back to the stove and load up their plate.. It is not pretty, but boy it is good!
Dorito Mexican Casserole
6-8 servings
time to make"1 hour 30 min prep

2 lbs ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cheddar cheese soup
1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes
1 3/4 cups milk
1 bag plain Dorita's
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Brown together ground beef and onion until beef is brown and onion is tender; drain well.
Add the mushroom soup, cheddar cheese soup, Ro-tel tomatoes and soup can of milk to beef/onion mixture; stir until well mixed.
Line a X baking dish with the Dorita's.
Cover with the meat/soup mixture and sprinkle completely with the cheddar cheese.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melt


This is my OWN recipe that I had to create after being requested for one just about every time I made it so I had to start measuring and write it down so I could pass it out..


1/2 cup oil
1 cup (AP) flour
3 quarts water (may need more)
4 cups (total) chopped green onions, white onions, bell peppers, celery. (use the most of what you like best)
1 1/2 pounds Smoked Sausage
5 pounds peeled green shrimp
1 can crab meat (or preboiled crab claws)
2 tablespoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1+ 1/2 teaspoons crab boil
1 +1/2 garlic granules (or 2 to 3 fresh cloves)
3/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (more if want spicier)
kitchen bouquet- to get the color you like
Gumbo file' ( when done to in pot, or as served)

Brown flour in the oil until a dark chocolate color, add 2 quarts of water. Sauté' seasonings in skillet until tender and add to gravy, cook 15 minutes. Chop sausage and add to pot and boil. Add rest of seasonings to pot, salt, pepper etc. all but file' and the kitchen bouquet at this time. Add shrimp and let boil until shrimp is done. Add water throughout cooking as needed to get the thickness or watery consistency you prefer. Turn off and add file' at this time, stir well. Eat over rice and serve with crackers.

Can use chicken and leave out shrimp if you want just a chicken and sausage gumbo.. Can add chicken to the shrimp, just adjust all seasonings to get the right taste..

************************************************** ***
Household hint
Fruit Fly/Gnat Trap

This will help take care of those fruit flies that gather around the stuff you have to take out to the compost pile or those bananas you haven't gotten around to baking with yet.
1 trap
time to make"1 min 1 min prep

3-4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 piece of white paper
1-2 drop liquid dish soap
Pour apple cider vinegar and drop of dish soap into glass or jar.
With the paper, make a cone with a 3/4-1" hole on the bottom. The cone should sit on the glass rim without the tip touching the vinegar. You may have to squeeze-shape the cone a bit to prevent gaps between the paper and rim.
Every day or two, switch out the vinegar. (You'll see when it stops being as potent. The flies/gnats will stop going in.).
EDITED: I tried a new brand of cider vinegar (darker than the first) with this trap and found that it let the fruit flies live longer--by a week or more! A friend suggested adding a drop or two of dish soap, and it killed the fruit flies even faster--in hours--than the first cider vinegar traps had.

************************************************** *****

Ranch Dressing and Seasoning Mix Recipe
1 bottle of salad dressing mix

1/2 cup dry buttermilk
1 tablespoon dried parsley, crushed
1 teaspoon dried dill weed
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried onion flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
Combine all ingredients in a blender.
Blend at high speed until smooth.
If you want to use this to make salad dressing combine 1 tablespoon mix with 1 cup mayonnaise and 1 cup milk.
Otherwise use 1 tablespoon in any recipe calling for an envelope of ranch dressing mix.

************************************************** ***
Waffle House Waffles

6 servings
time to make"25 min 20 min prep

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons shortening
1/2 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Combine flour, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl and stir to combine.
Lightly beat the egg in another medium bowl and combine with sugar, butter, and shortening, mixing well until smooth.
Add the half & half, milk, buttermilk and vanilla and mix well.
Add the dry flour mixture to the wet mixture while beating and mix until smooth.
If you can, cover and chill overnight, though the batter can be used right away.
Rub a light coating of vegetable oil on a waffle iron, and preheat it.
Leave the batter out of the refrigerator to warm up a bit as your waffle iron is preheating.
Spoon 1/3 to 1/2 cup of batter into the waffle iron and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the waffles are light brown.
************************************************** ****
These are SO good! I make a batch, cut and wrap them, then freeze them until I need them and I use them for EVERYTHING! Think it down to drizzle on cake or swirl around in a cheesecake, make all sorts of deserts and treats out of. (Use PAM on a pizza cutter to cut, wrap in freezer paper lightly sprayed with PAM) Good to eat plain!


time to make"20 min 20 min prep

1 cup butter (Sorry NO substitute)
2 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 dash salt
1 cup light corn syrup
1 (15 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Melt butter in a heavy 3 quart sauce pan.
Add sugar and salt.
Stir thoroughly.
Now stir in corn syrup.
Mix well.
Add sweetened condensed milk, stirring constantly.
Cook and stir over medium heat and heat to firm ball stage (245 degrees), about 12 to 15 minutes.
Remove from heat and add the vanilla.
Pour into a 9x9x2 buttered pan; cool, cut into squares (or make turtles by arranging two pecan halves on a buttered sheet of waxed paper and spooning a little caramel on top of the pecans, let cool, then spooning a little melted milk chocolate on top).
Enjoy when cooled.
************************************************** ****

Make copies of this one before you take them anywhere!

Cheese Blitzes

Mix together until smooth
1 - 8 oz crean cgeese - very soft
1 - egg yolk
1 t. vanilla
2 T. sugar
After mixed together set bowl aside
Melt 1 stick of butter (please refrain from using margarine) in another bowl and set aside
Blend 1 C sugar and 2 T cinnamon into a third bowl and set aside.
Line up bowls in order listed above
Cut the crusts from at least 12 slices of regular square sandwich bread (not too fresh but not two months old either)
roll each piece of bread flat with a rolling pin
Spread each slice of flattened bread with the cream cheese mixture
roll up cheese bread jelly roll style and cut in half or thirds
drop each roll in melted butter then into cinnamon and sugar mis and place on a cookie sheet
freeze rolls overnight then straight from freezer to 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. Un-needed extras can be left in freezer for a later time if not baked. Wear elastic waisted pants.
************************************************** *******
Cherry Surprise Cake

1 package chocolate cake mix
1 (10.5 ounces) package miniature marshmallows
1 can cherry pie filling
1 (3 ounces) package cherry Jell-O
1. Spray a X-inch cake pan with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Put mini marshmallows in pan.
3. Mix pie filling and jello in small bowl and set aside.
4. Make cake according to package directions and pour over marshmallows in pan.
5. Drop pie filling and jello mixture by spoonfuls over cake.
6. Bake for 35-40 minutes at 350.
10-12 servings
45 minutes ( 10 mins prep
Make copies of this one too!
Chocolate Covered Cherries Recipe

1 batch -time to make"3 hours 3 hours prep

2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup margarine
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pinch salt
maraschino cherries, drained
milk dipping chocolate (I use griddle's)
Combine the first 5 ingredients until well blended and smooth and place in fridge until firm.
Meanwhile spread out the drained cherries on a cookie sheet and freeze for at least 1 hours.
Scoop out about 1-2 teaspoon of filling and form into a ball around a cherry.
Place on a wax paper lined cookie sheet and freeze for 1 hr after you have formed them all.
Melt dipping chocolate and using your hands dip each cherry placing it on a wax paper lined cookie sheet and chill in fridge until chocolate is solid.
Remove cherries carefully as not to break them open and loose the center.
Place in an airtight plastic container and keep in a cool dry place for up to 1 month.
************************************************** **
It amazes me how many people tell me my coleslaw tastes JUST LIKE KFC'S!!
KFC Cole Slaw

8 cups shredded cabbage
1/4 cup carrot, shredded
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teas. salt
1/8 teas. pepper
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tbs. white vinegar
2 1/2 tbs. lemon juice
Combine cabbage and carrots in a large salad bowl. Mix remaining
ingredients together and combine thoroughly. Pour liquid ingredients
over cabbage and carrots and stir. Refrigerate at least two hours
before serving (overnight is better). Stir well before serving.

How many times have I planned to make taco's only to find I am out of taco seasoning mix? Not a problem.......
Lawry's Taco Seasoning

1 Tablespoon Flour
1 Teaspoon Chili powder
1 Teaspoon Paprika
3/4 Teaspoon Salt
3/4 Teaspoon Minced onion
1/2 Teaspoon Cumin
1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne pepper
1/4 Teaspoon Garlic powder
1/4 Teaspoon Sugar
1/8 Teaspoon Ground oregano
Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl. To prepare the meat filling
for the tacos as described on the original package instructions: "In large
skillet, brown 1 pound ground beef until crumbly; drain fat. Add spices &
seasonings and 2/3 cup water; mix thoroughly. Bring to a boil: reduce heat
to low and cook, uncovered, 7 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Spoon
meat filling into warmed taco shells or tortillas. Top with shredded
lettuce, grated cheddar cheese and chopped tomato. Use fresh salsa and
guacamole if desired. Makes meat filling for 12 tacos (about 3 tablespoons
************************************************** ***

Anytime I have left over taco meat, this is a must and a BIG HIT
Taco Soup Recipe


2 lbs ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 (28 ounce) can tomatoes, diced
1 (16 ounce) can pinto beans, undrained
1 (16 ounce) can black beans, undrained
1 envelope dry ranch dressing mix
1 (10 ounce) can Ro tel tomatoes & chilies or Old El Paso tomatoes & chilies
1 (16 ounce) can kidney beans, undrained
2 (7 ounce) cans white shoe peg corn, undrained
2 envelopes taco seasoning mix
taco cheese, Finely shredded
tortilla chips, crushed
Brown meat and onions.
Add remaining ingredients, except cheese and chips.
If soup seems too thick, add 1 cup water.
Simmer, covered for 30 to 45 minutes.
Spoon into bowls.
Sprinkle cheese and chips on top.
Serve while hot.


Someone had asked in another thread for a good roll recipe and since I had time I posted mine for them, I took the time to do it... then thought " why not put it in my own thread too?"..

OK, so I am going to do just that! I have been making rolls for as long as I can remember. I worked in a high school cafeteria for 21 years and we made them just about every day, then when I went to work on the river, I came up with my own recipe because so many people were asking me for it. I got it perfected and wrote it down and mine have been compared to Lambert's Rolls but a lot of the younger guys I work with say "HAY! These taste JUST like the rolls we had at school and I just LOVED them!".. Here is MY recipe.. (copied and pasted from the other thread)

Laura's Rolls (Made and served daily on a tow boat)

Makes 24 nice rolls

This is my own recipe that I have used for years. It has been compared to Lambert's "Home of the throwed rolls" and is said to be better than the steakhouse rolls.. Got to remember though, that I have been making them for over 30 years, almost daily (at work) so I have it down to a fine tuned process...

1st thing is a kitchen aid mixer, make them SO much easier to make! Use the dough hook..

(Oh, and I use this same dough to make a lot of things, pizza dough, cinnamon rolls, New Orleans King Cakes, deep fry in balls and inject grape jelly into, then glaze, also hot pockets... Couldn't make my living cooking without my roll dough!)

5 to 6 cups all purpose flour (I use Gold Metal or Martha White)
2 packs yeast (Remember, these packs today are INSTANT so there is NO need to dissolve it first!)
1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt

Put half the flour in the bowl with the salt, sugar and yeast and stir with a spoon to blend ....

Heat 2 cups milk (Whole milk or low fat.. NOT skim milk... I have used instant milk and added to the dry ingredients in the step above.. I do not like the taste of them made with water or skim milk).. I heat the 2 cups of milk in the microwave for 1;40 to 2 minutes. You want it warm like a baby bottle.. To cold it won't activate the yeast, to hot it will kill the yeast.

I crack 1 egg into the milk and stir it up. (The egg is for color and can be omitted if you don't have a egg)

Add all the milk to the flour mixture that you have in the bowl (only half the dry ingredients, remember?) and stir vigorously with a spoon until everything is wet. Lower the dough hook into it and cut the mixer on low to med... Let it mix and blend until it is smooth and you don't see any lumps. Then slowly add about 1/2 cup of the remaining flour at a time and let it blend well each time you add flour until it is smooth and no lumps.. Keep adding until all the flour is in the bowl. (note: Do not be in a hurry during the adding the flour and the mixing, I often walk away and do other small things while this is going on between adding the flour and letting it blend. Take this slow. You want the dough smooth as silk so don't hurry it up!)

Once it is all smooth, use cooking oil or butter and oil/grease the dough lightly so that the dough is covered all around and top to bottom. You want it to rise smoothly without ripping away from the bowl. Cover with Saran Wrap and put in a warm place without a cold draft.. Let rise (about 30 to 45 minutes or doubles in size).. I always grease the pan I am going to bake them in at this time.

Once it has risen, grease your hands and you are ready to make what ever you plan to make with the dough. Let rise the second time in a warm place and when doubled in size again...Bake at 400* until they are the color you like them..

After baking, brush lightly with butter or cover with a paper towel and foil (so it can sweat and soften the rolls if you are watching your fat intake)


I often use half the dough for lunch one day, refrigerate the rest for my cinnamon rolls or whatever for breakfast the next morning.

If I want a crispy roll for lasagna or spaghetti, I use olive oil in place of the cooking oil/butter.


I make hot pockets using hand and Colby cheese or deli sliced roast beef, swiss cheese and onions or pizza ingredients...This whole recipe makes 16 hot pockets. I have made 8 of one kind and 8 of another to give them a choice. My daughter has made 3 different kinds at one time.

King Cake is like a large uncut cinnamon roll, I spread out the dough into a long rectangle and cover with cinnamon sugar, sometimes I add cream cheese and strawberry or peach preserves at the edge furthest away from me and then roll like a log towards me.Lay it uncut in a pan to form a "C", let rise and bake. Cover it with icing, then slice off and eat.

For pizza, I add some garlic granules and basil in the mixing process when making the dough.. makes 3 large pizza crusts and the crusts can be made (BAKED) ahead and frozen until you need them. My crew will eat 2 at supper and the other goes in the fridge for midnight watch change, none is ever thrown away and they ALL tell me I make the BEST pizza out there on the river! Why? because I bake my dough FIRST and I am not stingy with the basil.. I spread the sauce on the dough, sprinkle on basil, add my cheese, add more basil, add my toppings and add more basil..

Cinnamon rolls I add about 1/2 teaspoon of some sort of preserves after they are cut before they rise and sometimes add cream cheese to the icing.

They never know what new twist they are going to find to something I have made 100 times before.. I LOVE playing with different ideas and the guys love that I do it..

Got to tell you this story. I made pig in the blankets one Friday for a new crew... They thought it was just bread and was so surprised when they bit into it and found the hot dog in there.. LOL! The next time, they thought "OH BOY! Pig in the blankets again!"... bit into it and it was ham and Colby cheese.. One guy just had a FIT because of the surprise inside and admitted "YOU GOT ME AGAIN Miss Laura!" I think he ate 4 of them! (I really think I cook such different things for the crews I work with that they don't get anywhere else, that is why they love me so)

OK, now show me yours!!

Last edited by Beretta; 06-06-2009 at 04:02 PM..
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Old 02-15-2009, 03:40 PM
5,683 posts, read 9,525,173 times
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I grew up eating this bean salad recipe, and still love it to this day. It's a make-ahead one, makes a large quantity, and always gets rave reviews when I take it to potlucks. People usually think "bean salad, ho-hum" until they taste it; then they come back for more.

Grandma Cross's Marinated Multi-Bean Salad

3/4 c. red wine vinegar
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. dill weed
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 (12-oz) can green beans
1 (12-oz) can yellow beans
1 (12-oz) can kidney beans
1 (12-oz) can butter beans
1 (12-oz) can garbanzo beans
1 (12-oz) can pinto beans (optional)
1 (12-oz) can corn (optional)
3 or 4 ribs celery, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 sweet red pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 c. fresh bean sprouts (optional)

Heat the vinegar in a small saucepan until it is hot but not boiling. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat and add oil, dill weed and garlic powder. Set aside to cool.

When marinade has cooled, drain all of the cans of beans and place them in a large bowl (either glass, ceramic or plastic - not metal!). Add the chopped celery, green and red pepper, and onion (also bean sprouts if using). Then pour cooled marinade mixture over the top.

Stir GENTLY, just to mix and coat everything with the marinade. Clean hands work best; a spoon tends to mash some of the softer varieties of beans.

Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 24 hours, preferably 2 or 3 days. Stir once a day to be sure that all of the chunky bits spend some time soaking in the marinade.
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Old 02-15-2009, 03:47 PM
Location: In the real world!
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I have one very similar to that, it is called "Cowboy Caviar".
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Old 02-15-2009, 03:56 PM
Location: Tennessee
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That KFC coleslaw is a great one!!
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Old 02-15-2009, 04:41 PM
Location: Arlington Virginia
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Originally Posted by Laura707 View Post
As a tow boat cook, I have TONS recipes but I am always looking for new ones to try so if you have any that are a hit where ever you take them, I want those, especially the most often requested recipe you have! POST those for me! In exchange, I will post mine along with some of the favorites for the crews I cook for...
Thank you so much for these treasures. You're working for a hardworking and tough crowd and I'm sure they appreciate good eats (and plenty of 'em). That's a magnificent boat too, thanks for the great picture album!
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Old 02-15-2009, 04:57 PM
Location: South GA
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Laura - Thanks so much and please keep these recipes coming!

(My brother in law was a tug boat captain for many years, and now captains (pilots??) a boat that takes supplies to the oil rigs.)

Wow! I can't imagine having your job - 3 meals a day for almost a month???? You go, Girl! LOL
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Old 02-15-2009, 06:34 PM
Location: Texas
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Wow, Laura, I love all the recipes! Post some more pictures. I love to see the finished products. The sausage/egg/cheese biscuit bundles look very tasty.

I make something very similar to your Dorito Casserole. You're right, it's not very pretty, but it is really good.
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Old 02-15-2009, 07:22 PM
Location: In the real world!
2,178 posts, read 8,890,506 times
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Wow! I can't imagine having your job - 3 meals a day for almost a month???? You go, Girl! LOL
That had me laughing my BUTT off! Thanks for the laugh!!

Just imagine though, I can cook ANYTHING I want to and all at someone elses expense. I get to try any recipe I want and make MANY yummy things.. LOL! ...and I have a captured audience to try them on.. Guys are not real fussy as a rule, they tell me, put it out there and we will eat it.. Usually they do.

The last boat I was on, their regular cook had eye surgery that went bad so they have not had a regular cook. The cook that got off when I got on, I was told, told them "I cook it, don't care what it tast like, eat it or leave it!"
They didn't know me from Adam and they were SO happy to see me and treated me so wonderful the whole time I was there.. The Captain told me before he got off that he has been out there for 30 years and he has never ran across as good a cook as I am, that I go that extra mile for them.. I just LOVE to cook and always have. I enjoy doing it and don't consider it work, although it pays the bills.. (nicely pays them too!) **I added a Ablum of pictures I took on the Ohio River.

I do however get tired about the 3rd week and run out of ideas of what to cook, that is why I am constantly looking for new and different things to cook.

My regular Captain is always asking me if I am planning to "drag up" on him and I always wondered why he was so worried I would leave him. He treats me very well and with a lot of respect and that Ohio trip kind of gave me a hint as to why.. I thought cooks were a dime a dozen out there and they are.. But obviously GOOD cooks are not. Every Captain I have been assigned to would take me back but I thought it was because I m just so easy to get along with.

It is a great job and I love it.. Now, anybody got that recipe that need I to try that is a hit when you make it?

(I do have another real winner but you will have to wait until I get back from my next trip because I want to do the picture thing with it like I did those breakfast things in that other thread)

Last edited by Laura707; 02-15-2009 at 07:46 PM..
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Old 02-17-2009, 05:07 PM
Location: Texas
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Here's something that goes great with grilled steaks. I think it tastes a lot like really thick French onion soup. It's always a hit and makes a nice change from a baked potatoe.

Onion Casserole

4 to 5 sliced onions
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
2 tbs butter
1 small can evaporated milk
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
sliced Swiss cheese
2 tsp soy sauce
1 can cream of mushroom soup
thin sliced Italian bread

Saute the onions and sliced mushrooms in 2 tablespoons butter. Pour onion mixture into a greased baking dish and sprinkle with 1 cup of shredded cheese.

Mix together the soy sauce, the evaporated milk, and the cream of mushroom soup. Pour this mixture over the onion mixture.

Cover with bread slices, and then top with the sliced Swiss cheese.

Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

Bake loosely covered at 375 for 30 minutes. Uncover and cook for an additional 15 minutes.
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Old 02-17-2009, 05:49 PM
Location: Where we enjoy all four seasons
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Awesome recipes especially the Onion Casserole and KFC Coleslaw

I would LOVE LOVE LOVE that job Laura! Have fun!

Laura how big is the crew that you cook for?

Last edited by crazyworld; 02-17-2009 at 06:00 PM..
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