In this section, I will be adding some of my favorite “go to” recipes, for you to try. To qualify as a “go to” recipe, they have to be Quick, Easy and Delicious…. so enjoy! And whenever possible, I’ll be sure to list low fat/calorie options so you will have a choice.

If you find anything unclear, in any recipe, please feel free to give me a “heads up” so I can fix it. Thank you! 🙂 Oh, and as always, if you need to see more detail, click on any photo for an enlarged view.

Bon Appetit!



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Choose your favorite canned, pie filling. Sometimes, I enjoy combining two (2) different ones… like Apple & Peach. This recipe can be made in an 8″ x 8″ baking dish (use only 1 can of pie filling, which feeds 4-6) or as I am showing here – in a 9″ x 13″ baking dish (use 2 cans of pie filling, which feeds 10-12). In this demonstration, I used only Peach Pie Filling (2 cans for the 9″ x 13″ version).

You will need:

  • Non-stick Cooking Spray (like PAM)
  • Pie Filling (use 1 can for an 8″ x 8″ pan OR 2 cans for a 9″ x 13″ pan)
  • Jiffy Golden Yellow Cake Mix (use 1 box for an 8″ x 8″ pan OR 2 boxes for a 9″ x 13″ pan)
  • Butter (1/2 – 3/4 stick)
  • Sugar
  • Cinnamon

Spray the inside of the baking dish thoroughly with the non-stick cooking spray.

Next, empty Pie Filling into the baking dish and spread evenly.

Sprinkle Golden Yellow Cake Mix over the top of the Pie Filling, spreading evenly. DO NOT add any ingredients to the cake mix – Use it dry.

Cut thin slices (pats) of butter and place them over the entire top of the dry cake mix, with small spaces between.

Sprinkle sugar over the entire top.

Next, sprinkle Ground Cinnamon over the entire top.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25-35 minutes. My rule is – when it smells good enough to eat, it is! But, look for a golden brown color.

Allow to cool slightly. Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream (optional). Topping will be crispy…. YUM!



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If you want never-ending compliments and requests to re-make a salad dish, then this is the recipe for you! Trust me… this could possibly be my BEST recipe. It’s perfect for any occasion and no one will believe you if you decide to share with them how EASY it is to make.

FIRST! Whenever I make a recipe that involves lettuce, I don’t even begin until I have “iced” my lettuce. I think this is probably one of the best kept secrets for a crispy, cool salad. And if you do this before you make it, you will find that it improves the recipe, 10-fold!


Place about 2 cups of ice cubes into a large bowl and add water (enough to cover your lettuce). After you tear up (or cut-up) your lettuce leaves, submerge them in your bath of ice water –

Allow the lettuce leaves to sit in the ice water for at least 20 minutes, longer if possible. Next, remove any unmelted ice cubes and pour the water & lettuce into a salad spinner. Spin the lettuce leaves (for about 30 seconds) until the majority of the water has been wisked away –


You will need:

  • 1 head of Romaine Lettuce
  • 1 head of Iceberg Lettuce
  • 1 16-ounce container of Sour Cream (use “light” to cut calories)
  • 1 7-ounce packet of (dry) Good Seasons Italian Salad Dressing Mix
  • 1 bottle of (liquid) Zesty Italian Salad Dressing (you will not use all of this; just a portion)
  • 1 9-ounce container of (dry) Durkee French Fried Onion Rings

Cut or tear-up (into bite-size pieces) both heads of lettuce.

After you have iced, drained and spun the lettuce, place it into a bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve. Pour the Good Seasons (dry) Italian Dressing Mix into the container of Sour Cream and Mix Well. Place it into the refrigerator until you are ready to assemble & serve the salad.

At this point, the salad is ready to assemble, however, you will not want to complete the recipe until approximately 15 minutes before you are ready to serve it. When you are ready to serve it, pour most of the Durkee French Fried Onion Rings into the lettuce, reserving apx. one (1) cup to sprinkle on top of the completed salad.

Next, sprinkle the salad & onion rings generously (about 7 good shakes) with the bottled, liquid Zesty Italian Dressing. Toss well. Then, add several tablespoons of the sour cream & dry Italian Dressing “Mix” to the salad and toss well again.

Sprinkle the reserved 1-cup of Durkee French Fried Onion Rings over the top of your mixed salad and serve immediately.

Finally….. GET READY… you’re going to be getting TONS of compliments!!!!!!!  Serves 10-12


FUDGIES! (No Bake Oatmeal Cookies)

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This recipe is SO easy & quick. It has always been my favorite “go to” recipe when the kids told me they needed 2 dozen cookies at the last minute! All you need is 7 ingredients, a cooking pan and something for them to cool on. And approximately fifteen minutes after you start them, they are just about cool enough to eat!

Today, I’m making them as a Valentine’s Day treat.

To begin, make sure you get all of the ingredients pre-measured and ready to add because this recipe goes quickly!

You will need:

  • 1 Stick of Salted Butter
  • 2 Cups of Sugar
  • ½ Cup of (canned) Evaporated Milk (shake can well before opening)

Bring to a boil. Boil & Stir for 1 minute. Remove from burner.

Now, add the following:

  • ¼ Cup of Creamy Peanut Butter (no nuts!)
  • 6 TABLEspoons of Powdered 100% Cocoa
  • 2-1/2 Cups of “QUICK” Oats (fast-cook instant oatmeal in the cardboard cylinders)
  • 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

Mix-in the above ingredients & drop mixture, by spoonfuls, onto wax paper, paper plates or spoon into small baking cups.

On special occasions, embellish with candy, sprinkles or anything to go with your holiday, seasonal or special occasion theme. Let Cool…. Enjoy!

Makes apx. 2 dozen



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This recipe is perfect as a light Spring or Summer meal, and use low-fat mayo to lighten it even further.


4 cups diced, cooked chicken

1 – 15 oz. can Pineapple Chunks (drained)

1 cup chopped celery

1 – 22 oz. can mandarin oranges (drained)

½ cup chopped green pepper

2 Tablespoons grated onion

1 cup mayo

1 Tablespoon prepared mustard

1 – 5 oz. can chow mein noodles

½ cup black olives


 Combine chicken, celery, olives, pepper & onion.  Blend mayo & mustard.  Toss gently with chicken mixture, cover & chill for several hours.  Before serving, add pineapple, oranges & noodles.   I purchase 2 different sizes of chow-mein noodles, mixing the larger ones into the salad and sprinkling the new miniature version on top of the salad before serving. Serve in lettuce-lined bowl.


_________________________ _


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This recipe is always a hit with my family and funny enough… no one can ever figure out that it’s made with apricots! You’ll enjoy how easy this is to make.

You’ll need:

3 large (16 oz) cans Apricots (drained)

1-2 rolls of Ritz Crackers (crumbled)

2 cups (apx.) of brown sugar (adjust to taste)

1 stick of butter (melted)

Grease a 9” x 13” pan with end of butter stick. Line the entire bottom of the pan with the apricots (hole side up).

A round baking dish was used for these photos, but the recipe is for a 9″ x 13″ portion. Crumble the Ritz crackers over the apricots, until covered.

Sprinkle brown sugar over the crackers, until well covered.

Drizzle ½ stick of butter over this layer.

REPEAT. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 1 hour or until golden brown. Allow to cool slightly (15 minutes at least) and serve.


QUICK Pasta Primavera

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The next time you are in the grocery store, purchase the basic freezer & pantry basics for this recipe so you’ll always have the ingredients on hand for a healthy & filling Italian dish. Of course, it’s best to use fresh ingredients when making this type of recipe, but when you’re in a pinch, try my “quick” version that has rescued dinnertime for me on several occasions!

Add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to a frying pan along with some fresh, chopped garlic (minced garlic in the jar is a great shortcut here too) and saute for apx. 2 minutes. Add the 1st package of frozen vegetables, usually called “Seasoning Mix”. Saute for 2 more minutes.

Add the 2nd package of frozen vegetables, usually called “Italian Blend”, which consists of carrots, zucchini, cauliflower and pea pods. Add 2 tablespoons each of the following Italian seasonings: Sweet Basil, Oregano and Parsley. Saute for 2 more minutes.

Add diced tomatoes (fresh or canned) to the vegetable and spice mix.

Turn burner to simmer and cover with pan lid.

After apx. 5-10 minutes of steaming, remove the lid, stir well and add blended ingredients to a crock pot.

All that’s left to add is a tomato sauce of your choice. You can make your own, using 1 or 2 large cans of tomato sauce and 1 small can of tomato paste or to save time – a jar of pre-made tomato sauce.

Blend vegetable mix with tomato sauce, add lid and simmer (on low) until ready to serve over your choice of pasta noodles. To make this even healthier, use a whole grain pasta and ENJOY!



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This is a super-easy-to-make recipe (only 7 ingredients & 2 steps!) that combines a rich, buttery flavor with citrus. It is perfect for dessert, holidays, or bake sales… any time of year!

I use my hand mixer to combine the first 3 ingredients of flour, sugar & butter and this is how it looks as you place the mixed ingredients into a 9″ x 13″ pan –

Spread the pastry evenly across the bottom of your pan and pop it into the oven for 25 minutes. Your kitchen will smell YUMMY as this cookie crust is baking and here is how it looks BEFORE and AFTER the cookie crust is baked (click on any photo for a larger view & click on the BACK arrow to return to the recipe) –

Next, mix 5 more ingredients into a lemon yellow liquid and pour that over the top of your baked cookie crust, after you remove it from the oven –

Bake that YUMMI-NESS for 25 more minutes and it will look like this (when removed from the oven). Generously sprinkle this finished product with powdered sugar –

Use a regular kitchen knife to cut it into 24 bars (occasionally wiping off the knife) –

Allow to cool for apx. 15 minutes before serving. This is a dessert that tastes yummy all year long. Below are a couple of of seasonal accent ideas, to use when serving your bars –

Fresh sprigs of mint (spring or summer)

Candy Corn in the fall



(so yummy on a cold day!)

CLICK HERE, for printable version

You will need:

  • Electric Crockpot (slow cooker)
  • Skillet
  • Olive Oil
  • Small Onion, 3 cloves of Garlic and 5-6 Celery stalks
  • Additional Seasonings (no-salt garlic & herb spice blend, parsley & basil)
  • 1 pkg. of McCormick (brand) Slow Cooker White Bean Chicken Chili powdered mix
  • Purdue Grilled Chicken Strips (check the “meat” section in the frozen aisles of the grocery store).  This shortcut makes this recipe easy!
  • Apx. 40 ozs of Chicken Stock (I always look for natural, lower sodium brands & sometimes use 1 container of unsalted & 1 of low sodium)
  • 3-4 different types of white canned beans (or feel free to make the bagged versions)

Note:  I use Cannellini, Navy, Great Northern and White Acre Peas (look for these bean-like peas in the Vegetable section of your grocery store.  The fiber in them is HUGE, so adding them will make this heart healthy).


Place apx. 32 ounces of chicken stock (this will probably be one container) and the powdered McCormick Chili mix into the crock pot and turn temperature to High.

While that begins to warm, chop the onion, garlic and celery.

Place apx. 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil into a large skillet.  Add the chopped onion, garlic & celery as well as 2-3 tablespoons of no-salt garlic & herb spice blend.  Simmer (on low) until onion is clear (apx. 25-30 minutes).  Put a lid on to help the celery tenderize faster.

While the vegetables are simmering, open all of the cans of beans and peas.  Rinse each can of beans in a strainer/colander (to remove the excess salt) and then, add them to the chicken stock, already in the crock pot.  Add as many beans as you like, but at least 4 cans.

Add the entire bag of frozen chicken strips to the skillet and put the lid back on the skillet as well as 1 cup of chicken stock.   In apx. 15-20 minutes, the chicken should be thawed enough to break it up into small, bite-size pieces, using a wooden spatula.  Stir well and replace lid to allow the vegetables & chicken pieces to complete blending.  After simmering for apx. 10 more minutes, remove the lid and add skillet contents to the crock pot.  Add 1 tablespoon of parsley and 1 tablespoon of basil (add basil & parsley to your hand first and rub both hands together over the crock pot to break up the flavor while adding it).  Place the lid on the crock pot and turn it down to low for at least 3 hours.  Add more chicken stock if needed (strictly up to you & how thick OR thin you want your broth to be).  I also love to add torn pieces of fresh spinach, so try that to make it even healthier!

Toppings to consider when serving:  a tablespoon of either shredded cheddar, chopped onions or scallions, sour cream or ranch or blue cheese salad dressing.  Also, croutons; consider lightly coating them in olive oil and adding them to the skillet or oven for toasting.  Cool before adding them to the bowl of chili.


(The perfect light dessert for a summer day … ok, ANYtime!)

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My Grandmother handed down this yummy recipe to me.  It’s perfect for so many occasions so I’m sure you’ll love and use it a lot!  The directions also include instructions for preparing your fruit, which is best used on berries like strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, etc.  If you want to include cantaloupe, watermelon or bananas, etc., don’t soak those… just add them before serving.  As you can see, I gave my dessert a patriotic touch, but this is great served any time of year, especially in the summer.  And I’ve also included a few low-cal ingredient “swap-outs” for those of you who want to lighten things up.  Enjoy!

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Angie
    Mar 06, 2011 @ 14:24:05

    Hi, I would love to make the 8X8 cobbler but how many cans of fruit do you use for that? One or two? Thanks.


    • seasonalhome
      Mar 06, 2011 @ 14:48:38

      You would use only one (1) can of pie filling and one (1) box of the Jiffy Golden Yellow Cake Mix to make an 8″ x 8″ (pan-sized) cobbler. Thanks for your question, Angie, and ENJOY! :- )


  2. Michelle
    Oct 31, 2011 @ 16:29:43

    Hey, I make the same recipe but I use Betty Crocker Butter Recipe cake mix, I will try the Jiffy next time.


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