Busy? You Need These Easy Recipes

Here is a meal plan for that hectic week of back-to-school nights—making dinner easy and delicious.


Yes, it's that time of year again when there is homework to monitor, sports practices to attend, and after-school activities to contend with—all in addition to your normal day-to-day responsibilities.

And because we at Patch want to make your life ridiculously easy, we compiled some easy recipes for that hectic week of back-to-school nights and meetings so you can cross “dinner” off your worry—er—to-do list.

All of these recipes come courtesy of a family recipe book.

So get your culinary plan ready now so you don’t have to stress later. Some of the dishes can even be prepared in advance and frozen until needed.

Here goes:


Ham Barbecue

This classic recipe can be paired with fresh veggies and/or store-bought potato, pasta or macaroni salad. It will give you a feel of summer on that first day back to school.

Here’s what you need:

½ cup chopped onions

1 tablespoon of oil

1 14-ounce bottle of ketchup (we prefer Heinz, of course)

2 tablespoons of sweet relish

1 tablespoon of vinegar

¼ teaspoon of salt

dash of pepper

2 pounds of chipped ham

Here’s what you do:

Cook onion in oil until clear. Add remaining ingredients in a crock pot, stir and cook on low until its heated all the way through.


Grandma’s Meatloaf

How about some comfort food as the reality of the back-to-school season starts to settle in? Try this recipe, which can be paired with your favorite side, such as Au gratin potatoes and your favorite vegetables.

Here’s what you need:

2 pounds of ground beef

1 small onion, grated

2 eggs, slightly beaten

2 beef bullion cubes, dissolved in ½ cup of water

1 tablespoon of parsley flakes

1 teaspoon baking powder

a dash of soy sauce

1 cup bread crumbs

Here’s what you do:

Mix all the ingredients together until it is well mixed and also holds a loaf shape (the mixture should be very firm). Place in a covered roasting pan and back on 350 degrees for 90 minutes.


Crispy Chicken Bake

Bored with plain old breaded chicken? Try this easy recipe to give a new twist to this old favorite—that can be paired with your favorite sides.

Here’s what you need:

1 whole chicken, cut up (you can usually buy this pre-cut at any grocery store)

2/3 cup of mayonnaise

2-3 cups of crushed corn flakes

salt and pepper to taste

Here’s what you do:

Wash and pat dry the chicken pieces. Put the mayo in a dish, and coat the chicken with it. Place the crushed corn flakes in a bowl, and press the pieces of chicken until they are well coated. Then just place the pieces in a baking dish and bake uncovered for one hour.


Poor Man’s Pierogies

Love the Pittsburgh classic but don’t have time to do all the prep work that pierogies require? Then try this recipe—it's quick, easy and Pittsburgh-y.

Here’s what you need:

12 lasagna noodles

18 servings of instant potatoes

1 medium opinion, chopped

3 sticks of butter (OK – so this one isn’t a low-cat recipe…)

1 large block of Velveeta cheese

Here’s what you do:

Boil the noodles until sot. Saute onions in butter. Prepare instant potatoes according to the directions on the box. Cut Velveeta into small cubes. Then, put three lasagna noodles in the bottom of a 13-inch by 9-inch pan. Then evenly spread one-third of the potatoes over the noodles, and then dot with one-third of the cheese and one-quarter of the onions and butter. Repeat that process two more times, with the top layer of noodles being slathered with the rest of the onions and butter. After you do that, bake at 350 degrees and bake for an hour.


Take Your Pick

We purposely didn't include a recipe for today. Friday’s aren’t meant for cooking—they are meant for pizza (or any other take-out favorite). So go ahead and order out. We give you permission.


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