More Back to School Recipes: Brock’s Best!

I have more easy recipes for your busy weeknights! It’s Brock to the rescue! What is better than super home-cooked meals and desserts when you get home from a long and busy day? I have three simple and fabulous recipes for you this week. I have a pizza casserole for you that is cooked in a crock pot. It is easy and fast. I also have for you a recipe for a “no boil” macaroni and cheese. You guys will love this recipe, and you don’t even have to strain pasta and wash another pot! And, on the dessert side, I have for you a quick cookie bar recipe which comes from a local friend of mine, Mrs. Chasity Johnson Wells. You’ll love these gooey marshmallow cookie bars! Yummy! I’m so hungry. I’m ready to get home to supper every night this week! Enjoy, readers!

Chasity’s Cookie Bars

Note: My good friend Mrs. Chasity Wells gave me this easy cookie bar recipe, and I asked her if I could share it with you all. She said that this easy recipe has been feeding WA softball players for six years and that this recipe is a hit at her family’s MSU tailgates! Thank you so much Chasity for your fantastic recipe!

1 large roll refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough

1 cup quick cooking oats

1 bag miniature marshmallows

1 pkg. miniature M&M’s

Squeezable Smuckers’ caramel ice cream topping

Spray 9×13 pan with nonstick cooking spray. Put cookie dough in pan and mix with the uncooked oats. Press in bottom of pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes. Take out of oven and then sprinkle with miniature marshmallows, all over the top. Return to the oven until marshmallows puff up. Take out of the oven and sprinkle with mini M&M’s. Drizzle with caramel, cut in bars, and enjoy. These can be made a day ahead, and they will cut more easily.

“No Boil” Mac & Cheese

Note: This macaroni and cheese is so simple. You don’t even have to boil the macaroni before cooking this stuff! So that means no strainer pot to wash either!

2 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked

4 cups milk

Half stick melted butter

1 tsp. salt

8 oz. Velveeta, cut in small cubes

4 cups shredded cheese (2 cups Colby, 2 cups cheddar)

1 tsp. ground dry mustard

Preheat oven to 350. Spray 9×13 pan. In medium bowl, combine milk with melted butter. Add in salt and dry mustard powder. Pour in uncooked macaroni and Velveeta. Next, add in 2 cups of the shredded Colby cheese, and give it all a good stir. Pour the mixture into your prepared dish. Cover with foil, and bake for 45-60 min, or until all liquid is absorbed. Oven temps may vary. Take out of oven, remove foil, and top with the remaining 2 cups of cheddar cheese. Put back in oven, uncovered for about 10-15 min, or until cheese is melted on top. Serve warm Enjoy!

Italy in a Crockpot

Note: This pizza casserole was shared to me by a friend of a friend who cooks for her large family all the time. She loves Italian food, so this recipe was perfect and fast. It is best served with hot garlic bread!

1 box spiral pasta, uncooked

1 lb. ground beef

1 onion, chopped

1 tsp. garlic salt

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 cup sliced pepperonis

1 cup sliced black olives

16 oz. Ragu pizza sauce

Half cup water

8 oz. sour cream

Half stick butter, melted

1 cup shredded mozzarella

Spray crockpot with nonstick spray. Cook the ground beef with the onion, garlic and bell pepper. Drain excess fat. Rinse pasta and place in the crock pot with drained ground beef mix. Stir in olives and pepperoni. Pour pizza sauce and half cup water over noodle mix. Stir again and make sure it is mixed well. Stir in sour cream and melted butter. Top with shredded mozzarella. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours with no peeking! Serve with garlic bread.

Editor’s note: Brock W. Rogers, an experienced Southern food writer, overseas traveler, educator, and passionate student of the culinary & pastry arts, resides in Louisville. E-mail him at brockrogers1@gmail.com or find him on his Facebook page at Brock’s Bites.