Cooks Exchange

Quick-fix meals give you more time to enjoy your family

Shrimp quesadillas can be prepared a variety of ways, including with a slaw mix as pictured above or with hummus, artichoke hearts and feta cheese as the Cooks Exchange recipe suggests.
Shrimp quesadillas can be prepared a variety of ways, including with a slaw mix as pictured above or with hummus, artichoke hearts and feta cheese as the Cooks Exchange recipe suggests. Getty Images/iStockphoto

Now that there is an extra hour of daylight, do not spend that extra hour in the kitchen. Get out and enjoy being outdoors with the family.

Adults, as well as children, feel cooped up from being inside with all the nasty weather so far in 2019. My granddaughter opens the blinds in the den only to see gray, foggy weather. That certainly doesn’t make her want to ride her bike or scooter.

Let’s do some quick-fix meals that Moms, Dads and grandparents can prepare after work that take less than 30 minutes, some less than 15. Then these home chefs can head outside for some fun with the kids or just take a walk in the neighborhood.

Lent, too, is here, and shrimp and fish are some of the quickest fixed of all meats. As readers know, I will eat shrimp any way they are prepared. Shrimp, along with crab and lobster, are my all-time favorites.

I like to use shrimp in quesadillas and tostadas. One quesadilla recipe borrows from Mexican quesadillas but offers a Mediterranean flavor. What a combination! These take about 20 minutes to prepare.

Melissa Rubel Jacobson of Food & Wine magazine created shrimp tostadas that are topped with a citrusy slaw and take about 40 minutes to prepare.

In just 15 to 20 minutes, home cooks can turn out lemon basil salmon that is delicious and healthy.

These dishes are not taxing and give someone who has worked all day a chance to relax in the kitchen and turn out a nutritious meal before heading outdoors. Better yet, serve the meal outdoors for a nice change of pace.

Wanted: Bertha Sadowski’s decorating pamphlet

“A few months ago, a reader requested a copy of a pamphlet that Mrs. Bertha Sadowski provided to students who attended her evening cake decorating classes at Biloxi High School,” said Carol Roch. At the insistence, begging and pleading of my late sister Ellen, I attended Bertha’s classes.

“It would mean the world to me if I could get a copy of that pamphlet. Thank you for any help you can give me in my search,” said Roch.


Nonstick cooking spray

4 (8-inch) vegetable tortillas

1/2 a 7-ounce carton garlic or spicy three-pepper hummus or about 1/3 cup

6 ounces peeled, deveined cooked medium shrimp

1 (6-ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped

1 (4 ounce) package crumbled feta cheese

Coat one side of each tortilla with cooking spray. Place tortillas sprayed side down on work surface. Spread with hummus. Top half of each tortilla with shrimp, artichokes and cheese. Fold tortilla in half, pressing firmly.

Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat for 1 minute. Cook quesadillas, two at a time, in skillet, for 4 to 6 minutes or until browned and heated through. Repeat with last 2 quesadillas.

– From Better Homes and Gardens


1 teaspoon vegetable oil, plus more for frying

4 corn tortillas

Kosher salt

24 large shelled and deveined shrimp (about 1 pound)

1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder

4 cups shredded cabbage or coleslaw mix

1 medium tomato, seeds and cut into 1/4-inch dice

2 scallions, thinly sliced

1/4 cup sour cream

1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

1 Haas avocado, thinly sliced

1/4 cup cilantro leaves

2 medium radishes, thinly sliced

Lime wedges for serving

In a medium deep skillet, heat 1/4-inch of vegetable oil until hot. Fry one tortilla at a time over moderately high heat until lightly golden on both sides, about 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt.

Preheat a grill pan. In a medium bowl, toss the shrimp with the 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil and the chipotle chile powder. Season the shrimp with salt. Grill the shrimp over moderately high heat, turning once until they are browned in spots and cooked through, about 4 minutes.

In medium bowl, toss the cabbage with the tomato, scallions, sour cream and lime juice and season with salt. Set the tortillas on plates and top with the cabbage slaw, chipotle shrimp, avocado, radishes and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.

– Recipe by Melissa Rubel Jacobson of Food & Wine


4 salmon fillets (6 ounces each)

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil

2 medium lemons, thinly sliced

Additional fresh basil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place salmon in a greased 15-by-10-by-1-inch baking pan. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with lemon zest, salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons basil; top with lemon slices.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until fish just begins to flake easily with a fork. If desired, top with additional basil.

Nutritional data: 1 salmon fillet, 294 calories, 18 grams fat (3 grams saturated fat) 85 milligrams cholesterol, 381 milligrams sodium, 3 grams carbohydrate (1 gram sugar, 1 gram fiber), 29 grams protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 5 lean meat, ½ fat.

– From Simply & Delicious magazine, June/July 2016

Andrea Yeager can be reached at and Cooks Exchange, 205 DeBuys Road, Gulfport, MS 39507.