When we asked our staffers for their favorite easy dishes that taste like they took all day, Sara Reimer thought of her mom's Spinach Quiche recipe. "I mix frozen spinach and a few other ingredients, then put it in a puff pastry crust," says Sara, Midwest Living® assistant home and garden editor. "Instant brunch!"
Colleen Weeden, Midwest Living® Test Kitchen project supervisor, combines packaged sweets with homemade frosting for her easy dessert. "My family has no idea I'm using a box brownie mix when I cover the brownies with from-scratch chocolate frosting and sprinkle on candy or chopped candy bars," Colleen says.
"Paella is a snap when you use precooked turkey sausage, precooked shrimp and pouch rice," says Colleen Weeden, Test Kitchen project supervisor. Serve this delicious dish with warm, crusty bread to sop up the juices at the bottom of your bowl.
Sandra Granseth, food consultant for Midwest Living®, turned a brownie mix into a grown-up dessert by stirring in cinnamon and coffee liqueur. A chocolate drizzle decorates the top. Or, top with white and dark chocolates.
In our picture, Sandra's Fudgy Coffee Brownies are shown with a candy-topped variation of Co's Candy-Bar Brownies (slide 3).
Dessert doesn't get much easier than this. You'll need three ingredients and an ice cream freezer (ideally electric) for this puckery, creamy chiller from the Midwest Living® Test Kitchen. Serve with sliced fresh seasonal fruit, if you like.
Geri Boesen, creative director of Midwest Living®, combines Midwest-grown tomatoes (her favorites are from her home state of Iowa, of course) with fresh basil in a cheesy tart that uses refrigerated piecrust for easy prep.
No peeling, no slicing in this recipe from our Test Kitchen -- just assemble the "crisps" the night before and bake right before serving. Brushing apples with a citrus juice keeps them from going brown.