Back to School recipes: Brock’s best for BTS

School is about to begin again! So long are the days of beach and sun and relaxation! It’s time to begin the learning process. It’s a melancholy day for all of us—for teachers like me and for students alike! But I’m very excited to begin a new year again, teaching and mentoring all those eager minds. There is absolutely nothing like having a student who really desires to learn. It makes the job much more exciting. This week I have three of my favorite back to school recipes for you parents, who are looking for easy and quick recipes for your little ones, middle ones, and teenage ones. Everybody loves these recipes, and they are simple to prepare. Parents, make sure you cut these recipes out, and clip them to your refrigerator, so you will be prepared for the beginning of school! Enjoy, readers!

Sloppy Joe’s Casserole

Note: This is the best casserole in the world! It’s so easy to prepare on a busy weeknight for the kids and for all the family! This is one of my favorites!

1 lb. ground beef

1 can Manwich sloppy joe sauce

Half tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. brown sugar

8 oz. Velveeta cheese, grated

2 pkgs. Pillsbury crescent roll seamless dough sheets

Half stick butter, melted

Cook ground beef, and drain. Add sloppy joe sauce, brown sugar, and salt. Heat through. Set aside. In a 13×9 casserole dish that has been greased, press down one sheet of the crescent dough to fit the surface of the dish. Then spread the beef mixture evenly on top of this. Sprinkle cheese on top of the meat mixture. Then cover all of this with the second sheet of crescent dough. Pour melted butter evenly over the sheet of dough. Bake covered with foil at 350 for about 40 min, or until the crust on top is completely done, and it is lightly golden brown. If the middle is not done, you will want to cook a little longer. Ovens may vary. Serve with a nice salad and some hot buttered rolls, and you have a wonderful and simple supper.

“Bubble” Pizza

Note: This quick and easy pizza-style casserole came to me from Mrs. Monica Cockrell, my neighbor and terrific cook. This pizza casserole is so very simple to prepare that your children can help with supper! It’s perfect for back to school suppers!

1 lb. pork or Italian sausage; ground beef (or combination of all)

1 jar pizza sauce

2 cans of refrigerated biscuits*

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Chopped mushrooms, bell pepper and onions

Pepperoni slices

Preheat oven to 350. Scramble meat and any vegetables that you choose to include. Drain and add pizza sauce and pepperoni as many as you prefer). Cut each biscuit into 4 pieces and add all to sauce/meat mixture and stir. *Brock prefers using flaky buttery refrigerated style biscuits. Pour into a greased 9×13 pan. Bake for 20-30 min until biscuits are done. Top with cheese and heat until melted.

C.J.’s Cookie Dough Bars

Note: I used to make these for my students all the time at school, and they loved them. Kids love these, and they would certainly love these after a good home-cooked supper! Try them out!

1 regular roll Pillsbury refrigerated peanut butter cookie dough

1 regular roll Pillsbury refrigerated sugar cookie dough

Miniature Snickers candy bars

On a large lightly sprayed cookie sheet, press the peanut butter dough to fit the size of the cookie sheet. Then on top of the pb dough, press the sugar cookie dough. Then press miniature Snickers bars all over the top of the dough. Space each mini Snicker about an inch apart. Cover the entire surface. Bake at 350 for about 25-30 min, or until the dough is very lightly browned on the sides. Cut into bars. Make sure not to overcook and burn the bars. You want them to be gooey—not hard and crunchy. They are great served warm with vanilla ice cream. Everyone loves them!

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 or find him on his Facebook page at Brock’s Bites.