Karen Kurr’s cottage business, No Time 2 Cook, grew from her home kitchen into Kroger stores. And, Mississippi State’s Home Extension and Food Science Departments provided many of the key resources needed. Due to faculty support with labeling, pricing, and more, Karen was able to enter into production and sales with her favorite family recipes.
You will find Chicken Pie, Chicken and Dressing, and best selling Chicken and Dumplings on Kroger shelves throughout the deep South. In addition, other small retail stores carry more products such as Karen’s Chicken Tetrazzini and Poppy Seed Chicken. Also, No Time 2 Cook’s complete menu is available through their online store.
Read the story of how Karen made all of this happen with the help of Mississippi State in Extension Matters.
Learning how to prepare 1-2 servings of a No Time 2 Cook entree can be very beneficial for family’s of fewer than 3-4 people. This method allows individuals and couples to enjoy our delicious entrees with just a little effort and a few on hand kitchen items.
Remove a No Time 2 Cook casserole from the freezer and allow to sit out until the product has thawed enough to cut into the preferred serving sizes. Do not allow to completely thaw. The product should still be well frozen but in a softer frozen state. Remove and save the top label. Cut into desired serving sizes (Remember when served with several sides, one of our casseroles should yield 3-4 servings. I feed my family of 4 with one casserole when served with 2 steamed veggies and a salad.) Wrap each serving in plastic wrap and place all servings back into the No Time 2 Cook black tray. Wipe away any residue from the label and place over the servings for identification. Slip the entire tray with the label and individual servings into a gallon Ziploc bag and return to the freezer.
To cook a serving that needs to bake such as Chicken Pie, mini loaf pans work well. I suggest lining the loaf pan with foil for easy clean up. Remove serving(s) from plastic wrap and place in lined mini loaf pan. Return unused servings back to freezer. Bake at recommended oven temp and to internal temperature indicated by the instructions on the bottom of the No Time 2 Cook black tray. The baking time will be shorter than the time indicated since the product is now smaller than the full size casserole. Keep a close watch as it bakes and temp with an internal probe thermometer. These are available in the kitchen supply section at most medium to large grocery stores or kitchen supply stores.
To prepare a microwaveable/skillet product such as Chicken and Dumplings, just pop the serving into a microwave safe dish or non-stick skillet. Cook until hot and bubbly. Stir often and heat to the internal temperature indicated on the bottom of the No Time 2 Cook black tray using a probe thermometer.
This time of year, I am often asked for larger casseroles that will feed a crowd. Now, “You have a larger size and can eat it too!” Here’s how.
Just yesterday, Jeff and I had a spur of the moment invitation to a dinner party where I needed to take a dish. It was late afternoon and no time to go to the grocery. Never fear cause lucky for me, I always have a back up of No Time 2 Cook in my home freezer. When something comes up like this, I usually take Crab and Mushroom Penne or Chicken and Dumplings because they are microwaveable or heated on a stove top. I can heat these from frozen, transfer to a casserole and I’m ready to go out the door. Not so yesterday, as I had only 1 Dumpling and 1 Penne. I did, however, have 2 Chicken Pies. Time to restock the freezer!
I wanted to take a large dish in one of my pretty casseroles for the table and two Chicken Pies side by side in a casserole that need to be baked from frozen presented a problem.
So, I had an idea. I placed the above casserole in a warm oven (170 degrees). In an hour, the pies were slightly thawed but still icy. I could then break them apart with a spoon to fill up the empty cavities of the casserole dish. Then, I took a knife and spread the thawed topping across the entire casserole. Wa lah!! You’d never know I started with 2 pies.
All I had to do then was bake and garnish with a little parsley.
Beautiful, delicious, and tastes just like homemade! That’s because the ingredients are the same as the recipe that came out of my little recipe box when I made my first Chicken Pies for The Belhaven Farmer’s Market in Jackson, MS. Wow! I wonder how many Chicken Pies I have made since that market 10 years ago.
So here’s my No Time 2 Cook tip of the day– Always! Always! Always! Keep several No Time 2 Cook entrees in your freezer for emergencies. Preferably, at least 2 of one kind when you need a large casserole to take to church, a party, a sick friend, a new mama, or as a bereavement dish. Your friends will think you spent half a day in the kitchen. You can keep the secret, but I would love for you to tell them it’s from No Time 2 Cook.
Of course, our regular size casseroles are perfect to share and to have for supper when you have no time to cook. They’ll give you easy, quick, wholesome meals and feed a family of 4 when served with several side dishes.
Enjoy and let me know how your’s turn out!!
Send me a picture of one of your large No Time 2 Cook casseroles at karen@notime2cook and I’ll post on our Facebook page.
Often, I am asked about the birth of No Time 2 Cook, and I always say it goes back to when my kids were young. Back then, I always kept my freezer full of frozen entrees that I prepared from scratch. After cooking my recipes in large batches, I would divide and freeze them in family size portions. Some of our favorites were my gumbo, chicken and dumplings, and chicken pie. In my fridge and freezer, I also kept fresh and frozen veggies and greens. Then, everything needed was ready to pull out to add to my entrees for quick meals on busy nights.
My family never liked the processed taste of frozen dinners and canned products. And, I wanted to provide well-rounded meals I made at home. With a baby on my hip and juggling after school activities, the birth of No Time 2 Cook took root. As I watched my friends struggle to find the time to prepare wholesome meals, I knew there was a business on the horizon.
In the Spring of 2005, I had the opportunity to test my idea at a local farmer’s market and the rest is history. Today, you can find No Time 2 Cook products from my little recipe box in Kroger stores across the deep South as well as other small retail stores. Also, this fall, we opened an online store making our entire menu available across the mid and central United States.
Today, everyone’s all grown up including me. So here’s what we are doing these days. My husband, Jeff, is beginning his 26th year with Baptist Hospital as a Radiation Physicist and my oldest, Allen, graduated from Ole Miss in 2014. Growing up in the family business, helped prepare Allen for his current job as Vice President of the Oxford Lafayette Economic Development Foundation. Annaleigh, the baby on my hip, is 21 and studying Dance and Sports Medicine at a nearby university. As for me, I still oversee operations at our No Time 2 Cook plant in Oxford .
I love when everybody is home and we can sit down to one of my home cooked meals around our family dinner table. I do hope you enjoy my cooking, too. And remember, whether it’s your home cooked meal or one of ours, spend time around your own family dinner table.
Wishing you rich conversation, companionship, and wholesome meals with your family, friends and loved ones.
For more information about No Time 2 Cook’s owner/founder, Karen Kurr, click here.
Jeff and I just returned from a vacation in Banner Elk, NC to view the fall foliage.
Banner Elk is in The Smokies, a part of the Appalachian Mountains. With a Scottish heritage, I have always felt akin to Appalachia first settled by Scottish immigrants who remained as the mountains reminded them of Scotland’s Highlands.
As we set off on our trip, I was determined to find the perfect Appalachian recipe for my blog and newsletter this week. After researching the web and studying the local menus, 2 foods kept popping up. Pinto Beans and Cornbread. Lucky me!! I’m a pro at Pinto Beans and have a great recipe for Southern Cornbread. So with the weather cooling off and my youngest home from college, it was a perfect weekend to cook up a pot of beans, bake some cornbread, and make sure my recipes were just right for my readers and loyal No Time 2 Cook fans. So in honor of my Appalachian roots, here goes:
Recipe Type: Main Dish
Serves: About 2.5 quarts
There’s nothing like getting away with the girls for a few days especially when one of the girls is your sister. Kay and I just returned from our girl vacation to Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Aunt Kathy invited us to her home on the lake and offered her wonderful guest house for our stay. We could actually hear the bells of Garvin Gardens chapel across the lake at our guest house. Exquisite!
Our first evening found us at a fabulous reception as Aunt Kathy’s guests at Garvan Woodland Gardens, the botanical gardens on Lake Hamilton, followed by a beautiful performance by Ballet Arkansas in the garden chapel. Our dear friend, Lauren, who dances with the ballet gave a stunning performance.
On Friday, Kay and I hosted a brunch on the lake for Aunt Kathy and guests. Mama’s Grits were on the menu. These are “THE BEST” grits and so very easy! I’ve always made them from memory but thought I would write down the recipe and share with my faithful followers. You’ll never cook grits right off the package again.
Our Brunch Menu was Italian Breakfast Casserole (I halved my Brunch Casserole for a Crowd as there were only 7 of us, then substituted the sausage, ham, and bacon for ground chuck as we had a guest allergic to pork, and lastly added Italian Seasoning for the perfect touch.), Mama’s Grits, a fresh fruit tray (pineapple, papaya, cantaloupe, star fruit, kiwi, and blueberries), served with Greek yogurt & honey, granola, and raw almonds, Mimosas, and orange juice.
Later in the weekend, Aunt Kathy and Uncle Steve gave us a grand tour of Hot Springs. If you’ve never been, I encourage a trip. Though we did not get to enjoy the baths on this trip, I highly recommend you make a reservation at the Arlington Spa for true pampering. Next time, we’ll definitely make the time.
Chicken and Dumplings is our best seller; and begins with a rich premium chicken stock sauce made with real butter. We add Southern style peppered dumplings, generous amounts of pure white meat chicken, and garnish this customer favorite with celery and carrots. Our recipes have changed little since they came out of my recipe box. Add a couple of side dishes to all of our entrees and serve a family of 3-4.
Chicken Pie was the first casserole sold in my early farmer’s market days, and we owe our success and presence in Kroger to its popularity. We add generous portions of pure white meat chicken cooked to perfection and sourced from local Mississippi farmers. We then add peas and carrots in a perfect cream sauce and topped with my signature crust made with real whipping cream.
This was my Mama’s recipe beginning with baked Southern Cornbread, real butter, and premium chicken broth. We add lots of pure white meat chicken, celery, onions and just a touch of sage. We use only the best ingredients in all of our products avoiding processed meats, hydrogenated oil, high fructose corn syrup, and MSG. That’s what makes our premium entrees taste homemade and sets us apart from other frozen dinners.
This favorite Mexican entree is made authentic with Masa and Ancho Chili seasoning. It’s made with USDA ground chuck and black beans in a light tomato filling then topped with a Masa corn crust. Bake, cut in squares, and make beautiful with your favorite Mexican condiments. This is my kid’s favorite No Time 2 Cook dish. Instead of Taco night. we have Tamale Pie night at our house. Also make this fabulous Tamale Layered Dip using our Tamale Pie as the base. Great for parties, tailgating, or for Family Game Night supper. Click on the picture below for the recipe.
This is my sweet Mama. Her name was Joy which was most fitting for her cheery personality and love of life and people. Mama taught me how to cook and was my # 1 fan and supporter. It is my hope to keep her memory alive and legacy burning bright passing on her knowledge and wisdom along the way. I do hope you enjoy our cooking!