Smith loves experimenting in kitchen

Smith loves experimenting in kitchen


Casey Smith thinks of cooking as a way to experiment.

“I never write down any of my recipes,” Smith said. “So, whenever I get in the kitchen, I just see what I have, and I work with what I got.” 

Smith said she loves how cooking allows her to take some time to herself. She also loves to see people smile whenever they eat something they love. 

Smith first learned to cook from watching her mother, Sandy, her great-grandmother, Martha, and her aunt Sherry make meals together. 

She would love to watch them, and they did not follow recipes, either. 

Smith made her first meal, T-bone steaks, mashed potatoes and green beans when she was 13 years old because that’s what her mother wanted for supper that night. 

Her mother also taught her a lot about making different kinds of casseroles and mixing things to make them taste good. 

She loves to try different things with food and not follow specific recipes. 

Her favorite chef is Guy Fieri.

“I love how he meets different people and then helps them out in the kitchen,” Smith said. 

Helping people out is something Smith is passionate about as well, which is why she is enrolled in the nursing program at Meridian Community College. Her classes begin next month. 

Smith is a native of southern Illinois, and she now lives in Philadelphia with her three children, Bryan, Madison and Johnathon. She has worked at Bloomo Diner for four years and is currently a J’s Coffee House manager. 



4 Pounds lean ground beef

3 Cups ketchup

2 Eggs

3 Small bread crumbs

Small onion diced

Small green bell pepper diced

Salt and pepper

½ Cup sugar

1 Ranch seasoning packet


Preheat the oven to 350F. Sauté onion and bell pepper until tender over medium heat. In a large bowl, combine ground beef, 2 cups of ketchup, 2 eggs, 2 ½ cups of bread crumbs, onions and peppers, and ranch packet. Mix by hand until all blended well. In a greased baking dish, form ground beef mixture into desired loaf sizes. Sprinkle remaining bread crumbs on top. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Drain liquid grease if there is excess. In a small bowl, combine sugar and remaining ketchup, spread over top of meatloaf and back in the oven for 20 minutes.



2 Pounds lean ground beef

1 Box manicotti noodles

¼ Tsp Italian parsley

¼ Tsp oregano

2 Jars red pasta sauce 

16oz Ricotta cheese

16oz Cream cheese softened

2 Cups shredded cheese mozzarella

3 Cups shredded Parmesan

2 Eggs

1 Small white onion diced


Preheat the oven to 350F. While browning ground beef and onions, follow cooking instructions on the box for noodles. In a separate bowl, combine 2 eggs, cream cheese, Ricotta cheese, parsley, oregano, mozzarella cheese, and 2 cups of Parmesan cheese. Stir until blended. Spoon into a pastry filling bag or a regular food storage bag and snip the corner just before filling the noodles. In a greased baking dish, pour remaining pasta sauce and spread thinly. Once the noodles are cooked, drained and cooled a bit, fill noodles from one end and allow them to slightly overflow on both ends. And place in the baking dish on top of the sauce. Spread ground beef and sauce mixture generously across the filled noodles. Bake for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the remaining cup of parmesan cheese on top. Bake for an additional 10 minutes or until the cheese melts. Serve with your favorite salad and bread. 



16oz Tri-color rotini pasta

1 Bag of raspberry almond crunch slaw starter

1 Large tomato sliced

2 Cups broccoli florets chopped fine

1 Can large black olives drained and chopped

8oz Bacon bits (real)

1 Cup favorite style shredded cheese

2 Large avocados diced 

1 Jar of Marzetti coleslaw dressing 

1 Small bottle of raspberry vinaigrette dressing


Follow cooking instructions for pasta. Once cooked, drain and rinse well with cold water. In a dry bowl, combine the contents of Raspberry almond crunch slaw starter, diced tomatoes, olives, broccoli, bacon bits, cheese, and avocados mix lightly. Then add coleslaw dressing and raspberry vinaigrette to task, and add a dash of salt and pepper mixed in until dressings blend and coat pasta.

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