A plate of food

Recipes That’ll Make You Look Good


Not long ago, as I was preparing one of my favorite dishes, I got to thinking about you. No kidding, I really did. As I was mulling over my short list of quick and easy recipes that make me look good, I made a mental note that I need to share these recipes with you. They’re quick, easy, very inexpensive and sure to make you look good.

A plate full of food, with Gravy and Beef

Three-Packets and a Roast

This recipe makes me look like a much better cook than I really am. Give it a try soon, and you’ll know what I mean. You can use any cut of meat for this one, the tougher, the better, as that’s the one that will have the most flavor. Get ready to be amazed because this makes its own gravy. Seriously.

  • 1 packet dry ranch dressing mix
  • 1 packet dry Italian dressing mix
  • 1 packet dry brown gravy mix
  • 1 beef roast, any cut


Place the roast in the slow cooker. In a small bowl combine the contents of all three packets with 1 cup water. Mix to combine. Pour over the roast. Cover. Cook on Low for 7 to 8 hours depending on just how cheap that cut of meat is.

Nine-Day Slaw

Get ready to change your mind about coleslaw. This recipe rivals anything you’ve eaten from a fast food joint (yep, it even beats the Colonel’s slaw). It makes a large batch and will be as good on day nine as it was the day you made it. Maybe even better.


  • 3 pounds cabbage, shredded
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 cups sugar



  • 1 cup vinegar (white or cider)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons celery seed
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


In a large bowl, combine cabbage, onion, bell pepper and 2 cups of sugar. Allow to stand a few minutes until sugar is dissolved. In a small sauce pan, combine vinegar, oil, celery seed, 2 teaspoons sugar and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from stove and allow to cool. Pour over the cabbage mixture, mix well and refrigerate. This slaw will keep well in the refrigerator for nine days, but here’s my little secret: It will keep even longer than that in the freezer.

Hot Fudge Sauce

Knowing how to make the perfect hot fudge sauce will also make you feel quite accomplished as a cook. This sauce is perfect served over ice cream or as a fondue for slices of bananas, pineapple, pieces of cake or any other treat you might imagine. I know from personal experience that you’re going to love being known for your hot fudge sauce.

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup (like Karo)
  • 1/4 cup light cream (half and half or evaporated milk will work, too)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Combine cocoa powder, white sugar, corn syrup, cream, salt and butter in a saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture comes to a full boil. Boil the mixture briskly for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, then remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

The sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for one week. To reheat, place the container of sauce in a pan of hot (not boiling) water until the sauce warms and thins to a pouring consistency.

More from Everyday Cheapskate

cheap from scratch meatloaf meal with ketchup glaze
chicken noodle soup
banana and carrot gluten free muffins
English Muffin Bread
Instant Pot with Beans Rice and Fresh Vegetables
A woman standing in front of a store
Apple Fritter Waffle Donuts
caramel corn collage

Please keep your comments positive, encouraging, helpful, brief,

and on-topic in keeping with EC Posting Guidelines

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
10 replies
  1. Chris S says:

    I made the “3-packets & a roast” last night with a sirloin tip roast and it was a big hit with my husband AND daughter! The best thing about this recipe is you can use any cut of beef. My husband HATES any fat on a roast so I stopped making them. I tried it with a sirloin tip roast which had a miniscule amount of fat and it turned out tender and delicious. THANK YOU Mary!!!!

  2. Rick Morse says:

    I use this recipe using Mary’s instructions plus one cup of water. I’ve never mixed the three packets, but pour each directly over the meat, then add one cup of water. Since I like to cook vegetables under the meat, I’ll try two cups of water next time. Great recipe!

  3. Lydia says:

    My favorite recipe that makes me look good is “One Dish Chicken”. Place 3-4 pieces of boneless skinless chicken in a crockpot. (more if you have lots of people. Cover the chicken with Cream of chicken soup. You don’t want to be able to see the chicken. I normally use 1 large can and 1 small can. Cover and cook on high 3-4 hours (add an extra hour if the chicken was frozen). About 30 minutes before you are going to eat take each piece of chicken out and pull it apart into small pieces. Add a bag of frozen mixed vegetables. Cook noodles on the stove. Place noodles on your plate and cover with the chicken mix.

  4. Marie says:

    I saw a similar recipe with 1 packet of brown gravy, 1 packet of Italian and 1 packet of onion soup mix instead of the ranch dressing mix. Which would be better? Any thoughts from anyone who has made this already?

  5. Mama2 says:

    The original recipe is one cup of water, but my family likes to have a little more “gravy,” so I add an extra cup of water to the crock before adding the roast. We really enjoy this recipe with venison roast.

  6. Vicky Hall Thornton says:

    I make this! I use just 1 CUP of water … my recipe calls for 1 cup of salsa too but not sure that it really needed. I LOVE THIS – it makes a great gravy! For the beef gravy packet, I buy the “au jus” beef packet. We shred the roast & make pot roast sliders on little buns. The kids love it.


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *