This week I am doing what we all learned in seventh-grade English classes in the days of yore. The first sentence in a paragraph should let the reader know what is to follow, and the first paragraph should pertain to the body of the work.

Last week, I raved about quick and easy cooking: five ingredients, five minute, then gave you a recipe with 13 ingredients. Not so today. I am sharing my favorite recipes that can come about when my husband asks that most dreaded question at 5 p.m.: “What’s for dinner?”

The first is a recipe that I created last Saturday out of pure necessity — and a hunger for shrimp. I try to keep shrimp in the freezer for all kinds of quick and easy things. I like the ones from Sam’s Club that are cleaned and deveined and have the tail on. I learned about these from Jeanie Folzenlogen who really does cook full meals every day.

Lime and Garlic Shrimp

3 tablespoons butter

4-5 large cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped

1 pound raw (if frozen thaw by running cold water over them) large shrimp

1 large lime

For two large servings: Melt butter in large skillet, and add garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes and then add shrimp. Cook for about 6-7 minutes until shrimp are opaque, not clear. Squeeze fresh lime juice over shrimp. Add freshly grated black pepper. Serve hot, or chilled in a salad. I served the shrimp with baked potatoes to which I added butter, French onion dip and grated cheddar. (We were out of sour cream, but this was a wonderful change on the potatoes.) We also had a tossed salad with fresh East Texas tomatoes.

I cannot remember how long I have been making this lasagna recipe, but I have shared it with you before, although that might have been 30 years ago.

Last Minute Lasagna

1 jar (24 ounces) pasta sauce (these jars used to have 26 ounces, but you know how sizes are shrinking)

1 bag (30 ounces) frozen, large cheese ravioli

1 (package) 10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed

1 package (8 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Spray a 9- by 13-inch dish with cooking spray. Spoon one-third of sauce into dish. Arrange 12 ravioli on top, and scatter spinach over them. Top with half of each cheese. Cover with another layer of ravioli, and the remaining sauce and cheese. Cover with foil, and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover, and bake for 5-10 minutes or until bubbly. Makes 6 servings.

Though you have seen this recipe several times, I served it at a function this past week, and lots of people had not heard of the recipe. It is quick and easy to make. Warning: It is addictive, and “no one can eat just one.”

Almond Crunch

12 double graham crackers

2 sticks butter (no substitution)

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup sliced raw almonds

Line a large cookie sheet with foil. Place graham crackers on foil. Sprinkle almonds over crackers. In heavy saucepan, bring butter and sugar to boiling point, stirring constantly. Boil for 2 1/2 minutes. Pour over graham crackers and almonds. Bake at 325 degrees for 10-12 minutes until lightly golden brown. Let cool and break into small pieces to serve.

The last is called a salad, but I consider it a dessert.

Strawberry Salad

1 can strawberry pie filling

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 container (12-ounces) frozen whipped topping, slightly thawed

Mix all ingredients and chill before serving. May add chopped nuts.

— Barbara Richardson McClellan is a longtime food columnist and has written three self-published cookbooks. Her column appears in the News-Journal’s Taste section each Wednesday. Write her at or in care of the Longview News-Journal, P.O. Box 1792, Longview, TX 75606.