Tag Archives | easy dinner idea

Easy Dinner Idea of the Week

Easy Dinner Recipe of the Week

Our easy dinner idea of the week is our slow-cooker recipe for Chicken Tortilla Soup and Zesty Polenta Cakes.  By placing all of our ingredients in the slow cooker in the morning, dinner is ready at the end of our hectic day.  And, served alongside crunchy seasoned polenta cakes, this soup had my husband saying, “this is the most delicious soup you’ve ever made.”


Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup with Zesty Polenta Cakes


Check out our past Easy Dinner Idea of the Week recipes here:


easy dinner idea

Spring Penne Recipe


easy dinner recipe

Greek Pita Pockets with Mediterannean Potatoes


easy dinner recipe

Sauteed Steak with Spinach, Tomatoes & Avocado


easy dinner idea recipe

Berry-Good Pork Tenderloin with Herb Roasted Potatoes




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The Underestimated Mashed Potato

Homemade Mashed Potatoes

A Stitch In Time Saves Nine. A Penny Saved Is A Penny Earned. Waste Not, Want Not.

Probably one of the most versatile, frugal and efficacious dishes is the mashed potato.  Gracing our Thanksgiving dinner table each year, mashed potatoes are wildly overlooked for the remaining 364 days of the year.

At just pennies per serving, Homemade Mashed Potatoes are not only inexpensive, they’re one of the most versatile side dishes.  By adding a few cloves of fresh garlic during boiling and then mashing with the potato, the gourmet Garlic Mashed Potatoes are created.  By substituting milk with buttermilk, you have Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes.  And, Herb Mashed Potatoes can be made by adding some fresh or dried herbs like rosemary, thyme and parsley.


Rosemary Chicken with Herb Mashed Potatoes

Herb Mashed Potatoes

Five Recipes To Make with Leftover Mashed Potatoes

Homemade mashed potatoes can be cooked in bulk to freeze for future use, or stored for use in other recipes- or, like I call “Reincarnate The Leftover”.  Here are some of my favorite recipes using leftover mashed potatoes.

Potato Cake Recipe

Festive Potato Cakes Recipe


Bangers and Mash

Bangers and Mash with New Castle Gravy


Twice-Baked Cheesy Potatoes

Twice-Baked Cheesy Potatoes Recipe


Cottage Pie Recipe

Cottage Pie Recipe, is allegedly a favorite dish of Prince Williams-  a tasty version of the Shepherd’s Pie.


Shepherd's Pie Recipe

Shepherd’s Pie Recipe


A Stitch In Time

Homemade mashed potatoes freeze and reheat well, so I like making extra and storing for a busy day’s side dish.  I recommend using glass storage containers like Rubbermaid’s Glass Food Storage or Ziploc’s Versaglass that go from the freezer and into the oven or microwave to reheat.

Check out our Homemade Mashed Potatoes Recipe here:

Homemade mashed potatoes recipe

Homemade Mashed Potatoes Recipe


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Candy Apple Pork Chops

If you have leftover Skittles from Halloween, this is the perfect recipe for you.  Made with a sauce of red Skittles reduction, this is one “spooktacular” recipe!

Candy Apple Pork Chops with Easy Rice Pilaf

Candy Apple Pork Chops with Easy Rice Pilaf


  • boneless pork loin chops- 2 lbs
  • white wine *optional like Riesling or Chardonnay- ½ cup
  • apple cider- 1 cup
  • condensed chicken stock- 1 tub mixed with 1 cup water or 1 can chicken broth
  • Red skittles from 2 bags
  • granny smith apple- 1 cored and sliced thin
  • red delicious apple- 1 cored and sliced thin
  • For Rice:
  • long grain rice- 1 cup
  • slivered almonds- 2 oz.
  • butter- 3 tablespoons
  • Olive oil- 3 tablespoons
  • Brown sugar- 3 tablespoons
  • Corn starch- 1 tablespoon dissolved in 1/4 cup water
  • STAPLES for Rice Pilaf:
  • olive oil- 3 tablespoons
  • garlic salt- 1 tablespoon
  • dried parsley- 1 teaspoon


  1. Heat butter and olive oil over medium-high heat and sauté pork chops until brown on both sides; remove to paper-towel lined plate.
  2. Deglaze pan with chicken broth and wine (optional) scrapping up any bits at the bottom of pan.
  3. Add apple cider, brown sugar and corn starch water, then bring to a boil.
  4. Once boiling, reduce heat to low.
  5. Return pork chops to sauce and let simmer until pork chops are tender and cooked through, approximately 10 minutes.
  6. Remove pork chops to serving platter.
  7. Add red Skittles and dissolve in sauce, approximately 2 minutes.
  8. Add apples to sauce and simmer until tender and slightly caramelized, approximately 4 minutes.
  9. Spoon apple and sauce over pork chops and serve any extra sauce in a gravy boat or bowl.
  10. Rice:
  11. Bring rice and 2 cups of water to boil
  12. Once boiling, cover rice and reduce heat to low to simmer until all water is absorbed.
  13. Once water is absorbed, add olive oil, garlic salt, parsley and almonds and mix well.

Watch The Video

Weekly Meal Planning for Busy Families

Weekly Meal Plan

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Cuban Panini and Black Bean Soup

What To Make With Leftover Pork Tenderloin

Cuban Panini and Black Bean Soup

Cuban Panini and Black Bean Soup


  • french bread- 1 loaf, sliced into ½ inch slices
  • sliced ham- 1 lb, or stored leftover sliced pork tenderloin from Berry-Good Pork Tenderloin
  • sliced dill sandwich pickles- 1 24oz. jar
  • tomatoes, roma or vine-ripened- 1-2
  • black beans- 1 28oz. can, drained
  • salsa- 1 cup or 7oz. (like Herdez mild 7oz. salsa)
  • sour cream
  • dijon mustard- ½ cup (approximately)
  • olive oil- ½ cup (approximately)
  • chicken stock- 1 cup (1 cup water with 1 chicken bouillion cube)
  • cumin- ½ teaspoon


  1. In blender combine beans (drained), broth, salsa and cumin; blend until smooth but do not overblend
  2. Transfer to a soup pot and heat until bubbly
  3. Serve with sour cream
  4. Panini
  5. Mix together olive oil and Dijon mustard (there’s no need to measure ingredients exactly, just “eyeball” it).
  6. Spread mustard mixture onto the outside of each slice of bread
  7. Place bread, mustard side down, onto Panini press or griddle, then top with pork, tomato and pickle; place second slice of bread on top with mustard-side up
  8. Cook until crunchy brown and both sides


Reincarnate The Leftover

This recipe is perfect made with leftovers from Berry-Good Pork Tenderloin:

Reincarnate The Leftover


Meal Planning For Busy Families

Weekly Meal Plan

The Organized Cook Weekly Meal Plan System



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