Tag Archives | family dinner

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




Email this to a Friend Email this to a Friend
Comments { 0 }

Blackened Chicken with Garlic Parmesan Linguini & Colorful Salad

Blackened Chicken can be served over linguini or over a bed of romaine lettuce for a Blackened Chicken Salad

Blackened Chicken with Garlic Parmesan Linguini & Colorful Salad

Blackened Chicken with Garlic Parmesan Linguini & Colorful Salad


  • 1. boneless skinless chicken breasts- 2 lbs
  • 2. linguini pasta- 1 lb
  • 3. romaine lettuce- 1 pre-cut ready-to-eat bag
  • 4. red, orange and yellow bell peppers- 1 each
  • 5. avocado-1 peeled and sliced
  • 6. Caesar dressing- 1 small bottle
  • 7. shredded parmesan cheese- 8 oz.
    For marinade:
  • olive oil- ½ cup
  • chili powder- 1 tbspn
  • dried thyme- 1 tbspn
  • dried oregano- 1 tbspn
  • paprika- 1 tbspn
  • minced garlic- 1 tbspn
  • salt & pepper- 1 tspn each
  • For linguini:
  • butter- 3 tbspns
  • minced garlic- 1 tbspn


  1. Place chicken breasts in shallow baking dish or large zip-top baggie for marinating. (If too thick, chicken breasts can be pounded thinner with a meat tenderizer between two sheets of plastic wrap.).
  2. Mix together marinade ingredients and pour over chicken, spreading evenly to coat chicken entirely.
  3. Marinate in the refrigerator 2-3 hours to overnight
  4. Dinner Time:
  5. Chicken can be cooked on indoor grill or in skillet over medium-high heat. Cook chicken until both sides are brown and chicken is cooked thoroughly, approximately 7 minutes each side.
  6. Linguini:
  7. Cook pasta in salted water until tender.
  8. While pasta is cooking, heat butter and garlic in a sauté pan over medium-high heat.
  9. Drain pasta and transfer to a serving bowl.
  10. Pour butter over the linguini, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese then toss.
  11. Garnish with dried parsley.
  12. Salad:
  13. Slice bell peppers into thin strips.
  14. Top lettuce with bell peppers and avocado slices.
  15. Drizzle with dressing then toss.
  16. Serve Blackened Chicken over Linguini or Salad.







Email this to a Friend Email this to a Friend
Comments { 0 }

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


Email this to a Friend Email this to a Friend
Comments { 2 }

Cilantro Green Chile Pork Penne

Reincarnate The Leftover

This recipe is made with leftover cooked chicken or pork chops, or, as part of our Weekly Meal Plan.

Cilantro Green Chile Penne

Cilantro Green Chile Penne


  • Leftover cooked chicken or pork chops- about 2-3 cups
  • Penne pasta- 1 lb
  • Queso-fresco cheese- 1 round
  • Diced green chiles- 4 7oz. cans
  • Cilantro- 1 bunch leaves pulled from stems with one “twist-and-pull”


  1. Boil pasta in salted water until tender.
  2. In blender, combine green chiles (not drained), three-quarter of the cheese leaving out about a fourth to crumble on top, and cilantro.
  3. Blend on medium until it becomes a sauce; do not over-blend; be careful not to puree it.
  4. Before draining pasta, use a glass measuring cup or coffee cup to scoop out about 1 cup of the cooking water.
  5. Drain pasta and return to pan.
  6. Add pasta water back to pasta.
  7. Pour sauce from blender over pasta.
  8. Add cooked chicken or pork chops to pasta.
  9. Serve topped with remaining cheese, hand-crumbled.

Weekly Meal Planning for Busy Families

Weekly Meal Plan

Email this to a Friend Email this to a Friend
Comments { 0 }