Tag Archives | family dinners

Grilled Lemon-Basil Chicken, Grilled Portabella & Grilled Garlic Bread

Summer Grill Family Dinner Recipe

Grilled Lemon-Basil Chicken, Grilled Portabella & Grilled Garlic Bread

Grilled Lemon-Basil Chicken, Grilled Portabella & Grilled Garlic Bread


  • boneless skinless chicken breasts- 3-4lbs (6-7 trimmed breasts)
  • lemon- 1, sliced in half
  • basil, fresh- 1 bundle
  • portabella mushrooms, large- 4
  • bakery french bread- 1 loaf, sliced in half length-wise
  • olive oil- ¼ cup
  • minced garlic- 1 tbspn
  • Montreal Steak Seasoning- 1 tablespoon (or 1 teaspoon each salt & pepper)
  • Portabella:
  • balsamic vinegar- ¼ cup
  • olive oil- 3 tbspns
  • crushed red pepper
  • black pepper
  • Bread:
  • butter- 4 tbspns
  • olive oil- 4 tbspns
  • minced garlic- 1 tbspn


    For best results,marinate chicken and portabella ahead of time, 2-3 hours to overnight
    Chicken Marinade:
  1. Chop basil.
  2. In a mixing bowl combine chopped basil, olive oil, juice squeezed from lemon, garlic and seasoning.
  3. Place chicken in large zip-top baggie or shallow baking dish.
  4. Cover with marinade and seal or cover to store in the refrigerator to marinate.
  5. Portabella
  6. In same mixing bowl combine vinegar, olive oil, red pepper and black pepper.
  7. Place portabella in quart-size zip-top baggie or storage container, cover with marinade and seal or cover to store in the refrigerator to marinate.
    Chicken and Portabella:
  9. Grill chicken and portabella on outdoor or indoor grill, turning once, until cooked thoroughly.
  10. Chicken will take approximately 15 minutes and portabella will take approximately 7 minutes.
  11. Bread
  12. Melt butter in microwave-safe dish or measuring cup in microwave, approximately 23 seconds.
  13. Add olive oil and mix well.
  14. Brush mixture onto bread.
  15. Grill butter-side down until brown, approximately 1-2 minutes.


Weekly Meal Planning For Busy Families

Weekly Meal Plan



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What’s For Dinner This Week: “Go Team USA”

It’s our Olympic-themed Weekly Meal Plan and recipes from The Organized Cook.  We’ve created simple and delicious family dinners inspired by top competing countries in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

If you’re a subscriber to The Organized Cook, here’s what’s on your family dinner menu this week:


MONDAY:  Our simple version of the Brittish favorite, Bangers and Mash, with Toni’s New Castle Gravy celebrates our host of the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Bangers and Mash Recipe

Day 1: Bangers and Mash with New Castle Gravy


TUESDAY:  This Orange Cashew Rice is paired a Foil-Wrapped Chicken for our Chinese Dinner.

China recipe

Day 2: Chinese Foil-Wrapped Chicken, Orange Cashew Rice & Crisp Asian Cucumber Salad


WEDNESDAY: The top five elements of Russian meals are potatoes, bread, eggs, meat and butter, so we created this simple recipe including Potato Dumplings.

Russia Recipe

Day 3: Sauerkraut Beef Toast with Potato Dumplings


THURSDAY:  Australian Meat Pies are typically made of minced beef, so this is our version of an Aussie pie with chicken.

Australia Recipe

Day 4: Australian Chicken Pie


FRIDAY:  Last, but not least.  Winning 102 gold medals in the 2008 Olympics, we celebrate Team USA with our version of the classic American cheeseburger.

America Recipe

Day 5: Burger Blankets & Sweet Potato Fries


Weekly Meal Planning For Busy Families:

Olympic Recipes meal planning

The Organized Cook Weekly Meal Plan System


Top 10 Gold Medal Winning Countries in 2008 Summer Olympics:

1.  USA with 102 gold medals

2. China with 63 gold medals

3. Russia with 62 gold medals

4. Australia with 49 gold medals

5. Japan with 49 gold medals

6. Germany with 49 gold medals

7. France with 33 gold medals

8. Italy with 32 gold medals

9. South Korea with 30 gold medals

10. Great Brittan with 30 gold medals


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Weighing In on “Weight of The Nation”

Have you seen the HBO’s four-part series “Weight of the Nation”?  We all know there’s a national epidemic of obesity, including me. Hydrogenated oils, high-fructose corn syrup and fast food are among the many problems. So, why would I need to watch a documentary to tell me that?- you would be surprised.

And, recently, at the BlogHer Food Conference in Seattle, I was shocked at how many of the speakers and attendees had not seen the film either. We listened to a speaker discuss national trends related to the lack of quality food for low-income children. Someone in the audience raised her hand and directly asked him if he had seen Weight of the Nation and what he thought of the film. He answered that he had not. I’m not suggesting our speaker was any less informed or that his presentation was uninteresting; I was just surprised that he was one of the many people who hadn’t taken the time to hear why HBO thought this film needed to be done, and what new perspective they could weigh in on the topic.

Well, I did watch Weight of the Nation. Not intentionally. It just happened to be on one day when I flipped on the television, and I was hooked in the first few minutes. HBO presents many new perspectives that I hadn’t really considered about our obesity epidemic. Of course DNA is a primary factor in how much we weigh; but where we live also determines how we eat and play.

“We are a genetic makeup of the environment we happen to be living in.” My heart ached for a mother living in a low-income area of Santa Ana who waits until after work hours when local business parking lots are empty to take her kids out to play there. With no local parks, there’s no place nearby for her children to play. I look up as I write and see our green grassy backyard, or think back to yesterday when we had a picnic dinner at a park not more than a mile from our home, and realize how fortunate we are. I don’t do a lot of video games in our home, so my kids’ primary form of play is outside where they can get plenty of physical exercise.

In higher-poverty areas one out of every three children is obese. The lack of food options is a major factor with many children getting their daily meals from local convenience stores. One boy mentioned that he had never even seen broccoli.

The bottom line is that there are so many issues that lead to obesity in addition to genetics and environment. In the film we hear from “emotional eaters” who use food as a comfort and escape; or “mindful eaters” who have lost weight through training where they learn to be mindful when eating.

I can sit back and think that the “weight of the nation” doesn’t affect me so long as I keep my children and myself healthy, but that’s complicatedly not true. In the documentary “Waiting For Superman” (another must-see movie), it was delicately suggested that our entire nation’s eminent demise falls on the backs of our teachers unions. And in HBO’s “Weight of the Nation” I can clearly see the same type of connection of the collapse of our society and our nation’s weight epidemic. Obesity leads to chronic heart disease and diabetes among other health issues. With almost a third of our nation ill, one can only imagine the burden that places on our healthcare system and taxes our Medicare and Medicaid assistance programs.

So, what can we as individuals do to help the epidemic?  The first thing I suggest is that every American watch the HBO documentary “Weight of the Nation”; and there’s no need to go renting it, because HBO has posted it via YouTube (below).  You can also visit the HBO’s campaign headquarters “To Win, We Have To Lose” to learn more:

Visit Weight of The Nation campaign to see you how you can make a difference


Eating home cooked meals is something I’ve always felt strongly is a good place to start when it comes to creating a healthy food environment for our children. By planting gardens and teaching our children where food comes from, reading food labels and eating at home we’re setting a really good foundation for a healthy future.

Picky Eaters Weekly Meal Plan


Preparing home cooked meals is not always easy, especially for working parents with busy schedules. The Organized Cook would like to start by helping to make it easier with a free Weekly Meal Plan including menu, grocery shopping list, recipes and cooking instructions to help the task of planning and preparing healthy family dinners easier. To get your free meal plan, click here.


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Grandma’s Kitchen- Your Next Weekly Meal Plan Is Here

Meal Planning for Busy Families

If you’re a subscriber to The Organized Cook then you’re enjoying our “Grandma’s Kitchen” Weekly Meal Plan with many dishes inspired by my very own grandmother, Betty Jean.

What motivated me to create a meal plan with easy one-dish dinners like Baked Ghoulash could be the fact that my grandmother is coming to visit for Thanksgiving.

Or with all of the cooking and preparation I will be doing for our upcoming Thanksgiving Dinner I wanted easy suppers that warm the spirit like this week like Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup and Homemade Chili.

Easy Ghoulash Recipe

Day 1- Grandma's Ghoulash


Meal Planning for Busy Families

Easy Ghoulash Recipe

Grandma’s Ghoulash is a much easier version of Hungarian Ghoulash which can be quite time consuming to prepare.  My grandmother always made easy one-dish dinners like this.

Meal Planning for Busy Families

Betty Jean

Got Organized?

If you’re not a subscriber to The Organized Cook yet, this month is the perfect time to take advantage of our Fall discount!

Order Now.

Meal Planning for Busy Families

Holiday Shopping

The perfect gift for your sister, mother, daughter, best friend or co-worker; a one-year subscription to The Organized Cook Weekly Meal Plan at only $29.99 for the entire year!  Order now.

Your recipient will receive a gift email with your name and is sure to think of you each week when she receives her next time and money saving meal plan.

Signed Book

Get The Organized Cook Cookbook as a gift personally signed by Toni Spilsbury with a year subscription to The Organized Cook Weekly Meal Plan System for $39.99Order now.

You can also get the book personally signed by Toni Spilsbury as a gift for $16.99.

Please enter the name of who you want the book made out to in the “Special Instructions” field.


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