Tag Archives | recipes

What’s For Dinner This Week

Meal Planning for Busy Families

The last Thanksgiving dish has been washed, dried and put away for next year, and the last of the leftover Thanksgiving turkey is finally gone.

It’s time to start a new week and a new Weekly Meal Plan from The Organized Cook.  This week we’re catering to our “Picky Eaters” with a dinner menu this week that includes fun and simple recipes sure to win even the pickiest of eaters over.

Meal Planning Monday

Meal Planning Monday

Monday: Crunchy Ranch Chicken Tenders with Baked Mac & Cheese and Carrots & Celery Ranch Crayons



meal planning

Tuesday: Mini-Me Turkey Burgers with Cheesy Broccoli Rice


meal planning monday

Wednesday: Chicken Parmesan and Spaghetti with Butter Sauce


meal planning monday

Thursday: Beef Soft Tacos with Tomato Fried Rice


meal planning monday

Friday: Turkey Meatballs & Spaghetti with Mini Thin-Crust Pizzas

Meal Planning for Picky Eaters

Cooking tips for “picky eaters” is a common question I get as discussed in my post Meal Planning for Picky Eaters.  What’s great about our Picky Eaters Weekly Meal Plan is that adults enjoy these simple recipes as well.

Reincarnating The Leftover and Reusing Time

This menu includes recipes that use a cooking method I like to call “Reincarnating The Leftover”.  Our Monday night’s Crunchy Ranch Chicken Tenders later are reincarnated into our Chicken Parmesan.  Remaining tortillas from Thursday’s Beef Soft Tacos become the crust for Friday’s Mini-Thin Crust Pizzas.

Our cooking time has double its value this week when we steam rice to use half in Tuesday’s Cheesy Broccoli Rice and the other half on Thursday for Tomato Fried Rice.

By using ground turkey on Tuesday to make both Mini-Me Turkey Burgers and meatballs, Friday night dinner is a cinch when we used cooked meatballs in our Turkey Meatballs & Spaghetti.

I can use all the extra time I can get preparing for the holidays and this menu will help keep me on track by cutting my dinner preparation time down to just minutes later on in the week.

Weekly Meal Plan

click here to get The Organized Cook

Subscribe to The Organized Cook

It’s not too late to get this week’s Picky Eaters Weekly Meal Plan; subscribers have already received their menu, grocery shopping list, recipes and cooking instructions in one meal plan by email.  Not a subscriber to The Organized Cook Weekly Meal Plan SystemSubscribe now:

meal planning

click here to subscribe

Test Drive

Want to test drive The Organized Cook?  Simply leave a comment below and tell me about your “dinnertime rut” challenges and we’ll send you the Picky Eaters Weekly Meal Plan for free!

picky eaters



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

Toni’s 12 Days of Thanksgiving

Toni’s 12 Days of Thanksgiving

“Spending Turkey Day with Your Family, NOT the Kitchen

Toni’s 12 Days of Thanksgiving goes something like this: do one or two small tasks every day for 12 days before Thanksgiving.  The result- stress-free holiday with lots of time to do what matters most to you by spending time with friends and family.

Day 1:  (Saturday November 12th)

Day 2:  (Sunday November 13th)

Day 3:  (Monday November 14th)

Day 4:  (Tuesday November 15th)

Day 5:  (Wednesday November 17th)

Day 6:  (Thursday November 17th)

Day 7:  (Friday November 18th)

Day 8:  (Saturday November 19th)

Day 9:  (Sunday November 20th)

Day 10:  (Monday November 21st)

Day 11:  (Tuesday November 22nd)

Day 12:  (Wednesday November 23rd)

Day of: Thanksgiving Day 24th

  1. Prep turkey first and put in oven to roast
  2. Prepare stuffing
  3. Mashed potatoes are perfect to heat and keep warm in slow cooker
  4. Combine punch ingredients, but don’t place ice ring in punch until guests begin to arrive
  5. Set out cranberry sauce to bring to room temperature
  6. Bake stuffing and sweet potato casserole
  7. Warm mushroom sauce in microwave or in a smaller slow cooker to heat and keep warm
  8. Steam green beans
  9. Warm rolls in oven
  10. Make gravy using pan juice from cooked turkey
  11. Cook spinach recipe last

To download printable plan:

click on image to download

Toni’s 12-day guide breaks up the overwhelming job of preparing for Thanksgiving Dinner into small daily tasks, allowing busy moms to spend the holiday enjoying family and friends instead of slaving away at the stove.  With daily tips, recipes and videos, Toni will help make this holiday less stressful.  Sign up now for Toni’s weekly newsletters to receive “Toni’s 12 Days of Thanksgiving”.  Sign up here.


Plan. Organize. Enjoy.

And now I’m sharing my plan with you.  If you’re not signed up to receive our free weekly newsletter through our rss feed, sign up now and stay tuned to receive your daily plan beginning November 11th.  This year I’m including menus, recipes, printables, activity ideas, grocery shopping lists, giveaways, videos, coupons and decorating tips each day for 12 days.

Here’s what’s on the menu this year.

Sparkling-Spiced Cranberry Punch with Cranberry Ice Ring

Cranberry Punch

Sparkling Spiced Cranberry Punch with Cranberry Ice Ring


Glazed Cranberry Apple Rolls

Pear Walnut Gorgonzola Arugula Salad

Herb Roasted Turkey

Baked Cranberry Chestnut Stuffing

Toni’s Perfect Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce recipe

Toni's Perfect Cranberry Sauce

Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes with Pan Turkey Gravy

Not-So-Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet Potato Casserole recipe

Not-So-Sweet Potato Casserole


Steamed Green Beans with Mushroom White-Wine Shallot Sauce (wine optional)

Thanksgiving Green Bean Recipe by Toni Spilsbury The Organized Cook

Steamed Green Beans with Mushroom White Wine Shallot Sauce

Sauteed Spinach with Cranberries and Pine Nuts

Join me this Thanksgiving and spend less time in the kitchen and more time with your family.  Happy Holidays!


Thanksgiving Dinner Cooking For A Large Group





Email this to a Friend Email this to a Friend
Comments { 10 }

Sparkling-Spiced Cranberry Punch with Cranberry Ice Ring

Thanksgiving Recipes

What’s nice about my Thanksgiving cranberry punch recipe is that it can be made well in advance and stored for Thanksgiving Day as part of my Toni’s 12 Days of Thanksgiving.

thanksgiving cranberry punch


Sparkling-Spiced Cranberry Punch Recipe

Sparkling-Spiced Cranberry Punch with Cranberry Ice Ring

Sparkling-Spiced Cranberry Punch with Cranberry Ice Ring


  • cinnamon sticks, whole- 2
  • whole cloves, 1 tbspn
  • ground ginger, 1 tbspn
  • cranberry juice- 1 quart, chilled
  • lemon-lime soda- 1 liter, chilled


  1. Bring one quart of water to boil with cinnamon sticks, cloves and ginger (you can also put cloves in a tea steeper, or directly in water).
  2. Once boiling, reduce heat and let steep for an hour.
  3. Strain cinnamon sticks and cloves from the tea.
  4. Transfer tea to a container to chill in the refrigerator.
  5. Before serving, combine tea with juice and soda.
  6. Wait until just before guests arrive to place Cranberry Ice Ring.



Cranberry Ice Ring Recipe

You will want to make and freeze your Cranberry Ice Ring for your Sparkling-Spiced Cranberry Punch ahead of time and today is the perfect day to do it.

To make the ring, I use a plastic chip-and-dip server because it has the hole in the middle, like a bundt-cake pan.

Cranberry Ice Ring

Cranberry Ice Ring


  • frozen cranberry juice cocktail- 1 canister, thawed (you can also use bottled cranberry juice)
  • cranberries, fresh- 16 oz.
  • water- 2 cups


  1. Pour thawed juice into mold.
  2. Add water to about two inches below rim.
  3. Mix well.
  4. Add cranberries to float on top.
  5. Freeze.
  6. Wait until just before guests arrive to place in punch bowl.


Punch Bowls

You must have a punch bowl large enough to fit the ice ring in.  Here is a great suggestion at a great price:

Punch Bowl

Anchor Hocking Presence 18-Piece Punch Bowl Set with Ladle $35.74 (regular price $44.99)


 12 Days of Thanksgiving

For more Thanksgiving Holiday inspiration, visit Toni’s 12 Days of Thanksgiving:

Thanksgiving Decor

Toni’s 12 Days of Thanksgiving



Sparkling-Spiced Cranberry Punch with Cranberry Ice Ring






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

Dinner In A Pumpkin Cooking Video

Halloween Dinner

Watch a cooking demonstration for our Dinner In A Pumpkin recipe on how to make this simple and festive Halloween meal.


Dinner In A Pumpkin Recipe:

Dinner In A Pumpkin

Dinner In A Pumpkin Recipe


For More Halloween Fun:

Halloween DIY

Halloween DIY Treats

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