11/04/2005

Dinnertime help

Ok - so, is the controversy over? Can we go back to being Mommies now? Oh, wait, that's one job you can never quit. Sorry (shakes head), I forgot that for a second. Anyhooo, this is a post to ask all you mommies out there one simple question: What's for dinner? That's right. I want your dinners, because it's very clear to me that I lack life skills, and dinner seems to be one of them, and so I want to steal yours. So please post up one (or two? Dare to dream!) of your favorite dinners. Here are the rules: 1-It must be a main dish. (We can do side dishes/salads/desserts later if y'all want to, but for now, let's keep it simple) 2-It must be fairly easy to make. (Again, with my lack of life skills....) 3-It must be something your kids will actually eat. I don't want recipes for fancy meals that are totally yummo, but require me to make a box of mac and cheese for the kids. (Again, we can do that later if requested.) OK, I'll start us out. We call this one: Not Just the Same Old Chicken Chicken (breasts or thighs will do) One bottle of Russian dressing One package of onion soup mix Jar of Apricot/Pineapple Jam (I like to use about 1/2 the jar, but if you like really sweet, go ahead and use the whole jar) Dump all of it into the crock pot, cook on low for 3-4 hours, or until chicken is falling apart. (If you use the crock pot, you don't even have to thaw the chicken first - bonus!) Or, if you prefer, mix all ingredients together, place in a 9x13 pan, bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 - 1 1/2 hours. (depending on your oven). That's it! It goes really well with pasta, (the extra sauce is great on noodles) or it's also really great on baked potatoes. If you're going low-carb, well, then, I don't know what to tell you. Serve it with steak. So, there you have it. Me blatantly turning this blog into a recipe site, just for now. I just am really tired of recycling the old meals over and over, and I am coming from a house where my husband makes most of the meals! But when it's my turn, well, let's just say my repertoire is very limited, and I could really use some help. So....HELP. Plus, I can't really be the only one out there who needs help with dinner, now, can I? Oh, one more semi-rule. Should you choose to post a link to a website with recipes, please point to one (or two) recipes that you make on a regular basis and really like. Not just, "Hey, I googled recipes, and this one looks good." I want real meals that real moms actually make. Thank you.

31 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is such a GREAT idea because I'm at a time in my life where I'm really tired of my same old recipes but not ready to dive into trying a new recipe 5x a week! I need more "staples" So here's a favorite of mine that is super easy and way yummy

chicken tortilla soup

1 can each of
chicken broth (I crunch up the boullion cubes because I have them)
1 can black beans
1 can corn (drained)
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 can cream of mushroom soup
Garlic powder
taco seasoning to taste

top with sour cream, cheese and chips

11/04/2005 03:13:00 PM  
Blogger Tracy M said...

Fair Warning- this is neither low-calorie nor low-carb, but it a guaranteed eat, from my husband to both picky kids- and it's super easy...

Chicken Dumplings

2 large chicken breasts, cut up and browned in 1 T oil, slightly undercooked and layer in the bottom of a 9 x 13 pyrex pan

Gravy:
Melt 1 stick of butter same pan you sauted chicken in. Add 1/2 c flour and cook 2 minutes.
Add 2 cans chicken broth + 2 chicken boullion cubes. Whisk until smooth. The gravy will be thin, don't worry it will thicken when baked. Pour over chicken.

Dumplings

In a bowl, mix 2 cups flour, 1 t salt, 1 1/2 T baking powder.
Add 1 cup milk and 1/4 cup oil and blend until just moistened. Spoon plops of dumplings over chicken and gravy. (Lumpy is ok, and the kids like to do this part)

Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes until dumplings are golden. If your kids will eat them, mix carrots and peas into the gravy before you add the dumplings. Mine won't but I keep hoping!

11/04/2005 03:18:00 PM  
Blogger Keryn said...

Celery Rice
1 cup rice
1/3 cup diced onions
1/3 cup chopped celery
3 Tablespoons butter
Saute in large saucepan until the rice is slightly brown. Add:
3 cups chicken broth
3 good shakes (or more) of Morton's Natures Seasons (it's next to the spices at the store)
Simmer 15-20 minutes

My two year old loves this. You can add chicken if you want, but it's really good all by itself.

11/04/2005 03:19:00 PM  
Blogger Adrianne said...

Well I won't talk about anything controversial but I will offer my personal favorite. I love deep fried chicken strips with ranch dipping sauce, but they are high in fat and not exactly healthy. SO, I take boneless skinless chicken breast, and cut it intp strips, then I coat it with shake n' bake, and bake the strips at 350 for 30 minutes. Then of course you grab some low fat, ranch dressing, to dip the strips in. While the strips are cooking, you toss a few potatos in the oven. Then of course put fresh salad on your plate and you have a wonderul healthy, fun, quick meal.

11/04/2005 03:22:00 PM  
Blogger Adrianne said...

Also another thing I like to do is spice up all my pasta dishes. Instead of just using the sometimes boring pasta sauce, I will combine the jar pasta sauce with fresh tomatos, basil, and garlic. Of course no one loves the sauce in the jar, we do it because it is quick, but if you have 5 minutes to cut up some tomatos, basil or anything you like, throw it in a frying pan ,add some butter, pepper, and get that sizzling. Once it's cooking, then add about 1/4 of the amount of pasta sauce you normally use to the mix. It will taste so authentic, delicious, and fresh.

11/04/2005 03:30:00 PM  
Blogger Adrianne said...

One more post and then I am done!! Okay in the summers we will have a BBQ party, to have some fun and excitment we just bbq or bake some various meats and then set up a BBQ FOUNTAIN! It's a chocolate fountain we bought but you fill it with BBQ sauce and dip away. You have all your freshly grilled/baked pieces of meat, on skewers, no seasoning or marinating needed, fill up the fountain with BBQ sauce and dip away. My nephews love this they think it's so fun whenever they come to my house they always want to eat from the "bbq fountain". Here is an example of a bbq fountain, can be used with chocolate, salad dressing etc.

http://froogle.google.com/froogle_cluster?btnG=Search+Froogle&hl=en&oid=273827055657404475&pid=4808019856987979312&q=chocolate+fountain&scoring=p

11/04/2005 03:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't have any kids yet, but I tend to eat like one ... all kids like chicken nuggets, right? I like the homemade variety. They are quick, easy, and yummy.

Homemade Chicken Nuggets:

3 cups Corn Chex® cereal
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1 tablespoon milk
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1x1-inch pieces

1. Heat oven to 400°F. Crush cereal. Mix cereal, cheese, salt, seasoned salt, paprika and garlic powder in medium bowl; set aside. Stir together butter and milk in small bowl.
2. Dip chicken into butter mixture, then roll in cereal mixture to coat evenly.
3. Bake 9 minutes; turn nuggets over. Bake about 8 minutes longer or until coating is light golden brown.

enjoy!

Jill in NY

11/04/2005 04:19:00 PM  
Blogger Lisa M. said...

One of our favs is personal pizzas. The Kids LOVE, really LOVE to make their own, even my teens.

We use pita bread as the crust. When I first heard this I thought, YUCK, but actually it works GREAT. Pita flat bread. Eight slices for two dollars. You can get them anywhere.

Then I just buy the canned sauce, and different toppings. plus the grated cheese!

I lay them out on the table in bowls and we make our own. So everyone gets what they want, and it is fun.

We have onions, pepporoni, canadian bacon, mushrooms, pineapple, green peppers, olives, sausage..ect.

Bake at 400 on a cookie sheet, for about ten minutes. Its a great fun, meal.

11/04/2005 04:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Heather O said...

Yumm--all this food talk makes me hungry!

This is one Jacob asks for every night:

Chicken Noodle Soup

Boil 6 Bouillon cubes in 6 cups of water (that's how much feeds my family, at least. Those of you with big families will have to guesstimate how much more you'll need. It's 1 bouillion cube to 1 cup of water.)

Add 1-2 cloves minced garlic, half an onion, finely chopped, and some chopped carrots and celery, however much you think your kids will eat.

Throw in some salt, pepper, fresh basil, parsley, and oregano, and any other spices you think might taste good.

Bring back to a boil.

Add as much shredded cooked chicken that you think your family will eat (I usually go for about 2 breasts, or 3 cans of cooked chicken. Yeah, that stuff is gross, but it tastes pretty good in the soup, I promise)

Throw in a couple of handfuls of noodles (I like linguine noodles the best, but I guess you could use anything), and let the whole thing boil and simmer until the noodles are done. If the broth is too thin, mix about 1 T cornstarch with about half a cup of cold water, then add it to the soup.

Total prep time: About 30 minutes, depending if you have cooked chicken on hand, and how many vegetables you want to chop. I also sometimes use leftover turkey breast instead of chicken, and it still tastes good.

11/04/2005 06:21:00 PM  
Blogger Ana said...

I can't guarantee your kids will eat this -- it depends how picky they are. My pickypoo kids throw tantrums over this. But normal kids love it, I swear! Also good for missionaries and compassionate service ;o)

Enchilada casserole

1 package wheat tortillas
1 can (14-15 oz) red enchilada sauce
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
1 can corn (15 oz, not cream), drained
1 onion, chopped
1 lb hamburger
1 c shredded cheddar

Heat oven to 350. Line a 9x13 pan with tortillas. (Spray it first with cooking spray like Pam, and your life will be better)

Cook onion and hamburger together until onion is soft and clear. Add corn. Add half the enchilada sauce and half the tomato sauce. Stir. Pour into tortilla-lined pan.

Top with more tortillas. Stir together remaining sauces. Spread over top tortillas like pizza sauce. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake 30 minutes. Serve with salad on the side. YUM!

11/04/2005 06:52:00 PM  
Anonymous wbpraw said...

Meatloaf that my kids love:
Buy some Lipton Onion Soup mix and follow the recipe for Soupieror Meatloaf. I substitute chili sauce for the ketchup and garlic herb bread crumbs for the regular bread crumbs. Very easy, cooks for 1 hr.

Salmon my kids love:
Bake, broil, or bbq salmon (in tinfoil) with Laury's Citrus Grill marinade dumped all over it. I just watch it 'till it's done, usually about 15 minutes or so.

Those are my standbys.

11/04/2005 07:38:00 PM  
Blogger dede said...

wbpraw-
what happened to good ol' sweet and sour meatloaf? I remember that as your meatloaf.

My go to is Baked Ziti, essentially lasagna, but easier because no layering.

Pre cook your ziti noodles.

Mix 1 container ricotta cheese with 1 egg.

Place noodles in casserole dish with 1 bottle spaghetti sauce, ricotta cheese mixture, and shredded mozzarella cheese. Mix it all up. Put more shredded mozz on top.

Bake at 375 for 20-25 min, or until warm through and cheese is all gooey.

I like it without meat, but it is also good with shredded hamburger or sausage mixed in with the sauce.

11/04/2005 09:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Carrie-Anne said...

Good idea! I was just thinking that we should do this.

German Pancakes

6 eggs, 1C milk, 1C flour, 5Tbsp butter.

Whip eggs, add milk, flour. Heat butter in a 9x13 pan, pour batter into pan.

Bake at 450, 15 minutes, eat with maple syrup


Taco Soup

1 lb ground beef
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 can corn
1 can red kidney beans
1 cup salsa
*to taste: garlic salt, onion salt, chili powder

Cook ground beef, add other ingredients (add the whole can, do not drain). Serve with sour cream, shredded cheese and chips.

11/05/2005 02:05:00 AM  
Blogger Carrie said...

Chicken Haystacks - an old family favorite

Each person starts with a pile of rice (I do brown) and then adds their choice of the following toppings

shredded, cooked chicked
grated cheese
green onions
bacon bits
drained, crushed pineapple
those crunchy chow mein noodles
canned mushrooms (probably not for the kids)

Top it all with a ladle full of Cream of chicken soup.

Note: This meal needs a veggie side dish to be well rounded. You could also add cooked veggies to the pile before you douse with the soup.

11/05/2005 08:25:00 AM  
Anonymous heather h said...

I love doing these, because I too run out of dinner ideas! Here is a fun one that the kids should enjoy too:

BBQ Chicken Legs (no grill required)
a pack or two of drumettes (miniture chicken legs) in the crock pot with half a jar of your favorite BBQ sauce, 1teaspoon of dry mustard, 1/2teaspoon of chili sauce and 2cloves of garlic cut up. Its really yummy finger food!

Another Chicken crock pot recipe:
3 Chicken Breasts
1can cream of mushroom soup
2Tbs. butter
1/2c cooking sherry
1tsp dried rosemary (but if you have an herb garden- fresh is better)
1tsp. Worchestire sauce
1/4tsp garlic powder

Serve the whole thing over rice- YUMMY!

And, should you have more time than you no what to do with, here is a good resource for recipes:
http://www.mormonchic.com/recipe/

11/05/2005 11:12:00 AM  
Blogger Emma said...

I would love to contribute, but my husband is the cook at our house. In fact, he gave me an apron which says
"I Kiss Better Than I Cook".

Hee hee hee.

11/05/2005 05:51:00 PM  
Blogger Allison said...

I love my crock pot. What could be better than throwing in a few ingredients in the morning and having it all ready when you want it? Thanks for the recipes, Heather H.

Here's a summer stand-by:

Grilled chicken & pasta salad

-I bag mixed salad greens
-1/2 bag pasta (I like to use fusili or gemeli because they don't get mushy)
-pre-cooked grilled chicken breast strips (available in the frozen food section)
-cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
-Ken's steakhouse light Caesar salad dressing

Toss it all together. It's more veggies and chicken than most pasta salads and makes a great easy meal in the summer or when you don't want to really "cook." It's also pretty and a crowd pleaser at, say, Bunko or book club gatherings.

Winter stand-by:

Crock Pot Chili

Brown 1 pound of ground beef or turkey. Drain fat. Mix 1 t. oregano, 1 t. cumin, and 2-4 T. chili powder (depending on how spicy/zesty your family likes it) with 4 T. flour, add to meat and brown it all together. Dump it all in a crock pot with:

2 cans drained pinto beans
1 can beef broth
1 small can tomato sauce
1 can drained diced tomatoes with green chilis

Simmer all day on low. This is a forgiving recipe that is impossible to mess up. Some days I only have a little meat, so I use a little. You can vary the amounts by quite a bit and it still works out.

I also like to add a few drops of hot sauce and (sounds gross, but nobody can taste it in there) a jar or two of babyfood carrots, but these are optional. Serve with cornbread or a salad, or both if you're feeling ambitious.

11/05/2005 08:58:00 PM  
Blogger Allison said...

I forgot: with the chili recipe, salt to taste. If you use tomato sauce with salt, you probably won't need much, but if it's sodium-free, it'll need a bit more.

11/05/2005 09:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Tami said...

Hi - My name is Tami and I lurk here once in awhile. I was just thinking today how I couldn't live without Chicken Chile Casserole so here goes:

3 crock-potted chicken breasts, shredded
8 white corn tortillas, cut into small pieces
1 cup cheddar shredded and 1 cup jack shredded (or get a 2 cup pack of taco blend cheese, pre-shredded)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup chick broth
1 tsp onion powder or a shake of dehydrated onions
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tiny can chiles
1 tiny can black olives, sliced (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare baking dish (I like square brownie size because it keeps everything kinda moist) with Pam. Combine shredded chicken, soup, broth, spices, olives, and chiles. Layer 1/2 of tortillas, then 1/2 of the chicken mixture, then 1/2 of the cheese. Repeat. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until bubbly.

Makes enough for my husband, me and our 19 month old twin girls (their fave) with a little left over for lunch the next day. This can also easily be doubled for a larger crowd. Goes well with steamed broccoli (not the girls' fave).

Glad to be posting.

Tami in California

11/06/2005 10:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Sue said...

Chicken Croissants - so unhealthy, but SO good; and obviously, I have no recipie for it - I think this is how I make it:

One thingie (bar?) of Cream Cheese
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 an onion, chopped
2 cans of croissant dough
2 cans of Cream of Chicken Soup
A bit of milk

Chop up the chicken, then fry it up with the chopped onions. Take off of the oven, stir up with cream cheese and 1/2 a can of Cream of Chicken Soup - should be a thick mixture, not runny. Unroll the croissant dough, scoop a little chicken mixture onto each croissant, then roll back up. Bake for 30 minutes at 350. Optional sauce/gravy: Mix up the other can of Cream of Chicken soup with a bit of milk, cook over low heat.

So good, because it's SO bad.

11/07/2005 12:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a few good ones but i dont have my recipe box in front of me so i will give you the one that I know off the top of my head. That's how easy it is.

ASIAN CHICKEN SALAD

*bagged romaine lettuce
*diced chicken
*mayonnaise
*honey
*soy sauce

Mix together mayonnaise, honey and soy sauce until desired taste is achieved. Plate lettuce and top with chicken and dressing. Serve with bread.

*other salad toppings that would be good are slivered almonds, sliced peppers, and tomatoes.

My husband and very picky 4 year old LOVE this meal. So easy and yet so good. The dressing is TO DIE FOR!

11/07/2005 12:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Sue said...

Here's my enchilada recipie - my enchiladas are always a huge hit.

Tortillas
guac
sour cream
chunky salsa
enchilada sauce
refried beans
grated cheese - cheddar, jack, pepper jack
green chilies
taco seasoning packet
shredded chicken or beef

-Cook chicken or beef in frying pan, with taco seasoning
-On each tortilla - with a knife spread on a bit of refried beans, sour cream, guac, and a bit of salsa, then spoon on the chicken or beef, and top with a sprinkle of cheese
-Roll up tortilla and place in baking pan
-Repeat till pan is full
-Sprinkle cheese on top, then a bit of enchilada sauce, then more cheese
-Sprinkle green chiles on top
- Bake for 30 minutes at 350

11/07/2005 11:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Sue said...

Last one, then I will go away - Pot Roast! I'm not a big meat eater, but this is really good. SO EASY and so tender and falling apart yummy - even my meat avoiding toddler will eat it.

1 Pot Roast
1 packet of lipton Onion soup mix
1 can of cream of Mushroom Soup

-Put pot roast on tin foil
- Sprinkle soup mix on top
- Pour contents of soup can on top
- Wrap TIGHTLY with tinfoil and place in casserole dish, cover
- Bake for four hours at 375
- Throw some tin foil wrapped potatoes in the oven with it for even more appreciation from your DH ;>

SO GOOD.

11/07/2005 11:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Emily said...

I still want this apron I saw once, wish I'd bought it

If you are what you eat, then I'm either Fast, Cheap or Easy.

11/07/2005 12:10:00 PM  
Blogger The Wiz said...

I love it! Thank you all SOOOO much! This is exactly what I wanted. I now have my menu planned for the next week and a half, and I'm confident the meals will be fantastic. I could probably plan longer, but let's not get fanatic here :). Now, whenever the 'what's for dinner' blues hit me, I can just come to this thread, which was exactly what I was going for.

Welcome Tami - nice to have you posting. And sue (or anyone else, for that matter) don't feel bad for posting more than once. The more meals, the better!

11/07/2005 12:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Chad Too said...

I'm not a mom, but I assume it's OK for me to jump in too!

Others have already mentioned Chicken Nuggets. Here's our family's variation on that.

Either bread and make your own, or buy a bag of frozen chicken nuggets. Get a comparable bag of steak fries (something hearty, not showstrings) and throw it all in the oven.

While baking have the kids go to the refrigerator and get out every container of sauce, dressing, or jam they can find in there and bring them to the kitchen table.

Have the kids decorate their individual plate (paper plates make it even faster to clean up) like it's a painter's pallet with some of each of all the sauces.

Place pile of hot nuggets and fries on table along with a salad. Let the kids experiment with all the different sauces and how they taste on nuggets and fries. My son's favorite became raspberry jam on nuggets!

And, should you feel the urge, it's easy to clean the shelves of the fridge while all the containers are on the table!

11/07/2005 01:56:00 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

Anything, anything at all by Rachael Ray. They only take 30 minutes, tops, they're good, and my super-picky kids will eat anything if I say, "Well, it's a Rachael Ray dish."

Our favorite is Peasant Pasta, but check her out at foodnetwork.com (do a recipe search for Rachael Ray).

Peasant Pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 pound italian sausage, sweet
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup chicken broth
28 ounces crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons heavy cream (I sometimes leave this out; it's fine without it)
salt and pepper, to taste
24 leaves fresh basil
1 pound penne rigate pasta

Put on water to boil for pasta.

Heat a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of a pan. Add sausage meat. sausage meat as it browns. Add chopped garlic to the pan. When all of the crumbles have browned evenly, deglaze pan drippings with chicken broth. Stir in crushed tomatoes and bring the sauce up to a bubble, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Stir cream into sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Stir basil into sauce to combine. Toss hot drained penne in pan with sauce, then transfer to serving bowl.

11/07/2005 02:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Sue M said...

We also have Build Your Own Salad nights - and my little girls love it - I put lettuce on their plates, and they choose from other toppings - snap peas, grated cheese, grated carrots, Salad Toppings (the garden vegetable kind you can buy at the store with sunflower seeds, etc.), croutons, chopped sweet pickles, cucumbers, purple onions, etc. Then we top it with a little dressing (mommy pours).

They love it, and ask for it.

11/07/2005 02:41:00 PM  
Blogger Allison said...

Sue M, what a great idea! I've noticed my kids are way more likely to eat anything they help prepare, so I let them do as much as they can. I'm going to try a salad night soon.

11/08/2005 08:43:00 AM  
Blogger Us said...

Ranch Saucy Chicken (crockpot)

5-6 boneless skinless breasts (you can even throw them in frozen)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 packet dry ranch mix
16 oz sour cream

Combine everything but the Chicken in the cooker. Push chicken into the mix so it's submerged. COok on low 8 hours or high for 5

11/09/2005 01:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Erin said...

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