Monday Meal: Squash with Pork

I love that the name of this recipe starts with a vegetable and then mentions the meat--as if the meat is a complement to the squash. The Spanish name for this is Calabacita con Carne de Cerdo and this particular recipe comes from my mother-in-law who daily fed eight children! Yellow squash was on sale last weekend at the grocery store so I bought some. This is a wonderful recipe to have in the summer when your garden (or those of your neighbors) runneth over with squash and zucchini. I think … [Read more...]

Monday Meals: Chicken Burgers with Panko Bread Crumbs

A friend recently revealed that she will NEVER buy meat that has a discount sticker on it. If it is close to the expiration date, she won't even think about purchasing it. I, on the other hand, tend to scour the meat section for that sweet orange label that says 25% off and stock up my freezer. Lately the ground chicken has been wearing that orange sticker so I've been experimenting with recipes that can use or substitute ground chicken. The beauty pictured above got RAVE REVIEWS from the … [Read more...]

Monday Meal: Green Chicken Enchilada Casserole

The only thing good about Super Bowl Sunday--albeit from a Bronco fan's point of view--was the Green Chicken Enchilada Casserole that I served at half time! And, boy did we need some sustenance at that point. . . This is one of those "trifecta meals"-- a meal that you can easily put together, it appeals to almost everyone, and it makes you look like a really good cook. The recipe is from my mother-in-law, Lucy. About six years ago she asked me to make a recipe/photo book of her family's … [Read more...]

Monday Meal: A Secret, Game-Changing Ingredient

So my colleague, Heidi, and I were chatting at work and she mentioned that she was fixing chili for dinner. I groaned. I don't like chili--at least the kind with ground beef and kidney beans and red sauce. My apologies to my mom (a wonderful cook!) who would occasionally make it when I was growing up; it was one of the few foods I just didn't have the taste for. Now, her corn bread muffins that went with it were amazing and well worth chili night! Last week, Scott, hearing that the weather … [Read more...]

Dead Man Meatloaf

Meatloaf can be so boring. My standard recipe is from Kraft foods and you can find it here.  This is one of those "back pocket" recipes that I can pretty much guarantee will make a good meal. But, today I lacked the stuffing mix that puts that meatloaf over the top. So, this afternoon right before the 3:15 onslaught of hungry, homework-laden children arrived from school, I was frantically searching for a meat loaf recipe whose ingredients jived with my pantry. I came upon DEAD MAN … [Read more...]

When it is too quiet. . .and I’m getting too much done. . .

So I was making dinner this evening, thinking to myself, This is great! Homework done and the four boys are outside playing baseball. Wow! What a long way from a few years ago where making dinner meant holding one while the other climbed up my leg and two more raided the pantry for Cheerios. I had that LOOK AT ME ROCK THIS DINNER THING moment. YEAH, I'VE GOT THIS DOWN. . .Let ME tell you how it is done. . . As a matter of fact my friend, Amie, a mother of three year old twins, asked me … [Read more...]

Sausage, Spinach and Pasta Soup: Something for Everyone

The weather is expected to turn cooler this weekend so this is a perfect opportunity to get a great soup on the stove. This one is a tad more time intensive in that there are veggies to cut up. But, I save time by putting the onion and the garlic in the food processor for a few pulses and the carrots are pretty quick to cut. The spinach can go in whole or torn up and anything else you add is just bonus. There is a parenting adage that if you are going to introduce a new food item to … [Read more...]

Spaghetti Pie

They all like noodles. Any kind of noodles. But add sauce to those noodles and the dinner is "RUINED" according to my eight year old. A good compromise is Spaghetti Pie. Easy to make (especially with left over spaghetti and sauce) this meal freezes and is the one thing I make to take when we go on vacation and I need some easy quick meals after a day at the beach or hiking in the mountains. It is easy, quick and an instant crowd pleaser! Noodles and cheesey goodness for the kids. With a little … [Read more...]

Lentils and Sausage

What parent isn’t after a meal that is nutritious, fast, filling and inexpensive but rich with flavor? My “go-to-meal” fills the bill and also provides children the opportunity to “personalize” it with their preferred “add-ons”. A dear friend from Guatemala, Nancy Diaz, introduced this meal to us and it is a family favorite! As with so many great cooks who can invent something on the spur of the moment, Nancy didn’t have a formal recipe so we wrote this one. The beauty of this meal is the … [Read more...]

Steaming Bowl of Potato Soup

You know me. I start with a recipe--usually using it as a reference--because I haven't done that planning that would ensure I have all the necessary ingredients. Such was the case with today's dinner, Potato Soup. I started with this recipe from Allrecipes, Potato Leek Soup.  It had great rating--but even as important--I had enough of the ingredients that I could punt. Of course I didn't have the leeks (although those would have been GREAT!) so I sauteed some onions and diced up some green … [Read more...]