Thursday 13: Dinner ideas

Did you laugh when you read the title? I am the first one to volunteer to go all out on desserts for any occasion and we love carry-out dinners around here (Thank you city BBQ and El Vaquero). But, there are some things I have made over and over that I thought I'd share. It would be the world's longest post if I included the entire recipe for each, so I'll just give an overview and you can ask questions if needed. Maybe this will help you refresh your dinner menu. What is your favorite go-to dinner?

1. Italian pork chops: 1 package of thin cut chops + Kraft Fresh Takes seasoning pack (in the refrigerated cheese section)

2. Teriyaki salmon over vegetable rice: Pre-marinated salmon from grocer + Uncle Ben's vegetable Ready Rice (I cook it in the pan with 1 TB oil, 4-5 minutes on each side). We split one piece and add a salad.

3. Italian meatball sliders: Here is my recipe, served with a salad.

4. Tacos: Either seasoned crock pot shredded chicken or ground beef+seasoning+lettuce (we use bagged or it goes to waste here)+sour cream+tortillas+shredded cheddar cheese+taco sauce

5. Grilled steak: Strip steak marinated in soy sauce + Worchestershire sauce + Lawry's. Served with baked potatoes or corn on the cob.

6. Pasta a la Vodka: In a large pot, cook 1 small diced onion in olive oil until it is soft + 6 slices of shredded prosciutto cooked until crisp + 2 cans diced tomatoes until they are soft (I keep crushing them with a potato masher and let them cook at least 30 mins) + 1 tsp sugar + 1 C vodka + 1 pint heavy cream. After adding the cream, remove from heat. Add in pasta to coat. Add lots of parm cheese! This makes a ton, so you'll have leftovers.

7. Oven BBQ chicken and onion potatoes: A few hours before dinner, marinate the chicken: Thin cut chicken breasts + salt & pepper + Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce. Cover and refrigerate. Quarter red potatoes + coarsely slice/chunk a white onion + sprinkle all with salt & pepper + drizzle oil. Add both the chicken pan and potato pan to a 350 degree oven for 30 mins. Both should be ready at the same time, depending on the thickness of chicken and your oven temp.

8. Skillet lasagna: My recipe is here. Great for summer, when you don't want the oven on! Served with salad.

9. Shrimp pasta: For 2 of us, we get 20 frozen shrimp from the seafood counter. Thaw in running cold water until ice is gone. Start your pasta (I like it with 1/2 box of linguine). Cook shrimp in pan with 2 TB butter + juice of 1/2 a lemon + garlic (to your liking). Add pine nuts (buy in bulk section to save big time) + bag of spinach leaves + 2 TB olive oil. Drain pasta and add all of this to the pasta + add extra olive oil if too dry + other 1/2 of lemon + sprinkle with parm cheese+ parsley.

10. Mel's BBQ ribs and mashed potatoes: Ribs+BBQ sauce+ cherry preserves+Dijon. The recipe is here and fail-proof!

11. Chicken & noodles: Chicken breasts+Lipton noodle soup+Amish noodles+mashed potatoes. Crock pot the chicken overnight or all day and then shred. Reserve the broth. Cook the Lipton noodles and Amish noodles together on the stove top IN the broth. Return the chicken and noodles to the crock pot. Add more broth if needed, but it shouldn't be like soup. Add chicken soup base if needed. Serve over mashed potatoes.

12. Spaghetti Pie: I just tried it last week, but it is already a favorite.

13. When all else fails, omelettes and Belgian waffles all around!

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