Cookbook Featured Menu: Chili Mac and Cornbread

Yummy photo from JeffreyW

This menu tonight is from my Kids Night series. I loved chili-mac as a kid and it’s still one of those quick comfort foods I make when it needs to be easy and tasty. And Friday night’s it almost always needs to be quick and easy.  Even this cook is over being in the kitchen by then.

On the Board:

  1. Chili-Mac
  2. Corn Muffins
  3. Raw Vegetable Tray
  4. Apples*

Chili-Mac

  • 12 oz elbow macaroni (or try something fun like radiatori or farafalle shapes)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • ½ onion, diced
  • ½ green pepper diced
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 15 oz can kidney beans
  • 1 tsp to 2 tbsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 2 qt. saucepan, skillet

Continue reading

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Cookbook Featured Menu: Fajita Bar

I’ve spent the day prepping the lemon cucumbers languishing in my refrigerator. I did some refrigerator dill pickles, some Jalapeno-Cucumber RelishCucumber Salsa and of course, Tomato-Cucumber Salad.  I had a LOT of cucumbers.

Tonight’s menu is part of the Kid’s Menu series. Quick and easy, and everyone can help themselves.

On the board:

Fajita Bar

  • ½ lb. steak, thinly sliced
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
  • fajita seasoning (recipe here)
  • 1 green pepper, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 4-8 flour tortillas
  • 4 oz. shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup fresh salsa (see recipe here)
  • 1 avocado, sliced (or guacamole)
  • sliced black olives

Continue reading

Cookbook Featured Menu: Pasta w/Marinated Vegetables and Bruschetta

JeffreyW has his own take on Bruschetta here and here

Every Thursday in the What’s 4 Dinner Solutions Cookbook is a travelogue of sorts. Menus with flavors from all over the country and the world. In the summer, we explore various areas of the states and their fresh produce.  Tonight, it’s a New England Farmers’ Market kinda night

On the board tonight:

MENU
Pasta w/ Marinated Vegetables
Tomato & Olive Oil Bruschetta
Grapes Continue reading

Cookbook Featured Menu: Skillet Lasagna and Patty Pan Squash

plate of lasagna

First of all, thanks to everyone who ordered a cookbook! I was surprised by the popularity.  Just a quick NOTE: if you find you are missing Week 12 from your copy – go to “Manage Your Devices” on Amazon and there is an update to restore it to your copy. Somewhere between draft and going live, some copies lost that week. It has been restored. 🙂

On to this week’s menu. Fresh from the garden ingredients and a quick skillet taste treat elevates this weeknight dinner menu.  On the board tonight:

MENU
Skillet Lasagna
Patty Squash Sauté
Italian Bread
Cherries

Skillet Lasagna

  • 6 oz Mafalda (mini-lasagna noodles) or bowtie pasta
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • ½ green pepper chopped
  • 1 tsp basil, crushed
  • 1 tsp oregano, crushed
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 15 oz can tomato sauce (or 1 lb fresh tomatoes, chopped or pureed)
  • 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 4 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup fresh spinach leaves, chopped
  • 4 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 2 oz grated parmesan

skillet
saucepan

In saucepan, cook pasta according to package directions, cooking to al dente (slightly chewy), drain well.  Meanwhile, in skillet brown beef, onion & pepper. Add spices, garlic, carrot and sauté for 1 minute.  Add sauce, paste, stirring well into meat mixture.  Add pasta, stirring gently to mix.  Continue reading

Cookbook Featured Menu: Santa Fe Chicken and Black Bean Salad

What’s  4 Dinner Solutions Cookbooks: Summer into Fall is now available. Each week I’ll highlight one of the menus and recipes.  You can order the cookbook here.

Recipes and menus are seasonal, to take advantage of what is local and fresh when available. Not ordinary cookbooks. These are more a weekday dinner menu guide, including menus, recipes, shopping lists, and helpful tips.  Most menus are thirty minutes or less.  Each menu is filled with fresh ingredients that complement each other.

On the board tonight: Santa Fe Chicken and Black Bean Salad

MENU
Santa Fe Chicken Breasts
Tortilla chips
Black Bean Salad
Sliced Strawberries

Santa Fe Chicken Breast

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 cup Picante or salsa (Fresh Salsa recipe here)
  • 4 oz sliced Monterey jack cheese

Reusable plastic container

Add chicken, vinegar and cilantro to reusable container and marinate 1 hour or overnight.

Remove chicken from marinade and slice each breast in a butterfly cut (slicing in half horizontally, but leaving attached at one edge, so it folds open like butterfly wings).

Fold open and grill or broil until cooked through (as little as 5 minutes each side, depending on heat and thickness).

Don’t let dry out.  Use a meat thermometer – remove at 165°

On one half of each breast, add 1 oz cheese and 2 tbsp or more of Picante sauce, fold other half over and heat until cheese is melted.

Serve immediately.

Black Bean Salad Continue reading

Cookbook News: Summer Into Fall Edition Available Now!

Order What’s 4 Dinner Solutions: Summer into Fall here!

What’s 4 Dinner Solutions actually started years before the blog, as a menu service for busy families. When it was time to move on from that, I started the blog to continue sharing recipes. But what that means is, I have in my arsenal, fifty-two weeks of menus, recipes and shopping lists.

A few years ago, a friend convinced me to turn it into a cookbook. I quickly realized it would be unmanageable as one cookbook, so I’ve created four: Summer into Fall, Fall into Winter, Winter into Spring and Spring into Summer. Continue reading