Saturday, April 2, 2011

5 Easy Weeknight Dinners and a Giveaway!


I'm having a giveaway!  I want to give a lucky follower a chance to win
these two handy kitchen gadgets.  The first is a Williams-Sonoma pocket
pie mold.  I love mine so I bought an extra to giveaway.

You can read my post about using this cute mini lattice pie maker here.  

The second item in my giveaway is the Mini Nicer Dicer.  I use this
little gadget all the time!  I have a bigger onion dicer but if I want my
onions minced this does a fantastic job.  You can also use it with garlic,
peppers, eggs, gherkins  and ginger.  Give it a good whack and you've 
got your veggies!  


Post one comment per entry, all entries MUST include your e-mail address!

Mandatory Entry!

1 Entry..............Make one of my 5 Easy Weeknight Dinners and blog about it.
(Return here and leave a comment and a link to the post along with your email)
*If you don't have a blog.......just send me the pics to prove you made it.

Optional Entry

2 Extra Entries..............Make another of my 5 Easy Weeknight Dinners 
(for a total of 2) and blog about it.
*If you don't have a blog.......just send me the pics to prove it.

(Return here and leave a comment and a link to the post along with your email,
don't forget to let me know that it's your second recipe!)

The giveaway will close Friday, April 22 at 11:59 pm.  After the winner is chosen they
will be given 48 hours to respond to the email I send, if no reply the winner will forfeit
the prize.  Another winner will then be selected.   US only please.

  Do you have a place in town that sells those good old fashioned 
onion burgers?  Well, after you try my loose meat sandwich you won't 
need to go there anymore!   These are a particular favorite at my 
house not only because they are amazingly delicious but because
my family knows that I always double the meat mixture to 4 pounds 
and have the leftovers in baked potatoes the next night.  With all the 
flavor of the caramelized onions, garlic and beef broth I 
just add cheese, sour cream and cilantro to the bakers and viola!  
Another fast, yummy dinner!

Loose meat Sandwiches

lbs lean ground beef
teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups beef broth
teaspoon garlic powder
1 -2 onion, chopped
24 dill pickle slices
hamburger buns

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook onions until brown and carmelized. Add ground beef and cook until brown.

  2. Add salt, pepper, garlic powder and beef broth to cover. Reduce heat to 
  3. low and simmer, uncovered, until broth is gone, 15 to 30 minutes.

  4. Serve meat on buns topped with dill pickle slices and mustard.

  5. *I steam the buns on top of the meat (with lid on skillet) for a minute 
  6. or two to get them nice and soft.

I used to make this as just a potato soup but after I added 
broccoli.......... I'll never make it without it!  This is just comfort 
food in a bowl.  It's so easy to prepare as well.  Everything is all 
cooked together and then just lower the heat and add the cream 
cheese.  It can't get any easier than that!  Add a nice crunchy 
sourdough bread to go with it and dinner is served!

Creamy Broccoli Potato Soup

cups chicken broth
cups peeled and cubed potatoes
4 cups broccoli florets
1/4 cup minced onion
1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, cut into chunks
    Combine broth, potatoes, broccoli, onion, and spices.

  1. Boil on medium heat until potatoes and broccoli are tender.

  2. Smash a few of the potatoes to release their starch for thickening. 
  3. (It's okay if some broccoli gets smashed as well.)

  4. Reduce to low heat and add cream cheese.

  5. Heat, stirring frequently, until cheese melts.

I don't know about your family but mine LOVES seafood so I have 
returned to this recipe time and time again for it's ease and because 
it's just delicious!  I think my favorite part is the little surprise factor 
that the horseradish gives it.  I "heart" horseradish"!   It's also so nice 
that you could proudly serve it to company.  

Dijon-Crusted Tilapia

3 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, shredded, divided
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon horseradish
4 Tilapia fillets
1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs, reg or seasoned
2 tablespoons butter, melted

In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon parmesan 
cheese, lemon juice, mustard and horseradish.

Place fillets on a baking sheet coated with nonstick cooking spray. 
Spread mayonnaise mixture evenly over fillets.

In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, butter and remaining 
parmesan cheese,sprinkle over fillets.

Bake at 425 degrees for 13-18 minutes or until fish flakes easily 
with a fork.

I have been making this yummy pasta since Jimmy and I got married.  
It is amazingly fast to put together after work!  You can have this on the 
table in about 20 minutes and it uses mostly pantry items so you can 
keep all the ingredients on hand to have it anytime!  The thing that sets 
this pasta dish apart is the marinated artichokes.  By using the 
marinade it makes the sauce super fast and extra yummy!   Try 
this recipeand I guarantee you will be using it for years as well.........

Penne with Artichokes and Black Olives

8 oz uncooked Penne Pasta, cooked and drained
1 (14 1/2 oz) can diced tomatoes with basil and oregano
1 (6 ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts, diced 
*do NOT drain* we will be using the marinade in the sauce
1 (2 1/2 ounce) jar black olives, sliced and drained
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

In medium saucepan or skillet over high heat, bring tomatoes, black olives and artichokes,
including marinade, to a boil.

Lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Place pasta in a serving bowl and pour artichoke sauce over pasta.

Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.

I have been making Cheez-it Chicken forever.  In my original version, 
I dredged thechicken breast in sour cream.  It does make it wonderfully 
moist but in this version the Dijon mustard gives a zip of  extra 
flavor.  I also love using the tenders instead of breasts because they 
cook up extremely fast for those weeknight dinners.  I like to serve 
it with my Creamy Ranch Broccoli and oven fries.  

Dijon Cheez-it Chicken Tenders

adapted from Dash

1 1/2 cups Cheez-it Cheddar Crackers  (I used the hot and spicy ones)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/4 lb. raw chicken tenders
1/3 cup Dijon Mustard

Preheat oven to 475 degrees and spray a cookie sheet with nonstick 
cooking spray.

Put crackers in a small food processor and pulse until ground into fine 
crumbs andstir in pepper.

Put the Cheez-it crumbs on a plate and the mustard on another.

Dredge tenders first in mustard then in crumbs and put on baking sheet.

Cook until golden about 15 minutes.

Hope you guys try my 5 easy weeknight dinners.  I'll blog about another 5 soon.  
Hey....being a working mom, I love good food fast and know you do too!


  1. Your site is making me drool!

    Now following front
    We track all of the daily baby deals in real-time. Would love for you to stop by and follow back!

  2. enter me, please! :)

  3. Great giveaway. That little dicer looks like a nice tool to have. Hope I have time to make that loose meat burger this week. :-)

  4. Fun giveaway - great recipes and pictures!

  5. Newest Follower from the blog Hop. Love a follow back at

  6. OMG! That lattice pie maker is awesome!!!
    Stopping by from The Blog Entourage to let you know that my Monday recipe linky is for brunch recipes, if you have any recipe posts you could link up with.

  7. I love the lattice pie maker, you'll see why if you stop by for a slice of my Spring Multi-berry pie when you have a moment!

    Yikes, when did you have time to make all those meals?

    (My e-mail will now appear when you reply to my messages.)

  8. Hello! Newest follower from the blog hop! Would love for you to stop by and follow back, whenever you get a chance. Have a great week! (:


  9. Yum, yum, yum!


    I'm your newest follower from FMBT!

  10. Your site is amazing! I'm your newest follower from the middle matters blog hop. Hope you'll take a moment and pop on over to my blog as well. :) Have a great day!

  11. New follower from the hop, would appreciate a follow back please. Love your photo's by the way!

  12. New Folower here!
    WOW! I want in the give aways!
    What great recipes!!!!!

  13. These look simply delicious!

    I found you through the Middle Matters blog hop and am now your newest follower. Can't wait to explore your blog some more.

    Would love if you'd return the love at

    Turning a House into a Home

  14. YUMMY! So glad you stopped by Moms Bookshelf & More from the blog hop, I am SO following you back!

  15. Hi! New follower from the blog hop. Have a goodnight! :-)

  16. My cousin recommended this blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!


  17. Great giveaway my friend. Big Hugs!!

  18. I made one of these last night, but I want to post it on Sunday, and I can't figure out how to email it to you ahead of time. Can you reply to my email? Thanks! ;-)


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