Thursday, August 28, 2008


I've been feeling a little more domestic these days. Perhaps it's because I crave structure, and when school's in session, there's no other way to get around the limited time at home other than to have meals planned out, grocery shopping done, and dinner on time.

I thought I'd share a few tips for planning dinners during a hectic school and work week.

A favorite at our house is grilled chicken. I buy the frozen chicken breasts from WalMart. They're wonderful marinated in bottled Italian dressing and then thrown on the grill. You can serve them on their own, but we like to chop them up and include them in various dishes, such as:

Pasta Alfredo -- any kind of pasta, and if you don't make your own sauce, the bottled versions from Bertoli are pretty great.

Quesadillas -- Kind of like a grilled cheese with flour tortillas, throw on some grated cheddar or cheddar/jack cheese and any kind of veggies (mushrooms, peppers, green chilies, tomatoes, etc.) and even a little bacon, if you want.

King Ranch Casserole -- There are quite a few different versions of this, and I'll post my favorite soon.

Chicken Tettrazini -- Another family favorite recipe, which I'll post soon, if you don't have your own recipe.

Another quick and easy dinner is this yummy Mexican beef casserole. It was a family favorite when I was growing up, and now my kids like it, too.

Brown 2 pounds of ground beef. Drain off fat.
Mix meat with 1 can cream of mushroom soup, a bottle of salsa (or picante sauce)and tortilla chips.
Top with grated cheese and cook for 30-45 mins. at 350.

I didn't have a full jar of salsa, so I added a can of Rotel tomatoes (drained). You could also add red enchilada sauce, a can of chopped green chilies, etc.

Before I start my commute home, I'll have my 12-year-old daughter pop the dish in the oven, and it should be ready right around the time I get home. We'll add a fresh salad and some cantaloupe and have a nice dinner -- on time.

It's not even lunch time, and I'm already getting hungry for dinner!


Alicia said...

I really like that picture! You know, since Connor has graduated, I have officially declared that I am no longer cooking. But I'll save your recipes...just in case!

SASSY said...

Fabulous ideas, Sandra - thanks! I will definitely be trying the mexican casserole - delicious and easy - how can you go wrong?

And yes, I cannot wait to feast my eyes on all the fall colors here!

Bonnie said...

I just "stumbled" upon your blog and I'm glad I did! The dinner ideas are fabulous! Thanks!

Linda at Lime in the Coconut! said... tell us the real reason you are feeling domestic....BECAUSE YOU ARE!! You blew that teast of Anneliese's OUT OF THE WATER. There must be a prize.

I need to learn from you.

Nice touch with the recipes, too! I am hankering for mexican food. Yep! I just bought a bunch of tomatillos to make sauce I need the casserole to put them on!

Linda at Lime in the Coconut! said...

whoops...test not teast.

Lisa said...

Hey, thanks for the enchilada recipe. I used to have one I did years ago and it was probably similar, but I know it didn't have the cream of mushroom. Anything with rotel and cream of mushroom and cheese has to be good. ;-)

I'm trying this.

sandra/tx said...

Alicia, you're pretty smooth! If I wait till the last one leaves home, I've got at least another 6 years. :-)

Hooked on Houses said...

I've never heard of this Mexican casserole. Sounds good! I'll have to try that. Thanks, Sandra! -Julia