Posts Tagged ‘dinner’

PostHeaderIcon 25 Family Meal Ideas

Sometimes all you need for supper is an idea, instead of a full recipe. Instead of sifting through endless pages on recipe sites, why not just scan through this quick list for a few tasty suggestions? This list is composed of our family favorites, and foods we make on a regular basis. No actual recipes are included in this list, so as to leave room for variations and for you to use your favorite recipes for each of the ideas.

1. Cheeseburgers
Probably one of the easiest meals you can make for your family. All you need is hamburger, cheese, and buns. Condiments are optional, and everyone can add their own depending on preference.

2. Tacos
Similar to the cheeseburgers, but replace taco shells of some sort for the buns, and add seasoning to your meat.

3. Pizza
Here you can get creative, and make homemade pizza in any way you’d like. You can choose to make your own pizza dough, or use store bought crust. Any toppings you like can be added, and you can even try making a few different types of pizzas at the same time to see which one becomes your personal family favorite.

4. Chicken Strips
Making chicken strips at home isn’t difficult at all. Breading is optional, but you have quite a few options if you decide to bread and fry them. You can also grill them if you have a stove-top grill.

5. Roast
If you have a little time earlier in the day, toss a roast in the oven and let it cook all day. Add your desired vegetables, cook, and enjoy!

6. Biscuits and gravy
Not just for breakfast! These can be made any time of the day for an easy family meal. You can make your own biscuits from scratch if you are ambitious enough, or buy them in the store. Gravy can also be made from scratch or purchased.

7. Quesadillas
If you own a griddle, a few quesadillas can make an entire meal. Be sure to offer sour cream or salsa on the side.

8. Spaghetti
This is fantastically easy meal if you use sauce bought at the store. Making it at home is an option, too!

9. Burritos
Do you have taco leftovers? If so, make some burritos! Fried or baked, these are delicious.

10. Meatloaf
It may have a bad rep, but did you know meatloaf can be made with just about anything? Crackers, bread crumbs, cereal, and even potato chips can be added to ground hamburger and baked. For less greasy meatloaf, use a higher percentage of hamburger (such as 90% or higher).

11. Crab Cakes
We refer to these as “Krabby Patties” around our house. If you have younger children and want them to experience new foods, gift this one a shot with the more appealing name.

12. Pork Chops
Simple, yet can be cooked in a variety of different ways. Generally we purchase thicker cuts, fry them until browned, and bake.

13. Fettuccini Alfredo
Like spaghetti, you can “cheat” by purchasing the jars of Alfredo sauce and adding it to pasta.

14. Steak & Mashed Potatoes
You’d be surprised how many kids actually enjoy a nicely cooked steak and homemade mashed potatoes. It may not be something you can cook every night, but for special occasions or just once in a while, this makes a great meal.

15. Cheeseburger Casserole
There are multiple recipes floating around on the ‘net for this one. Basically you need hamburger, cheese, and Bisquick.

16. Beef Stroganoff
A simple meal made with hamburger, egg noodles, and sour cream. Other versions of this recipe use specific cuts of meat instead of hamburger, although we like it just fine the “poor man” way.

17. Chicken Noodle Casserole
Perfect for the crockpot, and easy to make! Add chicken, cream of cheese soup, cream of chicken soup, and egg noodles.

18. Pigs in a Blanket
Depending on what you are hungry for, these can be made with hot dogs or sausage, wrapped in a crescent roll or pancake of some sorts.

19. Beef Stew
This is similar to roast, but with a few added vegetables, and in stew form. Great if you have some time to cook or at least prepare ahead of time.

20. Breakfast for Dinner (pancakes, eggs, bacon, toast, etc.)
Who says breakfast foods can only be served in the morning? Treat your family to a “breakfast night”, where you cook all those foods typically eaten in the morning.

21. Homemade Mac & Cheese
It may be easy to just grab a box of mac & cheese at the store, but why not challenge yourself to make it from scratch? There are dozens of unique recipes on the internet for this one dish.

22. Fried Chicken
Egg, flour, and chicken pieces are basically all you need. Fry them all up in a pan, or bake if you want them a little bit more healthy.

23. Chili
Everyone has a unique chili recipe. Start with chili beans and hamburger, adding ingredients according to taste.

24. BBQ Pork Sandwiches
A great meal for the slow cooker! Add a pork roast and barbeque sauce, let cook, and enjoy.

25. Lasagna
If your family doesn’t much care for lasagna, try leaving out the “odd” cheese. We use lasagna pasta, hamburger, spaghetti sauce, and shredded cheese. Fantastic!

This list should give you a starting point for some ideas for dinner!

PostHeaderIcon 3 Barbecue Chicken Recipes for Crockpots

Barbecue chicken is a popular dish, and there are probably millions of crockpot recipes floating around for it. To make it a bit easier, there are three different recipes listed in this article. You can scan through and see which one sounds best, or combine them all to come up with a brand new recipe!

Recipe #1

1 Chicken, cut up and skin removed
1 Cup Ketchup
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
3 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce

Place chicken in crockpot. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over chicken. Cook for 4 hours on high, or 8-10 hours on low. Delicious!

Recipe #2

4-6 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 Bottle BBQ Sauce
1/2 cup White Vinegar
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1 tsp. Mesquite Seasoning
1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
1/2-1 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes

Mix BBQ sauce with all ingredients listed under it. Place chicken in crockpot. Pour sauce over all. Cook on low in crockpot about 4-6 hours. Serve with baked beans, potato salad and coleslaw.

Recipe #3

1 Frying Chicken, cut up or quartered
1 Can Tomato Soup
3/4 Cup Onion, chopped
1/4 Cup Vinegar
3 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Sweet Basil
1/4 Teaspoon Thyme

Place chicken in slow cooker. Combine all other ingredients and pour over chicken. Cover tightly and cook at “low” for 6-8 hours.


PostHeaderIcon Thin Crust Meat Pizza Experiment

I can be quite the lazy cook sometimes. While it’s true I love my bread machine and the pizza crust we make with it often, sometimes I just want something a little faster.

Years ago before we even thought of having a bread machine, I made my pizza with the most unlikely crust. Flour tortillas. Yup, those things you usually make tacos and quesedillas with. I used them for pizza crust.

The other day I got to thinking about it, and decided I wanted to use them again. Why not? It made an EXCELLENT thin crust, and was really tasty too. I use several too, spreading them out in the shape of a full size round pizza, so they overlap a bit.

I used another old favorite substitution for pizza sauce – plain old tomato sauce. Since we added spices to the rest of the pizza, adding anything to the sauce really wasn’t necessary (I did it anyway though, and ended up with WAY too much garlic salt on it. Lesson learned).

Instead of our normal “mountain pizza”, we did just one layer of toppings and cheese. Well, a little on the heavy side, but still just one layer of each item. Pepperoni, regular sausage that I added a few Italian spices too while cooking, and pizza cheese. We also added roasted red bell pepper slices (from a jar), and a blend of Parmesan cheese and some other spices (I had gotten a big container of different kinds of blended spices, and really wanted to play with it!).

Unlike the “mountain pizza” which has to be cooked at lower temps for a longer period of time, this pizza I threw in the oven at 400* for about 15minutes. We like crispy crust and golden brown cheese (about 2 minutes away from being burnt, really, so I keep an eye on it), so you can cut the time down a bit. All ingredients are cooked, so basically we’re just heating it up here.

All I have to say is YUM. This was some tasty pizza to say the least, and we’ll be making it again that’s for sure. Plus it didn’t call for a variety of specific ingredients just for pizza, and are things we have on a regular basis. As with any pizza, it’s easy to tweek to your liking to.


PostHeaderIcon Easy Dinner Ideas for Kids

Kids aren’t the easiest critics to please, that’s for sure. So if you need some ideas for easy dinner ideas for kids that they’ll actually EAT, we’ve put together a list for ya. We didn’t just go by what the Idea Queen children said, but asked around a bit for some more kid-friendly meals others would enjoy as well.

So here it is, the top 4 easy dinner ideas for kids:

1. Pizza

And I don’t mean ordering it! No, homemade pizza isn’t as hard as you think, especially when you stick to one topping. Pepperoni is usually safe, and lucky for us moms, a super easy topping.  Premade pizza crust in a bag, easy squeezable sauce, and a package of pepperoni and shredded cheese. Hey, I said easy, not completely healthy.

2. Tacos
Maybe a little more effort than the pizza, but still pretty easy. Fix up some taco meat real quick and lay out the toppings. Let the kids have at it. Or maybe give them a hand if you don’t want “Easy dinner” to turn into “big after meal cleanup”.

3. Chili
So maybe I cheat a little here, but I don’t plan on entering a chili contest any time soon. 2 cans of beans (different kinds), 1 can of Italian diced tomatoes, and a pound of ground hamburger cooked. I’ll throw in some spices if I feel ambitious. Since kids usually eat hamburger regardless of what you do to it, chili works well.

Yes you heard me correctly. Believe it or not, some kids actually do like steak. Not recommended for the younger ones as it may be hard for them to chew if not cooked just right, but older ones might actually enjoy it more than you know. My daughter (age 7) absolutely loves it, and apparently so do others (See this post at Mommy’s Helper Community)

Have some more ideas? Please feel free to share!

PostHeaderIcon Easy Dinner Ideas with Ground Beef

You’ve got a pound of ground beef. Now what to do with it? Here are a few of our favorite easy dinner ideas with ground beef:

This is our favorite meal around here, and it’s made on a regular basis. Not just any taco meat will do though! See our suggestions on cooking perfect taco meat.  If you have just a pound of hamburger, this is usually enough for 2 kids and 2 adults if your serving a few sides or load up on the toppings. The taco meat recipe can also be done with 2 pounds without problems.

Hamburgers or Beef Burgers
No duh right? But sometimes we forget that sometimes ground beef can be just ground beef. You can make it interesting by adding different sauces or veggies. One of my favorite restaurant meals is a hamburger with avocado and mushrooms. YUM!

Not a very complicated dish, and recipes are usually pretty easy to find. If your missing specific ingredients, there’s always room for improvising. Such as crackers for bread crumbs or adding your own special flair to the dish. If you need a basic meatloaf recipe, try this Amish meatloaf.

This ground beef dinner idea doesn’t have to be complicated either. Sometimes all we add is a can of beans (any kind on hand) and a can of Italian diced tomatoes. Really easy, really fast. Plus both the kids will eat it without complaints. You can add your own ingredients and really get to experimenting with this too.

That’s it! Pretty simple right? If you have any easy dinner ideas with ground beef you’d like to share, please feel free to leave your comments!