Easy Dinner Recipes: Chicken Burrito Bake

The other day I reviewed "The Dinner Doctor" so I thought I would place an easy dinner recipe from it that my family loves. It's quick, simple and makes burritos a little more interesting.

4 Cups shredded cooked chicken (usually taken from a left over rotisserie chicken)
1 Cup medium green tomatillo salsa, from the jar
2 Cups shredded cheese, Mexican blends are the best
8-10 8" flour tortillas
2 10oz containers refrigerated alfredo sauce
Shredded lettuce, avocado cubes, chopped tomatoes to top

Preheat the oven to 375.

Mix the chicken, salsa and 1/2 cup of the cheese.

Spoon 1/2 to 3/4 cup down the center of the tortilla and roll like a burrito. Lay seam side down in a 13x9" baking dish.

Mix the alfredo sauce and remaining cheese and pour on the top of the burritos.

Bake for 20-25 minuts and top with the lettuce, avocado and tomatoes!

How's that for an easy dinner recipe?


Easy Dinner Recipes: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

It's October and we're celebrating easy dinner recipes with important books dedicated to Breast Cancer Awareness.

Our fist pick is from Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book, Limited Edition "Pink Plaid" : For Breast Cancer Awareness (Better Homes & Gardens)

This is essentially the same classic cookbook that's been around for years with a special Breast Cancer cover. It's one of those books that's an essential for every kitchen.

We'll post up more books with easy dinner recipes as the month goes on.


Easy Dinner Recipes: Dinner Doctor Review

When I am looking for easy dinner recipes, I have two choices: make what I always do or flip through "The Dinner Doctor". I am a long time fan of Anne Byrne's "The Cake Mix Doctor" books, turning cake mixes into one of a kind creations. I love to make cakes from scratch but, well you already know how busy I am. Her baking recipes help me merge my need to bake with my lack of time.

So when I first saw "The Dinner Doctor" I was excited. Anne's recipes are simple, quick and the ingredients are not complicated. Many of the ingredients are found in our pantry already or are easily attainable at the grocery store and involve very little prep time. We buy the rotisserie chickens all the time but this book gave us so many great ideas to make countless numbers of delicious meals that we've already gotten our money's worth.

This is not gourmet cooking. This is real food for real families that thinks outside of the usual dinners we give our kids. It is worth checking out.

To see more reviews on "The Dinner Doctor" click here: The Dinner Doctor

Anne Byrne's other titles include:
The Cake Mix Doctor
Cupcakes: From the Cake Mix Doctor
Chocolate from the Cake Mix Doctor
What Can I Bring? Cookbook (Cake Mix Doctor)


Easy Dinner Recipes: 5 Tips For Grilling Dinner

When it comes to easy dinner recipes in summer nothing is simpler than firing up the grill. That's right, I've taken over man's territory and I love it!

Usually my husband does the grilling like it's some male ritual with fire. Normally I'm just fine with him cooking on the grill because then I don't have to. But a few weeks ago he broke his arm and had to have surgery (a metal plate and 5 screws). In his recovery, I had to figure out how the lawn mower works. It took my kids and me 1/2 hour just to get it started. Then we were so excited that we gave each other high fives and let go of the handle and had to start it all over again. Needless to say I have since hired an interim gardener.

Having mastered the lawn mower and the art of delegation, I next decided that I was going to conquer the BBQ. We have a gas grill. I can figure this out, right?

This experiment has turned out better than the lawn mower. I still make the sides inside, but they usually are 20 minute quickies like rice and salad.

Here are my simple tips for barbecuing for the novice (please note, I know nothing about old fashioned grills, only gas).

1. Marinate during the day. In the morning I toss the meat or chicken into a storage size baggie and toss in some sauce. Italian dressing works really nicely as does teriyaki sauce for both chicken or steak. The baggies just gets tossed out and then there's no need to brush on extra sauce while cooking. When I forget to marinate I don't worry about it. My kids and I all like different dipping sauces that we put on our plates so it's like a custom meal.

2. Pre-heat the grill. I turn both sides on high for 5 minutes before I start grilling. This ensures that my cooking times will be even on the top and the bottom. I also use this time to clean off the grill from last night's dinner. It's very efficient.

3. Use different temperatures for each side. The side I'm cooking on tends to be lower than the side I'm not using. I do leave both on but the higher temperature of the non-cooking side tends to help cook my meat faster without the dangers of burning it over high flames.

4. Get out your timers. I don't stand by the grill enjoying a beer in the afternoon sun. I get back inside and work on the rest of the dinner fixings to consolidate my time. Therefore I tend to forget that there's something outside gilling (oops!) For a boneless anything, I go for 5 minutes a side on average (thin means 4 and thick means 6). At the end of the 10 minutes, I press on the meat to test its' solidity. If the chicken feels spongy, it's not done. Wait until it is firm. Same with steak, although fully firm means well and fully squishy means rare.

5. Don't cut it right away. Let your meat rest for 5 minutes once off of the grill so the juices can settle. Your meal will be tastier and moister if you can show a little patience!

Grilling really is about the easiest way to cook dinner. The best part of it is, there's no recipe required!


6 Tips for Making Easy Dinner Recipes

Do you have the skills to help you transition from drive through mentality to preparing full family dinners? Yes, I laughed at this concept too. The whole idea that I could have the time or energy to make dinner for my family every day is laughable. Then I started implementing these tips and our family life actually changed. I would like to share with you how to make easy dinner recipes work for you on a daily basis.

Tip #1: Get a calendar. This is an organizing tool that works for everyone I know and it's so simple you're going to just say, "Stacy, come on. Do you think we're simpletons?". Not at all. But when you're writing down all of your activities for the day, note what days are going to be crunches and which look not so bad. If Tuesday looks horrid, buy a rotisserie chicken, some great rolls, a bag of Caesar salad and you've got chicken sandwiches in a flash. You'll only go through half the chicken and when Wednesday hits, you have the makings of a great pasta. Your calendar can be your best friend so map out your week in advance and write on each day what dinner is going to be.

Tip #2: Post a shopping list inside your pantry door. This will help you remember the odd items that come up (saran wrap gets me all the time) plus as you're doing your meal planning at the beginning of the week you can easily populate the items you need to make those dinners.

Tip #3: Consolidate. One grocery trip per week period. Don't make life harder than it is. When in doubt, refer to Tip #2 and be diligent with that.

Tip #4: Get everyone else involved. I have two children so they get to pick one meal every two weeks. My daughter picks one week and then my son the next. I find a day that looks good and ask for their choice ahead of time. They get excited to for having dinner at home because it's their choice and I don't have to force anyone to eat anything.

Tip #5: Get tech-y. Subscribe to blogs or websites that have great recipes emailed right to you each week. I have been fortunate enough to subscribe to a program that helps me out tremendously. Not only does it have a huge library of recipes to pick from, but it helps me put the recipes onto a list and then even makes a grocery list for me. I don't know how I ever lived without it. There are quite a few of these sites out there, but the one I use can be found here.

Tip #6: Be flexible. We're not perfect and even the best laid plans sometimes fall apart. An occasional Pizza picked up in desperation is o.k.. We also have scramble nights when the plan has deteriorated and we get to just pick anything from the pantry we want - from a bowl of cereal to left over steak. We're all great with those evenings because we know that tomorrow we'll get back on the program.

I will be posting up some favorite easy dinner recipes here in the next couple of weeks so be sure to bookmark this page.

Happy Eating!

Easy Dinner Recipes

I am constantly on the go and quite frankly, making dinner is just another task on the list. I subscribe to a bevy of dinner blogs and have compiled a list of my favorite Easy Dinner Recipes that I would love to share here, not to mention a few of my tips and suggestions to make dinner planning simpler.

I have a career, own a second business, have two children who are both heavily involved in sports and regularly volunteer for local, national and international service projects. Super-Mom I am not, but I have found some invaluable tools that have helped me stay sane (well most days at least). Taking the stress out of my life is a major priority and I hope you can join me in making dinner easy and delicious again.