Easy Dinner Recipes: Warm Carmel Apple Cake

Life doesn't ALWAYS have to be about easy dinner recipes.  Sometimes it's about making a looks-like-homemade desert with little work.  This one was emailed to me from Betty Crocker and I loved it! My in-laws loved it and after picking off the apples (we have the same problem with vegetables) my son loved it.

Warm Caramel Apple Cake
Warm Caramel Apple Cake
Serve this yummy apple upside-down cake warm from the oven.
Prep Time: 30 min
Total Time: 1 hour 25 min
Makes: 15 servings

1/2cup butter or margarine
1/4cup whipping cream
1cup packed brown sugar
1/2cup chopped pecans
2large cooking apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced (about 2 1/3 cups)
1box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® yellow cake mix
1 1/4cups water
1/3cup vegetable oil
1/4teaspoon apple pie spice

2/3cup Betty Crocker® Whipped fluffy white frosting (from 12-oz container)
1/2cup frozen (thawed) whipped topping

Caramel topping, if desired

1.Heat oven to 350°F. In 1-quart heavy saucepan, cook butter, whipping cream and brown sugar over low heat, stirring occasionally, just until butter is melted. Pour into 13x9-inch pan. Sprinkle with pecans; top with sliced apples.

2.In large bowl, beat cake mix, water, oil, eggs and apple pie spice with electric mixer on low speed until moistened. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes. Carefully spoon batter over apple mixture.

3.Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Loosen sides of cake from pan. Place heatproof serving platter upside down on pan; carefully turn platter and pan over. Let pan remain over cake about 1 minute so caramel can drizzle over cake. Remove pan.

4.In small bowl, mix frosting and whipped topping. Serve warm cake topped with frosting mixture and drizzled with caramel topping.

You can use cinnamon for the apple pie spice for a slightly different flavor.

Granny Smith and Braeburn are good apple choices to use in this recipe.

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Easy Dinner Recipes: Asian Shrimp in Minutes

I get seriously tired of eating meat all of the time, but are there easy dinner recipes that my kids will actually touch that involve something a little different? Enter into my kitchen SHRIMP. It cooks in minutes, the kids actually enjoy it and it makes me feel like we've gotten out of a rut. The longest part of this recipe is waiting for the water to boil. And yes, I do serve it over TopRamen noodles which the whole family devours for pennies. And of course you know I found it on Tastebook... if you haven't checked them out yet click on their logo below.

Asian Shrimp

  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 3 cubes chicken bouillon
  • 3 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onion
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 12 ounces trimmed snow peas
  • 4 small ripe tomatoes, diced


  1. In a large saucepan, heat 2 1/2 cups water to a boil over medium-high heat. Dissolve bouillon in boiling water. Add shrimp, green onion, soy sauce and salt. Boil for 3 minutes.
  2. Dissolve cornstarch in cold water; stir into shrimp mixture. Cook until sauce is thick, then add tomatoes and snow peas. Serve hot.


Easy Dinner Recipes: Creamy Kielbasa Bake

Kielbasa sausage is one of those staple items we keep in the pantry because it makes an easy dinner recipe. We've been making a version of this creamy bake for years now, although our version consists of kielbasa, an onion, chopped potatoes and a sweet potato in the over for 350 for an hour. It is fun to change it up from time to time so I found this on TasteBook and we tried it tonight - my daughter and I cleaned the baking dish! Creamy, yummy, sausage-y goodness! For more recipe ideas be sure to check out Tastebook here.


  • 16 oz of Kielbasa sausage
  • 6 russet potatoes
  • 1 family size can of cream of chicken
  • 1 can hot water
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
Dice potatoes and put them in large baking dish. Slice kielbasa sausage into rounds and mix them into the potatoes. Pour cream of chicken into a large mixing bowl with hot water, salt, and pepper. Stir with a wisk until cream of chicken is dissolved. Pour the mixture over the potatoes and sausage. Place into oven at 425 degrees F and cook for about 45 minutes to one hour, or until potatoes are tender.
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Easy Dinner Recipes: Slow Cooker Ribs

I made these yesterday for my birthday and they were absolutely delicious, but they fell right off the bone before I could even get them out of the pot. That's not necessarily a bad thing of course. The kids didn't like the heat from the chili so I'll eliminate it next time but I thought the spice was just right. The only downfall was the browning in the oven prior to cooking. I don't think it made any difference at all and will be skipping that step next time. Of course I got this recipe from TasteBook and have it in my holiday cookbook for gifts already. Start your personal cookbook today and you'll be ready to rock this Christmas!


  • 4 pounds pork baby back ribs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1 cup chili sauce
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 dash hot sauce
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. Season ribs with salt and pepper. Place in a shallow baking pan. Brown
    in oven 15 minutes. Turn over, and brown another 15 minutes; drain fat.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together the ketchup, chili sauce, brown sugar,
    vinegar, oregano, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and salt and pepper.
    Place ribs in slow cooker. Pour sauce over ribs, and turn to coat.
  4. Cover, and cook on Low 6 to 8 hours, or until ribs are tender.


Easy Dinner Recipes: Sweet Crock Pot Chuck Roast

Easy dinner recipes are made much easier using a crock pot, but sometimes the recipes involve browning and chopping and all sorts of other instructions that at 7am aren't fun.  This one is a dump and go.  I just serve it up with some rice and a salad and dinner's done!  I found this on on TasteBook of course.

Sweet Crock Pot Chuck Roast

  • 1 large beef chuck roast
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 bottle teriyaki sauce
  • Water
In crock pot add chuck roast, brown sugar and teriyaki sauce. Cover roast with water and cook all day on high heat setting.

Seriously - that's it.

For more great easy dinner recipes or to create your own easy cooking cookbook for your family, go to TasteBook here...
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Easy Dinner Recipes: Butter Chicken

Making easy dinner recipes very often does include some sort of chicken dish, sigh.  I know it's boring but this chicken is so tasty that my family actually requests is - not something that usually happens in my household.  We serve it with some rice pilaf (o.k. it's boxed Rice-a-Roni but did I not mention I'm a busy person?) and some veggies and call it a day.  I found this at TasteBook and it's included in my personal cookbook that I share with family and friends.


  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup butter
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. Season the chicken with salt, pepper and tarragon; drizzle with lemon juice. Set aside.
  3. Place an oven proof skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat and melt the butter. Place the chicken in the dish, turning to coat both sides.
  4. Cover the chicken with a sheet of parchment paper, and then cover with a lid.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
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Easy Dinner Recipes Custom Cookbook

I just found the best and easiest way to keep track of your easy dinner recipes. It's called TasteBook and you can insert recipes you find on the internet or upload recipes of your own. You can keep the files on line or order an actual hard copy for a binder. I am starting one now to give to my mother and sister-in-laws for Christmas as a "homemade" gift item. How simple and inexpensive and it can be added on over the years.

Start yours today by clicking here.


Easy Dinner Recipes: Garlic Home Fries

I found this recipe here and couldn't resist any easy dinner recipe entitled 'Famous'.  It really was easy and the kids loved it!

Steve's Famous Garlic Home Fries


  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 4 (8 ounce) russet potatoes, quartered and sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives


  1. Melt the butter or margarine in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the potatoes and spread out in an even layer. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes. Season with garlic, paprika, salt and pepper; stir to coat potatoes evenly.
  2. Cover and cook for another 15 minutes, turning potatoes occasionally. Remove cover, and mix in chives. Increase heat to medium-high and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring frequently, or until potatoes are tender.
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Easy Dinner Recipes: Key Lime Angel Food Cake

Ok so it's not an easy dinner recipe but yum and easy still apply... I baked this one last weekend for a friend's birthday and everyone went nuts over it.  The lightness of the angel food cake mixed with a little tart - well it just works.

1box Betty Crocker® white angel food cake mix
1 1/4cups cold water
1can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1/3cup Key lime or regular lime juice
1teaspoon grated lime peel
1container (12 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1cup flaked coconut

Sliced kiwifruit and strawberries, if desired
1.Make cake mix as directed on package, using cold water. Cool cake completely. Cut cake horizontally into 3 layers. Place bottom layer, cut side up, on serving plate.
2.In large bowl, beat milk, lime juice and lime peel with wire whisk until smooth and thickened. Fold in whipped topping.
3.Spread 1 cup lime mixture evenly over top of first layer of cake. Place second layer of cake carefully on bottom layer; spread evenly with 1 cup lime mixture. Top with remaining layer of cake.
4.Frost top and side of cake with remaining lime mixture. Sprinkle with coconut. Garnish cake with kiwifruit and strawberries.

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Easy Dinner Recipes: Roasted Chicken and Veggies

This recipe is from Redbook and is as easy as they promise.  If you don't like parsnips, substitute with small red potatoes!

Easiest Roast Chicken Dinner

From Redbook
This recipe has been tested by Redbook

Comfort food at its best, this easy oven-roasted dinner only requires one pan. Cut-up chicken and fresh vegetables are roasted together with sage and white wine to create this heaven-scented meal.

INGREDIENTS conv. chart U.S. Metric
1 cup(s) dry white wine
6 medium carrots, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
6 medium parsnips, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
1 1/2 pound(s) (10 to 12) small new potatoes, cut in half
4 pound(s) chicken pieces (4 legs, 4 thighs, 2 breast halves)
1/4 cup(s) butter or margarine, melted
2 tablespoon(s) chopped fresh sage, divided
1 teaspoon(s) salt
1/4 teaspoon(s) pepper
1 tablespoon(s) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup(s) low-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoon(s) chopped parsley, divided


  1. Heat oven to 475 degrees F. Pour wine into large roasting pan. Add carrots, parsnips, and potatoes. Place chicken pieces on top of vegetables. Drizzle melted butter over chicken and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sage, salt, and pepper. Roast 35 to 45 minutes, basting occasionally, until chicken is cooked through.
  2. Place chicken on serving platter and cover to keep warm. Pour pan juices into measuring cup. Roast vegetables 10 to 15 minutes longer, until browned and tender.
  3. For gravy, spoon chicken fat off drippings, placing 1 tablespoon of fat in small saucepan; discard remaining fat. Add flour to saucepan and cook 1 minute over medium heat, stirring constantly. Add drippings from pan and broth to saucepan, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil and cook until slightly thickened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in 1 teaspoon of the remaining sage and 1 tablespoons parsley.
  4. To serve: Arrange vegetables on platter with chicken. Sprinkle with remaining herbs. Serve with gravy.

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Easy Dinner Recipes: Cooking with an Iron

I found these videos and love them. My kids and I can watch them together and learn how to cook without making the process complicated.

This particular one we had so much fun with... ironing our food! Finally I have a use for that iron I never use. Who knew?

Here's the link to Iron Stuffed Tortilla, but it will take you to the iFoods site and I highly recommend you check out their brownie recipe while you're there.


Easy Dinner Recipes: Corned Beef with Potatoes and Cabbage

This is an easy dinner recipe for an wonderful Irish meal using a slow cooker rather than the traditional boiling method, making it simpler to drop and go, especially since St. Patrick’s Day is on a Monday this year.

2 ½ Pounds medium new potatoes cut in half (about 8)
2 Cups baby carrots
1 Cup Frozen small whole onions thawed
1 Corned beef brisket about 3-31/2 pounds
½ Cup water
1 Seasoning packet from beef package
1 head of cabbage

Mix veggies (except for the cabbage) in the bottom of the slow cooker.

Rinse corned beef and place on top of the veggies, followed by the seasoning packet and water.

Divide the head of cabbage into 6 sections and place on the top of the beef.

Cover and cook on low for about 8 to 9 hours until the beef and veggies are tender and you are good to go.

Luck of the Irish to you!


Easy Dinner Recipes: Peanut Beef Noodles

This easy dinner recipe makes a full meal without tons of ingredients which is always a favorite combination for me.


  • 1 lb. boneless beef sirloin steak cut into this strips
  • 1 Tbsp. cooking oil
  • 2 14-oz. cans reduced sodium beef broth
  • 1/3 cup bottled peanut sauce (check the Asian section of your store)
  • 1-1/2 cups or about 3 oz. medium egg noodles
  • 2 cups broccoli florets


1. In Dutch oven, brown the beef strips in hot oil over medium-high heat. Add beef broth and peanut sauce; bring to boiling.

2. Stir in noodles and reduce the heat. Simmer uncovered, 4 minutes, stirring occasionally to separate noodles. Add broccoli; return to boiling. Reduce heat. Simmer again uncovered, for 3 to 4 minutes more or just until noodles are tender, stirring occasionally.

3. Serve it up in bowls and garnish with green onions if wanted. My kids like to skip this little extra.


Easy Dinner Recipes: So Simple Chicken Thighs

All right,anyone knows that I am not a great cook which is why I need easy dinner recipes. So the other night I had 6 chicken thighs and had no idea what to do with them. My friend gave me the recipe on the phone and it sounded like something even I couldn't mess up. So I tried it, served up some rice and a salad and my family all loved it. I tossed the leftover rice in the sauce from the bottom of the pan and it made the best next day lunch ever.

So Simple Chicken Thighs

  • 6 chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 (1 ounce) package dry onion soup mix
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Place chicken pieces in a single layer in a baking dish. I used a clay pie pan so the chicken fit fairly snug and covered it with foil.

In a medium bowl, combine the ketchup, water, brown sugar and dry soup mix. Pour the saucs over the chicken, making sure that all of the pieces are covered.

Bake covered for about 1 hour.


Easy Dinner Recipes: Leftover Soup

Imagine cooking all week long and then trying to come up with more easy dinner recipes on a Friday night. I usually don't have it in me to cook so we end up spending money and going out to eat or having what we call a 'scramble'. A scramble is when we all grab leftovers or anything we can find and fend for ourselves. That was until my girlfriend Rachel told me about her 'leftover soup'.

She uses the bits of meat and veggies that are left over from the week and throws them in the crock pot and Voila! Does it get much easier? She says that even left over brown gravy is good.

If you will be using a slow cooker, put all of your ingredients into it, then add water until it is 2/3 full. Cook on low for 5-6 hours and season about 30 minutes before serving.

You can cook it on the stove top as well for about an hour, but I like to dump it all in the crock pot and call it a day. It makes making dinner easy and saves a ton of money as well. Thanks Rachel!


Easy Dinner Recipes: Sneaking Beans into Pasta

White Beans, Pasta, and Chicken
I received this easy dinner recipe from Better Homes and Gardens and thought it was brilliant. Instead of using a heavy, calorie laden white sauce, the trick is to use the white beans instead, adding protein and fiber and my kids didn't even notice!

White Beans, Pasta and Chicken

  • 8 ounces dried cavatappi, fusilli, rotini, ditaloni, or other short pasta tubes
  • 1 15- to 19-ounce can cannellini (white kidney) beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 12 ounces cooked chicken, shredded
  • 1/4 cup snipped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley sprigs (optional - I usually skip it)
  • Olive oil (optional - but I recommend at least a little for moisture)


1. In a large saucepan, cook pasta according to package directions; drain well and set aside.

2. In a blender or food processor, combine 3/4 cup of the beans and the chicken broth. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Place bean puree in pan used for cooking the pasta; bring to boiling. Return pasta to pan.

3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook garlic in 1 tablespoon hot olive oil for 1 minute. Add tomatoes; cook for 1 minute. Add the remaining beans, shredded chicken, snipped parsley, pepper and salt. Heat through.

4. Add the tomato mixture to hot pasta; toss to cost. Top with parsley sprigs and additional olive oil. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.