2 Dinners in 1: Grilled Chicken Becomes Creamy Lemon Pasta and Peanut Ginger Stir-Fry

creamy lemon chicken pasta, foodlets

MAKING DINNER EVERY NIGHT ISN’T EASY. This, we know. One of my favorite new techniques for getting food on the table is actually cooking less. Yep.  By cooking one base I can make at least two meals. We’ve done it with ground beef, rice and tomatoes in Stuffed Red Peppers, which later became the base… 

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Simple Seafood, a recipe excerpt from “100 Days of Real Food”

simple seafood, from 100 days of real food

{Excerpted with permission from “100 Days of Real Food” by Lisa Leake} One great thing about having fish for dinner is that it doesn’t take long at all to cook. Served with a couple easy side dishes (such as roasted veggies, a salad, and/ or baked potatoes), this dish could quickly be whipped up for… 

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15-minute homemade macaroni & cheese

15-minute homemade mac & cheese for kids

OBVIOUS CONFESSION COMING… I’M TOTALLY OVERWHELMED. Have I mentioned that before? It turns out that managing four kids under the age of six is hard, especially when you don’t get to sleep at night. I know you know that. The silly thing is, I didn’t know that. Or, I guess somehow I thought it wouldn’t be…. 

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easy pasta with zucchini, tomatoes & fresh mozzarella cheese

easy pasta with zucchini, tomatoes and fresh mozzarella

THERE ARE TIMES WHEN I NEED TO MAKE DINNER FAST. Before the Clifford video runs out. Before 2-month old Violet starts wailing for her own dinner. Before I turn from Pretty Nice Mommy into Awfully Frazzled Mommy. That’s where a quick pasta dish full of fresh vegetables like this comes in handy. There’s also the… 

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1 dinner 3 ways: stuffed peppers with beef, tomatoes & rice

Stuffed peppers

LAST NIGHT’S DINNER WAS A DISASTER. Sometimes I use a lot of smart strategies for making dinner quickly and easily, but not last night. There I was at 5:30pm, stirring a pot on the stove to make a vaguely Mexican dish I saw somewhere online. You know, the kind that’s not too spicy for the kids but still… 

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15-minute cheesy spinach & chicken pasta

15 minute spinach pasta with chicken, foodlets

THIS ONE’S A 3-BOWLER. At least for Phoebe, our 5-year-old. Okay, okay. I admit it. I also found myself eating at least another helping, standing next to the sink while I pretended to “clean the kitchen” after dinner. It’s just that kind of pasta dish. And there’s even better news: the recipe is so simple, and… 

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perfectly flavored london broil (aka, meat your kids will eat!)

perfectly flavored london broil, foodlets

THE OTHER DAY I MADE CHICKEN CUTLETS for dinner and when I saw my four-year-old dunking each bite in her water glass, I had to ask… “This makes it softer on my teeth,” she told me. Note to self: Don’t overcook the chicken. My three small kids aren’t always the biggest meat fans but when it’s… 

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simple pasta with tomatoes, basil & mozzarella

spring pasta with tomatoes, basil and mozzerella, FOODLETS.com

AS PART OF OUR SEMI-DELUDED PLAN to have friends over this weekend, we served homemade rolls along with two pastas. (Our wonderful guests brought veggies and desserts including a chocolate layer caked called “Tall, Dark and Handsome”. And yes, we’re inviting them back again ASAP.) This was one of the pasta dishes–and by far the best… 

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steak & vegetable roll-ups with balsamic glaze, simplified (believe it or not!)

beef rollups with veggies and balsamic glaze, foodlets

I CAN’T LIE TO YOU. THIS WILL NOT BECOME ONE OF YOUR GO-TO WEEKNIGHT DINNERS. But you might love making it once in a while. With a tangy, sweet sauce plus a built-in veggie and playful presentation, there’s a lot to like here. The trouble is the number of steps it takes to get there…. 

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cheese ravioli with spinach and bacon

ravioli with spinach and bacon,  foodlets.com

SO, THERE WAS AN ICE STORM. One that I’ve never seen the likes of, though I don’t have a lot of experience in the extreme weather department. This one came on quickly and thoroughly. Overnight, every single tree in our part of North Carolina was neatly encased in ice. Then they started splitting, falling, and… 

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very small shepherd’s pies (a step-by-step recipe)

mini shepherd's pies for kids, foodlets

WE’VE MADE THESE MINI SHEPHERD’S PIES TWICE NOW, once at a kiddie cooking school here in North Carolina, and once at home, both for St. Patrick’s Day. This version is our own recipe, which is really just layering all the flavors you’d expect–but simplified. We cheated a bit with store-bought biscuit dough, which really puffs… 

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very green broccoli mac & cheese

broccoli mac & cheese, foodlets.com

YES I PUT BROCCOLI (AND SPINACH) IN THE MAC & CHEESE BUT HEAR ME OUT. When Estelle turned three she actually asked for this dish to be served for her birthday lunch with friends. Despite a pretty serious invasion of vegetables, this stuff is very tasty. Downright company-worthy. Especially when you’re two going on three.

kid-friendly mini reuben sandwiches (a step-by-step recipe)

mini reuben sandwiches, foodlets

IT’S NOT THE MOST IMPORTANT HOLIDAY, BUT ST. PATRICK’S DAY can be pretty fun. Especially if you’re four, three or even one–and there’s special food on the menu. We’ve got a bunch of fun ideas coming up and these mini-sandwiches are just the first. Bonus, they’re not limited to leprechaun season so you can make… 

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mini mac & cheese cups (with carrots too)

mac & cheese mini muffins, foodlets

LAST WEEK WE HAD A BIRTHDAY PARTY LUNCH for 6 preschoolers to celebrate Estelle’s 3rd birthday–and at the birthday girl’s request, these mac & cheese mini cups were the main course. Like our broccoli & cheese pasta cups, they’re essentially macaroni and cheese (with a built-in veggie) to go. And like our broccoli & cheese pasta… 

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