~my thoughts about life~

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Easy Dinners

Don't you just love those easy dinners that don't take much preparation?  I consider spaghetti to fit into that category, but not spaghetti and meatballs.  I love intense, homestyle cooking, but sometimes you need a quickie meal.

Here are a couple things I've made recently that fit into the Easy Dinner category.

Chili- I think this recipe is so good, you'd never think it was that easy.
  • In a large pot, saute onion in butter.  (I use just a couple tablespoons of onion, but you can use more depending on your taste.)
  • When the onion is golden brown, add one clove of pressed (or minced) garlic.
  • Add 2 lbs. of crumbled ground beef.
  • Brown well and drain all grease.
  • Add one 28 oz. can of tomato sauce and one 28 oz. can of tomato puree.  (If you don't like your chili thick, add two cans of sauce and no puree.)
  • Add 1/2 to a whole package of McCormick chili seasoning.  (I only use half a package so it's not too spicy for my kids.)
  • Add approximately 2t sugar to cut the acidity.
  • Add salt, if necessary.
  • Here is where my chili gets unique.  I think some people would call it goulash instead of chili.  I add elbow macaroni.  I don't measure, I just kind of sprinkle it over the chili until it thinly covers the top.  No one in my family likes beans so we don't add any. 
  • Cover and simmer until pasta is tender.  If you don't use macaroni, your chili is done any time.  I don't believe that you have to simmer chili for hours upon hours to make it good.  But it certainly doesn't hurt.  Just keep it low.

Chicken Club Sandwiches
  • Our local grocery store offers ready-made rotisserie chickens for $4.99, any time.  You can't even buy a whole raw chicken for that price.  Monday, I bought a chicken in the morning during my regular grocery shopping time.  I refrigerated it until dinner time.  20 minutes before dinner, I popped it into the oven to heat it through.  While it was warming, I microwaved a few strips of bacon.  I sliced the chicken and layered it on good quality bakery bread.  I topped it with bacon, CoJack cheese slices, lettuce, tomato, and mayo.  It was a quick and easy supper that made cooking at 9:00 PM more bearable. 

Hopefully one or both of those recipes will give you some quick dinner ideas for when you're on a time crunch.  (Isn't that every day???)

1 comment:

Cory said...

Both of those meals look great. That "not" chili sounds interesting. I have never tried the packet flavoring for that before, but I bet for a quick meal, and a different sort of flavor it would be great! And I love grilled sandwiches on bakery bread, like sour dough...and the chicken club you mentioned would be great on that type of bread. Yum! So glad you shared.