What to make for Dinner?!

What to make for dinner!



 I wanted to re-post this…I posted it last year for my sister in law…I hope it is helpful to you guys!!

In October of 2009…..I made a dinner menu for my sister-in-law…..for everyday in the month of October.  I actually saved the menu…along with the recipes…..on my desk top.  If you guys find this helpful…I can make a monthly calendar to include suggestions for dinner….along with the recipes.   Click on the link below for the October of 2009 menu/dinner guide…and the recipes are written below the link. 



I have this plaque in my kitchen…it’s from my Grandmother Rose…she had it in her kitchen…and I kept it when she passed away.  I have many great recipes from her…I will be sure to post…especially her German Goulash!!  We loved it as kids…and we still do!



Menu for October 2009

Toasted Italian Bread:  Slice the Italian bread into one and a half inch slices.  Top with butter and parmesan cheese.  Put on cookie sheet under broiler.  Toast until golden brown.  ***Try this-drizzle olive oil on a cookie sheet to coat.  Sprinkle teaspoon size of parmesan cheese to form a circle.  Broil-watch closely though as to not burn.  These are delicious little cheese wafers-my kids LOVE in their tomato soup-and soo easy to do.  Not sure of the real name.


Fried Chicken Cutlet: When I make chicken cutlet-I never cut them thin.  Some people take the entire cutlet and cut them in half.  This makes them too thin for frying and also too thin for the BBQ. When they are too thin-they become dry and tasteless. Trim the fat off and then pound the chicken cutlet out.  I put in a Ziploc bag this way when I am pounding the chicken it does not get all over the place.  I like making the chicken cutlet this way because it keeps them thick enough that they stay juicy and do not dry out. 


Malibu Sauce: This is probably one of my favorite condiments.  I don’t know if this is the real name-however when I was in graduate school me and Greg worked at the Sizzler-and they had Malibu Chicken on the menu-and I loved the sauce.  It is easy to make-equal parts mayo and mustard.  I like spicy mustard best-however yellow is just as good.  I put this on everything-turkey sandwiches, burgers, ham sandwiches, even an egg sandwich.  Add a little horseradish for extra spice.  Serving grilled sausages? – slice the sausage and serve withMalibu.


Ridiculous Smashed Potatoes:  Make your potatoes ahead of time to make it easier to prepare.  Add butter and milk as usual.  Add 8 ounces of cream cheese and a small sour cream.  Salt, pepper and garlic salt to taste.  Smash together.  These are soo ridiculous-no dieting on a ridiculous smashed potato night.


Taco Toppings: shredded cheese, chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce, sliced black olives, avocado,  sour cream.


Cheesy Mac-and-Cheese:  This is my all time favorite-as Mac and cheese is my number one dish in the world.  And this is EASY.  One pound of your favorite pasta.  One large Velvetta.  Large can of diced tomatoes-do not drain.  One stick of butter.  Cook the pasta-al dente- slice velvetta into cubes, slice butter- add all of the ingredients-remember do not drain the diced tomatoes.  Cover with foil-back 350 degrees for about 35 minutes-until the cheese is bubbling.


Best Burgers Ever:  This was on the September menu-and it truly is (according to me) the best way to make a juicy burger.  Put a frozen pat of butter in the middle of your home-made burger-using 80/20 meat.  The butter keeps the meat juicy-I don’t even use ketchup or any condiment anymore-not evenMalibu!  Grill your burger-don’t smash your burger when cooking-takes the entire flavor out.  And you are only supposed to flip once.  In the winter I make in a frying pan-just as delicious. You can make burgers and freeze-then defrost when you need-heat up and the kids will still love. 


 Baby Back Ribs:  You need to buy pork baby back ribs.  The ones that come in the long rack of ribs.  NOT the individual ribs.  Season ribs with Kosher salt-a must have in the house.  Wrap in heavy duty foil and bake on 250 for about 3 hours.  Take out and brush with: Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce.  The original flavor-not honey or any other flavor.  And BTW this is the ONLY BBQ sauce I buy-it is just perfect-according to me and my four children and Greg.   After you coat with BBQ sauce-put back in the oven-covered with the foil and heat until warm. 


Cole Slaw:  Buy the Marie’s Cole Slaw dressing-it is delicious and soo easy.  You will never make home-made again.  Mix with one package of coleslaw mix-the cabbage is already shredded for you and can be found in the salad agile-where all of the bagged salad is.  Make the night before.  Best if is sits over night. 


Brown Sauce: Okay-this is probably one of my favorite sauces ever.  When made correctly it is just delicious.  I kinda wing this so you may have to try this ahead of time.  Two glass jars of au jus sauce-you can find down the gravy aisle.  (This makes the entire process a lot easier.) One beef bouillon cube.  Add a stick of butter, little cooking red wine, little cooking sherry and a little cooking marsala wine.  Seasoned salt to taste, salt pepper.  You can add a little flour to thicken-not too much though-it will get pasty.  Sometimes I add more butter-maybe even a little more marsala wine.  And may need more seasoned salt.  Keep tasting….  I love to add peppercorns-but kids will not like-too spicy. 


 Panini Press:   Well worth the investment.  Sometimes we put burgers on Rye bread and make on the panini press-sooo delicious!


Easy French fries: Bake 475 on cookie sheet.  Cookie sheet should be coated with olive oil.  Bake until crispy. Easy and healthier than frying-although there are not too many healthy items on here.  LOL 


Seasoned Pasta: My kids love this pasta!  Boil pasta in water- you can add chicken bouillon cubes-as I said in the September menu-however-it may be too salty for you.  So you can leave out-because you are adding the Seasoned Salt.  Drain pasta add ½ stick butter-more if you like and seasoned salt to taste.  I make sure that I can see the seasoned salt on the pasta-enough that the pasta is coated-but be sure not to make it too salty. 


Béchamel Sauce: This is also one of my favorite sauces.  It goes with anything according to me.

  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups milk
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Directions In a medium saucepan, heat the butter over medium-low heat until melted. Add the flour and stir until smooth. Over medium heat, cook until the mixture turns a light, golden sandy color, about 6 to 7 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the milk in a separate pan until just about to boil. Add the hot milk to the butter mixture 1 cup at a time, whisking continuously until very smooth. Bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes, stirring constantly, then remove from heat. Season with salt and nutmeg, and set aside until ready to use.  You can add shredded sharp cheese of your choice for extra goodness!

About Kim

My name is Kim Marino and I have been practicing as a licensed speech and language pathologist since 1993. I work on Long Island providing diagnostic evaluations and services to children from birth to age 21. My experience is vast and am proud to say that I work with children that may present with articulation and phonological concerns, oral motor feeding concerns, Down Syndrome feeding, cognitive rehabilitation, auditory processing delays, receptive language delays, cleft palate feeding and sound development and expressive language delays. Most importantly, I am the mother of four amazing children and am happily married to my childhood sweetheart. I feel blessed to have my four children and so lucky to share this journey in life with my husband. I always had it somewhere in my head that I wanted to develop a blog or a website of some sort so that I could provide families with an additional resource....so that parents could help their little ones become a better communicator. And as I was developing this blog....I realized that I also needed to share the stories about my life and my children....and the funny things along the way that help to keep me smiling. Whether you are a working mother or not...finding balance between home, children and life can be a challenge....I hope that my blog helps to bring a smile to your face..and also some tools to help you help your little or big one. I hope you enjoy! Kim
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