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Why This Blog? Meal Ideas & Planning so You Don’t Have to!

Cookbook Haze

Cookbook Haze. Does looking at all your cookbooks make you dizzy?

This week someone asked me “With all the food blogs out there, why yours?”  That is a good question!  There are so many wonderful food blogs out there with great ideas, why do another food blog?  There are several reasons I wanted to do this.  First, I love The Process (see below) and want to help. To me it is relaxing to sit down and plan out the meals we will have.  I scour cookbooks, the internet and magazines looking for the perfect dishes and enjoy it, however, I know many people hate this step, so I search for meal ideas and plan out a menu so you don’t have to!  The second reason is because I enjoy writing it up and taking the photos and in the process I am learning, and I love to learn. A third and unexpected reason is that I also get to meet really interesting people I would never have otherwise met. So, basically it is just plain fun. Lastly I believe relationships have an opportunity to grow around meals and I want to promote this. I’m hear to encourage you, help you, and give suggestions to make meal time easier.

What makes my blog different? One thing that is different about Bringing Back Dinner is the format. I provide reviews of recipes from all over the internet and help you find dishes you may not have stumbled upon otherwise and let you know how it turned out. Another way Bringing Back Dinner is different is the encouragement to slow down, stop for a moment and enjoy a nice meals with friends and family while helping you see that it can be done simply. It is about helping mealtime be less frustrating and more about the time together.  It is about family, friends, less stress, and more fun.

Each week I plan out meals and make and review the recipes and give you the links so that you can make them too.  I let you know how long it took and how it turned out to help you decide if you would like to try it.  Sometimes I add my own original recipes, but the real goal is just to give you a few meals each week so you can answer that question we all hear “What’s for Dinner”.

And that is why I’m here.

1. Sit down, relax and plan 4-5 meals (or pick some meals from here, that’s what this is here for.  I’ll pick so you don’t have to)

2. Make a grocery list and stick to it!!!! This saves time and money

3. Do the shopping-aim for one trip (My British friends will need to make several trips)

4. Bring Back Dinner and enjoy.  Remember that there is such an opportunity to build friendships and strengthen family relationships when gathered around a meal.  Even if you mess it all up.  So, just relax, experiment, and have fun.  Don’t forget to set the table.

The Meals:

Asparagus Mushroom mini lasagna


Time:   1 1/2 Hours

Ease: simple

Review: I have to say I was very surprised.  I made this thinking it would be a good dish and help us stay on our Meatless Monday quest, but didn’t have high hopes for it.  I was wrong.  This dish was awesome and simple to make.  We will have this again!  It would be a beautiful dish for company too.  A+ Eating Well Magazine!

steak with outback seasoning

Time: 15 – 30 Minutes

Ease: Simple

Review:  This is a simple and tasty spice mix and one you probably want to keep in your database (or head).  We had it on pork chops and my daughter made a steak with it this week.  I don’t know if it is really like Outback Steak House’s but it is a nice blend of spices.

Frozen Pizza, because #FoodieChats and Twitter Tempted me!

frozen pizza

Foodie Chats spent a lot of time on Twitter discussing frozen pizza, then others chimed in with all kinds of pizza ideas and well, we just had to do it. Plus, it made for an easy night! Check them out on twitter @foodiechats and join the chat.

Time:  15-30 Minutes depending on type of pizza

Ease: Simple. I mean really, it is frozen pizza!

Review:  I know, I know.  Frozen pizza isn’t a recipe, but it is fine to pull this out every so often.

Shrimp & Green Beans with lemon garlic yogurt over couscous

Time: About 20 Minutes

Ease: Simple

Review:  This recipe comes from Blue Apron a company that provides recipes and the ingredients for meals and ships them to your house.  While I have not subscribed to Blue Apron, I am impressed with some of the recipes.  This recipe was creative and simple and made a beautiful plate of food.  It had a nice mixture of flavors and was kind of fun to make and eat.  Nice job Blue Apron!

Sweet Potato Coconut Curry Soup

Vegetarian, Whole30 and Paleo adaptable (omit chickpeas), 

Speaking of other food blogs, this recipe comes from a great blog called the Minimalist Baker, this is a must check out blog/site!

Time: 50 Minutes

Ease: Simple

Review:  I mentioned before that my daughter is trying the Whole30 diet, in the process she has found some great recipes and gave this one a try.  To make it Whole30 acceptable she omitted the chickpeas.  I think the unexpected side effect of being on the Whole30 Diet is that she is becoming a great cook!  She has made this dish several times already and I don’t blame her, it is wonderful.  Remember, not to judge when you see words like Vegetarian, Paleo etc. It doesn’t mean it has to be some grass like, dirt tasting dish.  I mean after all Mashed potatoes are vegetarian and yum!  Just think to yourself “I don’t care what they call it, they could call it jurasicwholepaleodirt diet food for all I care, it is just plain good!”.

Other meals we had this week were Chicken breasts baked in fat free Italian dressing, just stick them in a baking dish, pour the dressing over the top and bake until done! Simple and yummy! We also had hamburgers one day for lunch and went to Bravo Cucina for a wonderful dinner.  I really like this restaurant, it has a nice atmosphere, good food, and reasonable prices.

Bringing Back Dinner Tip: It isn’t about what you make, it is about connecting.  So, if you only have time or energy for a frozen pizza, don’t stress about it.  Just remember to not let everyone grab pizza and scatter, but sit down together and talk.

What is your favorite quick meal? Reply, Tweet or Facebook us your quick meals to any of the links below.  Use #bringingbackdinner.

If you  make any of the dinners from Bringing Back Dinner share it with us on  InstagramPinterest, Twitter, or Facebook  use #bringinbackdinner

Photos by lwburbach please feel free to contact me for permission to use photos.

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