Monday, January 13, 2020

Simple Family Dinner Ideas

Happy Monday!  Hope you had a great weekend.  Things look a little different around here.  I've been wanting to give my blog a makeover for a while now.  I had a little pep talk with myself (ha!) and figured out how to update things.  I'm excited for the fresh look in 2020!

I told you'd I would be sharing more content on the blog this year about family and how to establish routines, traditions and family norms.  Today I'm excited to talk to you about

Simple Family Dinners.

We make family dinners top priority and eat together 99% of the time.  It's a constant in our family.

I have come to realize that there are lots of short cuts I can take to get a delicious dinner on the table in 20-30 minutes.  When I hear women talking about spending hours in kitchen just to prep one dinner I am not interested in that strategy.  I have 20-30 minutes (+ a little afternoon prep time if needed), but have no interest cooking for hours every evening.

These meals are ones that my family enjoyed.  My vision for these monthly dinner inspiration posts is to share real meals that we are eating.  The lighting will be whatever I can work with in the moment and these are my real dinner plates.  I cook 5-6 nights a week and I'll plan on sharing our favorite 5-6 each month.

Meal Prep //

I've been meal prepping once a week.  I like to shop and chop on the same day if I can.  However, it doesn't always work out for that to happen.  I sometimes shop one day and then prep fruits and veggies the following day.   My game plan is simple: Wash all fruit and put it in containers that are easy to grab in the fridge.  Everything in our fruit drawer is always washed and ready to eat.  The whole family knows that.  I'll pre chop veggies for salads, sides or dinners.  And hard boil eggs, boil pasta for quick lunches and make sure as many colorful foods are ready to go as possible. We all definitely eat better when I take the time to do this each week.

Mini Tacos //

Sams sells these two packs of chicken and cheese hard shell mini tacos.  They're around $8 for two VERY generous packages in the open refrigerated cases by the meat dept.  It's easily 2 dinners and 2 lunches worth of food for our family.  We all enjoy them.  They bake in 15-20 minutes.  They're the perfect dinner short cut.

I paired them with tons of taco toppings to make them seem a little extra special.  Taking the time to make homemade pico, chopping lettuce, jalapenos, black olives and gathering a buffet of toppings made our dinner feel so fancy.

Pot Roast //

We all love pot roast, but I don't always have time to make one in the crock pot.  I LOVE the Hormel packages of Pork Roast Au Jus.  They're around $5 a package and are very good.  I like to pair them with the Bob Evans Original Mashed Potatoes packages of premade mashed potatoes that sell for $4.50.   They're the perfect short cut to pair with lots of sides.

Pot roast, mashed potatoes, roasted broccoli, fresh fruit and homemade sour dough bread.

I've mentioned a few times that I am learning how to make bread this year and it was fun to add real bread as a side option to this dinner.  That was the time consuming part of this dinner.

Pizza Pasta //

I adapted a recipe that I grew up eating to get this.  I loved it, Kevin liked it and the kids were unsure about it.  They like all the ingredients separately, but weren't sure about them mixed.

Turkey pepperoni, black olives, pepperoncini slices, mini penne pasta and your favorite pasta sauce.  I prepared it all in my electric skillet and served it with a big Italian salad.

Sheet Pan Dinners //

I love these, but tend to forget about them.  We cleaned out all the veggies to come up with this dinner.  I roasted onion, tomatoes, egg plant (we didn't care for it), cauliflower, green peppers, broccoli and green beans.  They got a drizzle of olive oil and Montreal Steak Seasoning.  I paired it with chicken sausage from Aldi that I browned in a skillet on the stove top.  It was really tasty.  I also baked one of those loaves of crusty bread from Kroger.  It was an easy, healthy dinner.  I chopped all the veggies in the afternoon and just popped them into the oven about 30 minutes before dinner time.

My kids enjoyed the roasted green veggies only, a little sausage and the bread.  The adults liked it all.

Eggs //

Eggs are such an easy, filling meal option.  We like egg sandwiches, scrambled eggs and avocado toast.  I use plain guacamole on our favorite toast, add two fried eggs on top plus Aldi's version of the Everything But the Bagel seasoning.  We're also eating lots of clementines and mandarins since they're so affordable this time of year.  My kids really love scrambled eggs with ham and cheese and are learning to enjoy other types of eggs.

 What meals are you making for your family this week?


  1. Love the blog refresh - great job!!! Those mini tacos look amazing and would be nice for a quick lunch at home, too. Yum!

  2. Everything looks delicious! Can I eat at your house?!?!

  3. I thought the blog looked a little different! I love it. I have been in a total rut lately with dinners, so thank you for some fresh ideas. :) Have a good week!

  4. No joke, my mouth is watering now! Thank you for some fresh ideas, friend!

  5. You and I share the same mentality for dinner! I love all these easy meal ideas!
    One "easy button" meal I love to do is "at home chick-fil-a"- i will make chicken patty sandwiches, add ranch and pickle slices on them (just like chick fil a) and make waffle fries and fruit salad. SO easy and such a hit with my kids (and my husband!)


I LOVE hearing from you!! Thanks for taking the time to leave sweet comments; I enjoy reading every one of them.