What’s for Dinner? Breakfast! Tacos, Pitas, Grilled Tilapia & sausage & peppers

Ever wonder “what am I going to make for dinner?” or think “I hate planning meals”? That is what Bringing Back Dinner is all about. Helping you come up with easy meals to make each week and reminding you of the importance of dinnertime. A chance to build relationships, catch up on the day, share our hearts, and just be. A chance to bring back dinner into our lives.
Each week bringingbackdinner.com reviews 3-5 recipes telling you how long it takes, how hard it was, and gives it a review so that you know how it will turn out and if you want to give it a go while also encouraging you to take advantage of meal time to develop relationship and build memories. Enjoy!

The Process: For a full explanation visit “The Process” page

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 family when gathered around a meal.  Even if you mess it all up.  So, just relax, experiment, and have fun.  Don’t forget to include your friends.

breakfast

This week was a pretty laid back week for meals, pita sandwiches, tacos, etc., but this doesn’t mean its not dinner or that you should feel guilty.  Remember to skip the pre-made meals, for the most part, and use fresh ingredients so that you are still giving your family healthy meals, even if they are simple.  That said, sometimes we just need to grab a mix, I’m not going to judge.  Do what you need to do to make dinner happen so that you can sit down with your friends or family and just enjoy dinner.

The Meals:

Breakfast for Dinner! Sometimes it is just for the fun of it: breakfast dinner

Time: 30-45 Minutes

Ease: Simple

Review: I love breakfast, but I really love breakfast for dinner!  You can make this as simple or complex as you desire!  Personally I used box pancake mix (yep, I admit it.  Sometimes I do!) and added pecans, oats, and wheat germ to beef them up a bit!  So good. When I don’t use a mix from the store I like Alton Browns, which makes a great pancake, plus it is economical to make your own mix.

If you plan breakfast for dinner try waffles, crepes, an omelet bar etc.  Just be creative and have a good time!

Crispy Tacos Picadillo- Martha Stewart Living
tacocrop

Time: 40-45 Minutes

Ease: Simple

Review: I’ve mentioned before that we love tacos! Truth.  We love them almost any way we can get them and never get tired of them.  I have given this recipe before and probably will again.  It is just a good recipe.  Easy to make and the flavors are so much better than a packet.  Don’t be afraid to cook from “scratch”.  You can do it, even if your friends and family do faint.  Give this one a try, you will be glad you did.

Pita Pocket Sandwiches
pita

Remove the meats and make this a Meatless Monday meal!

Time: 10 Minutes

Ease: Simple

Review: One of our favorite quick dinners is Pita Pocket sandwiches.  They are so easy and can be customized per each person’s taste.   I usually set out bowls with chopped lunch meat (your choice), baby spinach, lettuce, red onion, tomato, cheese (sometimes I have several choices) etc.  Set out mayonnaise, mustard, Ranch dressing, and Italian Dressing or your favorite dressings.  To serve place the bowls on the table and let each person build their own.   It is hard to find, but the best dressing, in my opinion, is the Golden Italian dressing from Winn-Dixie.  Remember that a quick meal doesn’t mean you still can’t take a minute to get caught up with each other.  Take the time to ask about each person’s day!  This is fun when you have a crowd.  Invite your friends and have each person bring their favorite salad topping, it will work well in the pita.

Peppers & Onions with Kielbasa – Hubby Makes Dinner!

peppers and sausage

Time: 15-20 minutes

Ease: Simple

Review: Sometimes when I am going to be away during dinner time my husband cooks, he is actually a good cook too!  He and the kids love kielbasa and it is often the dinner of choice.  Here is what to do:

Heat a tsp of oil in a pan and cook sliced kielbasa until lightly browned on each side.  Remove from pan.  Add green peppers and onions to the same pan and cook until tender, it may caramelize a bit which is even better. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Add to pasta, potatoes, etc. and enjoy.  You can jazz this up by adding things like jalapenos, Cajun seasoning etc.

Grilled Tilapia with Lemon Butter, Capers, and Orzo – Bobby Flay

tilapia

Time: 1 Hour 10 Minutes

Ease: Simple

Review: My husband and I recently had a night at home all to ourselves!  We made this dish with a nice glass of wine on fine china.  It was a great night and great dish.  This dish has a lot of flavor and looks complex, but is actually a very easy dish to recreate.  We cooked it on a charcoal grill using a grill pan, the flavor was nice.  My husband made yummy noises the whole meal!  Approve!!  You could also bake this if you don’t have a Grill.

Bringing Back Dinner Tip: Highs and Lows

Looking for a way to find out about each other’s day?  Try asking each person to tell you their highest point of the day and their lowest point of the day.  You will be surprised what you learn.  This works well with friends too.  Really listen to what they have to say.  Be excited over the highs and have compassion over the lows.  It may not seem low to you, but if it was the lowest point of their day it is probably a big deal.

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

Reviews: Peruvian Beef, Chili, Tilapia with Brandied Garlic Sauce & More…

cornbreadI love cornbread, truly I could live on cornbread and sweet tea and be completely happy.  Not healthy, but I’ve been told we can’t have everything!  This week’s meals could have had cornbread as a side dish for every meal, yummmm.  There are many great recipes out there, but I usually follow the directions on the corn meal and I like corn meal from the Guilford Mill or Mabry Mill when possible.  They are so full of flavor! So, please feel free to add cornbread to any meal below and use the best corn meal you can find.

I also rarely add flour to my cornmeal, but this is a preference thing.  It is often more crumbly with just cornmeal, but so good.  Another must and I mean must is a cast iron frying pan.  You must heat the pan with oil in it (we use crisco down here, if not lard) and then pour the mixture in and when you hear it sizzle you will know you you’ve done it right.

This week’s Reviews:

Peruvian Beef Saltado – Ingrid Hoffman

Tilipia with Roasted Potatoes and Brandied Garlic Sauce – Todd Porter and Diane Cu (Food and Wine Magazine)

Hearty Lentil Soup – America’s Test Kitchen (to view recipe a membership is required)  also try sophistimom.com

Pork Satay with Sweet Coconut-Milk Glaze – Kris Yenbamroong (Food and Wine magazine

Chili Con Carne – Nell Newman (venison)

The Process: For a full explanation visit this page

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 family when gathered around a meal.  Even if you mess it all up.  So, just relax, experiment, and have fun.  Don’t forget to include your friends.

The Meals:

Peruvian Beef Saltado – Ingrid Hoffman

peruvian beef

Time: 30 minutes.

Ease: simple

Review: This was an easy and hearty dish.  The flavors are mild and understated, but nice.  Use the leftovers in soft taco shells and jazz it up a little with some hot sauce.

Tilipia with Roasted Potatoes and Brandied Garlic Sauce – Todd Porter and Diane Cu (Food and Wine Magazine)talapia brandy sauce

Time: 1 Hour

Ease: Simple

Review: I am trying to add more fish into our diet and have found it a little harder than I expected to find new flavors.  This was a nice dish with great flavor.  The brandy flavor didn’t come through, but I feel it still added to the total feel and flavor of the dish.

Hearty Lentil Soup – America’s Test Kitchen (to view recipe a membership is required)  also try sophistimom.com

hearty lentil soup

You may also check the recipe out at sophistimom.com

Time: 45 Minutes

Ease: Simple

Review: Note: I used the recipe from the Cook’s Illustrated cookbook.  The recipe is online, but does require a membership to view.  Another option is the link above where sophistimom.com gives the recipe as she has adapted it.

That said, it was an easy soup to make and an all around good, basic soup to keep in your repertoire of soups.  There were options to change the spices which I found nice for the leftovers.  Make it plain to start with and serve the leftovers with things like cardamom, cinnamon, curry etc.  It becomes a whole new dish.

Hint: For the balsamic vinegar try using different types.  I used Honey, ginger, lemon balsamic.  It was a nice touch.

Chili Con Carne – Nell Newman (venison)

venison chili

Time:  1 1/2 hours

Ease: Simple

Review: This is my go to chili recipe, you have seen it before and will probably see it again, but we just love it.  We almost always omit the celery (hubby doesn’t like) and peppers (wifey doesn’t like in chili) and corn (kiddies don’t like in chili) – I know aren’t they difficult! geesh.   This time we used venison.  I often let it cook longer for the flavors or toss it in the crockpot, but found the venison didn’t hold up well with that method so if using ground venison, stick to shorter cooking times.  Make sure to taste it and adjust spices as needed, venison adds a subtle and different flavor-but good.