My top 5 Go-To meals

Being a wife I love to make dinner for our family. Now, only recently I have begun to do dinner every night. At first it was so hard to plan, shop and then cook dinner with a Job. But now that I am home I am able to plan much better and cook.

Now I LOVE to cook. I am constantly watching Food network. Printing off recipes. Getting tips on how to prepare and cook better. And because I love to cook I love to Grocery shop!! I know, I know, sounds crazy, but because I have meal plans and a list of regular things I buy, My nights are so much more enjoyable!!

Besides Milk, eggs, bread and cereal on my regular list, I almost always have ingredients from these meals Just in case I didn’t plan very well for dinner! So I would like to share with you the ones we love.

#1 – Italian chicken – For most families you already now this secret. I always have chicken breast in my freezer. And I always have a bottle of Italian dressing in my cabinet. When I buy bulk chicken I take a few pieces out and put them in a zip lock bag and empty the bottle of dressing in it. You can either stick it in your freezer or in your fridge. Letting it marinade over night is best. Then just cook till done (about an hour) Also, my favorite side dish to go with this is a spinach salad. Spinach, dried cranberries, feta cheese, pecans, and raspberry vinaigrette… YUMM!!

#2 – Salsa chicken – Another chicken recipe that is even easier!!! Chicken and your favorite salsa! We have a pampered Chef stone baking dish, stick the chicken in it, pour salsa all over it (I like to poke the chicken a few times with a fork to get the Salsa in it) Cook for about an hour or 45 minutes at 400 till about the last 10 or 15 minutes then add shredded cheese on top! YUM YUM! So easy. Serve with tortilla chips!

#3 – Ham and cheese Stromboli – Take pizza dough, store bought or home -made (I make my own, it’s cheaper). Roll out into a shape of a  rectangle, add any sandwich cheese first! I use provolone and sharp cheddar. Then layer your meat. I have used ham, mini pepperonis, sausage… anything that sounds good. When layering I try to leave a quarter of an inch or so around the edges to leave room for rolling it up. Then roll everything up long ways and seal the dough up! That step is SUPER  important! Making sure that every crack is closed tightly. I THEN spread oil on top and some seasonings. I use Garlic powder and my Italian Seasoning mix. Cook dough accordingly and WHA-LA you have a GREAT AND SUPER YUMMY Stromboli!!! ( it’s so filling, we never have anything with it)

#4 – Chicken Pesto Pizza – We had this pizza at a restaurant that was in Fort Wayne and feel in love. Then low and behold, the restaurant closes and we started to CRAVE this pizza. Well, it was so so simple that I decided to make it myself! Again, store bought pizza dough (thin is the best, but whatever you use will be yummy), frozen chicken strips, store bought basil pesto (found by the spaghetti sauce), and shredded mozzarella cheese! Pre-cook dough for a few minutes, then layer pesto, chicken and cheese… SO so good!!!! And easy! The restaurant added mushrooms but we’re not a fan so I don’t add them.

#5 – Spaghetti! – I know, your thinking that is super simple. But I have recently been making my “own” sauce and I prefer it over the jar. The trick is not buying a jar, but a CAN of Tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano already in it. ( I buy the brand Red Gold) From there you can add whatever you want to it. I just add tomato sauce to thicken it up and stretch it out so I don’t have to use 2 cans of the tomato mix. I boil Rotini noodles in salted water. Then when done I toss the noodles and sauce and top it with FRESH mozzarella balls, let them melt and serve immediately. And of course you have to have some bread to go along with it 🙂

If you already do some of these recipes or already knew my secrets, you never know, I might have gotten the idea from you! I think it’s so important that families have some go-to meals for those “just in case” days. I may not always have them ALL on hand but I always have at least 2!!

If you have any detailed questions on some of these please ask!! I’d love to share.

SO.. what are YOUR go to meals??? (maybe I can steal a few 😉 )


2 thoughts on “My top 5 Go-To meals

  1. Jennifer Brannies says:

    Doug and Caleb love this:

    Diet Pepsi Chicken

    Servings 4-5

    12 ounce can of Diet Pepsi
    2 cups ketchup
    4-5 boneless chicken breasts (completely thawed)

    Place chicken breasts in a big sauce pan.
    Mix Diet Pepsi and ketchup and pour over chicken. Bring to a boil and cover. Reduce heat and cook for 45 minutes. Remove cover and increase heat to boiling and stir until sauce becomes thick.

    Sauce should be a medium orange/red color. Not light. If it’s light, that means it needs more ketchup.

    Doug’s favorite:

    Sausage Cream Cheese Rollups

    1 lb. sausage
    1 (8oz.) cream cheese, softened
    2 pkg. Pillsbury Crescent Dinner Rolls
    Handful of cut up spinach leaves

    Brown and drain breakfast sausage. Drain grease REALLY well.
    Combine sausage, cream cheese and spinach.
    Place mixture on crescent triangle.
    Roll up Crescents and place on a lightly greased baking sheet.
    Bake 350 about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

    Chicken & Dumplings In a Bag

    1 lg. Reynolds oven cooking bag
    2 tbsp. flour
    1 pkg. chicken gravy mix
    1/4 tsp. garlic
    1 1/2 c. water
    2 med. carrots, sliced
    2 stalks celery, sliced
    6-8 chicken drumsticks
    Seasoned salt & pepper
    1 can (10 oz.) refrigerated biscuits
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Shake flour in cooking bag. Place in a 9 x 13 x 2 inch baking dish. Add gravy mix to garlic powder and water. Squeeze bag to blend ingredients. Place vegetables in bag in a even layer. Sprinkle chicken with seasonings. Place on top of vegetables. Arrange biscuits around chicken. Close bag with tie. Bake until tender. Makes 3-4 servings. Cooking time 50-55 minutes – longer if you use chicken breasts.

  2. Brad Ruggles says:

    We’ve done something similar with the salsa chicken. I especially like it if we can find the Jack’s Peach Salsa. It adds a sweet finish to the chicken that tastes great.

    Our go-to meal? Well, since we buy a half-a-cow once a year or so we usually have hamburger or steaks in our deep-freezer. If we can remember ahead of time we’ll pull out some hamburgers to throw on the grill for later. The trick is trying to remember early enough in the day! 😉

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