Hello, Fellow Chefs! This week has been so busy for me, and that seems to be the case for a lot of people. I was definitely looking to put the E-A-S-Y in this week’s Easy Weekly Dinner Menu.
I signed up to be VP of The Tall One’s PTA this year, which I am mostly happy about but sometimes wonder what I was thinking! If you don’t know, PTAs are NO JOKE. Before I had school-aged kids, I thought parents just did things like chaperoning field trips, helping teachers make copies, or maybe occasionally running a small fundraiser for something special like new band uniforms… I couldn’t have been more wrong!
Now I know that a school’s PTA organizes and pays for so, so much and needs so, so much leadership to get that done. The state gives relatively little money to education, so our school’s budget is almost exclusively used to pay teacher and staff salaries without much left over. That means all the extra programs and services at our delightful elementary school like art, music, dance, garden, literacy support, math enrichment, technology in the classroom, etc. is all paid for by parents and grants (usually written by parents). So, when I say I am going to a PTA board meeting, we aren’t going to be talking about bake sales and bulletin boards. (OK, well maybe those topics have come up…)
That is why I am busy. I’ve been working to manage our school’s family database, set up and maintain the school calendar, and help with school-wide communications (plus some family and home business stuff on top of all that). Somewhere in there I’ve tried to find time to write a few recipes, which brings me to this week’s easy weekly dinner menu:
I am happy to share this list of recipes that are all quick and easy, but some of them are seemingly pretty fancy. Why not knock your family’s socks off with a restaurant-quality meal? Who needs to know that it took little effort on your part? I won’t tell…
- Steak with Pear and Arugula Salad – I mentioned last week that I had a new steak marinade recipe for you, and here it is. It is super easy, and you probably already have all the ingredients on hand. The real star of this dinner is the salad! The glazed pecans sprinkled on top are very easy and would be a great snack on their own. This is an elegant meal that can be on the table in about 30 minutes!
- Layered Chicken Taco Dip – This isn’t what I would call fancy, but it IS good. I shared this recipe a few weeks ago, but I made it again and took new photos this week. I find this dip to be so tasty and satisfying, and since it’s served cold, it’s just as good right out of the refrigerator the next day!
- Mediterranean Pita Pizzas – Who can argue with a beautiful dinner like this that is ready in under 20 minutes? The great thing about this meal is that it’s good served warm or at room temperature, so it’s great for nights when everyone can’t eat at the same time.
- Pesto Pasta Salad with Smoked Salmon and Roasted Asparagus – This is one of my favorite recipes I’ve made lately. I REALLY hope you will try this one! If you can’t find hot smoked salmon, just grill or bake salmon and use that instead.
- Sausage with Peppers and Wilted Greens over Rice – Do you have extra greens left over from the arugula salad? Here’s a perfect way to use them! You can’t beat this meal for easiness, and it is so pretty and colorful too!
- Red Thai Curry with Shrimp – Here’s another restaurant-quality meal that’s ready in under 30 minutes! If you are tired of asparagus after the pasta salad, try fresh green beans in this recipe instead.
- Picnic Dinner – The final easy dinner idea this week isn’t a recipe at all. Serve up cheese, crackers, hummus, bread, sliced fruit, and fresh vegetables and have a fun, casual dinner. It has been so hot here this week, so I was especially happy to have this when it was way too hot to cook!
I’m looking forward to keeping in touch with you!