Real and Easy Go-To Dinner Recipes

AUTHOR: | POSTED: October 23, 2012 | COMMENTS: 1 Comment

Carolyn Savage

In the spirit of redeeming myself from yesterday’s post about fake cooking, I’m going to give you a few of my favorite “go-to” easy weeknight dinner recipes. 

You see, I do cook.  Five nights a week to be exact.  I will admit that my culinary skills have improved with time, but every once in awhile I serve a dud.   Those nights usually end up with a dessert of frozen pizza.  That being said, ever since the boys started racking up their running training mileage each week I feel a great deal of pressure to put something of substance on the table each night.  Varying my rotation of recipes is challenging as it’s so easy to get stuck in a cooking rut.  Fortunately, the peanut gallery of my three men tend to tell me with no uncertain terms, when it might be time to shake up the variety or retire a recipe.

The recipes below are standards that don’t exactly “wow” my critics but they haven’t been voted off the island yet either.  They are easy and quick requiring very little prep and making very little mess. 

Disclaimer:  I’m no chef and there isn’t a chance under the sun that the Food Network is going to offer me a show.  Please lower your expectations accordingly.


Easy Dinner Recipe #1

Chicken and Noodles


26 oz can of cream of chicken soup

2 29 oz containers of chicken broth

1 10.75 oz can of cream of mushroom soup

1 rotisserie chicken – chopped  (Pull all meat off of bones and chop.  Or you can roast chicken breasts and chop.  Whatever you want!)

2 tsps of garlic powder

2 tsps of onion powder

1 tsp black pepper

1 16 oz pkg of dried egg noodles

1.  Pour everything except noodles in large soup pot.  Bring to a boil. 

2.  Add bag of noodles.

3.  Lower temperature to medium and simmer until noodles are cooked through (about 15 minutes)


TIP # 1 –  This recipe makes a huge batch.  I can serve all of us and freeze the leftovers for a second entire dinner!

TIP#2 –  You can add carrots, peas or any veggie you want.  My family doesn’t care for added veggies to this recipe.  We take a gummie multi-vitamin and call it a day!


Easy Dinner Recipe #2

Vodka Tortellini w/ Sausage

This picture show it with meatballs…another easy option instead of ground sausage!

1 bag of cheese tortellini – frozen or refrigerated

1 tube of Bob Evans Italian Sausage

1 jar of Classico Vodka Pasta Sauce  (You can use whatever brand you like.  We like the Classico brand.)


1.  Fry sausage in frying pan, breaking it up into a ground meat consistency.

2.  Cook tortelline according to pkg. directions.

3.  Drain sausage. 

4. Mix jar of sauce and cooked pasta with sausage.


TIP #1 –  This recipe can be made with any meat you want.  I’ve tried it with cooked chicken, sliced sausage and cooked meatballs and it was fine.

TIP #2 –  You can turn this into a pasta bake by transferring to a 9×13 pan and topping with shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheese.  I never bother unless I’m taking it to someone!


Easy Dinner Recipe #3

Chicken Parmesan



Chicken breasts

1 cup Italian bread crumbs

 1 cup Parmesan cheese –  shredded

1 egg – beaten

3 tbs vegetable oil (for sauteeing)

2 jars Ragu pizza sauce

half a box of spaghetti noodles

Bag of Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

1.  Okay…so technically you are supposed to pound the chicken breasts.  I never do.  I cut them in half to make them thinner if I think they are too thick.  (And they are almost always too thick.)  I don’t like pounding.  It’s violent and loud and no matter what I do, I feel like the chicken juices are shooting all over my kitchen.  Cutting them just seems more civilized.

2. Pour beaten eggs into a shallow dish or bowl. In another shallow dish or bowl, mix together the grated Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs. Dip chicken breasts into beaten egg, then into bread crumb mixture to coat.

3. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add coated chicken and saute for about 8 to 10 minutes each side, or until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear.

4. Pour pizza sauce into a lightly greased 9×13 inch baking dish. Add chicken, then sprinkle mozzarella cheese over each breast, and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until cheese is completely melted.

5.  Cook noodles according to pkg. directions.

Open the oven and it should look like this…

    YOU MUST PLAY THIS VIDEO…it’s inspiring!



Serve over noodles.



Okay…those are three of my stand-bys.  Let me know if you try any of them.  I’d love to hear what you think!


Pottery Barn Give Away Winner Announced!

 Last week I asked readers to share your favorite costume ideas for a $50 Pottery Barn cift certificate.  I’m pleased to report that Iszy won with the comment…

Iszy | October 22nd, 2012 1:45 pm   edit

My favorite costume was from the eighth grade. My mom fashioned it after Wilson from the sitcom Home Improvement. I wore a fisherman’s hat, flannel shirt and carried a huge piece of cardboard that looked like a fence. I just peeked over the top, like Wilson always did. It was the best!

I must say I have a soft spot for Wilson from Home Improvement!  Iszy, please email me your contact information through the “contact Carolyn and Sean” button on the home page and the gift certificate will be in the mail asap!  Happy shopping!   







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