Robyn DeHart
Robyn DeHart


family, Food, Historical Romance, Our Books, Robyn DeHart

Yes, this is *another* New Year’s Resolution post…Listen it’s January, what do you expect? One of the things I’ve been struggling with (since we got our girls) is consistently cooking dinner. I don’t even really remember much of the first 6 months, it’s a blur. I was tired. Really, really tired. But hodge-podging meals or going to restaurants isn’t a great plan, not to mention it gets really expensive (resolution #2 – budget living). So I’m getting back to meal planning. I know how to do this. I did it most of the time when we first got married. If I have it planned, written down and the ingredients are already in my house, then I just cook it. Well, most of the time.

And well, cooking most nights of the week also has another benefit – we eat healthier and that’s always on everyone’s resolution list. The Professor isn’t great with left-overs so I try to make meals that are enough for one night or at least freeze well so I can pretend it’s new another night. 🙂 So here’s my meal planning plan, as it were…

* I will write down the meal plan for the week!

* I will use my crock pot at least once a week, sometimes twice a week.

* We will eat breakfast one night a week (eggs, pancakes, french toast, etc.) <– easy and The Professor can make eggs!

* We will have spaghetti once a week (this is one of my family’s favorite meals, its easy and I make homemade sauce)

* I will try new recipes every month so I don’t get burned out

Alright, so here’s where you can help. I love to try new recipes (especially easy ones or crock pot ones) so leave me a recipe suggestion and I’ll pick one reader to win a copy of my latest book, A Little Bit Wicked.

28 thoughts on “What’s for dinner?

  1. Stefanie D says:

    Texan dish with beans and chicken:

    Ingredients (4 people):
    500g chicken breast
    4 tbsp soybean oil
    black pepper
    2 onions
    2 green peppers
    2 sprigs of thyme
    400 g white beans
    1 can kidney beans
    2 bay leaves
    100g sour cream
    4 tbsp ketchup
    100 g of taco shells
    150 g grated cheese

    1. Wash the fillets, pat dry and cut into strips. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a non-stick pan, fry the meat on all sides and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
    2. Peel the onions and cut into thin rings. Clean the peppers, wash them and cut into square pieces. Remove the thyme leaves from the twigs. Preheat the oven to 200 ° C and grease the baking dish with 1 tablespoon of soybean oil.
    3. Heat 1 tbsp of soybean oil in a pan and fry the peppers. Add the white beans, kidney beans and bay leaves and bring to the boil. Remove the bay leaves. Pour the cream and season with ketchup, salt, pepper, paprika and thyme.
    4. Put the fillet strips in the bean mixture and spoon the mixture into the taco shells. Place the stuffed shells close together in the baking dish. Spread the onion rings evenly and sprinkle with cheese. Put about 20 minutes in the oven.

  2. Robyn; I love my slow cooker and living in the UK its hard to get really good bar-b-que–I’m from the South so that means pulled pork. I make it in the slow cooker and its delicious!

    Kathy 🙂

  3. MJ says:

    Here is where Pinterest is your friend. I’ve cooked SO much more since joining and seeing all those yummy recipes!

  4. MJ says:

    Your other friend is crock pot liners. Trust me here.

  5. Laurie G says:

    Please check out Amy Hanten’s website

    “The Cooking Mom”

    She’s a TV newscaster that has her own cooking segments and has an excellent published cookbook,

    Slow Cooker Scalloped Potatoes and Ham- From Amy Hanten The Cooking Mom

    2 to 3 cups diced ham
    8 to 10 medium sized potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
    Salt and pepper
    1 large onion, sliced thin
    3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
    1 can (10.75 ounces) cream of mushroom soup
    1 can (10.75 ounces) cream of celery soup
    1 cup milk
    1/4 teaspoon paprika

    Layer half of the potatoes into a slow cooker that has been sprayed with cooking spray or use a slow cooker liner. Season potatoes with a little salt and pepper. Top with half of the cheese and ham. Repeat with a second layer of potatoes and ham. In a large bowl whisk together soup and milk. Spoon the soup mixture over the top of the potatoes. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and then paprika. Cover and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours until potatoes are tender or on low for 6 to 8 hours.

  6. Laurie G says:


  7. Laurie G says:

    Her website is:

  8. Butternut squash ravioli, bought from the store. Sauce:
    1/2 stick of butter
    2 cups half and half or cream (you can see it’s heart-healthy already)
    2 tablespoons maple syrup
    salt, pepper and thyme to taste.

    Melt the butter, add the cream and syrup, don’t boil, serve over ravioli. So easy, and yet gourmand!

  9. Michelle says:

    Try Sandi Richards cookbooks, or “The Big Cook” which is meant for community kitchen type cooking, but I do it on my own, pre-prepare meals and then it’s so easy to pull them from the freezer in the morning.

    no affiliation with either, just a mom who prefers to not have to spend time in the kitchen every day

  10. Shana Shana says:

    This is going to shock you, but I cooked last night. I am trying! I made Weight Watchers 15-minute Vegetarian Chili. It was great! I only put half the recommended chili pepper, though, because I wanted Baby Galen to eat it. She tried it but stuck with her mac and cheese.

  11. Kathryn in Montreal says:

    I love my crockpot! Two easy recipes:

    1 can cream of mushroom soup
    1 can onion soup
    Stewing beef cubes, trimmed
    Combine and cook on low for 8 hours. Serve over rice or egg noodles. Add a salad and you’re good to go!

    My favourite pulled pork:
    1 boneless pork roast
    1 bottle of your favourite BBQ sauce
    1 onion, chopped
    1 clove garlic, choppped
    Combine onion, garlic and BBQ sauce. Pour over pork in slow cooker. Cook on low 6-8 hours. Remove pork from cooker and pull apart witt 2 forks. Return to coat with sauce. Serve in your favourite crusty loaf/roll with grated cheese and lettuce if desired.

    And if you want to change up your spaghetti, bake it! I sauté 4-5 mild Italian sausages (cut up) with an onion and a clove of garlic (and sometimes chopped green and red peppers). Add your favourite spaghetti sauce, simmer 5 minutes. Boil a pkg (enough for a 9×13 pan) of your favourite shape of pasta. Drain and combine with sausage sauce. Put in pan, cover with grated mozzarella cheese and bake for 20 minutes at 350. (This freezes nicely and makes a hearty lunch the next day too).

  12. CateS says:

    Chuck roast, onions, can of mushroom soup and cook on low for about 6-8 hours.. I really trim the fat off the meat.
    Chuck roast, onions, couple of cans of whole tomatos, some italian seasoning… pull the meat apart and serve as Italian meat sandwiches w/provalone cheese..

  13. I’m not a huge crockpot person because ours leaves a weird taste in the food, but I am a huuuge fan of the super yummy pizza di spaghetti recipe Giada De Laur-whatever has up on the Food Network site. If you make a bunch of extra spaghetti one night, save the leftovers a night or two so Mr. Pickypants doesn’t feel he’s eating leftovers, then cook up the pasta into spaghetti. It’s a wee bit messy (or maybe it’s just me!) but totally worth it. I make it very rarely because I try to stay away from white flour, carbs, blah blah blah, but this is one thing that’s worth no-guilt for a cheat night!

  14. catslady says:

    I love my crockpot. I make all kinds of soups but no real recipe because I just keep adding ingredients until I can’t fit any more in the pot lol. I made cabbage and ham from leftover Christmas dinner but add a can of tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, celery and whatever else pleases you lol. And meat and cream of mushroom soup makes a great meal – just add carrots and potatoes and whatever. I also make a pork loin with a bag of sauerkraut and serve with mashed potatoes and a vegetable – easy lol.

  15. BROOKLYN Ann says:

    Red Beans & Rice
    2 medium onions diced
    2 pieces celery chopped
    1 bunch scallions chopped
    2 tbs minced garlic
    1 green bell pepper chopped
    6-8 cups red beans or kidney beans soaked or canned
    3 bay leaves
    1 tsp thyme
    1 tsp tabasco or cayenne
    salt n’ pepper to taste

    Cook in crock pot until veggies turn to mush. Serve over rice

  16. LilMissMolly says:

    Man cookies:
    2 (8 ounce) cans crescent roll dough
    1 lb bulk sausage
    1Open dough and keeping in one piece as much as possible, place on a cookie sheet, unroll carefully, and pinch all the edges together. Do this for both cans of dough.
    2Open sausage, cut the roll in half, and spread half thinly over both pieces of dough.
    3Roll up the dough lengthwise. Place dough in refrigerator for 30 minutes until firm.
    4Preheat the oven to 375º.
    5Cut rolls into 1/2 inch to 1 inch pieces and place the swirls 1/2 inch apart on the cookie sheets.
    6Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown and sausage is thoroughly cooked.

  17. Here’s a variation on plain old spaghetti that I came up with.

    1 lb. bay scallops (the little ones, which are usually very reasonably priced)
    2-3 strips peppered bacon (I like the uncured kind, but any bacon will do)
    vermicelli/extra thin spaghetti
    1 jar spaghetti sauce (I used Newman’s Own Sockarooni, but you can choose your favorite)

    While cooking spaghetti as directed, saute bacon, starting with cold pan. When bacon is 3/4 cooked, remove from pan. Drain off some bacon fat, but leave about a tablespoon’s worth.

    Saute bay scallops until they’re translucent verging on opaque. Careful not to overcook, or you’ll end up with tough little erasers. 😳

    Drain excess scallop juice, then pour in spaghetti sauce over scallops and heat through.

    Dice bacon and stir in. Serve over drained spaghetti.

  18. Before my son moved to his own house, he started cooking ROASTS in the crock pot. He’d buy a pork loin and put it in the pot with a bunch of seasonings (weird stuff, too – like cinnamon and whatever else struck his fancy) and sometimes a bottle of beer. It’s fantastic! I use salt/pepper/rosemary on pork roast, and on beef, I put salt/pepper/onion powder and garlic powder. Great leftovers, too.

  19. Deb says:

    GRAM’S CASSEROLE (since my gram concocted it)

    1 lb. ground beef, uncooked
    1 c Minute Rice or flavored rice (we like the beef flavor)
    2 cans cream of celery soup
    2 1/2 c milk
    chopped onion, optional
    1 c chopped celery, optional
    salt and pepper

    Mix altogether in a baking dish. Bake at 350* for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Can top with French fried onions or crumbled potato chips 10 minutes before taking out of the oven.

  20. Janie McGaugh says:

    I find the following recipe to be quick and easy:

    Campbell’s® 15-Minute Chicken and Rice Dinner

    • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
    • 1 (10.75 ounce) can Campbell’s® Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup or Campbell’s® Condensed 98% Fat Free Cream of Chicken Soup
    • 1 1/2 cups water
    • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 2 cups uncooked instant white rice*
    • 2 cups fresh or frozen broccoli flowerets

    1. Heat oil in skillet. Cook chicken 10 minutes or until browned. Remove chicken.
    2. Add soup, water, paprika and pepper. Heat to a boil.
    3. Stir in rice and broccoli. Return chicken to pan. Sprinkle additional paprika and pepper over chicken. Cover and cook on low heat 5 minutes or until chicken is done.

    *For a creamier dish, use 1 1/2 cups rice.

  21. Gail says:

    During the winter months, soup is a good choice.

    I have made this one the night before, and put it in the crockpot on low all day . . .or I have also made it in a soup pot for a quick dinner. It is so easy. . . mostly opening some cans!

    Taco Soup

    Brown a pound of hamburger and drain. (You can add a finely chopped onion if your family likes them.
    Place beef in the soup pot with . . .
    1 can of chicken broth
    1 can of petite diced tomatoes (do not drain)
    1 can of chili beans and/or black beans (drain black beans)
    1 can of Rotel (I use mild for my kids)
    1 can of corn
    1/2 package of taco seasoning
    1/2 package of Ranch dressing

    Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for a few minutes.
    Shortly before serving, add some fresh cilantro if you have it on hand.

    Serve with tortilla chips, sour cream and shredded cheese.

  22. Ann s. says:

    I make a casserole that my kids call sausage and breadsticks, it would be another use for leftover spaghetti sauce.
    Brown one pound sweet Italian sausage, I use turkey sausage
    Mix with 2 cups of spaghetti sauce
    Add about one cup of frozen peas.
    Heat to thaw peas.
    Place in oven safe casserole dish and top with Pillsbury bread sticks fron the refrigerated section.
    Bake in 375′ oven until breadsticks are golden, about 15 min.

    Simple and the sweet Italian sausage gives it a great taste.

  23. RobynDeHart RobynDeHart says:

    Wow! Y’all did good. Thanks for all the suggestions.

    And a special shout-out to Shana, I am very proud of you for cooking!

  24. juliana sutanti says:

    my favorite one is fried rice because it’s simple in making and delicious.
    try this recipe:

  25. juliana sutanti says:

    my favorite one is fried rice because it’s simple in making and delicious.
    try this recipe:

  26. Rachael says:

    Crockpots are the best!! Especially this time of year!! I make beef stew, beef stroganoff and chili all in the crockpot! I will admit I cheat and buy the McCormick seasoning packets for slow cookers! The Beef Stroganoff one is great – cook your meat and mushrooms with the seasoning and some water all day – then 1/2 hr before serving you mix in sour cream and let it thicken up. It’s delicious over rice or egg noodles!!

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