rack of ribs baked in oven
Weekly Meal Planning~ Dinner Recipes for the Week

Mealtime is happening around the clock with all of our families home during quarantine, and I wanted to share a few of our family dinners with you. I usually take photos of the recipes, but I am skipping that step on most and just trying to get the recipes to you with hopes it will help a little. If you would like more dinner recipes click here.

1. Ron’s Ribs

rack of ribs baked in oven

Rack of Pork Ribs (or beef ribs)

Bar-b-que Sauce for Ribs

12 oz tomato paste

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

4 tsp salt

2 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/2 cup packed of brown sugar

24 oz. apple cider vinegar

Whisk under low heat

SPICE RUB

1/4 cup brown sugar

2tsp salt

2 cloves garlic diced finely

1/2 to 1 tsp pepper

Pull membrane off back sides of ribs. Cover ribs with the rub. Place ribs on baking sheet and place aluminum foil loosely over top of ribs. Cook at 225 degrees (F) for 9 to 10 hours. 

2. Stuffed Chicken

This recipe is one from my friend Rebecca Lang. Rebecca suggests using ham, but we substitute bacon. Either one is really good!

4 strips of bacon

4 oz. goat cheese, softened

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

4 chicken breasts (with skin)

1 tablespoon olive oil

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 425 degrees (F)

Cook the bacon and crumble.

Combine cheese, lemon juice, and sage in small bowl. Add in crumbled bacon.

Place chicken breasts in baking dish and stuff an even amount of goat cheese mixture under the skin of each chicken breast.

Rub olive oil on top of the skin.

Bake at 425 degrees (F) for 25 minutes, or until skin is browned.

3. Veggie Meatloaf

2-3 carrots

1 small-medium chopped onion

2 ribs of celery

2 cloves garlic

2 lbs. ground beef

2 eggs

3/4 cup oats

1/4 cup milk

1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon thyme

1/2 cup ketchup

DIRECTIONS~

Heat oven to 375 degrees (F).

Place first 4 ingredients in a food processor and finely chop.

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Combine but do not over mix.

In a 9×13 pan lined with foil, shape mixture into a loaf.

Bake 1 hour, 15 mins.

Let stand 5 minutes before cutting.

4. Pork Carnitas

This is my husband’s recipe in his own words…cook this in Crock Pot on low setting.

Pork tenderloin

Add salt, pepper, clove of garlic diced to tenderloin

Add 1/4 cup white wine to pork in Crock Pot.

Cook 6 hours or until meat is done. Cut into smaller pieces during cooking. Shred the pork with forks or knives near end of cooking process. 

CABBAGE SLAW FOR CARNITAS

1/2 head of red cabbage diced finely

Mix ingredients below then stir into cabbage:

1/4 cup mayonnaise 

1/8 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

Crushed red pepper to taste. 

Put cabbage and pork into warmed corn or flour tortillas. (You may want to make a little bit of extra sauce to add to carnita.)

Eat and repeat. 

5. Easy Greek Chicken Thighs

This recipe is quick and tasty! You can use drumsticks and/or thighs. I make it often because of how fast I can make it and how much my kids enjoy it. The recipe is Greek Marinated Chicken from Budget Bytes.

white bowl of soup with sausage tortellini and spinach
Five of Our Easy Family-Favorite Soups

I love a big bowl of soup and often joke that I could live off of soup and dessert. I am sharing five of my favorites with you today- especially because it has been perfect weather for a big bowl of soup lately.

This first soup is one that my friend Nancy served for lunch one day when our kids were toddlers. The kids loved it and so it became a go-to for me. A funny little side note…my niece always thought my sister was saying “Santa Face Soup” and so now my sister makes this each Christmas Eve. 🙂

1. SANTA FE SOUP

Santa Fe Soup Ingredients

1 pound of ground beef

1 medium onion, chopped

1 pkg. Dry ranch style dressing mix (original)

1 pkg. Taco seasoning mix

1 can black beans, undrained

1 can kidney beans, undrained

1 can pinto beans, undrained

1 can petite diced tomatoes, undrained

1 can Rotel tomatoes with lime juice, undrained

1 can white shoepeg corn

1 cup water

Directions:

Brown ground beef and onion in large pot; drain, add remaining ingredients and simmer for 2-3 hours.  Better if prepared the day before serving. 

Garnish with dollop of sour cream or sprinkle with shredded Mexican blend cheese.  Serve with Mexican corn bread or tortilla chips.

Makes about 4-5 quarts.  Freezes very well.

MEXICAN CORN BREAD

Mexican Corn Bread Ingredients

1 package corn bread mix (such as Jiffy)

1 (8 ounce) can cream style corn

1 (3 ounce) can chopped green chilies *

½ cup shredded cheese (Monterrey Jack, Cheddar or Mexican Blend)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine ingredients in medium mixing bowl.  Stir only until ingredients are moist.

Pour into greased (use Pam) 8 inch baking pan. (I use mini-muffin pan)  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched.  (Mini-muffins take about 15 min.) 

* Most chopped green chili cans are 4 ounce; so I measure about half way between ¼ cup and ½ cup in a liquid measuring cup. 

My husband likes soup, but I can tell that he often wants bread to go with it. I switch it up on which bread I put with it, but this Mexican Corn Bread and the frozen Pepperidge Farm 3-Cheese baguette are our typical choices.

2. SAUSAGE AND SPINACH TORTELLINI SOUP

Another friend, Heather, made this soup for me one day (they know I love trying new soups!). I think I sent this recipe out in my newsletter, but I thought it would be nice to have it all in one place. This is one of those recipes that I would have skipped right over because of the sausage. I’m so glad Heather didn’t! It is really good- and my kids love the sausage and tortellini in it. I am linking you to the recipe here >> SAUSAGE AND SPINACH TORTELLINI SOUP Again, I typically serve Pepperidge Farm’s 3-Cheese Bread (from the freezer section) with this soup.

white bowl of soup with sausage tortellini and spinach

3. THE ULTIMATE CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP

If your family prefers something a little less daring and a lot more familiar, I recommend this Chicken Noodle Soup recipe from Taste of Home. I made it recently and it was a really big hit with my kids. Empty bowls all around the table!

BUTTERY BISQUICK MUFFINS

I used to make these in college for my friends and they were always a hit. Now, I’m not saying these are healthy, but they surely are always gone quickly. They are so simple!

2 cups Bisquick

1/2 cup butter (melted)

1 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F)

Mix together all ingredients. Pour into ungreased muffin tins.

Bake at 350 degrees (F) for 15-20 mins.

4. WHITE BEAN CHICKEN CHILI

2-3 cans of Great Northern Beans (drained)

1 onion chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 cloves of garlic (optional)

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons dried oregano

6 cups chicken broth

5 cups chopped cooked chicken breast

12 oz. Mexican Blend shredded cheese

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Directions:

Saute’ onion in hot oil in large soup pot over medium-high heat until clear and tender.

Add garlic, cumin, and oregano and cook for 2 mins., stirring constatly.

Add broth and bring to a boil. Let simmer for about 10 mins.

Add in chopped chicken, beans, 1 cup of cheese, salt and pepper.

Stir well, bring to a boil, and then reduce heat.

Simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes, stirring often.

Before serving, stir in cilantro.

Ladle into bowls and top each serving with remaining cheese. Garnish with cilantro.

5. FETA SHRIMP SOUP

If you would like to serve something with more of a tomato base, this is one of my very favorite soups. Feta Shrimp Soup from Southern Living

I would love to know what you want to try first- and which ones you like best! I am a crazy for soups and so I like a variety of kinds. If you ever have a favorite you would like to share, please send me an email or leave a comment in the comment section.

Stay warm and well-fed!

Cheers,

Lydia xo