Janet's Notebook
Easy Dinner Recipes for When You're in a Pinch

Mexican Pizza

You've sat down, figured out what wonderful meals to cook for the family and headed to the market. Suddenly, there's an extra football practice, ballet class ran late or you get stuck at the office late. There goes the whole dinner plan.

I've been there more times than I care to count. While I'm not shuttling kids to practice anymore, there are those days that do not seem to go as I planned. That's why I always have on hand a few easy dinner ideas I can throw together in a pinch.

My pantry is always stocked with a few staple items. Things like pasta, jarred sauces, bags of quick-cook rice, etc. When needed, I can open the pantry and usually throw something together.

I've been keeping Christine Fernandez's (Sarasota, FL) Chicken Alfredo recipe at-the-ready. It's a delicious casserole everyone loves. Christine takes a jarred garlic Parmesan cheese sauce and combines it with cooked rotini and chicken. Mix everything together, dump into a baking dish, place in the oven for a few minutes and you've got a quick and easy dinner.

What's great about this recipe is you can add other ingredients and make it your own. For example, Karyn Sellers (Ypsilanti, MI) added frozen spinach and it "perks [the recipe] up like you would not believe." Elizabeth Tress (Hanover, PA) suggests adding mushrooms or subbing shrimp with the chicken. Both sound great!

Like Millie Johnson (Valley Head, AL), Mexican food is a favorite in my household and Millie's Chicken Fajitas are perfect for a busy day. "This is a quick and delicious dish that your family is sure to love," explains Millie.

I liked the combination of red fajita and Adobo seasonings. It's not too spicy, but very flavorful. Definitely a dish everyone's taste buds can handle. If you don't have chicken in the house, no problem. Substitute pork or beef as Millie suggests - use what you have on hand.

Another recipe you may be able to whip together in no time is Barbara Lentz's (Beulah, MI) Pepperoni Pizza Dogs. Hot dogs, pepperoni, cheese and crescent rolls, what's not to like?!

"My grandkids love these and they are fast and easy to make," says Barbara. It's a great recipe to get the kids involved with making dinner. They'll go crazy for these pepperoni pizza dogs.

Brenda-Lee Barajas' (Watertown, NY) decided not to head to her local taco fast food restaurant and recreated their Mexican Pizza at home. Her family devoured the pizzas! "We all thought we could more than one, do not count on it," jokes Brenda-Lee. "They are very filling."

Delicious and simple to make, your family will start requesting these. Flour tortillas are crisped-up and serve as the base of the pizza. Add beans, beef and, of course, lots of cheese and you've got one delicious pizza. I can't wait to try it again with additional toppings like green chili's, jalapenos, or green onions. Yummy!

If you happen to have some leftover steak from the weekend, consider reinventing the leftovers and making Brenda Savage's (Indianapolis, IN) Steak-n-Cheese Stuffed Biscuits. "These are delicious," shares Brenda. "They have lots of flavor and my family loved them."

They kind of remind me of a Philly cheesesteak inside a biscuit. These are perfect for a quick and easy weeknight meal. FYI, they'd be great at your next tailgate too.

Just because you're running short on time, doesn't mean you need to grab the phone and call for takeout. Try one of these easy weeknight dinner recipes when your meal planning gets pressed. Happy Pinching!

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1 Comment
Colleen Sowa - Oct 11, 2016
Love these collections! xo