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Tips from the Kitchen Coach

Posted: August 11, 2009 5:08 p.m.
Updated: August 12, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
With more cooks preparing meals at home, keep­ing dinner ideas fresh, easy and budget-wise can be a bit challenging at times. Jennifer Bushman, author of “The Kitchen Coach” cook­book series, knows this dilemma all too well.

“Many cooks face what I call dinner monotony. People feel stuck with the ‘old standbys’ and have trouble coming up with new ideas — and that’s where I step in,” says Bushman.

The Kitchen Coach recommends making weeknight cooking a pleasure rather than a chore.

Cooks can prepare quick and delicious recipes using high-quality yet affordable and conven­ient foods and by adding a bit of dinner-tainment to the even­ing’s fun. Here are several ideas from the Kitchen Coach:
  •  Spend less time in the kitchen by making a quick one-dish meal in three easy steps — simply grill chicken and vege­tables and serve with prepared Knorr Cheddar Broccoli Rice to create Grilled Chicken & Veggies over Rice. With the extra time saved, you can enjoy dinner and play a board game with the family — and why not consider making it a weekly event and let the kids take turns pick­ing their favorite rice or pasta variety and game of choice?
  • With restaurant-quality food from the freezer section at your fingertips, you can make a night in as delicious as a night out with Bertolli Oven Bake Meals in such varieties as Meat Lasagna Rustica and Stuffed Shells in Scampi Sauce. All you need to do is set the mood by lighting candles and pouring the wine to surprise your loved one.
  • Celebrate a night-in with the family with a new twist on a comfort food favorite. Prepare a perfectly-seasoned Pizza Meat Loaf in no time with go-to ingredients, such as Lipton Recipe Secrets Onion Soup Mix and Ragú Pasta Sauce. Set up the couch and chairs in your family living room to create a “home theater” and enjoy pizza meat loaf, while watching your favorite family flicks.
  • For a quick and fun twist on dinner, create a baked potato bar stocked with savory toppings. Feature spuds toppers, such as shredded cheddar cheese and steamed broccoli, for delicious, added flavor. Add Shedd’s Spread Country Crock Calcium plus Vitamin D for added nutritional benefits. For a no fuss lunch, use the leftover toppings as the base for a grab ’n’ go wrap the kids can enjoy the next day.
  • Spread a blanket in the living room and treat the family to an at-home dinner picnic. Prepare simple sandwiches or wraps like a delicious Avocado Tuna Melt or a chicken and avocado wrap. Try using Hellmann’s Light Mayon­naise, which has the great taste, but half the calories and fat of Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise.

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