What to have for dinner tonight

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Pasta dinners are quick and delicious for dinner any night
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With our help, you'll have plenty of ideas on what to make for dinner tonight!

Getting dinner on the table seems to be an impossible task sometimes: getting in from work, picking up kids or friends at other places and then getting home to a kitchen where dishes aren’t fully washed and everything is frozen.

Have no fear, the following guide will help you discover how to be prepared to take any weeknight dinner and make it exceptional with a few ingredients, preparation and organization.

Ask any chef what is the first thing you should have in your kitchen and he or she will respond with: organization. “Mise en Place”, the French terminology, simply means to be prepared and everything in its place! To know what’s for dinner each and every night, starts with stocking your pantry with the essentials; items that will quickly solve the meal issue and will rescue you from those moments you just need sustenance.

What’s in a well-stocked pantry?

Canned Food: whole tomatoes, tomato sauce, pizza sauce, canned beans (red beans, pinto beans, chickpeas, lentils), salmon, tuna, chicken broth, beef stock

Pastas: short and long varieties, plus some instant pasta that include the sauce

Grains: white and brown rice, couscous, polenta, quinoa, bulgur wheat

Spices and Herbs: pepper, salt, paprika, curry, red chili flakes, bay leaves, cinnamon, nutmeg

Condiments and More: olive oil, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, honey, mustards and ketchups

What’s inside a stocked freezer?

(This all depends if your family eats or doesn’t eat certain meats or meat at all, so adapt to each family.)

Beef: ground beef, stew cubes, bacon

Pork: pork chops, ground pork

Chicken: drumsticks, boneless chicken breasts, whole

Fish: filets, fish sticks (for the kids)


Produce: what to buy, when to buy!

·         Buy what’s in season and whatever is harvested closest to you

·         Buy organic anytime you can

·         If you have a green thumb, try growing your favorite vegetables

·         Try new vegetables and fruits every week and buy a colorful array of them


Where to get inspired for dinner tonight?

Searching for recipes can get tiring, specially if you are looking through cookbooks. Get online! If you’re on Twitter, ask around if anyone has an idea on what to cook with X and Y ingredients. (These will come from your well-stocked pantry, freezer and produce basket!)

Check out food blogs and see what they are cooking for weeknights!

Enjoy the recipe below for a quick and delicious meal.

Smoked Pork and Mushroom Spaghetti
(Recipe Courtesy of: Cooking with Books)

2 smoked pork chops, cut into medium chunks
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 large carrot, diced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup dried mushrooms, re-hydrated (save this water!)

1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup of milk with 1 tablespoon cornstarch (slurry)

1/2 pound of spaghetti
salt and pepper to taste


   1. In a HOT saute pan, throw in the pork and sear, rendering some fat. Add carrots, peppers, onions, celery, garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook until carrots have lost a little of their crunch, but not all.
   2. Throw pasta in large pot of salted, boiling water. Cook until al dente and remove from water.
   3. Add milk and slurry into saute pan with pork and veggies. Cook over fire until thicken and then add mushroom water (umami!). Reduce heat, simmer so flavors steep into sauce.
   4. Toss pasta with sauce and serve with a sprinkling of freshly cracked pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.

Buon Appetito! This what to have for dinner tonight!


Cooking with Books
The Prudent Homemaker

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