Easy Dinner Recipes

By / Food / December 1st, 2010 / 1

I hate to draw your attention to this, but have you noticed how all the stores have already started hauling out the Christmas stuff? Decorative plates, ornaments, snowflake-themed serviettes? Too soon for all that, don’t you think? Then again, that boy scout wisdom, “be prepared”, rings clear and true at this time of year. Very soon, the end-of-year parties will begin, and your social calendar will be filled with reminders of this casual get-together or that formal cocktail party. Maybe you’re even planning one of your own.

Preparing for all of these parties might leave you in a bit of a time crunch when it comes to dinnertime. No worries. I’ve compiled a few quick and easy dinner recipes that are as comforting at the end of a hectic day as they are appropriate for a dinner party. Do you need a quick meal for next week’s potluck or a cake recipe for the staff party? How about a delicious cookie recipe that will have you looking forward to that annual cookie exchange?

Be prepared. Everyone will be asking you for these recipes. Quick, easy, delicious … those, my friends, are the watchwords of the season. Here’s another trick – use spices, a lot. Don’t use too much in one dish; a pinch here and there is really what you’re after. If there’s spice in all (or, at least, most) of your recipes, you’ll find that your’s will be the most popular dishes. No one really enjoys eating bland food, and if you’re worried about too much salt and fat, spices like cinnamon, cardamon, ginger and turmeric really satisfy.

Indian-inspired chicken recipes are easy and tasty. Serve over steamed rice with a simple salad for a healthy and complete meal. For an original hostess gift, attach a copy of the recipe to a box of Brandy Cookies. The Applesauce Coffee Cake recipe comes together very quickly and easily. Serve with a dusting of icing sugar and a cup of fresh, hot espresso.

Butter Chicken
Serves 4

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed

2 tbsp vegetable oil

2 tbsp butter

2/3 cup diced onion

4 tbsp masala seasoning

1 can diced tomatoes

1/3 cup plain yogurt

Brown chicken in vegetable oil; remove. Stir-fry onions in butter until golden. Add masala seasoning, tomato and yogurt. Simmer 10 minutes. Return chicken to pan. Simmer 5 minutes. Serve over basmati rice.

Brandy Cookies
Makes about two dozen

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup dark molasses

1/2 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp grated lemon or orange rind

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 tsp brandy

1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Stir butter, sugar, molasses, ginger, cinnamon and lemon or orange rind over low heat until warmed through and well combined.

2. Remove from heat and add flour and brandy. Roll into 3/4-inch balls, then flatten to about 1/4-inch thickness.

3. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for about 12 minutes. Remove pan from oven and let cookies cool for a minute or two. Using a flat spatula, lift cookies off pan and lay them onto a rack to cool completely.


Applesauce Coffee Cake
Serves 10

Cake recipe courtesy of Clubhouse Spices.

1-1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 cup ground almonds

1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon extract

1/4 cup applesauce

2 eggs

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 8 inch square pan; set aside. Sift together flour, salt and baking soda. Mix in almonds; set aside.

2. Cream together butter, brown sugar and cinnamon extract. Add applesauce and eggs; beat well. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, mixing well after each addition. Pour into prepared pan and bake 35-40 minutes. Let cool.


Rosemary Mantini has always loved words. When she isn't working as the Associate Editor at Tidings Magazine, she's helping others achieve their writing dreams, and sometimes she even relaxes with a good book and a glass of wine.

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