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Turkey Meatloaf

Turkey Meatloaf

Ah, meatloaf…the American classic supper!

Despite her desperate five o’clock scramble, my mom – an artist and mother of four — always managed to pull off a mean meatloaf.

I remember her frantically pulling apart a slice or two of bread to make crumbs, and then throwing them into a bowl with an egg, some ketchup, grated onion, and ground beef. And then there was the grated carrot, which qualified as a vegetable (along with the ketchup).

She shaped it into a mound, threw it in the pan, drizzled the top with more ketchup and tossed it into the oven. Phew! Let’s just say her motto was “I’d rather be painting.”

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Meal Plan for October Week 3

Meal Plan for October Wk 3

Welcome to our new series of weekly meal plans! This month, Summer Miller will be sharing with us what meal planning looks like in her house. Summer is a mom, a full-time food writer, and also helps test the fabulous recipes we bring you every week at Simply Recipes.

Life is busy. Leftovers are nice.

Eating leftovers wasn’t at the top of my “to do” list when I was a single 20-something. Now that I’m feeding a family of four, and doing so three times a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, I welcome the opportunity to double up a dish so I can freeze some for later or pack it up for lunches the next day.

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Sesame-Crusted Pork Cutlets with Crispy Shallots

Sesame-Crusted Pork Cutlets with Crispy Shallots

I love these crunchy, sesame-coated pork chops, and placing them the on top of a fresh spinach salad turns them into a complete meal.

I sometimes make an extra chop just to have for lunch the next day. Heaven!

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5 Cookbooks for People Who Always Need More Ideas for Dinner

5 Cookbooks for People Who Need Dinner Ideas

Dinner. It’s an inescapable occurrence, 365 days of the year.

Many of us have our go-to moves when all else fails — template meals that are easy and easily adaptable. Tacos. Egg scrambles. Pasta. Soup. And then there are the nights when it’s more about desperate calls for take-out. (It’s ok. You’re among friends. We understand.)

Yes, dinner. If we don’t plan it properly, it sneaks up on us at 4pm — or, yikes, later! — and we are faced with the perennial question: “What are we eating?”

Because we all get tired of the same-old same-old, I thought I’d share five favorite cookbooks for those of us who could always use more ideas for dinner.

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Pumpkin Gingerbread

Pumpkin Gingerbread

This pumpkin gingerbread is one of our favorite treats for fall!

We almost always have extra pumpkin sitting around this time of year, either puréed and in cans, or fresh. Two of my favorite sweet quick breads are pumpkin bread and gingerbread.

This recipe started as an experiment to combine the two. The result? A tender, richly flavored loaf—spicy, molasses-y, and pumpkin-y. 

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Pot Sticker Stir-Fry

Pot Sticker Stir Fry

I’m always on the hunt for new ways to get a healthy dinner on the table and fresh flavor combinations to keep things interesting. When a cookbook checks both of these boxes, it earns a special place in my heart.

Enter my friend Michelle Tam’s latest release, Ready or Not!: 150+ Make-Ahead, Make-Over, and Make-Now Recipes by Nom Nom Paleo. It’s geared toward all different kinds of meal prep situations — from meals that require some more advanced planning to emergency weeknight dinners.

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Pressure Cooker Saag Tofu (Indian Spinach and Tofu)

Pressure Cooker Saag Tofu

A few weeks ago, I was digging into a meal of saag paneer at one of my favorite Indian restaurants (Zareen’s in Palo Alto!), when it occurred to me that the texture of the soft fresh paneer cheese in the dish was very similar to the texture of extra-firm tofu.

I decided there and then to come up with a vegan riff on this dish so that everyone can enjoy it, even if you’re eating dairy-free.

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Pumpkin Chili

Pumpkin Chili

Pumpkin and chili: two things we all crave every fall. This recipe combines them into one dish. It’s the best of both worlds!

The pumpkin provides some natural sweetness, which plays well with the different spices. If you aren’t able to find fresh pumpkin, then butternut squash, acorn squash, or any other hard squash would be good substitutes.

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Meal Plan for October Week 2

October Wk 2 Meal Plan

Welcome to our new series of weekly meal plans! This month, Summer Miller will be sharing with us what meal planning looks like in her house. Summer is a mom, a full-time food writer, and also helps test the fabulous recipes we bring you every week at Simply Recipes.

Summer is definitively over, and now we find ourselves squarely in the throes of fall. It’s time to trade in our swimsuits for sweatshirts and swap out our grills for slow cookers.

To help you warm up to the cooler temps, I’ve put together some of fall favorites. Most are easy meals you can get on the table in about an hour, and the one that isn’t is a slow cooker recipe where the crockpot does the heavy lifting for you.

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Caramel Apple Monkey Bread

Caramel Apple Monkey Bread

In the category of “Not Terribly Beautiful Baked Goods That Taste Amazing,” this Caramel Apple Monkey Bread is a clear winner!

No, this may not the prettiest dessert in the galaxy, but what it lacks in presentation, it more than makes up for in sticky, gooey, pull-apart deliciousness.

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Chicken Scampi with Angel Hair Pasta

Chicken Scampi with Angel Hair Pasta

Most people associate scampi with shrimp and other shellfish, but guess what? This classic pasta dish works just as well with chicken.

The richness from the butter and olive oil are balanced by the acidity of the lemon juice and white wine. You also get a punch of garlic, a hint of heat from the red pepper flakes, and some freshness from the parsley.

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Meal Plan for October Week 1

October Week 1 Meal Plan

Welcome to our new series of weekly meal plans! This month, Summer Miller will be sharing with us what meal planning looks like in her house. Summer is a mom, a full-time food writer, and also helps test the fabulous recipes we bring you every week at Simply Recipes.

Getting dinner on the table with kids underfoot and work deadlines piling up can seem like an insurmountable challenge at times. I try to keep the weekday dinner insanity to a minimum by committing a little time on the weekend to prep.

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Sous Vide Teriyaki Salmon

Sous Vide Teriyaki Salmon

This post is brought to you in partnership with Joule: Sous Vide by ChefSteps

After cooking salmon sous vide, I am convinced that this is the only way that salmon — and all fish, really — should be cooked. Period. Full stop. Forever and ever. For reasons which will shortly become clear.

But perfectly cooked salmon isn’t the only thing this recipe has going for it. No, the other attraction is that this sous vide recipe makes an outstanding freezer meal.

Having a few of these teriyaki salmon fillets prepped in the freezer and ready to cook sous vide is a lifesaver on nights when other dinner plans go awry.

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Applesauce

Applesauce

Nothing beats the taste of homemade applesauce, and it’s so easy to make! Every year, starting in mid summer with the Gravensteins, and through late fall with Granny Smiths and Fuji apples, my father processes dozens of batches of applesauce from apples picked from his trees.

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Pressure Cooker Chicken Adobo and Rice

Pressure Cooker Chicken Adobo with Rice

This pressure cooker Chicken Adobo and Rice has everything going for it: it’s fast, it’s tasty, and everything cooks together in the same pot!

Make a salad to serve alongside while the pressure cooker does its magic, and you’ll have a complete dinner in less than an hour.

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Shrimp and Artichoke Pasta

Shrimp Artichoke Pasta

A friend of mine introduced me to this Shrimp and Artichoke Pasta recipe years ago and it has become one of my favorite dishes to make for a midweek meal.

Even though it looks like there’s a lot going on—shrimp, artichokes, peas, pesto, pasta—the whole dish can be made in the time it takes to cook the pasta! 

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Sausage Rolls

Sausage Rolls

When I had a houseful of teenagers to feed, I often made this version of pigs in a blanket: fresh sausages wrapped in dough from my local pizzeria, baked until golden and crusty. The kids loved them and when my parents joined us for dinner, they did too.

You have to have one recipe that is practically as easy as ordering pizza, after all. This is mine.

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Grain-Free Apple Honey Cake

Grain Free Apple Cake

This apple cake is ready to celebrate!

With its festive topping of toasted almonds and a honey glaze, this grain-free cake is pretty enough to serve at any gathering, but easy enough to whip together at a moment’s notice.

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Pasta with Butternut Parmesan Sauce

Butternut Parmesan Pasta

One of the best things about fall is the abundance of pumpkins and hardy winter squash. Ever wonder why winter squash is called “winter” squash when it first makes its appearance in the fall?

Perhaps because if stored in a cool place, they’ll last several months, well into winter.

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S’mores Cookies

Chocolate Chip and Marshmallow S'mores Cookies

I had a single unopened sleeve of graham crackers, several assorted packages of chocolate, and half a bag of somewhat stale mini marshmallows, all unearthed from the pantry on a rainy late-summer/early-fall afternoon.

What’s a gal to do but make chocolate and marshmallow S’mores Cookies?

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Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Chili

Shredded Chili Chicken

This slow cooker chicken chili recipe is for those days when you would really like to just throw a bunch of ingredients in a pot, wave a magic wand, and have dinner ready exactly on time. That would be nice, right?!

There’s no magic wand (unfortunately), but thanks to the slow cooker, the rest of this recipe comes pretty darn close to granting that wish.

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Chicken Minestrone with Basil Pesto

Chicken Minestrone with Basil Pesto

You don’t really need a recipe for minestrone, so think of this recipe as more of a guideline.

The key ingredients to this ubiquitous Italian soup are beans, pasta, and tomatoes. Beyond that, you can add whatever vegetables are in season, leftover chicken from another meal, or any number of things.

What’s fresh and in season? What do you have in your crisper drawer or pantry already? Take this recipe and make it your own!

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Dump Cake from Scratch

How to Make Dump Cake from Scratch

I was first introduced to the concept of a dump cake when I was in high school. It quickly became a favorite of my mom’s because it was so easy and convenient – and, of course, everyone loved eating it!

Classic dump cakes, my mom’s included, were made with canned pie filling, a box of dry cake mix, and melted butter. The ingredients were dumped into the pan — fruit first, then cake mix, followed by the melted butter. No mixing; just layer and bake.

The whole thing came out of the oven resembling something between a cobbler and streusel.

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Buffalo Chicken Lasagna

Buffalo Chicken Lasagna

Yes, you read the title of this recipe correctly.

Today, we’re combining two of our favorite foods, buffalo chicken wings and cheesy lasagna, to make the ultimate crowd-pleasing casserole.

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How to Make Easy Refrigerator Pickles

Refrigerator Pickles

Pickle chips are essential for hamburgers and sandwiches. Did you know that you can easily make them yourself at home?

With this method for refrigerator pickles, you don’t need to get out the canning equipment or have any special pickling know-how.

They’re made with a simple brine and pickle in just 24 hours right in the fridge. They’ll keep for up to a month — if they last that long!

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Honey-Mustard Sheet Pan Pork Chops

Honey-Mustard Sheet Pan Pork Chops

Sheet pan recipes are popular for a reason — the simplicity just can’t be beat!

In this iteration, I channel favorite fall flavors by pairing Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes with honey-mustard glazed pork chops.

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4 Tips for Making the Best Cinnamon Rolls Ever

Cinnamon Rolls

In the Midwest where I live, we like to eat cinnamon rolls for dinner alongside a steaming bowl of chili. The combination of sweet and savory satisfy our comfort food requirements for long cold winters.

That being said, we also like cinnamon rolls for breakfast, brunch, bake sales, and other special occasions. When you eat them as often as we do, baking the perfect roll is practically a household requirement.

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Chilled Cucumber Soup

Cucumber Soup

Every year I plant cucumbers in my garden. And every year, my one plant takes over the bed (climbing over trellises put in place for other vegetables) and showers me with a daily supply of lovely cucumbers.

This is all well and good, as long as I remember to pick them daily. As careful as I can be, hunting for cucumbers in the tangle of leaves and vines, I do miss them occasionally, only to discover a monster cuke hiding perfectly camouflaged under a leaf.

Like zucchini, left to their own devices, cucumbers will grow to ginormous proportions, resulting in a thick-skinned, seedy bat.

What do do with extra large cucumbers?

Make cucumber soup!

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BBQ Pulled Chicken Sopes

BBQ Pulled Chicken Sopes

This post is brought to you in partnership with Stubb’s Bar-B-Que

On a sultry summer day, few things hit the spot like good barbecue — especially when you add chipotle, cumin, and tequila to the mix of flavors.

Sopes are thick, bite-sized tortillas shaped with a handy rim for holding in the sauce. Here they get topped with tender pulled chicken and a smoky, spicy, tequila-infused barbecue sauce.

These sopes are the perfect appetizer to serve at a backyard party while the grill is warming up. They’re like the Mexican version of sliders!

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Make-Ahead Skillet Baked Spaghetti

Make-Ahead Baked Spaghetti Skillet Supper

Here’s a great recipe for those days when you leave the house early and won’t be back until dinner time.

Prep this skillet pasta in the morning before you leave – or even the night before — and pop it in the oven when you’re home from work, your kid’s soccer practice, the last beach run of the season, or whatever activities have filled your day.

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Preparing food with heat or fire is an activity unique to humans, and scientists believe the advent of cooking played an important role in human evolution. Most anthropologists believe that cooking fires first developed around 250,000 years ago.

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