Best Recipes Ever for Back to School


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Recipe Ideas for Back-to-School

It’s that time of year again – back to school for all the children, and back to a routine for the household, right?

Or, goodness gracious, maybe you’re even sending kids off to college – for the first time or for another year!

As we all get back to a routine for the school year, slowly letting go of those care-free summer days, we wanted to share a few recipes (without overloading anyone with too much work to do).

Easy Dinner Recipes

Keep in mind the activities for each day of the week as you plan your meals.  If there will be little turn-around time between school pick-up and evening activities, plan a crockpot meal that day so it will be ready to eat quickly between events.  If you have the night free from additional activity, plan a fun family meal that the kids can help make (think family pizza night or taco night).

Whatever your week holds, laying out a menu plan for the week (even if you don’t stick to it strictly) will help keep everyone fed and prevent the waste of running through the drive-thru.

easy dinner recipe for chicken and rice


One Skillet Gluten-free Orange Beef and Broccoli

Pierogies with Sausage, Peppers and Onion

One Skillet Chicken and Rice Dinner (pictured above)

Crockpot Pepper Steak

Crockpot Italian Chicken with Tomatoes


Snack and School Lunch Recipes

Since it won’t be long before you (or the kids – or both) are tired of seeing sandwiches packed for lunch each day, give some of these creative options a try – either for school lunches or after-school snacks, especially when dinner will be late.

Mexican wrap with chicken, black beans, and corn


Mexican Wrap (pictured above)

Apple Raisin “Sandwiches”

Cracker Sandwiches

Pepperoni, Cheese and Turkey Cracker Sandwich 

Monkey Bite Snacks

Make-Ahead Breakfast Recipes

Well, now that we have dinners and lunch covered, what about breakfast?  We know it is very important to have a good, healthy start to the day, but who has time to put together a big breakfast on a busy school morning?  Right – we thought so.  Here are a few easy ideas, most of which can also be made-ahead the night before to help with the morning rush.

breakfast stuffins, stuffed muffins for breakfast on the go, recipe

Breakfast Stuffins (pictured above)

Make-Ahead Freezer-Friendly Breakfast Burritos

Strawberry Breakfast Yogurt Parfait

Overnight Oatmeal

Crockpot Oatmeal and Apple Breakfast Casserole

Freezer Friendly Pancake Muffins

Now that you are all ready to plan menus and enjoy family meals together, we wish you a happy and successful Back-to-School season!

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Cooking and the Rio 2016 Olympics


Rio 2016 Olympics sky line

Cooking and the Rio 2016 Olympics

While you may not typically think of cooking or food when you think of the Olympic Games, obviously the athletes and participants are eating and enjoying favorite meals.  In addition, the local citizens living in the Olympics city are cooking and enjoying local cuisine throughout the games. (above photo: Michael J – Flickr)

Or maybe some of the local citizens are not able to enjoy consistent, regular meals …. due to difficult circumstances.

International Chefs Cook for the Hungry in Rio

Have you heard about Italian chef Massimo Bottura’s efforts to feed the hungry in Rio during the Olympic and Paralympic games?  He and other chefs, through an effort they call RefettoRio Gastromotiva, are gathering ingredients (that are about to be wasted) from food providers at the Olympic Village.

chefs feed the hungry at Rio 2016 Olympics

Their goal? To produce around 5,000 meals each day, (yes, that’s right – 5,000!) providing much-needed meals for the impoverished residing in that area (above photo cred – Feliks Garcia).

Additionally, after the Rio 2016 Olympic games are over, the effort will continue as a social business, providing vocational training for residents who would like to work in the restaurant industry – servers, cooks, bakers, and others.  What a wonderful way to leave behind a lasting contribution to the hosting country’s community, citizens, and economy.

Now, perhaps you were expecting we would share something you could cook up for yourselves that would be related to the Olympic games.  Not to worry!

Team USA Recipes by Athletes in 2016 Rio Olympics

Interestingly enough, Team USA shares videos and recipes inspired and enjoyed by various athletes competing for Team USA in 2016, in their Cooking with Team USA series.

One of our favorite meals from that series is the Brick Chicken Recipe by Brian Boitano, made with Lex Gillette’s (3x Paralympic Medalist in Track and Field) favorite BBQ flavor (photo cred

Brick Chicken Recipe from Team USA 2016 Rio Olympics

For this recipe, rub down a half split chicken with a spice combination that includes paprika, cayenne, ground mustard, coriander, onion, garlic, and brown sugar – can you say “yum”?

After letting that sit for a couple of hours, you brown one side of the chicken in a large skillet, then flip it over in the skillet, and weight it down (another skillet filled with a brick or teakettle filled with water), before putting in the oven to cook for about 20 minutes.  Then you top it off with a delicious chimichurri sauce (sun-dried tomatoes, red wine vinegar, olive oil, parsley, red bell pepper, …) before serving.

If you were an Olympic athlete, what do you think you would most enjoy cooking and eating?  Do you have any foodie traditions or recipes your family enjoys while watching the Olympic games?

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Must-Have Zucchini Recipes You Will Love


Must Have Zucchini Recipes | Dish Dish Online CookbookZucchini crops are being harvested in abundance, and perhaps you’re looking for some new ideas for cooking up all that fresh zucchini from the garden (or farmer’s market).

This versatile ingredient can be used in many amazing zucchini recipes as main dishes, side dishes, or even sweet breads!

Here are a few zucchini recipes for you and your family to try out this week; discover some new favorites with these ideas.

Beefy Stuffed Zucchini Boats are a fun and fairly simple main dish dinner recipe, a perfect recipe for the kids to help with, too.  Zucchini squashes are filled with an Italian seasoned beefy mixture, topped with a little tomato sauce, and baked to perfection.

beefy stuffed zucchini, easy dinner recipe, diabetic recipe, zucchini recipe

Zucchini Patties combine shredded zucchini, onion, cheese, and baking mix with seasonings (recipe shared by a 4-H member).  Fry them up in a skillet and enjoy a delicious side dish that the kids will love, too.

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Enjoy a vegetarian main dish with this Zucchini Parmigiana baked dish – sliced whole wheat bread, marinara sauce, mozzarella, and zucchini slices, baked in a lasagna style dish.  Yummy!

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Zucchini, Black Beans and Rice make a super easy quick one-skillet meal that’s healthy, filling and delicious.

zucchini, black beans and rice skillet, zucchini recipes

Italian Style Zucchini with Tomatoes is a colorful simple side dish made with cherry tomatoes and zucchini with a little onion, topped off with some shredded Parmesan or mozzarella.

Italian style zucchini with tomatoes, zucchini recipes, vegetarian recipe

Sweet Zucchini Bread with added raisins is a terrific bread to have on hand for snacks or a light dessert.  Make extra loaves and freeze them to thaw and pull out all winter long, enjoying your summer zucchini bounty throughout the year.

zucchini bread with raisins, zucchini recipes

Martian Cookies (so named because of the green flecks from the zucchini) are also filled with oats, walnuts, chocolate chips, and butterscotch chips for a real dessert treat!
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So, what are your favorite zucchini recipes?  Have you tried some of these recipes and enjoyed them?  Please leave us your thoughts in the comments below and tell us about your favorite ways to use zucchini fresh from the garden.

Remember you can add favorite recipes to your free online cookbook account, so you can find them when you want to make them, add the ingredients to your grocery shopping list, and share them easily with friends and family!