Friday, December 19, 2014

2014 Best Dinners of the Week

I am no Food Network star. Don't get me wrong -- I love to cook, but anything I make isn't gourmet by any means, and often is semi-homemade. The biggest issue I face with cooking is that by the end of a long work day, making dinner is last thing I feel like doing. So we often choose carry out or whatever's easiest from there.

That's why, three years ago, I began sharing recipes on this DIY blog and began referring them to Dinners of the Week. They are truly simple, 30-minute or less recipes that are easy enough for the busiest weeknights. I've compiled a list of my favorite five Dinners of the Week from 2014 below, and the full recipes are contained in the corresponding hyperlinks. I hope that you love them as much as we do!
#5 Spicy Shrimp-Stuffed Potatoes

I make a lot of twice-baked potatoes. They are easy, taste wonderful, and you can stuff them with whatever you have on hand. My favorite from this year were these ones stuffed with shrimp, cheddar cheese, and green chiles. They were light, fluffy, and filling enough to serve as an entire meal. I made a whole batch of these, and they were gone within minutes.


#4 Chili Lime Guacamole Shrimp Tacos

Want a light, fresh, and healthy meal in under 25 minutes? This shrimp soft taco recipe (notice a seafood trend here?) was a serious winner in our home, and I know they will be one in yours, as well. These shrimp are first marinated in fresh lime juice and spices, then grilled and folded into a hot tortilla with freshly-made guacamole and lettuce. One bite and you'll be taken straight back to summer!


#3 Twenty-Minute Marinara Sauce

It's time that we ditch our jars of store-bought pasta sauce and make our own from scratch. I promise that in as little as 20 minutes, you can make your own homemade marinara sauce that will knock your family's socks off. This recipe is simple, uses fresh ingredients, and easy to make on any weeknight. I assure you that it tastes infinitely better than anything you could possibly find in a grocery store.


#2 Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

This certainly isn't a dinner recipe, but it's so good it should be one. It is hands-down the best vanilla ice cream I've ever had, and it can be made at home, either with or without an ice cream maker. Infusing a fresh vanilla bean with a rich and creamy base for the ice cream makes all the difference here. This is truly an iconic American dessert that pairs well with just about everything, including our other favorite dessert recipe from this year -- grilled apricot flambé!


#1 Perfect Grilled Ribs and Rosemary Mashed Potatoes

Evan and I have been grilling ribs since college, and there are few meals that he enjoys more than a plate of juicy, fall-off-the-bone ribs. The trick is to season the ribs well and slow-cook them for several hours over a hot grill. Here is our favorite way to grill up the perfect rack of ribs for a special dinner for two or family barbecue in your own home. We paired these ribs with freshly-made rosemary mashed potatoes and it was the perfect summer meal that everyone would love.


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I can't wait to experiment with additional easy recipes in 2015, and am looking forward to sharing my favorites with you as future Dinners of the Week. Stay tuned for more, and Happy Holidays to you and your family!

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