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Wednesday, February 04 2009

Are you planning a special dinner for Valentine's Day? I love to cook special dinners but don't have much time to prep (sound familiar?). I have some 30-minute dinner menu suggestions for you! You really can prepare a special dinner in 30 minutes - Flat!

You will find that I use several cooking methods, mix and match, to put dinner on the table quickly. The foods I use to speed the prep are noted in parenthesis; you can always substitute your favorite made-from-scratch recipes when you have more time. Let's get ready...

Poultry Dinners:

Crab Stuffed Chicken (boneless, skinless chicken)

Pasta with Fresh Vegetables

Crabapple Salad with Pink Mayo (jarred crabapples)

Banana Napoleons (puff pastry, instant banana pudding mix)

Glazed Cornish Hens (microwaved with brown sugar / mustard glaze)

Pecan Stuffing (boxed cornbread stuffing mix)

Dilled Baby Carrots (bagged baby carrots)

Mixed Greens with Cranberries and Citrus (bagged greens, jarred citrus)

Pecan Pie with Whipped Cream (purchased pie, canned whipped cream)

Turkey Breast with Cranberry Glaze (crock pot, canned cranberry sauce)

Roasted Potatoes (microwaved then baked to finish)

Red Pepper and Broccoli Medley (bagged mix)

Pound Cake with Ambrosia (purchased pound cake, jarred fruit)

Beef, Lamb, Pork Dinners:

Steak with Blue Cheese Topper (crumbled blue cheese, Panko bread crumbs)

Baked Potatoes (microwaved then baked to finish)

Caesar Salad (bagged mix)

Grown Up Smores

Lamb Chops with Savory Butter

Rice and Vermicelli Mix (boxed rice mix)

Parslied Carrots (bagged baby carrots)

Beet, Goat Cheese & Walnut Salad (red tip lettuce, canned beets, bottled vinaigrette)

Minted Pears with Ice Cream and Raspberries (canned pear halves)

Asian Stuffed Steaks

Fried Rice (rice mix)

Sesame-Ginger Slaw (bagged slaw mix)

Un-Baked Alaska (purchased pound cake and ice cream, chocolate syrup)

Seafood Dinners:

Surf and Turf (cleaned and deveined shrimp, beef fillets or top sirloin cuts)

New Potatoes

Caesar Salad (bagged salad mix)

Chocolate Eclairs with Strawberries (puff pastry, instant pudding mix, chocolate syrup)

Shrimp Scampi (cleaned and deveined shrimp)



Mandarin Orange Salad (canned mandarin Orange sections)

Strawberries Romanoff

Grilled Salmon with Dill Butter

Long Grain and Wild Rice (boxed mix)

Snow Peas

Tossed Salad (bagged salad greens, jarred dressing)

Lemon Affogato (purchased sorbet)

Vegetarian Dinners:

Linguine Primavera

Watermelon / Raspberry / Strawberry Salad (jarred raspberry vinaigrette)

Fresh Fruit Tart (jarred fruit, purchased pie shell)

Fresh Tomato and Double Cheese Tart (puff pastry)

French Green Beans (canned Frenched green beans)

Pineapple Salad (canned pineapple and mandarin orange sections, bagged baby spinach)

Embellished Chocolate Cookies (prepared cookie dough)

French Onion Soup

Mixed Green Winter Salad (bagged salad greens, jarred dressing)

Cheesecake Filled Pears with Fresh Raspberries (canned pears, instant cheesecake pudding mix)

An appetizer course will make your meal even more special. I like the Easy Elegance party menu for an elegant start to a wonderful meal: brie with mango chutney; smoked salmon with a dill dip; grapes and a green vegetable platter that will go well with the dill dip; water crackers; gourmet olives.

I sincerely hope you have fun with your holiday meal planning and preparation,

Elizabeth Randall and Family

These and other menu and party ideas can be found at

The 30-Minute Menus give you instructions for preparing your complete meal in 30 minutes - flat! Party in a Bag offers ideas for 30-minute appetizer courses or cocktail parties.

MomsMealConnection is designed to help busy moms everywhere prepare meals - family meals, holiday celebrations, and special dinners plus entertaining.

I am the mother of five grown children who are now starting families of their own so to say that I have 'been there, done that' is an understatement! My trick is to plan weekly menus and grocery shop only once per week. I am a firm believer that once-a-week meal planning and grocery shopping saves a lot of time and money! We can all use more of those commodities.

I sincerely hope you have fun with your meal planning and preparation,

Elizabeth Randall and Family

Posted by: Send a Meal AT 11:25 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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