Treat the family to ginger-beer glazed chicken, a roasted chicken that has an old but updated Southern-style sticky-sweet caramelized coating. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Remove giblets from 1 (5- to 7-pound) whole roasting chicken; place breast-side up in a roasting pan. In a small saucepan, bring one (12-ounce) bottle ginger beer to a boil; continue boiling 10 to 15 minutes or until it is reduced by half. Whisk 1 tablespoon canola oil, 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper into reduced ginger brew. Brush half the mixture over chicken. Stuff 1 sliced lemon into cavity. Cover with foil and roast 45 minutes. Remove foil, brush with remaining ginger beer mixture and continue roasting 1 hour 15 minutes uncovered (or until meat thermometer registers 165 degrees in thickest part of thigh), basting with sticky pan juices every 20 minutes. Remove chicken from pan; let stand 10 minutes. Carve, transfer to serving platter and ladle with more pan juices. Serve with Italian parsley buttered potatoes and a red-tipped lettuce salad. Add whole-grain rolls. For dessert, sliced pound cake topped with strawberries is easy. Plan ahead: Save enough chicken and cake for Monday.
MONDAY (Heat and Eat)
Take advantage of leftover chicken and make chicken with long-grain and wild rice (see recipe). Serve with a lettuce wedge and crusty rolls. For dessert, top the leftover cake with sliced peaches.
Make dinner quick tonight with grilled ham and Swiss cheese sandwiches on rye. Serve with frozen potato wedges and a packaged green salad. Enjoy seasonal chocolate-mint cookies for dessert. Plan ahead: Save enough cookies for Thursday.
Save some bucks with economical chicken chili with black beans and corn. (see recipe). Serve the chili over brown rice. Add a mixed green salad and biscuits. For dessert, pears are low cost.
Skip meat tonight and enjoy this potato-vegetable frittata. In a medium bowl, beat 6 large eggs and 4 egg whites with 1 teaspoon coarse salt. Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium. Add 1 (24-ounce) bag frozen O’Brien potatoes, 2 cups frozen petite green peas and 1 (2-ounce) jar drained chopped pimientos. Cover and cook, turning potatoes occasionally, 8 minutes or just until potatoes start to brown. Reduce heat to medium-low. Pour eggs over vegetables, cover and cook 6 to 8 minutes or until eggs have set. Cut into wedges and serve with salsa. Add a spinach salad and toasted whole-grain English muffins. Bring out the leftover cookies for dessert.
Mention the word “hamburger” and the kids will come running for hamburger soup. In a large nonstick skillet, cook 1 pound lean ground beef 5 minutes on medium or until no longer pink; drain well. Add 4 cups water, 1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes with juice, 3 medium sliced carrots, 2 medium diced potatoes, 1/2 cup sliced celery, 4 beef bouillon cubes, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 15 minutes or until potatoes and vegetables are tender. Add 1 cup frozen green beans. Cover and simmer 15 more minutes or until tender. Serve with a chopped lettuce salad and bread sticks. Buy cupcakes for dessert.
SATURDAY (Easy Entertaining)
tilapia with sherry-mushroom sauce (see recipe) will please any guest. On the side, couscous and asparagus work well. add baguettes. Buy a cheesecake for dessert and top with (drained) canned crushed pineapple.