Family and Consumer Sciences Day, For the Love of FACS, Reading in the FACS Classroom, Save FACS

Fast & Easy Lasagna

Everyday lasagna 2 Dining In logo

Everyday Lasagna is the next recipe in my collection of Favorite Weeknight Dinners.  I made this yummy dish last night and, as always, it was a huge hit!  It takes about 15 minutes to assemble—not a bad investment of time for such incredible results!  The baking time of 55 minutes total leaves a nice period of down time for relaxing or (sigh) grading papers.  Add a simple salad and some garlic bread to this main dish and you’re set!  Enjoy!

Everyday Lasagna

1 pound lean ground beef
4 cups tomato-basil pasta sauce
6 uncooked lasagna noodles
1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese
2 ½ cups (10 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese

¼ cup hot water


1.    Preheat oven to 375° F.

2.    Lightly grease an 11 x 7-inch baking dish. 

3.    Cook beef in large skillet over medium heat, stirring until it crumbles and is no longer pink; drain.

4.    Stir in pasta sauce.

5.    Spread one-third of meat sauce in baking dish.  Layer with 3 noodles and half each of ricotta and mozzarella cheeses.

6.    Repeat procedure; spread final one-third meat sauce over mozzarella cheese.

7.    Slowly pour ¼ cup hot water around edge of dish.

8.    Cover tightly with 2 layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil.

9.    Bake for 45 minutes; uncover and bake 10 minutes more.

10.    Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Yield:    6 to 8 servings

This recipe is featured in Four Course FACS, our FACS literacy resource based on the young adult novel Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous.

Children and Families, Family and Consumer Sciences Day, For the Love of FACS, Save FACS

Easy, Elegant Monday Night Dinner!

IMG_0488 Dining In logo

I hope you have already committed to be a part of the “Dining In” for Healthy Families initiative sponsored by AAFCS in celebration of Family & Consumer Sciences Day, December 3.  If you haven’t already signed up or if you need more information, click the logo above. 

The dinner recipe I prepared last night, Chicken Dijonaisse,  sounds fancy but it’s very quick and easy to make.  Did I mention that it’s also delicious?  I served it with fresh green beans and tomatoes (purchased from the farmer’s market on Saturday) and half of a baked potato!  I shared the other half with my husband BTW!

Chicken Dijonnaise

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 1 ¼ to 1 ½ lb.)
¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons chopped green onion
½ cup fat free Half & Half
3 tablespoons dry white wine or chicken broth
3 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard

Fresh thyme (optional)


1.    Place each chicken breast half between two pieces of plastic wrap.  Using the flat side of a meat mallet, lightly pound chicken to ¼ to ⅛-inch thickness.  Discard plastic wrap.

2.    In a shallow dish, combine flour and pepper.  Coat chicken pieces with flour mixture.

3.    In a 12-inch skillet, melt butter over medium heat.  Add chicken to skillet.

4.    Cook about 6 minutes or until no pick remains in the chicken, turning once.  Transfer chicken to a platter, reserving dripping in skillet.  Cover to keep warm.

5.    For sauce, add green onion to the drippings in the skillet.  Cook and stir over medium het for 1 to 2 minutes or until tender.

6.    Stir in Half and Half, white wine, and mustard.

7.    Cook and stir for 1 to 2 minutes of until smooth and slightly thickened.

8.    Spoon sauce over chicken.  If desired, garnish with fresh thyme.

Yield:    4 servings

Nutritional Facts

One serving contains 298 calories, 16 g fat, 110 mg cholesterol, 8 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 28 g protein, 208 mg sodium

Hope you give this recipe a try!  I think it will be a real hit with your family!


Children and Families, Family and Consumer Sciences Day, For the Love of FACS, Save FACS

Easy Weeknight Dinner

Dining In logo Cinnamon Apple Pork Chops 2

Have you committed to participate in the AAFCS “Dining In” For Healthy Families event December 3?  It’s easy to register and do something tangible to promote Family and Consumer Sciences Day and healthy eating.  Help AAFCS double the participation from last year and reach their goal of 200,000 families preparing and serving a healthy dinner to their families. 

To help you plan an easy and delicious dinner on December 3, I’m sharing some of my favorite dinner recipes.  Last night I made Cinnamon Apple Pork Chops.  Give this yummy recipe a try this weekend.  I think it will become one of your family favorites, too!

Cinnamon-Apple Pork Chops

2 tablespoons butter, divided
4 boneless pork loin chops (4 ounces each)
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
4 medium tart apples, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped pecans


1.    In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat.

2.    Add pork chops; cook 4 to 5 minutes of each side or until a thermometer reads 145° F.

3.    Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.

4.    Remove chops; keep warm. 

5.    Add apples, pecans, brown sugar mixture and remaining butter to pan; cook and stir until apples are tender.

6.    Serve chops with sauce.

Yield:    4 servings

Nutritional Facts
1pork chop with ⅔ cup apple mixture equals 316 calories, 12 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 62 mg cholesterol, 232 mg sodium, 31 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 22 g protein.

Have a great weekend, Everyone!