3 Oven-Baked Dinners to Simplify Your Evenings (and warm up your kitchen!)

Cheesy Chicken Vermicelli recipe
Following the "3 things for dinner" rule:
Cheesy chicken vermicelli, steamed broccoli, and grapes

I know I said I'd be blogging this week. I am so easily distracted, though! It's just too tempting to use my quiet, kids-are-in-bed time for other stuff. I always have grand intentions of "blogging later".

Yesterday, I decided that since I had gone to bed early the night before, I would use Moshe's nap time to blog. Shortly before nap time, I got out my sewing bag to do a quick mending job and the next thing I knew, three children were ready to practice their sewing skills on rag fabric.

I spent the next 2 hours helping thread needles, tying knots, and trying to teach them all how to thread needles and tie knots for themselves. I didn't turn on the computer, but we sure enjoyed our impromptu "sewing class"!

I tell Joshua, "I don't think we ever stop doing 'homeschooling' around here!" Even our "play time" involves some sort of hands-on, real-life learning (and even more so since we canceled Netflix in August, yay!).

But, on to the topic of dinner. I told you I'd share a few of my favorite easy dinners this week. While I love grilled food (and the fact that Joshua grills for us, taking some of the dinner load off me!), I'm actually glad that the weather has turned cool and I've been using the oven.

Dinner time is so much less hectic when the 3-year-old is setting the table, the 1-year-old is hanging onto my legs, the "big boys" are fighting in the living room, and dinner is in the oven. Phew! At least one thing will be done on time! ;)

And how did I get dinner in the oven, anyway? Making easy meals and then using "leftovers" is my shortcut. My plan from last week:

Dinner #1: Oven-roasted chicken. (5 minutes prep! Serve yummy sides so there is leftover meat.)

Dinner #2: Three-cheese baked spaghetti. (Cook 16 ounces of extra pasta; I use thin spaghetti.)

Dinner #3: Cheesy chicken vermicelli. (Use cooked pasta and leftover chicken to make a dish of cheesy chicken vermicelli in about 15 minutes.)

Totally different meals, but all very delicious! :) And they'll all warm up your house if it's chilly like mine is. :)

If that sounds like a lot of cooking to you, remember that you can split up the spaghetti and the vermicelli casseroles into two 9x9-inch square baking dishes (or equivalent) and freeze one for later.

(Don't have enough dishes? I use this method for freezing casseroles and my dishes aren't sitting in the freezer -- plus, it takes up less space!)


I enjoy it when you blog, but the time you take with your kids is far more important. Enjoy them!

These recipes look really good! Especially the roasted chicken! I need to make one soon! Enjoy your day!

I love baked spaghetti! I'm printing this out to try for sure. Thanks!

~Stacy from Stacy Makes Cents

I really love the idea of using leftovers to make other meals! I don't do it often enough! And I really enjoyed last weeks kitchen tip about serving simple meals. It reminds me of a simple meal that my husband always seems to enjoy: cooked chicken breasts, brown rice or millet and a veggie (usually steamed broccoli).
Thanks for all the inspiration!

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