Dinner on the Fly

Now that school’s in session again, that means one thing: families on the run. We learned that first hand tonight as baseball season started up again.

My son’s baseball team practices until 5:30 — prime dinner time in our house.  So tonight, by the time practice ended and I was set and ready to start dinner, it was 6pm.  I needed something quick and easy so I could feed the beasts and get them to bed!

My husband asked for fish tonight and, frankly, I’m just tired of salmon.  We eat salmon here all of the time. When I saw sea scallops were on sale today, I thought they were the ticket.

I used this recipe as a basis for our dinner tonight, but with some tweaks (not to be confused with twerks.)  🙂  And if you have 30 minutes or less… this can be your dinner, too.


Pan-Seared Scallops with Herb Butter Sauce

  • 1.5 lbs sea scallops
  • 4 Tbsp butter, divided
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
  • fresh chopped herbs (I used basil, parsley, chives, thyme)
  • 1 tsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 c. dry white wine

Heat a large skillet.  Melt 2 Tbsp butter with 2 Tbsp olive oil.  Sear the scallops for about 3 minutes on each side until they’re cooked through and browned on each side.


Once the scallops have been seared, transfer them and keep them warm on a separate dish.  In the pan, saute butter and garlic.  Add the white wine and lemon juice and let it cook down.  Add the chopped herbs and let simmer for 2-3 minutes.  Serve over the scallops.

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This dinner was rounded out with steamed broccoli and wild rice.  The wild rice was the most time-consuming part of this menu taking about 30 minutes to make.  (I used Zatarains Wild Rice.)  If you make a different side dish, you might save time. (I had considered making orzo or sauteed mushrooms.)

The broccoli was another story.  So fast!  And the reason is my favorite kitchen tool — the Pampered Chef Micro Cooker. I’ve had it longer than I’ve had my husband.  I love it because you can clean your produce in it, drain it, and then steam it perfectly in your microwave in 2 minutes. ImageI

The results???

My husband and I thought this was delicious.  And the kids loved it — our boys really liked it, but actually could have done without the butter sauce.  I get it.  If I wanted to make this healthier, I’d make it without the butter, too. But I’ll definitely make scallops for our family again.  Quick.  Easy.  Dinner is done.

I don’t know about the rest of you… but as we get back into the swing of the school year herein our house, I need a lot of quick-and-easy meals.  Hopefully you’ll find some help from this post.  Maybe you have some suggestions for me.  Let’s get through this school year together!  🙂

Happy eatings!


One If By Land, Two If By Sea

One chicken dinner and two seafood dinners and you have the last three nights for our family.  Some good tests for their pallets!  🙂

Night #1:  A beautiful spring night + efforts to eat healthier = Grilled Salmon and Veggies.  Salmon brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with Italian herbs has always been a hit with our kids.  Admittedly, our 5yo was a little cranky that night and gave us some trouble about eating it.  We served it alongside grilled asparagus, eggplant and zucchini which our 6yo was a little resistant to. But promises of dessert helped smooth it all over and it was a nice dinner when all was said and done.

Night #2:  Dinner out on the town with my parents who were visiting.

ImageOur boys saw mussels on the menu and decided that’s what they wanted.  So they split an order of the Classic Belgium Mussels — prepared in white wine and herbed broth.

I ordered the Thai-style mussels (in a coconut curry broth) and my 3yo daughter couldn’t get enough of them.. preferring them to the mac and cheese she wanted from the kids menu!    Now — I should mention — mussels have been a favorite with our kids for a long time.  So much so, that my 5yo has begged me to buy them while we’re out grocery shopping and I’ve had to learn how to make them.  (they were surprisingly easy!)

Night #3:  Tonight’s dish brought us back on land and was a big hit with everyone in our house.  Baked Lemon Chicken ((http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/baked-lemon-chicken)) served with jasmine rice and steamed snow peas.  YUMMY!!  This will be going into the regular rotation — low-cal, easy, and enjoyed by everyone!  Winner, winner, chicken dinner!!!


So — for those of you keeping score — the past three nights brought three successes.   So far… I’m liking this experiment.  🙂  Hope you are, too!

Happy eating!