perfect sunday dinner ~ gingermen sandwich cookies

Sunday Dinner.  In our family growing up, that translated to “Family Night”.

And I loved it.

All the way down to how my amazingly creative and stylish mother would set the table.

But then she would bring out dinner. “Dinner fit for the Queen” as my dad used to say. (If he wasn’t saying. “You all should come over more often, we never get to eat like this”.  Riiiiiight…..good thing we knew he was kidding!)

When I met Pam and Maggy of Three Many Cooks, I could feel “family” from the first “Hello!”.  I had been reading the Three Many Cooks blog and feeling as though I already knew these awesome women.

But theeeeen I read a post about hotdogs.

And it inspired me to write a post about hot dog buns.

And then Maggy Tweeted, “We’ll be in LA next week, let’s do lunch!”

And I loved them even more. And haven’t looked back since.

(Me and Maggy)

Needless to say, when I received Pam’s newest cookbook Perfect One-Dish Dinners ~ All You Need for Easy Get-Togethers I couldn’t wait to try it!  It’s arranged a little differently than most in that the recipes are grouped as an entire meal, but the beauty is Pam gives you little “Instant Alternatives”.  So when you’re looking at menu for A, B, & C and don’t think you can do A or B, she gives you an easy alternative that wont sacrifice the meal.  I just love that she has done the dinner menu for you! One less thing on my busy mom brain!

So I decided to try out her Chicken Pot Pie Dinner Menu:

Appetizer: Perfect Spinach-Artichoke Dip
Instant Alternative: Smokehouse Almonds

Salad: Mixed Green with Shredded Carrots and Dried Cranberries

Dinner: Chicken Potpie with Green Apples and Cheddar Biscuits

Dessert: Gingermen Sandwich Cookies
(This was actually an “Instant Alternative” for her Chili Dinner, but they sounded too good to pass up!)

Yeaaaaah, you really can’t get mad at this Spinach Artichoke dip.  I almost did my own “Instant Alternative” old faithful Trader Joe’s frozen Spinach Artichoke, but in the end I went for the homemade and am sooooo glad that I did.  It will stay as a favorite in my cookbook and will be made OFTEN.  My babes went crazy for it too! Absolutely delicious. I have never tasted one like it…of course what’s not to like when cream cheese is involved??

Chicken Potpie….it should be renamed, ” Where have you been all my life Potpie?”. I say this because I was more than skeptical of the ingredients.  I was raised on traditional potpie with veggies.  It’s the potpie I cook today and friends and family love.

This is not that potpie.  This has apples and leeks.

You saute them in butter. And well, frankly, butter can make everything taste perfect. Don’t you agree?

I certainly do now if I didn’t before.

I used the kids’ nap time to make all the dishes for dinner. But the one thing  I could not do early was the biscuit topping. So instead I measured out all the dry ingredients, and grated the cheese.  The only thing left to do was add the frozen butter (say what???) and buttermilk.

Now the salad I figured would be the wall flower of the dinner and basically just show up. But oh no! It made it’s presence known!

Pam suggested adding thinly sliced red onion if you wished, and we did, wish that is.  However I’m not a huge fan of onion that “bites”. My sister taught me a trick to soak your red onion in balsamic vinegar and then take the onions out and add to your salad when you’re ready to eat.  Because this salad called for a Balsamic Vinaigrette this was one way to cut out steps.  The salad was prepped in the fridge and I added the “marinated onions” with a splash of olive oil when we sat down for dinner.  YUUUUUUUUM! Salad was a hit!

Not a bad looking dinner huh??  And I made THE ENTIRE dinner while the girls napped!  OK, to be truthful, my 2-1/2 year old decided not to go to sleep, so she was in and out of the kitchen. And my 7 mos old “helped” while I made dessert. So a TASTY, DELICIOUS dinner like this is totally doable for a busy mom!

Every dish was a hit at dinner and will be making a return visit.

(That’s a “Clap-clap, YUM, Mama”. In case you needed translation…)

But now I need to back up.

Piper was my “helper” for dessert.

Piper: “Oh Mama, these look good!”

Me: “Not yet, baby…”

Piper: “Awwwwe, Mama!!!!”

Me: “We need to add a few more ‘scant tablespoons’ to these little men”.

Piper: “Oh that’s a gooood idea, Mama!”

Piper: “Standing ovation, Mama! Yippee!”

My Friends, these are good.

You should make them.


But I warn you….

They may make a 2-1/2 year old witch run wild around the dinner table.

And a 1-1/2 year old dazed and confused cat may ask…

What WAS that Grampa????

And basically I have no words for this….

But I do for this.

Sunday Dinners, Family Nights, or “Hey you, come and eat”.

The name doesn’t matter.

What does matter is that when you get together with family and friends, it’s going to be fun.

It will leave you with wonderful memories (and full bellies if Pam Anderson has anything to do with it!)

I can’t wait to try more of the Pam’s recipes!  The following are a list of friends of Three Many Cooks. We were all invited to share a Sunday dinner with you this Monday.  Check out what everyone did!! I know many on this list ~ amazing people, photographers, foodies, and friends…every post should entertain and show you a little more of Pam’s beautiful and scrumptious book.

*** AND, I would love to share a cookbook with you!  Leave a comment below and tell me what your favorite thing is about a Sunday Dinner.  I’ll pick a random name on Wednesday and send you copy of this fabulous book! ***

Gingermen Sandwich Cookies
Pam Anderson ~
Perfect One-Dish Dinners ~ All You Need for Easy Get-Togethers


2 – 5oz packages Pepperidge Farm Gingermen Homestyle Cookies
6 oz softened cream cheese
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1/4 cup crystallized ginger


Beat cream cheese with butter until smooth and fluffy.  Beat in confectioners sugar and ginger.  Smear a scant tablespoon frosting on one side of 16 gingermen cookies. Top with remaining 16 gingermen. (Cookies can be prepared up to 2 hours ahead of time.  After that, the cookies start to soften, but they are perfectly fine that way too. ~ I agree! We had ours soft!!)

43 thoughts on “perfect sunday dinner ~ gingermen sandwich cookies”

  1. My favorite thing about Sunday dinner is being able to relax with family & friends over deliciously decadent food w/o having to rush around like we do during the work week. It’s the one meal of the week that’s always destined to be absolutely perfect & always finished w/ an extra special dessert to satisfy my sweet tooth. :)

    I would love to win this cookbook — it sounds amazing. Thank you! :)

  2. We make homemade pizza on Sunday. I make the dough while the babe is napping and then everyone makes their own. I love having a tradition to launch into the week with. I love your blog! Thank you for sharing!

  3. Sunday dinners are always not rushed. I love having the time to make the things I want to make for my family and the time to enjoy it with them.

  4. My favorite thing about Sunday dinner is getting together with family…and all of the kids running around and playing. There’s nothing better than being surrounded by family and great food!

    I found your blog through a mutual friend (Stephanie Hopkins). It’s nice to meet you and I look forward to reading more of your blog :)

  5. Wow Shanna, your photos are absolutely amazing…and delicious :D So glad you guys enjoyed the book and your Sunday Supper. You have such a beautiful family. Thank you for participating!! We <3 you :) xoxo

  6. My favorite thing about Sunday dinner is that the whole family knows it will be an awesome dinner and everyone wants to be there! With a large family it sometimes may be the only night we are all home together and we pray, eat and talk. As the mom, it’s my favorite time having all my kids around the table together! Would love a new cookbook! xoxo

  7. I am envious to say that we don’t have a Sunday family tradition but would love to start one! I have always been so envious of those who were taught to cook, but at some point I need to take matters into my own hands. I’ve been building up my courage to try (what am I afraid of, the house burning down??) by reading your site but these photos, those memories being made…I’m finally going to try!!! Heck, there is always fast food if I screw up, right?? Thanks for the encouragement!!!!

  8. Sunday nights are the one night we can sit and enjoy dinner and have a real family conversation. We talk about the week ahead, our goals, thoughts, hopes, whatever comes to mind. We always learn so much about what is going on in our daughter’s life at school when we sit down to Sunday dinner! Thanks so much for a beautiful and inspiring post!

  9. My favorite thing about Sunday dinner is that it is sacred time. We know we will always come together on that day to eat and cook as a family. It’s the perfect way to start a week!

  10. My favorite thing about Sunday dinner is having everyone together in one place and being able to talk and share some real time together enjoying good food and each other.

  11. Sunday’s are also our family dinner night. It’s a great way to end the week and we all enjoy relaxing and enjoying each others company around yummy food.
    I’m always looking for new recipes. This cookbook looks great!

  12. We always had Sunday dinners growing up too and my favorite part as a kid was that there was always dessert :) heehee. Now I’m grown and while it’s just me I still always cook dinner on Sunday… just something comforting about ending the weekend and getting ready for the week ahead with a home cooked meal.

  13. My favorite thing about Sunday dinner is that it is the one meal of the week that my husband actually cooks!

  14. I like having all day to prepare Sunday dinner. I have been thinking recently about including more extended family too!

  15. Sunday dinners are about good homemade food, good conversation, good people and having it all under one roof for a few hours before we start another busy week. They just make you feel good.

  16. Sundays are always our big meal days from breakfast to dinner. There’s nothing like taking it easy and enjoying food all day with family. I loved seeing your cute little monkeys having such a great time. My guys are going to have a blast making those cookies. Great post!

  17. My favorite thing about Sunday dinners is that my husband and I are creating a tradition for our baby girl! When she looks back on her childhood, we want Sunday dinners to be a strong and happy memory. Even though I am not a good (or maybe just a lazy) cook, I am trying hard to make new things. Thanks for the great post!!

  18. what’s not to love about sunday dinners?! i love when the whole family, my mom, dad and brothers can join us. we all help, cook and clean and drive my husband crazy! fun-fun!

  19. I have read about this cookbook on more than one blog and it sounds amazing. How about that potpie! I do a chicken potpie that my family loves, but it would be fun to shake it up a bit. I have 7 kids so one dish meals are good for us!

  20. My favorite part about Sunday dinners is taking the time to cook and having my husband help. We take Sundays to try out new recipes. It’s fun to spend time in the kitchen together. This cookbook sounds great!

  21. Sunday is the night before my husband leaves for yet another week of travel. So, it’s our last night as a family and gives us time to connect before Daddy boards another plane. I especially love Sunday dinners in the fall and winter because I tend to make warm, comforting food that I hope my husband remembers throughout the week, because frankly I don’t know if I’d be in a hurry to rush home to our chaotic and loud home. :)

  22. Sunday Dinner is a great way to begin a new week, together in the comfort of your own home, sharing good food, before having to face whatever each week throws at each individual of the family at school or work. Bit like refocusing each week.

  23. The gingermen sandwich cookies, the kids. Perfect. I want to be a guest at your dinner table, but only after you bring all those cuties over to mine.

  24. My favorite part of Sunday dinner is the ease that you can cook with. My husband can watch the kids while I am able to cook in the kitchen by myself. There is something serene about cooking in the kitchen while my husband watches the kids. Finally we can sit down as a family to a home cooked meal.

  25. Everything looks yummy!! My mom had a Sunday tradition to make pot roast with carrots and potatoes. I don’t have one yet….but I promise to work on it. :) Nothing better then a good meal and family to share it with.

  26. Hope I am not too late!!

    I think that cookbook sounds amazing and can’t wait to get it (because I will go buy one if I don’t win). My fave part of Sunday dinners is that is the day that I have an extra hand around the house and I can try out a new dish or do something a little more detailed then our everyday fare. We also get to eat as a family which is a very rare occurance due to scheduling difficulty.

  27. Sunday dinners are when my college sons squeeze in time to come home and re-connect with family (food, extra laundry help, football)! It’s my favorite time!

  28. It’s not Sunday, but I’m excited to serve these cookies to friends tonight, along with spicy peanut pasta (with chicken, broccoli and snow peas) and smitten kitchen’s napa cabbage salad with buttermilk dressing. I was inspired enough by your and others’ posts on Pam’s book to order it from Amazon. Can’t wait for it to arrive!

  29. As a full-time working mom, Sunday dinners mean so much!! It means casual, relaxed night with my favorite guy and a sweet 3 year old…….. It doesn’t get much better than that!

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