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.

Soon.

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! ***

DadCooksDinner.com
RecipeGirl.com
ArtofGlutenFreeBaking.com
KitchenGadgetGirl.com
MyBakingAddiction.com
Wenderly.com
BluebonnetsandBrownies.com
TheSensitivePantry.com
WhatsCookingBlog.com
TwoPeasandTheirPod.com
WhatsGabyCooking.com
Bellalimento.com
SmithBites.com
MyFavoriteEverything.com
FoodForMyFamily.com
SavoringTheThyme.com
Ivoryhut.com
DineAndDish.net
GlutenFreeGirl
Picky-Palate.com
TickledRed
SheWearsManyHats.com
WhatWereEating.com
ThisWeekForDinner.com
SugarCrafter.net
GoodLifeEats.com
LaFujiMama.com
HowTo-Simplify.com
RookieMoms.com
TLCSteamyKitchen.com
LaPommedePortland.com

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

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

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!!)