The Dinner Creations Cookbook by Diane Krause – Review & Giveaway

The Dinner Creations Cookbook

Review Copy

The Dinner Creations Cookbook – Book Review

If you’re like most people, there are probably few things you look forward to more each day than a delicious, home-cooked meal. However, when you’re the chef – you know how challenging it can be to find the time to plan and prepare a variety of delicious meals each day in addition to all the other things you do!

That’s why I’m so excited to introduce you to The Dinner Creations Cookbook by Diane Krause. If you long for the nutrition and nurture that home-cooking brings – but need a hand when it comes to pulling those meals together – this cookbook is for you!

Diane is the former owner of Dinner Creations – a meal assembly business that operated in Friendswood, Texas from 2004 to 2008. The Dinner Creations Cookbook contains more than 130 of Diane’s favorite, family friendly recipes that she gathered from her Dinner Creations days to share with us!

There are several things that I like about this cookbook:

  • All of the recipes in this book are designed for easy preparation.
  • Each recipe contains instructions for cooking and serving, and for making ahead and freezing for your too-busy-to-cook days.
  • Clear instructions for safe defrosting and working with frozen foods are provided.
  • The cookbook is 8 ½ by 11 inches in size. Each recipe is a full page, which makes the instructions easy to see!
  • You’ll find printable freezer labels on Diane’s website!

The Dinner Creations Cookbook contains a wide variety of recipes in the following categories:

  • Breakfast
  • Pasta
  • Poultry
  • Pork
  • Beef
  • Seafood
  • Soup
  • Side Dishes
  • Desserts

All of the recipes are classics your entire family will love.

Two of my favorite recipes in The Dinner Creations Cookbook are the Baked Spaghetti Bolognese and the Back-To-School Oatmeal Bars. As a thank you for stopping by Create With Joy and visiting us on Diane’s Virtual Book Tour, we’re providing copies of both recipes so you can make them for your family before you purchase the book!

If you’re a mom in a busy household, The Dinner Creations Cookbook is definitely a book you will want to add to your cookbook shelf! This cookbook would also be great for working couples and those just learning to cook!

Dinner Creations Cookbook

Recipe 1 – Baked Spaghetti Bologneese

Serves 6-8

1 lb. ground beef
1 1/4 cups prepared marinara sauce
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
9 ounces angel hair pasta (cappellini)
1 1/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/4 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Preheat oven to 375° F. Spray a 9 x 13 baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Cook ground beef in a large skillet until beef is cooked through and no longer pink, breaking up any large pieces. Drain the meat, then return it to the skillet and stir in the marinara sauce and sugar. Set aside.

Cook angel hair pasta according to package directions; drain pasta and rinse with cool water.

To assemble, spread 2 cups meat sauce over the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Top with half of the cooked pasta, then sprinkle over 1/2 cup cheddar and 1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese. Top with 2 cups meat sauce, the remaining pasta, and another 1/2 cup cheddar and 1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese. Cover with the remaining 2 cups meat sauce, then sprinkle over the remaining cheese.

Bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes.

FREEZER PREPARATION: Prepare casserole as directed, omitting the cheese topping. Measure last 1/4 cup of Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses into a plastic sandwich bag; seal. Lay a sheet of deli paper or waxed paper over casserole, then place bag of cheese on top. Seal entire pan well and label.

Recipe 2 – Back-To-School Oatmeal Bars

Yields 24 bars

3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar 1 egg
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 cups quick-cooking oats
3/4 cups chocolate chips, or other flavored chips
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup nuts, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Spray a 9 x 13 baking pan with nonstick cooking spray, or line with foil.

Cream softened butter with sugars.

Add egg and vanilla extract and mix well.

Stir together the flour and baking soda, then add to butter mixture.

Stir in oats, chips and raisins.

Spread batter into prepared pan.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.

Cool in pan, then cut into bars.

FREEZER PREPARATION: Mix batter as directed and spread in pan; do not bake. Cover tightly, label and freeze.

About Diane Krause

Diane Krause

Diane Krause is a Southern girl who began cooking and baking at a very young age. She’s the former owner-operator of Dinner Creations, and still enjoys sharing Jalapeno-Stuffed Chicken and King Ranch Chicken with those she loves. Diane currently works as a freelance writer and editor. She’s the author of a short inspirational book for writers, 25 Ways to Create Classic Characters Readers Will Love, and is currently at work on her second cookbook.

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The Dinner Creations Cookbook Giveaway

Dinner Creations Cookbook Tour

Thank you for joining us for The Dinner Creations Cookbook Virtual Tour!

As part of the festivities, Diane is offering one lucky winner a Cook’s Gift Basket which will include a print copy of The Dinner Creations Cookbook and a variety of other kitchen goodies and culinary treats. To participate, submit your entries through the Rafflecopter form. Please note that this giveaway is being hosted through the Virtual Book Tour Cafe and not through Create With Joy.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author for review purposes. I was not compensated or required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

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50 Responses to “The Dinner Creations Cookbook by Diane Krause – Review & Giveaway”

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  1. Bk Walker says:

    Wonderful review. I love this cookbook too! Thank you for reading and hosting 🙂

  2. A Quiet Corner
    Twitter: IamjpJP

    Thanks for sharing the recipes and the review!…:)JP

  3. Mary Bearden
    Twitter: mmbear5

    I don’t care how it’s fixed as long as it’s seafood, I am in!

    • Create With Joy
      Twitter: CreateWithJoy1

      Mary, I didn’t know you were such a seafood lover!
      There are several Salmon and Tilapia recipes in this book – but the Zesty Oven Barbecued Shrimp and the Southern Crabcakes are what caught my eye!

  4. Katrina Page says:

    My favorite meals changes depending on what day it is. Today, it’s a very specific burrito recipe that I would like to eat for breakfast, lunch AND dinner. So good.

    • Create With Joy
      Twitter: CreateWithJoy1

      I’m like that, Katrina, which is why I have trouble planning meals in advance – I like having a full scale menu to choose from at all times! 🙂
      My husband loves burritos and could live on them around the clock as well!

  5. Teresa Trent says:

    One of my favorite authors on one of my favorite blogs! This is a great cookbook. I made the ziti recipe last week and my family LOVED it.

  6. Diane Krause says:

    Good morning! Thank you so much for hosting me, and featuring my cookbook.

    I’m glad you’ve enjoyed trying out the recipes. When soup weather arrives, be sure to try out the Chicken and Dumplings recipe. If you have cooked chicken on hand, it is super easy to make, and delicious. When we had Dinner Creations open, we literally could not keep enough Chicken and Dumplings on hand — they flew out the door.

    It’s nice to be here, and I look forward to meeting your Create With Joy readers.


    • Create With Joy
      Twitter: CreateWithJoy1

      Thanks for the tip, Diane – I LOVE Chicken and Dumplings but have never made them before, so our recipe is going on my must try list!

      I’m also looking forward to trying ALL of your baked pasta recipes (love pasta! love carbs!) as well as several of your delicious sounding pork recipes (Apple Glazed Pork Chops – Gingered Pork with Peanut Sauce – my stomach is a rumbling!)

      When my husband and I cook, we always try to cook en masse so that we save time and energy (and have good food for a rainy day!)
      I appreciate that your book will support us with that goal and provide us with many wonderful recipes to add try and love!

  7. Georgia Beckman
    Twitter: georgiabeckman1

    Our entire family’s favorite meal is “cube steak in the crock pot”. Brown cube steaks. Put a layer of sliced onions in bottom of crock. (so meat doesn’t stick) Then layer cube steaks, onions & green pepper strips until you run out. Pour a can of diced tomatoes over the top & then 2 jars of brown gravy. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Absolutely delicious. Definitely a comfort food.

  8. Francine Anchondo says:

    my favorite meal is cajun chicken pasta

  9. Michelle @ The True Book Addict
    Twitter: truebookaddict

    My favorite meals are holiday meals, like Thanksgiving, with turkey and dressing and cheesy potatoes and the desserts, of course!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  10. Deb says:

    Sounds like a great cookbook. The oatmeal bars sound delish!

  11. Dorothy Teel says:

    When I need comfort I want chicken and dumplings, it is yummy, when I am down a great meatloaf with mashed potatoes is wonderful and when I feel nostaligic I love to make chipped beef (SOS) on toast.

  12. Alenette says:

    I don’t really have any favorite meal but I love everything my dad cooks!

    Pit Crew Team

  13. Rosey says:

    You’ve made it sound too enticing not to enter. My fave meal is lasagna.

    Thank you for linking to Super Sunday Sync

  14. friederike graedener says:

    My favorite meal is baked cauliflower with Sauce Hollandaise, ham, and baby potatoes

  15. Christina Morley
    Twitter: tinarobmorley

    I usually love Italian food. This looks like a great book to have.

  16. Melissa @ My Recent Favorite books
    Twitter: RecentBooks

    Thanks for sharing the recipes and the Review!
    I love all kinds of crockpot recipes including spaghetti and lasagna! =)

  17. Picking my favorite meal is like picking my favorite book or child for that matter, impossible!! I love anything spicy..Mexican, Indian and Asian foods are my favorite. Of course, every week I just gotta have pizza, fried eggplant pizza is my favorite.

  18. Judy Gregory says:

    anything somebody else cooks. 🙂 my favorite quick and easy meal is chicken spaghetti

  19. Madonna says:

    Lasagna or pizza. I love both

  20. Reta says:

    This cookbook is just what the doctor ordered with all my meetings starting up and less time to cook plus the request for pot luck meals. The idea of freezing meals ahead is a winner; so I’m entering the contest for this cookbook with my fingers crossed.

  21. Theresa @DearCreatives
    Twitter: dearcreatives

    my favorite meal is lasangna! Thanks for the chance & linking up. Drop by to enter my giveaway I have going on now. You’ll love it Ramona! xo Theresa

  22. Gail Williams says:

    I do not have a favorite meal. I am adding more and more veggies to my diet and have found I love them all. I love various cookbooks and the ideas they stimulate.

  23. Beth F
    Twitter: BethFishReads

    I love stocking my freezer so this sounds like a book for me.

  24. My favorite meal is usually breakfast. I am loving Pumpkin Pie Quinoa Flakes!

  25. I love the idea of baked spaghetti. This looks like a great cookbook — I wish I had a bigger freezer.

    • Diane Krause says:

      Col — I’ll just let you know that many of these dishes don’t take up a lot of room in the freezer. While some need to be packaged in baking pans, many of them have the components of the dish packaged in Ziploc bags, which can lay flat and are very stackable.

  26. JoAnn @ Lakeside Musing
    Twitter: lakesidemusing

    Freezing instructions are so helpful… too bad more cookbooks don’t include them.

  27. Diane Krause says:

    It’s been a virtual dinner party here, hasn’t it? Who brought the wine?

  28. Carole says:

    I’m going to look out for this one. Thanks

  29. Making better use of my freezer would really be a big help with coming up with a meal every night.

  30. Cecelia
    Twitter: celialarsen

    I’m always looking for simple dinner recipes, but unfortunately I don’t have much freezer space – I share my kitchen (and fridge!) with two other roommates. I’m sure some of these would be perfect for a weeknight dinner party, though!

    • Create With Joy
      Twitter: CreateWithJoy1

      That’s the beauty of this book Cecelia – both regular and freezer instructions are provided!
      With two other roommates, their probably won’t be much to freeze! 🙂

  31. Tina says:

    This looks like a great cookbook. I would love to add it to my collection. Pass me a plate of baked spaghetti please!


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