Busy cooks know it's a challenge to put a nice meal on the table during a hectic week. Just ask Tonya Michelle Burkhard of Englewood, Florida. "I'm a wife, a mom to two young children and I have a full-time job. I need fast meals, but want my children to know there are other things to eat besides chicken nuggets, cheeseburgers and French fries."

Instead of turning to a drive-thru, Tonya relies on no-fuss recipes. "I make meals that can be done simply, yet offer maximum taste," she explains, and that certainly shows in this go-to menu she's sharing. You'll find it's so quick and tasty, there's no need to order out!

Although it's elegant enough to be from a restaurant, Tonya's Sweet-and-Sour Scallops are filled with homemade flavor. They put a delicious twist on a classic.

"This meal will change your traditional way of serving sweet and sour," she writes. "The scallops are so tender, they practically melt in your mouth."

A side of fragrant Almond Rice is perfect with the scallops and lets you enjoy every drop of the sweet-tangy sauce. "The rice absorbs all the great flavors," says Tanya. "When I serve this, I sprinkle the edges of a large serving platter with fresh parsley, add the Almond Rice and then top that with the scallops. It makes a pretty presentation."

Cap off the meal with a dessert that's just as lovely. With its refreshing orange flavor, Dream Clouds complement the menu's Asian-inspired recipes and satisfy your sweet tooth. "I find this to be a wonderful light treat after a hearty meal," Tanya says.

So the next time your jam-packed schedule leaves you feeling too busy to cook, just remember that some of the best fast food is made right at home!

Here's the plan:

  1. Swirl ice cream and sherbet. Cover bowl and place in freezer.
  2. Prepare rice. While it stands, toast almonds and drain pineapple for the scallops and mandarin oranges for dessert.
  3. Saute the scallops. While they cook, julienne green pepper and chop the onion (or use pre-chopped onion) and tomato.
  4. Finish scallops and rice. Assemble dessert.