When your spouse works far from home during the week, time with him or her is precious, as Cassie Gourley of Prescott Valley, AZ knows all too well. "Howard, my husband, lives at the Grand Canyon for his job most days of the week," she says. "I like to cook for him when he's home, but I want to spend more time with him than in the kitchen."

To prepare hearty meals and still cut prep time, Cassie relies on her slow cooker and rice cooker. "I also look for quick recipes, like those in Simple & Delicious," she says.

One of her favorite go-to menus originally came from an Italian restaurant in Ohio. "When we moved to Arizona, I had to find a way to duplicate this delicious dinner. Little did I know how simple and economical it was! Hands down, it's my husband's absolute favorite meal. In fact, when my brother lived down the street, he often asked me to make it when he came over to eat."

We can see why! Creamy Tomato Shrimp with Penne looks and tastes like it's meant for festive occasions but only takes 20 minutes to make. "People love its flavor and think it's complicated, but jarred sauces make it so fast."

An entree this special is best paired with an easy, yet well-flavored side, and that's just what you get with Cassie's Pea Pods and Peppers. "I make this about once a month. It's a modification on a recipe I found in a cookbook."

Although the name might not sound fancy, Mud Pies are a delightful way to cap off this showstopping menu. "I had seen recipes that used premade individual pie crusts and ice cream, and then one day just made up this combination. I love that it doesn't require any baking."

Thanks to Cassie's focus on time-saving recipes and creativity in the kitchen, you, too, can savor a wonderful meal and enjoy some extra time with the ones you love!


Here's the Plan:

  1. Cook pasta and spoon hazelnut spread into tart shells for desserts.
  2. Saute shrimp.
  3. Saute Peapod mixture and finish shrimp dish.
  4. Scoop ice cream into tart shells and garnish.