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262. Organize Dinner Like Mom/Author, Kelly Donlea

262. Organize Dinner Like Mom/Author, Kelly Donlea

Home Newsroom 262. Organize Dinner Like Mom/Author, Kelly Donlea

There’s a cookbook author and mother of three here in Barrington who is building a reputation for the system she devised to help busy moms put dinner on the table every night. Her name is Kelly Donlea, her brand new cookbook just came out, and you can meet her in person in Barrington tomorrow as she demonstrates how to make two delicious holiday meals that are related, but secretly separate.

The idea of remaking meals is the subject of her latest book, called “40 Dinner Duos – Cook Once, EAT Twice”. This book offers dozens of Dinner Duos that use the same main course (and cooking efforts) for two night’s dinners to make an entirely different meal another night.

Kelly Donlea 40 Dinner DuosKelly says her husband was the inspiration for “40 Dinner Duos” because he won’t eat leftovers. She came up with clever ways to trick him into eating those leftovers, creating recipes in the process for her new book. And now, Kelly says, “He does not have any idea that meal two has anything to do with meal one. You don’t just put it on a sandwich. You completely transform that meal into a separate meal.” And she’ll be showing us one example of how this works tomorrow when she demonstrates how to cook a Cranberry Baked Beef Brisket for the holidays and how to use the leftovers to prepare Shredded Beef Tostadas.

Kelly published her first book, “70 Meals, One Trip to the Store” back in 2008. It’s the perfect guide for moms like me who struggle to plan, shop and prepare meals to put on the table every night.

Kelly was inspired to write “70 Meals, One Trip to the Store” after one of her friends called her in a panic because she couldn’t keep up with the daily grind of meal preparation. Kelly came to the rescue, took her shopping and gave her a common sense list of groceries to purchase once a week to make meal planning easier. In the book, Kelly shares examples of a Semiannual Shopping List and a Weekly Shopping List to help you “streamline and organize the ingredients you keep in your pantry so you can make any one of the 70 delicious dinner recipes listed in the book — with what you already have at home.”

Kelly has also published a third book, called “30 Spectacular Salads” with recipes to prepare salads that are anything but ordinary! “This book pairs fresh ingredients in fresh ways to achieve fantastic flavor with combinations such as salmon & citrus salad, black beans & asparagus, carrot & arugula and tomato, avocade & goat cheese.” And the book’s shrimp, avocado and mango recipe looks absolutely delicious! I’m in charge of bringing a green salad to a holiday potluck party tomorrow night and I picked up Kelly’s book just in the nick of time.

Kelly Donlea’s “40 Dinner Duos” cooking demonstration is a free event and it will take place from 1-3PM tomorrow afternoon (Sunday, December 19) at Norton’s U.S.A. in Barrington. You’ll be able to watch the demonstration, meet Kelly and pick up any of her three cookbooks which Norton’s offers for sale. You can read all about Kelly’s books, her recipes and her in-home cooking classes by visiting her company’s website at And you’ll find Norton’s U.S.A. at 400 S. Lageschulte Street in Barrington.

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