$30 Dinner Date: 1950’s American Diner Dinner! [3 RECIPES!]

Good Afternoon Everyone! ❤

I’m so late in posting this dinner date. My apologies! Tomorrow we head out on vacation and so I’m hustling to get all the last minute things done. On Friday it was our usual “date day” for Mr. Noob Chef and I. (Woohoo!). We love to get creative with our dinner dates and this one was no exception. We decided that this time we would cook American food together. It has been quite a while since we last chowed down on some greasy diner fare. And I always seem to struggle with cooking the perfect batch of french fries, so… we decided to work together to master this challenge. Wouldn’t you know that two heads are better then one and everything turned out beautifully! 🙂

We started off with frying a batch of onion rings. (Calorie counters look away). It was my cheat meal for the week so I was going big with these onion rings. I didn’t realize how simple they are to make if you have a buddy to help you. While I was dipping the onion in egg, flour, and breadcrumbs, Mr. Noob Chef was busy frying them away for 30 seconds on each side until they were golden brown. Some got a bit too golden and I worried if they would taste good. (But truthfully, those were the tastiest ones!)


Next, I began to prep dessert with the littlest Noob Chef as my helper. She and I were busy whipping up a banana pudding cake, and wow was it tasty!! This chilled Southern style cake was a recipe I stumbled across on the Duggar Family’s website. Now, love’em or hate’em, this family of 20 knows how to cook tasty meals for a whole group. And while there was just the three of us, this recipe was a must-try. All you need is three easy ingredients to make this delicious cake: bananas, yellow cake mix, and instant vanilla pudding!


Simply mix up the vanilla pudding with 2 cups of whole milk and chill until set (about 30 minutes). Meanwhile, bake up the cake according to directions. (Ours took about 30 minutes to bake). Then make 1 inch slits over the top of the cooled cake and smooth the cold pudding on top. Add chopped bananas and chill until you are ready to serve. The result is a cake that reminds me of tres leches cake because it is so soft and moist! If tres leches cake and Boston cream pie had a baby… it would be this cake! Oh it’s so yummy!! I promise you it’s worth trying.

IMG_4077 Next it was time to get dinner cooking! On the menu: turkey burgers and Parmesan french fries. Now I’ll admit…. I cheated a bit with these fries. I used store bought fries and seasoned them up. I tossed them in the pan and baked them to golden perfection. Cheating? Yup. Do I care? Not one bit and neither will you when you taste these amazing little chips 😀


Seasoned Fries Recipe

Courtesy of: Taste of Home 

Yields: 6 servings


  • 6 cups shoestring potatoes
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. On a foil-lined baking sheet, place the potatoes and bake at 450 degrees (F)/ 230 (C) for 8 minutes. Toss over the seasoning, cheese, and salt. Mix to combine. Bake for an additional 4 minutes. Serve hot and enjoy! 🙂


For our burgers we decided to use Jennie-O’s extra lean ground turkey instead of ground beef. We also used soy-Cheddar cheese to be friendly to the tummy. The result was a delicious burger packed with flavor that was easy to digest and such a delight to enjoy. I hope you give these burgers a try too!


Turkey Burger Americana 

Courtesy of: Taste of Home 

Yields: 4 burgers


  • 1.5 lbs. extra lean ground turkey
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 sesame seed hamburger buns
  • Toppings of your choice


  1. In a large bowl, combine bread crumbs, egg, salt and pepper. Add beef; mix lightly but thoroughly. Shape into four 1/2-in.-thick patties. Press a shallow indentation in the center of each with your thumb. Brush both sides of patties with oil.
  2. Grill burgers, covered, over medium heat or broil 4 in. from heat 4-5 minutes on each side or until a thermometer reads 160°. Serve on buns with toppings and enjoy! 🙂 


The Duggar Family’s Banana Cake 

Courtesy of: The Duggar Family

Yields: 1 (9 X 13) Cake


  • 1 box Yellow Cake Mix
  • 1 box instant vanilla pudding
  • 1 bunch ripe bananas


  1. First make the vanilla pudding. Combine the powder with 2 cups of cold, whole milk. Whisk together and chill until set. (About 30 minutes).
  2. Meanwhile, bake the cake according to your box directions. (Mine took about 30 minutes to bake). Then set the cake aside to cool.
  3. Once the cake is cool, take a knife and make 1 inch slits over the top of the cake. Then spread on the vanilla pudding. Top with ripe bananas and chill until you’re ready to serve. Enjoy! 🙂


And now we’re off to…. HAWAII!! Stay tuned for our island adventures!! Have a wonderful day everyone and as always, keep on cooking! ❤


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