Prep Work

This week

is one



There’s the three birthdays in five days list. And the eleven people getting ready for a beach trip list. I have shopping lists and grocery lists, packing lists and left to-do lists.

And finally there’s the cook-it-before-we-go-so-I-don’t-spend-our-whole-vacation-in-the-kitchen-list. It’s pretty important. That’s the list that insures my being able to lay in the sand and listen to the waves for days and days on end with only the minimal interruption of moving my towel with the tide.

All the listing has me sort of exhausted on the daily chore side of things. So I’ve gotten pretty lazy with our evening meals as of late. Chad and I ate granny smith apples with laughing cow cheese for dinner the other night. OH! Don’t forget the side of pretzels.

One day we forfeited dinner altogether in exchange for chocolatey frozen coffee.

SO worth it.

I baked this tilapia with a buttery Ritz Cracker crumb crust it an effort to have an actual meal while avoiding any more prep work. Not that I wouldn’t happily exchange all my meals for chocolatey frozen coffee… but I’m not sure it meets very many nutritional requirements.

Dinner. Done. And it only took 5 minutes of my time and attention.
Buttery Baked Ritz Tilapia (from Can You Stay for Dinner?)


1 1/2 to 2 pounds flaky white fish (tilapia, pollack, cod)

coarse ground black pepper & kosher salt

1 sleeve Ritz Crackers (I used Whole Wheat Ritz… super good!!)

6 tablespoons salted butter, melted and slightly cooled

To Make

Pre-heat the oven to 350. Crush the crackers in a medium bowl and pour the butter over the crumbs. Toss and stir to even ly coat the cracker crumbs with the melted butter. Lightly grease a baking dish. Lay the fish in a single layer across the bottom. Sprinkle the fish with salt and pepper. Spread the buttery crumb mixture evenly over the top of the fish. Bake for 18-25 minutes, depending on the thickness of your fish filets. Mine were thin and were done in less than 20 minutes. When the fish is done it will easily flake with a fork.

18 Responses

  1. What beach might you be going to??? If it’s near me, I want to meet you!

  2. If this is your “easy meal” you would be scared to see some of the stuff that comes out of my kitchen. Terrified actually.

    Hope you have the most fabulous and relaxing trip Heather!

    • Apples + Cheese, cereal, and Oreo cookies all constitute well-balanced meals when it suits me. I don’t think you could terrify me with your kitchen productions… unless they involved sweet pickles or potted meat.
      This week is bananas… I can’t wait till the weekend!

  3. Love your recipes…..and going to the beach….I am jealous…I want to go too….I LOVE the ocean and the beach!!!!!!!

    • This is payback for all the Columbia River Basin photos you made us jealous with.
      Just kidding!!
      So glad you enjoy the recipes… we all gotta eat, right? Even if there’s no time to make a big mess :)

      • Ha-ha-ha…you have fun and drink in the ocean breezes and the incredible sound of the waves…..dig your toes into sand and enjoy your vacation:)

  4. That is definitely a long but delicious week my friend :D

    Choc Chip Uru

    • I can see the end of the week! Somewhere past the cheesecake, tomato sauce, granola, and potato skins…

  5. Simple, but tasty – always a winning combination in my book! Not quite as good as chocolatey frozen coffee though ;) Food to pack for the beach – sandwiches (make sure to sprinkle these inside and out with sand before eating), cans of some sort of drink that you allow to get really warm and gross before drinking, something with a dressing or sauce that will leak all over your cool bag before you get there, something sticky (think juicy fruits, chicken wings, ice lollies – the stickier the better) so that as you eat your hands become covered with sand and the mess you are in gets worse and worse…am I helping?! Have fun!x

    • That is the best beach food list evuuuur. You know what’s really cool? When the jelly from your sandy peanut butter sandwich bleeds through the bread making that weird stained-glass effect because it got squished by the warm cans of soda.

      • haha!! I don’t have that particular problem, since peanut butter is ONLY for toast and NEVER EVER with jam ;) My sister and I had an ongoing peanut butter battle for ages when we were younger, because peanut butter – for me – is jam free and lives in the cupboard, but she insisted on putting the jam knife into the peanut butter then putting the peanut butter in the fridge – the horror!!

  6. I am so there with you! We leave Sunday and I feel like a crazed woman trying to get everything made ahead! Ellie and her friend are making two dinners so that will be fun. I look forward to being waited on :-)

    • We leave Saturday and I have Chad’s birthday today, his mom’s on Saturday, and my mom’s on Monday to work into the mix. Right now I am garnishing cheesecake, making tomato sauce for pizzas, baking potatoes for potato skins, I have a batch of granola going and there’s wing sauce in a bowl. I’m sure I’ll burn something before its all said and done. Which beach are you guys wandering to? NC or SC?

  7. I love easy but delicious dinners like this..I can’t get enough of these kind of recipes ;-) I make chicken nuggets with ritz cracker crumbs, they are so good! Enjoy your vacation, you so deserve a break x

    • When I made this I was thinking the whole time how great this would be on chicken. I have a chicken casserole posted on my Recipes page that is super good and has buttery Ritz crackers crumbled over the top before it’s baked; Sookie’s Chicken Casserole.
      Vacation will be great! If I can just hold out till Saturday :)

  8. All the lists will be worth it in the end when you’re on that beach girl!!!! I hate fish, but I love breadcrumbs lol yum!!! P.S. Birthday parties exhaust me!!!!!!!! I definitely don’t envy you there hahaha

  9. Have a wonderful vacation! After all your prepping, I hope you get to relax and enjoy yourself! I can’t wait to try this quick dish this week! Simple and quick gets prompt attention from me, plus I need to eat more fish :)

    • Back from vacation and playing catch-up… hope you tried this recipe! It was so easy & we loved it! I, too, need to eat more fish. I’m working on it…

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