PLEA FOR DINNER HELP.
It's like it says in Cold Sassy Tree. "Ain't a woman in the world who hasn't prayed to God for help in what to make for dinner."
Amen and amen.
So here's what my friend says:
I am in need of ideas and recipes of things I can make days ahead and freeze or put into the crock pot quickly earlier in the day. Or any ideas of very fast (literally 15 minutes start to finish, with children distractions) beyond the typical spaghetti or would be great too. Healthy, kid-friendly ideas would be ideal, but frankly I have mostly given up trying to make things my kids will like because unless it is spaghetti, or pizza, there will be something to complain about. So, they just have to deal with whatever healthy stuff they get.I heart my friend lots.
(I'd totally post an embarrassing picture of her, but all my embarrassing pictures of her are from college, and that was before the days of digital cameras, and that would mean I have to scan in embarrassing pictures, and that would just take too long, and I'm tired.)
How about I just post a picture of the NBC playing with his toes? Yes, good idea.
So my friend sent this PLEA FOR DINNER HELP email to all the Moms, Grandmas, Sisters, and Friends she knew.
And it occurred to me I know a lot of those.
So - wanna help out my friend? And me? And each other?
I'm including my own tried n true recipes, as well -
Enjoy, and please help!
Because toes are tasty, but they don't fill up the belly.
Let's get started.
NOTE: Best thing to do that keeps dinners easy - cook the meat as soon as you get home from the grocery store. I throw all the chicken in every glass dish I own, sprinkle it with garlic and salt and bake. While it's goin', I mush together all the ground beef in the biggest pot I own, add garlic and salt and fry. Just put in (quality) Ziploc bags and freeze!
(At least, that's what I do when I'm on top of things. Which isn't that often, I admit.)
Anyway, most of my quick recipes use this pre-cooked meat.
You can also just do double dinner duty every time you cook - make two of everything. I'm tellin' ya. Almost everything freezes.
Muffins and bread freeze really well too. Whenever you're baking, double or quadruple your recipe and freeze away. They heat up beautifully in the microwave.
You can also pre-cut your veggies and freeze them, too - peppers especially. (Word to the wise: if you freeze brocooli, don't thaw it before using.)
AND YET ANOTHER NOTE: These are quick versions. They are tasty, but mucho tastier-o if done the slow, "right" way. Like making an actual white sauce instead of using cream of whatever. But, you know, WHATEVER.
Chicken Broccoli Casserole:
Quick boil/steam/microwave onions and broccoli. While it's goin', mix a can of cream of chicken soup with cream cheese and milk. Line the pan with pre-cooked chicken and dump first the veggies, then the sauce on. Sprinkle with cheese and pop in the oven til the cheese melts.
Simple Meatball Subs
Heat up some good ole Costco meatballs with a bottle of spaghetti sauce. Either in the microwave or the crockpot. Meanwhile, toast some hoagie buns (or hot dog buns, if you don't have any hoagies on hand). Spoon some meatballs on the buns and sprinkle with mozzarella. Voila! Dinner.
My pizza crust is ready in 20 minutes.
Mix: 1 Tablespoon honey, 1 tsp. salt, 4 1/2 teaspoons yeast, and 1 1/2 cups warm water. Let sponge for about 5 minutes. Then add about four cups of flour. Knead, and let rest for another 10 minutes. (Quick rise method: Put a jar of water in the microwave for two minutes. Leave the jar in there, and put the bowl of dough in there too. The steam makes it rise faster.)
Now put on marinara sauce, cheese, pepperoni, whatever. Or how about (cooked) shredded pork with BBQ sauce, cilantro and cheese. I personally love a little Ranch dressing as a base, then load on shredded (precooked) chicken, cilantro, and cheese -with avocado and fresh spinach on top once it's cooked. But that's me.
(I often quadruple my pizza recipe, and freeze it. Just take it out an hour before you need it. You can also open the bag a tad and use the "quick rise" water method! Or even just buy read-made crusts. It's been done.)
Chicken Pot Pie
K. Envision this. Ready-made crust. Precooked chicken. Bag of frozen vegetables. Cream of chicken soup. Bake. Done. Sleep.
Crockpot Chicken n Rice
Chicken. Crockpot. Couple tablespoons of butter. Italian dressing mix with a couple shots of vinegar. In the last ten minutes, add some (cooked) rice and cream cheese. Yum.
Mix 1 can of cooked chicken, 1 can of cream of chicken soup, and 1/2 cup of milk. Heat. Serve over rice. Decorate with chopped green peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, pineapple, green onions, peas, chow mein noodles, coconut, whatever.
Precooked pork, cut up. Add black beans, corn, and salsa. Heat. Serve over rice.
Precooked ground beef. Add mushrooms, cream of mushroom soup, milk, sour cream, and Worcestershire. Serve over rice.
(We like rice.)
These sauces are all super quick to prepare, but you still have to bake it.
- 3/4 cup of mayonnaise with 2 tsp. fresh garlic and a tablespoon of mustard. Pour over raw chicken and bake.
- 1/3 cup plain yogurt with 1/3 cup apricot jam and 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard.
- Can of cream of chicken soup over the chicken. Then layer slices of swiss cheese and flavored croutons.
- Can of cream of chicken soup with a little milk and a lot of lemon juice. Mmmmmm!
Layer: Canned marinara sauce, tortilla, precooked ground beef, sauce, tortilla, beef, sauce, tortilla, sauce, CHEESE. Bake for 20 minutes.
We make these like weekly. For dinner.
Blend 3/4 cup of whole wheat with 1 cup of milk for four minutes on high. Add 1/2 cup of butter (applesauce works great!), 2 eggs, 1 tablespoon of honey, 1/4 tsp. baking soda, 2 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. salt and blend for two more minutes. We love them with peanut butter and syrup. And sometimes bananas if we're feeling crazy.
Now I'm hungry.