Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Cooking for a busy school day

Last week I shared an easy go to recipe that is on the table in 30 minutes, Chicken Fried Rice. I know when school begins life starts picking up again. Evenings are now comprised of a variety of things and many of these involve evening practices and activities. It's easy to pick something up for dinner on the way home from practice, but that adds up in a hurry and some simple planning can reduce the amount of take out your family consumes during the school year.

Here are a few things I like to do to make sure we aren't tempted by takeout:

  • Build quick meals into your menu plan every month. I like to highlight the quick meals so if I'm crunched for time unexpectedly I can rearrange what we are having so that dinner is ready by 6:00.
  • Use your crockpot. I try to use my crockpot as much as possible during busy times of the year. It's just so easy to throw everything in and let it go.
  • Use freezer meals. If you have time fix a few simple meals every month and store them in the freezer till you are ready to use them. Just pull them out of the freezer and once its thawed and reheated you'll have an instant meal.
  • Always have simple meal ingredients on hand! I always keep ingredients around for Spaghetti and Brinner (Breakfast for dinner). These are two of my most frequented go to meals when I'm in a pinch. Did you even know you can cook ground beef while it's still frozen. It will take a little longer but it's possible because we've all forgotten to take the meat out of the freezer before.
  • Make sure you have prechopped veggies ready to be added. I like to freeze mine in ziplock bags and so I just have to dump the onions, peppers, or carrots in the dish I'm preparing. It cuts prep time in half when you already have the ingredients ready.
(And just so you don't think we never pick up dinner on the way home, we did that yesterday, Little Ceaser's pizza. This is because I had a dead gross thing in a trap in the kitchen and I refused to go in there until it had left. Life happens and sometimes take out is necessary!)
For other great ideas check out WFMW School Edition.
Make sure you enter my giveaway this week for an sweet apron. Entering is as simple as leaving a comment. Go here to enter.


  1. Great tips! I should really start freezing chopped celery and onions, much as I use them throughout the week.

    Come by and visit me!


  2. My menu plans saves my sanity. Spaghetti & breakfast are our go-to meals around here too!

  3. great tips oh the school year will be very busy we start in about 2 weeks

  4. Ha! I hate dead gross things in the kitchen! Thanks for the tips...I think I am going to make Thursday Little Caesars night...love their breadsticks!


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