Smarter Mom: Beat the Dinner Dash!

Posted by on Jan. 24, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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1 mom liked this


Evenings in my house are one enormous mad rush from the time my husband comes home to the time we finally get the kids to bed (usually late)...does this sound familiar to anyone? And one problem I face a lot is getting a decent meal on the table in a timely fashion.

Tonight, for example, was such a disaster that I finally gave up and fed them sandwiches when the chicken still wasn't done and it was past bedtime. I have a few tricks, but this is one of those posts where I turn to you nice ladies for advice because this kind of crazy? I am over it.

Here are my "no-time-to-cook" go-tos:

Slow cooker. If I have some time in the morning, I LOVE the slow cooker. Even though most meals take some prep and so I am unlikely to use it on mornings I have to get out the door, it's great on days  I have a slower morning but a busy night. We walk in the door and dinner's ready, even if we have to bolt it down in 15 minutes before the next thing.

Pasta and sauce. I hate tomato sauce, but love pesto, which you can buy in big tubs in most decent-sized grocery stores. It's expensive, but 1) throw a little of the pasta cooking water in with the pesto when you're coating the noodles. It thins it out but the sauce clings like crazy and 2) Freeze whatever you don't use in an ice-cube tray, pop them out when they're frozen, and use it when you need it. I throw in vegetables like peas or sauteed zucchini to up the health quotient.

Freezer cooking. I haven't done this in awhile, but making big batches of freezer-friendly things and freezing them in meal-size portions is a lifesaver on nights when you just cannot deal with cooking dinner. Enchiladas, pot pie, lasagna...just about any casserole-ish thing freezes really well and reheats nicely.

But I need your advice, Smarter Moms! How do you get a decent dinner into everyone on busy nights without resorting to the drive-through?



by on Jan. 24, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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by Ruby Member on Jan. 24, 2013 at 12:26 AM

I also use my crockpot a lot,
It really helps as well as meal planning so I know ahead of time :)

chrissydan
by Silver Member on Jan. 24, 2013 at 2:04 AM
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mamivon2
by Sandra on Jan. 24, 2013 at 5:36 AM

My dh knows when its dinner time.. we can always warm it up for him... or he can simply eat when its time to eat

brownhoney21
by Ruby Member on Jan. 24, 2013 at 5:48 AM

 Crockpot.

lyrick24
by Platinum Member on Jan. 24, 2013 at 5:55 AM

 i try to use recipes in my crockpot that dont have much prep work. just throw it in the pot and let it cook. you can find good recipes on the internet for this.

momofsixangels
by Colleen on Jan. 24, 2013 at 8:10 AM

Crockpots are the best thing!!! Just put the food in and let it cook all day

GypsiSky
by Platinum Member on Jan. 24, 2013 at 9:35 AM

I prepare dinner early in the day between my work and other things I have planned for the day.

SarahSuzyQ
by Sarah on Jan. 24, 2013 at 10:09 AM
1 mom liked this

Meal planning is key. I have a list of meals that I'm making in a given week, and I decide that morning what will be for dinner... So if it's meatloaf, then I know I have to buckle down to it at 4:30. If it's quesadillas, we can play games and hang out until 5:30. Either way, I'm prepared ahead of time and can plan my day/afternoon.

lasombrs
by Sara on Jan. 24, 2013 at 10:41 AM

we have some quick to make meals in the freezer like a digorno pizza but usually I cook thing in small batches and feed the kids, me and then dh as time allows because our scheduales have us all over and never really around to eat at the same time unless its 9 pm and thats to late for the kiddos

othermom
by Ruby Member on Jan. 24, 2013 at 10:43 AM

We try to plan ahead and have things for quick dinners on hand. Which we usually are not to busy at dinner time

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