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tips for getting dinner on the table!

Posted by on Aug. 4, 2012 at 10:23 AM
  • 26 Replies
Ok ladies!
Time to share your tips, recipes and secrets.

Is the crock pot your best friend during the school year?
Do you have any amazing meals that go together in less than half an hour?

We tend to get busy with school and the next thing I know I have to have dinner on the table in thirty minutes or else hubby will go to work hungry. (Or stop for fast food on the way, and we don't want that)
I use my crock pot a lot in the fall/winter, but don't have a ton of recipes.

So what are you secrets?
by on Aug. 4, 2012 at 10:23 AM
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Replies (1-10):
SusanTheWriter
by Bronze Member on Aug. 4, 2012 at 11:40 AM
1 mom liked this
Plan, plan, plan! If you take 15-30 minutes a week to sit down with your grocery flyer and your recipe books or websites, you can save yourself a ton of time and money, and avoid the 4 pm panic.
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lucsch
by on Aug. 4, 2012 at 11:51 AM
1 mom liked this

The freezer! And, no I do NOT make casseroles for the freezer. LOL I just precook meat and beans so they are ready to go. Just make sure you write on the freezer bags, as food turns unrecognizable when it is frozen. LOL 

Package about 2 cups per quart freezer bag. This is about 1 can of beans or 1 lb of meat. Squeeze out all the air and flatten the package for an easy thaw, as well as, easy stacking in the freezer. You can get a lot in a small freezer this way, too. Put smaller bags into gallon or 2-gallon bags to protect for longer storage.

Follow the package directions to cook dried beans, such as black beans, pintos, great northern, etc.

Brown ground beef, turkey, pork, etc. until just done.

Skin chicken breasts with bones attached, sprinkle with garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Bake at 375 for 1 hour or 1 hour 15 minutes (check for doneness). Let cool a few minutes, then pull the meat off the bones and dice. These are wonderful for all sorts of of recipes.

Put the bones into a crockpot covered with hot water, add some chicken bouillon or salt and pepper, and cook several hours on high for chicken broth. I freeze this, too, but usually in freezer containers, not bags, though bags would work, too. When I cook 12 chicken breasts, I can usually get 6, 2-cup containers of chicken broth. Great for soups or any recipe that requires cans of broth. Saves a lot of money, too!

Cook boneless porkchops, similarly as the chicken, but only for about 35 minutes. I keep these whole. You can reheat with a little BBQ sauce or make a white gravy sauce or use them in recipes where you need to precook the porkchops.

I also made a big batch of taco meat--I had 1 lb of pork, beef, and turkey, then added 2 cups of cooked lentils to make a total of 8 cups of mixture. It's in the freezer now for quick tacos, making taco pizza, enchiladas or burritos.


I also mix up various homemade mixes for  "fake" bisquick, brownie, hot roll, gravy, quick breads, muffins. It makes those types of things quicker to mix up.

I use my bread maker to mix rolls and bread to shape and bake in the oven. I use my bread maker to actually mix and bake quick breads, but it has a cycle specifically for it. The regular one would not work for that.

I do use my crockpots (yes I have three!) quite a lot.

I like to cook from scratch, but like you, I have limited time, so this really, reallly helps!

tiredmomfor2
by **Lyndsay** on Aug. 4, 2012 at 12:07 PM
Quoting SusanTheWriter:

Plan, plan, plan! If you take 15-30 minutes a week to sit down with your grocery flyer and your recipe books or websites, you can save yourself a ton of time and money, and avoid the 4 pm panic.


I do actually plan every week what to have and shop the deals and what not. I just don't always have dinner on my mind at breakfast. Lol then is throws me off at dinner time.
tiredmomfor2
by **Lyndsay** on Aug. 4, 2012 at 12:15 PM
Wow! Thanks for all the information. I love to cook from scratch, but like you said, time gets in my way anymore and I find myself grasping for quicker meals. I really need to expand my crock pot recipes.
Last winter I would make double amount in the crock and then freeze for another meal. That worked great with chicken and noodle soup base(without the noodles), chicken and noodle base(without the noodles), chili, bbq pork etc. I need to get back into that. I really don't like feeling unprepared when it is dinner time. Plus dh is home for lunch a lot and it is nice to pull something out at lunch time and thaw it on top of the stove.
Ooh you have 3 crocks! I am jealous! I so want to get atleast one more! My SIL works for pampered Chef and has been passing my some recipes to try. One is even a bread in the crock pot. But if I did that I would want to make soup with it and I need the crock for that as well. Lol

Quoting lucsch:

The freezer! And, no I do NOT make casseroles for the freezer. LOL I just precook meat and beans so they are ready to go. Just make sure you write on the freezer bags, as food turns unrecognizable when it is frozen. LOL 

Package about 2 cups per quart freezer bag. This is about 1 can of beans or 1 lb of meat. Squeeze out all the air and flatten the package for an easy thaw, as well as, easy stacking in the freezer. You can get a lot in a small freezer this way, too. Put smaller bags into gallon or 2-gallon bags to protect for longer storage.

Follow the package directions to cook dried beans, such as black beans, pintos, great northern, etc.

Brown ground beef, turkey, pork, etc. until just done.

Skin chicken breasts with bones attached, sprinkle with garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Bake at 375 for 1 hour or 1 hour 15 minutes (check for doneness). Let cool a few minutes, then pull the meat off the bones and dice. These are wonderful for all sorts of of recipes.

Put the bones into a crockpot covered with hot water, add some chicken bouillon or salt and pepper, and cook several hours on high for chicken broth. I freeze this, too, but usually in freezer containers, not bags, though bags would work, too. When I cook 12 chicken breasts, I can usually get 6, 2-cup containers of chicken broth. Great for soups or any recipe that requires cans of broth. Saves a lot of money, too!

Cook boneless porkchops, similarly as the chicken, but only for about 35 minutes. I keep these whole. You can reheat with a little BBQ sauce or make a white gravy sauce or use them in recipes where you need to precook the porkchops.

I also made a big batch of taco meat--I had 1 lb of pork, beef, and turkey, then added 2 cups of cooked lentils to make a total of 8 cups of mixture. It's in the freezer now for quick tacos, making taco pizza, enchiladas or burritos.

I also mix up various homemade mixes for  "fake" bisquick, brownie, hot roll, gravy, quick breads, muffins. It makes those types of things quicker to mix up.

I use my bread maker to mix rolls and bread to shape and bake in the oven. I use my bread maker to actually mix and bake quick breads, but it has a cycle specifically for it. The regular one would not work for that.

I do use my crockpots (yes I have three!) quite a lot.

I like to cook from scratch, but like you, I have limited time, so this really, reallly helps!


oredeb
by on Aug. 4, 2012 at 12:16 PM
3 moms liked this

 we are done with school by 2 at the latest usually, and dont eat dinner till 6 or so, but i do freeze meals Meat mix, Italian mix  sloppy joe (scroll down), are some, for those days that are busy(taking parents to appt. and getting home at 5 or so,) i do a lot of canning in the summers for the winter, so i just pop open a jar of soup, or veg, or meat etc, i freeze some of the veg, just pot in some water and heat up,

 theres a bunch of mixes i use all the time on here  http://mykitchen-deb.blogspot.com/

I also do the Artisian bread in 5 minutes recipes that i put in my frig in a big tub

i bake bread on mondays to last the whole week, freeze it, (rolls for dinner, french breads, cinnamon rolls, sandwich breads, etc) so just take what i want out of freezer for dinner and defrost,

 

dessert- i make and freeze for those times, everything is late,  

 

i use a store bought roasted chicken for chichen salad add some greens and tomatoes, etc a salad dressing, and a chunk of homemade garlic bread,

  Shepherbs pie

1 lb. hamburger
2 cans green beans
1 of the smaller can tomato soup
Mashed potatoes to cover the top of  pan
3 c. cheese

Fry up hamb. , toss in a large bowl throw in drained green beans,  pour in soup, mix
Pour in a baking dish, put the mashed potatoes on top about an inch thick or so. Sprinkle with cheese. Put in over at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Eat!!
Can double this and triple recipe!
So simple and not expensive  and taste good!
You can use turkey burger
Also fresh green beans from the garden, but make sure they are cooked first
Tomato sauce if you don’t have soup

tiredmomfor2
by **Lyndsay** on Aug. 4, 2012 at 12:25 PM
Quoting oredeb:

 we are done with school by 2 at the latest usually, and dont eat dinner till 6 or so, but i do freeze meals Meat mix, Italian mix  sloppy joe (scroll down), are some, for those days that are busy(taking parents to appt. and getting home at 5 or so,) i do a lot of canning in the summers for the winter, so i just pop open a jar of soup, or veg, or meat etc, i freeze some of the veg, just pot in some water and heat up,


 theres a bunch of mixes i use all the time on here  http://mykitchen-deb.blogspot.com/


I also do the Artisian bread in 5 minutes recipes that i put in my frig in a big tub


i bake bread on mondays to last the whole week, freeze it, (rolls for dinner, french breads, cinnamon rolls, sandwich breads, etc) so just take what i want out of freezer for dinner and defrost,


 


dessert- i make and freeze for those times, everything is late,  


 


i use a store bought roasted chicken for chichen salad add some greens and tomatoes, etc a salad dressing, and a chunk of homemade garlic bread,


  Shepherbs pie


1 lb. hamburger2 cans green beans 1 of the smaller can tomato soupMashed potatoes to cover the top of  pan3 c. cheese


Fry up hamb. , toss in a large bowl throw in drained green beans,  pour in soup, mixPour in a baking dish, put the mashed potatoes on top about an inch thick or so. Sprinkle with cheese. Put in over at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.


Eat!!Can double this and triple recipe!So simple and not expensive  and taste good!You can use turkey burger Also fresh green beans from the garden, but make sure they are cooked firstTomato sauce if you don’t have soup



Ooh thanks! I guess part of my problem is that fact that on the nights he works I have to have 'dinner' on the table by 3pm. So we rush to get the majority of school done. Then lunch for the kids then I make dinner for hubby and me and the kids eat it later in the evening. Or..i make the big meal for lunch(which then puts our school on a crunch unless I'm using the crock pot) and then we eat it for lunch, hubby eats it for dinner and then me and the kids either eat it again for dinner or have something light for dinner.
oredeb
by on Aug. 4, 2012 at 12:41 PM
3 moms liked this

 heres some crockpot recipes i use

Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore
• 1 (2 1/2 to 3 lb.) chicken (remove skin if you want)
• 1 can stewed tomatoes
• 1 can tomato sauce
• 2 cloves garlic, diced
• 1 med. onion, diced
• 2 stalks of celery, chopped
• 1 tsp. oregano
• 1/2 tsp. sweet basil
• 1/2 tsp. rosemary
• 1/2 tsp. cilantro
• 1 tsp. salt
• 1/4 tsp. pepper

Mix stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce; add rest of ingredients. Mix well. Pour over chicken and turn crockpot on high until mixture begins to boil. Turn down on low and let simmer for the day. Serve over pasta or rice.

******************

Pork Chops - Crockpot
• 6 to 8 lean pork chops - 1 inch thick
• 1/3 c. flour
• 1 tsp. dry mustard
• 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
• 1 tsp. salt
• 2 tbsp. oil
• 1 can Cream of Mushroom soup

Coat pork chops with dry ingredients. Brown well in hot oil. Put chops in slow cooker. Add soup and cook on low 6 to 8 hours on high 3 to 4 hours.

*******************

Crockpot Apple Pie
 
8 apples peeled and sliced (any kind)
1 1/4 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. allspice
1/4 t. nutmeg
3/4 C. milk
2 T. butter softened
3/4 C. sugar
2 eggs
2 t. vanilla
1 1/2 C. Bisquick divided
1/3 C. brown sugar
3 T. butter
 
Toss apples in large bowl with cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg.  Place apple mixture in lightly greased crockpot.  Combine, milk, softened butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and 1/2 C. of the Bisquick.  Spoon over apples.  Combine the remaining Bisquick with the brown sugar.  Cut cold butter into Bisquick mixture until crumbly.  Sprinkle this mixture over top of apple mixture.  Cover and cook on low 6-7 hours or until apples are soft.

********************

EASY CROCK POT ROAST
1 chuck roast (to fit your crock pot) (a higher grade turns to mush)
1 can mushroom soup
Put roast in the crock pot. Spoon soup on top. Cook 8-10 hours. Use soup and stock as gravy for rice or mashed pot.

*****************

 

 

SusanTheWriter
by Bronze Member on Aug. 4, 2012 at 1:21 PM
Ah. Gotcha. I try to take 5-10 min in the mornings and plan out my to-do list, including dinner prep time. Part of my weekly planning includes my calendar so I know ahead of time whether it's a day when I have time to cook or whether it's a leftover or quick dinner day. If my day is crazy full, I've already planned for leftovers.And on days when I have time, I already know when I need to break off to start cooking.

Quoting tiredmomfor2:

Quoting SusanTheWriter:

Plan, plan, plan! If you take 15-30 minutes a week to sit down with your grocery flyer and your recipe books or websites, you can save yourself a ton of time and money, and avoid the 4 pm panic.



I do actually plan every week what to have and shop the deals and what not. I just don't always have dinner on my mind at breakfast. Lol then is throws me off at dinner time.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
snowangel1979
by Member on Aug. 4, 2012 at 1:37 PM
I love shepherd pie, except I use cream of mushroom soup instead of tomato soap.

I try to make double batches when ever I cook.
We get our meat from a farm and it comes in 2 lbs packages. I always make it all and freeze the rest it cuts down on prep time on a lot of dishes I make.


Quoting oredeb:

 we are done with school by 2 at the latest usually, and dont eat dinner till 6 or so, but i do freeze meals Meat mix, Italian mix  sloppy joe (scroll down), are some, for those days that are busy(taking parents to appt. and getting home at 5 or so,) i do a lot of canning in the summers for the winter, so i just pop open a jar of soup, or veg, or meat etc, i freeze some of the veg, just pot in some water and heat up,


 theres a bunch of mixes i use all the time on here  http://mykitchen-deb.blogspot.com/


I also do the Artisian bread in 5 minutes recipes that i put in my frig in a big tub


i bake bread on mondays to last the whole week, freeze it, (rolls for dinner, french breads, cinnamon rolls, sandwich breads, etc) so just take what i want out of freezer for dinner and defrost,


 


dessert- i make and freeze for those times, everything is late,  


 


i use a store bought roasted chicken for chichen salad add some greens and tomatoes, etc a salad dressing, and a chunk of homemade garlic bread,


  Shepherbs pie


1 lb. hamburger
2 cans green beans
1 of the smaller can tomato soup
Mashed potatoes to cover the top of  pan
3 c. cheese


Fry up hamb. , toss in a large bowl throw in drained green beans,  pour in soup, mix
Pour in a baking dish, put the mashed potatoes on top about an inch thick or so. Sprinkle with cheese. Put in over at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.


Eat!!
Can double this and triple recipe!
So simple and not expensive  and taste good!
You can use turkey burger
Also fresh green beans from the garden, but make sure they are cooked first
Tomato sauce if you don’t have soup


Posted on CafeMom Mobile
SusanTheWriter
by Bronze Member on Aug. 4, 2012 at 3:05 PM
I make shepherd's pie with 1 1/2-2 lbs ground beef, onion and garlic. Then I drain off the liquid and add a Tbs or 2 of flour to thicken, 1 lb of chopped carrots, fresh and dried thyme and rosemary, and 1-2 cups of chicken stock. Simmer for 20 until the carrots are cooked through. Add frozen peas and corn, pour into a casserole dish and top with mashed potatoes. Mine really fills the dish, so I put a cookie sheet under to catch drips while it bakes at 350 for about 30 min.
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