Our local pool is open from noon to 6 p.m.
This means that my ideal day of swimming in the morning and chilling in the afternoon isn’t possible. Generally, we plan to swim until a certain time, and then about 10 minutes before that time, someone’s bestest friend in the whole wide world arrives . . . and we stay another hour.
I’m not complaining . . . it’s one of the reasons I love summer.
But that means that I arrive home icky-damp . . . with three kids who are starving to death. Menu planning has made a huge difference for us this summer, but this week, I never got around to it.
Still, somehow we’ve had great suppers every night, with two being ultra-fast and easy. (The other was Daddy grilling steaks, which is even easier for me.)
Monday at 5:30, I had absolutely no idea what we were going to have for supper. At the pool, I had asked every mother I knew what she was making, hoping for some inspiration . . . but all of their ideas would have required me running into the store on the way home, and no one wants to see this mama traipsing through the produce aisles in her tankini.
I was on my own.
I partially thawed two cooked chicken breasts that were in the freezer, and cubed them. I dumped a can of cream of mushroom soup into a pan, swished about half a can’s worth of water in the bottom of it and poured that in as well, dumped a sliced-up block of cream cheese in there, along with the chicken, stirred a little bit, and put it on medium heat. Meanwhile, I boiled some spaghetti noodles, nuked a can of green beans, and kept stirring the sauce/chicken occasionally.
The result? RAVE reviews. “Please make this every night.” “This is better than what I had at Olive Garden.” “WOW, this is my favorite!”
Last night I was a little more prepared, but shorter on time, since we had to leave the house at 5:30. Just before leaving for the pool at 2:00, I dumped some partially thawed, pre-cooked ground beef into the crockpot along with taco seasoning. I put it on high, and when we got home, we immediately made tacos.
What are your favorite quick meals?
Just wanted to let you know that I’m guest-posting today over at The Finer Things in Life. Amy is doing a series called “Why Didn’t Anyone Tell Me?” which covers so many things that new or soon-to-be moms need to know. In my post, I share about the struggles (and eventual triumph) that I experienced in nursing my first child.
loved your guest post! great reminder for me to stick with it. i really want to try to breastfeed this baby. i never stuck with it with my other 2. thanks for the encouragement!
Take your same idea but use your chicken breasts, 2 cans cream of chicken soup,some milk, cream cheese & cumin heating til cream cheese melts. Roll up in tortillas pour the extra over top. Add shredded cheese and bake. The most scrumptious chicken enchiladas ever.
Awesome Awesome Ideas. I am often in a crunch with hockey and 3 smaller children tagging along. Thanks for putting this out there.
How about taking an apple along to the pool to eat on the way home? That should hold them while you get changed.
Ruth S says
My quick tip is to precook my homemade meatballs, hamburger, and chicken, then divide into family size portions and freeze so you can take one out and throw it into whatever you decide to make. I also like to make the old fashioned taco salad or pasta/tuna/pea salad and throw in the fridge in the morning so supper’s ready when I get home.
As a vegetarian, I often have to be thinking about this earlier in the day. If I have green lentils pre-cooked in the fridge, I can make a curry in less time it takes for the rice pot to beep. I will put quinoa in the ricemaker with veggie broth, onion flakes, and spices, then saute spinach and mushrooms, then toss in some halved cherry tomatoes at the end for a quick meal, I will keep fake beef crumbles in the freezer which I add to jar sauce and pasta for a fast family favorite, and I always have bean burgers, hummus, and veggies around.
Catherine Sultana says
Since dropping the canned goods, I too have to think a little ahead for what I’ll make for the evening meals. I’ve taken to making extras and storing in fridge in quart sized canning jars (which are just about the right amount for my family of two): brown rice, lentils, taco mix filling, black beans, salad greens. Then I can see what I have, take what I need from freezer (tend to always stock: green beans, veggie crumbles, tomato sauce, enchilada sauce) and combine it with what I have in the fridge. Still use the microwave and occassionally the crockpot, but this routine keeps up with hungry teenager and gives me a creative opportunity.
Asparagus and ground salmon burgers. The burgers are sold frozen at Costco, and they usually have asparagus for sale there too for cheap. Cook the burgers on a hot skillet direct from the freezer – 6 minutes each side. I throw on some Cajun seasoning while they cook and toast some regular bread using our oven broiler. I cook the asparagus with powdered garlic and olive oil for 15 minutes on a sheet in the oven at 425. Add lemon juice and salt after. All is very yummy, healthy and on the table in 30 minutes.