A.G. asks from Norman, OK on November 12, 2008
Seeking Make Ahead Recipes!
Hey moms! I need recipes! I have a newborn at home along with a seven and three year old. Dinner time has become SO hectic! My newborn decides to stay awake from 5-8 and my 3-year-old has his cranky, freak out time right as I'm trying to start dinner almost every night!
I'm looking for some recipes (casseroles or anything else that is super easy to heat and eat!) that I could make on the weekend and either freeze or put in the fridge for later in the week. It is just impossible for me to cook with all three kids without my husband at home! Would also love some good crock pot recipes if you have some some good ones! I've used Kraft and other recipe sites in the past but I just don't have time to sit and weed through all of them now! THANKS!
Thanks for all the great ideas so far. Does anyone have a good/easy lasagna recipe? Also - anyone make King Ranch? Need one for that, too.
2 moms found this helpful
K.F. answers from Dallas on November 13, 2008
I highly recommend two different websites:
recipzaar.com is a great recipe search engine (just type in king ranch and you'll get a recipe) . . .
and savingdinner.com gives you weekly menus. They even have a crock-pot menu mailer and a freezer menu mailer although most of her meals (all yummy) take 30 minutes or less to fix. (But I understand, i have the same dinnertime problem so I use my crock pot often!) I've never been much of one to cook but since becoming a SAHM I utilize both these sites!
J.J. answers from Dallas on November 12, 2008
Get a crock pot if you don't have one - and learn to love it!! My second child was colicky from 4 pm until 8 pm every day - we would have lived on cereal and grilled cheese if not for the crockpot and make ahead casseroles.
One of my faves is cranberry turkey breast
One whole turkey breast
one can whole berry cranberry sauce
1 pkg lipton onion soup mix
combine all in crockpot on low for 8-10 hours - serves well with a salad and bread or over rice.
1 mom found this helpful
C.R. answers from Dallas on November 12, 2008
With cooler weather here, my family always has some stew in the freezer that can just be heated up and served with cornbread.
To make our stew, we go the easy route. I buy canned veggies and stew meat. I brown the stew meat in a skillet. Then in a large pot or crock pot I add the stew meat and all the veggies (with the juice). We generally use: Large can of crushed tomatoes, large can Ranch Style Beans, corn, sliced carrots, green beans, peas, diced potatoes, peas, any vegetable you like. Put all the veggies and meat in a pot and heat it up until it boils lightly, then simmer for some really good stew. If you do this on the weekend, then you can cool it down and freeze it for any other day for dinner. I use those Ziplick Containers with the twist on lid. Then the day I'm going to serve it I make some fresh cornbread, which can be made earlier in the day before your 3 year old has his cranky time, and reheat that when dinner is ready.
We also get meatloaf ready ahead of time and just put it in the oven the day we are going to eat it. This can be done a couple days in advance and kept in the fridge, but any longer than that I freeze it. For our meatloaf we use Stove Top stuffing and BarBQ Sauce instead of bread crumbs and ketchup. I bake it for about an hour, depending on the size of pan, on 375. Then I make instant mashed potatoes and frozen corn to go with it - both really easy to do.
Another way to save time for dinner prep is to cook chicken on the grill over the weekend and heat it up with some veggies or a salad for dinner. You can load up that grill with chicken, steaks, hamburger patties on the weekend and either freeze or refrigerate the food until you are ready to use it.
As for crock pot ideas, we love a pot roast in the crock pot. I buy an arm roast. First thing in the morning I put in a bag of baby carrots, then the pot roast, I pour Lipton Onion Soup on the pot roast, and I add new potatoes cut into pieces. I add just enough water to cover the carrots. Cook on low all day, I usually turn it to high about an hour before serving.
Check out this blog http://crockpot365.blogspot.com. This lady has a crockpot recipe posted for everyday in 2008, we have tried the Hashbrown Casserole and are going to try Shepherd's pie. We have a bunch on our list to try, she has some really interesting ideas and gives you her family's feedback on each meal.
When in doubt, my family LOVE Stoffer's meals and casseroles. Just throw that in the oven, serve with a salad, or my kids love carrot sticks, tomatoes & broccoli with ranch.
Another suggestion, get your older two to help out with dinner. I know that sounds like more work, but involving the 3 year old may actually distract him from this "cranky" time.
Good luck and congrats on the new baby!
1 mom found this helpful
E.T. answers from Dallas on November 12, 2008
You do have your hands full! I work full time and have a 6 and 3 year old so I know what you're going thru!
Lasagna freezes well. We grill chicken for quesadillas and make extra so that I can make chicken enchiladas later in the week or chicken pot pie (2 deep dish pie crusts. Put 1 on the bottom of your tin, then in a bowl mix chicken, frozen veggies, a jar of alfredo sauce and whatever spices, spoon over crust then place the top crust on. Bake 350 for 1 hr. I made this 1 day ahead and put it in the fridge til I was ready to bake). We have spaghetti a lot because it's easy (that's what we're having tonight!). Or I do shrimp and pasta with an alfredo sauce cause shrimp only takes 1 or 2 mins. You can grill hamburgers on the weekend and make leftovers or also grill brauts and save those for another day in the week.
1 mom found this helpful
K.D. answers from Dallas on November 13, 2008
Congratulations on all your little blessings! :) I am a meal planning consultant with Homemade Gourmet, and I do a few different things to help moms through dinnertime. I currently have a group coming to my house weekly to prep meals - they go home with everything in a freezer bag, add their meat and freeze or cook. If you're too busy to get away, I go to houses too - my time is free, and I can help you use the things you already have in your pantry. Also, you can search our recipe database by cooking style - like slow cooker and stew meat and see what recipes pop up. www.homemadegourmet.com/KarlaDunning I'd love to help if you'd like to try it out!
J.M. answers from Lubbock on November 13, 2008
I clipped this off the soup can many years ago and have changed it up a bit. It was to be cooked in the electric skillet, but I have done it on top of the stove and in the crock pot. Recipe calls for pork chops, but I use pork steaks or something similar and have just recently made it using round steak or other beef.
6 pork chops
1 can tomato soup
1/2 can water
1 tsp. worcestershire
salt and pepper to taste
I use as many potatoes and mini-carrots as I want - usually enough to give everyone at least 1/2 potato and about 6 mini carrots. I also use a full can of water because we like the juice. I use about 1 tablespoon of worcestershire or maybe even a little more. I also add a couple of onions or at least one large one. Just dump everything in the crock pot and leave it to cook for 6 hours or so. Smells great, tastes even better, freezes well and goes good with cornbread on the side. USe the juice over the potatoes, that you mash up or sop up the juice with the cornbread. It is easy enough to increase the amount of meat and vegetables to fit the family, or reduce the size of the meat and vegetables.
A.M. answers from Dallas on November 13, 2008
WHen my husband and I were in grad school, nboth working full time, we were only home together two nights a week. I'd spend some time on Saturday, or break from studying, making a menu and shopping list. I would do all my shopping and preparation work on Sunday, cooking 3-5 meals that we could easily reheat and pack up if needed. It was such a great way to spend my Sunday (I love to cook). I know time constraints are different with children, but see if you can work it into your schedule. You won't regret it!
C.L. answers from Dallas on November 20, 2008
I am the owner of Super Suppers Richardson and that's what we're here for! You can come in and make a lot of meals at once, take them home and put in the freezer for those nights you're too tired to cook. When you make the meals they are $3.50 a serving. We do all the shopping and clean up when you're finished. We also keep a freezer full of premade meals for you to pick up anytime we're open. I'd love for you to check out our website...www.ssrichardson.com
K.N. answers from Dallas on November 12, 2008
Hi, I am a Pampered Chef Consultant and we have a wonderful thing called Power Cooking. There are several recipes that you can prepare most of the way, freeze and then finish cooking in about 10-20 minutes. There is a set of recipes for beef or chicken. I would love to help you minimize your prep time and actually make diner enjoyable again!