starving family

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by diggerdeb, Sep 4, 2009.

  1. diggerdeb

    diggerdeb Comrade

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    Sep 4, 2009

    I am sad to say that the starving family is my own.:unsure:

    I went back to work this week.

    I would finish around six. Then still need to decide what to eat.

    Finish at the grocery store around seven

    Finish cooking and eat at eight!!!:yawn:

    I can't let that happen this week. I just read the thread about planning meals ahead. But my question-what is on the menu?

    I am thinking that it would be great to prepare some stuff this weekend-freeze it-take it out in the morning-have hubby put it in the oven when he gets home. Then I can come home at six thirty and we can eat right away.

    I know I can make lasagna becasue that freezes well. But what other suggestions??

    :thanks:for your help. I thank you and my hungry
    family thanks you:thumb:
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sep 4, 2009

    I go back to work on Tuesday, so the meal wars begin then in my house. Tomorrow I'm hitting BJs, one of the large warehouse stores, to stock up on snacks, lunches, and quick dinners. In my experience, the shopping is the key; you need to have stuff on hand that can become dinner in less than half an hour. But here's what comes to mind:

    It's still nice out, so burgers and hot dogs on the grill are quick and easy! If there's time to include some french fries, great. Otherwise, you can heat up some baked beans or throw together a salad. Likewise, you can marinate chicken cutlets (buy a bottle of Lawry's marinade, ask hubby to put the marinade and the chicken into a ziplock bag when he gets home. Chicken doesn't need to marinate long.) Throw them on the grill and dinner is ready.

    Chicken cutlets are quick and easy. And there are a zillion ways to cook them. You can buy the pre-cooked ones (they're on my shopping list) and dinner is ready in minutes.

    Sloppy Joes/ Manwhich sandwiches are also quick and easy. So are French Dip sandwiches: deli roast beef on rolls with beef broth. If you want to melt some cheese on the roast beef, even better.

    If your husband is home first, have him put on the water for pasta. A jar of sauce and maybe some frozen meatballs, and your possibliities are endless:
    linguini and clam sauce
    fettuchini alfredo
    spaghetti and meatballs...

    Make extra meatballs and the next night you have meatball heros.

    That same sauce changes those plain chicken cutlets into chicken Parmagiana. Add some spaghtetti and you're good to go.

    I'm not into real cooking mode yet, but that may help get you started.
     
  4. LMath85

    LMath85 Companion

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    Sep 4, 2009

    There are quite a few things that can be prepared in advance.

    On Sunday we will make a pot of sauce and meatballs for Monday. The sauce can then be used for leftovers on Thursday, but we always make fresh pasta. You can change it up by making Baked Ziti which is fairly easy to make. We will also make some pot roast on Sunday since we likes to cook it for two days - it will be ready for Tuesday. Same goes for Pork Shoulder (to make pulled pork).

    Turkey Meatloaf only takes 5mins to prepare and 40-50 minutes to cook in the oven. Making sausage and peppers is easy as you just have to put the sausage in the oven for an hour, cut up and cook it with a bag of frozen peppers. Easy!

    If you have time to fry up eggplant on the weekend, you can make eggplant parm for during the week.

    If I think of anything else I'll let you know :)
     
  5. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Use the crockpot! You come home and it's done. You can throw together a veg or salad to go with it, but all the work is done. THere are several threads on here about crockpot recipes, or check out www.crockpot365.blogspot.com. But basically any meat and anything with some moisture together in the crockpot will cook up well. Chicken breasts with a couple cups of salsa dumped on top, then you can put it in soft tacos. Super easy. Or pork with sauerkraut on top. A roast with some onion soup on it. You can get a little more involved than that, but those are super easy suggestions. Get one that will automatically switch to warm when it is done, so your food won't overcook.
     
  6. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I like to use the McCormick grilling spices. They are great on chicken cutlets, pork chops, or beef. I cook sirloin steak or flank steak on the stovetop, first at high temp to sear the outside. It's quick and tasty.

    Frozen chicken cutlets are versatile. You can slice them while they are partly frozen (it's easiest that way), then toss with pasta or green salad, or season with taco spices.

    Parboil fresh green beans and save some for later. Toss, chilled, with vinaigrette or italian dressing, a dash of olive oil, feta cheese, pepper.

    I just tasted this at the grocery store where they prepare foods to promote them, and it was delicious. It uses mostly ingredients from your cupboard.

    Shrimp Tortellini Marinara

    Preheat large saucepan, add a little oil.
    Fry shrimp two minutes or so.
    Boil cheese tortellini (or use ready-to-eat) in another pan.
    Add marinara sauce to shrimp.
    Toss in some mushrooms.
    Add 1/2 cup white wine (optional).
    Add Italian seasoning spices, salt, pepper.
    Add in the cooked tortellini.
    Cook together for a couple of minutes.


    If you eat ground beef, or a mix of beef and turkey, fry it, drain it, cool it, and store in the freezer in individual ziploc bags. Use to add to sauce or to make mini-meatloaves. These cook on top of the stove in a covered fry pan.

    Mini-Meatloaves
    Thaw ground meat. Blot moisture. Add breadcrumbs and/or dry oatmeal. Add 1 egg (optional).

    Shape into ovals (like Reese's PB cup Easter eggs, haha).

    Cover with dry seasonings of your choice, onion soup mix, or with a can of condensed soup like mushroom or celery. Add onions if desired.

    Cover and simmer until center of loaves is cooked, check that the loaves aren't sticking from time to time.
     
  7. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

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    Sep 4, 2009

    On the weekend, I go through cookbooks and recipe websites and decide what we're going to eat on what days. I get the groceries we're going to need for the week. That way, I know in advance what we're going to eat, so when I get home I can start cooking. Since there's only two of us, a lot of the time we have leftovers.

    I like the Kraft website for good recipes that don't take very long to cook.
     
  8. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    www.tasteofhome.com is a good one, too. You just reminded me. You sound very organized, Shanoo.
     
  9. flyingmickey

    flyingmickey Rookie

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    If you DH is home first shouldn't he be the one starting dinner.

    We generally plan the weeks meals on Sunday and then we just follow the list. I hate grocery shopping so DH does most of it - he LOVES Costco. I hate trying to decide what to cook and when it says Wed - taco salad - I don't have to think about it.

    I have a cook book called The Big Cook and it's all about cooking one day and having meals for a month. I have tried a few and they are good. My friend has the book right now but you should be able to get it on Amazon.

    One trick that I do is precook my ground beef. I hate having to cook it so I buy a lot of it and spend one evening cooking all of it. I then put it into freezer bags and toss it in the freezer. When we are having something that uses ground beef I take it out in the morning and thaw it in the fridge. Tacos take about 10 minutes to make when you just have to simmer the sauce.
     
  10. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

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    Thanks, Upsadaisy. To be honest, I started doing it because there is nothing I hate more than having to go the the grocery store right after work. I would rather not eat. But, that doesn't work either :)

    I'll have to check out that site!
     
  11. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Yeah, I hate that, too. I would rather have scrambled eggs than have to pick something up.
     
  12. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    I used the crockpot blog a lot when I was working. It was great to come home and dinner was ready in an instant.
     
  13. McKennaL

    McKennaL Groupie

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    To me... there is nothing better than to come home to the smell of something wonderful coming from the crock pot!

    And everytime I do that i keep wondering WHY I don't do it more often...and ESPECIALLY why i don't do it INSTEAD of grabbing fast food!
     
  14. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Sometimes we have make your own sandwich night, make your own pizza night, etc. Just have the ingredients on hand and everyone can pick what they want.
     
  15. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    We do an everyone on their own night. That's a night when someone has to be somewhere by 6:15/6:30p.m., so that may be a couple of nights a week. Friday night is pizza night. I always cook on Sunday night. I usually try for something that takes a little longer.

    The other week nights I use a quick meals cookbook. So we eat mostly chicken during the week.
     
  16. peggy27

    peggy27 Cohort

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    Sep 4, 2009

    Get that family to help you out!
     
  17. K1teach

    K1teach Companion

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    Sep 4, 2009

    One of my favorite meals for a quick night is pulled pork bbq. I toss a pork roast (or shoulder) into the crock pot on my way out the door and put a little bbq sauce over it. When I get home, I turn it off and open it to cool a little and turn the oven on to preheat. When the oven is hot, I put frozen french fries in and take the pork out to shred. As I shred it, I put it back into the sauce. When the fries are done, we sit down to eat. We usually eat the pulled pork on buns. If I remember, I toast the buns in the oven for the last few minutes the fries are in. You can add a little more sauce to your sandwiches if you want or serve with coleslaw or other things. Very quick and easy! And super yummy!

    PS I made this for my grandparents when my grandma had a broken hand. She is a delicious cook, but was very impressed!
     
  18. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    When my sister and I were pre-teens, mom would give us a day to "cook something" for the family; she would say there's hamburger in the fridge, do something with it. My big introduction to cooking to say the least; but it was all worthwhile.

    Also, the crockpot is my best friend; you can even put frozen meat in there!

    "Salad" night is fun too...be sure to have some protein to add...hard-boiled eggs & chicken are great and easy! You can boil the eggs while you're in the shower in the mornings.
     
  19. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    All right - I also need to get serious about meal planning. Between the first week of school and the heat meals were pretty pathetic around here. Let's motivate each other.
     
  20. LMath85

    LMath85 Companion

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    I've got pulled pork cooking in the oven right now.....it smells soooooo good. How can I fall asleep when the smell is making me hungry????

    We always look through the AD for our food store on Saturday and make a list of meals we could have for the week. This saves the hassle of having to go back to the store during the week. We rarely do this. Obviously meats can't just sit in the fridge all week so we eat those first. Pasta is usually the option for Thursday. Friday is Pizza night.

    I just thought of a yummy recipe from Kraft Food magazine. Pork chops, can of mushroom soup, covered with stuffing and baked in the oven. Make a side of rice. Yummmmyyyy :)
     
  21. diggerdeb

    diggerdeb Comrade

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    oh my!
    I am amazed of all the dishes you ladies had in mind.
    The challenge is....just do it!!!
     
  22. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Great ideas ladies.

    We get 3 pound packages of ground beef. I cook it all up, like I am going to make spaghetti. Then, I make spagetti sauce with a third of it using the jar type sauce. With the other two pounds, I package them in a Tupperware or Ziploc and freeze them. When I want to make sloppy joes or some sort of casserole, the meat is cooked and ready to go.

    I also keep frozen hamburger patties on hand. Like Alice said, that is super easy either grilled or fried and the kids love them.

    All that said, I've been back to school two weeks and we pretty much are eating a meal-meal only once a week during the work days. We have been fending for ourselves. Things should die down now and we can get on a better plan:)
     
  23. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    My meals are usually very simple. A protein and a veg. I love the frozen boneless chicken thighs, though we got whole chickens at a great price and have a case of them to use up before I can indulge in boneless. ha!

    I keep on hand always:
    frozen petite green beans
    frozen asparagus
    frozen mixed veggies
    frozen stir fry - I will add fresh veggies if on hand
    frozen chopped spinach
    cr. of mushroom soup
    chicken and beef broth
    Rotelle tomatoes/chiles
    canned Nally's No Bean Chili
    usually frozen boneless chicken
    frozen Ravioli
    frozen Homestyle noodles
    canned spaghetti sauce
    canned diced tomatoes
    canned corn
    canned hominy
    We have a lot of frozen fish because DH loves to fish! Someone gave us frozen ground venison, use same as hamburger.

    If you watch, you can find Stouffer's frozen lasagna on sale way cheaper than making it from scratch, and it is good and serves for at least 2 meals and maybe a lunch.

    You can make a super quick soup with any of these ingredients.

    My favorite casserole is:
    thaw spinach in microwave, then drain well; put spinach in casserole dish. Add thawed chicken on top, cover with cream of chicken or mushroom soup thinned with some milk. Then top with lots of canned Parmesan cheese - more the better. Bake for about 45 min. You can prepare it on the weekend and put in the oven right when you get home, go take a shower or sit down with family and some carrots and dip while it cooks.

    I agree a menu and a shopping list is the key. Some standby meals - taco salad - easy! Use your precooked frozen meat, chop lettuce and tomatoes, add shredded cheese and salsa and a few chips!

    Ravioli with a salad.

    Baked potatoes with toppings. I love this meal with the fresh broccoli from Safeway that comes in a bag and you don't even have to wash it, just microwave for 4 min!

    Eggs and sausage for dinner is great!

    Kielbasa w/sauercraut and instant potatoes!

    I also agree, going to the grocery store after work is torture. Even a sketchy menu and grocery shopping early Sat. or Sun. morning is better than waiting till you get off work. this is all making me hungry!

    First day of school, (DH out of town first week) I crawled into Safeway and bought a fresh pizza to bake at home. Second day of school I was so tired I walked in the front door and told the dog "Here is your dinner. Use the doggy door. I am going to bed!" Had a glass of wine with no dinner and went straight to bed. Third day of school, DH still out of town, I really treated myself to Chinese delivery! Fourth day, DH had a meeting, I cooked a porkchop and ate about half of it and went to bed. You see the pattern!

    Next week should be better.
     
  24. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    PS - I never heard of a crockpot that will turn itself to warm when it is done cooking. Where can I get one? What brand are they?

    I know my first two weeks of teaching first grade, years ago, my DD had either cereal or canned soup for dinner every night!
     
  25. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Mine has the warm setting and it is the Crockpot-Smart Pot. It is a great feature!
     
  26. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Thanks - I will do a search for that. My crockpot tends to produce dry meats, unless I am making a soup. One thing about crockpots, have you noticed that when you cook barley in a crockpot recipe, it tries to take over the whole pot??
     
  27. amaryllis

    amaryllis Rookie

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    If you like Indian food and curries, they keep wonderfully in the freezer and are very easy to make in advance.
     
  28. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    My Rival Crock-pot turns to "warm". I love it.

    Bonneb, if you will cover most of your meat in liquid/water, it won't dry out at all. It will be fabulous! I always save the broth and freeze it to make gravy or use as a soup base for later.
     
  29. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Maybe that is my problem, not enough liquid! I think I will try a chicken for next week. I love crock pot chicken! Fav. recipe with crockpot chicken. Cook chicken all day. Come home and take meat off the bones, put in a pot on the stove with broth, celery, carrots, and frozen homestyle noodles, add a can of cr. mushroom soup, 30 min later you have wonderful chicken with noodles! Yum.

    I'm going to check on getting the new crockpot. Only bad part is we eat a lot of fish and I just don't think you can cook fish well in a crockpot. Has anyone had luck with this? However, it only takes about 15 min. to cook fish on the stove top.
     
  30. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    I actually cook only every other Sunday. I cook about 10 meals and freeze them. I take out what we will eat every day and put in the refrigerator the night before. Whoever is the first home (my kids included) will get it in the oven. When I get home, I through a salad or some simple side dish together and dinner is ready. I started cooking this way many years ago when I was a SAHM. It was easier to cook when my hubby was at home entertaining the kids instead of doing it everyday when I wanted to play with them. You can google freezer meals and get many recipes.
     
  31. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Sounds like a great idea!
     
  32. amaryllis

    amaryllis Rookie

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    Does anyone have any really yummy crockpot recipes? Our family eats fish and chicken and prawns, but no other meats. I'd LOVE to get some good crockpot recipes since my dh is very attached to my cooking for him.
     
  33. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    It is his way of receiving love from you!
     
  34. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    I get Krafts free cookbooks. I did there weekly plan last week. We did Chicken and dressing cass. one night, macaroni and beef cass on night, and several other things from it. I like that they have a shopping list made for me to follow that allows me to cook for a week.
     
  35. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    Alice, I know why I like you
    yum yum
     

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