At-Home Quick Dinner Fixes | Confessions of a Stay-At-Home Mom

October 11, 2011

At-Home Quick Dinner Fixes

Sometimes, life does not go as planned.  Every week, it is my intention to spend Sunday night picking recipes, looking through my pantry, and creating a grocery list. I like to have a rough Meal Rotation in place, to make my life easier.  I then intend to go grocery shopping Monday morning (with both girls, heaven help me), so we are set for the whole week with food.  

And then life happens.

We all have days like I had yesterday:  unexpected plans, events going later than anticipated, and the intended things don't get done.  Yesterday, after a very full day, I arrived home right at dinner time, having had no time to make a grocery list, let alone shop for items at the store.  

On days like this, I am often left scratching my head, asking, 

"What do I make for dinner!?"  

In this economy, we are all trying to pinch pennies; thus, eating out is not always an option.  And when put on the spot, it's hard to come up with options.

You don't HAVE to always get take out.  And know that sometimes it's ok for dinner to just be easy. Don't feel bad if the meal is not a complete meat-vegetable-starch with linen napkins and candles.  Life doesn't allow for that every day (or...ever).  You have to go with the flow.  Part of making those unexpected nights easier is thinking ahead. Have some consistent staples in your pantry, or even better, your freezer.  

You will be grateful.

For your viewing pleasure, I've compiled a list of At-Home Dinner Ideas to have on hand for those nights when you are left with your hands thrown in the air and no plan for a meal. 

Breakfast for Dinner

Why not?  Who says breakfast is only for meals occurring before 9am?  It's a fun change from the usual, and your kids will think it's just about the greatest thing since sliced bread.  Some of my favorite Breakfast for Dinner meals:

  • Cereal Buffet. Take all the boxes out of the pantry, and let each person chose whatever cereal they want (or, mix a few for a new twist)

  • Pancakes or Waffles (to feel like you are still giving your kids a nutritious meal, make Pumped Up Pancakes)

  • Breakfast Casserole (recipe to come later this week)

  • Breakfast Sandwiches (my favorite being an over-easy egg on a toasted english muffin topped with shredded sharp cheddar cheese and a dash of hot sauce. Might also be good with a slice of bacon [beef or canadian]).

Freezer Finds

Sure, I have plenty of frozen meat in the freezer. But when I get home with no time to spare before dinner, I usually don't have time to safely thaw.  Having easily thawed meal items on hand in the freezer can be a life saver.  Spend a weekend making up some of the following things and having a nice stock in the freezer for unexpected crazy days. All of these frozen foods can be taken out of the freezer, put right into a pot on the stove, and quickly heated through.

  • Chili

  • Soup

  • Tomato Sauce (have pasta or noodles on hand as a pantry staple. In the time you boil the water and cook the spaghetti, the sauce will be bubbling and ready).

There you have it!  A smattering of Quick Dinner Ideas to make at home.  Remember: 

Go with the flow. 

Save yourself the money and forget take-out.

You can make dinner tomorrow. 


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