Monday, September 14, 2015

Quick Dinner Tips


We have a guest!

Mai Tai anyone?
We really real housewives thrive best when we're hanging out with friends, chatting up ways to make life simpler.

So, we're excited to have the fabulous Melissa Maygrove stop in and visit this week!


Yes, the whole week!

While she's doing our work, Tara and I will chill and sip some Mai Tai's. 

What? We deserve a break :)

Here's Melissa!

I don’t know about you, but I love anything that makes suppertime easier.

If you’re making a batch of spaghetti sauce (you know, those of you who actually have time to make it from scratch and not just open a jar... *crickets* Oh-kay, we can pretend those people exist.), you can make a double batch and freeze half. Next time you have a spaghetti dinner, you’ll only have to cook the noodles and toast some garlic bread.

Oh, and steam a veggie. Let’s not forget our veggies.
Broccoli or green beans + steamer pot + water = good mother

The same concept works for ground meat. With most meals, getting the meat cooked is half the battle. Am I right?

Many recipes start out with ‘brown one pound of ground beef and drain.’ (And that means ‘brown’ it not ‘gray’ it. I learned THAT, le’metellya. No wonder I didn’t like the taste of ground beef for years. :P) If I’m going to dirty a skillet to cook one pound, why not two? Cook a double batch with salt and pepper and maybe some chopped onion (that you already chopped and froze for times like these), then bag half once it’s cooled, label it, and put it in the freezer. Next time you need some browned ground meat, you simply thaw it and dump it in. Bam! Done. :)

Native Texan Melissa Maygrove is a wife, mother, nurse, freelance editor, and romance writer. When she's not busy caring for her tiny nursery patients or shuttling teenagers back and forth to after-school activities, she's hunched over her laptop, complicating the lives of her imaginary friends and playing matchmaker. Melissa loves books with unpretentious characters and unforgettable romance, and she strives to create those same kinds of stories for her readers.




33 comments:

  1. I LOVE this concept! As a really real housewife myself, I'd love to contribute something helpful to your blog!!

    PS--Melissa is amazing and as usual, very helpful here :-)

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    Replies
    1. I paid her to say that.

      Kidding. Thanks for visiting, Randi! And thanks for letting me take over your blog, Tara, Beth & Elizabeth. :)

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    2. Any time. We're happy to take a vacay!

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  2. I used to make double batches of food when my kids were little. Then I'd just shove them in the freezer. There's actually a good book, Don't Panic, Dinner's in the Freezer, which provides the correct proportions for recipes increased up to three times the original. Surprisingly, you can't just double and triple everything.

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    Replies
    1. Can you tell I one of those who just open a jar. :P

      Good to know, Sherry! Thanks for the tip. :)

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  3. We make our spaghetti sauce from scratch and yes, there are several containers in the freezer.
    We also pre-make our chicken burger patties and put those in the freezer. Messy hands only once.

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    1. I should've known your ninja skills would carry over to cooking. :D

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    2. Splurt!!! (Sorry, let me just clean up my red wine mess (Don't tell them it's boxed wine, Melissa...!)

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    3. I make the sauce from scratch, or cheat and doctor up a jar, because I hide all my vegetables in it. I cook and then grind up spinach with an immersion blender then add it to the sauce. I hide the zuchini in the meat balls. My kids think they only like a few veggies but they eat all the ones the profess to hate hidden in other stuff.

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  4. awesome post, Melissa - so glad you're with us this week!

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  5. I love tips for easy dinners! I like your idea of making more than one batch of everything and freezing it. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  6. Hilarious girl. Don't grey it. Haha... Much love to this wonderful new blog!

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    1. Agree. These ladies have a winner. If they can just keep me from taking it over again, they'll be all set. LOL

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    2. You know you're welcome any time! I mean the whole idea is sharing just how lazy (erm, I mean busy) we are and helping other people free up some time.

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  7. Finally found this blog. I do the same with spaghetti sauce, but I have never thought of the browning meat idea. I also make cheese sauces and freeze half, or most any sauces I make, always double up.

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    1. Glad to see you found us, Jo!

      Having the meat browned and ready to go opens you up to making so many things quickly- chili, spaghetti, tacos- anything that starts with ground beef.

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    2. Yea! Jo made it!

      When I was younger and working a lot of shifts in a row, I used to grill a whole bag of chicken breasts and freeze most of them. They were great for taking in my lunch box.

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  8. Cool ideas! Plus great idea for a blog. Kudos, ladies!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Carol! It's a way for us to show our domestic side. ;)

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  9. Your time saving tip has gone down very well. It's especially good for writers - time is a scarce resource!

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    Replies
    1. Yes! I look for any shortcut I can get away with. LOL

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  10. Hey Housewives :)

    Lazy househusband here.. .burp... dang, just spilled my PBR...

    So, I have even a better solution - and I swear - stinky promise - this story is true: We have three boys, 8, 5 and 3.

    Only two of them like spaghetti and NONE of them like the tomato sauce OR the meat, brown or gray :)

    #EasyChildren

    #IWish :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're sneakier than the ninja. (Liz, lock the door! :P)

      I have one who doesn't like the sauce. We keep it separate so he can get plain noodles and top them with cheese instead.

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  11. Thankfully, my husband does most of the cooking now! But I hadn't thought about cooking the meat and then freezing it. I do, however, make my own spaghetti sauce. I've even frozen it before after making a big batch. I'm the only really huge spaghetti fiend in my house, so I put them in small containers, suitable for me to take to work. Yum!

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    Replies
    1. Lucky you! :P

      You know... what I want to find more of are those recipes that use the leftovers to make a second (related-but-different) dish the next night. Like these: http://cookingwithmichele.com/2012/03/double-duty-cook-once-eat-twice-giveaway/

      Problem is, I'd have to hide the leftovers or they wouldn't make it past my ravenous after-school locusts the following day. LOL

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  12. Excellent tips! I like to spend as little time in the kitchen as possible.

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  13. Great time saving tip on browning a double batch, and just one clean-up of the skillet instead of two. I love steamed veggies. We have a steamer and so easy and also easy clean up. Thanks for the tip.

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Thanks for stopping by the House!

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