When it comes to fast weeknight dinners, you can never get enough ideas to keep things easy and delicious. Everyone gets bored with the normal repertoire, and sadly, it’s often the kids who are the first to complain. With Paula’s bounty of recipes, there’s no need to be fussy or repetitive if you’re busy. From our takes on the classics to fun meals may never have thought of, we’ve got great recipes that won’t eat up your time!
General menu planning tips:
1. Look for things you can cook in one pot, enjoy raw, supplement with store-bought items, or don’t require a lot of chopping or other active preparation.
2. To ease the post-work time crunch, consider make-ahead or slow-cooker recipes like Stuffed Peppers and Harvest Stew.
3. Maintain a well-stocked pantry full of ingredients you feel comfortable using, liked dried spices, garlic, flour, olive oil, lemons, hardy herbs, frozen vegetables, or whatever you and your family likes.
4. Don’t abandon your steadfast standards; you can always spruce them up and vary them, but most hungry eaters will not turn down a good grilled steak, pasta, hearty salad, giant sandwich, satisfying soup, or breakfast for dinner, (like our Sausage Pancake Egg Sandwich or our mouth-watering, Southern style Ham and Black-Eyed Pea Cake Eggs Benedict).
Some recipes to meet your needs:
Make sure you can always throw together something sweet by stocking things like ice cream, frozen or fresh fruit, chocolate chips, and piecrust.
Napoleon (Don’t worry, it’s basically Oreos, wafers, and pudding mix!)
Penny Savers & Pantry Grabs
Stewed collard greens - Serve with instant rice or grits.
Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich
Paula’s Couscous Salad - Our Greek-inspired ingredients make a great combo but use whatever vegetables, cheese, or olives you have!
Shrimp and Wild Rice Casserole - Cook the component ingredients ahead, assemble (leaving out the topping), and cover; then top and bake at dinnertime!
Enchiladas - Assemble and freeze!
Grilled Vegetable Pasta Salad - Cut and marinate the vegetables ahead of time and grill them quickly while you make the pasta.
Broccoli and Red Cabbage Slaw
I have learned something new. It has been quite a while since I have been to a baby shower, and I am now prepared and up-to-date. I love the term "sprinkles" and it is nice to know that men are also invited to partake in the excitement! Thank you for a fun article!
kay buelvas in Baby Showers and Sprinkles on June 19, 2013 at 11:03 am
Wonderful ideas!!! Thank you so much for sharing this information about such a great occasion! Cindy, your ideas always helpful and creative.
Sandra in Baby Showers and Sprinkles on June 15, 2013 at 10:59 am
Everyone calls Paula dean because i cook for friends and family and they say i talk like Paula tho i am 71and never as pretty as Paula i want to be like Paula i love her and her family
normal maskell in The Great Party Challenge on June 12, 2013 at 10:11 am
Susan Lott is a great party planner! She has tons of great ideas that she needs to share with the online world. I have been begging her to start a Facebook page or Etsy account. The graduation gift that she made me was hand drawn with my name and different definitions for each letter. She framed it and I cherish it.....I also would have paid about $50 for it in a store. Thanks for sharing her idea but this idea is nothing compared to some of her other quick and money saving tips! You should hire her for your creative team!
Love you Susu!
Adrienne Hilliard in Baby Showers and Sprinkles on June 11, 2013 at 10:55 pm