Thursday, May 24, 2012

Dinner in a Dash

"So much to do, so little time".  I find myself saying this quite often these days.  I don't think I have ever been as busy as I am right now.  Sure there have been other times of great busyness, like when we brought our third baby home and our oldest was three.  Or, when my husband was working in Pittsburgh, PA for five long months and I was in Knoxville, TN taking care of our children alone.  But right now has to be the busiest I have ever been.  I commented recently to a mother who raised two children how busy the kids were keeping me and she said, "Been there, done that".  Nope, it's different.  A wonderful, fun, sometimes crazy, different.  Is eating two doughnuts the same as eating six?  

I have some recipes I use when I am super busy and since everyone I talk to voices the busy complaint also, I thought I would share.  These are quick, easy, and inexpensive.  Oh, and they are delicious!  My family is very happy with these meals. 

Ranch Noodles and Chicken

8-oz pkg medium egg noodles, uncooked
1/2 cup butter
1-oz pkg ranch salad dressing mix
2/3 c. frozen peas and carrots
3 c. cooked chicken, cubed

Cook noodles according to package directions.  Meanwhile, melt butter in a skillet over medium heat.  Stir in dressing mix and peas and carrots.  Cook until warm.  Add drained noodles and chicken; toss to mix and heat through.  Serves 4. 

Easy Burrito Bar

Large can of refried beans
1 envelope Taco seasoning
soft tortilla shells
chopped onion, tomato, lettuce
shredded cheese
sour cream
tortilla chips

Heat beans on stove top and mix in taco seasoning.  Warm tortilla shells in microwave.  Set up topping bar and allow everyone to make their own burrito. Serve with chips and salsa.

Skillet Macaroni and Beef

1lb. ground beef
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 c. onion, diced
1/2 c. green pepper, diced
2 8-oz cans tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 1/2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 cup elbow macaroni, uncooked

Brown beef in a large skillet over medium heat.  Drain; sprinkle with seasonings.  Add onion and green pepper; saute.  Add remaining ingredients. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to separate macaroni.  Uncover and cook an additional 5 minutes, until thickened.  Makes 6 servings.  

I like to serve this with tossed salad.  

You don't have to give in to drive thru food during the busy times.  You can still put a good meal on the table with just a little planning.  Save the big commitment meals for times when there is less going on and find recipes that are on the simpler side for busy days.   

1 comment:

  1. Stephanie, these look yummy. I have a good mac and beef recipe which also uses uncooked mac. You brown the beef, stir it all up and put in oven. I'll email it to you. Love you, miss you.



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