Another great guest post today, this time from Crystal of Crystal & Co. where she blogs about a wide variety of topics including life with FIVE boys. I sure do love her fun blog header. Welcome Crystal, thanks for sharing with us today!
As a mom of five boys my life gets a little crazy.
Okay, that is understatement.
My life gets a little overwhelming, which is why meal planning is key at my house. Otherwise, the clock strikes 6:00 pm and my hungry children are staring at me hoping that a sandwich is not what’s for dinner.
You can see some of my meal plans here. To help make meal planning as seamless as possible I’ve been known to do some pre-assembling in advance. With some metal disposable pans, some Ziplock baggies a marker, and a little bit of time meal time can really be simplified.
For a recipe like Sunday Chicken Dinner in the Slow Cooker, from one of my favorite recipe fetching sites, I just take all of the ingredients and place them in a Ziplock bag. Then, when I am ready to cook this meal, all I have to do is defrost (if need be) and literally plop it in the crockpot. (Did I mention I am all about slow cooking?!)
Not all of the meals require multiple Ziplock bags. This one has a lot of veggies, so they took up a bag of their own. But you get the idea.
For a casserole I use a disposable metal pan. Sometimes I precook the meat on the stove, like I did for this Tator Tot Casserole. Then, I layer the rest of the uncooked ingredients, cover with foil, label with a marker and then freeze until I am ready to bake it.
During a busy school week, these are the things that take the guess work out of dinner for me! It really keeps us at the table and away from the drive–thru line.
Do the same thing with your veggies- I like to buy frozen. I toss them in a zippy bag, add salt and pepper, a pat of butter and a spoonful of minced garlic. Toss the Ziplock bag back in the freezer. Then when you are ready to use them all you have to do is put them in a saucepan with water and boil until the water evaporates. Simple solution to a great side that will go with just about any dinner!
I also keep assorted frozen breads and rolls on hand. Partner this with your pre-assembled dinner and veggie and suddenly dinner is done and life is simplified!
This idea would also make a great gift idea when someone is having a baby, getting married or even in a time of a family tragedy. Simply prepare a list of the meals with cooking instructions as well as the veggie and bread recommendations and any family is good to go.
Crystal is the author of Crystal & Co. where she share her mommy struggles, tips on raising twins and her search for simplicity while raising a basketball team.