There is nothing more relaxing than a warm cozy meal at the end of a busy, rainy, and chilly day. I can honestly say that I never understood how busy my days could get until I had child. As my daughter reaches her milestones so quickly it seems, each day is starting to look like a new adventure in our household. The living room redesigned, every inch of the household childproofed, I now spend my evenings running after my daughter preventing her from getting into anything that I missed through my house surveillance routine the previous night. It is no secret that I am exhausted at the end of the day and warm meals were starting to become a luxury in my home. I, however, have always looked forward to my little family gathered around the table in the evening sharing what our days looked like and laughing together at dinner time. Nothing warms up the heart after a rainy and cool fall day like exchanging laughs with the ones you love, or cozying on the couch with a bowl of a warm meal. So here, I have gathered a few tips that help me provide a warm meal on the table for my little growing family on my busy weeknights.
-Make the main ingredients in bulk.
This is one trick that I use that saves me time and gives me peace of mind for the next day’s dinner. If I am making pasta Bolognese for example I make a bigger pot and split the ground beef before adding in the rest of ingredients. You can either save the cooked ground beef for things like easy chili the next night, taco tuesday or you can even use half to mold up some Italian meatball to throw in the freezer for the next day. The idea here is to make use the days you have a little bit more times to do some meal prep that will save you time on the days you get home later than usual.
-Revamp the leftover.
I used to be one of those people who never considered leftover a dinner option, if I ate leftover it was for lunch of the next day and I had to find something different for dinner. Now I know that leftover make the best new diners. If the food keeps well, you can always switch up the combination and call it a new diner. With a few more spices and a pasta sauce, leftover chicken breast that was combined with potatoes the previous night can make a great chicken pasta casserole and boom chef “you” saves the day.
-Dust off your oven.
The oven has become one of my go to cooker. There are a ton of recipes that require minimal preparation and the rest of the cooking is done in the oven, this is becoming my go to options because I can make the dish during my daughter’s short naps and have it cooking while I run after my crawling nugget or take care of my other mommy duties, Hey (insert mommy dance here).
– The crockpot is a lifesaver
Number one on my favorite and most used kitchen gadgets is my sweet, perfect, good friend slow cooker. I use that thing for everything. Did you know that you can make lasagna in a crockpot? Thank you Pinterest for providing me with endless creative recipes. Also fall is here so it’s time to find those grandma recipes for delicious soups, chili and casseroles. I love the crockpot because I can get it ready as early as possible during my baby’s morning nap, the night before or even right before work and that thing will take care of the rest, I don’t have to worry about dinner all day long, YAY.
-Invest in an extra freezer.
I always thought that an extra freezer was for people who had big families and in need of much more space to store their perishables, but having an extra freezer allows you to do your big shopping at once which helps you save both on time and even money. It can be discouraging to having to through the rush hour traffic hours to get to grocery store at the end of a busy day at work, so having ingredients already at home motivates me to cook. A freezer also will help you save on grocery costs, always a great idea to grab those buy one get one free deals since you have storage space right?!
These are but a few tips that I use and I am willing to hear how you get your warm meals on the table after a busy day, drop a line in the comment to share your cool tricks.