What do you make for dinner for your family on a regular basis? Not talking about your fabulous gourmet recipes you get from the Food Network - but what do you make for your family when your days are busy or when it's 5 PM and kids are gnawing their hands off, or climbing into the pantry to find nourishment...? Usually on those days, if I'm not terribly hungry, or N's at a meeting, I throw kid food at them - hot dogs, cheese crisps, and the like... but on OTHER days...
I was tagged by Ashlee - and I think this is a great idea, so here's a list of my go-to meals. I want yours too! I must preface this by saying that I buy Whatever's.On.Sale. meat-wise, so that tends to dictate what we have each week. Chicken is generally the cheapest per pound, so we most always have chicken. Nice and boring. I like to buy tenderloins because they're tender, (duh) quicker to cook, and have much less fat on them. And they're the same price as breasts.
We're not great at side dishes or veggies. Sometimes I throw canned corn at the girls and we can bribe them to eat it - but mostly N and me just eat salads with whatever we're having. M will eat tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, and spinach - but only raw.
A is a picky eater. And that is an understatement. As long as dinner includes some sort of meat as the primary ingredient, preferably left in big bite-sized pieces, and not covered up with too much sauce, etc, so that it may be separated out and dipped in ketchup... then she will join us for dinner.
1. Fajitas - I make them ALL the time. This is my only real "go-to" meal. I cut the chicken into strips, saute in some kind of taco seasoning, and then remove from the pan before cooking peppers and onions. That way, my kiddos can make their chicken tacos easily, without picking out all the "gross" stuff. Then I at least feel like we're all eating the same thing..
2. BBQ Pork - Crock pots are my friend. I either buy pork roasts when they go on sale at Fry's, or get the ginormous ones at Costco and freeze them into three chunks. Add a McCormick packet of BBQ pulled pork seasoning, a little apple cider vinegar, a little brown sugar, some hamburger buns... 6 hours later we're ALL eating it. Even A, with no complaints. Though she eats hers separate from the bun, and dipped in ketchup. Sigh.
3. Pork Chops - Again, these go on sale A LOT. Depending on whether they're boneless or not usually changes what I feel like doing with them. Sometimes they go in the crock pot with cream of mushroom soup and such, most times they get marinated and thrown on the grill. M loves potato pearls, so that is usually a side dish, or corn, or both... And A will eat these easily, and loves them.
4. Crock pot tacos - frozen chicken breasts, black beans, corn, salsa - I like to go get Carolina's tortillas to have with these when I can, which make everything better! These need fresh cilantro and sour cream to finish them off, methinks.
5. Stir-fry - Chicken, cut up into strips, sauteed in a little bit of garlic, and oyster or teriyaki sauce... I buy those huge bags of frozen stir fry veggies from Costco, add peppers, onions, whatever the produce basket has blessed us with that week... Rice in the rice cooker, and done. M loves the little corns! Even though A usually doesn't eat the chicken and veggies, the girls both love rice with butter and salt. Sometimes I throw in pineapple chunks and eat mine with sweet and sour sauce... N drowns his in rooster chili sauce, of course.
6. Roast - Crock pot. Onions. Carrots. A few potatoes. Seasoning. Ketchup. You know the drill. Usually only happens on Sundays. And then a couple days later, the container of cooked potatoes gets thrown away because no one wants them after the meat is gone. Does anyone else relate?
7. Pizza night - to my utter distaste, Friday nights are hot-n-ready at my house. Kids totally look forward to this all week. Which is okay, I guess, because they end up having leftover slices for lunch on Sat and Sun usually.
8. Soup - I consider myself a pretty good soup maker. Now that it's not so blazing hot, soup is usually my meal of choice! Hard to mess it up, really... My favorites are my White Chili, and a simple Chicken Noodle Soup - you can't go wrong with a crock pot and chicken, egg noodles, veggies and plenty of rosemary, sage and thyme! I like to use half chicken broth and half cream of chicken for the base.
Other recipes I really like:
Fish tacos, with mahi mahi fillets (I'll have to try Ashlee's blackened version), corn, cilantro, avacado, black beans and Kraft's GREEN GODDESS dressing ( I LOVE that stuff - use it on all kinds of taco salads, etc... )
Meatballs, when I have the time to put them together. I like meatball subs, with provolone slices and pasta sauce.
Black bean Enchiladas (M's FAVORITE)
You know I like you if I make Trader Joe's Salad when you come over. , or a version thereof.
I just bought stuff to make THIS this week, too...
SO - WHAT ABOUT YOU??