Friday, September 10, 2010

Feeding the family

Stuffed peppers for a busy night! I can prepare these the night before and bake for 30' right after work. The family would be ready to sit down together, and eat. Crusty bread, and fruit, would round up the meal.

That didn't happen that often, especially as my schedule and my husband's took us late into the evening for our  busy jobs.  Our children, home and settled for hours, might have snacked on cereal and milk before we got home with a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Yes, I confess.

You're tired. And busy!
Everyone wants to eat something else.
So, you stop at a drive-in and you pick up dinner.
Does that happen to you often?

You only need a few things and one weekend to get ahead, I found out. Oh, and extra money! To stock the pantry and the freezer you need to shop in quantity. Hope you can get ahead really soon!

Stock your fridge and pantry with these ingredients:
canned tomatoes
bouillon cubes.
Salad dressings

Too tired to cook? Scramble eggs, cook some  veggies, pour a T of dressing over them, add a roll and you have dinner. Don't even think of stopping off and picking up fish and chips. Once you do, your habits form, and you become a slave to others' cooking. All that extra fat and sugar will add up over the years!

Have time once a week? : Bake a meatloaf,  a whole chicken,  a pork roast.  Now, you have food for dinners and lunches. Meatloaf sands, chicken wraps, pork stir fry.  The trick is to have a couple of things on hand for those nights when nobody has the willingness to prepare a meal from scratch. 

I always made my meaty spaghetti-sauce over the weekend and made enough extra sauce to use  the rest of the week, or freeze for a night when I had nothing to cook.

You don't make your own spaghetti sauce? Nothing will taste as good as a homemade sauce. (I promise, it will come up soon in a new post!)

Let your kids help. They will throw an extra ingredient that they like in the sauce, and just that addition would let them like the dish.

Make meal planning family learning times.  The kids can download a recipe, collect and get everything on the counter, and will assist you in whipping up the meal.  When you do cook together, you'll discover all kinds of things going on in their lives.

As my children got older, their job was to put something I had assembled right in the oven and have it cooked by the time I got home. We had lots of casseroles like the one above.

Feeding your family doesn't have to consume you or your pocketbook.


  1. Do you have a recipe for the stuffed peppers? They look scrumptious, and I happen to have a lot of peppers at the moment:-)

    I like your thoughts on all of this. I tend to be a planner and a cooker, but when things get especially hectic, as they did this summer, I get off track. I'm enjoying beginning to settle back into more planning and home cooking.

  2. yummy looking peppers - i can almost smell them through the monitor! yummmm!

  3. The peppers are stuffed with ground meat, either beef or pork, or a combo, breadcrumbs and chopped onions, with an egg and a couple of tablespoons of worstershire sauce or soy sauce. I mix the entire thing, add some salt and pepper and dried sage or fresh parsley, stuff in the peppers, lay these in a casserole lined with cut potatoes and drizzle olive oil all over. Bake in a hot oven, 375F, for forty minutes or until browned on top.

    Serve with more veggies, crusty bread and a glass of your favorite red wine. Make extra and you'll have them for lunch the next day.

  4. Great post and advice! I have always shopped and cooked in quanities and it helps that I have a big freezer. Your peppers sound and look wonderful! Have a great weekend!

  5. that is a great looking dinner alright. I try to stay stocked and it's true there is always something I can throw together. But last night's Chinese take out was a treat!....

  6. Oh, Chinese! My first choice in eating out. There is no way I can replicate those recipes, those subtle tastes with the knowledge I have.

  7. these look cute.
    Thanks for sharing!

  8. Oh, thank you for the recipe! I'll be trying these soon, they sound wonderful!

  9. Made these Saturday night, and they were delicious! Thank you, also, for the kind words about our big decision.

  10. I like that you have included potatoes with your stuffed peppers...great idea.

  11. Many weekends I will cook a pork loin of which we use about half. The other half is my fall-back for getting home late after a day on the golf course (retired, you know).

    I slice the pork loin diagonally into pieces. I saute it along with olive oil, onions, oregano, salt & pepper; I add a vegetable (usually zucchini &/or yellow squash sliced & quartered) and cook for 5 or 6 minutes. I cook whole wheat pasta, rinse, pour a bit of olive oil & add garlic/parsley salt; then I spoon the pork loin concoction over it.

    Serve with fresh tomatoes, basil, onion with sea salt & olive oil drizzled over it and fresh whole grain bread from a lady at the Farmer's Market. It is usually a hit!