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Posted on March 7, 2017 at 6:00 am
Do you get home from a busy day and just can’t bring yourself to make a meal for the family?
I feel this way most weekdays! I don’t think it is just me—I bet lots of busy parents do, too.
On the weekend, I can whip up an elaborate meal with the best of them, feeling like I can conquer the world. However, during the week I fall short of that can-do attitude. So I rely on tried-and-true, go-to meals on Pinterest. There are so many recipes on Pinterest, it can be hard to find those truly amazing ones. Believe me, I’ve had many mealtime fails because I believed the pinner who said it was “so easy” or “tastes just like the restaurant version.”
So I’m avoiding all of those recipe fails and just giving you the ones that have worked for me. These have been tested with success, which means my husband and son have approved.
My list includes dinners, a breakfast, and some side dishes. Don’t think you’re getting any skinny recipes here! I am outnumbered by males in my home and they want substance on their plates.
Kielbasa, Pepper, Onion and Potato Hash
This meal is at the top of my list and a favorite in our house. I prep the veggies ahead of time and buy frozen, cubed potatoes which work just as well as fresh. It recommends a cast iron pan, which I don’t have, but it still turns out delicious. Definitely take the pinner’s suggestion of using turkey kielbasa (it really is delicious), and top it with an egg if you like. As long as I cut up the veggies pretty small, my son will devour this dish. We never have leftovers, which makes me sad because it would make a great lunchtime meal the next day!
Artichoke and Mushroom Chicken
My husband loves mushrooms and I love artichoke hearts. This recipe is a win-win in our house! I found this recipe just a few months ago, and I would make it every week, but I think my family might possibly get tired of it. The sauce is amazing. The chicken always comes out a little crispy, which we like. Make sure you baste the chicken at least twice while it is in the oven for that crispy skin.
Easy Sloppy Joe Meatball Subs
These are like little sloppy joe boats, which is great because it means less sloppy and more yum! You can choose whatever sauce you prefer and use frozen meatballs. So easy and so good!
My mom made these for me when I was a kid, and I am carrying on the tradition in my home. No frying necessary, these are oven-baked fries. The key is cutting the potatoes just right, so they cook evenly and get a little crispy. Also, you can season them with whatever strikes your fancy. If you are making something on the stove, these are great to make and pop in the oven to bake while you cook.
Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
I made this for a potluck about a week ago, and it got delicious, rave reviews! It also kept well for leftovers throughout the week. The part that took the longest was boiling the pasta—so easy! We omitted the tomatoes because we don’t eat those in our house. You could keep those in and add so much more to this and it would taste even better (I’m looking at you, bell peppers). On a side note (if you have a picky eater), my son refused to eat the green pieces of pasta because he insisted we were trying to feed him vegetables. Who can relate there?!
Mini Pancake Kabobs
Ok, I don’t make these all the time, but I just had to share this one (especially for all the parents out there). My son loves having these kabobs for special occasions like birthdays and Christmas morning. He feels so special when I make them. Usually he asks me if he can have breakfast in bed when they are served up, and I allow it because they aren’t that messy. I’m already making the pancakes and cutting up the fruit, so why not skewer them on some kabob sticks?! I make sure I cut off the sharp point once they are on, so he doesn’t impale himself.