Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Perfectly Practical #78 - No Fail Dinners

For the last post in the series about Family Dinnertime, it seemed only appropriate to give you a little help with ideas for food.  After all, what's dinnertime with no dinner? 

As well as easy supper solutions, these dishes are crowd pleasers and are easily customized.

Simple Supper #1 - Tin Foil Dinners

These foil parcels are so incredibly easy.  You can make them up the night before and put them on a tray ready to throw in the oven the next day. 

You can change up the meat, vegetables, and/or the seasoning.  I am partial to hamburger meat, potatoes, onions, garlic, carrots, and celery with Lawry's Seasoning Salt since that's what my Momma used to make when I was a kid. 

If you wanted to, you could throw in Greek seasoning with lamb or Italian seasoning with sausage if your family likes to try new things.  Or, if you have picky eaters, then you can put more of one kind of veggie or another in their packet.  Like I said, very customizable and the best part - easy clean up.

Simple Supper #2 - Spaghetti & (Meat)Sauce

I know this is cliche but almost everyone likes spaghetti.  You can make homemade sauce and freeze it for when you need it.  I use the recipe from Southern Living's 2001 Annual Recipe Cookbook; it's amazing. 

Or for a super simple supper, use jarred sauce but add chopped and sauteed, green peppers, onions, and garlic, Italian seasoning, ground beef or Italian sausage, and a dash of brown sugar. 

You could have meat or not, chunky veg or not, and the best part - you can hide tons of veggies in the sauce if you puree them down.

Simple Supper #3 - Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup

You can dress this up or keep it casual but when you talk about a quick and easy meal, this one is the winner. 

Get fancy and use sauteed onions & apples with Gouda, mild cheddar, or Gruyere for the grilled cheese.  Or you could use mozzarella with a little extra leftover spaghetti sauce or cheddar with a little picante sauce.

The soup could be transformed with a little cream or a different blend of spices.  The best part about this meal - the flavor combinations and possibilities are endless.

Simple Supper #4 - Stir Fry

Again, this one can be meatless if you so choose.  It can really be anything you wish...almost, I mean, it can't be chocolate cake no matter how much you want it to be.  :)

This is another meal where you only dirty 2 pans and the best part - super quick, healthy, & easy meal.

Simple Supper #5 - Tacos

This takes only slightly more effort than other meals but the best part - everyone fixes their own taco the way they want it.


Simple Supper #6 - Crockpot Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, & Green Bean Casserole

This is comfort food at its best.  Not only are these foods delicious, easy, and near about foolproof, but they can be served family style at the table. 

The family can get used to saying "Pass the potatoes please" and passing plates accordingly.  That may seem like a no-brainer, but in our house, I serve the plates before they get to the table so the art of family style table manners are not practiced as often as they should be. 

The best part about this meal is that the results seem like they involved far more effort than they actually did. 

Simple Supper #7 - No Dish Left Behind

After a week of lovely meals, you probably have a good amount of containers in your fridge housing little bits of previous meals.  This is a perfectly practical solution to get rid of them and give yourself a night off from cooking.  The best part - everyone gets to have a little of everything or a lot of the thing they liked best. 

This is the last in the series about Family Suppertime.   In case you missed the first four here they are:

Perfectly Practical #74 - Dinner Together at the Table

Perfectly Practical #75 - Highs & Lows

Perfectly Practical #76 - How to Set the Table

Perfectly Practical #77 - Table Manners

This is part of We Are That Family's Works for Me Wednesday.

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