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Old 03-05-2008, 11:33 AM
 
Location: Mississippi
3,927 posts, read 7,727,088 times
Reputation: 11390

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I usually plan my meals ahead of time. I do this so I can make sure I have the ingrediants for the meal, the time to prepare it, or I plan a meal around schedules that are quite hectic.

I know you guys have experienced once or twice, what I have--that panicky feeling you get when something unexpected happens and you suddenly find yourself at a loss on what to fix for dinner.

Suddenly I have found myself swamped with work; with my son's ballgames; the extra meetings we have been having; and just bad timing some days.

I like to have one or two meals that I can pull off in a hurry so we can have a good meal...quick. An old stand-by that always fits the bill.

My problem is, my family is tired of that ole stand-by and wishes I could get a couple of new ones. Thus my reason for this thread.

Could you ladies and gentlemen post a couple of your fast and easy stand-by meals here? The ones that we always seem to have the ingrediants in the fridge and pantry for? This way, all of us will have many tried and true emergency meals we can prepare without burning our families out on them.

I also think this will be a fun thread... how many of us that might be using the same stand-by meal???
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Old 03-05-2008, 11:38 AM
 
Location: Richardson, TX
10,145 posts, read 16,726,121 times
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Tuna Salad Sandwiches

Frozen costco ravioli (trust me, it's really good!) with either homemade marinara that I froze or the jarred stuff in a pinch.

Ditto with homemade spaghetti sauce from freezer.


Like I said in another thread, I find I have the most time to cook on the weekends, so I've developed quite a repertoire of recipes that freeze so well they taste just as good/better when we eat them the second time.

I prefer to spend a few hours once and then get several meals that take 10 minutes to throw together!
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Old 03-05-2008, 11:39 AM
 
Location: Mississippi
3,927 posts, read 7,727,088 times
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Unfortunately my stand-by meals are quite boring...

Spaghetti with salad and corn on cobb

breakfast---it changes according to what I have on hand.

Lasagna now this is a fav of everyone..

Ingredients:
1 lb ground chuck
1 can of Hunt's spaghetti sauce any type
lasagna noodles
american cheese slices
mozzarella cheese slices

brown the meat and add the sauce. Cook noodles according to package directions, I usually add a bit of olive oil to my water.

layer the meat mixture with noodles and cheese. On one layer I use american cheese, on the next layer I use the mozzarella cheese.

On the top layer, on top of the meat mixture I add a combination of both cheeses similar to a checkerboard.

I bake in a 350 oven for around 30 minutes.

Meal is done and fabulous.

I usually serve it with salad and green beans and pear halves with a dallop of mayo and grated cheddar on top.
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Old 03-05-2008, 11:41 AM
 
Location: Denver
2,970 posts, read 6,152,314 times
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Mac and cheese

Grilled cheese and tomato soup

French toast or pancakes

Scrambled eggs or breakfast burrito with whatever you have in the fridge

Stir fry, again, with whatever you have in the fridge.

Frozen Pizza or Egg rolls

Ummmm....give me a while and I'll try to come up with more.
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Old 03-05-2008, 11:43 AM
 
Location: Central Jersey - Florida
3,314 posts, read 12,262,609 times
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Call the Chinese restaurant around the corner. Order 1 quart wonton soup, 1 quart hot and sour soup, 1 quart spicy chicken with vegetables, 1 quart beef chow fun, 2 eggrolls and 1 order of steamed dumplings. Hand my son 30 bucks and tell him to "go get dinner for us" Works everytime (except Tuesdays)
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Old 03-05-2008, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Maine
5,969 posts, read 11,136,966 times
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Soup. I try to keep enough for at least one meal in the freezer. When it cools I put it in a zipper bag and lay it down on its side to freeze. It thaws quickly this way. To thaw it I put a couple of inches of warm water in the kitchen sink and put the frozen soup in that. By the time I've started a load of laundry, done chores, etc. the soup is ready to pour into a pan to heat up.

I keep enough pizza dough in the freezer for two pizzas. If I know I'm going to be running late I put it in the fridge to thaw the night before. It takes me 10 minutes to roll it out, throw on some sauce and cheese and get it in the oven.

Homemade frozen pot pies are a favorite in the winter. I make them with left over pot roast, carrots, potatoes, peas, carrots and gravy. It will thaw in the fridge during the day and can cook while you do other things.

Summer - sandwiches, help yourself. Or table scraps (leftovers), help yourself.
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Old 03-05-2008, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Mississippi
3,927 posts, read 7,727,088 times
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Do you have a homemade pizza dough recipe?

Thanks guys for the ideas rolling in. It is giving me several ideas on how to use my freezer.
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Old 03-05-2008, 12:05 PM
 
Location: Richardson, TX
10,145 posts, read 16,726,121 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Writer View Post
Soup. I try to keep enough for at least one meal in the freezer. When it cools I put it in a zipper bag and lay it down on its side.
Yes, I agree with this one too. One favorite is butternut squash and sweet potato soup. If I have it all ready to pull out of the freezer, all I have to do is warm up some good bread and make some garnishes. It only takes a few minutes to fry up some bacon to crumble on top, slice up some green onions and dice up some granny smith apple. I also put out some grated sharp cheddar usually.

Toppings make the soup for me, and make it not feel like a "rushed" meal.

This reminded me of one of my favorite lines from Tortilla Soup, spoken by Paul Rodriguez as he is nervously meeting his wife's father for the first time: "I love toppings. I've always loved toppings. Sometimes I go to restaurants and I just ask for toppings. You know, I say, the more toppings the merrier. I, ...that's what I say."

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Old 03-05-2008, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Marion, IN
8,191 posts, read 27,468,528 times
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I always keep 2 boxes of scalloped potatoes and some chunked ham Store in freezer) on hand for emergency dinners. Follow directions on the box and add ham before cooking.

Also always keep 2 packages of Lipton Rice & Sauce, either Spanish or Mexican and a pound of ground beef. I cook the meat in the microwave, drain, and follow directions on the package. Add cooked meat to rice before cooking. Serve with shredded cheese on top.

Whenever I make a roast I always have leftovers. I cut the meat into bite size pieces, put in a container with leftover mashed potatoes and gravy, then freeze. Great for quick meals, healthier than a tv dinner, and no more science projects in the fridge.
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Old 03-05-2008, 12:37 PM
 
Location: Mississippi
3,927 posts, read 7,727,088 times
Reputation: 11390
you guys are amazing. I am getting many ideas from your posts. AS well as wonderful new ways to prepare meals. Keep 'em coming! and thank you...
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