Ahhh, you've made it through another week! Here are some super easy meals to please your family when you're too tired (or too broke) to go out to eat but you don't feel like cooking. You don't eat these items everyday, so they will be treats for your family. Enjoy!
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Put on the disco track and whip out the fondue pot for a fun dinner. Don’t have a fondue pot? Cook your dip on the stove and serve it in your crock pot to keep it warm. There’s no end to the possibilities when serving fondue! Melt cheese, and dip bread or vegetables in it. Another idea is to make pizza fondue and use pizza favorites to dip like pepperoni, mozzarella cheese cubes, mushrooms, olives or pineapple. For dessert, melt white or dark chocolate or caramel, and dip with fruit, marshmallows or angel food cake. Don’t forget to teach your kids proper dipping etiquette!
Once a month, choose a theme for dinner and go all out. If you’re going for green, serve any kind of pasta and top it with pesto. As a side, serve avocado hummus with broccoli, snap peas and cucumber to dip, or add chopped spinach and chive to your favorite biscuit mix for green biscuits along with some kiwi and grapes. And, of course, mint chocolate chip ice cream for dessert!
Eating off a stick is downright fun. The possibilities are endless when it comes to kabobs! Skew on chicken, steak, pork and veggies. You can even do a cheeseburger kabob with meatballs, tomatoes, pickles and onion. For dessert, line up pineapples, strawberries, orange chunks and bananas along with angel food cake, marshmallows, and donut holes.
Skip the Chinese out of a box and have a night of Chinese Eat-In. Fried rice is a cinch in a wok and you can dress it up any way you like. Buy some egg roll wraps in the produce department and fill them with ready-made cole slaw, a little soy sauce, mushrooms, garlic and ginger. Wrap them in the wrappers, sprinkle with olive oil and bake them in the oven. Voila! Your Chinese craving is fulfilled!
There might not be anything easier than taco night. Cook up your favorite filling and chop up all of your favorite fixings (tomatoes, guacamole, cheese, sour cream, you know the drill). Give the family the choice of soft or crunchy, and let them build their own dream taco.
Eat with your hands.
Save yourself some dishwashing time with an “Eat with your Hands” night. Put out mozzarella sticks, pizza bites, chicken strips, veggies and dip, chips and salsa and, of course, tons of napkins!
Fancy Grilled Cheese
Kick your grilled cheese up a notch with a few slices of rosemary bread loaded up with pesto, avocado, sliced turkey and sharp cheddar cheese. Instead of butter, sprinkle olive oil over the bread for a nice, crispy crust. Don’t forget the tomato soup, a grilled cheese’s best friend!
Picnic in the Living Room
Spread out a blanket in the living room, put on your weekend movie choice and have a picnic on the floor. Eat on paper plates with plastic utensils; load up on sliced meats and cheeses, olives and bread, apples and grapes, and enjoy your picnic sans ants and mosquitoes.
Thanksgiving in June
Why wait until November for that yummy Thanksgiving dinner? Throw a turkey breast into the crock pot and while it’s cooking, make the sweet potato casserole, stuffing and gravy, and then relax on the couch watching baseball on TV instead of football!
Spread the inside of the French Dip sandwich rolls with butter and brown on a griddle. Heat sliced roast beef from the deli department in the microwave until heated through. Put a generous amount of meat on each sandwich roll. They're easier to dip if they're cut in half. Serve with a small bowl of canned beef broth heated in the microwave.
Season & marinade your chicken wings earlier in the week (and store them in the refrigerator) so the hard part's already done when Friday comes. Add breadsticks if desired (try the frozen kind). Serve with cheese cubes, raw celery, and dipping sauce.
Don't you love eating traditional breakfast foods at night? Face it, "breakfast" is much easier to prepare, and goes over extremely well for a once-in-the while dinner. Make a few of your family's favorites - grits, biscuits, eggs, etc.. If you're extra ambitious, serve with easy-make fruit smoothies (frozen fruit & yogurt mixed together in a blender).
Buy large cheese pizzas from your local grocer and add the meat & veggie toppings your family likes. Take the opportunity to try different ingredients to sample on parts of the pizza (pineapple, meatballs, anything goes). You might create a masterpiece! A fresh garden salad makes this a complete meal!
Use easy-to-broil frozen patties and add cheese slices immediately after removing them from the oven. Lay out the buns, veggies, and condiments, and serve with sweet potato fries. Delicious!
Po' Boy Sandwiches
Cut French baguettes in half. Add shrimp and toppings, or make it deli-style with sliced cheese, deli meats, sliced tomatoes, lettuce, and condiments of your choice. Serve with chips and fresh melon.
Custom Pasta Plates
Pasta is so easy to make - even days before you have to serve it. Warm up the pre-cooked pasta (any kind) plus 2-3 different types of sauce from the jar (marinara, alfredo, butter sauce). Cook both smoked sausage and Italian sausage in the microwave, and let your family customize their pasta creation. Serve with warm bread.
Boil tamales until completely cooked. Unwrap tamales and line them at the bottom of a baking dish. Layer with chili and shredded cheese, then bake until bubbly. Serve with your favorite corn chips.
Baked Potato Bar
Bake large potatoes. Lay out a variety of toppings and let your family help themselves. Some great additions: shredded cheese, butter, bacon bits, chopped beef, sour cream, chives, onions, sliced ham.