This post was contributed by Laura of In Which I Record Memories.
Quick Dinner Ideas & Tips for Busy Back to School Nights
Fall is probably my favorite season: the return of cool nights, football, marching band, and, of course, school. Even as a kid I looked forward to the start of the school year, meeting new teachers, seeing my friends, and getting to use those new school supplies. Now, I get to experience back-to-school both as a teacher and a parent, and the routine changes that come with the new schedule. Getting home from school, play time is important, but so is getting my “homework” done, and of course, getting dinner ready for my family. Back to school also means after-school meetings and the return of extra-curricular activities, often leaving very little time to get that all-important dinner on the table. Here are some quick dinner ideas and tips to make those busy nights a little easier, even if you have to get it done between ballet and cub scouts!
Quick Dinner Ideas & Tips
Crock pots are your friend. Start the meal in the morning, and in the evening, set the table and you’re ready to eat!
Thin cuts of meat cook faster than thicker cuts. For example: a whole chicken breast will take a while to cook all the way through, but if you slice it, it will take half the time. Same goes for pork chops and steaks.
Enlist the aid of some ready-to-bake items: Pillsbury Grands! Refrigerated Biscuits are an excellent example. Grands! Biscuits can be used in a variety of recipes, and not just as the side dish. I will share one with you below.
Fresh fruit doesn’t require any cooking time. Just clean, slice (if necessary), and it’s ready for the plate. An added bonus: it’s healthy!
Read your recipes carefully: they should tell you both how long it will take to cook the meal, but also how much “active” time is required. A meal might take an hour to cook, but only require your attention for five minutes, allowing you to do other tasks. On the other hand, a meal may be ready in 30 minutes, but require you to be stirring, chopping, or otherwise engaged in the cooking process the entire time.
- Try one of Pillsbury’s quick dinner ideas (that can be ready in under 30 minutes!) from their Pillsbury Grands! Biscuit Recipe Booklet. Here’s my favorite…
Bacon Tomato Grilled Cheese Recipe
(Inspired by the Pillsbury Grands! Grilled Cheese Sandwich)
I love grilled cheese sandwiches, and using Grands! ® biscuits to make one is a great idea! One of my favorite ways to have a grilled cheese sandwich is to add bacon and a slice of tomato. Microwave bacon is quick and easy, and turkey bacon is a low-fat substitute.
- 1 can (16.3 oz) Pillsbury® Grands! ® refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (8 biscuits)
- 8 slices American cheese
- 1-2 tbsp butter
- 6 slices microwave bacon
- 1 tomato
- Non-stick spray
Spray a plate with some non-stick spray. Flatten out the Grands!® biscuits, making circles about 5 ½ inches in diameter.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the flattened Grands!® biscuits, cooking about 3 minutes per side or until light golden brown. Remove from heat.
Microwave the bacon according to package directions.
Slice the tomato into slices of desired thickness. I like mine to be on the thinner side.
Add a slice of cheese, 1 ½ pieces of bacon (broken to fit), a tomato slice, and another slice of cheese to each of four cooked Grands!® biscuit round. Top with the remaining biscuit rounds.
Return to heat, cooking for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown.
Turn, cooking another 2 minutes or until the cheese is gooey and melty.
This recipe is great, because you can get the kids involved in helping you make dinner. The role of “biscuit-squisher” would be perfect for a young child, while an older one can have the job of “sandwich assembler.”
Like these quick dinner ideas? Download the Pillsbury Grands! Biscuit Recipe Booklet and leave a comment with the Grands! recipe you’re most excited to try.
This post was contributed by Laura of In Which I Record Memories. Laura is a mom, a wife, a student, and a lab rat. She has a wonderful little girl, Sophia, who teaches her something new every day. When she’s not doing research, she enjoys documenting her growth, spending time with her husband, and participating in mud runs. You can find the story of her crazy life at In Which I Record Memories.
Oh man – quick dinner recipes are like gold to this busy mama. And I have to admit that I resort to grilled cheese for my picky eaters far too often. So I love the unique spin (and addition of the tomato and bacon) on this grilled cheese recipe. Thanks a bunch, Laura!
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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective. The content and opinions expressed here are all my own and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of General Mills. Compensation was provided by General Mills via Clever Girls Collective.