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#1253259 - 08/21/09 10:03 AM Who has time for dinner?
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11763
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
For those of us who have spouses and/or children to make dinner for, what do you do with your schedule? Since I work at a studio outside my home, it is not very convenient for me to teach, go home and have dinner, then return to teach some more.

My schedule pretty much crams everyone into a 4-hour block from 3-7 pm every day, usually with no breaks. Still, this means by the time I'm home and done cooking we eat around 8 pm. What do you guys do about making/eating dinner?
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#1253271 - 08/21/09 10:23 AM Re: Who has time for dinner? [Re: Morodiene]
Mrs.A Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 155
My studio is in my home. It has a separate entrance which is nice. I wish we could have sit down meals as a family but we can’t.

I prepare a lot of casseroles and I am able to take them out/put them in the oven in between students. Crock pots are the best. I am always looking for prepare ahead recipes. If you have some good ones, send them to me.

I have four pre-teen boys so I also look for recipe that don’t have potential for a lot of dishes and clean-up.
_________________________
Piano Teacher.
Church Music Director.
Kindermusik Instructor.
Mom to four boys.


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#1253276 - 08/21/09 10:27 AM Re: Who has time for dinner? [Re: Mrs.A]
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1646
Loc: northern California
My crock pot is my best friend on teaching days. I teach till 6:15.
Family favorites:
spaghetti sauce
chili
beef/chicken for tacos filling
BBQ chicken
beef stew

If anyone wants recipes, PM me and I'll send them to you.
Or get a crock pot cookbook and experiment.
In the summer months, I make big salads for the fridge, my teens and busy husband can eat and run.
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#1253284 - 08/21/09 10:43 AM Re: Who has time for dinner? [Re: Barb860]
Lollipop Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 820
Loc: Georgia
I teach 3:30 - 7, from home, with built in breaks, so it's no big deal for me to pop something in the oven. Yesterday it was a chicken noodle casserole I made early in the day. When my 6:30 student came, I put it in the oven for 30 minutes. I also use the crock pot a lot. I make more than I need, freeze the leftovers, and then have quick microwavable meals for other days. Family favorites include turkey breast with sweet potatoes, pot roast, various stews and soups, pork and sauerkraut, etc. My husband gets home about 7, and we eat about 7:30. Empty nest now, but this worked well when I had three at home, too.

Other meals, like spaghetti or tacos or chef salad or stir fry, don't take that long to throw together if I don't have something already cooking. And there's always pizza!


Edited by Lollipop (08/21/09 10:43 AM)
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#1253297 - 08/21/09 10:59 AM Re: Who has time for dinner? [Re: Lollipop]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11763
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I do use the crock pot of a couple of things, but it's hard to find good recipes. I don't do enough casseroles, because until recently I couldn't eat any grains or pasta or breads, and most of them have something like that in them. But now I have that under control.

Making extra and freezing it for another day is a great idea.
_________________________
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www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1253321 - 08/21/09 11:29 AM Re: Who has time for dinner? [Re: Morodiene]
Ebony and Ivory Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/05
Posts: 1179
Loc: Minnesota
Yup, my crock pot gets a workout too!!
With 3 boys and their sports/school/work schedules and my piano, it's just easier to have a dinner that anyone can access at any time.

I always keep lots of cut up stuff in the fridge too, so people can make fresh sandwiches when it's hot out.

I always make doubles too, and freeze the rest for later. Do you all know about the foil lining trick? Line your casserole before you put the food in it. Cook it, then freeze the whole business. After a few hours, pull the foil and food out of the container, wrap it up tight and you have your casserole dish back to use so it's not in the freezer. When you want to make it, it fits right back into your casserole dish smile
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It is better to be kind than to be right.

Professional private piano teacher since 1994.

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#1253328 - 08/21/09 11:41 AM Re: Who has time for dinner? [Re: Ebony and Ivory]
dumdumdiddle Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 1264
Loc: California
I teach in a retail location 4 days a week; my day ends at 6:15. As my kids have gotten older I assigned them each one day a week to cook dinner, which has become more challenging as they now have part-time jobs. One day a week we might all meet somewhere for dinner (or it's just my husband and I), and another day I'll have something in the crockpot or a quick meal.

There are some great crockpot recipes at www.copykat.com :
Pepperonchini Beef (basically a chuck roast that you shred to make beef dip sandwiches)
Crockpot Italian Chicken
Cabbage Roll Casserole

Also, Paula Dean has a great fairly quick recipe for Chicken Fajita Tacos.

Another great site for recipes is www.allrecipes.com

I like recipes that real home cooks have contributed and aren't just in cookbooks.
_________________________
Music School Owner
Early Childhood Music Teacher/Group Piano Teacher/Private Piano Teacher
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#1253342 - 08/21/09 11:58 AM Re: Who has time for dinner? [Re: dumdumdiddle]
LVP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/29/09
Posts: 289
Loc: Vermont
Depending on how health nutty you are, one of our go to's might work as well.

We make a bunch of salads and sides (pototo, pasta,carrot, tomato) to eat over a few days. I also cut up tomoatoes, eggs, olives, and other green salad toppings and throw them in separate containers so that is really fast to put together a hearty green salad. If you grill up a bunch of chicken and beef at the beginning of the week, then you or your family can combine these raw materials nicely. This week this has meant chef salad for dinner one night, chicken breast and potato salad, chicken sandwiches with lettuce and tomato on top, and sliced steak and feta salad.

It helps if you keep lots of salad stuff around to dress it up (different cheese, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, a million dressings, craisins, whatever your folks love)

We have a farm share, so it's hard for us to not eat lots of veg every day or it goes to waste.

Anyhow, in the heat, we like this since it creates a giant salad bar in the fridge that you can also use for yummy sandwiches. And we try to cook protein in mass so that there is less heat in the house! Grilling also makes more sense when you just do a bunch at once. Be sure if you do this not to overcook your chicken, or it is terrible if you reheat it in the micro! Sometimes I'll make a quiche too to stand in as a protein. Easy to cook with/pre-made dough and reheats like a dream.

We do a ton in the crockpot in winter, but this is my technique for coping with summer heat and abundance of vegetables.

smile
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Charles Walter 1500
Korg SP-170s

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#1253344 - 08/21/09 12:01 PM Re: Who has time for dinner? [Re: Ebony and Ivory]
Mrs.A Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 155
Originally Posted By: Ebony and Ivory


I always make doubles too, and freeze the rest for later. Do you all know about the foil lining trick? Line your casserole before you put the food in it. Cook it, then freeze the whole business. After a few hours, pull the foil and food out of the container, wrap it up tight and you have your casserole dish back to use so it's not in the freezer. When you want to make it, it fits right back into your casserole dish smile



And a lot of casseroles can be frozen in freezer bags before cooking them.

I have a few casseroles that don’t have to be layered. I dump all the ingredients in a freezer bag and then thaw and poor into a casserole.

For example. Cream of chicken soup, cottage cheese, parmesan cheese, cooked chicken breast, chicken broth all dumped into a bag. I cook egg noodles and freeze them separately.

When I want to prepare this meal, I thaw out and pour all the I ingredients in a crock pot and cook. I add a bag of vegetable at the end.

Mustaccoli Cass. I put two jars of spaghetti sauce, cooked mustacholli noodles (1 lb) and cooked hamburger in a Freezer bag and Freeze. ( You can also add pepperoni and mushrooms.) Thaw ingredients in the bag and poor into a casserole. Top with cheese.

A few girlfriends and I do a casserole/ meal exchange during the winter/fall months. Once a month, we each prepare five freezer meals . It is easy to buy bulk and prepare the same five meals. The exchange is fun as you get five new meals.
_________________________
Piano Teacher.
Church Music Director.
Kindermusik Instructor.
Mom to four boys.


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#1253353 - 08/21/09 12:14 PM Re: Who has time for dinner? [Re: dumdumdiddle]
Diane... Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 3443
Loc: Western Canada
What has worked for us, is that I have dinner ready at 3:30. Everyone eats when they get home! That way they aren't snacking when they get home and then having supper after that! Dinner is their snack! Sometimes they eat dinner at 3:30, 4:00 or 4:30! And everyone eats alone cause they arrive home at different times!

Myself, I eat only 2 meals a day! Breakfast at 10:00 and dinner at 2:00! Dinner for me is yesterday's leftover! So I'm actually one day behind everyone else! Will have fruit and yogurt in between if I need it! Can't eat after I teach either, cause I'm too tired!

I'll just add this cause I think most of us tend to not drink enough water! If I'm dehydration, I will have trouble sleeping at night, so throughout the day, I drink a ton of water!

I can't emphasize the importance of drinking lots of water! Most of the time I'm not all that thirsty, but I force water down anyway! I usually push 10 glasses a day!

Hope this helps!
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#1253360 - 08/21/09 12:20 PM Re: Who has time for dinner? [Re: Diane...]
Mrs.A Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 155
Originally Posted By: Diane...
What has worked for us, is that I have dinner ready at 3:30. Everyone eats when they get home! That way they aren't snacking when they get home and then having supper after that! Dinner is their snack! Sometimes they eat dinner at 3:30, 4:00 or 4:30! And everyone eats alone cause they arrive home at different times!


I do this also as my kids are the hungriest after school and off to football practice by 5:30. Anything that they can dish up themselves is priority for me.
_________________________
Piano Teacher.
Church Music Director.
Kindermusik Instructor.
Mom to four boys.


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#1253365 - 08/21/09 12:26 PM Re: Who has time for dinner? [Re: Diane...]
BSP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/03/07
Posts: 209
Loc: Hudson Valley, NY
What a great thread! I really need to remember to drink a lot of water because I'm prone to migraines. On days when I teach, I do teach back-to-back, so that can get me in a lot of trouble, because I'm so focused on what I'm doing, I forget to drink water, much less eat. Just this morning, I ate breakfast, walked the dog, and had a lesson starting at 10am. By 10:20, my stomach was growling. OMG! It was my first lesson with an intermediate transfer student, and it broke the ice quite nicely. LOL

Last year, I wasn't organized enough to get dinner ready before teaching.. this year, I will remember to. What a great idea, to do the crockpot thing..

BevP

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#1253412 - 08/21/09 01:38 PM Re: Who has time for dinner? [Re: BSP]
Knabe26 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/27/06
Posts: 221
Loc: Northern California
OK, now I'm feeling really spoiled. I teach at home until 8 or later most nights, and my husband takes care of everything. I hardly cook at all anymore (but am looking forward to trying out, or eating my husband's trying out, of the many yummy suggestions here. We also go mainly for salads during the summer, and do make use of the crock pot during cold weather, since even though he's cooking, there can't be a lot of it going on while I'm teaching. Great ideas, everyone!
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www.cameronparkpiano.com
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#1253419 - 08/21/09 01:51 PM Re: Who has time for dinner? [Re: Knabe26]
Ebony and Ivory Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/05
Posts: 1179
Loc: Minnesota
Originally Posted By: Knabe26
...and do make use of the crock pot during cold weather,


Hee hee I had to laugh. Northern California....cold????

I saw some construction guys once just north of Santa Rosa. It was about 35 degrees and they were dressed like eskimos (no offense to anyone). That made me laugh, yes, I know that's cold for you guys. I invite you to come here in January smile All in good fun wink
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It is better to be kind than to be right.

Professional private piano teacher since 1994.

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#1253425 - 08/21/09 02:02 PM Re: Who has time for dinner? [Re: Ebony and Ivory]
Knabe26 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/27/06
Posts: 221
Loc: Northern California
E&I, I know I'm a spoiled Californian, and should have said 'colder,' rather than cold! I lived in Santa Rosa for years, but now I'm up at about 1300 feet in the Sierra foothills and even get snow about every third winter (sometimes even more than an inch!) grin
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#1253426 - 08/21/09 02:03 PM Re: Who has time for dinner? [Re: Ebony and Ivory]
jotur Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5505
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
Wow! Ths is a great thread even for those of us for whom cooking is just not a priority! I love it - thanks!

Cathy
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#1253452 - 08/21/09 02:46 PM Re: Who has time for dinner? [Re: Knabe26]
Ebony and Ivory Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/05
Posts: 1179
Loc: Minnesota
Originally Posted By: Knabe26
I'm up at about 1300 feet in the Sierra foothills and even get snow about every third winter (sometimes even more than an inch!) grin


Stop it, you're killing me here!! lol lol smile smile An inch! ACK!! smile
_________________________
It is better to be kind than to be right.

Professional private piano teacher since 1994.

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#1253571 - 08/21/09 05:26 PM Re: Who has time for dinner? [Re: Ebony and Ivory]
Lollipop Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 820
Loc: Georgia
I use my crock pot year round - that air conditioning can be downright chilly! laugh
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#1253813 - 08/22/09 12:20 AM Re: Who has time for dinner? [Re: Lollipop]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
I have had a party business selling kitchen tools for the past 8 years (the income paid for my Steinway!) and the recipes and techniques I've learned from this have definitely helped me be more efficient in creating healthy, quick meals for my family. The company even created 2 30-minute meal cookbooks in the last year that save a lot of time.

My best tip for fixing meals quickly is to do some investment cooking and some morning prep. I'll cook off 4 lbs of ground beef at a time, divide it up and freeze it. You can marinate and cook off chicken breasts and use them in various things from chicken salad to pasta dishes to casseroles.

In the morning, you can chop up vegetables to use in a stir fry or salad, mix up sauces or cook off the potatoes so they just take a quick reheating. You can also use certain frozen products to jumpstart a dish (frozen hash browns, for instance).

I can get a good meal on the table in 30 minutes or less and we usually manage to all eat together. Just tonight I made a meal in 20 minutes: rosemary herb rice (not a mix!), sauteed chicken breast fillets with a lemon/caper butter sauce, green beans and biscuits.

You can do it if you want to!
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#1253820 - 08/22/09 12:40 AM Re: Who has time for dinner? [Re: Minniemay]
trillingadventurer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/28/08
Posts: 304
Loc: San Diego
I was thinking about this topic today too! Our daughter will start Kindergarten soon and I realized I teach most days straight through dinner time. Perhaps I can share some lunch time with her at school and prepare some nice meals for Saturdays....Also my schedule varies a bit and when I feel like taking a day off, I do! So perhaps with all that we will have some time to sit down as a family. Casseroles and Crock Pot meals are great ideas...Eating late will not be an option as she will be getting up soooo early....But I would feel better knowing my family is getting a healthy meal...It all seems a small price to pay for having a job I enjoy!


Edited by trillingadventurer (08/22/09 12:42 AM)
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#1253922 - 08/22/09 10:05 AM Re: Who has time for dinner? [Re: trillingadventurer]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11763
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
These are some great ideas! My husband did help me out toward the end of the school year because I had terrible acid reflux and couldn't stand eating at 8, so he would get dinner ready by 7. However, I've been able to cope with that a bit better now (drinking a lot more water really helps!), but I do worry about when I'm back to teaching until 7pm. And I know hubby works hard at work all day so I feel bad making him cook, though he did it gladly for me.

But these ideas are wonderful. They take a lot of planning and that has been my downfall most of the time. Usually what happens is even if I plan a meal for that day, I'll not feel like doing all the work to make it when I get home and end up throwing on a pizza or some chicken nuggets. That gets old really fast!
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#1255028 - 08/24/09 10:23 AM Re: Who has time for dinner? [Re: Morodiene]
LVP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/29/09
Posts: 289
Loc: Vermont
Quote:
And I know hubby works hard at work all day so I feel bad making him cook, though he did it gladly for me.


Please, please, please let you husband do some cooking for you if he indeed loves it! You'll all eat better, you'll be saner and have less reflux, and he gets to show you how much he cares about you all! Don't feel guilty, feel loved!

I believe that women still take on more than half of the domestic responsibilities because we were taught that we should, and that it was our duty. This is exhausting, and eventually can make men feel like they are living in their wives homes, and not their own. (Perhaps this doesn't apply to your marriage at all, so ignore me if this doesn't resonate!)

I know that whenever my husband has been more engaged in 'my' domestic routines, we all benefit. I get more job related work done and have more energy at the end of the day, he appreciates me more, and he feels more included as part of the necessary infrastructure that makes the house run.

I think it brings peace to our marriage since now he knows how to do all 'my' tasks and when I am working 15 hour days or travelling for work (I am a freelance consultant) he knows that I am killing myself, and that it wouldn't be fair to expect me to return from a marathon like that and have to eat cereal for dinner or resort to wearing bikini bottoms for underwear b/c he didn't do any laundry for weeks while I was away wink (come on, you KNOW you've been there!). He knows that I only have so much energy, and sometimes I do everything, and sometimes, he has to pick up the slack and handle most of the big stuff.

Anyhow, not knowing your situation, it might not make sense for your hubby to cook a lot, but if he has the time and energy to help at all, and if he likes it, don't feel bad! You don't want him to feel bad when you cook, right? So just enjoy it when he is there for you! He sounds like a doll!

Just my .02!
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Charles Walter 1500
Korg SP-170s

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#1255037 - 08/24/09 10:58 AM Re: Who has time for dinner? [Re: Morodiene]
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1646
Loc: northern California
Rachel Ray's 30 minute meals cookbooks are great.
I like the "investment prep." that Minniemae posted. This prep can take a 30 minute meal into a 20 minute meal.
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#1255227 - 08/24/09 02:48 PM Re: Who has time for dinner? [Re: Barb860]
LVP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/29/09
Posts: 289
Loc: Vermont
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Charles Walter 1500
Korg SP-170s

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#1255309 - 08/24/09 04:45 PM Re: Who has time for dinner? [Re: LVP]
Stanny Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 1461
Today's my first week of the fall semester, and I don't finish teaching until at least 6:30 each day. So I took the easy way out and bought a crock pot meal kit for today, and some Stauffers Chicken Enchaladas for tomorrow. I guess I'll have to get to work for the rest of the week!
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Independent Music Teacher
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#1255324 - 08/24/09 05:00 PM Re: Who has time for dinner? [Re: Stanny]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11763
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
This planning ahead stuff is working out great so far! I browned 6 lbs of ground beef, put taco seasoning in one so its ready for tacos, and froze em all. I also thawed chicken breasts so i wouldn't have to do that later. So chicken and rice for tonight, taco salad tomorrow, etc. I guess the key is to plan and not eat so much whatever you're in the mood for at the time, which is what I usually do. Thanks guys!
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1255358 - 08/24/09 05:51 PM Re: Who has time for dinner? [Re: Morodiene]
Mrs.A Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 155
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
This planning ahead stuff is working out great so far! I browned 6 lbs of ground beef, put taco seasoning in one so its ready for tacos, and froze em all.!


Along with ground beef, I boil chicken breasts and cut in cubes then freeze.

I place flour tortillas on the electric griddle. Then sprinkle with shredded cheese and cubed chicken. When cheese melts fold over and continue heating till tortillas are crispy. These freeze and refrigerate well and are a convenient for the boys to reheat in the microwave.

I also use the cooked frozen chicken on top of lettuce salad or in canned soup.

Also easy…..Boil mustacholli noodles, place in casserole dish , top with a jar of alfredo sauce and cooked frozen chicken, cover with foil and bake till heated through. Easy to make ahead of time and easy for kids to dish up when I am teaching..


I am getting hungry.
_________________________
Piano Teacher.
Church Music Director.
Kindermusik Instructor.
Mom to four boys.


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#1255361 - 08/24/09 05:54 PM Re: Who has time for dinner? [Re: Mrs.A]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13776
Loc: Iowa City, IA
I just stop teaching at 7pm and we eat then - something quick like pasta or fancy salads. My wife's a vegetarian, so that makes things a LOT simpler. (And healthier, too!)

My wife's work schedule is also odd, so she's frequently at work overnight or odd hours, or she may not get lunch until 3 or 4 in the afternoon, so we just catch food whenever we can. laugh
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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#1255437 - 08/24/09 08:02 PM Re: Who has time for dinner? [Re: Kreisler]
ProdigalPianist Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/08/07
Posts: 1049
Loc: Phoenix Metro, AZ
My husband grills something most weekends, so in addition to whatever we're having that night, I have him grill up several boneless chicken breasts (how much would depend on how big your family is and how many meals you want to get from it) and then freeze or...if I'm going to use in the next day or two, just put them in the fridge.

You can reheat or use them cold in salads. I don't add any seasoning when they're cooking and that way I can use them with any kind of dish.

While the grill is hot you might as well cook multiple meals!
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My only domestic quality is that I live in a house.

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#1255759 - 08/25/09 11:09 AM Re: Who has time for dinner? [Re: Mrs.A]
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1646
Loc: northern California
Mrs. A,
Do you toss the alfredo sauce in with the chicken and noodles or is this all just layered?
Grease the pan?
Thanks smile
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Piano Teacher

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New Topics - Multiple Forums
Pin block not contacting plate flange
by Bob
08/29/14 08:33 AM
? 4 CA95/CS10 owners - soundboard vs external speakers
by markmarz
08/29/14 05:55 AM
Might play in hotel lounges/bars!!
by Pover
08/29/14 04:18 AM
a video of Alexander Siloti's daughter playing the piano
by Michael Sayers
08/28/14 08:26 PM
Kimball spinet neoprene lifter nuts
by dschwoyer
08/28/14 08:22 PM
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