Monday, September 27, 2010


As much as I enjoy spending time in my kitchen, our schedule doesn't always allow hours of prepping, mixing, standing over the stove. For our busier weeks, I rely on shortcuts...they save me time and still allow us to sit around our dinner table with a nice, hot meal. Keep in mind that these shortcuts are not always the healthiest options, so sprinkle them into your meal plan between healthier choices.

Thank you, IKEA.
This past winter we sampled the Swedish meatballs at IKEA for the first time. They were surprisingly good and I picked up a 2.5 pound bag for $6.99. A packet of the cream mix was around $1. Simplest directions ever; just heat in your oven for about 15 minutes. In addition, I opted to add just skim milk to the cream gravy packet and it turned out great. Following IKEA's lead, I served the meatballs with smashed red potatoes and my homemade cherry jam. A green salad is always nice, too. Fast, satisfying supper.

Krusteaz saves the day!
Even as I type this, I am enjoying the cinnamon fragrance from a Krusteaz crumb cake. (My husband is watching the Bears-Packers game with his men's study and I wanted a surprise for his breakfast tomnorrow. He has a cold & has been working so hard). They have several terrific options for really tasty baked goods. Baking is my favorite way to relax, but sometimes I truly have 5 minutes to throw something together. We have yet to be disappointed with any of their mixes, but our favorites are the key lime bars, crumb cake and cranberry-orange muffins. Meijer had them on sale 10 for $10 several months ago and we stocked our pantry. My nine year old likes to make these by himself, too.

Roast Chicken in 25 minutes
I am not and will never be a Pampered Chef salesperson. However, my sister enjoys their products and has hosted a few parties. Last summer (2009), she purchased the covered baker for me. The interior is stoneware and the exterior is a beautiful cranberry glaze. Tomorrow I will scrub and slice about 8 smallish red potatoes and sprinkle them with salt & olive oil. Into the bottom of the roaster they will go, topped with a whole chicken. The whole bit goes into the microwave for about 25 minutes and voila! roast chicken with delicious, tender potatoes. Sometimes I sprinkle a little dry Italian dressing on the potatoes or place a lemon half & garlic into the chicken cavity. We have a busy evening tomorrow so I will make a Romaine, pear & Feta salad ahead of time to round out the meal.

Jiffy frosting mix.
This little blue & white old school box produces the fastest icing with just 2 Tbs.of boiling water added to the mix. For 60 cents, it's a quick way to thinly ice brownies in a pinch.

What are some of your favorite shortcuts??

1 comment:

  1. Hi.:) I came over from Raising Homemakers link up. Love your ideas. Our family loves the frozen stouffers (SP) meals. They are so yummy and I feed our family of six on them when I do not have alot of time. I usually end up with leftovers for the next day to. Thanks again for your ideas.:)