Make-Ahead Dinner For An Afternoon Winner

Afternoons have gotten cooler, and I’ve been grateful to spend time outside with the boys before dinner without dripping with sweat. It seems that lower temperatures draw us all out. We’ve all got a bit of pep in our step, and I’ve been able to find my “fun mom” self again with backyard races, face-painting, and even converting the backyard playhouse into a preschooler’s engineering office.

These moments are the ones I will remember, and I want to create more of them.  Yet dinner still rolls around, and someone’s got to feed these growing guys after all.  In order to get the best of both worlds {time outside and a home-cooked meal on the table}, I decided to plan dinner an afternoon or two a week that can be prepared ahead of time.

I’m not here to offer you original eats, but I do have a few tried and true Fall recipes that will not only put a cozy meal on the table, but will leave the afternoon open for enjoying time with your bunch.


Recipes ::

Lagniappe {Tricks of the Trade} ::

  • Cut and measure all of the veggies you’ll need for the week all at once and store in the refrigerator for easy additions at cooking time.
  • Freeze often-used extras like tomato paste, chicken broth, and canned green chilis or jalapeños. These are perfect if you happen to forget to grab them at the grocery.
  • Use the Crock Pot. {I have to admit that slow cooker recipes aren’t my favorite, but during the cooler months, and in order to spend less time in the kitchen, I’m finding ways to make it work.}
  • Keep your favorites in a spot that works for you. For me, it’s a board called “Pin-sanity.” {See what I did there?}
  • Plan for leftovers.
  • Use rotisserie chicken when you don’t have time to cook your own.

And now with Daylight Savings Time in full force, I don’t want to miss the day’s fleeting daylight in front of the stove.  I’d much rather save those afternoons for adventures with family instead! You’ve surely got a few recipes of your own, so be sure to leave your kitchen gems and tips in the comments below.

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Jenn is an English teacher turned stay at home mom to boys Wyatt {2010}, John {2013}, and Abram {2014}. South Louisiana born and raised, North Louisiana educated, and Texas “polished,” she has found Houston to be home with her husband for the past ten years. After infertility struggles, in 2010 she traded in A Tale of Two Cities for Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site and has since been busy discovering ways to learn while playing, maintaining a semi-scheduled family life, and integrating both Texas and Louisiana culture into her family. Besides making memories with her boys full time, she enjoys reading, running, crafting, cooking, and football. Y’all stop by When In Doubt, Add More Salt to read more about family adventures with the boys and Jenn’s thoughts on hot summers and Pinterest pin attempts, and her love/hate relationship with March Madness brackets.


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