I'm a foodie. I love to cook, and I love to eat. I used to make a lot of things from scratch--salad dressings, pizza dough, pasta sauces, pesto, granola, different types of rubs, salsa, and I made most of my daughter's baby food. It was my hobby, and I'd laugh at the Sandra Lee/Semi-Homemade way wondering who in their right mind would use taco seasoning mix. Ha! I've recently discovered that taco seasoning mix can help me make some good and fast fish tacos.
My evenings have gone from cooking something wonderful and sitting down to late dinners with my husband to managing to get something on the table as close to 6pm as possible. My daughter's head starts to spin around by about 6:15pm, and there's no cheddar slice or apple wedge that will tide her over. The girl knows the difference between a snack and a meal. It's in her blood.
I know I'll eventually go back to making more from scratch, but for now I’m in dinner survival mode. What can I make that's nutritious, good, different, fast and easy? And what do I have in the fridge and pantry? When did actually making it to the grocery store once a week become such a challenge?
As I’m figuring my way through the “semi-homemade” way I’ve learned a few tricks. Here’s a quick list of a few things I’d never buy before but that have now found their way into my world and onto my grocery list…whenever I can actually make it to the store.
1) Frozen pizza dough (especially Real NY Pizza Dough) is good, and you just need to set it out before you head to work.
2) Paul Newman's Own Balsamic Vinaigrette isn't the goodness of homemade, but it'll do.
3) Prewashed lettuce/salad bags are a must. (If you ever want to eat a salad again it’s worth the extra cost.)
4) Frozen cheese and spinach ravioli (Did you know you can use this to make a quick lasagna? It’s true!)
5) Uncle Ben’s Whole Grain Ready Rice (90 seconds in the microwave really beats an hour on the stove.)
I love the storypeople.com quote: "Everything changed the day she figured out there was exactly enough time for the important things in her life." Right now, my time is better spent outside of the kitchen.