Thursdays are typically my craziest days simply because I don’t get home until around 4 p.m., need to feed baby boy as soon as I walk in the door, settle Eli and Isaac down with a project or small snack and still get dinner put together. I can equate my Thursdays with the saying “running around like a chicken with its head cut off!” Thankfully, my wonderful husband has come to my rescue many times simply by planning our “date nights” to fall on these oh-so-crazy days.
Today was no different. When I sat down to feed baby boy and turned on the iPad, I was immediately greeted with the happy message “Reminder Alert: Date Night!” Whoo hoo! Salvation!! I called Tim to see if we actually were going to have a date night or if he was wanting to eat at home. (At this point, I was praying really hard that he said we could go out so I wouldn’t have to cook.)
After Tim had confirmed that I didn’t need to worry about cooking tonight, I began to feel guilty. I looked at the clock and realized that if I just pushed myself a little harder, I could possibly whip together a hearty meal just in time. I wanted to be able to save the dining-out budget for Tim’s birthday dinner later this month. How could I justify blowing that budget when it’s only the first of the month?!?! Ugh!
So here’s what I came up with….(besides totally confusing my husband!) 🙂
While the boys contentedly looked at books together on the couch, I went into overdrive.
Can’t resist those chubby cheeks of his!!! Sooo cute! 🙂
Cut up the cucumbers I had purchased on sale the day before and added a dollop of mayonnaise along with salt and pepper to taste. (It’s a summer dish, but for crying out loud, it was 82 degrees outside when I got home!)
While mixing this up, my meat was defrosting in the microwave.
I checked out a book today at the library and found this recipe while flipping through the pages during my two-hour wait at Isaac’s therapy session.
Herbed Green Bean Casserole
– by allrecipes.com
- 3/4 C. dry breadcrumbs, divided
- 2 tsp. basil
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground pepper
- 1/2 tsp. thyme
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 2 tsp. parsley
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 C. Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 C. vegetable oil (I used Olive Oil)
- 2 cans cut green beans
DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together breadcrumbs, basil, salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, parsley, garlic powder, and Parmesan cheese. Set aside 2 T. of crumb mixture. Mix together the remaining crumb mixture, oil and green beans. Place in an ovenproof dish and sprinkle with the reserved 2 T. crumb mixture. Bake in over for 30 minutes or until the top is golden and crispy. Yield: 8 servings.
I didn’t really follow the recipe for this one, but used what I had on hand. Used my frozen cooked, cubed chicken instead of raw chicken, cubed. For this, I mixed the chicken, after thawing, in the egg and milk mixture. Then I dumped it all inside a zip-lock bag with the bread crumbs. Shook until covered all the chicken.
We don’t eat Swiss cheese, so I used shredded Mozzarella instead and cubed some Cheddar cheese. The end result tasted just as good, plus my chicken was a little more on the shredded side instead of cubed but it worked out great for the boys to be able to chew with no trouble.
Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole
- 2 lbs. chicken breasts, cut into chunks
- Bread Crumbs
- 1 egg
- ½ C. milk
- 8 oz. Swiss cheese, cubed
- 8 oz. ham, diced
- 1 can cream of chicken soup
- 1 C. milk
DIRECTIONS: Whisk together egg and ½ C. milk. Dip chunks of chicken in egg mixture, then into bread crumbs, coating well. Brown in a little oil until golden. Place chunks in baking dish, add cubes of cheese and ham. Mix cream of chicken soup with 1 C. milk; mix well and pour over all. Bake about 30 minutes at 350 or until tender and bubbly.
The conclusion to all of this is that had it not been for planning ahead in days past, I wouldn’t have been able to pull it off. Cooking your meat is typically the most time-consuming aspect of any dinner preparation. I am so thankful for the tips I’ve learned from other bloggers/cooks who have talked about cooking and freezing meals in advance. I started doing this with chicken and ham when it goes on sale. After cooking, I cut up and freeze in 1 pound portions. It has saved quite a bit of money by purchasing meat in bulk when it goes on sale as well as time.