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Easy Meal Ideas for Mothers ... & Others

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Rachael Ray's 30-Minute Healthy Recipes

Weekend Cooking

Weekdays can be frustrating when it comes to making dinner. Who has time to cook a meal when they get home late? Even then, who feels like cooking dinner after a hard day's work? What do you do in order to avoid frozen dinners or even worse, fast food? Prepare all of your meals for the upcoming week on your weekends off.

Make It a Weekend Cooking Affair

Want a great way to end the dinner stress? Pick one day on the weekend and have a cooking party. Yes, your eyes are not deceiving you, a cooking party. Prepare a menu for the week and thaw out the food on Friday. On Saturday morning you can get to work. If the kids choose too let them help. This gives them a say in what your family will be eating.

Decide on the menu early for your weekend cooking party. This ensures that you have everything you need to prepare the meals. Start off with the meats. The meats will take the longest to cook. It's better to get that going first. Make sure there is a variety of meat so you don't get tired of the same thing all week long.

Prepare the side dishes also. It seems so small to cook the main part of the meal and save the other dishes for later. More times than not you won't feel like cooking anything. This saves all of the drama by cooking everything at the same time.

Containers are required when you cook that much food ahead of time. This can be done in two ways. The first way is to use containers that are large enough for each side dish and the main meat course.

The second option gives the family a little more of a choice each day of what they want to eat. Everything needs to be cooled before placing it in the containers. When the food is cool have each family member dish out what they want to eat certain days of the week into a container. One meat and two sides can be put into one container. Label each container with what is inside. This will allow the family to pick a variety of dinner combinations throughout the week.

Each option works but you can decide what way works best for your family. A cooking party saves time and money because you'll be less tempted to go out when you're beat from working all day. For once you're sure to use all of the leftovers.

If you have leftover meals freeze them for another time. All you will need to do then is thaw each meal the day you plan to serve it. This benefits you in that there will be less stress and your family will be eating healthier.

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