vegetables of my labor

Remember I told you that, as a precaution against Valentine’s-week insanity, I made all our meals for the week in advance?  Here’s how that ended.

We had tater tot casserole first.  It assembled in maybe two minutes.  (Maybe less.)  I greased a casserole dish (which was probably unnecessary but “just-in-case” might as well be my middle name) and laid out most of the tater tots from a bag of frozens.  Then over the tots I spread the ugly filling (cream of mushroom soup, sausage, and broccoli), arranged on top the tots that wouldn’t fit on the bottom layer, and topped it all with shredded cheddar.

tater tot casserole

What it lacks in looks it more than makes up for in flavor.  And Lovey adores the leftovers.

tater tot casserole plated

Then there was shrimp fra diavolo, which I served over angel hair pasta.  Waiting for the pasta to cook was the hardest part of this dinner.  I drained off the water once the pasta was soft, threw in a square of butter, then quickly heated the shrimp mixture in a hot-hot skillet with the lid on.  I wanted to heat it fast to prevent the (pre-cooked, once-frozen) shrimp from getting chewy.  It worked!

shrimp fra diavolo on pasta

On Valentine’s Day itself we had a romantic late-night game of Set, which I had just ordered.  Its arrival in the mail that week was one of the highlights of an otherwise rather bleak period.

chicken salad and Set (Valentine's night)

We enjoyed the game a couple times–as long as I could stay awake for it!  On Valentine’s night our dinner was super-simple chicken salad on crackers.  Port on the side.  Piping hot bath afterward.  (Solo, in case you were wondering.)

chicken salad on crackers, and Set (Valentine's night)

Finally, we culminated our week of devouring pre-made meals with the hot-and-cool of curry and celery salad.

chicken curry with peas, Greek yogurt, and celery salad

I’ve been meaning to try big cooking for nearly a year, and now that I’ve done it I plan to continue.  It’s just such a practical way to take the stress out of an evening.  I’d say “especially for working women” but stay-at-home moms are working women too, so this is a stress-buster for everyone!  What are some meals you’ve prepped ahead of time with good results?  I’d love to gather more ideas that aren’t casseroles!

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1 Comment

  1. Diana Fahrenholtz

     /  March 30, 2013

    Re: your library card: I’ve started listening to A Wrinkle in Time on CD while I’m driving, driving, driving, back & forth to hubby/grandbaby. I know my kids read it but I’m not sure I’ve ever read it. It’s read by the author herself! Very imaginative.


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