Thanksgiving is next week, and I hope all of you busy working moms will be able to spend a relaxing day cooking and eating a lovely meal made from scratch. My husband, who really is an awesome cook, has planned all sorts of delicious dishes, and I’m more than happy to let him slave in the kitchen while I entertain his parents, our guests.
But family holiday visits often involve more than one meal, and for many of us, the work load doesn’t necessarily allow several days off for entertaining. That’s when I fake it. Last week I posted about how a former boss advised me to serve Stouffer’s lasagne to guests because they’d never know the difference, and a commenter said she actually does that all the time. I said it then, and I’ll say it here: Stouffer’s really does taste like homemade.
It got me thinking about other pre-made items I call on when I’ve got limited time and people to feed. I use jarred spaghetti sauce for everything – homemade pizza, lasagne, and even pasta (just add some sauteed onions, mushrooms and peppers to make it taste more “from scratch”). I swear by bagged spring mix (add tomatoes, cucumbers and a dash of dill weed), and my husband likes to make “homemade” bread using mix in his breadmaker.
What about you? What are your “go-to” pre-made food items? And how do you “fake it” by adding a touch of your own so that they taste homemade? I’ve got several other meals to make next week, besides the Thanksgiving feast, so I’m looking for inspiration!
4 thoughts on “Tasty Tuesday – November 18, 2008”
Do you like to peel potatoes, cook potatoes, mash potatoes? No? Then GFS (Gordon Food Service) is for you. They have great tasting real mashed potatoes in a re-sealable tub. You will find them in the refrigerated section of the store. I believe one tub feeds at least 10-12 people. Just heat them up in the Microwave, dump them into a nice dish and serve.
Trader Joe’s!! I buy a bunch of prepared, pre-cut, pre-baked items and mix it up. Add in some steamed or sauteed fresh veggies, make a great sauce, and you have a meal! I’ve been posting my Trader Joe’s recipes on my blog:
We always keep a bag of frozen mixed onions, red/green/yellow peppers in the freezer. Its a quick and easy way to spice up just about any dish. We use it in Spaghetti, in quesadillas, with ground beef to make tacos and more. It’s super versatile and easy.
A pre-cooked deli chicken. Our grocery store sells a meal (whole chicken, two sides and 4 rolls for $10). Before my family can get to the chicken, I stash half of it away for leftovers. The shredded chicken makes great tacos, enchiladas, sandwiches, etc.