Shortcuts aren't so bad after all

Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol knew all about Mom's favorite ingredient

As a child I noticed my mother and grandmother relied on Campbell’s condensed soups as the foundation for many a meal. Boxed mixes were the next best thing. Instant potatoes, Hamburger Helper, and more — these were exciting options for homemakers looking to cut their time at the stove.

When starting this blog I decided to be truthful about what we actually consume on a weekly basis. No prissy talk and airbrushed photos. What’s disclosed here is how we really eat, week in and week out, at the end of busy work/school days. Perhaps it’s inevitable that a mix or two would show up in the meal plan. Truth is, I do have a couple of mixes that save me on nights I just don’t feel like cooking. Still in post-vacation mode this week, I wasn’t inspired to sift through cookbooks.

If you’ve read this blog, you know Shake and Bake is one of my pantry shortcuts.  The other is Zatarain’s – a New Orleans-inspired line of meals that serve as our own version of Hamburger Helper. I keep a stack of these boxed mixes in the pantry for “just in case” nights. Tuesday night was one of them. Brown a package of natural ground beef, simmer it with Zatarain‘s Garlic and Herb Mix, add steamed sugar snap peas and carrots plus a green salad — all done.  I ate a quick spoonful before heading to a meeting.  When I returned, the guys had scraped the pot clean. As they say, Mother knows best.

The rest of the week’s plan was a speedy endeavor as well:

Wednesday: Pan-roasted pork chops with paprika; cabbage braised in cream; mashed yams.

Thursday: Rotisserie Chicken from Costco; basmati rice; green salad

Friday (my favorite meal this week): Ravioli with Apples and Walnuts; braised kale

YouAteThat photo

Ravioli with Apples & Walnuts; braised kale

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