I don't know about anyone else but by the time Friday rolls around, I do not want to make dinner or spend my weekend cooking.
With 4 kids home all weekend it feels like the kitchen is always buzzing with activity. Over the years my husband and I have come up with a few meals that we love to make because they're easy and the kids love them! The other requirement is that there are very few dishes.
Meal #1 BLT Sandwich
I've learned living with 3 males that anything with bacon is an automatic hit. I stock up on bacon when I find it on sale, I always have bread in the freezer, and lettuce and cheese in the fridge. Usually all I need to pick up is a tomato. We spread all the ingredients on the island and everyone can make their sandwich the way they like. I love mine toasted, full of whatever veggies are in the fridge and a couple thick avocado slices to top it off! We might throw some fries in the oven or serve it with fresh veggies and dip.
Meal #2 Baked Potato Bar
One summer when I went to visit my sister, she wanted to have dinner ready by the time we got back from the beach. She washed some whole potaoes, pricked them with a fork and threw them in a crockpot. Brilliant! We barbecued steak when we got home and dinner was done. Now that I've learned this trick, I don't waste time wrapping potatoes in foil and cooking in the oven.
In our family, everyone likes their potato dressed up differently. After the potatoes are cooked (on high for 3-4 hours), we open a couple cans of chili, cook up a can of cheese soup with some fresh broccoli and serve with sour cream, green onions and bacon bits.
Everyone hopes for leftovers from this meal, so we can make potato skins the next day. Cook once, eat twice!
Meal #3 Nachos
If we are on the ball, we usually have some ground beef in the freezer already cooked. We spread a bag of whole wheat nacho chips on a baking pan, season the ground beef with seasoning salt and spread on top of the nachos. We chop some peppers and sprinkle on top of the beef and then cover it with cheese. Once it's warmed in the oven and the cheese is melted we pull it out and serve with jalapeños, chopped avocados, sour cream and salsa.
Meal #4 Pizza
When you've made your own pizza, it's really hard to spend $30-40 on takeout pizza. Crust is really fast to make with our Bosch machine (or food processor) and we just need to give it an hour to rise. We get our minions, I mean dearly loved children involved at this point and they start chopping veggies, slicing ham and shredding cheese. Once the dough is ready, my husband starts tossing dough and makes individual crusts for everyone. The kids make their own pizza creations and we can get them cooked in 30 minutes in our convection oven. (best invention ever, especially with 4 kids!)
Once I looked over our favourite weekend meals, I realized our meals are flexible. We have 4 kids ranging in age from 7 - 16 years old. Obviously my 7 years old is not a fan of jalapeños, but my 16 year old loves spicy food. If we can make basic meals that can be customized to each family member, everyone is happy, happy, happy!