Something you all have probably figured out about me by now is that I’m a fan of easy dinners. I do not like to spend hours in the kitchen and I would literally rather be doing almost anything else than cooking and washing dishes. Because of this, our menu stays pretty simple unless Sinisa is in charge of dinner (so blessed to find a man who actually enjoys cooking). He makes a lot of great meals but they are generally meat & potatoes and I’m more of a pasta girl.
One thing I love that we don’t have often is lasagna. It’s one of my favorite meals but it’s also one of the most time consuming meals that I know how to make. From cooking the noodles to layering the pan full of yumminess, it’s a lot of work! Unfortunately, my busy schedule (and avoidance of cooking complex meals) keeps me from making lasagna as often as I’d like to enjoy it. Thankfully though, there’s a solution and it’s easy – On-Cor’s Lasagna with Meat Sauce. On-Cor does the prep work, so I don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen making dinner! This frozen, fully-cooked multi-serve entrée is conveniently packaged and ready to heat and serve which makes it possible for me to enjoy my favorite meal. I just heat it up in the oven, add a side of fresh salad and breadsticks and dinner is on the table with little fuss. It doesn’t get any easier than that. (Plus, as a bonus, you don’t end up spending your evening scrubbing a pan full of baked on cheese!)
Less time in the kitchen means more time doing other things I enjoy. Here are some of the things I’d rather do than cook complicated dinners and wash dishes…
Cuddle with my kids on the couch – Let’s face it…eventually my boys are going to be “too cool” for mom cuddles and, at 8 and 9, I fear that time will be here sooner rather than later. So if they want to cuddle I am going to drop what I’m doing and cuddle with them. It’s one of my very favorite things to do!
Work on a DIY project or craft – I enjoy working on crafty projects (like this football themed wreath I made) but they can be really time consuming. Making something while dinner cooks in the oven lets me easily multi-task!
Help my boys study for their spelling test – Notice I didn’t say “homework” because I’m helpless when it comes to math…. but I actually enjoy quizzing them to prepare for their spelling tests.
Take some “me time” to read a book – I love to read and have a stack of books just waiting to be read. I’d much rather lose myself in a good romance novel or get some good tips from a parenting book than stand around in my kitchen.
Catch up on that tv series I’ve been watching – I’m a bit of a tv junkie and my DVR is full of shows to watch. I’d love to catch up on the family friendly shows in my queue- like the super hero show my boys and I are enjoying together.
Work on a puzzle together – The boys and I love putting puzzles together. We usually have one out that we work on throughout the week whenever we have a spare minute or two. We could get a lot done while waiting for dinner to cook!
Beat the next level on my smartphone game – I’m not a huge gamer but I do enjoy a good strategy game. When I find one I like, I tend to want to play it often, especially when I am trying to beat a tough level. Spending a few minutes extra doing this in between folding towels is a fun way to spend time.
Read a book to my kids – Since I don’t get much time to read any books for myself, children’s books will have to do! I like to read to my boys and listen to them read to me. They also have to read for 20 minutes each evening as part of their homework so we can do so while dinner is cooking.
Play a game – My family enjoys playing games together and we try to do so every weekend but sometimes life gets in the way and we have to skip a game night. Having 30 or so extra minutes to play a game mid-week is a great stress reliever for me and fun family bonding time for all of us!
Catch up on work so I can go to bed at a decent hour – I love working from home but the downside is that my work seems never-ending. There is always something else I could be doing- whether it’s a post that needs to be written or an email that I need to respond to. Catching up on work while there’s still daylight means that I can go to bed before the clock is telling me it’s the next day already.
What would you do with the time you saved in the kitchen? Would you enjoy a bit of “me” time or spend some extra time with your kids?
For your next family meal, head to the freezer aisle of Jewel-Osco or check out the store locator at www.on-cor.com to pick up one of On-Cor’s entrées. There are a number of popular flavors and varieties available, like Macaroni & Cheese, Gravy & 6 Salisbury Steaks, and Penne Pasta & Meatballs with Tomato Sauce – all reasonably priced and made with no added MSG- so you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time doing other things!
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