Want a peek at some of the meals I’ve served to my family and to guests within the past few weeks?
This post will show some picture examples of what some of our meals have looked like!
Meals I’ve Served Recently
One Sunday morning, I filled a crockpot with this Hearty Bean Casserole, then served it for lunch with a variety of fresh fruit I had just picked up. It was such a pretty buffet because of the colorful fruit. Also, it is worth noting that everyone who was skeptical of trying this casserole for the first time ended up loving it. :)
Tuesday nights we usually feed around 12 people (7 adults), or sometimes more if Elias and his roommates come over from his apartment on campus. One Tuesday recently I made two pans of Simple Pizza Chicken Bake. I served it with a variety of fruit and veggie options. Plus I had just made a big batch of Flourless Chocolate Banana Blender Muffins so I set those out too.
Our 6-year old does so much better at mealtime if I let her choose from the offered fruits and vegetables instead of just presenting her with a plate. Also, I had our 8, 6, and 3-year-olds help me make the Simple Pizza Chicken Bake and the Flourless Chocolate Banana Blender Muffins. When they feel ownership in the meal, they eat it better. :)
Elias turned 20 in January so he invited several friends over for a big Waffle night. I got zero pictures of the huge buffet full of waffles, toppings, bacon, and egg casserole. But I did remember to ask Malachi to step back and snap a picture of our full loving room. Nights like these are my favorite. :)
On Wednesday afternoons, I leave my littles with sitters so I can go hide at the library to work for four quiet hours. I go home refreshed from the fun of writing (in the quiet), and you can be sure that there are three babies ready for mama to hold them when I walk through the door.
Therefore, I try to have dinner ready, or almost ready before I even leave for the library. Otherwise, I go from quiet to chaos very quickly, trying to make dinner while holding three babies and answering “urgent” questions from the 3, 6, and 8yo kiddos. Here’s what I made one Wednesday before I left: Crock Pot Taco Pasta (it cooked all afternoon while I was gone), green beans, pineapple, and grapes.
The Wednesday after that, before leaving for the library, I put together six pizzas (from crusts that I’d purchased and frozen). I slid them into the oven and simply turned on the oven to bake once I got home at 5:00. Magic. I pulled out fresh spinach and ranch dressing while the pizza was baking and the kids ate “salad” as an appetizer. :)
Here’s a meal I put together on a day I had meetings and needed something quick to warm up later at mealtime.
The day before, I had made seven pounds of hamburger in my Instant Pot (I love this method!) so I set aside a couple of pounds and turned it into a pan of Sloppy Joes. Just before time to eat that night, I quickly steamed some frozen peas and warmed some white queso for anyone who wanted to drizzle it into their sloppy joe. This particular night I didn’t offer many side dish choices because I knew everyone liked/would eat this simple meal and I didn’t want to work harder than necessary. :)
I mentioned above that Tuesday nights we typically need a bigger meal because we feed more adults. This meal was perfect for that because it allowed people to choose which soup they wanted, but the toppings and sides went with either soup. (Chili and Simple Ham and Potato)
It was also perfect because I was able to dump all the ingredients for both soups into crockpots earlier in the day while the babies were all eating lunch. They cooked all afternoon (the soups, not the babies) and at dinner time I stirred them and served them with strawberries, grapes, and raspberries.
Meanwhile, our two-year-old was melting down (my precious way of saying that she was screaming, stomping on my feet, and grabbing my legs) while I was trying to put all of this together. Why was she mad? Because I wouldn’t let her eat cookies. Raise your hand if you’re a mean mom like me. ;)
This is why I don’t have time to shower.