If you have young children at your house you’re probably familiar with the witching hour. You know, that time after all of the day’s “scheduled” activities are over but before bed? Since I stay home with my kiddos my witching hour is generally more like a witching two or three hours sometimes. It runs rampant right through the time when I should be preparing dinner. And while I have learned a few tricks in my seven years as a mother, I’ve still not figured out how to nurse a baby, console a screaming, teething toddler, and break up a fight between the bigger kids while maintaining enough coherent thought to mentally prepare an acceptable dinner, much less physically do so!
Short on Time? Skip the Pizza!
So what’s a girl to do when the dreaded 5:00 rolls around? Well, have no fear momma, tonight I’m gonna rescue you from pizza. Don’t get me wrong, I love pizza, but sometimes it’s better to have something from home. Here are a few recipes that I love to use in my home when I’m short on time and groceries.
I’m not sure you can call this first meal a recipe per se. It’s more like a delicious concoction that my family loves even when the ingredients change! I’ve seen it called 10 Can Soup, but our family affectionately calls it Bean Soup. Here’s our general recipe:
A bunch of cans of your favorite beans
A can of corn
Ground hamburger or turkey (optional)
1 packet of taco seasoning
1 packet of ranch seasoning
Now I prefer two cans of black beans, two cans of kidney beans, one can of garbanzo beans, one can of butter beans, and one can of great northern beans. If you’re making this with a barren cupboard then just throw in what you’ve got! I’ve used frozen corn in place of the canned option and we regularly eat this without meat. If you’ve got the time to brown the meat, excellent; if not, it will be great without it. I generally throw mine in the crock pot in the morning and let it simmer on low all day, however I have also thrown it into a large pot on the stove and had dinner ready in twenty minutes. This is definitely one flexible recipe.
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
Another family favorite is:
Italian Chicken and Rice
2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1-16 oz bottle of zesty italian salad dressing
This one is so great because all you have to do is throw some frozen chicken breasts into a crock pot, dump the dressing in and let it cook all day. Then right before dinner, you can prepare some rice and a salad and you’re set!
A similar recipe that my family always loves is:
BBQ Crock Pot Chicken
2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce
You’ll do the same with this one, throw it all in the crock pot and go. I usually only use about a half a bottle of BBQ sauce, however depending on how many chicken breasts you’re preparing or your family’s preferences, you may use a whole bottle. We’ve eaten this on buns, alone, or with rice. Any way you fix it, it’s always delicious.
She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
If I’m really in a pinch and am out of groceries and out of time I make quesadillas. My kids LOVE quesadillas. Here’s my recipe for:
Easy Black Bean Quesadillas
1 can of black beans
Lay one tortilla out, cover it in cheese, sprinkle black beans on top, add some more cheese and throw it under the broiler at 450 degrees until it starts to brown, then I flip it. The second side will brown much faster than the first so you’ve got to be committed to standing next to the stove while it’s browning! Pull it out and you’ll have a crispy, cheesy quesadilla in no time. I serve mine with sour cream for dipping and something super simple like carrots on the side.
The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands, tears it down.
Last is a recipe for a delicious breakfast casserole that my beautiful sister-in-law shared with me. It’s a regular in my house and is an excellent way to have a nutritious dinner in a pinch. Just remember to prepare it in the morning so the flavors can mingle!
Jessica’s Breakfast Casserole
2 cups of croutons (I just use a whole bag)
4 oz shredded cheddar
4 eggs, slightly beaten
2 cups milk
1/2 tsp each of dry mustard, salt, and onion poweder
1/8 tsp of pepper
Pour the croutons in an 8×8 glass casserole dish. For my large family, I generally double the recipe and use a 9×13. Beat eggs slightly, mix in milk, cheese, bacon bits, and optional ingredients as desired. I don’t find that I need any of the seasonings to please my family’s palate since the croutons we buy are seasoned. Pour mixture over the croutons. Mix it around a bit to be sure your cheese and bacon aren’t all in a heap on top. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or if you’re making for dinner, refrigerate for the day. Bake at 325 for 50-60 minutes. I love this recipe because it can be so easily adapted to fit your family’s preferences and you can easily add veggies. You could even hide some veggies in it if you dice them small enough. Your kids would never know!
By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.
I hope these recipes help you through the witching hour at your house and I’d love to add some new recipes to my arsenal! Please share your quick and easy recipes in the comments!