My Top Winter Meals

I’m not a good cook. That’s not a very inspiring first sentence for a post about your family’s next favorite dinner, is it? I should preface this comment. I really try to cook. I try to follow directions. I like to make good food that my husband will eat. However, more often than not, dinner and I don’t get along. I think the current score is Dinner: 16 Jessi:4.5.  I’m proud of that 4.5. Really proud. So proud that I am telling you my favorite recipes so that you, who I’m sure is ridiculously fluent in the kitchen and can whip out dinner like it is nothing, will see these four recipes as easy no brainers. More power to you!

What does it take for a meal make it to this prestigious blog post? That is a great question. Here are my criteria:

  1. Easy easy easy easy easy. Did I mention it needs to be easy? I am not a whiz in the kitchen and any success I do have is celebrated as if I won Hell’s Kitchen.
  2. Fast. I am a working mom and when I get home I want to throw something together. I don’t want to be in the kitchen forever. You will see the all in one dish thing is one of my favorites. That midwest upbringing will get you every time.
  3. The ingredients are normally on my shopping list or in my cabinet. If it has an ingredient that I don’t pick up on a regular basis, it won’t happen unless I make a real effort and plan ahead. That’s not happening. I race through Target and get my 15 staples and get the heck out of there.
  4. My picky husband will eat it. Mr. Incredible’s palate is delicate. He doesn’t eat mayonnaise. It took me twelve years to get him to graduate to medium cheddar from mild. He got lucky that I married him.
  5. It reheats well. I take my lunch to work and Mr. Incredible works from home. We use lunch to get rid of leftovers. I never enjoyed leftover night as a kid. Somehow eating the leftovers for lunch is completely different. I don’t get it either.
  6. It makes so-so ingredients taste excellent. You know, the one you find yourself buying  each and every time because it is so much cheaper and you keep forgetting that by itself it is worth nothing. You will notice I have saved Market Pantry Buttermilk Biscuits’ butt a few times. You’re welcome, Target.

Click on the titles to get the recipes, and enjoy! Tell me which ones you like the best and any modifications you made.

Crock Pot Chicken and Dumplings

Crock Pot Chicken & Dumplings

This is my winter go to recipe. I have given it to MANY over the years. I’m unsure where I saw it originally, though I would guess something easy like Campbell’s or Kraft’s Food and Family. Thank you PolishTheStars for the picture.

Easiest Chicken Parmesan 

Chicken Parmesan I found this on Pinterest and love love love how there is no frying and no soggy chicken. Secret ingredient? Croutons. Chef John’s video is the bomb. I usually cut the recipe in half, as my children don’t eat meat (I have no idea, don’t even ask) and still have enough to take for lunch the next day.

Three Cheese Pasta Bake

3 Cheese Pasta Bake

Campbell’s recipes are my favorites because I can usually get them right the first time. This mac and cheese is so easy, I was amazed how tasty it turned out. If you are making this for the whole brood, you will want to double the recipe and throw it in a 9×13. And go for the fun noodles, too. Life is short. Enjoy your noodles.

Parmesan Pull-Aparts

Parmesan Pull Apart Bread

This is the .5. Since it is a side dish, I thought it only deserved a half point. Mr. Incredible LOVES his bread and salivates over this recipe. Take those second rate Market Pantry Biscuits in the tube and make them FABULOUS! Holly over at Life As A Lofthouse posted this after some adaptations from an allrecipes entry. I applaud her ingenuity.

Bubble Pizza 

Bubble Pizza

Thank you Pillsbury for this total crowd pleaser. Each member of your crew can make their own favorites without you feeling like a short order cook. Grab oven safe bowls and let everyone make their own. If you are making this for a family of four, use three tubes of Market Pantry Buttermilk Biscuits, an entire jar of spaghetti sauce and one 16 ounce bag of shredded cheese.


About irishmcsweeney

I'm always up for a craft night or gabbing about The Muppets. I'm a working mother of two amazing girls, so making time is my biggest challenge. And did I mention my advanced talent in sarcasm?
This entry was posted in Comfort Food, Crock Pot Madness, The Lunch Table and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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