Wednesday, August 18, 2010


A good dinner is the perfect ending to a hectic day. A delicious meal comforts emotionally, time spent with loved ones provides a safe haven to talk, connect and work out schedules, problems or share a good laugh. Studies have indicated that families that share meals together have lower rates of divorce, children perform better in school and there are fewer medical issues, including obesity. is a busy, working mom to get a good meal on the table AFTER cross country practice ends at 7 and we don't get home until 7:15? SO, my cross country friends, this post is for you!

1) Plan a weeks worth of menus ON PAPER (I do this a week or more in advance, which allows me to grocery shop intentionally and without having to cram a grocery shipping run in at the last minute). Take a good look at your schedule and estimate how much time you REALLY have to put a dinner on the table.

2) Check out your pantry (see a previous post for a well stocked pantry) and make a list of any ingredients you'll need, including perishables.

HINT: Keep a running list of what you use up and restock the next time you go to the store. This will keep you from NOT having a critical ingredient when you get ready to prepare dinner.

3) Put the menu on the fridge so you know what your to do list is every night before you go to sleep or before you drive off in the morning. Typically, I have to remove meat from the freezer or prepare a marinade, each of which tale only a few minutes!

Here's what I fixed for dinner last night (it was on the table by 8pm and we didn't get home until 7:30pm)

Marinated Flank Steak
Score a flank steak (large enough to feed your family or 1.5 pounds for a family of 4)
Place in re-sealable plastic bag
Add the following or feel free to add what you like"
3 cloves minced garlic
1 bay leaf
1 tsp oregano
1 TBS minced onion, use dried if you prefer
1/2 tsp capers or green pepper corns
salt and pepper to taste

1 TSP olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar or more
1/2 cup dry red wine or more
Seal bag, "squish" to distribute ingredients and allow to marinate overnight. Remove bay leaf, discard marinade and grill to your liking. Slice the meat across the grain and serve with starch of your choice (microwaved baked potatoes) and a vegetable (I served pan fried squash last night but a can or corn or some frozen Market day broccoli is also a welcome side)

Delicious, fast and a lot better than a frozen pizza or a hot dog!

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