One of my goals this summer is to create a master recipe list containing twenty five sure-fire recipes that I can have prepared, start to finish, in around ten minutes. Don’t worry, I definitely plan on sharing that list, and the recipes, when it’s finished. We hear a lot about 30 minute meals, but quite often, ten minutes is all that we can squeeze out of our day, and yet we still desire to have something homemade on the table.

Can this be done? I think it can…I know it can. I have done it many times, although it gets tricky when our “go to” items meal ideas are gone. What better way than to put our head together and help a sweet woman out. Recently, I received this email from one of my readers, Larissa, and I could so empathize. Having spent most of my boys’ football season cooking for 4-8 additional teenagers at a time, with no advance warning, there were many evenings I just paused, took a deep breath, and reminded myself that this “Welcome home/Open door” mentality is what I have prayed for throughout the years. Obviously, Larissa has the same heart for hospitality with her own daughter. She writes,

“I know you are very busy, but I was wondering if you could spare a minute to help me out possibly, one mother of teenagers to another? I have just one teenage daughter, she’s 15 and we’ve done our best to make our daughter’s friends feel at home at our house. This is great, except for trying to feed them. Sometimes I plan for them, they don’t eat–I don’t plan for them and 4 show up. We have always budgeted our food with enough for our family without much leftover (which tends to get tossed).
Do you have any ideas for last minute magic–being able to feed several at the last moment? The only things I can come up with are nachos, spaghetti, or pizza.”

I chuckled when I read her last sentence because I know that most of us tend to gravitate towards recommending those magic three ideas as first choices, along with hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill and a baked potatoes bar (my fav).
With summer coming, I tend to add in more salads as main dishes. I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t love the Asian Citrus Salad (if teens are picky, omit the radishes or red onions), but honestly, my biggest life saver with quick and easy family dinners stems from my One Hour Cooking Experiment that I posted about nearly two years ago. This method continues to save meal after hectic meal.
Set the timer for one hour, then cook and freeze as much as you can. In one hour of just concentrated time, I was able to break down certain kitchen tasks enough that I was going to get eight meals out of that one hour. Do you see my freezer picture above? All of that was accomplished in just ONE HOUR.
From that one hour, I can now conquer any of these simple ideas below in ten minutes.

  1. Chicken stir fry – chicken, frozen veggies, rice
  2. Enchiladas or burritos with rice, beans, taco seasoned beef, cheese, salsa, and sour cream
  3. Simple chicken casserole with diced chicken, cream of mushroom/chx soup, rice, seasoning, and cheese sprinkled on top.
  4. Simple Chicken pot pie with chicken, cream of mush/chx soup, bag of frozen veggies, cheese, and an all purpose seasoning.
  5. Chili or Taco soup – hamburger, beans, water, can of diced tomatoes, seasoning, and water.
  6. Taco Salad – romaine lettuce drizzled with either French or Ranch dressings, dolloped with black beans, taco flavored hamburger meat, salsa, sour cream, and crushed tortilla chips
  7. Taco Dip
  8. Taco Pizza
  9. Grilled Chicken Salad
  10. Shredded Pork with BBQ sauce for a great sandwich
  11. Easy BBQ Chicken (made earlier in crock pot)
  12. Stuffed biscuits with your choice salsa, spaghetti sauce, hamburger, and cheese
  13. Spaghetti

I went into greater detail about this plan with some of these Mexican recipes from my prepared freezer staples and my “Must Have Stocked” pantry items. I can’t wait to share more Ten Minute Meal Ideas with you, but first, I’d love to help Larissa out immediately, since I know she’ll be waiting a bit for my promised post.
I know you are the perfect ones to brainstorm.
So please, imagine the scenario.  If four extra guests walked through the door at the dreaded meal time hour, and you hadn’t even started dinner yet, what would your be your ten minute meal idea? Pizza, spaghetti, nachos and burgers on the grill don’t count.
P.S. Crying, scolding the inviter and locking yourself in the bathroom aren’t part of the scenario. 😉
These comments will be the best ever. Hopefully, we’ll all get some fabulous new ideas, but remember, they must be quick, so a thirty minute oven time won’t work for this predicament.
Thanks for taking part in Tasty Tuesday.

TastyTuesday200pix Food for St Patricks Day

Simple Rules for Tasty Tuesday Parade of Foods –  As always, please link directly to your recipe post and not your blog URL, so that we can find the recipe months from now.
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