This is probably the busiest, most jam-packed fall that I can remember. The kids have triple-loaded their schedules-- volleyball, dance and an assortment of school clubs for The Pea, plus piano, soccer and a school play for the boys. Even with carpools, I find myself having to drive kids to and fro every day, and two days a week we are out of the house till 7:00PM.
With this hectic schedule, I barely have time to breathe, much less cook dinner! Of course, the kids would love it if we ate out on our Late Days, but frankly the cost is prohibitive, and by the time you get yourselves seated and served at a restaurant, it's already way too late.
I've relied on pasta, ramen, scrambled eggs, beans on toast and frozen waffles far too often for my comfort, but I'm not ready to pull out the frozen pizza every time, so partially prepared dinners are a good compromise when there's just no time to cook from scratch. We love fresh salads, so I can pair that with a frozen lasagna, or warm up some leftover soup and serve it with frozen dinner rolls.
Schwan's Hardwood Smoked Pulled Pork
The good news for busy parents is that Schwan's online grocery has a variety of options for fast, delicious fall family meals that don't break the budget. You can just pop Schwan's frozen dishes in the freezer and take them out on your overscheduled days. Microwave them or bake them while the kids are showering or doing your homework (and while you pop in that extra load of laundry!), so you can all come together for a delicious meal.
Schwan's Beer Battered Cod
Schwan's sent me their list of Top 10 Foods for Fall, which really got me drooling. Lasagna Roll-Ups? Beer-Battered Cod? It would take me forever to prepare those! Hardwood Smoked Pulled Pork? Sorry, I don't have hours to spend watching the barbecue! To show me how easy and delicious their meals can be, they also sent me a box of Beer-Battered Cod and Hardwood Smoked Pulled Pork to try. We had them on two of our Late Days, and I must say, it was sooo nice to be able to sit down to a nice dinner at home without any fuss, or without any stress about the kids staying up past their bedtime! I warmed the pulled pork on the stovetop, added a dash of barbecue sauce, and served it between some toasted rolls with a side of coleslaw. Yum, the only thing missing was the Superbowl on TV. When we had the cod, I baked it in the oven (don't be tempted to microwave it, the extra time it takes to keep the batter crispy is well worth it) and used it as the main filling for fish tacos. Holy Yum.
For dessert, of course we had Schwan's Thaw & Serve Creamy Yogurt. I've reviewed this product before, so I'm not surprised that it made their Top Ten Must-Have Fall Foods. You can store it in your freezer, so again, you can stock up and make sure you have some on hand for those hectic days, and it thaws to a wonderfully thick, ice-cream-like consistency. Just thaw them in your fridge in the morning and by nighttime they'll be the perfect after dinner treat. With dishes from Schwan's in the freezer, I can almost start looking forward to those hectic Late Days!
Disclosure: I received a product sample to facilitate my review, but have not been paid to review the product or give my opinions. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.