Question: What do all of the above pictured have in common?
Answer: They are all homemade meals that have an optional short cut starting point.
Take the homemade chicken tostadas for example (pictured top left). For awhile, somehow I got a kick on making these on a Tuesday. I would take L to ninja class, walk right past the awesomely authentic Mexican spot, and drive home and fry up some tortillas.
I felt like shaking myself all Jerry Maguire style. HELP THEM HELP YOU. Why was I wasting time frying up tortillas? It added 10 minutes that sometimes we as moms/dads/college students/ceos/teachers, etc, just don’t have. Not to mention it messes up the kitchen!
I mentioned to my good friend that finally I figured it out and picked up the shells and she almost baffled asked ‘they’ll sell those?’
Well, they aren’t exactly on the menu – but believe me, they’ll (and most places) sell anything. I walked out with 5 shells, a bag of plain chips, and went home to finish up the tostadas served with homemade guacamole. Saved prep time and cleaning time. Completely worth the $2.07 I paid.
I’m almost embarrassed it took me weeks to put that together but now that I did – help me help you:
Chicken tostadas: (again, pictured top left). Obviously you know about shells. Another great short cut (mentioned in the recipe post) is using rotisserie chicken. I have a routine of roasting mine earlier in the day (precisely during my walking and bus pick up time with B – 3:20-4:10) but I know not everyone has this option. Rotisserie works great.
Date night in pizza: (pictured top right). Pick up the pizza dough from your favorite pizzeria. Or better yet, pick up an already baked pizza dough. No rolling!
Spring minestrone: (pictured bottom left). Prep the soup and add Trader Joe’s mini chicken meatballs. (Thanks Molly for this great idea!)
Pesto Gnoochi: (pictured bottom right) Store bought gnocchi – couldn’t be easier. Is anyone making this homemade? Oh wait, I have a friend that totally does. And she also just ran the Boston Marathon. I know – impressive!
The best part about all of these? With the helping hand, none take more than 10 minutes to prep. Promise.