I've got you covered

It is always tricky transitioning from winter to summer. In the winter we are indoors for most of the day leaving ample time for planning and executing dinner. In the summer however, we want to be outside as much as possible. After an afternoon in the sprinklers or at the pool I realize it is already five, the Dude is headed home, and I haven't even considered dinner. So it is necessary to have some forethought when planning our meals in the summer. Here are my three go-to ideas for summer dinners. {1} Grill it! forethought required: thaw the meat and/or marinade. {2} Slow-cookery. forethought required: actually getting the meal in the slow-cooker around lunchtime. {3} Freezer friendly. forethought required: taking a few hours on the weekend to prepare freezable meals that can be popped into the oven an hour or so before dinner. I spent some time this weekend stocking a freezer with my brother-in-law and his girlfriend observing. All the while they were lamenting on how they always choose difficult meals to make with lots of prep time required. Don't get me wrong, I love mincing and slicing as much as the next cook, but let's be realistic, the summer is more for splashing in the pool, playing tag, and slathering sunscreen than slaving away in the kitchen. I thought posting three good "dump" recipes would be useful for them. So this is for you, E and L! And for anyone else out there short on time and summer meal ideas, I've got you covered!

Mexican casserole

1 pound ground beef, browned and drained

2 cups white or brown rice, prepared

2 cups shredded cheese

1 jar salsa

1 can corn, drained

Dump everything into a casserole dish, sprinkle more cheese on top. Cover and bake at 350° for 30 minutes or freeze and bake at 350° for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Uncover for the last 10-15 minutes.

Chicken Pot Pie

1 pound chicken, cooked and cut into bite size pieces

1 can cream of mushroom soup

½ cup sour cream

½ cup milk

1 bag frozen mixed veggies

1 Tbsp salt

½ Tbsp pepper

1 ready-made refrigerated pie crust

Dump first 7 ingredients into a baking dish and mix together. Place pie crust on top and crimp edges. Cut slits in the top to allow steam to come through. Cover and bake at 350 for 45 minutes or freeze and bake at 350 for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until bubbly. Uncover for the last 10-15 minutes.


Chicken Enchiladas

1 pound chicken, cooked and shredded

¼ cup sour cream

½ can diced tomatoes

1 can green chilis

2 cups shredded cheese, divided

4 ounces cream cheese

¾ cup salsa

8 fajita size tortillas

Dump first 4 ingredients and 1 up cheese into a bowl, mix together. Place some chicken mixture in the center of the tortillas and roll up. Place tortillas in baking dish. Warm cream cheese in the microwave until soft, mix with salsa. Spread cream cheese mixture on top of the enchiladas, top with remaining cheese. Cover and bake at 350 for 30 minutes or freeze and bake at 350 for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until warmed through and bubbly. Uncover for the last 10-15 minutes.

I hope these recipes free you up for some time outside this week!

Love always, Elizabeth Ann