Friday, September 28, 2012

Fake It "Home Made" Meals

Let me just go ahead and admit it.  My name is Carrie.  I'm a working mama and don't cook dinner.

Ahhhh.  Now I feel better.

In all fairness I really do enjoy cooking.  But I enjoy cooking for the social experience of eating together... the good food is just a by-product in my opinion.  Which is probably the root of my bad eating habits since I clearly don't eat to "fuel my body" necessarily, but that's an entirely different post all together. 

Despite enjoying cooking, it doesn't always happen.  In fact, more often than not we're scrambling to pull something together quickly because we either didn't make it to the store or I didn't thaw something in the morning or we're just out of time to fix something before we start knawing on empty spoons.  So, I thought I'd share two of my favorite tricks.  The caveat -- I need MORE of these tricks so comment at the bottom and share your last minute "home made" fake outs.

Oh, and my definition of a fake out is that it could pass for home made....But isn't necessarily.

FIRST:  Jack Daniel's ready to eat meat.  Sounds a little gross, granted.  BUT I SWEAR.  It's.  Freaking.  Awesome.


This stuff is so good that I may or may not have put it in a crock pot and taken it to a party for sliders.  And accidentally forgot to mention that it was STRAIGHT from the package.  I've made my own pulled pork too and it's a definite toss up which one people liked more. 

In a pinch for dinner at home?  No prob.  This comes out of the fridge, a quick poke of a hole in the package to vent, and thirty seconds in the microwave and DING!!!  Dinner is served.  When it can be this good out of the package, I tend to wonder why I would bother to do a pulled pork in the slow cooker.  It's honestly THAT good.

But don't take my word for it.  Go get some.  Run, don't walk.  (I get mine at Target for like $7.99 and we always have enough leftover for a lunch the next day.)


Papa Murphy's.  But here's the key:  if you want home made taste, skip pizza.  It's still going to sit in your tummy like junk food (duh, it is).  BUT, switch gears and for $10 you can take home one of these beauties:

Their lasagna is AWESOME.  Again, I'm not going to cite specific times, but I will confess I may have passed it off as my own a time or five two.   Promise, it was just twice but I've considered on many other occasions.  For you other sneaks, it comes in a disposable alumninum pan wrapped in saran wrap...totally even looks homemade but more importantly it TASTES homemade.

So those are two meals that I go to in a pinch.  They're cheap, super fast and don't have the taste of restaurant food that I get tired of after a while. 

Now, since we all know there are seven days in the week, I need AT LEAST five more ideas!  Share some of your tricks with me!  Pretty please???  This could ensure that I don't cook anymore during the week and save my family from eating Eggos for dinner.

BTW -- I'm of course not receiving any compensation for these reviews.  These are totally my independent opinion and any and all tricks I shared are yours for the taking.  I'm not a big time blogger, ya'll.  Just a mom without any time.


  1. Love this post! Definitely reminds me that I need to have a list of my own go-tos.

    The first thing that popped into my head was spaghetti! Always have marinara and pasta on hand and done. I keep meatless crumbles in the freezer if I'm feeling meaty and I'm sure they make actual meat crumbles in the freezer section too! A sad, but super easy dinner for when I am really lazy is a can of soup and grilled cheeze. Mmmm...tonight is kind of throw together even though I did plan it. We are having a box of rice pilaf, microwavable bag of lentils and some grilled veggies. I guess my number one tip would be to stock up on your staples! There are always beans and rice in my pantry! :)

  2. Girl, I am so there with you! I normally do cook at least 3 nights, but the other ones it's a scramble. By the time we put the twins down at 7 we are starved and if I don't have something ready to go, it's quick and easy for us! A few things that work- PF Changs frozen meals for 2. The sweet and sour and orange chicken ones are yummo! Also, Boboli pizza crust and sauce are soooo good and you can add whatever toppings you want! I throw that with a salad and have dinner in 10 min, minus the delivery charge fee :) I'm going to try that Jack's chicken- always see it but have never tried it!! Oh one other thing is taco salad- brown hamburger meat (cool before mixing) and mix with cheese, onion, lettuce, tomato, crushed nacho cheese doritos or tortilla chips and then top with Catalina dressing. Sooo good and fast! We had that the other night.....literally takes 10 min!

  3. Ok, get the Hawaiin rolls or buns and eat the jack Daniels pulled pork on it, HEAVENLY! Matt and I LOVE it!

    And don't feel bad I'm not a working mom and I don't cook ;)