Crazy Fast Recipes

So, lately, I've been tutoring a friend of mine from church. She and I have been talking about (and struggling with) being working moms with young kids. I made a comment that usually, my kids are in bed by 7:30. Much later than that and meltdowns start to happen, and sometimes, they still happen even before that. My friend reacted in amazement, and I asked why. She said that she was amazed that I could get home between 4:30 and 5:15 and still throw dinner together so that we could eat as a family, bathe kiddos, do the bedtime routines and get everyone down. It's a sprint; I'm not going to lie. Coming home exhausts me, but dinner is a crucial part of my homekeeping duties.

All that to say that I wanted to share a couple super easy, crazy fast recipes that might bless you in busy times. Because I know that working moms are not the only ones who need quick, able-to-be-thrown-together-with-stuff-in-the-pantry dinner ideas. And new recipes are fun.

Salmon Patties
Inspired by a recipe in Parents Magazine

In a bowl, combine 2 5 oz. cans of boneless, skinless salmon, 1 egg and some Italian bread crumbs. If you use plain bread crumbs, add some garlic powder, onion powder and paprika for some flavor. Mix the fish, egg and crumbs, form into patties and "dredge" through bread crumbs to coat (dredge was the word the magazine used, and I thought it was funny).  Cook in a skillet with oil, 3-4 minutes per side until golden and cooked through. Tonight, we had these with frozen fries and peas. Yum. The number of patties you make depends on how big they are; I usually make about 6.
I think the original recipe included ketchup in the mix, but that seemed gross to me, so I took it out.

Rigatoni (or any pasta shape you like)
Inspired by a recipe on the Martha Stewart show

This recipe can be meatless or have a meat sauce. Meatless is definitely faster.
Preheat the oven to around 400. If I'm in a hurry, I'll just broil to melt the cheese.
Boil water and cook your rigatoni. I usually use more than half of the standard sized box so that we have leftovers for lunch the next day.
Brown your meat if you are using it. Drain and combine with a jar of spaghetti sauce; I use tomato and basil. Pour into a baking dish and fold in 8 oz. of cottage cheese. Add the noodles and mix well to combine. Sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese (or layer it on, whichever...) on top and bake to golden, creamy perfection.

Country Chicken Casserole
From Campbell's Kitchen

You need cooked chicken for this recipe, which can be a drag unless you plan ahead. Also, if you're in a hurry, don't be afraid to heat the casserole without the stuffing in the microwave before finishing it in the oven. Preheat the oven to about 350.
Prepare a box of stuffing (we've been favoring Cornbread flavor lately, but Savory Herb is good too) using the package directions.
Combine 1/2 lb - 1 lb of cubed, cooked chicken with 1 can of cream of celery soup, 1 can of cream of potato soup, 1 cup of milk and 1 package of frozen veggies (any kind). Heat if you want here.
Top with prepared stuffing and pop in the oven to heat through - 15-30 minutes, depending on how warm your dish is when you pop it in.
This recipe makes great lunch leftovers too; I think I may like them better than the original dish.

Happy (super fast) Cooking!

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