Friday, May 24, 2013

How I ended the Mad Dinner Dash

Memorial Day weekend is finally here, signifying the start of summer: barbecues and picnics, pool parties and sprinklers, sand and surf. Kids will singe their fingers on sparklers, dads will blast their eyebrows off on illegal fireworks, and moms will get a few more gray hairs. Ahh… summer.

Like many families, Hubs and I headed out of town for the weekend. We decided to beat the traffic and leave on Thursday night, thinking our toddler, The Sleep Champion, would just snooze for a few hours in the car and we could transfer him to his bed when we arrived. (Ha! Our little Q had other ideas. He only slept the last 30 minutes of the drive, but that’s not what this post is about.)

After a busy day of working, then packing and shopping for the trip, I needed something easy for dinner before we hit the road, something with minimal prep and even less clean-up.

I’m not sure what meal time is like at your house, but if it’s anything like mine, dinnertime can be stressful. If I took the time, I could come up with some Pinterest-worthy menu options and an organized meal plan that even Martha Stewart herself would re-pin. But honestly, the likelihood of me doing that is about as high as me re-creating one of Pinterest’s 283,000 wood palette projects. It’s just not gonna happen.

So the Mad Dinner Dash is an almost nightly occurrence over here, and when you’re embarking on a road trip immediately after dinner, the Dash turns into a full-on scramble.

Luckily, there’s a Fresh & Easy market in my neighborhood. Did you know they have an entire “Kitchen To Go” section? You can choose from four cuisines – American, Italian, Asian and Mexican, and there’s healthy fare, too. I looked at the array of choices and called the Hubs.
I loaded my cart with Hubs’ chosen Asian fare, along with some mac and cheese, per Q’s special request. On the way to check-out, I cruised by the refrigerated section and spied pudding cups for fifty cents. Holla! I’ll take two.

Then I passed their grab-and-go lunch section and made a mental note. That would be perfect for the days I work from my client’s office and need a quick lunch. I’ll definitely be back.
The total bill came to exactly twenty dollars, but only because I also threw in a Starbucks Frappuccino bottle for a much-needed caffeine indulgence. I was in and out of the store in fifteen minutes, and I got an easy dinner on the cheap that satisfied both my picky boys. Success!

The Asian orange chicken went in the oven for twenty minutes and everything else got zapped in the microwave, which made for lightening fast clean-up at the end. Fresh & Easy ended our Mad Dinner Dash and made our hectic night pretty “F&Easy” (Haha! Get it?), making this Momma pretty f’n happy. And we met our goal of being on the road by 8pm, which made Hubs happy. Then we drove for three hours in the car, which did not make Q happy, but that’s another post.

Want bring an end to your Mad Dinner Dash and make your evenings F&Easy, too? Here’s a coupon for $5 off of $20, good until June 9th. Now stop stressing and enjoy your dinner. 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.