Well, no sewing happened. Some kids had homework to be helped with, some kids got sick, some grown-ups rear-ended other grown-ups and had to spend a few days on the phone with insurance agents. This week I thought about homemade fast food. Things that can go from the freezer to the table in 20 minutes or from anywhere to the table in 20 minutes. As I was making a double batch of pizza dough, I remembered that after the middle one was born, I made homemade frozen pizzas. I used to just freeze extra dough, but that still required some planning (get it out in time, roll it and top it, etc...) then I par-baked the crusts and that worked really well. Then I par-baked them and topped them and froze them. Duh, that's what a packaged frozen pizza is?!? There are other things, too, tamales, black bean or lentil burgers, falafel (I have some patties I put in the freezer but I haven't actually tried them yet.) Granted, it generally takes a whole day (or two) in the kitchen to get these to the '20-minutes-to-the-table' point, but once I muster up the motivation, it's worth it. I have been able to tweak these for breakfasts, too: breakfast pizza is a par-baked crust that I take out and top with chevre, frozen berries and cinnamon-sugar. There are, also, pumpkin tamales that can be topped with yogurt and my mom used to make these bran muffins that she would keep the batter for in a 5 gallon ice cream bucket in the fridge and then just bake as needed. It had egg and two kinds of cereal that I sure wouldn't work for our family, but I am contemplating trying to tweak the recipe. It's risky business though, I mean, a lot of potential waste if they turn out truly terrible.
The other thing I do for quick meals is based on the Laughing Planet menu (which can be downloaded here.) In short, there are several sauces that are mixed with different veggies and beans or chicken and/or cheeses that are then put on brown rice, wrapped up in a tortilla or tossed in a salad. I usually plan on doing this and cook up some chicken, a pot of beans and a batch of rice, but I loose my steam when it comes to the sauces and those are really what push the food from ordinary to fantastic.
Lately, the Everyday Foods publication from Martha Stewart has really been full of good, simple and healthful things that are sounding really good and doable for me. The last two months have had things like black bean burgers, other pizza dough recipes that are not pizza i.e. chard pie, fruit turnovers and dessert pizza, and a simple asian dressing that can be used in several different ways. We'll see. I still have a day or so to figure out how I want to approach this week.