The thing that gets me every single year with this whole back to school routine is dinner. The fact that no matter what I do, everyone seems to want and expect it every night, and no matter how much I ignore this fact, dinner never, ever makes itself.
Menu planning is a huge weight off my shoulders, but I decided to go beyond that and stock the freezer a bit so there are some nights when I don’t have to think at all. Defrost, pop in the oven or crockpot, maybe add a salad or some rice, and call it dinner.
I made two of everything this month, and we’ll see how it goes. Our September menu is as follows:
Chicken Enchiladas: I did not use a recipe here. I made a ton of shredded chicken* in the crock pot, poured a layer of enchilada sauce on the bottom of a pan, rolled up as many corn tortillas stuffed with chicken as would fit in my pan, topped with the rest of the enchilada sauce and shredded cheddar cheese.
Baked Ziti This recipe makes two pans, and we’ve already cooked one which was more than enough for two nights.
Salsa Chicken This is doubly easy because this is a crock pot meal. Assembling the ingredients took minutes, and when the times comes it all just needs to be added to the crock pot and left to do its thing.
Pizza Dough Okay, this is not really a full meal, but pizza couldn’t really be easier. I’ll use some of the shredded chicken leftover from making the enchiladas (also waiting for me in the freezer) and make BBQ chicken pizza.
Banana Muffins I had tons of bananas in the freezer (I still have several waiting to be used in smoothies) so I made these muffins for morning treats.
Chocolate Chip Cookies Yes, I know you can buy premade cookie dough and freeze it. And yes, it’s delicious. But I feel better about making them myself, and it’s really nice to have cookie dough on hand. I also like the option to bake only as many as I need. I scoop these using a cookie scoop, freeze them on a tray, and then add them all to a Ziploc.
*PRO TIP: If you’re shredding a lot of chicken, and you have a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment to shred the chicken. It will shred perfectly in less than ten seconds. It’s 100% worth the hassle, even if it takes longer to get the mixer out than it will to shred the chicken.