So before I broke my foot and was flying solo in the kitchen, there was a perception in my family that I was a bit too slow making dinner. Well now that the tables have turned, they’ve discovered that when we get home, get settled and get talking, time flies until the inevitable rumblings of stomachs and it’s later than we realized! So this week we’re talking about ways to save some time getting dinner on the table.

We were so in the mood for meatloaf last week (probably because of the abundance of potatoes from the Superbowl feast that would be a perfect mash in the side). But it’s not a dish you can rush. Also not a dish you want to start putting together about the time you’re normally sitting down to eat! In a hurry? Just use muffin tins that have been sprayed with cooking spray. It will cut the cooking time down to about 20 to 25 minutes before you can enjoy.

Few things fit into the category of classic comfort foods at our house like a ham casserole:

4 cups frozen potatoes O’Brien
1 1/2 cups cubed, cooked ham
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (cheddar or swiss are our favorites)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup sour cream
Ground pepper, dill, onion powder to taste (personally, with the ham, I never add extra salt in there)

While super easy to put together, it will take about an hour in a 375 degree oven to get all nice and bubbly. If time has gotten the best of you, make sure you give the potatoes about 12 minutes in the microwave to get them completely thawed (and starting to cook a bit). In a greased 9 x 12 baking dish, mix the ham, potatoes, and shredded cheese. Mix the spices, soup and sour cream in a small bowl and spread over the casserole. Bake until bubbly (if the potatoes are thawed, the time will be about 30 minutes). And you know by now, we have to top most casseroles with some French fried onions just to seal the deal (and one more reason why I never add salt to my spice mix)!

What are your best dinner time savers – especially if they help speed along your favorite meals? What ever they are, I hope you enjoy them in good health and surrounded by those you love!

Eat well friends!

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