Keeping Dinners Simple and Stress Free {$100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway}

Life can get crazy-busy in a home where the husband travels for work and the wife is trying to run a successful business out of the house, while raising a kid who is involved in every sport imaginable. Needless to say, dinners are very often rushed and on-the-go. Most nights, simple is the name of the game for dinner in our house. Generally I cook at home. We don’t do fast food or ready-made store-bought meals, so anything that can help make dinnertime quick and easy is a big bonus for me.

When my husband is traveling, I’m totally guilty of making a dinner for me and a separate dinner for my son. I’m perfectly happy having a large plate of sauteed veggies. I like some flavor with my veggies, so it’s a no-brainer to use LAND O LAKES® Butter with Canola Oil for my stir fry (moderation is key). The flavor of butter  comes through just perfectly in my bounty of vegetables, and it’s so easy to just scoop out what I need and pop the tub back into the fridge.

For my son I make his favorite: ravioli, again, scooping out a spoonful of the butter with canola oil and adding it to the pasta, where it melts in nothing flat. Add a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese to both of our dishes and we’re happy campers.

Another dinner that makes everyone happy and alleviates stress in our house is grilled cheese. Super soft spreadable butter is a must for making a successful grilled cheese, so here’s another occasion where LAND O LAKES® Butter with Canola Oil comes in very handy. Straight out of the refrigerator, it’s creamy enough to spread onto soft bread slices.

And it makes for a perfectly delicious and buttery grilled cheese sandwich (accompanied by tomato soup, of course).

There aren’t any artificial ingredients in this product — just sweet cream, canola oil and salt. So I can feel good about feeding it to my family. I use LAND O LAKES® Butter with Canola Oil in all kinds of dishes that might normally call for a combination of butter and oil anyway, like these Green Beans with Caramelized Shallots.

Peppery Grilled Garlic Bread (or any garlic bread, for that matter) is made easier by using this soft, spreadable butter.

And the butter works perfectly in the sauce of one of our favorite chicken dishes too: Cheddar Cheese-Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Apple-Bacon Pan Sauce.

If you’d rather not place a branded tub of butter on your dinner table — maybe for a fancy occasion or perhaps because it’s just a personal choice — LAND O LAKES® Butter with Canola Oil is so creamy and soft that it’s easy to transfer to your own cute little dish.


We love it on warm Pumpkin Cornbread (a family favorite).

Because we lead such busy lives, the dinners where we can actually sit and eat together as a family are truly treasured. Our family does enjoy the flavor of butter in our food. And I enjoy the convenience and the real ingredients in LAND O LAKES® Butter with Canola Oil. It’s a product that makes my life just a little bit easier, since I can reach into my refrigerator and find an already creamy and soft product that is ready to spread. P.S. This is a product that has always been in my fridge — we’ve used tub butter for convenience for about as long as I can remember! And now for the giveaway!

For a chance to win one of two $100 Visa Gift Cards, leave a comment below sharing something you do in your kitchen to make dinnertime simple and stress-free.
This giveaway is now closed- the winner will be announced soon.  Thanks for entering! 

No duplicate comments.You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

  1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
  2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
  3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
  4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 3/4 – 3/17/13.

Leave a Comment

570 Responses to “Keeping Dinners Simple and Stress Free {$100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway}”

  1. 1

    lisatberry — March 4, 2013 @ 3:14 AM

    The best way to make dinners stress free for me is the crock pot, I call mine “my wife” because she has dinner ready for me as soon as I walk in the door, we all could use our own wife.

  2. 2

    Averie @ Averie Cooks — March 4, 2013 @ 3:24 AM

    to make dinnertime simple and stress-free I have a well stocked panty and freezer…being prepared and having options is the name of the game!

  3. 3

    Melissa — March 4, 2013 @ 3:29 AM

    I’m a PhD student and I often don’t have time or energy to cook dinner for me and my husband when I get home at night. I make one big meal (usually soup, but sometimes something else) on Sunday or find the time on Monday, and then we eat the leftovers all week – except for homemade pizza night on Wednesday :)

  4. 4

    Heather! — March 4, 2013 @ 4:13 AM

    I make a point of making dinner as simple and stress-free as possible! I try to plan menus for the week, do my shopping accordingly (or plan meals using what I already have), and I often to all the prep work for the week at one time. So, if two different meals call for chopped onions, I do the chopping for BOTH at the same time (usually on Monday). I also use my crock pot at least once a week! So easy!!

  5. 5

    Heather! — March 4, 2013 @ 4:15 AM

    I tweeted about this awesome giveaway!

  6. 6

    Katherine — March 4, 2013 @ 4:19 AM

    Planning ahead helps a lot! If I have a general idea of the food plans for the week, it really makes each night less stressful.

  7. 7

    Rachel — March 4, 2013 @ 4:24 AM

    I make dinner less stressful by planning in advance. There’s a menu on our fridge, so everyone knows what we’ll be having. I can shop and prep early, and the kids can’t complain they don’t like the meal because they had plenty of time to either get used to it or ask for changes!

  8. 8

    Liz — March 4, 2013 @ 4:28 AM

    To make dinner stress-free, I make a large thing of quinoa or couscous at the start of everyweek to have on hand for dinners.

  9. 9

    Katie — March 4, 2013 @ 4:29 AM

    i like to prechop some veggies on Sunday so i can quickly throw them into a dish during the week. I also like to make ahead and freeze a couple meals so I always have something on hand

  10. 10

    Lee W — March 4, 2013 @ 4:30 AM

    I plan out recipes on Sunday night and go to the grocery then to have everything ready for the week!

  11. 11

    Brett — March 4, 2013 @ 4:31 AM

    Making some things ahead while the kids nap helps a ton

  12. 12

    grace — March 4, 2013 @ 4:34 AM

    we have a pretty set-in-stone time for dinner, and since everyone knows it, they’re usually at the table when the food is hot and that’s always a huge relief to me. :)

  13. 13

    Kelly — March 4, 2013 @ 4:41 AM

    Plan the menu ! If I know the kids have activities, I opt for an easier dinner option like breakfast for dinner or a crockpot meal.

  14. 14

    Amy G. H. — March 4, 2013 @ 4:48 AM

    My husband travels a lot, so there are many weeks where I just cook for myself. I find cooking for 1 to be difficult, so I will usually make a large dish (like lasagna or eggplant parmesan) and eat that for dinner all week. The only caveat is that by Thursday or Friday, I start to get tired of it! ;)

  15. 15

    Aimee @ ShugarySweets — March 4, 2013 @ 4:57 AM

    Using my slow cooker is a must! And I try to put enough meat in it the first time so we can get two unique dinners out of one meal! I love Land O Lakes butter, I keep the tubs in my fridge too!!!

  16. 16

    Wendy W. — March 4, 2013 @ 5:05 AM

    I’m an obsessive list-maker – I plan my menus out two weeks in advance and post it on the fridge, along with the printed recipes. When I take out the ingredients for the night’s meal, I take a quick look at the recipe for the next day so I can take the meat out of the freezer and double-check that I have all that I need on hand. It took me a long time to wise up … lol … but after running to the grocery store in the middle of making dinner about infinity times, I finally got my act together :)

  17. 17

    Lauren — March 4, 2013 @ 5:06 AM

    I cook when I’m stressed, which usually leaves me with too much food for my family to eat. The answer: freezer. Whenever I have a hectic day, I can whip some of my already prepared meals that I have cooked in the past, and then frozen. Easy!

  18. 18

    kayceebeebee — March 4, 2013 @ 5:09 AM

    Planning our meals out 3 to 4 days in advance and sometimes being able to have the same meal (when I make extra) twice in one week.

  19. 19

    Melissa — March 4, 2013 @ 5:15 AM

    I prep the ingredients I am going to use in a recipe the night before.

  20. 20

    Jenna K. — March 4, 2013 @ 5:19 AM

    I bake double when making casseroles and put one in the freezer to break out on a busy night!

  21. 21

    Christina — March 4, 2013 @ 5:22 AM

    I like to menu plan. I don’t do it every week but I definitely see the difference when I do. Dinner time is so much easier when I plan ahead.

  22. 22

    Cheryl in AL — March 4, 2013 @ 5:25 AM

    As I am shopping I make a list of the meals I have the ingredients for. I Post the list on the fridge where we can decide which one we want. It allows flexibility and speed.

  23. 23

    Hope @ With A Side Of Hope — March 4, 2013 @ 5:35 AM

    I try to plan out our meals on Sunday so I know exactly what we are having for dinner throughout the week.

  24. 24

    Joanie from CLBB — March 4, 2013 @ 5:45 AM

    I do a lot of washing and prechopping veggies for later use. Often premix flour and leaveners for baking a few days later. Wish I had more faith in the crockpot like many of your readers. We are not friends tho :-(

  25. 25

    Darla S. — March 4, 2013 @ 6:00 AM

    For me a well stocked fridge and pantry help me keep supper stress free. We also eat pretty simple and not a lot of fancy and complicated dishes.

  26. 26

    Mami2jcn — March 4, 2013 @ 6:02 AM

    Yesterday I baked a lasagna and I had my husband watch the kids because I can’t get anything done with them running around the kitchen. Most nights when I’m making dinner, my husband isn’t home yet. When he’s not home, I make sure the kids are occupied with a craft or watching a video so I can get the cooking done. That makes it stress free for me!

  27. 27

    Mami2jcn — March 4, 2013 @ 6:03 AM


  28. 28

    Amy J — March 4, 2013 @ 6:03 AM

    I like to batch cook quinoa and rice to keep in the refrigerator all week. Makes it easy to put together quick lunches, and easy to throw together quick dinners. I also soak/cook huge batches of dried beans (garbonzo, black, red, pinto, navy, etc….) then freeze in portions similar to what would come in a can – helps to throw quick dishes together!

  29. 29

    Cheryl R — March 4, 2013 @ 6:05 AM

    I prep veggies a couple times a week and keep a well stocked pantry.

  30. 30

    Janice Cooper — March 4, 2013 @ 6:22 AM

    Plan my dinners for the week in advance. I even try to cook enough for leftovers the next day. Also if we have something simple and fun for dinner I use paper plates which helps cut down on clean-up.

  31. 31

    Janice Cooper — March 4, 2013 @ 6:23 AM

  32. 32

    Darbi — March 4, 2013 @ 6:27 AM

    I try to prep the night before. That way I can just heat and eat:)

  33. 33

    Rebecca — March 4, 2013 @ 6:28 AM

    I usually do a lot of cooking on sunday so the rest of the week can be nice and easy!

  34. 34

    Lara — March 4, 2013 @ 6:33 AM

    Cook on Sunday and heat & eat during the week!

  35. 35

    Meghan — March 4, 2013 @ 6:36 AM

    To make dinnertime simple and stress-free I try to as much of the menu planning and shopping on the weekend.

  36. 36

    Erin K. — March 4, 2013 @ 6:42 AM

    To make things simple and stress free, we make as much as we can ahead of time. With 2 kids under 3, I do not have the time to spend an hour in the kitchen!

  37. 37

    Lisa H — March 4, 2013 @ 6:45 AM

    To make dinnertime simple and stress free, my husband and I make a menu for the week before grocery shopping.

  38. 38

    Tania — March 4, 2013 @ 6:50 AM

    When I bring fresh vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower home I cut them up right away so they are ready to use.

  39. 39

    Margie — March 4, 2013 @ 6:56 AM

    Planning ahead is how I keep my meals stress free. I make sure that I have all the ingredients at home. I make sure that any meat or chicken is defrosted and ready to go.

  40. 40

    Danielle — March 4, 2013 @ 7:02 AM

    Plan, plan, and more planning! I make my menu ahead, shop ahead, and try to prep as much as I can that morning or the night before. It’s a necessity to my sanity :)

  41. 41

    April — March 4, 2013 @ 7:09 AM

    I like to do meal prep on Sundays. Chopping, precooking, etc. The crockpot is awesome too, but I usually don’t have that much time in the morning.

  42. 42

    Liza Glick — March 4, 2013 @ 7:12 AM

    I prep as much as possible on the weekend

  43. 43

    Cheryl Newton — March 4, 2013 @ 7:14 AM

    Menu planning. It’s so nice not to hit 5 p.m. and start panicking about what to make for dinner.

  44. 44

    danielle — March 4, 2013 @ 7:16 AM

    I make dinner with a glass of wine and some pandora. Stress free.

  45. 45

    Cheryl C — March 4, 2013 @ 7:21 AM

    Well my kids are grown and have busy schedules of their own but I prep ahead of time as much as possible and like to cook things on the weekend that I can pop in the microwave for lunch or dinner later in the week.

  46. 46

    Laura in Texas — March 4, 2013 @ 7:22 AM

    I purchase a big 10-20lb bag of chicken thighs, legs or breasts (whatever looks good and is inexpensive). I make up several ziplock bags each with their own marinade and labeled. Then I put the amount of chicken in I need for my family, seal it, mix it and freeze it. On this crazy days, I pull a bag, put the frozen goodness in a dish and stick it in the oven to bake for about 1.5 hours (adjusting time for the different cuts). I usually seperate the pieces out after about 45-60 minutes so I don’t cook a gihugent meat piece. It is so easy I can have the kids do it if I need extra hands. The chicken is delicious and really stress free since the kitchen is mess free as well with the exception of the dinner plates. :-) Did I mention I’d love to win a gift card please?!

  47. 47

    Lauren — March 4, 2013 @ 7:29 AM

    I try to do some prep work on the weekends (roast veggies, make sauces), so weeknight dinner assembly goes a lot faster.

  48. 48

    Marnely Rodriguez — March 4, 2013 @ 7:32 AM

    We tend to pre-portion meats so we don’t have to defrost entire packages of protein since we are just two, makes for easier prep!

  49. 49

    Amanda V — March 4, 2013 @ 7:34 AM

    To keep things stress-free, we plan our meals for the week on Sundays and get all the groceries. That way, we don’t have to worry about deciding what to eat when we get home from work, we just have to pull together the ingredients.

  50. 50

    rachel — March 4, 2013 @ 7:35 AM

    Planning out my menu ahead of time is a great help — I know what to buy and what I’m going to make each week!

  51. 51

    Lisa Thomas — March 4, 2013 @ 7:38 AM

    I menu plan and use my crock pot a lot to keep dinner time as stress free as possible.

  52. 52

    Kelli Farley — March 4, 2013 @ 7:45 AM

    I plan my meals out for the week so I know exactly what I need from the store and I don’t waste time after work trying to decide what to make.

  53. 53

    Jenny — March 4, 2013 @ 7:45 AM

    I make food that will last multiple days. Yay for good leftovers!

  54. 54

    Christine — March 4, 2013 @ 7:47 AM

    To make dinners stress free, I try to prep my meals on Sunday. Chopping veggies, cooking rice, making sure I plan out my meals for the week. Grocery shopping alone takes so much time that I don’t have!

  55. 55

    Kelli Farley — March 4, 2013 @ 7:48 AM

    Left a comment on the sweepstakes page.

  56. 56

    Christine — March 4, 2013 @ 7:50 AM

    Link to my tweet!

  57. 57

    Amy @ What Jew Wanna Eat — March 4, 2013 @ 7:51 AM

    I like to prep ahead- it’s easier to grab a cookie when you have nothing ready. But with some chopped veggies in the fridge, snacking is healthier and good for you meals come together quicker!

  58. 58

    Mary O — March 4, 2013 @ 7:57 AM

    I love to plan my meals for the week on the weekend before. :)

  59. 59

    Kim P — March 4, 2013 @ 8:06 AM

    Planning ahead – having everything you need for the week makes it easier.

  60. 60

    Terri — March 4, 2013 @ 8:10 AM

    Pasta is the easiest stress free dish in our house – all the kids love it and now Ronzoni makes a 3.5 minute one!

  61. 61

    Tommy — March 4, 2013 @ 8:13 AM

    I just plan out meals for the week and make sure if I don’t have that much time that day, that I get as much prepped as I can

  62. 62

    Denise M — March 4, 2013 @ 8:16 AM

    i use my crockpot as much as possible

  63. 63

    Meredith Brooks — March 4, 2013 @ 8:20 AM

    To Make Dinner less-stressful I prep ahead of time. Like cutting veggies & getting things measured out.

  64. 64

    Luba D. — March 4, 2013 @ 8:26 AM

    The best way to keep dinner (and everything else) stress free is to plan ahead. I like to think up some dinner ideas over the weekend or during my lunch break at work. This way you can also pick up any missing ingredients on your way home!

  65. 65

    sara ericson — March 4, 2013 @ 8:26 AM

    i always listen to music in the kitch. and i heart my crockpot! my whole family loves the land o’ lakes spreadable butter, too. ; )

  66. 66

    Rachel — March 4, 2013 @ 8:27 AM

    I listen to music!

  67. 67

    Vera — March 4, 2013 @ 8:32 AM

    I try and plan my meals for the week and do some prep on sunday afternoon/night.

  68. 68

    marie in Colorado — March 4, 2013 @ 8:33 AM

    Freezing meals ahead and using my crockpot!

  69. 69

    Jess Z — March 4, 2013 @ 8:40 AM

    We have a weekly menu plan and will prep for them a couple of days in advance if possible. We make everything from organic ingredients, all from scratch, so if we need tortillas, rolls, or pasta on a busy day, we’ll make them a day or two in advance. We also keep things in the freezer that we prepared for the days that are just too hectic that we can just throw in the oven and bake.

  70. 70

    sara — March 4, 2013 @ 8:52 AM

    I try to do all my chopping first so that I’m not letting something burn while I’m busy at the cutting board…definitely lowers the stress level a lot!

  71. 71

    Linda K — March 4, 2013 @ 8:54 AM

    I use my Crock Pot a lot and I usually have pretty simple meals during the week and leave the more complicated meals for the weekend when I have more time to cook and clean.

  72. 72

    Renee — March 4, 2013 @ 9:11 AM

    Roasting my veggies w a little EVOO & seasonings while doing the rest of prep (lunch, washing dishes, searing/cooking meat) is super helpful for me.

  73. 73

    Christina Cramer — March 4, 2013 @ 9:12 AM

    Weekend prep isn’t ALWAYS possible with time constraints, but when I can, ingredient prep on weekends is always helpful. Chopping veggies is a hassle when in a rush during the week!

  74. 74

    Jen P — March 4, 2013 @ 9:15 AM

    I am a PhD student living a crazy life, so I find it hard sometimes to have the energy to cook, although I do love it. I try to do a weekly meal plan so I am not scrambling around trying to find something to cook at the last minute, and I do all my shopping once per week so I am not running back to the grocery store repeatedly. Also making it fun by cooking with my boyfriend and listening to music!

  75. 75

    Leah — March 4, 2013 @ 9:24 AM

    I assemble and prep my ingredients first to make sure I have everything ready to get the perfect timing down for the recipe. I also love to listen to music while makes it more relaxing and fun.

  76. 76

    Elena — March 4, 2013 @ 9:37 AM

    When I buy chicken I cut it in a few pieces, put in a freezer bags, add different marinade to each bag and freeze. Later during the week when I want to cook chicken I take out the chicken pieces in marinade from the freezer. They cook really quick which makes dinnertime less stressful

  77. 77

    Elena — March 4, 2013 @ 9:38 AM


  78. 78

    Pam — March 4, 2013 @ 9:40 AM

    When I am making a dish that requires me to chop up onions, carrots, celery or bell peppers I cut up more than I need and freeze the amount I don’t need for another time.

  79. 79

    Katherine — March 4, 2013 @ 9:41 AM

    We plan out a menu for the week in advance. That way we can prep the food for the week and possibly make and freeze some meals in advance and then just cook them straight from the freezer. This helps to save time.

  80. 80

    Linda K. — March 4, 2013 @ 9:42 AM

    Plan ahead as much as possible.

  81. 81

    Meghan — March 4, 2013 @ 9:42 AM

    On Mondays I sit down and plan my meals for the week – that way I know what’s coming up and how much time I need to set aside to prepare it. Taking the guesswork out of what’s for dinner is such a relief!

  82. 82

    Lydia — March 4, 2013 @ 9:48 AM

    I love cooking up a bunch of hamburger or chicken and then putting it in small portions in the freezer for use in soups etc. Saves me so much time!

  83. 83

    Bobbie Hayes — March 4, 2013 @ 9:55 AM

    Making dinner simple and stress free starts at the grocery store. I make sure that I have the complete ‘fixin’s’ for each meal and all of the standard pantry items. I make sure to move proteins from freezer to refrigerator the night before. If I use a recipe, I check the ingredients before I start. Even though I’m retired, I try for simple meals during the week and more complicated items on the weekend. (I also make some casseroles on the weekend for the coming week.)

  84. 84

    Danyelle — March 4, 2013 @ 10:05 AM

    I use my crockpot a lot and try to keep some nearly ready meals in the freezer.

  85. 85

    Ginny — March 4, 2013 @ 10:06 AM

    On days when I’ll super busy in the afternoon/evening, I try to prep dinner ahead of time. My two year old loves to help me in the kitchen and she is generally much more genial in the morning, so it’s a win-win for both of us :)

  86. 86

    Kim N. — March 4, 2013 @ 10:22 AM

    I will use the weekends to prep meals and also make meals to freeze and reheat on the weekdays!

  87. 87

    krystle — March 4, 2013 @ 10:27 AM

    making dinner simple and stress free- i am horrible at planning ahead so i always make sure that the cupboard is stocked with lots of canned goods and the freezer with frozen veggies. this way if i didnt have time to get to the store or run out of the fresh stuff i always have back up on hand :)

  88. 88

    Sherri C — March 4, 2013 @ 10:31 AM

    I make out a menu for the week, each person has a favorite meal I make so everyone is happy :)

  89. 89

    Ashley B. — March 4, 2013 @ 10:37 AM

    We make just one or two dinners each week that we eat for at least two nights–lots of crockpot shredded chicken to make enchiladas, tacos, mole, tostadas is cooked in our kitchen!

  90. 90

    Amy L — March 4, 2013 @ 10:38 AM

    I make dinner stress free by cooking double batches and freezing enough for another meal. I do this with soups, casseroles, chili, meatloaf, meatballs, etc. It’s great to have the frozen meals on hand for busy days.

  91. 91

    Amy L — March 4, 2013 @ 10:40 AM

    I tweeted

  92. 92

    Danyelle — March 4, 2013 @ 10:49 AM

    I plan ahead-meal planning, prepping before dinner, etc.

  93. 93

    Amanda L — March 4, 2013 @ 11:12 AM

    I do a lot of meal planning.. It makes dinner that much easier each night because you know what your are having.

  94. 94

    Tiffany — March 4, 2013 @ 11:19 AM

    I like to plan ahead and cut things up beforehand!

  95. 95

    Sharon — March 4, 2013 @ 11:19 AM

    I’ll poach chicken breasts while I get ready in the morning – stick in the fridge – then shred w/BBQ sauce or throw in some pasta sauce for dinner when I get home!

  96. 96

    vaishali — March 4, 2013 @ 11:19 AM

    I let my 7yo pull a chair and sit in the kitchen and we talk as I cook. beautiful time (mostly)!!!

  97. 97

    Jordan — March 4, 2013 @ 11:21 AM

    Grocery shop for the entire week on Sunday!

  98. 98

    Jessica — March 4, 2013 @ 11:33 AM

    I use the crock pot to cook meat during the day. When I get home from work, I throw veggies into the oven to roast. Twenty minutes later, we have a balanced meal I feel good about eating!

  99. 99

    Mimi @ Culinary Couture — March 4, 2013 @ 11:36 AM

    Me and my mom plan ahead!

  100. 100

    Jennifer — March 4, 2013 @ 11:39 AM

    I try to plan ahead like preparing things earlier in the day to just heat up, crockpot, planning menus, making sure I have lots of staples on hand, etc.

  101. 101

    Danyelle — March 4, 2013 @ 11:47 AM

    I Tweeted

  102. 102

    Kari M — March 4, 2013 @ 11:53 AM

    I try and prep as much as I can the night before so that dinner can be put together quickly when I get home from work.

  103. 103

    Aimee — March 4, 2013 @ 12:04 PM

    I have learned to prepare as much as possible ahead of time. I make a pot of quinoa to have on hand during the week. I double my beans and store some in the freezer. I also try to have chopped fresh vegetables ready to snack on.

  104. 104

    Aimee — March 4, 2013 @ 12:05 PM

    I tweeted about the giveaway.

  105. 105

    Kat — March 4, 2013 @ 12:14 PM

    We grill chicken on the weekends so we can just take them out of the fridge and pair with different sauces and sides throughout the week. Or making meals, like lasagna, on the weekend and popping it in the fridge makes for a quick bake-and-eat supper!

  106. 106

    samW — March 4, 2013 @ 12:15 PM

    just having a plan helps alot

  107. 107

    MaMaLaLa — March 4, 2013 @ 12:24 PM

    I like to prep all my produce when I get it from the store or farmer’s market. I find it makes dinner go faster to have that one step done ahead of time. Then, it is really just throwing it all together. We eat a lot of veggies and fruits so this saves us plenty of time.

  108. 108

    Amy K. — March 4, 2013 @ 12:29 PM

    I have lots of little ones at my house – an 8 year old, 4 year old, 2 year old, and new baby. In order to keep the kids happy and not fighting while I cook I get them involved. They push chairs up to the counter and help add ingredients and stir. It is much easier to give them tasks to do to help cook instead of breaking up arguments if I leave them on their own.

  109. 109

    Shannon — March 4, 2013 @ 12:47 PM

    always make a plan for the week, lots lets stress this way

  110. 110

    stephanie — March 4, 2013 @ 1:02 PM

    i plan ahead!

  111. 111

    stephanie — March 4, 2013 @ 1:03 PM

    tweet: .

  112. 112

    Susan Smith — March 4, 2013 @ 1:07 PM

    I plan my meals out for the week so I know exactly what I need from the store and I know what I’m making that night. I also listen to music while I cook

  113. 113

    Susan Smith — March 4, 2013 @ 1:09 PM

  114. 114

    Beth L — March 4, 2013 @ 1:34 PM

    I plan my menus for the week and do as much prep and cooking as I can on the weekend.

  115. 115

    Susan C — March 4, 2013 @ 1:42 PM

    I use my crockpot, do a lot of prep over the weekend and generally just make things during the week that don’t take a lot of time. Saturday and Sunday we have more elaborate meals.

  116. 116

    Emily — March 4, 2013 @ 1:49 PM

    In order to be simple and stress free, I plan ahead. I make a menu the Friday before the start of each week. We shop Saturday. I keep my pantry and freezer stocked.

  117. 117

    Sarah — March 4, 2013 @ 1:49 PM

    I keep things simple by planning ahead and finding simple, delicious recipes in books and online.

  118. 118

    Jessie C. — March 4, 2013 @ 1:53 PM

    To make dinnertime simple and stress-free, with weekly menu plan, I pre-cook ingredients and freeze them during weekends.

  119. 119

    Jessie C. — March 4, 2013 @ 1:53 PM

  120. 120

    Stephanie-Oh — March 4, 2013 @ 1:54 PM

    There are just my husband and I at home, our children are grown and on their own so simple is best for us. The easiest is a quick vegetable omelet with whatever veg. I have on hand. I only use hard cheeses for the omelet, ie. parm or romano for added flavor. Another is bs chicken breasts, which I always have on hand. A quick saute of cubed BSchicken breasts and chopped veggies over pasta or rice is quick and healthy meal.

  121. 121

    dena — March 4, 2013 @ 2:01 PM

    For me, when I cook a family favorite, I make double and freeze the rest. Then the evening before a hectic day is about to come up (like any Monday), the prior evening I pull out the frozen food to defrost in the fridge.

  122. 122

    dymphna — March 4, 2013 @ 2:11 PM

    i have my boyfriend help me…keeps it so much easier than doing it alone.

  123. 123

    Dina — March 4, 2013 @ 2:12 PM

    Meal planning and the crockpot!

  124. 124

    April V — March 4, 2013 @ 2:24 PM

    I love to meal plan (that keeps it very stress-free!) and cook as much as possible in the crockpot, so I have more time w/ my family!

  125. 125

    Cc — March 4, 2013 @ 2:30 PM

    Slow cooker! Saves time and of course makes everything delicious.

  126. 126

    Katy @ Katyskitchen — March 4, 2013 @ 2:34 PM

    Sometimes its nice to have grilled cheese or a fried egg sandwich after a long day baking and experimenting with crazy ideas! Good on you :)

  127. 127

    Elizabeth F. — March 4, 2013 @ 2:40 PM

    My way to keep dinner stress-free is to only follow recipes that don’t require more than 8 ingredients! The simpler the better, as far as I’m concerned. Also being organized in my prep work helps a lot.

  128. 128

    Brittany @ Barr & Table — March 4, 2013 @ 2:48 PM

    My fiance just made dinners a little more stress-free for me by offering to cook a few nights per week!

  129. 129

    Sarah — March 4, 2013 @ 2:48 PM

    To make dinner stress free, I try to keep my pantry and freezer stocked. That way my weekly grocery trips aren’t so overwhelming!

  130. 130

    Kimi — March 4, 2013 @ 2:49 PM

    We have a no tech rule. No cell phones at the table, we don’t answer the phone and we have music playing in the back round.

  131. 131

    Brittany @ Barr & Table — March 4, 2013 @ 2:49 PM

    I tweeted!

  132. 132

    Michele — March 4, 2013 @ 2:55 PM

    Planning. Planning. Planning. And being creative with leftovers! :-)

  133. 133

    Lia Simpson — March 4, 2013 @ 3:03 PM

    I make sure I buy groceries that can be fixed multiple ways for multiple meals. For example, ground beef that I can brown for tacos and sloppy joes or a rotisserie chicken for pot pie and enchiladas.

  134. 134

    Lia Simpson — March 4, 2013 @ 3:12 PM

    I tweeted about the giveaway

  135. 135

    ATLKRISTEN — March 4, 2013 @ 3:14 PM

    I like to pre-chop veggies when I get home from the grocery store. I also season meats before putting them in the fridge or freezer.

  136. 136

    Holiday Baker Man — March 4, 2013 @ 3:17 PM

    I rely on steamed veggies. Easy to prepare and very healthy!

  137. 137

    Bianca — March 4, 2013 @ 3:28 PM

    I try to do as much of the prep work ahead of time as possible to streamline dinner.

  138. 138

    Heather Thornton — March 4, 2013 @ 3:29 PM

    I pre-make starches (that can take time to cook) at the beginning of the week or a few days in advance. They last great and give me several meal options. I don’t like to plan exact meals on a weekly basis because we change our minds, but having cooked rice, pasta, cous cous or orzo on hand gives us lots of options! I usually cut off the last few minutes of cooking so I can throw them into a saute or the oven without getting mushy.

  139. 139

    Rebecca — March 4, 2013 @ 3:38 PM

    We plan a menu at the beginning of each week. This way we know what items to get out/thaw in time for dinner preparation. It also helps us with our grocery list and bill because we know what we need to buy.

  140. 140

    wendy — March 4, 2013 @ 3:48 PM

    I try and do any prep ahead of time that I can-chopping veggies, making a salad, boiling eggs, etc.

  141. 141

    Claudia Flores — March 4, 2013 @ 3:52 PM

    I should do a weekly menu but I never know what I will feel like making. But a stress free meal is always one that starts out in my slow cooker. Those meals are by far the easiest and less stressful.

  142. 142

    Brittany C. — March 4, 2013 @ 4:12 PM

    I try to have a well stocked produce drawer and pantry

  143. 143

    tara — March 4, 2013 @ 4:22 PM

    I like to roast a ton of veggies and sweet potato “fries” and cook some quinoa or rice to toss together as a quick meal or just to heat and dip in a yummy sauce or hummus!

  144. 144

    Annette — March 4, 2013 @ 4:49 PM

    I like to go to the farmers market and get extra to cut in various ways and freeze or can for later use.

  145. 145

    Ilona T — March 4, 2013 @ 5:10 PM

    I keep my pantry and freezer stocked!

  146. 146

    Sara Leanne — March 4, 2013 @ 5:12 PM

    For me it’s all about the crock-pot. In fact, my area has a snow storm coming, and I bought three different crock pot options tonight. Let’s hope we keep power!

  147. 147

    Ilona T — March 4, 2013 @ 5:13 PM

    I tweeted

  148. 148

    Wendy — March 4, 2013 @ 5:40 PM

    Lock the door on the way out to the car to get to the resteraunt

  149. 149

    Karla G — March 4, 2013 @ 5:45 PM

    I try to do a lot of prep work over the weekends, so that I can quickly grab what I need from the fridge when I get home from work during the week.

  150. 150

    Amanda Sakovitz — March 4, 2013 @ 5:45 PM

    I cook with my fiance and on the weekends I pour myself a glass of wine while cooking!

  151. 151

    Denise McDowell — March 4, 2013 @ 5:45 PM

    slow cooker meals have been biggest timesaver

  152. 152

    Amanda Sakovitz — March 4, 2013 @ 5:47 PM

  153. 153

    Sara Leanne — March 4, 2013 @ 5:47 PM

    I tweeted

  154. 154

    Karla G — March 4, 2013 @ 5:48 PM

    I tweeted about the giveaway

  155. 155

    Margot C — March 4, 2013 @ 5:59 PM

    The best way to make dinner stress-free is to just eat them at the kitchen table; we do this about 5 days a week, ha!

  156. 156

    Arwen Lynch, Professional Joy Seeker — March 4, 2013 @ 5:59 PM


  157. 157

    Arwen Lynch, Professional Joy Seeker — March 4, 2013 @ 6:00 PM

    I like to grill or bake chicken on the weekend so I have it available during the week.

  158. 158

    Margot C — March 4, 2013 @ 6:05 PM

    I tweeted too:

  159. 159

    Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. — March 4, 2013 @ 6:13 PM

    I like to use rotisserie chicken from the grocery store as a shortcut. It’s perfect for tacos, salads, pasta, or soup!

  160. 160

    Kris M — March 4, 2013 @ 6:27 PM

    I make meals in bigger quantities than we need, and then freeze them. On days I know are going to be very busy, I take out one of the frozen meals.

  161. 161

    Amy Tong — March 4, 2013 @ 6:27 PM

    Great post. I always enjoy readying your posts and your family stories. Something I do in my kitchen to make dinnertime simple and stress-free is to prepare food that my family loves with simple ingredients. Usually, simple ingredients bring out the best of a dish. Saute wild mushroom with some LAND O LAKES® Butter with Canola Oil and garlic together and serve with pasta is one of my family’s favorite.

    amy [at] utry [dot] it

  162. 162

    Amy Tong — March 4, 2013 @ 6:29 PM

    Tweeted about this giveaway:

    amy [at] utry [dot] it

  163. 163

    Lisa — March 4, 2013 @ 6:56 PM

    I love making meals ahead of time or making extra of something and freezing it.

  164. 164

    Madeline — March 4, 2013 @ 6:58 PM

    I roast a lot of my meals – it’s hands-free and I can make a lot of meat and veggies that are great for leftovers!

  165. 165

    Shanna — March 4, 2013 @ 7:03 PM

    I like to do a lot of prep work the night before!

  166. 166

    Kimberly — March 4, 2013 @ 8:47 PM

    Tweeted about this great giveaway!

  167. 167

    April was in CT now CA — March 4, 2013 @ 9:01 PM

    I make sure I start with a clean kitchen and also clean as I go. I use this butter and love it!

  168. 168

    sara — March 4, 2013 @ 9:02 PM

    I meal plan ahead of time. I also prep ingredients during nap time.

  169. 169

    sara — March 4, 2013 @ 9:04 PM


  170. 170

    Suzanne H — March 4, 2013 @ 9:05 PM

    To make meals easier, I always cook up big batches of a side or main and freeze them, so that I have at least one part of the dish easily grabable. It also helps me control the nutrition of my meals!

  171. 171

    Bethany — March 4, 2013 @ 9:14 PM

    The best way to make meals easy is to make big meals on the weekend, and then work the leftovers all week long! I’m just a single girl, so it works for me – I know a lot of people don’t like leftovers like I do!

  172. 172

    Dezi A — March 4, 2013 @ 9:29 PM

    I double up lots of my meals to keep my freezer stocked.

  173. 173

    Donna — March 4, 2013 @ 9:33 PM

    I try to plan ahead so at least I know what I’ll be cooking. Nothing puts a dent in dinnertime faster than having to thaw something first!

  174. 174

    ellen — March 4, 2013 @ 9:40 PM

    working with freezer friendly foods!

  175. 175

    Michelle P. — March 4, 2013 @ 10:11 PM

    Using my Crock Pot is my way to make things easier in the kitchen! I love that I can get dinner going early in the day and get the dishes all done as well. Getting dinner on the table is so much less stressful!

  176. 176

    Lynda — March 4, 2013 @ 10:43 PM

    i try to prep extras so that there would be leftover. i also try to cook more on the weekends so that weekday dinners are almost all prepped.

  177. 177

    Lynda — March 4, 2013 @ 10:45 PM


  178. 178

    MaryB — March 4, 2013 @ 10:56 PM

    I try to fix everything I can ahead of time so there isn’t a lot of last minute work for dinner. We also plan to have leftovers that can be used in a new and different dish. Thanks for offering the giveaway.

  179. 179

    ellen beck — March 4, 2013 @ 11:39 PM

    We stay stress free by planning as much in advance as we can and pre-prepping too. We also utilize meat dish left overs for the next day ie crockpot roast beef and the next day we have sandwiches made out of the same beef.

  180. 180

    ellen beck — March 4, 2013 @ 11:41 PM


  181. 181

    Ashlee — March 4, 2013 @ 11:46 PM

    Plan ahead! The only way I’m not going crazy!

  182. 182

    Kimberly H — March 5, 2013 @ 12:24 AM

    Menu planning helps a lot. So does having a handful of “go to” recipes that are quick fixes for an easy dinner (scrambled eggs, enchiladas, chicken pot pie with canned chicken, etc.).

  183. 183

    Sarah — March 5, 2013 @ 12:31 AM

    For me, menu planning helps make my time in the kitchen less stressful. When dinner time rolls around, I already know what needs to be done, so there is less time wasted just thinking about what should be made for dinner.

  184. 184

    Sarah — March 5, 2013 @ 12:35 AM

    I tweeted about the giveaway:

  185. 185

    wade2121 — March 5, 2013 @ 12:38 AM

    Get several suggestions what to eat for the next few days and that might even change. Make sure ingredients are there 1-2 days before.

  186. 186

    Kiran @ — March 5, 2013 @ 12:39 AM

    I trust my pressure cooker to get dinner on time! Love the family photo, Lori :)

  187. 187

    Kim B — March 5, 2013 @ 1:25 AM

    On nights I know I’m busy I make sure to put dinner in my crockpot in the morning so I don’t have to think about it in the evening :)

  188. 188

    Kristen — March 5, 2013 @ 2:31 AM

    Make a list for the week of what I’m cooking when and be extra-prepared in case something changes and mindful of what is going on that day.

  189. 189

    Ilene — March 5, 2013 @ 2:36 AM

    I do some prep work in advance like cutting up vegetables. Also, I try to make enough for two meals, so I’m not cooking a whole meal every night.

  190. 190

    Angel G. — March 5, 2013 @ 3:02 AM

    Mealplanning is a must, and crockpots are a lifesaver for busy evenings.

  191. 191

    kay — March 5, 2013 @ 3:06 AM

    Planning is key. Having a supply of ingredients in the frig or freezer make it easy to prepare good meals. Many times I eat lunch out and dinner becomes some raw veggies with a glass of wine.

  192. 192

    Phyllis — March 5, 2013 @ 3:11 AM

    When I plan a meal, I plan how to change the leftovers into a new and quick meal.

  193. 193

    Margie Visnick — March 5, 2013 @ 3:32 AM

    My crockpot is a lifesaver in the kitchen-keeps things stress free!

  194. 194

    Margie Visnick — March 5, 2013 @ 3:36 AM


  195. 195

    mary molnar — March 5, 2013 @ 3:55 AM

    I have a stock pile of all kinds of Frozen Veggies. Like Broccoli, peas, okra, and spinach. We have meat on the weekends and I cut up and save for quick healthy stir fry on weeknights.

  196. 196

    Maria in NJ — March 5, 2013 @ 4:01 AM

    leftovers to use to make another meal, to me is the best way to stretch the dollar and to ease up all the cooking…

  197. 197

    tammy d. — March 5, 2013 @ 4:04 AM

    Meal planning! I know it sounds simple and I’ve struggled with it many times. Recently I’ve been making myself take 5 minutes on Sunday and do it. It’s amazing how much easier this makes my life!

  198. 198

    Lai — March 5, 2013 @ 4:21 AM

    The crockpot makes cooking simple and stress free. Also easy to cook and freeze dishes like soups and stews are a big help as well.

  199. 199

    pruttybird — March 5, 2013 @ 4:25 AM

    I plan my meals for the week based on what’s going on in our lives that week. If I know what I’m going to cook and have all the ingredients it makes it so much harder to say let’s get takeout :)

  200. 200

    Kayle (The Cooking Actress) — March 5, 2013 @ 4:33 AM

    I do a lot of pre-planning and oftentimes set up everything I need beforehand so I can get through it much quicker when it comes the time!

  201. 201

    Denise Wilson — March 5, 2013 @ 4:33 AM

    I plan my meals on the weekends and make sure I have everything I need.

  202. 202

    Vivian — March 5, 2013 @ 4:35 AM

    I try to keep foods in the freezer so I have something quick to make if the baby gets fussy near dinnertime.

  203. 203

    Vivian — March 5, 2013 @ 4:38 AM
    Tweeted giveaway

  204. 204

    barbara n — March 5, 2013 @ 4:52 AM

    I try to meal plan for the whole week along with freezer cooking!

  205. 205

    Katie — March 5, 2013 @ 4:56 AM

    I pick recipes that don’t have a lot of ingredients to keep it simple. I also rely on my crockpot quite often.

  206. 206

    Katie — March 5, 2013 @ 4:58 AM

  207. 207

    LAW — March 5, 2013 @ 5:06 AM

    One blatant commercial is disappointing but bearable. Two pushes the limit of my ability to take you seriously.. Thumbs down.

  208. 208

    Kay B — March 5, 2013 @ 5:13 AM

    I will bake chicken breasts over the weekend and have them on hand for the week to use in quick/simple dinners…..Chicken Caeser Salad, Bacon Ranch Wraps, Spicy One Pot Chicken Pasta, White Chicken Chili to name a few of the recipes.

  209. 209

    Shoshana — March 5, 2013 @ 5:14 AM

    I make dinnertime stress free buy planning and preparing foods over the weekend.

  210. 210

    Heather — March 5, 2013 @ 5:19 AM

    I cut up veggies and grate cheese ahead of time that way when I need them they are ready to go! Prepping ahead makes it so much faster!!

  211. 211

    Linda F, — March 5, 2013 @ 5:22 AM

    I prepare 2-3 different meals on the weekend. Since my husband is working 4 days at another location each week he takes half with him and I keep half for myself or freeze it so that he always will have something to eat if he can’t make it himself.

  212. 212

    Paige — March 5, 2013 @ 5:29 AM

    Meal Planning! I shop for the week and usually buy a rotisserie chicken that we will get 1-2 meals out of…great for soups, salads, enchiladas, etc.

  213. 213

    Nicole P — March 5, 2013 @ 5:29 AM

    Making pasta in advance and leaving it in the fridge to re heat helps make planning dinner stress free! :)

  214. 214

    Liz B. — March 5, 2013 @ 5:30 AM

    My stress free tip is using fish more often – it cooks quickly & is healthy for us!

  215. 215

    Angela W. — March 5, 2013 @ 5:31 AM

    Planning ahead is a must. I don’t want to panic at the last minute and have to scavenge in my pantry.

  216. 216

    Mariah — March 5, 2013 @ 5:31 AM

    I’m a student, so to make my dinners stress-free I like to make one big meal on the weekends and portion it out for easy reheating during the week.

  217. 217

    Nicole D. — March 5, 2013 @ 5:32 AM

    I would love to win this prize!!

  218. 218

    Danielle — March 5, 2013 @ 5:33 AM

    I keep a lot of things in my freezer to make dinner easier- sliced peppers and onions, single servings of chicken, frozen meals (from when I can’t just make a single serving) and milk. I live by myself so freezing single portions as soon as I get home from the store makes my life easier. I also do my own peppers and onions, hopefully from my garden this year.

  219. 219

    Julie — March 5, 2013 @ 5:45 AM

    I try to make enough food for an extra meal, sometimes the extra serves as lunch the next day or even another dinner !!

  220. 220

    Kim — March 5, 2013 @ 5:45 AM

    I chop a TON of veggies a few days in advanced so i can just throw whichever ones are needed each night together without having to spend so much time preparing each component of the meal.

  221. 221

    caitlyn — March 5, 2013 @ 5:45 AM

    i may dinner easy by using the crockpot whenever possible, it gives me more time to spend with my family

  222. 222

    Cindy Brickley — March 5, 2013 @ 5:47 AM

    I keep things simple by having all my ingredients ready and I wash dishes as I dirty them, easy clean up.

  223. 223

    Cindy Brickley — March 5, 2013 @ 5:48 AM

    I tweeted about the giveaway using the hashtag:

  224. 224

    Terra Agueda — March 5, 2013 @ 5:49 AM

    as many others on here— I use my crockpot a lot! I can throw in leftover veggies and meats, then add some pasta and broth- quick soup. And if the night gets away from us….. cereal is always available!

  225. 225

    Brenda — March 5, 2013 @ 5:54 AM

    I plan ahead for at least a week, although allow for flexibility if something comes up. Weekday dinners are simple, but weekends are more complex and often provide at least one leftover dinner for the week. I also have a stocked freezer and pantry, ready for anything.

  226. 226

    Danielle — March 5, 2013 @ 5:54 AM

    I try to cut up any veggies or other steps that can be done in advance on the weekends or the day before that specific dinner will be served.

  227. 227

    Lori Hensley — March 5, 2013 @ 5:55 AM

    Crockpot and and/or planning ahead is my key to stress free cooking.

  228. 228

    hminnesota — March 5, 2013 @ 5:56 AM

    I have recently fell in love with Crockpot cooking. I know things will be ready, tasty and easy to serve in the evening.

  229. 229

    Terri C — March 5, 2013 @ 5:57 AM

    Since I’m a caregiving grandma I try to do as much as I can ahead of time. I prep what I can throughout the day such as veggies or sides. I have my granddaughter until 7:30 in the evening so spreadable butter is a must! Most days she would like to have her bread and butter on demand! This butter is one thing that’s always in my fridge.

  230. 230

    Leah A. — March 5, 2013 @ 5:57 AM

    Washing the dishes and cleaning messes as I go keeps it from getting overwhelming.

  231. 231

    hminnesota — March 5, 2013 @ 5:57 AM

  232. 232

    Kari — March 5, 2013 @ 5:58 AM

    I TRY to plan ahead…have my easy recipes on hand/in mind. When it’s nice we grill a lot — simple, easy and healthy!!! :)

  233. 233

    DMR — March 5, 2013 @ 5:59 AM

    I have a set dinner time (6pm) and usually had a meal thought out that took 30 min or so ie. fajitas; quesadillas , or set up my slow cooker before work. dinner =s family time to connect !

  234. 234

    Melissa B — March 5, 2013 @ 6:00 AM

    I like to make a big meal on Sunday, with enough left-overs for at least one meal and possibly two during the week.

  235. 235

    kathy d — March 5, 2013 @ 6:03 AM

    I try to get as much done ahead of time so when it comes time for dinner the table is set, food is prepped and all I have to do is cook.

  236. 236

    Sarah G — March 5, 2013 @ 6:21 AM

    Meal planning and using my slow cooker a few times a week is how I make dinner time less stressful!

  237. 237

    Mary — March 5, 2013 @ 6:24 AM

    I menu plan and use my crock pot a lot to keep my meal time less stressful.

  238. 238

    Erin — March 5, 2013 @ 6:36 AM

    I like to use the slow cooker!

  239. 239

    Heather Gilbert — March 5, 2013 @ 6:44 AM

    After I grocery shop I prep a lot of my vegetables for meals that week. Dice or slice them and put them in tubberware. Some I may even put in the freezer for later use (esp if I got bulk or item on sale). This helps me be more prepared and able to make fast home cooked meals rather than giving in to unhealthy fast food just for the convience.

  240. 240

    jaime @ laviejaime — March 5, 2013 @ 6:53 AM

    I, like may others, use a crock pot- it’s so great to throw the ingredients in first thing in the morning then come home to a cooked meal 8 hours later!

  241. 241

    Krista Sanderson — March 5, 2013 @ 6:55 AM

    Rice cooker! If you freeze leftover garlic and ginger puréed in the food processor and put in the ice cub tray, throw one cube in with one cup brown rice, delish!

  242. 242

    Shica — March 5, 2013 @ 6:56 AM

    To make dinner stress free I TRY to plan in advance dinner meals…doesn’t always work but it really does help

  243. 243

    Heather — March 5, 2013 @ 6:58 AM

    I try to cook and freeze dishes ahead of time so if I know I will have to work late there is always something I can pull out of the freezer the night before, and pop in the oven the next night when I get home.

  244. 244

    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — March 5, 2013 @ 6:58 AM

    I love your post today! To make life simpler for me I like to cook in bulk on Sundays. I’ll make a batch of quinoa or rice. Cut up my vegetables. Grill some chicken, make rolls and freeze them. It’s one thing that makes like so much easier, plus I love to cook in the crockpot! Nothing beats coming home and dinner is pretty much done!

  245. 245

    Andrea W. — March 5, 2013 @ 7:06 AM

    Plan ahead. Create a weeks menu and have all the ingredients.

  246. 246

    Melissa M. — March 5, 2013 @ 7:06 AM

    Meal planning at the beginning of the week helps me to avoid not knowing what to make for dinner. My crockpot is a huge time saver.

  247. 247

    Juli V — March 5, 2013 @ 7:07 AM

    For me, I try to plan my meals out in advance. It doesn’t always happen that way, unfortunately, but it’s something I’m trying to do more often.

  248. 248

    Juli V — March 5, 2013 @ 7:08 AM

    I tweeted!

  249. 249

    Elizabeth@ Food Ramblings — March 5, 2013 @ 7:08 AM

    all these pics are making me hungry! i try to plan meals in advance, so i know what to make when i get home!

  250. 250

    Veronica — March 5, 2013 @ 7:10 AM

    Planning, planning, planning. When I plan the week meals in advance (to include weekend grocery shopping) and some minor early prep, I’m able to cook dinner while my daughter does her homework at the kitchen table. Then we can sit down and enjoy a healthy home-cook meal together as we share the highs and lows of our day.

  251. 251

    Sandy — March 5, 2013 @ 7:12 AM

    I cook on the weekend and make extra for the weekdays. This weekend was a pork roast that I am using in pulled pork sandwiches and tacos

  252. 252

    Laurie Ann — March 5, 2013 @ 7:13 AM

    Since both my husband and I often work until 7-8 p.m. our dinners are later than we would like many nights. To save time we always have a large tub of Herbal Blend Mixed Greens in the refrigerator so a healthy salad is part of our meal without the time it takes to chop everything up. Add a tomato and avocado on top, some sunflower seeds, a grating of Parmesan – Delicious!

    Thank you for the opportunity to win the Visa Gift Card!

  253. 253

    Marla — March 5, 2013 @ 7:15 AM

    Plan the week of meals ahead of time and prep whatever I can the night before!

  254. 254

    Lisa P — March 5, 2013 @ 7:15 AM

    I try to plan our meals out ahead of time, usually once a week. Then, I am not scrabbling around trying to think of what to make and I can prepare easier, such as taking meat out to thaw, etc.

  255. 255

    Lisa P — March 5, 2013 @ 7:17 AM

    I tweeted for a second entry!

  256. 256

    Sandra Maciolek — March 5, 2013 @ 7:18 AM

    I always start with the weeks list and plan all the meals for that week, I will freeze my meals for 2 dinners, and make the rest for a easy meal to make, planning is a big part for me as well for the time spent.

  257. 257

    chris — March 5, 2013 @ 7:18 AM

    When chopping onions, peppers, celery, etc., I try to cook up at least two things that require the same “base” so I don’t feel like I’m running back and forth for ingredients quite as much. And I also love the slow cooker; getting two or three ‘recipes’ out of one chunk of meat makes me feel like I’m wasting less time and using my meat purchases to their full advantage!

  258. 258

    KimW — March 5, 2013 @ 7:18 AM

    I try to plan for th eweek and also use my crockpot alot.

  259. 259

    Linda R. — March 5, 2013 @ 7:19 AM

    I like to use my crockpot in the wintertime and love to grill outside during warmer months. Less clean up is a time-saver!

  260. 260

    Babs — March 5, 2013 @ 7:22 AM

    I try to keep a well stocked pantry and freezer so that I have many options. Makes meal planning much more fun.

  261. 261

    KatieQ — March 5, 2013 @ 7:29 AM

    I find that using my crock pot and cooking in bulk and then freezing in meal size portions simplifies dinner.

  262. 262

    roxann w — March 5, 2013 @ 7:31 AM

    I assemble and prep my ingredients first to make sure I have everything ready to put in the crockpot the night before so when i leave in the morning all i have to do is turn it on..when i get home dinner is done and ready for my family

  263. 263

    libby — March 5, 2013 @ 7:44 AM

    Cook and freeze hamburger in package sizes I will need for quick sauces and casseroles

  264. 264

    Natalie S — March 5, 2013 @ 7:49 AM

    When I make a dinner such as lasagna, I make two and keep one in the freezer. That way, when I’m pressed for time, I pull out the frozen homemade meal and pop it in the oven!

  265. 265

    Jill Jones — March 5, 2013 @ 7:55 AM

    Over the weekend, I plan meals for the week and then do my grocery shopping for those recipes. Also, I like to make one or two items in a larger quantity over the weekend so that it at least gets us into the first part of the week with leftovers. The crockpot is also easy to use when the leftovers run out!

  266. 266

    Christi — March 5, 2013 @ 7:55 AM

    When we have a busy night of sports & late home from work I make a big pot of pasta & the kids all get to choose their own toppings. One has spaghetti sauce, one has butter, one has olive oil & cheese. They all get something they like & dinner was made using one pot!

  267. 267

    Beth C. — March 5, 2013 @ 8:00 AM

    I make dinner time stress free by planning our meals in advance when I get the grocery sales fliers.

  268. 268

    Mary McKenna — March 5, 2013 @ 8:01 AM

    For me, making dinnertime easy is all about prepping after I shop and portioning out packages to freeze and easily defrost when I need.

  269. 269

    Veronica — March 5, 2013 @ 8:05 AM

    I live with one roommate so we take turns making each other dinner! it’s fun and surprising and eliminates food waste :)

  270. 270

    Jacqui — March 5, 2013 @ 8:08 AM

    I like to plan my menus on Sunday as well as get all of my food shopping out of the way then so that I am prepped and ready for the week!

  271. 271

    Lakenya Joy — March 5, 2013 @ 8:08 AM

    if im usually in charge of dinner i make a quick and easy meal weather its breaded chicken over a bed of buttered noodles or baked chicken with a side of rice. Sometimes im even quitly of cooking up some ramen noodles and tossing some sauted shrimp on top. quick and easy

  272. 272

    Jacqui — March 5, 2013 @ 8:09 AM

    I also did the alternate form of entry

  273. 273

    Jeffrey — March 5, 2013 @ 8:18 AM

    I usually have a meal plan for the week and occasionally prepare certain ingredients ahead of time. I like to have most of the prep work done before the kids get home from school.

  274. 274

    Jeffrey — March 5, 2013 @ 8:19 AM

    I tweeted:

  275. 275

    Melissa @ Treats With a Twist — March 5, 2013 @ 8:20 AM

    To keep dinners simple, I usually have all the ingredients for stir fry or tacos on hand. They’re my fiance’s favorite meals, and so simple because the veggies and meat always cook quickly. I usually make a big pot of rice on the weekend to dish out with his meals throughout the week.

  276. 276

    Deepa — March 5, 2013 @ 8:26 AM

    The farm market near my house gets fresh vegetables/fruits on thursdays. So i plan all the meals i’ll be making the following week in advance and buy all my ingredients fresh on thursday. I cook all meals for half the week on friday and for the remaining week on wednesday. This leaves me with enough time the other days of the week to pursue all my other interests.

  277. 277

    Bonnie — March 5, 2013 @ 8:40 AM

    I find it best to do as much prep work for dinner as I can in the morning to make the transition from after-school to dinner less stressful; that’s a busy hour and a half! I especially like to utilize a crockpot.

  278. 278

    Jamie — March 5, 2013 @ 8:41 AM

    I didn’t know you could cook with this butter, I am going to have to try it out!

  279. 279

    Bonnie — March 5, 2013 @ 8:44 AM

    I tweeted here:

  280. 280

    Rose — March 5, 2013 @ 8:46 AM

    I like to prep everything the night before so it’s ready for the stove or table in no time!

  281. 281

    Tiffany Winner — March 5, 2013 @ 9:07 AM

    i buy pre-chopped onions because i hate chopping them myself!

  282. 282

    Tiffany Winner — March 5, 2013 @ 9:08 AM


  283. 283

    D Schmidt — March 5, 2013 @ 9:09 AM

    I prepare everything in advance so when it comes to cooking the meal everything is easily available to make the experience stress free

  284. 284

    D Schmidt — March 5, 2013 @ 9:10 AM


  285. 285

    Rena — March 5, 2013 @ 9:16 AM

    I prepare dinner in the morning/early afternoon and then just warm it up before my husband gets home. I also set the table early in the day so were not rushed.

  286. 286

    Jachel — March 5, 2013 @ 9:23 AM

    I listen to podcasts while cooking. It keeps my brain engaged while I cook, making it a real treat to get in the kitchen and cook. I enjoy cooking, but even the most uninspired meal seems like a treat to make.

  287. 287

    Diane Troxell — March 5, 2013 @ 9:27 AM

    I cook most of the day on Sunday so there are lots of options for dinner during the week. I commute an hour each way to/from work, so by the time I get home, change, walk and feed the dogs, it’s already pretty late. By doing most of the cooking on Sunday, there are usually enough dinner options available at least through Wednesday night.

  288. 288

    Claire — March 5, 2013 @ 9:55 AM

    I try to plan menus beforehand. Otherwise, I get super stressed. Keep quick fixes on hand (precooked chicken with black beans for a quick Mexican meal).

  289. 289

    Sarah S — March 5, 2013 @ 10:02 AM

    I cook as much as I can on the weekends to prep for dinnertime during the week.

  290. 290

    Jackie — March 5, 2013 @ 10:02 AM

    The most important thing to me about simplifying dinner is planning ahead. When I have all of the ingredients on hand, it’s MUCH easier to get dinner going.

  291. 291

    Kathryn — March 5, 2013 @ 10:22 AM

    To make dinners less stressful, I make dinners that take longer on Sundays and make quick and easy meals during the week.

  292. 292

    Joanna — March 5, 2013 @ 10:30 AM

    I pre- prepare certain items before hand such as the meat / fish (marinate) I also chop all vege’s, spices and herbs a few hours before time.

  293. 293

    Joanna — March 5, 2013 @ 10:31 AM


  294. 294

    Jennie — March 5, 2013 @ 10:37 AM

    I make sure that I clean as I go along and think about the pleasure of us being together, whether it is cooking or cleaning or eating at the table. Don’t think of it as drudgery to get done.

  295. 295

    Renee — March 5, 2013 @ 10:43 AM

    Making sure that I have a menu plan and that I have recipes printed and all the ingredients in-house is key. I also try and have my meals serve double duty… extra large pot of soup to pair with sandwiches later in the week, or tacos on Monday, followed by taco pizza or taco salads on Wednesday.

  296. 296

    Tana — March 5, 2013 @ 10:44 AM

    The best thing to help me make dinner stress-free is to do any veggie-chopping and sauteing that I can the night before, after my baby has gone to sleep. Then the next evening, I can just combine the prepped ingredients and cook quickly without extended screaming from the baby because I’ve been ignoring him too long.

  297. 297

    Anne — March 5, 2013 @ 11:11 AM

    To make dinners simple and stress-free, I make sure I have everything I need for the meal well before I start the food prep, and I start the food prep as early as I can. For example, if my dinner plan calls for chopped onion and minced garlic, I may do the chopping and mincing in the early afternoon so all I have to do is take the prepared onion and garlic out of the fridge when it’s time to start cooking.

  298. 298

    Anne — March 5, 2013 @ 11:15 AM

    I tweeted:

  299. 299

    jules p — March 5, 2013 @ 11:20 AM

    i plan meals I advance as well as use my crock pot. that helps with dinners!

  300. 300

    jules p — March 5, 2013 @ 11:21 AM

    I tweeted about your giveaway

  301. 301

    Desi — March 5, 2013 @ 11:43 AM

    Make sure I prep veggies and herbs that need to be chopped or diced. I try to clean up after using things, putting them in the garbage, and rinse dishes immediately and put them in the dishwasher. Sometimes I’ll make more than enough so we can have lunch or leftovers for dinner the next day.

  302. 302

    Andrea M — March 5, 2013 @ 11:46 AM

    I keep things simple in my kitchen preparing things so when cooking time arrives it is a + b = c :)

  303. 303

    jessica w — March 5, 2013 @ 11:54 AM

    I try to make menus to make sure that all the ingredients are available so there are less last minute trips to the store

  304. 304

    jessica w — March 5, 2013 @ 11:54 AM

    I tweeted too

  305. 305

    Dora — March 5, 2013 @ 12:37 PM

    i agree a well stocked pantry and frig/freezer are key as well as prepping before cooking :)

  306. 306

    Nancy Black — March 5, 2013 @ 12:42 PM

    Making meal time stress free is very hard to do in our household. Budgeted to the last penny, we use Pasta, sauces, Rice, and tons of beans. I suppose you could say rice is our meal saver for everything.

    Rice with soup, Rice pudding, Rice casseroles, fried rice & veggies..the long list goes on.

  307. 307

    Nancy Black — March 5, 2013 @ 12:47 PM

    I tweeted


  308. 308

    connie — March 5, 2013 @ 12:59 PM

    Steak is a simple dinner for us. With other menus I try to prep food early in the day so by dinner time there’s not so much to do .What is the name of your white
    pan in the photos? What brand, I really like it. Thanks.

  309. 309

    Donalyn — March 5, 2013 @ 1:01 PM

    One of my favorite strategies is to cook big batches of some of favorites, and have them handy is the freezer for days when I am really busy – or just tired of cooking after I’ve already cooked a couple recipes already for my blog. It’s pretty sad to cook all day for blog posts and then resort to pizza for dinner, so I would much rather have a couple different soups or casseroles I can just pull out and thaw – dinner!

  310. 310

    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts — March 5, 2013 @ 1:04 PM

    I too love this new LOL with canola oil – so easy to take out and use with everything!!
    To make dinner simple and stress free I meal plan ahead of time. Then there is no wondering or stressing over what we are going to have that night.

  311. 311

    Gail Bleidt — March 5, 2013 @ 1:07 PM

    I get fresh garlic when it’s on sale and chop it all at the same time. I store it in olive oil in the fridge and then it’s always ready to use. One of my family’s favorites is sliced chicken breast sauteed in garlic butter and served over noodles. It’s a quick meal that they love!

  312. 312

    Oscar Noriega — March 5, 2013 @ 1:14 PM

    I like to use frozen veggie’s to help in the process time. I will have to try Land o Lakes. Thanks

  313. 313

    Rhonda — March 5, 2013 @ 1:21 PM

    A stress-free dinner night is “clean out the frig” dinner–everyone picks a dinner leftover that has accumulated over the week.

  314. 314

    Cookies4kids — March 5, 2013 @ 1:35 PM

    Even though there are just 2 of us these days, I still make our favorite recipes in larger quantities and freeze the remainder in single serving portions. I keep good fresh or frozen veggies on hand to add as a side, and I have a yummy meal in just minutes when I am short on time. I find that there are very few entrees that don’t reheat well, especially when using the microwave. I also keep containers of chicken, beef, and homemade turkey gravy in the freezer, and will whip up small portions of mashed potatoes and veggies to accompany that. Putting in a little extra time now makes for great meals when you are pressed for time at meal time.

  315. 315

    Christine — March 5, 2013 @ 1:50 PM

    I prep as much food early in the day have ingredients ready for when I start cooking dinner. I’ve also started prepping/slicing more veggies than I need to make it easy throughout the week.

  316. 316

    Wendy — March 5, 2013 @ 2:37 PM

    I use my slow cooker!

  317. 317

    Stephanie Rojas — March 5, 2013 @ 2:48 PM

    The biggest thing I can root help myself when making dinner is to do some prep work ahead of time. I’ll usually defrost my protein the day before and also cut whatever ingredients I need to the day before or earlier the day of. Working and maintaining a household is very time consuming so you need to be prepared.

  318. 318

    Julia Ou — March 5, 2013 @ 2:50 PM

    i am a college student, and to make dinnertime simple and stressfree, i will usually mass-cook all my meals for the week on sunday night. that way, i get all my meals ready in about 2 hours total! keeps me more stress-free throughout the week :)

  319. 319

    Kira — March 5, 2013 @ 3:32 PM

    Whenever I come home from the grocery store, I cut up all the fruits and vegetables I bought ( except things like bananas) and store them in airtight containers in the fridge. This way everything is already prepped so I can sauté or roast the with ease and throw them into any recipe on a busy night.

  320. 320

    Tina M — March 5, 2013 @ 4:07 PM

    make a week meal plan and cook dinner with my little one

  321. 321

    Tina M — March 5, 2013 @ 4:08 PM

  322. 322

    allie h — March 5, 2013 @ 4:24 PM

    make things in bulk ahead of time so that on busy nights all you have to do is pop something in the microwave

  323. 323

    Juli P — March 5, 2013 @ 4:28 PM

    I prepare ingredients and dishes in advance – on the weekend, I might make a big pot of stew, roast large batches of veggies, cook spaghetti squash, prepare quinoa or farro or some other grain, etc. I can then heat and eat as is or combine with other ingredients.

  324. 324

    Brenda O'Neil — March 5, 2013 @ 4:56 PM

    I adore the Dutch oven my parents bought me for Christmas. What a time saver! Oh….and the aroma! :)

  325. 325

    Leah B — March 5, 2013 @ 5:10 PM

    My favorite way to make meal time easy and stress free is to use my crockpot!

  326. 326

    Lindsey — March 5, 2013 @ 5:11 PM

    I plan out 3 -4 meals/week ahead of time. I also try to clean and even prep a few of my veggies on Sunday. To be healthy and for simplicity we usually steam or roast most of our veggies.

  327. 327

    Michelle — March 5, 2013 @ 5:20 PM

    I cook large meals on the weekends that freeze well or will be good to have again later in the week… all you need to do is heat!

  328. 328

    sharleen — March 5, 2013 @ 5:20 PM

    Pre-chopping and pre-seasoning! its the little things that help save so much time

  329. 329

    Alison — March 5, 2013 @ 5:26 PM

    Plan a menu ahead of time.

  330. 330

    Megan — March 5, 2013 @ 5:41 PM

    I set up my meal in a slowcooker so it’s ready when I get home!

  331. 331

    Erin — March 5, 2013 @ 5:52 PM

    I use the gator to dice my veggies

  332. 332

    Shelby — March 5, 2013 @ 6:00 PM

    Planning ahead! I always cook enough main dish meat for at least two meals,and
    sometimes three. One leftover chicken breast is enough for soup or added to a salad.

  333. 333

    Nicole S — March 5, 2013 @ 6:05 PM

    I will prep and pre-prepare as much as I can during the weekend! :)

  334. 334

    Jennifer Grimm — March 5, 2013 @ 6:22 PM

    I really like using a crock-pot if I know that I am going to be busy that day. I love cornbread and beans in the crock-pot with LOL spread on top!

  335. 335

    Ashley P — March 5, 2013 @ 6:22 PM

    To make dinner more quickly, I plan dinners for the week ahead of time, then prep and make ahead as much as possible on the weekend.

  336. 336

    Jennifer Grimm — March 5, 2013 @ 6:27 PM


  337. 337

    Holly T. — March 5, 2013 @ 6:37 PM

    To make it stress free we try to know what we will have which day of the week, make soup on Sunday so then one meal all we have to do it heat up on a day we are super busy and finally sometimes we use the crock pot so dinner is ready when we get home

  338. 338

    Shannon — March 5, 2013 @ 6:47 PM

    I make as many one pot dinners as I can!

  339. 339

    Patty — March 5, 2013 @ 7:06 PM

    The thing that helps me the best is getting whatever prep work I can do ahead done and set out. I also like to write down a time line for doing things so I feel very organized.

  340. 340

    Gianna — March 5, 2013 @ 7:07 PM

    Make a plan and stick to it.

  341. 341

    Janice — March 5, 2013 @ 7:53 PM

    I like to clean up as I go, so at the end of the meal most of the dishes are washed!

  342. 342

    Cindy ziliak — March 5, 2013 @ 8:35 PM

    My husband and I have never agreed on the butter subject. He likes the TUB margarine and I love my Butter. Low and behold I read your email and find there’s one product for both of us! I can’t wait to go to the market to get Land o Lakes with canola oil. Thanks from both of us.

  343. 343

    susan — March 5, 2013 @ 8:58 PM

    Since it is just me and my husband now, I try to make extras and then re-create a different version of the meal. Also try to make things on Sunday and freeze for the week or so. I definitely need to become a better shopper….usually going to the market 4-5 times a week!

  344. 344

    Michelle C — March 5, 2013 @ 8:59 PM

    I like to buy versatile ingredients that can be used in multiple dishes. As an example, I baked extra chicken tonight, so I can use it in meals later in the week.

  345. 345

    Michelle C — March 5, 2013 @ 9:01 PM

  346. 346

    Cristy — March 5, 2013 @ 9:23 PM

    I prep all my veggies/proteins on Sunday so that they’re ready to go for dinner all week.

  347. 347

    Corisa — March 5, 2013 @ 10:27 PM

    i like to clean up before i eat!

  348. 348

    Donna @ The Slow Roasted Italian — March 5, 2013 @ 10:50 PM

    What a great giveaway. I love Land O Lakes butter, but have never tired the more convenient butter or oil combinations. How fun! I would love to give them a try.

  349. 349

    laura — March 6, 2013 @ 5:14 AM

    love my crock pot for easy cooking, i can put together crock pot meals on the weekend and freeze them, then pull one out and have it ready during the week with no prep to do.

  350. 350

    laura — March 6, 2013 @ 5:16 AM

    i also like to cook with canned soups and then add a few fresh ingrediants to bulk them up a bit and add flavor. it cuts down on time having to make something from scratch and adding a few fresh items takes no time at all.

  351. 351

    Lisa Y. — March 6, 2013 @ 6:15 AM

    I TRY (and it’s a good attempt mind you) to plan our week’s worth of food and hit the grocery store only once a week. It makes it less stressful because I’m not spending the day at work with the nagging question of “what’s for dinner?” and then running to the store after work to get what I know I don’t have in the cupboard. That is always my goal for Sundays.

  352. 352

    Susan P — March 6, 2013 @ 7:40 AM

    Once a month, prepare a large batch of chicken either by simmering or baking in the oven. When cooled I shred or dice and then place in recipe size portions in the freezer so that when it’s time for a quick meal I can thaw the chicken for a quick pasta, casserole, tacos or whatever. If I simmer the chicken I’ll have stock that I can freeze as well for future use.

  353. 353

    Isabel — March 6, 2013 @ 8:48 AM

    To make dinner at my home easier I always I make most casserols ahead of time to freeze and then I just bake them the day I need them.

  354. 354

    Debby G. — March 6, 2013 @ 8:53 AM

    I make dinners stress free by planning out my menus for the week ahead of time.

  355. 355

    Heather — March 6, 2013 @ 9:18 AM

    If I could manage to keep the cat out of the kitchen during meal prep, it’d save lots of time and potential accidents as he weaves his way around my feet!

  356. 356

    Mari @ Oh, Sweet & Savory — March 6, 2013 @ 9:44 AM

    To make my dinners as stress-free as possible, I keep on hand several tried-and-true recipes that serve as my go-to recipes when I’m having an especially busy week. Because I’ve made these meals multiple times, I know I can whip them up quickly and easily. It also helps to keep my fridge and pantry stocked with essentials.

  357. 357

    Lisa E — March 6, 2013 @ 10:12 AM

    One of the things I do with my two older teenage daughters, a p/t job and a husband that works all the time to make dinner stress-free and healthy is to use the joy of fresh fruit and fruit canned in “juice” only as a quicky, easy and delicious dessert. Everyone will eat it and it’s super easy to slice fruits or put canned fruit in a sundae cup. It’s lovely to look at…especially during these gray, snowy months and better for you than the cookies!

  358. 358

    Janelle Wollman — March 6, 2013 @ 10:18 AM

    I make double the recipe and freeze one for an extra busy day!

  359. 359

    Yvette — March 6, 2013 @ 10:43 AM

    The best thing for me is to plan my meals. I give my guys 2 choices per day. That way they don’t feel like they have no say in what they might want for supper. And I try ti keep a stocked pantry, which is harder than it sounds. But I’m getting there.

  360. 360

    Katie W. — March 6, 2013 @ 11:04 AM

    I really try to prepare as much as I can ahead of time, that way when its dinnertime I can just throw it all together! Also, love the crockpot!

  361. 361

    Marysue NativeOrchid Feltman — March 6, 2013 @ 11:17 AM

    I make dinner stress-free by seeing what I have in the fridge and pantry and going to a website where you enter key ingredients and it shows you recipes for that item. That way I have new and delish dinners and I use what I already have on hand, which ensures no waste of time or food.

  362. 362

    Kathy P. — March 6, 2013 @ 11:20 AM

    I try to plan ahead even though it doesn’t always happen. But, it is amazing what you can find in your cupboards, freezer, etc., in a pinch.

  363. 363

    TaitaJ — March 6, 2013 @ 11:41 AM

    On the weekend, I often make one or two dishes that I can reheat or repurpose a few times over the course of the week (like a chili, stew/soup, bolognese sauce). Additionally, my weeknight meals often consist of one simple and one prepped item. For example, grill a chicken breast or steak and serve over a bag of mixed, pre-washed greens; or pick up a heat-n-serve pizza from grocery store (not frozen) and serve with freshly cut fruit or veggies; or, toss a bag of mixed veggies (found in produce isle) with a little olive oil and roast, serve over whole wheat pasta with a little fresh parm cheese and lemon zest… etc., etc.

  364. 364

    steve — March 6, 2013 @ 12:14 PM

    I have a calender and rotate my meals every two weeks

  365. 365

    Jan R — March 6, 2013 @ 12:40 PM

    Double check ingredients.

  366. 366

    Kara D — March 6, 2013 @ 12:50 PM

    I pre-prep as much as I can in advance!

  367. 367

    Sarah — March 6, 2013 @ 12:54 PM

    Crockpot and frozen dough all the way. Makes life SO much easier.

  368. 368

    suburbancorrespondent — March 6, 2013 @ 1:11 PM

    I order pizza.

  369. 369

    Erin — March 6, 2013 @ 1:28 PM

    I hate doing dishes so as soon as I’m done with a pan or dish, I immediately put a little soap & water in it to soak so that that cleanup goes faster & easier!

  370. 370

    Kelly D — March 6, 2013 @ 2:12 PM

    I pre-plan my meals for the week, and grocery shop accordingly. I know what nights I am busy, so I have quick & easy meals purchased for those nights.

  371. 371

    Kelly D — March 6, 2013 @ 2:13 PM


  372. 372

    Lori Lange — March 6, 2013 @ 6:37 PM

    It’s from Pampered Chef!

  373. 373

    Yvette — March 7, 2013 @ 12:10 AM

    Just try to plan early in the day. If not go get take out. :)

  374. 374

    Caroline @ chocolate & carrots — March 7, 2013 @ 4:20 AM

    I love making crock pot meals to make dinners simple. I love not having to worry about it when dinner time rolls around! :D

  375. 375

    Katie — March 7, 2013 @ 6:50 AM

    Planning my meals ahead of time and freezing leftovers when I make big batches of soups, stews etc for nights when I don’t have time to cook. Also, just having healthy ingredients ready to go is really helpful so I always chop up veggies and fruit right when I get home from the store to have throughout the week.

  376. 376

    christylemon — March 7, 2013 @ 7:50 AM

    we have breakfast for dinner occasionally…in Texas it’s usually breakfast tacos! Scrambled eggs, cheese, sausage and/or bacon all wrapped up in a warm tortillla. Easy, simple to make and xtra yummy!

  377. 377

    Laura — March 7, 2013 @ 9:39 AM

    crock pot meals are definitely my easy, on the go solution. i also plan out my meals on sundays, which makes things run more smoothly throughout the week.

  378. 378

    Susie — March 7, 2013 @ 12:27 PM

    I keep dinners stress free by planning in my head what I need to do and when I need to do it. Lists help a lot , too!

  379. 379

    Kim @ design + life + kids — March 7, 2013 @ 12:57 PM

    I like to write up a dinner menu for the week + prep my ingredients in advance. Cut up veggies the day before and shop specifically for that week’s meals. Helps keep me focused and away from buying unnecessary items at the grocery store!

  380. 380

    Jennifer C — March 7, 2013 @ 4:03 PM

    Tweeted and got my fingers crossed!

  381. 381

    Emily — March 7, 2013 @ 4:21 PM

    I prep a few batches of grains (quinoa, brown rice), beans, and chop veggies on Sunday to have on hand for quick lunches!

  382. 382

    Maureen G — March 7, 2013 @ 4:22 PM

    What a fantastic assortment of foods prepared with Land O’Lakes Everything appealed to me. The best way to make dinnertime simple and stress-free is to plan weekly menus using the weekly grocery ads as a guide

  383. 383

    april brown — March 7, 2013 @ 4:29 PM

    I try to set out in advance everything I am going to need and I clean up as I go. Things run much smoother that way.

  384. 384

    Maureen G — March 7, 2013 @ 4:31 PM

  385. 385

    Sara Uttech — March 7, 2013 @ 4:43 PM

    This may sound weird, but since I have several different patterns of dishes/glasses, I try to make sure to grab all of the same pattern for dinner – that way it looks “complete” and not frazzeled. It just takes an extra second or two to make sure they match – my kids even know to do this when they set the table, too!

  386. 386

    Amanda — March 7, 2013 @ 6:09 PM

    Menu planning each weekend – makes deciding what’s for dinner a breeze since it’s already all picked out!

  387. 387

    Linda Moore — March 7, 2013 @ 6:32 PM

    I try to have common ingredients we use often on hand.

  388. 388

    Lucy — March 7, 2013 @ 7:02 PM

    I do as much as I can early in the day ~ like setting the table, so that getting food to the table can be my focus.

  389. 389

    Lucy — March 7, 2013 @ 7:05 PM

  390. 390

    Meghan Finley — March 7, 2013 @ 10:29 PM

    I premake meals and freeze. So dinner is heat, serve and done!

  391. 391

    Meghan Finley — March 7, 2013 @ 10:33 PM

  392. 392

    Eloise W — March 8, 2013 @ 1:46 AM

    I like to pre-make my hamburger patties from real ground beef. I buy really cheap Zip-Lock bags, put my hamburger meat inside, season the meat, mix seasoning into the meat. Then I will flatten out the hamburger meat to a flat evenly seasoned hamburger patti… The trick to getting the meat out is to cut three sides, then cut the meat into squares like Wendy’s ….

  393. 393

    Eloise W — March 8, 2013 @ 1:49 AM

    I did it, and here is the link I hope

  394. 394

    Susan — March 8, 2013 @ 4:49 AM

    I enlist the help of my daughters to make dinner less stressful. We also keep our freezer and pantry stocked.

  395. 395

    Adrianne @ Bake Not Burn — March 8, 2013 @ 6:17 AM

    Listening to music while I cook always seems to ADR the burden of cooking dinner. Makes it much more enjoyable!

  396. 396

    Kathleen — March 8, 2013 @ 6:57 AM

    I try to find different ways to use the same fresh sides, so I can buy them in bulk. So spinach may be a base for a chicken salad, the greens in Italian wedding soup, and then an omelet topping!

  397. 397

    Valerie O'Connell — March 8, 2013 @ 9:54 AM

    I will often prep and lightly steam veggies in large amounts, so when needed for making a soup, casserole or side, the time-consuming work is already done. Prep enough for 2 days worth of meals at a time.

  398. 398

    Madeleine — March 8, 2013 @ 10:40 AM

    I do a lot of weekend prep work and bulk cooking to keep my weeknights simple and stress free!

  399. 399

    cindy — March 8, 2013 @ 6:10 PM

    I love using my crock pot to cook a good meal. Nothing like coming home from a long day and smelling something wonderful cooking! Stress free cooking!

  400. 400

    Shaina — March 8, 2013 @ 6:27 PM

    Slow cooker recipes are always a good way to make meals simple and stress free… You don’t have to do a thing..Just set everything up in the morning and come home from work to your dinner all ready to go!

  401. 401

    MichelleH — March 8, 2013 @ 6:30 PM

    I plan meals for the week in advance so everyone knows what’s coming and use my crock on super busy days. I can start dinner in the morning and it’s ready when we are. Much less stress that way.

  402. 402

    Kiersten — March 9, 2013 @ 9:08 AM

    We make extra food on the weekend to eat during the week.

  403. 403

    AmySue — March 9, 2013 @ 9:27 AM

    Try to plan ahead…plan the meal, have all the necessary ingredients on hand, and start with a clean kitchen! :)

  404. 404

    latanya — March 9, 2013 @ 5:08 PM

    I do a mise en place to help save time

  405. 405

    latanya — March 9, 2013 @ 5:09 PM

  406. 406

    Kristen M. — March 9, 2013 @ 8:48 PM

    I enjoy cooking but there are sometimes busy nights when dinner needs to be simple. For those times, we have “snacky” dinners – fresh fruit, crackers or bread, cheese, salami. It’s out on the table fast with minimal prep time and the kids think it’s something extra special!

  407. 407

    Jennifer O'Brien — March 10, 2013 @ 12:35 AM

    I love using a crock pot for a stress free meal. Planning meals ahead of time so that I don’t have to run to the groceiry store is also extremely convienent

  408. 408

    MaryAnn D — March 10, 2013 @ 10:00 PM

    I pick a day & get everyone together to prep a lot of things that we use all of the time so I don’t have to do it every time. We dice onions, mince garlic & ginger & shallots. We will also make several types of pasta sauces in large batches & freeze them. We also will cook double batches of stews & freeze one. This way we have easy dinners on busy nights or times when we are too tired. We also keep a lot of cut up vegetables for quick healthy snacks

  409. 409

    MCR — March 11, 2013 @ 8:44 AM

    Every alternate week we make a different kind of soup – minestrone soup followed by lentil soup. The soup is accompanied by a slice of wholegrain bread with homemade pesto spread on it. We make the soup on a sunday and have it the rest of the week for dinner. Simple and stress free!

  410. 410

    Melanie @MelanieMedia — March 11, 2013 @ 10:09 AM

    My crockpot, bread machine and rice cooker have gotten more use the past few months than they have in years! They’ve been my best kitchen helpers.

  411. 411

    Sunnie in NC — March 11, 2013 @ 10:16 AM

    I cook on Sundays to have meals all week long. It helps tremendously and takes away all of the weeknight stress!
    Sunnie in NC

  412. 412

    Lisa — March 11, 2013 @ 10:18 AM

    I like to make a big pot of soup in the winter and eat it several times during the week. Summer is easier with fresh veggies and salads!

  413. 413

    Veda Sizemore — March 11, 2013 @ 10:19 AM

    I always line pans with aluminum foil for easy clean up.

  414. 414

    MarshaK — March 11, 2013 @ 10:19 AM

    I use the slow cooker alot. Not much to do once we all get home.

  415. 415

    Kristy Miner — March 11, 2013 @ 10:19 AM

    I always plan ahead a week!! Makes things SO much easier than having to go to the store every night!

  416. 416

    Rebecca Moreland — March 11, 2013 @ 10:19 AM

    Stress free to me means putting the main meal out but also setting bowls of cut veggies and fruits so the kids can pick and choose. It’s all healthy, but they get to be in control of what they eat, too. win win. :-)

  417. 417

    mary alldian — March 11, 2013 @ 10:22 AM

    totally love the make twice as much as freeze it routine….especially when it comes to pasta sauces and soups…..

  418. 418

    Carina Singh — March 11, 2013 @ 10:22 AM

    I keep it simple by freezer cooking in loads over the weekend and just thawing the days food in the fridge each morning. ready for dinner and hassle free!

  419. 419

    Samantha L — March 11, 2013 @ 10:24 AM

    Precut foods in the beginning of the week!

  420. 420

    Diane Olson — March 11, 2013 @ 10:24 AM

    I used to stay clear of the kitchen, but when my husband had a heart attack 2 months ago at the age of 43, I decided it’s time to start cooking up some healthy meals. My favorite for simplicity and stress-free is slicing up various vegetables (zucchini, mushrooms, asparagus or anything else) and baking with olive oil and fresh garlic. I use different spices to change it up. This goes with anything such as chicken, fish, or pork.

  421. 421

    Polly Hall — March 11, 2013 @ 10:25 AM

    I use the weekly store ads to plan my meals for the week

  422. 422

    Mandy Schuchhardt — March 11, 2013 @ 10:26 AM

    To make my meal prep simple and stress free, I plan ahead, use the slow cooker as much as possible, and always have other things on hand for picky eaters who may not like what I am preparing.

  423. 423

    heather boyd — March 11, 2013 @ 10:27 AM

    I like to food prep Sunday, like chop veggies, put meats in marinades and make snacks so that everything is easier to grab and prepare when it is mealtime.

  424. 424

    Melissa Babecka — March 11, 2013 @ 10:29 AM

    To make things easier, sometimes I cook a double batch of something and freeze it for a day next week.
    Fingers crossed,

  425. 425

    Ann Matteson — March 11, 2013 @ 10:31 AM

    Meal planning and a little advance prep (chopping vegetables, making a batch of rice, etc.) make dinners stress free.

  426. 426

    Wendy Ogden — March 11, 2013 @ 10:33 AM

    I do a lot of prep on Sunday! Plan crock pot meals for the nights I will be at school. I work full time and go to school part time but I still need to make sure my family eats healty!

  427. 427

    Amy Etzel — March 11, 2013 @ 10:33 AM

    I also like to plan ahead for the week and make a bunch of things on Sunday night. Hard boil a bunch of eggs for quick grab breakfast or easy egg salad; make a bunch of granola; big vat of soup or curry with rice for easy dinner. My new favorite is ‘pork fingers’- cut up a pork tenderloin into chicken finger size slices, grind up some breadcrumbs and toasted almonds, dip the pork in egg white and roll in the crumb/nut mixture, and bake. Make a honey/Dijon/soy dipping sauce.

  428. 428

    mary anne — March 11, 2013 @ 10:34 AM

    I keep all my basic ingredients on hand. Rarely do I have to shop for a specific meal. And, don’t shoot me, but because I live alone, I almost always use paper plates!

  429. 429

    Katie Wood — March 11, 2013 @ 10:36 AM

    We do meal planning to make things as stress free as possible at meal time!

  430. 430

    Laura — March 11, 2013 @ 10:36 AM

    The single best thing I’ve found to keeping dinner time stress free is to meal plan each and every week. I plan my meals around the activities I know are going to happen each day. For example, the day I know I’m not going to get home until 5:30, I plan a slow cooker meal. The day I’m home for good at 2:30 is the day I can plan to cook something that takes more time.

  431. 431

    Christy Galindo — March 11, 2013 @ 10:37 AM

    My stress free moments in the kitchen are when my husband cooks. Though I still have to be there to keep up with the mess, I’m blessed to have a hubby who enjoys cooking!

  432. 432

    Meghan — March 11, 2013 @ 10:43 AM

    Would love to win!!!

  433. 433

    Amy Jones#8546 — March 11, 2013 @ 10:48 AM

    I have two little ones at home and a full time job other than that of the little ones. There is always so much going on that it is hard to stay in the kitchen and cook for hours. I just dont have that kind of time. I will take a quick meal and add my own ingredients to it to make it something alot healthier and more tasteful for my kids. I try to plan ahead on my meals for the week too. helps knowing what you are going to cook instead of standing there for a while trying to figure it out.

  434. 434

    Katie Smith — March 11, 2013 @ 10:51 AM

    I like to clean up as I cook. Less mess at the end.

  435. 435

    Caissa B — March 11, 2013 @ 10:51 AM

    I clean as I cook so I don’t have a pile of pots, pans, etc, when I’m finished on top of the dinner dishes =)

  436. 436

    Erin — March 11, 2013 @ 10:57 AM

    The way I keep my weekday dinner routine simple is to plan, plan, plan! I am a nut about getting the weekly ads for my local grocery stores and scouring them for the sales. This helps me plan the following week’s dinners. I get the ads on Wednesday and usually shop on Fridays. Another option I tried this week was to cook large portion meals Friday, Saturday, and Sunday…now I have leftovers for the week (and with 3 different meals, the leftovers won’t be boring)!

  437. 437

    Shannon A. — March 11, 2013 @ 11:00 AM

    I try to make dinners simple. Great tasting food, but easy to make. I also prepare things ahead of time if I can.

  438. 438

    Lorile — March 11, 2013 @ 11:04 AM

    I try to do things in the morning to prepare for dinner later, like marinate chicken, cut up prep ingredients or pull out the crock pot and fill ‘er up!

  439. 439

    Audra — March 11, 2013 @ 11:07 AM

    I do as much prep as possible AS SOON AS I GET MY GROCERIES HOME. I wash and cut veggies, cut meat, combine dry ingredients, etc. and use Ziploc bags to keep each meal’s ingredients together. I label each “kit” with a Sharpie, and then it’s easy to find and prepare ie. Monday’s Dinner.

  440. 440

    Kim Martin — March 11, 2013 @ 11:10 AM

    Dinner time should be a time to relax and enjoy a wonderful meal leaving the worries and hustlebustle of your day behind. Planning meals ahead relieves much stress. I try to sit with my family and decide our meals in advance, go to the grocery store and prepare for each meal on our chosen menu. Everyone gets to contribute and it relieves my stress level as I recieve help for the planning and “thinking of what to have” each evening. I love your recipes and use them often. Thanks!

  441. 441

    Sara — March 11, 2013 @ 11:12 AM

    I make meal plans for the entire month. When I can plan it out, dinner goes much easier.

  442. 442

    Kari — March 11, 2013 @ 11:24 AM

    Planning is key! Prepping food ahead also helps. Sometimes we just need to s l o w d o w n and enjoy the process. Include our children in the planning and prepping. Time together in the kitchen is never wasted. So many learning opportunities (for them and us)! You can learn so much from your children if you just slow down and take the time to talk with them while you’re cooking together. Anywho….we just love cooking with butter at our house, and I just love the natural ingredients in this product…

  443. 443

    Melinda @cooking ala mel — March 11, 2013 @ 11:29 AM

    I always make sure to make lots of quinoa at the beginning of the week, so when I don’t feel the urge to cook, I can quickly scramble an egg, sauté some spinach/onions/garlic, and make quinoa “fried rice!” Quick, simple, delicious, and healthy. :)

  444. 444

    Kathy Dickinson — March 11, 2013 @ 11:33 AM

    There is no healthy replacement for real butter.

  445. 445

    Erin T — March 11, 2013 @ 11:34 AM

    By doing as much prep work as possible, for the week, on Sunday!

  446. 446

    Dora — March 11, 2013 @ 11:36 AM

    Prepping the night before always helps

  447. 447

    robyn — March 11, 2013 @ 11:43 AM

    Batch cooking! If I’m going to put the time and effort into making something, I want lots of leftovers. If there’s extra for freezing, even better.

  448. 448

    robyn — March 11, 2013 @ 11:44 AM

  449. 449

    Tiffany A — March 11, 2013 @ 11:46 AM

    Meal planning! I cook every meal….eating out just isn’t an option for us. Planning our weekly menu is what keeps me sane.

  450. 450

    Amy Reed — March 11, 2013 @ 11:57 AM

    I try hard to keep my pantry stocked with the basics so I can always have what I need to make my family’s favorite “go-to” meals. I also cook extra chicken breasts to have them “ready to go” for making meals in a snap.

  451. 451

    Dana — March 11, 2013 @ 11:58 AM

    I plan ahead, prep in the morning after breakfast when the kitchen is already a mess and hopefully have everything ready to pop in the oven or on the grill when it’s time.

  452. 452

    Kathy E. — March 11, 2013 @ 11:58 AM

    One thing I do to make dinner time simpler and stress-free is to cook, brown and drain ground meats in large batches. Hamburger, turkey, chicken are so easy to cook up and divide into portions for the freezer. When it’s time to put together a quick meal, I just grab a prepared choice of meat and add it to my plan!

  453. 453

    Angie Precure — March 11, 2013 @ 11:59 AM

    I try to cook ahead of myself, such as ground beef, I cook up several servings for different recipes for the week or to freeze for a later date.

  454. 454

    Tara — March 11, 2013 @ 12:06 PM

    What do I do to make dinner time stress free? I have my husband make it! Haha!

  455. 455

    Tara — March 11, 2013 @ 12:15 PM

    I tweeted this!

  456. 456

    Peggy Casey — March 11, 2013 @ 12:19 PM

    My go-to stress free family favorite is good ol’ grilled cheese using Land O”Lakes Butter and 3 flavors of cheese on multi-grain bread. Tasty and full of goodness!

  457. 457

    Bobbi Rae Lambert — March 11, 2013 @ 12:22 PM

    I love making something that can last a few days as leftovers…chicken dinner one night, enchiladas or soup the next. Chili is also a lovely stress free dinner that can turn into lunch for a few days :)

  458. 458

    Kendra — March 11, 2013 @ 12:23 PM

    When I shop on Sundays, I cut up veggies and fruit to make throwing together a quick dinner so much easier.

  459. 459

    Christi D — March 11, 2013 @ 12:29 PM

    Between cooking ahead for the week and using the crockpot, we keep it pretty simple in our house.

  460. 460

    Sue Drake. — March 11, 2013 @ 12:31 PM

    I keep precut onion, green, red and orange peppers, mushroom and potatoes in freezer, portioned in 1/2 and 1cup sizes so I can just grab a pack and start cooking. I also keep a container of premixed light breading mix (Panko bread crumbs, dried parsley and other herbs and spices).

  461. 461

    Beth B — March 11, 2013 @ 12:43 PM

    I have my meals planned out in advance so I know what I am cooking when and when it’s a leftovers night!

  462. 462

    Beth B — March 11, 2013 @ 12:44 PM

  463. 463

    Natalie G. — March 11, 2013 @ 12:50 PM

    I plan meals for the week and make sure to use leftovers during the week.

  464. 464

    Catherine — March 11, 2013 @ 1:22 PM

    I make a bunch of shredded chicken at a time and freze th eleftovers for future meals.

  465. 465

    Amber Madsen — March 11, 2013 @ 1:39 PM

    The crockpot is a life saver. I also like to turn on Pandora and turn up the tunes.

  466. 466

    kyla — March 11, 2013 @ 2:04 PM

    I will always clean as I go. It helps to not have to worry that after enjoying a great meal I have a HUGE mess to clean up up!

  467. 467

    Angel — March 11, 2013 @ 2:24 PM

    Fall and Winter I love the crockpot and Spring and Summer I prep everything and throw it on the grill !!

  468. 468

    liz — March 11, 2013 @ 2:27 PM

    I do big batches of meat and then make different meals out of it. For instance taco meat becomes tacos, taco salad, enchiladas and burritos.

  469. 469

    lori — March 11, 2013 @ 3:19 PM

    we plan ahead a menu for the week.

  470. 470

    apryl hebert — March 11, 2013 @ 3:24 PM

    I pre-wash and chop fruits and veggies so they are ready while cooking. I also make extras when cooking and freeze it for a night when there is no time to cook a whole meal from scratch.

  471. 471

    StephHolliday — March 11, 2013 @ 5:08 PM

    Planning ahead is essential in our household. With six kids, five still at home, dinner needs to be on the table every night and quickly. Planning a weekly menu, making one trip to the store and prepping items ahead of time is key.

  472. 472

    Megan S. — March 11, 2013 @ 5:14 PM

    I would have to say the crock-pot or having the pantry/fridge stocked definitely keeps dinner stress free when there are options! :)

  473. 473

    Kim C. — March 11, 2013 @ 5:29 PM

    I like to make up a menu before going grocery shopping so I have everything on hand that I need for the coming week and I always prepare my mis en place about an hour before dinner.

  474. 474

    Kim C. — March 11, 2013 @ 5:33 PM

    I tweeted about this post.

  475. 475

    Carol Gray — March 11, 2013 @ 6:18 PM

    Everyone helps at dinner. We all eat as a family and enjoy our time together.

  476. 476

    Russell N — March 11, 2013 @ 6:56 PM

    I recently Started Culinary school, and I work after going to class. Keeping Dinners Simple and Stress Free can be a big challenge sometimes. If I have the time, I will pre-make dinner for the fallowing day. sometimes its a cock-pot meal or its pull it out of the fridge and into the oven.

  477. 477

    suzH — March 11, 2013 @ 7:22 PM

    Plan ahead! If I plan a weeks worth of dinners at a time, I know what to thaw, chop and shop for before dinner.

  478. 478

    Laura Sloan — March 11, 2013 @ 10:08 PM

    My husband and I share weeks to shop for the meals. We each get to pick what we want then shop or the ingredients. Menu is set and whomever gets home first cooks the planned meal. Saves a lot of stress!

  479. 479

    chris thomas — March 12, 2013 @ 3:09 AM

    Planning & prepping our meals ahead of time, helps decrease some of life’s craziness. But what I really find that helps decrease the stress is cooking in the kitchen together as a family. My son & husband help pass the time spent cooking, & we all laugh and have a good time. Stress free quality time !

  480. 480

    Lori Quick — March 12, 2013 @ 6:06 AM

    Prepping veggies and other items ahead of time so they are ready when I’m cooking. I blanche fresh vegetables and store them in the frig. They cook so much faster at dinner time, plus they are still crisp enough to eat raw. Also cook ahead al dente pasta and mix with olive oil to store in the frig. Makes for quick and easy pasta dishes or cold pasta salads.

  481. 481

    Shannon — March 12, 2013 @ 7:08 AM

    Simple dinners are great but every once in a great while you just need to let the kitchen get super messy and make something complicated and tasty! Otherwise salads are simple and can come in so many forms!

  482. 482

    shelly — March 12, 2013 @ 7:23 AM

    I love using my crockpot! It’s a snap and prep isn’t too time consuming. During the summer though, lots of cold meals; pasta salad, sandwiches, etc

  483. 483

    Andrea — March 12, 2013 @ 7:28 AM

    I used my Ninja chopper for almost everything. I’ve made salsa in it, guacamole, and all the veggies for soup. I slice things into smallish chunks and just press the button. It cuts down my prep time to almost nothing.

  484. 484

    vickie hesser — March 12, 2013 @ 8:20 AM

    To make dinner time ay less stressful, I chop all my veggies in advance and then just pull them as I need them. I also keep fresh breadcrumbs and seasoned flour and other things ready for use

  485. 485

    Danelle — March 12, 2013 @ 11:47 AM

    I do whatever prep work I can during the day while the kids are at school. If it’s something like enchiladas, I try to get it completely made ahead of time so all I have to do is pop dinner in the oven.

  486. 486

    kesha — March 12, 2013 @ 2:35 PM

    I do weekly meal plans to keep chaos down in my kitchen!

  487. 487

    kesha — March 12, 2013 @ 2:38 PM

    I tweeted this giveaway!

  488. 488

    Jessica — March 12, 2013 @ 6:54 PM

    I love to cook lots and lots of extra food so I just eat leftovers most of the week!

  489. 489

    Laura Jacobson — March 12, 2013 @ 7:26 PM

    I try to cook meals that take time in the oven or in the crockpot! That way…I can cook it…and clean up while its cooking and have it ready when everyone gets home. I LOVE one pot cooking!

  490. 490

    Laura Jacobson — March 12, 2013 @ 7:28 PM

    I tweeted

  491. 491

    Sarah — March 13, 2013 @ 1:23 PM

    I use frozen veggies, pasta, and jar sauce when I am in a pinch.

  492. 492

    Laura — March 14, 2013 @ 7:25 AM

    To keep dinner time stress free, i set the table during the afternoon before the kids and hubby come home. I have the kids put out any necessary condiments and drinks about 10 mins before dinner time. Helps with the last minute running around.

  493. 493

    Lisa — March 14, 2013 @ 7:40 PM

    It is all in the Mise en place.
    On the phone? Gather stuff.
    Got 5 minutes? Clean and chop something.
    Napping Lil Ones? Sear something.
    By time dinner rolls around, you throw it all together, serve it and clean up before the 6 O’clock news is over.

  494. 494

    Rachel Lowrance — March 14, 2013 @ 9:38 PM

    I just started doing freezer meals. Cooking several things and throwing them in the freezer. It’s so nice knowing there are several options for dinner in the freezer! And we’ve saved money because we eat out less now!

  495. 495

    Angela S — March 14, 2013 @ 11:15 PM


  496. 496

    Erin — March 14, 2013 @ 11:48 PM

    Tweeted it!

  497. 497

    Stephanie H — March 16, 2013 @ 8:26 AM

    Meal planning and the crock pot are really necessary for stress free dinners. :)

  498. 498

    meg jones wall — March 16, 2013 @ 8:29 AM

    definitely a crockpot! it’s my secret weapon for soups and stews that are hearty and filling and don’t require a lot of effort.

  499. 499

    Andy — March 16, 2013 @ 9:18 AM

    I like to make big meals as to have leftovers.

  500. 500

    Amanda — March 16, 2013 @ 9:38 AM

    Totally tweeted!

  501. 501

    Maureen G — March 16, 2013 @ 10:09 AM

    Land O’Lakes Butter with Canola is tasty on our vegetable dishes as well as in our blueberry muffins

  502. 502

    Stephanie W. — March 17, 2013 @ 4:52 AM

    I like to make several meals on a Sunday and portion them out to eat throughout the week. I work 10 hour days and working on my MBA, doing this helps me out tremendously!

  503. 503

    Amanda — March 17, 2013 @ 7:00 AM

    I play a lot of music when I cook so I can sing along and just groove to the music

  504. 504

    Thomas Murphy — March 17, 2013 @ 9:41 AM

    I plan a weeks worth of meals in advance and then shop for those specific items. It makes things a lot easier.

  505. 505

    Thomas Murphy — March 17, 2013 @ 9:42 AM

  506. 506

    Cassandra — March 17, 2013 @ 10:08 AM

    Stress free dinners around our house, is started by planning ahead, I love planning out our dinners before we go grocery shopping then cooking my dinners on the nights I planned!

  507. 507

    Erin — March 17, 2013 @ 10:08 AM

    I plan ahead, and try to do a big meal on Sunday that I can eat at least most of the week. I also kick other people out of the kitchen (unless they are actually helping with the meal prep), I find it less stressful if I don’t have people watching me.

  508. 508

    Meg — March 17, 2013 @ 10:09 AM

    I make sure to keep pantry and fridge stocked with staples, for quick no-brainer meals after work and school! :) Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

  509. 509

    Angela W. — March 17, 2013 @ 10:13 AM

    I prep the food and then let my husband cook the actual meal when he gets home from work. He prefers it as a way to wind down, and I don’t stress over getting things made at the right time.

  510. 510

    Deborah — March 17, 2013 @ 10:14 AM

    I try to cook several meals when I’m off on the weekend so weekdays are stress free!

  511. 511

    Mary Ann — March 17, 2013 @ 10:15 AM

    I often cook all day Sunday to reheat during the week.

  512. 512

    Siri — March 17, 2013 @ 10:15 AM

    To make my weekday dinners simple, I make some prep like boiling beans and freezing them, cut few veggies and storing them in ziplock bags etc. I menu plan as well which I try to stick for the most part of it for those tension-free lunches _ meals. :-)


  513. 513

    Yvonne — March 17, 2013 @ 10:16 AM

    My tip is to join a fresh produce coop! My fridge and pantry are always well stocked with fresh fruit and veggies. I prepare a tray of roasted mixed veggies at least once a week if not more with whatever happens to be on hand. With some couscous or rice it makes an easy stress free dinner.

  514. 514

    Kendra — March 17, 2013 @ 10:25 AM

    I keep a well stocked freezer and pantry. Don’t do alot of pre-planning as I’m a serendipity sort of gal, especially when it comes to cooking! I LOVE my time in the kitchen!

  515. 515

    ardelle — March 17, 2013 @ 10:26 AM

    The best way to make it simple & stress free for me is to take my family out to dinner where someone else is cooking for me ;)

  516. 516

    Brooke C — March 17, 2013 @ 10:27 AM

    I really like it when my 14 year old daughter helps me in the kitchen, we both feel very accomplished when we cook together. She is learning, I am teaching, she is going to make a wonderful cook!

  517. 517

    Karen Schroeder — March 17, 2013 @ 10:30 AM

    I make a lot of suppers in the slow cooker. We have more time to talk and enjoy each other rather than running around cooking in a frenzy.

  518. 518

    Karen Schroeder — March 17, 2013 @ 10:35 AM

    I tweeted about this giveaway!

  519. 519

    Karen Hunt — March 17, 2013 @ 10:36 AM

    I love crock pot cooking it smells good all day and it is easy clean up!

  520. 520

    Meredith Brooks — March 17, 2013 @ 10:40 AM

    Crockpot & Prep. Chopping veggies and stuff early so all i have to do is throw it all together

  521. 521

    Meredith Brooks — March 17, 2013 @ 10:42 AM



  522. 522

    Karen Strausheim — March 17, 2013 @ 10:46 AM

    I try to have on hand frozen tilapia or shrimp to use for a quick meal after a day of work that I can just quickly sauté and add a vegetable or salad.
    I Love LandOLakes, but I didn’t realize the combo butter…I WILL start using it for sauté, and many other places I add butter.
    I would love to Win the

  523. 523

    Julie Haan — March 17, 2013 @ 10:48 AM

    Something I do to make my dinners simple and stress free is using my crockpot. I like to throw everything in the crockpot in the morning and letting it go all day until my husband gets home.

  524. 524

    Hayley — March 17, 2013 @ 10:51 AM

    Prep ahead for the week… Roast off chicken breasts and vegetables! It makes for easy additions to salads, pasta or soup throughout the week.

  525. 525

    Wanda Silas — March 17, 2013 @ 10:58 AM

    I usually cook on the weekend and have leftovers during the week. That makes dinner very easy and stress free for me. The meals can be different because I change a vegetable or starch according to my taste. If it’s something like a casserole, I’ll add a salad one night or a side of green beans another night.

  526. 526

    Bob Flanagan — March 17, 2013 @ 10:58 AM

    Cooking is happy time for me. When I want to de-stress I get into the kitchen and rattle them pots and pans. Want to try that green bean/shallot recipe. That looks good.

  527. 527

    Karen D — March 17, 2013 @ 11:00 AM

    it is sooooo hard to cook for just 2 people, especially when I love to cook and bake, so usually I have enough left over make 1 or 2 more meals out of but I do a lot of freezing and canning in summer so just pop the tops so to speak and enjoy– and sometimes freeze part of what I make for a diff day

  528. 528

    Susan H. — March 17, 2013 @ 11:01 AM

    I use my slow cooker a lot to make for easier meals. Also…we love leftovers so I always try to cook enough to get 2 or 3 meals from one cooking.

  529. 529

    christina — March 17, 2013 @ 11:03 AM

    a well stocked pantry and freezer

  530. 530

    Susan H. — March 17, 2013 @ 11:07 AM

    I tweeted about the giveaway.

  531. 531

    Tamarae Ellis — March 17, 2013 @ 11:08 AM

    To keep dinner stress free I make a lot of crock pot meals AND I use liners for easy clean up!

  532. 532

    Tamarae Ellis — March 17, 2013 @ 11:10 AM

    I tweeted!

  533. 533

    Kristin Molnar! — March 17, 2013 @ 11:22 AM

    Love this blog and my stress free dinner is a grilled cheese made with land o lakes sticks, Will have to get the tub next time I go to the Grocery store!

  534. 534

    Emily woods — March 17, 2013 @ 11:23 AM

  535. 535

    Lisa P — March 17, 2013 @ 11:25 AM

  536. 536

    Emily Woods — March 17, 2013 @ 11:25 AM

    What I find helps me is planning ahead what we are having, prepping dinner ready when my little guy is sleeping, Using the crockpot, and having left overs about once a week.

  537. 537

    Lisa P — March 17, 2013 @ 11:26 AM

    Crockpot is the way to go for my family. Love coming home and it’s all done!

  538. 538

    AmyP — March 17, 2013 @ 11:34 AM

    To make dinner simple, we give everyone a responsibility. My daughter sets the table; my son helps finish up what I’m cooking, etc. Many hands make light work.

  539. 539

    Kim — March 17, 2013 @ 11:37 AM


  540. 540

    AmyP — March 17, 2013 @ 11:37 AM

  541. 541

    Kim — March 17, 2013 @ 11:38 AM


  542. 542

    Kim — March 17, 2013 @ 11:38 AM


  543. 543

    Carol Nelson — March 17, 2013 @ 11:45 AM

    I plan meals ahead of time (a necessity anyway when you live 25 miles away from the nearest town) so I have my ingredients on hand. Also, the slow cooker has become my friend!

  544. 544

    Crisk — March 17, 2013 @ 11:48 AM

    A green salad is a must. Soup and salad, a sakad with any protein, a salad and a sandwich

  545. 545

    Jennifer — March 17, 2013 @ 11:49 AM

    To make dinner less stressful, I order out! LOL! Or I make double batches and freeze the second half for a meal later.

  546. 546

    Barb — March 17, 2013 @ 11:56 AM

    Prep, lots of prep then it all comes together nicely!

  547. 547

    Larisa Elder — March 17, 2013 @ 11:57 AM

    I like to make freezer meals. They are easy to prepare because all the prep work is done

  548. 548

    Patricia — March 17, 2013 @ 12:26 PM

    Awesome. I love grilled veggies. I can’t wait for asparagus to be in season.

  549. 549

    Patricia — March 17, 2013 @ 12:26 PM

  550. 550

    Robin — March 17, 2013 @ 12:32 PM

    I keep my freezer and pantry stocked full so that if I am short on time, I can pull together a meal without getting stressed.

  551. 551

    Lisa — March 17, 2013 @ 12:43 PM

    We shop on Saturdays, and on Sunday mornings, I chop and bag all veggies for quick additions to weeknight meals. I also make casseroles on Sundays and then freeze individual portions for quick meals in the future. :)

  552. 552

    Julianne Johnson — March 17, 2013 @ 1:00 PM

    I freeze a lot of our food so it doesn’t spoil.

  553. 553

    Julianne Johnson — March 17, 2013 @ 1:04 PM

    I tweeted

  554. 554

    Donna @ The Slow Roasted Italian — March 17, 2013 @ 1:17 PM

    We make a lot of 30 minute meals. I stock up on frozen veggies and meats when they go on sale so I can whip something up in a flash!

  555. 555

    Lori Martensen — March 17, 2013 @ 2:11 PM

    wine makes dinner prep less stressful!

  556. 556

    Chaundelle — March 17, 2013 @ 2:53 PM

    I either cook large meals and freeze them in smaller containers, or I cut up a ton of veggies and keep them in the fridge and then just sauté with some chicken or add a can of tuna. Either way, our dinner meals typically take no more than 15 minutes to cook.

  557. 557

    Tiffany — March 17, 2013 @ 3:03 PM

    I tweeted!

  558. 558

    Rachell — March 17, 2013 @ 3:06 PM

    To make dinner easy I plan a menu for the week and go shopping once a week.

  559. 559

    Tiffany — March 17, 2013 @ 3:13 PM

    I’m not much of a cook… So the easier the meal the better. Cleanup is hard for me too… The crockpot is my new friend. Breakfast for dinner is great too… It’s just me and my husband so it has to be small amounts, we never seem to eat leftovers very often. This is my fav butter too. I hate forgetting to take out the butter and having it be too hard to spread. This tastes so yummy and no real time to soften…
    Thx, Tiffany

  560. 560

    Jennifer M. — March 17, 2013 @ 4:09 PM

    Every Sunday I spend an hour or so chopping veggies and fruits for the upcoming week. In my effort to eat more healthy food, I know I’ll be more successful if I make it easy to prepare those healthy foods. I can assemble a salad in nothing flat or pop some veggies into the oven for roasting and have a bowl of fruit for a snack or dessert as quick and stress-free as can be!

  561. 561

    Becky — March 17, 2013 @ 4:27 PM

    Listen to my IPOD

  562. 562

    Theresa — March 17, 2013 @ 5:22 PM

    The kids are old enough now to help with some dinner prep. They can also help with menu planning as well which is often the most difficult part of making dinner!

  563. 563

    Candias Chalker — March 17, 2013 @ 5:24 PM

    I once worked for a company that you could make premade meals at and it has changed my thinking. I will prepare ahead of time, several recipes, making each into two or three meals package them with the instructions and all ingredients, then on a busy day all I need to do is pop into the oven or crockpot and we have a delicious homecooked meal. It saves so much time and energy on those busy days.

  564. 564

    Lillian — March 17, 2013 @ 5:28 PM

    My pressure cooker definitely takes off the “pressure” of dinner meals. So long crock pot! It is a must for busy Mommas!

  565. 565

    Kilee Luthi — March 17, 2013 @ 5:37 PM

    When we go grocery shopping, we make a list of all the dinners we are buying food for. We don’t make a schedule because when we do, we rarely stick to it. We just have this list of things that we know we are prepared for, and as we eat them, we cross it off the list. That way, I never have to think, hey what do I have to eat? I always know what I can have! Also, I make crockpot dinners on my busiest days so it’s more easy when I’m tired and don’t want to/don’t have time to make dinner.

  566. 566

    Susan Braze — March 17, 2013 @ 5:41 PM

    We make sure our menu is planned out and when we buy meat we have it ready to go so all we do is cook and serve-voila!

  567. 567

    Katie — March 17, 2013 @ 7:00 PM

    I try to have everything prepared when I start to cook. It makes things so much easier.

  568. 568

    Denise — March 17, 2013 @ 7:50 PM

    We have 4 kids and shuffle like 5 sports schedules at a time…I make dinner at noon, that’s my secret!

  569. 569

    Karen Lynch — March 17, 2013 @ 7:51 PM

    Eating dinner as a family is important, but not always possible. I never want my daughter to eat alone or rushed, so one parent will always be at the table with even if the parent is eating later or out. This is a chance to have conversations and connect so I won’t slide on it ever.

  570. 570

    Denise — March 17, 2013 @ 7:54 PM

    I tweeted!