Dinner · dinner in 30 minutes · Make-Ahead · Sunday Dinner

(L)Oven Monday – Three Steps to a Successful Sunday Dinner

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Happy Monday, friends, and welcome to the beginning of the posts to help get you ready to prepare a  Sunday dinner that provides for the needs of your guests, is delicious, and ready in a hurry! Thank you to so many of you who shared your Sunday dinner struggles with me!  I’m going to try to help you solve those difficulties as we touch on this subject for the next several Monday’s.

Today I want to lay out the three steps that are crucial for your Sunday meal to be a success.  What constitutes success? I believe it’s the three things listed in the previous paragraph – a meal that

meets needs,

is delicious,

and on the table quickly.

But that doesn’t happen all by itself, of course! I need to start by saying, anything that is worth doing, is going to take effort and it’s going to take being intentional.  There is work involved, but it’s so worth the efforts!  Here are the three crucial things you need to consider so that your Sunday dinner will be a success:

  1. Ponder the needs – That simply means that you must consider what the needs of the day are, your budget and what your guests will need.
    1. Is there a time constraint?
    2. Do you only have xxx amount of dollars to feed a crowd?
    3. Is there a dietary need – ie. Gluten-free?

      Consider whatever needs are necessary – A baby that will need to be fed, a child will need a nap very soon, someone with low-blood sugar will be shaky at this point, etc.  Then, considering those needs, you move to #2.

  2. Plan the menu – Considering your needs, you can now pull out this blog’s Recipe page, your Pinterest boards, your cookbooks – whatever will help you find a menu to meet those needs.
    Determine how extensive you want the menu for Sunday to be.  If you’re not into the routine of fixing a fresh meal for Sunday, I’d encourage you to start with a simple menu – a Taco Soup in the crock pot, some tortilla chips, and a dessert like the pie linked here, or go with something super easy like a purchased Angel food cake and fresh strawberries.  Don’t overwhelm yourself.  Take baby steps. 
    My recipe page has a list of 30-Minute meals, but if you wait until you get home from church to even prep those things, you are going to be frustrated, so stay tuned for #3.

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3. Prepare ahead – I can’t tell you how important this step is!  As early in the week as possible, start preparing.  The earlier you start, the less stressful it will be!  Consider doing these things ahead of time:

  1. Prepare the table.  Set the table – The family will know that something good is on the way!  Even if you can only do it after breakfast on Sunday, do it before you leave for church.  If everyone can eat breakfast at the kitchen island, set the table on Saturday night.
  2. Prepare Foods.  Make ahead anything that can be made ahead of time!
    1. Salad – I love frozen salads for this purpose, also green salads without the dressing can be made the day before.
    2. Dessert – If you were serving Angel Food cake and berries, make the sure the berries are washed, sliced and ready ( or thawed from their frozen state) on Saturday night.
    3.  Vegetables – Peeling potatoes and putting them in water overnight will make them ready for the crock pot.  If you’ll need onions, get them sliced and put into a ziplock bag.
    4. Dishes and pans – On Saturday night, set out the crock pot you’ll need, or the pan for the roast chicken.  Have them out on the counter and ready.
  3. Prepare an hors d’oevre – Make something ahead of time that everyone can snack (lightly) on as soon as you get home.  This is especially wise if you have little children that are fussy and need something to eat right away!  Make life easier for you and them and make something they can munch on while you get dinner on the table.  It could be something as simple as crackers and peanut butter, celery and peanut butter, apple slices, tortilla chips and salsa.  Set out little plates and limit the little ones, so they’ll be ready to eat dinner, of course, but this will make them much happier while they wait.

So, there you have it – Ponder the needs, Plan the menu and Prepare ahead.  These three steps will get you on your way to Sunday dinner success!

Can I give you a challenge for next Sunday?  Do one thing ahead of time – perhaps set the table, or prepare an hors d’oevre, or get the vegetables prepped on Saturday, and see how much smoother Sunday dinner is next week!

Next Monday we’ll talk about some specific meals that are doable for prepping ahead and eating very soon after getting home!  This will include Crock Pot entree’s and sides!  Be sure to come back so you don’t miss any tips!

Which of these three steps of success is the most difficult for you?

With love from my country kitchen,

Denise Signature 150 px

Sunday Dinner

The Best Sunday Roast Beef

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Coming home from Sunday services to a home cooked meal that greets you with wonderful, enticing aromas when you walk in the door is a gift from heaven.  Everyone is starving and no one wants to wait for long meal prep.  It’s great to have a sure-fire way to cook a meal so it will be ready to eat when you get home. I have a solution for you!

Roast Beef platter

This recipe has been my favorite way to cook a roast for lots of years.Also, if you’re not great at making gravy, this recipe is a blessing because it makes its own gravy!   You could use any variety of beef cuts – Chuck Steak, round roast, whatever is on sale.  The technique is the same, but you may just need longer cooking times for larger pieces of beef.  

Here’s the recipe:

Sunday Roast Beef Dinner
Roast beef
Oil
Carrots – However many you need for your group
Potatoes – ”
Lipton Onion Soup
Cream of Mushroom Soup
Water or broth

Directions:  Add a couple tablespoons of oil to a shallow pan and sear the meat (cook at  high temperature just to brown and caramelize a crust on the meat.) You could even do this part the night before!
Place roast and vegetables in a crock pot.
Spread undiluted soup over roast, icing it like a cake!
Sprinkle Onion soup over the mushroom soup and vegetables.  Add a cup of water or chicken or beef broth.

Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.

Beef
Before cooking

Serve meat and vegetables with the gravy in the crock pot.

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You’ll be the woman of the year for anyone who eats this meal with you!  It makes the meat flavorful and moist!  Sunday dinner problems are solved.  You’re welcome!  😉

What did you have for Sunday dinner yesterday?

With love from my country kitchen,