The school year is in full swing now and that means that the afternoons – from 2:30 until the sun goes down – are busy and hectic and fly by way too fast.
In a perfect world, I would have all of my meals planned out ahead of time and I would prepare dinner in the morning while the kids got ready for school so that I could free up the afternoons for homework assistance and cleaning up around the house. As a work-at-home blogging mom, I try to keep the school hours as dedicated writing time, so the afternoons and evenings are full of kids and cooking and cleaning up messes.
As much as I love the consistency of a good school year schedule, adjusting to back to school season is tough, so I’ve put together a few of the tips that have worked best for my family during this time of year.
Tips to get back into the school year routine:
- Plan meals ahead whenever possible: Even though I’m not always consistent with keeping a solid meal plan in place, I like to post a list on the fridge of some of my go-to meals (this list consists mostly of meals that take minimal ingredients and time and dishes that I know the kids already love). During the week, I look for meals that don’t take hours to prepare. I love quick and easy!
- Plan time wisely: Not only is back to school season filled with new teachers, new homework and new schedules to get used to, but it almost always means new teams and practices, too. When I know I’m going to be gone until 5:00 pm driving kids to and from piano, I plan a meal in the crock pot…or know that I’ll need to bring home a pizza.
- Sleep, sleep, sleep: Getting plenty of sleep is crucial for kids AND parents to adjust well to a new schedule. This is something we struggle with every single night (the kids want to stay up late) and every single morning before school (no one wants to wake up!). Starting the day fresh and alert makes a huge difference in attitude and accomplishment.
Tonight, with just a small window of time between cross country practice and a new karate class, I made Taco Melts with Pillsbury Grands biscuits, and they were not only super easy, but they were a huge hit, too. Since the taco melts are “finger food friendly” I added some more finger foods to round the meal off – carrots, celery sticks, and grape tomatoes. Yum!
Here’s the recipe from Pillsbury that we used:
- 1 package (1 oz) Old El Paso® taco seasoning mix
- ⅔ cup water
- 1½ cups salsa
- 1 lb lean ground beef, cooked and drained
- 1 can (16.3 oz) Pillsbury® Grands!® biscuits
- 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese or Mexican cheese blend (4 oz)
- 1 cup sour cream, if desired
- In medium saucepan, cook taco seasoning mix, water, ½ cup of the salsa and cooked ground beef until thickened.
- Press each biscuit into 6-inch round. Spoon ⅓ cup meat mixture and 1 tablespoon cheese onto center of each round. Fold dough in half over filling; press to seal. Place on greased cookie sheet.
- Bake at 375°F 9 to 14 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with remaining salsa, cheese and sour cream.
Also, I used one cup of my homemade roasted tomato salsa, which is less than the amount of salsa recommended in the original recipe.
The taco melts were so popular and, since I didn’t calculate quite enough time to eat a super early dinner before heading off to karate and another errand, three of us ended up eating our taco melts in the car. I was thrilled that I just happened to have a perfect eat-on-the-go meal tonight!
Want more easy, kid-pleasing recipes like the Taco Melts? Click the following link to download the Pillsbury recipe booklet and then let me know in the comments below which Pillsbury Grands! Biscuits recipe you are most excited to try!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective. The content and opinions expressed here are all my own and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of General Mills. Compensation was provided by General Mills via Clever Girls Collective.
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