If there’s one thing my kids love, it’s dipping their foods in sauces. They dunk chicken nuggets in barbecue sauce or honey mustard. They dip hot dogs in ketchup and mustard. Dipping even gets them to eat salad as long as they get to dip the lettuce and veggies in ranch dressing. This inspired me to make some super saucy make-ahead meals this week. If I give my kids extra sauce on the side, it’s almost guaranteed that they will love the meal.
Monday nights’ dinner is barbecue ribs with cornbread muffins. I bought two packs of baby back ribs at the grocery store. Each one had a $2 off sticker on it because they expire on Monday. I love seeing those stickers on items at the grocery store. They save me a lot of money. I just know that I have to use them quickly, since they are close to their expiration date. That’s why the ribs will be dinner on Monday. I cooked them today and slathered some Sweet Baby Rays’ barbecue sauce on them. Now Monday night, I will just heat them through and broil them to make the top crispy. I will serve them with some more barbecue sauce on the side for my kids’ dipping pleasure.
I also made some cornbread muffins to go with the ribs. Savingstar sent me an email this week saying that they were giving a full refund for Jiffy cornbread mix. Savingstar is an app that gives you money back for items you purchase at the grocery store. You just select the items you are going to buy and use your club card at the store. Then, Savingstar adds money to your account. Cornbread is a great side for ribs, so I signed up for this deal and am now waiting for the money to be added to my account.
Tuesday night we are having Smothered Chicken from Cindy at Bacon, Butter, Cheese, and Garlic. This meal requires a little bit more prep time than most of my make-ahead meals. However, it’s so good and totally worth it. It is one of my all-time favorite meals. My whole family absolutely loves the creamy sauce that’s packed with spinach and mushrooms. I serve it over brown rice. There is never a single bite left after this delicious meal.
I am making the Fool Proof Turkey Meatloaf from Andie Mitchell and the Twice Baked Potatoes from Melanie at Garnish and Glaze for Wednesday night. These will be served with some broccoli for a yummy dinner. The meatloaf is topped with a ketchup glaze, so I’ll serve it with some extra ketchup for dipping. I’m sure the potatoes and broccoli will end up getting dipped as well. Miss M thinks that everything on her plate needs to take a swim in the dip. Even though I think some of her combinations are disgusting, it gets her to eat all of her food.
One of the special coupons in Giant’s circular this week was for a whole boneless pork loin. They offered this deal about 2 years ago, and I went into the store thinking I was going to get a little one-pound pork tenderloin. I was shocked when I saw the huge ten-pound pork loins and wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do with that huge piece of meat. Luckily, the butcher was at the counter, and I was able to ask him how to cook it. He said I should cut it into roasts and pork chops, and it should make about 4 meals. He told me step-by-step how to cut the meat. I took notes on my phone and went home ready to give it a try. The butcher also told me I could use one part right away and freeze the other pieces for up to four months. Perfect! I would have meals for the future!
Ever since that day, I’ve taken advantage of that deal each time it’s offered. This time, the original price tag on the pork loin was $31.63. It was on sale for $26.45. With the extra coupon, the price went down to $16.12. That’s only $4 per meal, since I’ll be getting 4 meals out of it. This week I’m using some of the pork chops marinated in the sauce for Honey Garlic Pork Chops from Key Ingredient. Instead of grilling them, I bake them in the oven. These pork chops always come out very tender, and the sauce is packed with flavor.
This week Bagel Thins were buy one, get one free at Weis. I decided these would be perfect for pizza night. The last time I made pizza bagels, my kids just ate the cheese, toppings, and the top of the bagel. It was too much bread for them. The bagel thins solve that problem, and hopefully, they will eat the whole thing. I put some of the mushrooms aside when I made the smothered chicken, and they will be the topping for our pizza bagels.
Dessert this week is Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake from Lindsay at Pinch of Yum. I bought a whole basket of apples at the farmer’s market and wanted to use them for dessert this week. This recipe sounded perfect! I love the flavor of cinnamon with apples. I’m going to serve it with some caramel sauce for dipping. Even desserts are more fun when they’re dipped.
Most nights after we sit down at the dinner table, J and Miss M request some type of dip for their food. This week, I will be ready for it. All of my super saucy make-ahead meals have sauce for dipping with them. That saves me a trip to the refrigerator. I’ll be able to sit and eat some of my food before they request a drink refill, another napkin, or more food. Maybe they’ll even be too busy dipping to realize they need any of those things. I hope you have a week filled with delicious and relaxing dinners.