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What's Your Secret: Readers Dish on Serving Up Dinner in a Hurry

 

Tracy Daniel We cheat and have breakfast for dinner about once a week. It's quick and cheap and everyone loves it.

Rose Maria Farnell Kosto My secret weapon for dinner is angel hair pasta! It cooks quickly and I can throw whatever I want on it. My favorite choice is canned diced tomatoes with olive oil and shaved Parmesan. I also top it with diced ham and frozen green peas with olive oil and Parmesan. Another favorite is canned clams, olive oil, garlic, butter, lemon and parsley. The best part is these are all simple, quick, delicious and, if I am making it, I throw in extra angel hair and send a dish to my daughter's house for my grandchildren and daughter. Easy! Yummy!

Jan Arnold-Staggs My not-so-secret method is to plan for both meals and leftovers in the same meal. Having chicken one night? Chicken salad the next! No waste!

Melissa Lagerquist Legg Have a basket in the pantry for each night of the week, add your non-perishable ingredients for each night's dinner into the basket, and then grab the basket when you are ready to cook! You can keep your Barilla pasta and sauce in the basket ready to grab for a quick and easy meal! Just add meat (or don't) and add a veggie for a one-pot meal!

Laurie Corbett Meal planning is the only way dinners happen in our house! I let each kid pick a dinner each week, and try to make one new thing a week. I'll admit though some nights dinner is yogurt, or a PB&J!

Kindle Rising My secret to getting dinner on the table is having a husband who cooks...and gets off from work earlier than I do!

Erin Kathleen I cook for 8. The secret is simple. Here goes: shredded cheese. You can put it on anything. Seriously, leftovers? Put cheese on it. Kids complaining? Toss cheese on there. That's all.

Cat Fialla I do not know secret to getting dinner on the table. That is why I NEED to win 5 nights of dinners! :) :) :)

Andrea Bontrager Yoder Every 6-8 weeks or so, I spend about 3 hours (including clean-up!) preparing 10-12 meals to keep in the freezer. Each meal is either a thaw and heat, or a thaw and cook in the crock pot. My husband and I work together on this epic meal prep, and we enjoy the time working together.

Ambrosia Doty My secret is including my kids. When each of my children turn 2 years old, they get to help cook. Because I am a head cook at a retirement center, my kids think the kitchen is a magical place! Ages 6, 3 and 2, we make cooking a full learning experience. They learn their colors and about texture from produce. Adjectives by describing smells. They gain fine motor skills with kitchen utensils. And our 6-year-old who's learning to read is practicing by reading boxes and instructions. When we all work together to create in the kitchen, our meals become something we're proud of and things seem to go much smoother at suppertime.

Our winner:

Colleen St Martin Holland I'd like to share my daughter Lisa Lindstedt's dinner secret. She is mom to 4 beautiful children, ranging in age from 11 years to 18 months. Dinner at their house is a family affair. Each child has their own job and since it is how things work at their house, the children enjoy helping. Even the baby sweeps up after dinner! Of course, this works because her husband, Jeremey, pitches in and quite often is the main cook. I love to see this family in action and of course it goes without saying that Barilla is a STAPLE in their house. If the kids "don't care for" whatever is served with / on the pasta, we know they will eat their "noo noos." Oh, and did I mention that she homeschools those kids? I think 5 nights off from cooking for my daughter and her husband would be a real treat!