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Mix It Up With Jenny - Time-Saving Suppers

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"Wheely" Easy Mac & Cheesy
PB & J Pie

(Family Features) - When school starts back up again, so do the busy schedules! Between school activities, sports, dance classes and music lessons, it can seem like there's never any time to sit down and eat a family meal, much less cook one.

But I've found a few tricks to help conquer the chaos so that we can gather around the table and have good food as well as good family time.

Have a Plan. Make a weekly menu so you know how to answer the "I'm starved - what's for dinner?" question every night. This simplifies your shopping, too. You'll know exactly what to get - and sticking to the grocery list will save money as well.

Use Your Freezer. Cut down on your cooking time by making large-batch meals, then freezing some for future dinners. Thaw meals in the refrigerator overnight so when it's time to start cooking, all you have to do is pop one in the oven.

Plan for Plan B. Let's face it - even the best laid plans can get derailed. But if you keep your pantry stocked with simple ingredients, you'll be able to throw a meal together in no time - like the delicious "Wheely" Easy Mac & Cheesy recipe here. Mix nutritious edamame with fun pasta shapes and a velvety cheese sauce and you have a simple supper everyone will love. (You can even whip up a tasty dessert, like this PB & J pie!) Plan B items to keep on hand: pasta, diced tomatoes, broth, rice, canned or frozen vegetables, evaporated milk and beans.

For more time-saving recipes, visit www.VeryBestBaking.com.

Jenny Harper is Consumer Test Kitchen Project Manage for the Nestlé Test Kitchens and VeryBestBaking.com..

"Wheely" Easy Mac & Cheesy

Ingredients
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) dry wagon wheel or rotelle pasta
  • 1 cup frozen shelled edamame (shelled soybeans)
  • 1 can (12 fluid ounces) Nestlé Carnation Evaporated Milk
  • 2 cups (8-ounce package) shredded Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese blend or other cheese blend
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half

Preparation
    1. COOK pasta according to package directions, adding edamame to boiling pasta water for last 2 minutes of cooking time; drain.
    2. MEANWHILE, COMBINE evaporated milk, cheese, garlic powder and black pepper in medium saucepan. Cook over medium low heat, stirring occasionally, until cheese is melted. Remove from heat.
    3. ADD pasta and edamame to cheese sauce; stir until combined. Add tomatoes; stir gently until combined.

Serves
Yield 4 servings

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Tips:
  • Look for edamame in the frozen food or organic section of your local store.
  • Frozen peas can be used in place of edamame.
  • PB & J Pie

    Ingredients
    • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons grape or strawberry jelly, warmed, divided
    • 1 prebaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell
    • 1 can (12 fluid ounces) Nestlé Carnation Evaporated Milk
    • 2 packages (3.4 ounces each) vanilla instant pudding and pie filling mix
    • 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
    • 1 1/2 cups frozen whipped topping, thawed
    • 1/2 cup chopped peanuts

    Preparation
      1. SPREAD 1/2 cup jelly over bottom of pie shell.
      2. BEAT evaporated milk, pudding mix and peanut butter in medium bowl until well blended. Gently fold in whipped topping. Spoon into shell.
      3. REFRIGERATE for 1 hour or until set. Spread remaining 2 tablespoons jelly in center. Sprinkle peanuts around edge.

    Serves
    Yield 8 servings

    SOURCE: Nestlé


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