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This time of year is crazy at out house. I feel like all Justin and I do is say "hi" and "bye" to each other as we run to work, head out to meetings or disappear into the home office to do work. As much as I would like to say that I am someone who finds the time to cook dinner from scratch every night, that is so not the case.
And as alluring as it might be to order pizza or pick up take out, I am really trying to make an effort to have us sit down as a family and enjoy a complete meal together and take time to talk about our day. So at the beginning of this school I made sure to stop by Walmart and stock up on a few Stouffer's Family Sized Meals for the freezer so I could be prepared for busy nights.
We usually stick to our Stouffer's favorites of Lasagna or Mac & Cheese but this week I went with Grandma's Chicken & Vegetable Rice Bake. Even though the temperatures are quite cooperating, going back to school makes me feel like Fall and this type of baked casserole is exactly what I needed to help me feel like the seasons were changing. I love how crunch the cracker crumb topping gets while the dish is so creamy and filled with veggies, rice and big pieces of white chicken.
A dish like this really doesn't even need a side but I always try to serve a salad whenever we have a casserole. Not to sound weird but Justin and I are known for our favorite salad and we usually serve it with almost everything at our house. People always call it "our" salad so I have started referring to it as the Tobin House Salad (since many restaurants call their specialty salad the "house" salad). It is so simple to make and since it is made with ingredients that are easy to keep in the fridge I can throw it together anytime. (Check out the recipe at the end of the post!)
What I love about sitting down to dinner as a family is that for a few minutes we can forget that a pipe burst in our upstairs master bath, or that my husband is testing for promotion this week at work and we can just focus on each other and take some time to reconnect as a couple. And what's great about Stouffer's Family Sized Meals is that when we want some company they are the perfect size for having over a few of our family members who all happen to live down the street from us and love coming over for dinner together at home.
Tobin House Salad
- Baby Spinach
- Shredded Carrots
- Feta Cheese
- Dried Cranberries
- Almond Slivers
- Balsamic Dressing or Vinaigrette
Mix together all the dry ingredients and toss in the dressing. Serve immediately so it stays fresh.