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Written by:  Katie Quine
Date: September 1, 2012

Follow these shortcuts, resources and tips so you can easily prepare delicious, fast meals your family will love. Also see Triangle Offers Quick Dinner Solutions to discover companies and chefs who help busy parents put healthy dinners on the table in a hurry.

The $5 Dinner Mom: One-Dish Dinners Cookbook
With elegant recipes like Mango Chicken Curry Bake, you wouldn't think this cookbook by Erin Chase was intended for frugal moms on the go. But it promises to feed the whole family for $5 or less. In stores Sept. 4 for $17.99.
barnesandnoble.com.

Meals In Minutes: Weeknight Suppers

This cookbook by Melanie Barnard is for you if you want to work smarter — not harder — in the kitchen. Beautifully illustrated, the cookbook is filled with three-step recipes and includes sample weekly meal plans and grocery shopping guides. $9.99. barnesandnoble.com.

Set 'n Forget Programmable Slow Cooker

This isn't your mom's slow cooker. The Set 'n Forget Programmable Slow Cooker offers three different cooking modes, so you simply set the time when you'd like to have dinner ready, and its built-in digital clock handles the rest. The slow cooker's locking lid and handles allow you to take it on the go. $59.99. hamiltonbeach.com. -Katie Quine


Time-saving tips to get dinner on the table

  • Purchase ingredients in bulk, then prepare and freeze a week's worth of meals on the weekend. Next time you need dinner fast, just pop a pre-prepared casserole in the oven.
  • Cut dinner prep time by cleaning and chopping up vegetables right after your trip to the market so they are ready when you need them.
  • Pull out that slow cooker. From succulent chicken to sinful macaroni and cheese, just throw a few simple ingredients in the slow cooker before heading out in the morning. Eight hours later — voilà! Dinner is ready before your keys hit the kitchen counter.



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