Sunday prep

Sundays have been crazy lately. Since we share our church building with two other congregations, we switched in January to the 11:00-2:00 time block. Not good for lunchtime or naptime for little ones (or me!).

After church, we come home, scramble to make our traditional Sunday spaghetti as quickly as possible, then get Red Chief down for a nap--at 3:15 if we were lucky. Then we had to wake him at 4:00 to be back at church for choir. Ack.

Last week, I tried something new. On Thursday, I made up Sunday's lunch and dinner. On Sunday, all I had to do was turn on the slow cooker, and we had cabbage roll casserole waiting for us when we got home. When we got hungry for dinner, we threw a dish of spinach dip in the oven, and we had a fun evening snack with no work at all.

It took a little planning, but simply having our meals ready ahead of time changed Sunday from a frenzied marathon to a true day of rest. It was definitely worth it!

For my family: don't worry. We'll still be eating our weekly spaghetti--just on Mondays.

Oh, and does anyone have any great make-ahead slow cooker or casserole recipes that don't involve large hunks of meat? I haven't used the slow cooker much, so I don't have a very good repertoire of recipes that we like, and I'm having a hard time finding vegetable-oriented recipes.


  1. Here's my recipe for Tater Tot Casserole:

    I'll think and see if I can come up with any others. Great plan with the make ahead meals!

  2. what a wise wise you are! during the winter months our church has what we call "back-to-back services" which means we have a pot luck dinner between the two services. makes things so nice and convenient that's for sure. last week was our last one for the year, so i'll have to get back in the sunday prep mindset myself. we do lots of crockpot recipes... i'll see if i can rustle some up to share with you♥

  3. oops.. i meant wise *wife*....


  4. We really like crock pot mac & cheese, there's a recipe here: http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1735,152177-246206,00.html

    Smart thinking. I need to start doing that for busy evenings, I think.

  5. You can make homemade spaghetti sauce in the crockpot. I would just turn it on low and plug the crockpot in right before you leave for church. I really like angel hair pasta rather than spagetti noodles because they only take 4 min to cook. Then you can have a crockpot meal and your spagetti tradition, too! It would also be easy to make a salad or side dish in advance.

  6. My personal favorite is as follows:

    16 oz dried split peas
    4 carrots, peeled and finely diced
    1 c finely diced onion
    4 celery stalks, finely diced
    2 medium potatoes, finely chopped
    2 cloves of garlic, minced.
    2 bay leaves
    Pepper to taste
    1 qt chicken broth
    .5 qt hot water (add as needed)

    In my crock pot it takes about 5 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low. I prefer cooking it on low because you don't have to mash the ingredients as much.

    I love this soup because it freezes wonderfully for later enjoyment.

  7. We have used our crockpot faithly for many many moons on sundays. I have 2 now and I use the smaller one for veggies like green cassarole. That one I use a timer for it and it turns on about an hour before we come home. You can do spagetti still in the crockpot it is a favorite of ours. Everything cooked and use a timer to turn on before you get home. I make a big salad or coleslaw and bread or rolls the day before. We try to set the table before we leave and it is nice to come home to the smell of a great lunch.
    Erika @ homegrown family

  8. This really does make sense. We attend services twice on Sunday and also have choir practice before the evening service.

    I need to rest on Monday after every Sunday. Not good when you have to homeschool :-)

    Thank you for sharing,

    Lady M

  9. Here is a recipe that is very versitile and equally good in the crockpot as on the stove top. Just brown the hamburger before adding it to the crockpot.http://simplycara.com/?p=11

    We also make our dishes ahead for Sunday and I use the crockpot alot. It makes it a nice day of rest for everyone, including Mommy.

    Did you know you can make Spaghetti in the crock pot? I am sure you can search for a recipe on line.