My friend Janelle at Talk of Tomatoes calls them Default Dinners, sometimes though, I call them Desperate Dinners. The dinners that you make because they're quick and easy. The dinners that come together because you have a bit of this and a bit of that in the fridge, and it's still two days until payday, so you better use what you have on hand. And while I may not be entirely proud of the contents of some of my desperate dinners, sometimes they just fit the bill perfectly- both in taste and in how quick they come together.
Take, for example, what my sister and I affectionately call my "white trash cheese sauce." One can of cheddar cheese soup, undiluted; 1/2 cup of milk; and one small block of Velveeta combine to make a delightfully creamy cheese sauce that works in so many applications. Use it for pasta for a quick mac and cheese. Use it to top vegetables and you have cheesy broccoli that the kids will inhale. You could even use it as a quick sauce to bake some chicken breasts in. It's versatile I tell you- and if you can pretend away the ingredients, it tastes great as well.
My favorite use for this cheese sauce, by the way, is a casserole. Normally, I don't like casseroles. I'm coming around on a few, but for the most part, casseroles are a no-no to me. But this cheese sauce makes miracles. Just the other day I made a casserole that the whole family enjoyed- and accompanied by a fruit salad, we needed nothing else to round out the meal. I had a piece of smoked sausage to use up, so I cut it into chunks and tossed it with some leftover egg noodles. I added a package of frozen broccoli and cauliflower, and then tossed it all with my "white trash cheese sauce" and some black pepper. We could have eaten it freshly tossed, but I opted to bake it up a bit, topped with some crushed potato chips, and that really allowed the cheese to permeate the pasta, sausage, and vegetables. It really was good. Abigail and Zander cleaned their plates, and I think Andy surprised himself by having seconds.
So I want to know today, what's your desperate dinner? Is it a frozen pizza? Is it leftovers? Or is it cereal all around-do share, I'd love to add more options to my desperate dinner repertoire.