Joanna Gaines has always said that because a snack is sweet doesn’t mean it has to be unhealthy. That’s why I went searching through Joanna’s blog, Magnolia, for ideas on fall snacks that we’d be happy to serve our kids—and to sneak a few for ourselves.
10 best cooking shortcuts from Joanna Gaines
10 best cooking shortcuts from Joanna Gaines
Stock up on crescent rolls
To get that homemade feel you don’t always have to make everything 100% from scratch. In Magnolia Table, Joanna relies on refrigerated crescent roll dough for a few tasty recipes, like her quick orange-walnut sweet rolls and her classic chicken potpie. This cuts the prep time down significantly, and the results can taste just as good as something made all by hand.
Save time with rotisserie chicken
While everyone loves a perfectly roasted chicken for dinner—and then the leftovers used in tasty dinners all week—it can be hard to find the time to roast one on a busy evening. That’s why Joanna grabs a grocery store rotisserie chicken to use in a handful of recipes, like her cozy chicken potpie.
Turn tricky dishes into casseroles
Have a favorite dish that you always order at a restaurant but is just too tricky to make at home? Joanna says turn those into a casserole! She explains in her book that Chip loves eggs Benedict, but making individual servings at home can be a real hassle. So to get that same flavor with less work, Joanna turned it into an easy-to-make, easy-to-serve casserole. Genius!
Use store-bought crust
Pie crust serves as the foundation for so many of our favorite dishes—pie (obviously!), quiches and tarts—but making your own crust from scratch is sometimes too time-consuming. According to Joanna, don’t worry about it! She writes in Magnolia table that she subs store-bought crust for homemade all the time, especially when she’s whipping up a tasty quiche.
Refrigerated biscuits are your friend
We all know that Joanna is a true Southern gal with an authentic recipe for buttermilk biscuits (you can check out how to make them right here), but we also know she’s a busy woman! That’s why when it comes to chicken and dumplings, Joanna says that you can easily substitute packaged biscuits for her biscuit and dumpling recipe.
Focus on the main dish and take shortcuts on the sides
In Magnolia Table, Joanna explains how enchiladas are a family favorite in her house. The cheese-filled chicken enchiladas are the star of the show and the side dishes—beans and rice—are just supporting players. So when time is tight, focus on the main, and used packaged rice as a quick substitute. Joanna prefers Knorr brand Mexican rice mix.
Transform your condiments
We love our sandwiches layered with flavored aiolis, but we never think to make those fancy types of mayonnaise at home. After all, mayonnaise from scratch can be a real chore. But to get that same effect, Joanna takes her favorite mayonnaise (she says she prefers Hellman’s) and stirs in a handful of herbs and spices. For her version, add chopped chives, garlic, dill, parsley, paprika and a bit of lemon juice. Feel free to add your favorite flavors to dress up your sandwiches.
No matter how carefully you plan or how carefully you read a recipe, sometimes dishes can just go wrong. If something goes wrong and your dinner flops, take this advice from Chip and Joanna from Magnolia Table, “there’s always pizza.”
With only a handful of ingredients, Joanna’s recipe is a cinch and it’s also super customizable. It’s easy to substitute another nut butter for the peanut butter. It’s also easy to toss in a handful of coconut flakes to taste. For an extra boost, Joanna recommends 1 Tbsp. of vanilla protein powder. You could even add raisins or any of your favorite dried fruits! Feel free to double the recipe since you’re going to be competing with the kids over who gets the last one… Then check out 30 more snacks you don’t have to feel guilty about.
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