Fast Friday

That’s “fast” like “quick,” not “fast” like, well, “fasting.”  I do go meatless, but that’s entirely beside the point.  The idea is things to make when the weak week is ending and I’m longing for a stiff drink ready for the weekend.  Maybe I’ll make a tradition of it, we’ll see.

Expect it to be thrifty, too, because I’m cheap like that.

Safeway has some lovely “party sized” dinners that I got because… well, they were about 25% off, and I’m lazy sleep deprived, and I love both lasagnas (five cheese and meat, respectively) and orange chicken.  Grabbed the cannelloni because it sounded like something to try.

Thus far:

$7 for five to ten servings.  Usually ten bucks plus tax.  Easily two evening’s dinner for us with the toddlers, plus a generous packed lunch.

Cooking time is a bit on the low side—by which I mean you’ll want to set it for the low timer, check it, and then let it go to the high suggested cooking time.

The cannelloni  was… er… well, TrueBlue says it didn’t taste right.  It tasted like salsa made of green peppers mixed with basic pasta and a good white cheese sauce to me.  Kept its form very well.

The cheese lasagna is WONDERFUL.  How good is it?  My husband willingly ate it when I wasn’t cooking only non-carne meals.  This is the guy that complains there’s not enough meat in his steak and potatoes….

The meat lasagna is good; not great, but better than I could make, and probably less expensive.  The meat seems to be rather spicy sausage, but not bad at all.  (Note, this is not to be interpreted as “spicy” or “hot” by the measure of most folks; more along the lines of mild-to-medium salsa.  Yes, I’m a wimp.)

Haven’t tried the Orange Chicken yet, we’ll see.


(update: fixed the name of the not-very-good baked dish; I blame that line from the Godfather movies)

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Former sailor, trained calibration tech, current mother, current geek; has a former sailor current geek computer tech husband, five kids and two spoiled barn cats. Has been "Foxfier" since before Mozilla existed, let alone renamed their browser "Firefox." It's a purposeful misspelling of the photo-luminescent effect-- for something that might look scary but is harmless. That's it.


  1. Down here, fish ‘n’ chips is still the standard Friday fare, even after – what – 40 years?
    Tastes better after the downing of a couple of pints of good ale, and washed down with a liberal glass of shiraz or cab-sav red wine. 🙂

  2. We like to use the frozen lasagnas on Sundays. That way there’s less work involved in meal prep on the Lord’s Day. There are some good ones out there. Stouffer’s is pretty good. So is Marie Callender’s. Walmart has its own brand which is half a notch down from the other two, but they also offer a “Mexican Style” lasagna that isn’t bad at all. With eight kids, though, the family size isn’t really enough. It says 12 servings, but they don’t take teenagers into account. Heck, our 12 year old has shot up three inches in three months. Try feeding that hungry beast!

  3. Good plan, Foxfier.
    ~$65 and two days spent a few months ago to prepare meat and cheese lasagne in a deep pan. The best part was having portions on hold in the freezer for those fast meals.
    I won’t start on how good Fish and Chips are the object of an endless search since a little place nearby closed.
    For economy, you could stretch nice Yellowfin Tuna into a cold salad plate by mixing it with brown rice and celery, radish, and chives, or something and mayonnaise. But that’s cooking rice, chopping, refrigerating and not fast unless it’s ready.
    Can’t even imagine a cannoli tasting of salsa … isn’t that a dessert?

  4. PM- not a clue what it was supposed to be like; for all I know, I could be spelling it wrong. It was pasta tubes stuffed with chicken, simi-liquid cheese and not-hot-pepper salsa, covered in more cheese and tomato sauce.

    And I’ve got rice on the brain for future Fast Fridays… I base “fast” on how much time I have to actually spend on it, rather than cooking time!

  5. Foxfier,
    Couple things:
    1. Pasta tubes stuffed with chicken tasting salsa-y sound like tamales (cornmeal wraps) or maybe chicken crepes (roulades) ? No Safeway around to check out.

    2. Pastry tubes stuffed with ricotta cheese are cannoli. Check out a good Bakery with a refrigerated case. Treats.

    3. Rice & tuna time – an hour to the fridge and ready for table.
    – $2/can, use two for your family of four. Cook a cup of rice per can as gauge. + or – to taste.
    – A pan to cook rice with a splash of oil in the water.
    – A screen colander to cold water rinse the starch out of the cooked rice.
    – A casserole dish to mix and serve.
    – While the rice is cooking, you can chop vegs., shred tuna with fork, and put in the serving bowl ready to mix with cooled rice and mayonnaise, and clean up.
    – Serve on lettuce, chips on side. Cannoli for dessert!

  6. Definitely not tamales– I just compare it to salsa because that’s the only thing similar, not because it was actually salsa. Ever made salsa? Imagine doing that, but no tomatoes, no hot peppers, just green peppers. That’s what it tasted like….

    *spends longer looking online than she spent writing the post*
    Cannelloni. I dropped several letters in my memory.

  7. Good – mystery solved.
    Thanks for unclogging my mind – spent time in the indices of the few cookbooks around here. So many pasta and pastry shapes and possibilities. Cannelloni I don’t know, but cannoli I love. You were just talking in code or shorthand – pretty close – starts with can, ends with i. That’s what happens when the years or things to do pile upon you.

  8. I constantly scandalize my husband by talking about “bowties” or “the falafel things” (farfalle), “macaroni noodles,” calling anything you can make a spaghetti dish out of “spaghetti” (even the flat noodles that are about a quarter inch wide), “those twisty ones” (rotini) and “the big macaroni ones.” (Penne.)

    I’m just horrible at names.

    Thanks for the recipe– we have one sort of like that, but I take all the parts, mix them with a can of “cream of” soup while the rice is hot, add a bunch of cheese-chunks, put in a pan, cover with more cheese, cheese and bake until nicely browned. The girls don’t seem to like eating things that are supposed to be served cold, and I’m giggling at the idea of TrueBlue eating stuff served on lettuce. (yes, he’s going to be a bit of a problem when it comes to getting the girls to eat rabbit food… at least he eats broccoli)

  9. It takes years of macaroni/spaghetti/pasta differentiation – and then, here come the cannellonis – love flat noodles 1/4″ or less because they are like homemade of yore for spaghetti or soup.

    Hot and cold dishes – hot seems more filling and broccoli more nutritious –
    stay with tried and true.

    We are in a heat wave/drought – by the way it rained two inches finally today – but the rain was after your post and I was thinking cold food.

    The two little neighbor girls that used to spend time at my table on and off would have loved your soup – anything or nothing with cheese please. Hold the rice and that green stuff. They were fast food/ take out/ eat in their carseat specialists. Cracker, cheese, apple slice snack was cheese – with cracker and apple decorations. But I witnessed both chewing on falling leaves in autumn off the ground.

    [While I’m at it the cup of rice is the amount before you cook it – just in case …
    and I cut the lettuce up so it’s easier to eat and have cheese on the side –
    or do the same with elbow macaroni]

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