Family Meals for Busy Nights

September 22, 2023

Back to Blog Home

thorn cove family meals

Family Favorites

I am a big fan of family meals around the kitchen nook table or dining table or even porch! Taking time out to savor a yummy meal and talk about our days is one of the best parts of life. I love the face time with my kids which seems to get less and less with each year they grow.

My husband and I have non-traditional job schedules and our kids stay busy, but the importance of a nourishing dinner with as little junk in it as possible is something I strive for! I’ve rounded up a few of our favorite family meals and sides too.

I’ve also linked to some of my favorite tools that help me create meals with less preservatives and additives. It can seem overwhelming to not only choose, but create meals without all the added things, but these simple and cost effective tools really help me.

Pinto Beans

Ya’ll would not believe how many times a week I get asked for this recipe! It’s so easy and my elementary school daughter asks for them for family meals regularly if you can believe it. Add some chicken, quick salad and my fave homemade biscuits {see below} and dinner is ready!

Pinto Bean Recipe

  • 1 Cup Pinto Beans (washed)
  • 1-2 slivers of fat back (optional, but very tasty)
  • Water
  • Salt

Directions: Wash and dry pinto beans. Put them in a crock pot and cover well with water (about half full.) Add in 1-2 slivers of fat back (not required but gives a little flavor) 4. Cook on low 8-10 hrs OR on high 4-6 hours (or until tender.) 5. Salt to taste. 6. Enjoy!

Homemade Biscuits

These biscuits are so good and unbelievably easy! They make the perfect addition to any meal really: butter and jam for breakfast, butter and honey for a sweet dessert, side item to dip into soups and stews!

Biscuit Recipe

  • 1 1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 2 Cups Self-Rising Flour

Directions: Combine ingredients in a large bowl. Combine mayonnaise and milk in a medium bowl, then add flour and stir until incorporated. Divide dough into 12 biscuits and place on a greased baking sheet about 12 inches apart. 4. Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Chicken Pot Pie (Spooky Style)

I’ve posted this one before, but it’s so good and cute! You can check out how I do the spooky crusts here here and here.

TexMex Night

I found this online and it’s so savory and delicious! Of course, I shred my own cheese with my fancy Amazon shredder I love (which makes shredding a breeze!)

Easy TexMex Meal

  • 1 lb Ground Beef
  • 1 Onion (diced)
  • 3 cloves minced Garlic
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • 1 can Rotel
  • 1 can Black Beans
  • 1 can corn
  • 28oz small potatoes with peppers and onions (frozen or fresh)
  • 4 cups Chicken Broth
  • 4 cups Milk
  • 8 oz Cream Cheese
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Salt and pepper
  • Toppings: shredded cheese, sour cream or greek yogurt, jalapeno, tortilla chips

Directions: Brown ground beef with onions. Add garlic and cook for a couple minutes. Drain excess grease. Add taco seasoning, rotel, black beans, corn, potatoes, chicken broth and milk. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Cover and simmer 20 minutes. Stir in cream cheese and fresh cilantro. Add salt and pepper and toppings to taste. Enjoy!

Sausage Balls

We had a ton of venison still frozen from last year which is awesome, but we need to eat it. These sausage balls are easy to make and also filling!

Venison Sausage Balls

  • 1 Lb Sausage
  • 1/2 Cup of Milk
  • 16 oz Shredded Cheese
  • 2 Cups of Bisquick or Kodiak Pancake Protein Mix

Directions: Mix everything together in a bowl. Use an ice cream scoop or small spoon to create balls and place on baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes and enjoy! You would be surprised how much one pound makes. We eat on these for a couple days at meal times, breakfast or snacks.


I hope you try and enjoy these recipes! Here’s a link to my LTK for some of my favorite Kitchen Toos.

I’ll be sure to keep adding more to the Blog and my Pinterest! Tell me which one is your fave if you do try.

Follow me on Pinterest for more!

You May Also Like:

Share the ♡

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Nicole Burgess says:

    Definitely will be trying the TexMex recipe and I want to try to sausage balls. My family would love those. I personally LOVE pinto beans with some good cornbread 😋 but my family isn’t crazy about beans. Do you come up with some recipes on your own or where did you find inspiration for meals? Thanks for sharing these with us!!❤️