Dinnertime Shortcuts for Busy Summer Nights

Dinnertime Shortcuts for Busy Summer Nights

Everyone wants to make the most of those long, balmy days, right? These simple, nutritious evening meals are just perfect for speedy suppers the whole family will love.


When you have young children (and busy grown-ups) keen to make the most of beautiful summer days, keeping up with everyone’s schedule can prove hectic. Dinnertime is a chance for everyone to come together and share their day, but with sports clubs, exercise classes and the new school year to prepare for, it can all start to feel like a bit of a whirlwind – we know, we’ve been there, too!

Easy one-pot or no-cook dinners are perfect for this time of year, and are made extra appealing by the fact there’s less to clean up afterwards. Leave any dishes with stubborn grease or baked-on food soaking in Fairy Original Washing Up Liquid (link to a specific product page) so you can spend time with the kids before bed – it really guarantees an easy clean later on as Fairy cuts through it all, meaning you can wash, rinse and dry… no scrubbing required.

Make it a one-pot

A light summer risotto is both tasty and filling, and although this dish requires attention as you add the liquid, it’s happy simmering for 25 minutes while you sort sports kit, back-to-school admin (or even pour a glass of something cold!). Simply melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large pot, add 1 small onion and 1 small fennel bulb, chopped, and stir until soft, then add 2 cups of Arborio rice. Slowly stir in ¾ cup of dry white wine and 8 cups of chicken stock, a bit at a time, adding more liquid as it’s absorbed, stirring continuously. Simmer for 25 minutes, then add 1lb of large raw shrimps, peeled, and cook for a couple of minutes. Stir through another tablespoon of butter, 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, season and serve. Feeds 6.

Happy campers

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Break out the picnic rug and get those hot dogs cookin’! Nothing says summer more than tasty frankfurters in finger rolls or sliced buns, served with ketchup, mustard and mayo – using recyclable paper plates means less washing-up. Serve with a big bowl of slaw (throw in some red and purple cabbage alongside the green, and some crunchy yellow bell peppers), so no mom-guilt about them not getting enough veggies…

Bake it great

Salmon baked in the oven will look after itself, pretty much – take our word for it! Because it’s cooked with olive oil and a mixed herbs coat on top, it’s protected from the heat and won’t overcook.  Heat the oven to 250°F, then pour ¼ cup olive oil into a reasonably deep baking tray or pan and lay as much salmon as you need to feed the family on top, skin side down. Season well. Finely chop (or pop in the food processor) 1 large shallot, equal amounts dill and parsley, and at least tablespoons olive oil, then spread over the top of the salmon. Bake for around 25 minutes (if the fish flakes easily then it’s done – if not, pop it back for another 5 minutes). Serve with warm ciabatta and a big green salad – delicious. Feeds 4.

For more ways to make clean up a breeze, check out our kitchen secrets (link to ‘Kitchen Secrets: 6 Easy Ways To Reduce Your Dishwashing Time’ [REFNO27]).

Got a speedy supper idea that’s never let you down? We’d love to hear it – please add your comments below. And for more family-friendly dining ideas visit Fairy (link to Fairy BLP).  

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