Since I also work outside the home, some of those meals are difficult to attain unless it is on the weekend. What I rely on heavily is the use of my slow cooker. I can capture the slow cooked taste and not come home from a long hard day at work and cook for hours. Last nights dinner was both... a cold weather meal utilizing my slow cooker.
Slow Cooker Ham & White Beans
1 lb package dried northern beans
ham bone, hocks, shanks or diced ham (about 1 pound)
2 tsp onion powder
6 cups water
salt & pepper to taste
Rinse and sort the beans. Add the the rinsed beans, onion powder, salt, pepper, and ham to slow cooker. Add water. Cover and cook on low about 8 hours, until beans are tender. Serve with cornbread. I swear by Jiffy :)