lifestyle

What’s for Dinner?

Do you dread the phrase “What’s for dinner?” I used to but now I actually look forward to planning out my dinner meals each week. Back when I was teaching violin lessons up until dinner time and had no time to do prep work since the kids were all coming home from school, I would make freezer meals with my friends. We would have 6-8 recipes and double each one so we would all come away with 12-16 freezer meals. Cooking with your friends is SO much more fun than cooking alone, so I totally recommend cooking freezer meals with your friends! One time I had 3 different meatball recipes to make and my friend was stuck rolling out meatballs all day. I think in total she made 200 meatballs that day! Sorry Amanda!

I don’t do freezer meals anymore because I am home with my baby during the day and have more time to cook. My plan is this:

  1. I look up recipes from my favorite cooking websites on Thursday or Friday for the following week.
  2.  Write down all of the ingredients I will need from the store because I only like to go to the grocery store once a week.
  3. Write down each meal on a wipeable meal chart {Monday-Sunday}. I typically don’t like to cook a big dinner on Friday and Saturday nights because we are usually out and about, but I make sure that I have a meal planned on school nights and Sunday.
  4. Plan for easy meals on busy days and more time consuming meals on easy days. Lately, I have channeled my inner Martha Stewart and tried a lot of recipes that would have intimidated me in the past. I love cooking things that stretch me and in return, I feel like I have become a better cook.
  5. Do the prep work for most of the meal before the crazy part of your day happens. For me, I know that everything I need to do should be done before 2:50, when the littles get home from school. At 5:30 is when I start the last part of the dinner prep so that when the hubby gets home, everything is all ready for dinner so we can get going with our evening kid activities. From 2:50-5:30 I am slammed with kids homework, violin practicing and sports practices.

With this new way of organizing dinner, I have found that it has helped me be more successful with dinner time. The kids have complained a bit lately about eating new foods, especially since my new favorite food website are mostly all healthy ones! I try so hard to cook healthy dinners so that my family are not eating heavy, high fat food.

Here is a list of my Top 3 favorite go-to cooking websites.

  1. Skinny Taste http://www.skinnytaste.com
  2. Our Best Bites http://www.ourbestbites.com
  3. Hip Foodie Mom http://www.hipfoodiemom.com

Make a plan, be prepared and organized and you will have a successful dinner time with your family! Dinner time in my opinion is the most important part of the day for our family. We are all together, eating and talking. We go around the table and everyone says 1 good part of their day and 1 bad part of their day. Everyone helps with dishes afterwards and we are off on the next activity for the night!

Bon Apetit!

Andrea

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