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What’s for Dinner??

November 7, 2012

The ever dreaded question in our household – “what’s for dinner?”  There’s an ongoing debate in our house as to what’s for dinner, who’s cooking and who’s cleaning up.  My friend has a cute blog called “Family Dinner” with some fun stories about family dinner, craft projects/gifts, family values, Montessori teachings, etc.  Please check it out for some thoughtful and fun ideas!

I’m not a good cook at all.  I knew very minimal pre-baby and have learned a LOT in the kitchen since!  One of my biggest challenges is what to make from what I already have (for the most part).  Well thank goodness for the invention of the internet, where there’s endless recipes and ideas – all for FREE!  I started with a folder of different recipes I’ve tried with success or want to try but as my experience and creativity grew, so did my folder.  One day while I was visiting a friends’ house, she showed me what she does with all her recipe print outs, which is genius!  She puts each recipe in sheet protectors within a binder, so that way while she’s cooking that recipe she can just simply wipe off any unwanted gunk and then put the recipe back in the binder.  I did this and I LOVE it!  Nothing better than being able to customize my own recipe book with all my favorite recipes and ones I want to try!

We also recently got a family iPad so that’s been helpful in the kitchen too.  Awhile back I downloaded a bunch of free recipe books from Amazon.com onto my Kindle (there’s always free books to download, check it out!) but it doesn’t have a touch screen so navigation can be difficult and frustrating at times.  However, with the Kindle app on the iPad, I’m able to quickly access recipes I’ve bookmarked and have a stand which holds up the iPad as I’m cooking too!  It’s another perfect way to cook delicious dishes quickly and easily!

In terms of the actual process of dinner, our rule in the kitchen is the one who cooks doesn’t have to clean.  So for us it’s simple – I cook, hubby cleans and vice versa.  I find that sticking to easy recipes with fewer than 5 main ingredients works best.  I won’t give a recipe more than 5 seconds when browsing if the list of ingredients is more than half a page – just not worth it.  I also look for healthy substitutions whenever possible as well.  And if I can double the recipe for left overs, more power to it!

I think it’s just as difficult to be a stay at home mom dealing with nightly dinner duties as it is to be a working mom.  Preparation and meal planning is key to survival!  Find a little time to sit down together before each week begins and plan out meals, life will be a LOT easier!  Plus, it’s a great way to practice communicating with each other and exemplifying to your kids these important assets too.  🙂  Even getting the kids involved in the whole process when their of appropriate age is perfect too!  A family working with a budget will greatly benefit from meal planning, along with using coupons and sales at your local grocery store when possible!  There are some excellent blogs and websites which offer coupon and sale matching, which can save lots of time too!  (Check out my post about couponing.)  My favorite local blog is www.thecentsableshoppin.com, she’s amazing and always has the latest sales up with matching coupons.  Also, utilize your local farmers market for all the fresh ingredients for the week!  Nothing tastes better and is best for you than locally grown, delicious veggies, fruits and much more!

I hope these ideas are helpful.  I would love to hear some of your ways you keep dinner upbeat, fresh, and exciting!  🙂

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Novice Natural Mama permalink
    November 9, 2012 8:37 PM

    Love it! So helpful.

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