Tuesday, September 27, 2011

my cooking issues..

Usually for many of us, there is a certain time of the day that we just dread.
It could be waking up in the  morning,
going to the gym
or the 3pm slump.
For me, 5pm is about the worst time of the day...pretty much every day.
5pm is dinner time around here and that means that the little people
in this house start asking for dinner..and they look to me for answers.
And I'm the only one to make it for them.

If you know me, you know that I am not a good cook.
I don't enjoy cooking but have to do it because my kids
 expect it.. and I want them to have a good healthy meal
at home, around our dinner table.

Oh, but the stress of it all!

You'd think it would be so simple:
1) create a menu for the week,
2) go to grocery store
3) start cooking at 5pm for dinner at 6pm.

But it just doesn't work out that way for me.

How is one expected to follow a recipe and break up an argument about Lego's at the same time?
By the time I break it up and get back to the kitchen I've already
forgotten where I was with the recipe!

You see, I don't have a problem planning meals.. it's the execution of them that I usually fail at.
I think I've placed too many restrictions on myself:
 the kitchen must be clean {or semi clean}
meal must be done in 30min or less
no fast food
no fish {very little beef and pork}
no fried foods
and the house needs to be absolutely quiet so that I can focus and not burn myself.

I know, right? I've set myself up for failure.

But my friends, I think I've figured out a good strategy {who knew making dinner would require a strategy?}
I've got 3 little words for you.. meal planning buddy.
Get yourself one of 'em.. a sister, a friend, a neighbor, anyone.. so long as you can
work together and encourage each other.
I got me one and I luurrrvveee her! {my wonderful & beautiful sister}

On my weekend, I plan our meal for the week,
write it down {including items needed for that dinner meal} and send it to her via email.
If the menu calls for a specific recipe I send her the recipe as well.
And then we make the planned meals.
I make it in my blue kitchen,
she makes it in her kitchen.
She checks in with me throughout the week to make sure I'm feeding my kids and I check in with her
to make sure she's using my meal ideas.

The following weekend she creates the meals for the next week and we begin again.
You see..we take turns. Which means I don't have to come up with the meals myself
and we get to enjoy something different.
It's genius I tell you!

I'd offer my sister as your meal planning buddy but I think I've got her royally stressed
out right now trying to keep up with my dinner issues.

Here's a link to a free download for the type of meal planner that we use:
Meal Planner Download from The Project Girl.
{download the 2nd meal planner}

Going to add this to next weeks menu:

{Southwest chicken wraps - looks DEELISH!}

And maybe now dinner will be a pleasant experience around here.
{Amen to that}

Do you use a meal planner or do you just wing it at dinner time?
And if you are the type of person that can create an awesome dinner
with very little thought and effort -
give yourself some well deserved imaginary extra credit points - for you, are extra cool in my book  :)

Linking up with Jami at:



katie said...

I am in the same boat as you. I feel like I need at least one hour to cook and with zero distractions. Um, that's just not going to happen in this crazy house! My goal is start meal planning instead of just winging it.

Heather @ we.are.the.holdens said...

i love this idea! I get stuck in the same ole' rut of making the same ole' things. So i like the variety of this..:)

Kristy said...

I totally feel the same way about cooking!! I ALWAYS have a 2 year old pulling at my leg or getting into EVERYTHING while I'm trying to make dinner..lol!

erin said...

another idea... maybe start a meal swap with this friend. i started one with 3 of my girlfriends last year...and it is the bomb. truly. it's transformed dinner, clean-up, meal planning, grocery shopping, food budgets. it's so great...and after a year of doing it...i'm not sure i'd ever go back...or if i could ever go back. happy to share more on how it works if you are ever interested :)

Mrs. Di said...

I try to do all my cooking for the week on one day (usually sunday, if we are not off doing anything). I put together a few meals and cook ingredients to leave separate so I can throw different things together during the week! I never follow a recipe but we have basic staples like cooked brown rice or pasta and chicken or turkey and frozen veggies that we store in separate containers and they always go together nicely!! I'm no gourmet chef but everyone eats!! As you can tell, we are not starving over here ;))

Heather said...

I am 100% the same way! I don't enjoy making dinner. I wish I did. I hate fish, too! I need a menu-planning buddy! Flor, come over! xo

Mrs. Pancakes said...

i probably could benefit from a meal planner...i do the majority of my cooking on the weekends..but a meal planner would be helpful because i am sure hubby doesn't want to microwave all the time! thanks for the idea though!

sarah@totalbassetcase.com said...

I have been planning our meals out on Sunday nights for about a year now and it is SO nice. It's relaxing to not have to stress over whats for dinner. My next goal is to get some freezer cooking done and stock up on stuff!

heartland farmhouse said...

And to think I totally messed up your name! Sorry Flor! :)