do you cook dinner most nights?

Discussion in 'The Toddler Years(1-3)' started by happychck, Mar 27, 2009.

  1. happychck

    happychck Well-Known Member

    dh and i are totally clueless when it comes to dinner. he usually gets home w/only an hour or two (if that) to spare before the boys go to bed, so we don't have a lot of time to cook. it's nearly impossible for me--at this stage--to cook w/just the boys around before he gets home. so, we end up falling back on what we ate before they were born, which is pasta if he is cooking, quesadillas if i am cooking, or take out from whole foods or a local restaurant. i am sick of this!

    also, the boys are now eating mostly table foods. i have to feed them something--yikes! dh and i are both very health conscious and want to feed our boys mostly fresh, tasty, natural and organic meals when we can. they are pretty good eaters at this point, so we want to provide them w/lots of good choices.... what's a mommy-of-twins to do?

    what do YOU do?

    thanks, jl
  2. summerfun

    summerfun Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Yes, I have always cooked dinner every night. With a family of 5, we can't afford not to. We do eat out about 2 times a month. I do remember that was a hard age to try and prepare meals. One thing that helped is we always make a menu for the week, and, at the age especailly, they were easy meals. Sometime we have simple things like grilled cheese and tomato soup (which is hit with all 3 kids BTW). We still make a menu every week for our meals. You should visit the Cooking Forum.. There is a weekly menu thread the everyone posts their menus for the week on, and sometimes links to the recipes are given as well, and you can find thread for easy recipes there. :)
  3. Beth*J

    Beth*J Well-Known Member

    This week I didn't do a good job with meal preparation because I was super busy at work, but I think I do o.k. most of the time. I try to cook heavy on the weekends and either put extras in the freezer for a quick meal another time or plan to eat leftovers early in the week. The steam-in-the-bag veggies are my friends. They make really quick side dishes. Most of the time, my girls eat leftovers from supper the night before because they can't wait to eat until I'm done cooking for DH and I. This coming week, this is what I have planned:

    Sunday - roast beef, potatoes, carrots in the crockpot
    Monday - Spaghetti (sauce is premade and frozen in the freezer), some sort of veggie, bread
    Tuesday - leftover roast beef for the rest of the family since I will be directing a concert at school
    Wednesday - baked chicken, veggies (breading for chicken will be made on Sun.)
    Thursday - grilled talapia, veggies, potato (I have baggies of the cracker crumb coating I use for the fish that I made ahead of time)
    Friday - pizza (purchased crust, sauce from a jar, Hormel Canadian bacon)

    It helps me a lot to plan a week in advance so I have everything I need on hand. You should check out the Cooking Forum. Those ladies are amazing with their menu preparation. I can't even compare to what they do.
  4. ahmerl

    ahmerl Well-Known Member

    DH and I used to eat after the kids went to bed. Starting Daylight savings time I decided we would all eat together. Therefore, I now cook all dinners. I do it during their nap and sometimes they help me after they wake up from their nap.

    Lately we have had -
    turkey meatloaf.
    chicken pot pie
    chicken casserole
    oven baked chicken tenders....

    I basically cook out of the Cooking Light magazines and cookbooks. I always use fresh ingrediants and all of their recipes are doable and healthy.
  5. Trishandthegirls

    Trishandthegirls Well-Known Member

    Well, I technically cook every night but sometimes it's more like combining a bunch of boxed, frozen and canned stuff. We do eat mostly natural or organic foods and lots of vegetables and fruits, so I don't feel too bad. Just about a month ago I started making a meal plan for all of the girls meals so I could help our nanny figure out what to give them for breakfast and lunch (she was relying a little too heavily on Joes Os and Annies mac and cheese). The menu has actually helped me too because now I have a plan for what to buy at the grocery store on Sundays, and each night when I get home I know what I'm cooking rather than floating around the kitchen wondering what would go together. This week's menu was:

    Sunday: grilled fish with baked potatoes and green beans. The girls ate it all plus some apple slices.
    Monday: spaghetti with roasted vegetables
    Tuesday: quiche (store bought; I was tired) with frozen veggies and fruit
    Wednesday: DH and I went out so the girls had leftovers and organic deli turkey
    Thursday: home made pizza (fresh dough, TJ's sauce, mozz cheese, parm cheese, kalamata olives, roasted peppers), salad and frozen blueberries. The girls ate everything except the salad.
    Friday: tacos. This is a family favorite - the girls like to stir the meat and help me put in seasonings. We also make fresh pico de gallo (well, I make it while they sit in their highchairs and direct).
    Saturday: Lentils in a curry sauce and white rice. This one is super easy - open the package of lentils and heat, cook up some rice, throw in some fresh veggies and voila!

    I probably spend 20 minutes a night on dinner (on average). On the weekend I'll spend a bit more because DH is home and can entertain the girls. Or he cooks while I entertain.
  6. AimeeThomp

    AimeeThomp Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I can not cook b/c the girls either climb on my legs or scream at the baby gate the entire time I'm in the kitchen.
  7. Fran27

    Fran27 Well-Known Member

    Cooking? What is that????

    We cook when the kids are in bed. Meaning, dh cooks when the kids are in bed, and when he doesn't feel like it, we have pasta or hotdogs or something... which is, oh, 5 nights out of 7. And needless to say, if we eat before 9pm it's a miracle. We never eat out though. Every other week I just grab sushi at the grocery store for dinner, but that's it. So the rest of the time, we mostly eat junk, lol.

    I told dh a month ago that if he cleans up the crockpot he claims we have in the basement and he gets me a book of EASY things to cook in there (meaning 'drop this and that in the crockpot and turn the heat on' recipes), I will cook dinner. Of course, we're talking about dh so it probably won't happen for a long time.
  8. karingillin

    karingillin Active Member

    DH and I take turns cooking, but he loves to cook and thank goodness for me, he does most of the cooking. On nights we both work DH usually has prepared enchiladas or something over the weekend that we freeze and pop in the oven. We typically eat after the babies are in bed b/c I have a hard time getting anything done while they're awake eating or trying to cook -especially lately. We're attempting to eat all together though at least 2-3 nights a week . . . . . sometimes it happens. =)
  9. Leighann

    Leighann Well-Known Member

    I cook a couple times a week and make more than I need to freeze. That way they have a nice healthy meal every night, but I may have just reheated it in the microwave. Oh and the crockpot is my best friend ;)
  10. Becca34

    Becca34 Well-Known Member

    There is a cookbook called Six O'Clock Scramble that I love, love, love. It's easy, relatively healthy stuff that's not your typical fare. Very family friendly.

    I don't cook as often as I'd like, but if the week is running smoothly, I cook probably four times a week. On Wednesday nights, we go to family night buffet at our club, and on Mondays, I pick up Chipotle on the way home from Kevan's therapy appt. (That's really not too bad for fast food -- we get the bowls with rice, two kinds of beans, meat, cheese, peppers and onions.)

    I cook a lot of simple stuff -- spaghetti, meatloaf, pan-fried fish, frittatas, grilled chicken that's been marinated, etc. I also rely waaaay too much on frozen convenience foods, but I LOVE Trader Joe's for this reason! Everything is relatively healthy, if not organic. Whole Foods is great, too, but so expensive. And my kids eat an awful lot of Amy's products for lunch -- California burgers, pizza pockets, etc.
  11. xavier2001

    xavier2001 Well-Known Member

    I work 2 second shifts a week but the nights I am home I usually cook. I try to cook big portions too so there are leftovers for the nights I work. We do alot of spagetti, chili, roasts, chicken, mexican things of that nature. In the summer we grill alot. My biggest timesaving tip is to make double batches of things and freeze the leftovers in little 8 ounce containers. Then on the nights I work or am too busy to cook I can just pop them out of the freezer and have a 'homemade' frozen dinner for the kids at least. We usually go out to eat once or twice (if we are bad) on the weekends. It does get monotonous cookng all the time but we don't have the funds to eat out every night or buy alot of prepackaged stuff.
  12. xavier2001

    xavier2001 Well-Known Member

    QUOTE(aimeethomp @ Mar 27 2009, 03:41 PM) [snapback]1247471[/snapback]
    I can not cook b/c the girls either climb on my legs or scream at the baby gate the entire time I'm in the kitchen.

    I just let them in the kitchen wtih me. I give them a pot or tupperware and spoon and they cook along wtih me. They know the word 'HOT' very well though and are very good about staying away from the oven (after lots of reinforcing).
  13. oh-baby-baby

    oh-baby-baby Well-Known Member

    Crockpot is my friend too! But I had checked out the cooking forum and said that I was going to be a regular visitor there...good luck!
  14. Dianna

    Dianna Well-Known Member

    We have a cooked dinner I would say 6 out of 7 days, but I cook maybe twice a week, my husband cooks the rest of the nights.

  15. Tivanni

    Tivanni Well-Known Member

    I have always cooked most meals however it will get much easier as your children get older. Due to my husband's schedule we usually eat after the girls do especially when they were younger and ate earlier. I used to give them what we had the evening before. In fact I used to start cooking our meal after we put the girls down.

    Now it's much easier but what I have always done that helped when I just couldn't get a meal cooked in time or we had something I didn't think the girls should have (too spicy, etc) was to have a few easy meals in small portions froze. So all I needed to do was reheat the frozen portions and cook pasta or rice and some veggies to go with it.

    Some of my back up frozen meals are:
    Chicken (paprika, baked, honey, herbed...almost any recipe)
    Home made Chili (not spicy)
    Home Made Sloppy Joe

    I used to bake a whole chicken almost every week. With the leftovers I could make sandwiches or put small pieces on lettuce for a salad. It's like a 3 for 1 meal. :)

    Another helpful thing was having a small convection oven (Little bigger than a toaster oven). It cooks a little faster! Also easy to put small portions in to bake.
  16. Poohbear05

    Poohbear05 Well-Known Member

    Try prepping the night before. A lot of times I'll cook the whole meal the night before, stick it in the fridge, then just nuke it the next day. We both work full time, and the twins get hungry as soon as they get home from daycare, but then their little bro wants dinner too (EBF) so I usually have to take the baby while DH takes care of the twins (26 months)

    When I do cook, I try to make double, so that way I can freeze some of it for nights that I'm just exhausted and don't want to cook or prep for the next day. Everyone still gets homemade, nutritious meals in a timely manner (read: less than 5 minutes! LOL)

    Steamfresh frozen veggies are my best friend. Pop them in the microwave for 5 minutes and voila. I'm really big on serving one meat item, one starch and one/two veggies and/or fruits.

    Crockpot meals are great too. Throw them in, let it simmer all day, it's done when you need it. You can do that while the kids nap. I look for dishes that are all inclusive, in other words, all my above requirements are met in one dish instead of having to prepare/make 3 seperate dishes.

    I also made a 'month of meals' so to speak. Created a calendar and put a meal for every day, with lunch also on the weekends. That way I don't have to figure out what to have for dinner, and DH isn't asking me the dreaded "what's for dinner' question that I HATE. Everyone knows.

    Here's a few quick, simple meals that usually take me less than 15 minutes to put together and I either simmer on the stove or in the crockpot, depending....

    Chicken dumplings (crock pot)
    Beef Stew
    Pot Roast
    Chicken Noodle Soup (crock pot)
    Sloppy joes (I add chopped carrots and fresh roma tomatoes to mine)
    Sweet & Sour Pork
    Chicken/beef stir-fry
    Lasagna (I can't make this, my kids are lactose intollerant, but it's a great, easy dish)
    Cheesy chicken casserole (Campbels has the recipe)
    Pork chops (easy to prep, just takes time to cook)
    Ribs (crock pot, SUPER simple to prep,8 hours later melts in your mouth)

    All of these dishes (save the lasagna) my kids devour, and have since they were about 15 months. We do serve Chicken fingers, fish sticks and spahgetti-O's every once in a while in a pinch, but I try not to. Fish sticks is in my regular rotation, but that's the only fish they get, so I don't feel so bad.....
  17. Oneplus2more

    Oneplus2more Well-Known Member

    I cook most nights but it is way easier now than a year ago. I just recently started doing a weekly menu - I can't say what a difference it made! makes me wonder how I ever managed before :D
  18. Queen of Carrots

    Queen of Carrots Well-Known Member

    I cook every night--or sometime during the day. I rely very heavily on things I can fix during naptime. Something in the crockpot in the winter, main-dish salads in the summer. I have one two-week rotation of menus for each season and just follow that--not a lot of variety, but more than if I had to think of something every night.
  19. pgmummy

    pgmummy Well-Known Member

    DH works nights and I have a long (1hr is long for my neck of the woods) commute with the kids. The kids are starving the second we get home so it's best to have something prepared. 1-2 days a week DH makes something and leaves it for us. On the other nights I scramble to make something quickly. Every week I tell myself that I will make a meal plan and that things will improve - but I never seem to follow through on the committment.

    Tonight the boys had baked beans from a can and applesauce for dessert (homemade and frozen). I had macaroni with a can of tuna. Not very well balanced for any of us, but quick and filling.
  20. PetiteFleur

    PetiteFleur Well-Known Member

    QUOTE(Becca34 @ Mar 27 2009, 06:55 PM) [snapback]1247670[/snapback]
    There is a cookbook called Six O'Clock Scramble that I love, love, love. It's easy, relatively healthy stuff that's not your typical fare. Very family friendly.

    They also have an online newsletter/weekly menu you can subscribe to for a small fee. There are also lots of free menu planning websites.

    I do cook 6 of 7 nights and I work 4 days/week. I get home at 4:30, take the kids for a walk or play for 1/2 hr, then start dinner. It usually takes only a 1/2 hr to prepare. DD is great at playing by herself, but DS is attached at the hip and likes to "help" me in the kitchen. Sometimes, I give him some wooden spoons and tupperware to play with or even some dried beans to scoop in and out (yeah, it's messy, but an easy cleanup).

    I also menu plan and it makes not only cooking but grocery shopping much easier. I may plan crock pot recipes (white chicken chili, salsa chicken, etc) on the nights I'm working or something easy (turkey tacos, spaghetti, etc.) I make some things on the weekend (meatballs from the Biggest Loser cookbook are yummy!, or soup, spaghetti sauce, etc.)

    Worst case scenario, I let them watch Dora or Diego for 20 minutes while I cook. Good luck!
  21. Username

    Username Well-Known Member

    I try to prep all of dinner stuff in the morning or when someone is napping. Then dinner is more like assembling rather than cooking. My girls are 21 months and I'll strap them into high chairs and give them each a carrot or zucchini and a steak knife and let them "chop" while I am working at the counter. I know some people wouldn't give kids that age knives but I have with all my kids. (But make sure the aren't close to one another!)

    I also make a loaf of bread every day for oldest who is a picky eater. Artisan Bread in Five minutes a day really made that a lot easier. I would check that out because even if you are just serving a salad with scrambled eggs or something the fresh hot bread makes it seem more like a real meal, kwim?
  22. meganguttman

    meganguttman Well-Known Member

    I cook almost every night too. I start around 4, make DH his lunch (2 meat sandwiches/pb&j/bagel/hard boiled eggs) then start dinner and make salads. I can usually get everything done by 5 when the boys eat. They tend to eat leftovers from the night before as our dinner will sometimes be ready at 5:15 and they can't wait. I found a great chicken marinade at Walmart that we have at least once a week (I like the Chipotle Citrus and Lemon Herb). We also have spaghetti (aka ground beef added to jar sauce), salsa meatloaf, tacos, ham & turkey (for lunch meat and a few meals). I'm getting really bored with out meals, but they fit into our schedule. If I pick up fresh fish, DH has to cook it as I don't do well cooking fish.
  23. mmbadger

    mmbadger Well-Known Member

    I probably cook 4 nights out of 7, then we either eat leftovers or something really easy (grilled cheese) on the days I don't.

    The babies get hungry before DH gets home, so I feed them the leftovers from the night before. It works incredibly well this way.

    I do a LOT of skillet-prepared meals. Lasagna, fajitas, tacos, chili mac. We also do main dish salads frequently and I prepare turkey meatloaf at least a couple of times per month. I also pick up a roasted chicken from Costco once a month; we eat it as the main dish the first night, then I use the remaining chicken to make pot pies. Yum!

    The thing that helped me get into the swing of cooking again was honestly just making time to go grocery shopping. If I go once per week and pick up a few perishables (ground turkey, chicken breasts...) that I know need to be used up quickly, I'm much more likely to cook.
  24. akameme

    akameme Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    my dh cooks because I get home just in time for family dinner, but we have had good luck with ground turkey as a staple. It's not the most varied menu, mostly because I don't eat a lot of different stuff.

    Also, costco has Amy's lasgna which is good and healthy, we also get some of the frozen foods from Whole Foods or TJs.
  25. Buttercup1

    Buttercup1 Well-Known Member

    I do not cook dinner. I work full time, I get home at 5:30 and play with the girls until bed time at 7:00. Honestly my brain is fried and I can't even think of what to have for dinner. My dh gets home around 6:30-7:00 and starts dinner, usually something really quick and simple like burgers or pasta. Or he picks up a pizza or rotisserie chicken from Costco. Even before the twins were born I didn't cook mainly because I got tired of my dh criticizing my cooking, so I told him he could do it from then on. He used to prepare nice dinners but since the twins were born we don't eat very healthy, like processed foods. I would like to start having better meals especially when we start doing family dinners.
  26. happychck

    happychck Well-Known Member

    omg, you're all amazing! i've gotten GREAT ideas and inspriration! i already told dh we have to come up w/at least a weekly plan. we are working on that now. then we can go from there....

    i really appreciate al the input and suggestions. you're all awesome!

    thanks, jl
  27. Melissatwins84

    Melissatwins84 Well-Known Member

    I cook probably 4-5 nights a week. Every other night we have leftovers from the night before. I LOVE Kraft food magazine (it's free if you don't already get it, just go to their website and subscribe), and I LOVE Most of everything I cook I will give to our kids. We are not an organic family, however I don't want my children eating at like Mcdonalds. Some of the recipes I make aren't the healthiest, but they are healthier than pre packaged things and fast food restaurants.

    Most of the time I will cook when DH gets home, which is usually 2 -3 hours before the babies go to bed. So I have plenty of time to prepare a 30-40 min meal. Sometimes they will sit in their highchairs and watch me. Other times I put them in their play room.
  28. 3greysandamutt

    3greysandamutt Well-Known Member

    I have been spoiled throughout most of my marriage - my DH likes to cook, so he and I always split the cooking. He would get home at 5:30, and often enjoyed cooking dinner as a way to unwind after a long day. Plus, we relied on lots of quickie foods and convenience foods. We ate tons of Mexican (burritos, tacos, enchiladas, with sides of homemade guacamole, refried beans, or rice) or anything Italian. We also got takeout (usually pizza or Chinese) several times a month.

    But, we have had a couple of things change for us recenlty, and I am now learning to be a scratch cook, and to do all of the weekday cooking. Our twins are much more regimented about their schedule than our singleton ever was. If they don't eat dinner before 6, then the entire bath/bedtime routine is thrown off-kilter, they usually have major meltdowns, they sleep horribly at night, etc. So, since my DH doesn't get home until at least 5:30, I have to have the family meal ready by the time he gets home... so he can't help prepare the meal anymore, and I can't wait for him to get home to watch the kids while I cook. I just have to do it, whether they fuss or not. They have gotten used to it. Usually I give them a snack around 4 in their highchairs, and start prepping for dinner or cleaning up the kitchen. Then I play with them for a little while, before I leave them to play in the babyproofed TV room while I start cooking. I have tried having them in the kitchen with me while I cook, but they end up making a giant mess and getting underfoot. Better for everyone if they stay out for now!

    We cannot rely on restaurants or even most grocery store convenience foods because one of our twins has serious dairy and soy allergies. So, we can still have Chinese, Mexican, and Italian, but only modified versions that we have cooked at home (and trust me, cheddar-less tacos, parmesan-less spaghetti, soysauce-less stirfry, and naked pizza just are NOT the same, lol!). We can't pick up takeout from restaurants anymore because of the risk of allergen crosss-contamination. This has been a learning experience! I often try to think of our meals by food groups - we need a meat/protein, a starch/carbohydrate, and a fruit/veggie for every dinner (plus a calcium, which we get through fortified rice milk or orange juice)... anything else is just extra. I try to make things that include 2 or more food groups in one dish - like pot roast with carrots, onions, and potatoes cooked with it. Now that is an easy dinner - but you have to think ahead and plan to be home for most of that afternoon (if you make it in the oven). Often, I will just do a meat in the oven - pork tenderloin, tilapia, baked chicken, etc... serve that with some steamed fresh veggies, and some kind of rice, noodle, or potato on the side. I'm looking forward to the arrival of 'grilling weather,' just slap some meat on the grill and serve with a pasta salad with veggies!

    Thanks for asking this question, and thanks to all the responders for some great meal ideas!
  29. eatcelery

    eatcelery Well-Known Member

    Buy yourself a crockpot. I do cook every day! I set up the crockpot with something in the morning and by dinnertime it is all ready! I can tell you how to make hearty soup in there easily or a bunch of other things. My crockpot is 6 quarts so if you have to buy one get one that can hold a lot. Last night I made chicken stew for ourselves and I scooped out the meat, potatoes, and veggies for the twins. With the crockpot everything is all ready..meat and veggies. Then I usually just have to bake up dinner rolls, cook pasta, or make rice!
  30. eatcelery

    eatcelery Well-Known Member

    Oh yeah I saw what pp posted. We get the rotisserie chicken from BJ's. That is good for 2 nights of white meat and I take the dark meat and make chicken salad sandwiches out of that. It tastes soooo delicious!

    Also go to Trader Joes. THey have stir fries with the meat already in it for inexpensive. They sell in the refrigerator section chicken parm or other dishes already made for $6.50 each around here and they have a longish expiration date so you can keep it in the fridge to pop in the microwave whenever you need it. I buy the babies a lot of food there. We all like their frozen eggplant cutlets. Put foil over pan in the toaster oven and spray with cooking spray. Lay down the eggplant cutlets and either cook plain or add sauce and cheese for parmigan! My kids LOVE their soy balls, cereal bars, waffles, Dr Praeger's veggie patties, frozen mangos too.
  31. Username

    Username Well-Known Member

    QUOTE(eatcelery @ Mar 30 2009, 03:49 PM) [snapback]1250814[/snapback]
    Buy yourself a crockpot. I do cook every day! I set up the crockpot with something in the morning and by dinnertime it is all ready! I can tell you how to make hearty soup in there easily or a bunch of other things. My crockpot is 6 quarts so if you have to buy one get one that can hold a lot. Last night I made chicken stew for ourselves and I scooped out the meat, potatoes, and veggies for the twins. With the crockpot everything is all ready..meat and veggies. Then I usually just have to bake up dinner rolls, cook pasta, or make rice!

    Can you share some recipes? I bought a crockpot, all excited to get dinner ready at 10am. Every recipe has been a disaster. We don't eat much red meat but basically because I don't know how to cook or buy it. We eat chicken and I buy ground turkey. We don't eat any pig products and my kids won't eat white potatoes. We are big bean fans. So if you have any you'd be willing to share I might attempt another time. Thanks!
  32. eatcelery

    eatcelery Well-Known Member

    You know what.. I'm going to make a separate thread for it because I would love everyone's recipes. I'll start one in 2 minutes.
  33. stefwebb

    stefwebb Well-Known Member

    We decided about 2 months ago to start eating at home to help both with our health and our budget. On Friday night we write down the meals for the week and we go to the grocery store each Saturday morning. We both work so we are still doing a lot of convenience foods and fast dinners but it's still better than McDonalds.

    We have a list of about 25 fast things that we both know how to cook. DH is doing the cooking now while I feed the boys dinner. We rotate through that list. On the weekends we will do a more involved meal that requires prep and we do that during nap time. Even our hard stuff is easy though - neither one of us aspire to be a chef. We just don't want to be hungry :)

    Our hard list - Mam maw's spaghetti (make 2 batches, freezes for 4 more meals), beef stroganoff, chili, fajitas, breakfast, etc.
    Our easy list - taco salad, enchiladas, stuffed chicken breasts, hamburger patties, fish, chicken breast, chicken tenders, butterfly pork chops, frozen lasagna, black bean nachos, red beans and rice, etc.

    We pair the entrees from the list (those are just the ones I can remember from work) with a starch and a canned veggie. We do lots of 90 second rice, pasta roni, and frozen potatoes.

    I will say that the weekly plan has made a world of difference in us eating dinner, our disappearing money and the daily frustration about what to have or who's going to go get it!
  34. Dianna

    Dianna Well-Known Member

    5 dollar Dinners
    A Year of CrockPotting
    Aprons, Simple Meals

    Figured I would share these. These are the 3 sites I like the most.
    If anyone has a Publix grocery store, see if they do Apron's there. Not all do. I wish we had Publix here, but that is another story. They make the meals right in the store, really easy, really quick. My mom sends me all the recipe cards which you can get at the store or use the site.

  35. drumaj

    drumaj Member

    I try to make at least 4 'real meals' a week. It doesn't always happen though. I have also started trying to make weekly menus. It makes shopping a little easier that way too. I could (and have) lived with making a few boxes of pasta a week with a jar of sauce. But I think DH was going to kill me if I made it again, so I've tried to cut back on our easy box of macaroni and a jar of sauce. Even my 'real meals' are pretty simple. I try to find a lot of crock pot recipes. That way I can put everything together when the kids are napping - or at least not trying to kill each other. Then I don't have to worry about it for a few hours and dinner is done (and if you can find the slow cooker liners they sell in the store it makes for quick easy clean up too). If it is something that needs more involved preparation then I try to do it in phases. If the boys are calm then I will go and cut up my onion, or whatever else, as early as noon. Then a little while later I'll do a little more. That way I'm not just in the kitchen for a long time and when it is time for dinner everything is ready and you just have to do the quick cooking. The rest of the week I will do the box of macaroni, or grilled cheese, or frozen chicken nuggets, etc. I don't know if you went back to work yet or not. I haven't so at least I'm home and can do stuff during the day. My DH has the same type of schedule. If he comes right home from work it's usually about 7 already. So we want to spend the time with the kids before bed. I've also heard that some people will make a few different meals over the weekend and freeze them. That way during the week you can just cook/reheat things for a quicker alternative. Good question though. It's nice to see what other people do too!
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