06 Feb Lifestyle:: Dinner Time
Joey (my husband) and I and the girls, TRY every night to make it a point to sit at the table together for dinner as a family. Its something I did as a child growing up and something that I still remember doing to this day.
I think there is just much more to it than just eating together. The values you are showing your kids are something they will cherish for years to come!
Its a time for us to all be together, unplugged and truly just….. be together.
I do feel so blessed that this is something we can do as a family as often as we do. I know not every one gets to do this with work, schedules and traveling, but when you have the moments, take them!
Even when you may not be right on time for your nightly routine with the kids and you are just trying to get everyone fed and off to bed, take the moment! These moments will go by faster than you think!
The Stress of dinner planning….
Dinner time may seem stressful, but don’t make it stressful! It does not have to be the “Food Network” in your kitchen (as my husband calls it, though I like it to be lol) just make something easy! The point is to just sit at the table together.
I will admit, it has taken me sometime to get this dinner thing down for every night, but I have managed…. and you can too!
Yes, you may have the same thing at least once a week, but thats OK! its your one easy thing to make to get you through to the next meal!
Before kids, I would look at dinner planning as one of the most stressful things…. I would call Joey at work every day and ask him what he wanted for dinner and we would go through the whole… “I don’t know, what do you want for dinner…. I don’t care, whatever you want”… ugh! Was so frustrating! (Now I just don’t even give him options) Over time I have figured out the things that I know he likes and I cook that!
I have pretty much narrowed down my food shopping for the entire week, in one trip (because honestly who’s got time to go more than once) I also feel like a trip to the grocery store ALONE is like a mini vacation so I take Alllll the time I need to plan for the weeks dinners in that one trip!
So here’s some advice I can give you for dinner for the week!
Plan… Plan out at least 4 meals you can cook for dinner (just 4 because there is always that occasion when you are way too tired to cook and you order in) Just start with 4!
Here are my 4 go-to meals I usually plan: (For example)
Monday– Chicken Ginger soup, usually like to start the week off with something light. And Honestly this soup is the easiest thing to make! Link
Tuesday– Grilled chicken breast and a salad (veggies for the kids, like broccoli or mixed vegetables, I buy these in the frozen section and then just boil them and season with salt & pepper and parmesan cheese)
- Another helpful tip:: The freezer is your life safer! BUY THINGS TO FREEZE!
Wednesday– Usually some type of pasta… (Veggie pasta or a red sauce pasta) GET MY SWEET PEPPER RED SAUCE RECIPE BELOW! (already helping you knock out one day)
Thursday– I leave room for creativity, lol This is when I will usually flip through a cookbook or look on instagram for some idea. (Or I look in my friendly freezer for chicken and maybe some veggies and whip something up!)
The point in all of this is PLAN. Plan out for 4 meals. I may not cook these things on these exact days but at least I have 4 things I COULD cook.
Sunday night, sit in bed write out the 4 things you could cook for the week and then make your list of ingredients.
And Of Course… You know you can search MY RECIPES to get some ideas as well! 😉
Here’s a head start! My Sweet Pepper Red Sauce Over Pasta (recipe below)
What You’ll Need:
1 large sweet onion
4 garlic cloves
mini sweet peppers (or bell peppers)
1 box/can chopped tomatoes
1 box/can tomato sauce
1tbsp tomato Paste
1 container cherry tomatoes
Garlic powder, Oregano, red pepper flakes, salt & pepper to taste
Saute, onions, garlic, peppers, seasonings and 1tbsp olive oil. Once everything is cooked down, Add in tomatoes. Cover and cook on medium heat for 15-20 mins. stirring between time. Take about half of the sauce and add to a mixer and blend, then add back into pot. Add about 1tbsp tomato paste. Let cook uncovered for about another 5-10 mins. Pour over pasta and Enjoy!
Cheers to meal planning and hoping to help take the stress out of dinner!!
(photography by ERICA ROURKE PHOTOGRAPHY)