Since we’re two days away from the New Year, Jen P and I decided we would share our New Years Resolutions for 2008. She will be tomorrow. Both of ours have to do with food, but they are very different. My resolution is to feed my husband in 2008.
I have to say, so many really sweet friends have said to me “You must be super-woman! Doing the website, full time job, kids, etc!” Well, you caught me, I am a fraud, I don’t cook! Actually, I am not a bad cook, I just don’t really do it. I make a mean lasagna, I can make tacos and chicken and casseroles. But I just do not have the time. You know how it is… I arrive home from work/daycare at 5:45 (at best) and I have less than 2 hours to play with my daughter, feed her, bathe her, brush teeth, get jammies, read… phew! So about 8pm I am finally able to have a moment to breathe. Cooking is the last thing on my mind. Plus, my husband has a side job that takes many evenings so he is not always home right at 6. I usually make him soup or a “delicious” frozen meal. The other thing that my good friends know about me is… I do not like vegetables (the shock! the horror!). I like salads and carrots and corn but that’s about it. So this does not help.
So wrap that all together and we have the “perfect storm” going:
1. No time to cook (this is #1 reason)
2. Little desire to cook
3. No talent in cooking
3. I am a fairly picky eater (don’t love veggies, don’t like seafood)
My poor husband loves food. If you cook for him he will love you forever and may even start strategically showing up at your house at meal time. You need to understand that my husband was born in Ukraine (moved her when he was 6), so I have a Ukranian mother-in-law whose greatest joy is feeding people. Her entire day revolves around food; cooking food, thinking about cooking food, shopping for food, thinking about how her sons are not eating enough, thinking about how her sons need to eat better, thinking about how her granddaughter is eating fruit from a jar, thinking about what she will cook tomorrow. So you can imagine my husband gets fed well there. How can I compete with that?
So, we had a talk and I have vowed to do better. I feel like I need to join a support group, like “Cereal For Dinner Anonymous”. I have asked many friends for their help – and as with any support group – I decided I needed a 12-step plan. (Plus, my job is all about planning so I do well here.) Here is my plan. I am sure everyone is going to be like “duh”, but for me this does not come naturally, so please don’t judge. 🙂
1. Ask my husband to help me come up with 25 dinners he likes, that I cannot screw up too much.
2. Ask my friends for their top 2 easy dinner recipes.
3. Develop a binder with all these recipes and grocery lists for each. Big cookbooks totally overwhelm me.
4. Come up with a monthly plan
5. Plan to make dinners on Sunday and Wednesday. The others days can be leftovers, eating out or less complicated.
6. Do a better job at grocery trips by using my plan. I am so bad about this, but how hard can it be!
7. Focus on casseroles and crock pot meals that are easy to have for leftovers
8. Go to Supper Suppers in January. I kept saying I would do this but never did, I need to.
9. Take advantage of The Fresh Market. They have amazing chicken and beef meals that require no prep, just cooking. For just two of us, it would not be expensive.
10. Learn a few good veggie dishes. I just hope my husband does not make me eat them, ha ha.
11. Salads, make them. I know how to, I just never do.
12. Have the number for a good pizza place programmed in my cell phone. Hey, no one’s perfect.
So, here’s my question… are you in the same boat as me? Please comment if you are. Or do you want to share some dinner ideas with me and the readers? Just make ’em easy please!!
One of the EASIEST crock pot meals:*Four Boneless Chicken Breasts*Can of Cream of Mushroom Soup*1 cup of white wine, chicken stock or water (whatever you have on hand)*Small container of Sour cream (use low fat but not fat free)*Container of sliced mushrooms (if you like them.)Place chicken in crock pot, season with salt, pepper and whatever dried seasoning you like. Mix all other ingredients in bowl, pour over chicken, and cook for 8 hours on low, 4-5 hours on high.Chicken will be in a nice sauce, serve over rice or egg noodles, with a salad. Leftovers are excellent as well!
I can totally sympathize with your issue. All of us working moms are in the same boat with getting dinner on the table after working an 8-hour day. But I want to know why your hubby is off the hook for cooking?? It’s the 21st century and while we all believe we can be Super Woman, we just can’t if you work full-time. Why isn’t your husband cooking for the family OR doing bath/bed for your daughter?? I have to admit that my husband is limited in this area and I do most of the dinners, but at least he does bath or bed every night.
Hey there, Jen B here… thank you for your comment above. Great question… why is my hubby off the hook? He is not totally off the hook. The problem is that he has a side business that requires he work late so some nights he might not get home til 9pm. When he is here earlier it is easier… like tonight we cooked together.
I just wanted to say that the “Make your Own Meals” has truly been a huge help to me around our household. I typically make 12 meals at a time, which equals out to about 3 a week and then I try to make something else (more creative) myself on some of the other nights. I have tried Dream Dinners and Super Suppers, but will say that my absolute favorite is Home Appetite. It is up at Concord Mills but they are so nice and the food is really good. I think we pay $120 for 12 meals. I just buy some veggies and serve with it. One of my friends and I meet there once a month and make our meals and treat ourselves to dinner or lunch together. Great bonding time. The website for Home Appetite is:www.homeappetitkitchen.com/
Girl – I’m in the same boat!!! It is so tough to walk in the door and want to spend the little bit of quality time you have with your little one enjoying him/her instead of cooking the whole time. Lucky for me, my husband loves to cook and does all of it, but it doesn’t help the guilt factor. I feel like such a failure that I don’t cook for him! But I’m not willing right now to give up my two hours with my daughter preparing dinner. We make something quick for her, then spend time with her, then he cooks while I bathe her and put her to bed. It works, but doesn’t help the guilt!!!
I am a new first time Mom and believe me I know what you are talking about. When we didn’t have a baby it was very easy for me to cook at least 4 times a week but since our baby was born I hardly have time to put something in the microwave. Don’t feel bad about not cooking too much for your husband. Maybe by getting some good/quick recipes from everybody you can at least make 2 or 3 meals a week. Also, you can come over once a week and we can cook something together.This is Marie, your sister in law who knows everything about their Russian meals history.
The following website offers free menus and grocery lists for busy moms. They email a week in advance to allow time for you to grocery shop. You can pick and choose the menu items but I love that the grocery list is included. Such a time saver. Lots of moms I know use this firstname.lastname@example.org
Online ordering at Harris Teeter is the best! It is only $4.95 per order. The best part is you can do it in your p.j.’s at 10:00 at night with your recipies sitting in front of you. It is a great alternative to dragging the kids through the grocery store too!
I tried the website listed for weeklymenus but did not have luck finding it. Can you post if it was listed miss spelled or if it is correct so I know to keep trying. Thank you!
My favorite is Switchin’Kitchens located at The Fountains at Ardrey Kell. Much better and more fresh than Dream Dinners!
Have not eaten anything but Dream Dinners/Super Suppers/Supper Thyme since my youngest was born 2.5 years ago. Nothing better than going out to the freezer, pulling out a meal and having it ready fast. Also do online shopping at HT which saves so much time, not to mention that my bill is at least $20 less each time than if I went to the store myself, so totally makes up for the $5 service fee. If I actually make dinner myself then I always double or tripple the recipe and then freeze the rest to pull out at a later date.
Oh the joys of being a single parent … really. I cook for myself and my sweetie pie (who is 3) so while I am not cooking for another adult, I am in the same situation as I have to eat at some point. Grilled cheese, hot dogs and frozen waffles are not meals a grown woman should be eating. (seriously) Create a soft copy of your binder or recipes that are “Jen B approved” and I’ll be back every week.
I too can TOTALLY sympathize! Working fulltime and then worrying about what to feed your family every night can be such a daunting task! I am a huge proponent of everyone eating together too, at least while my son is still young and we don’t have a million evening activities yet! I try and always have on hand flour tortillas and cheese – makes great cheese quesadilla’s for the little guy and then throw in some chicken and veggies for the adults. Also, a money saving tip when it comes to grocery shopping … if you don’t already, sign up for the e-vic emails from Harris Teeter. You can scroll through all the weekly specials and just click on the stuff you normally buy. I then print out a list and keep it in my purse. I have not yet tried online shopping, but find that I’ve saved a TON of money just knowing what the specials are for the week and stocking up.
I am in a “meal swap” with two other friends. We cook a main dish Sun. or Mon. that is large enough to divide and share with two other families and then swap the meals Monday afternoon. We each take a chicken, pasta, meat, etc and email each other so that we are not all cooking chicken (for example)in the same week. I love searching for one delicious recipe each week. I only cook once a week, my kitchen stays clean and the dishes are interesting! I love it! We only cook the main dish so it is up to me to heat up side veggies or make a salad. This is the best way to feed your family!
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