Anyway, during one of our conversations lately, we both were cooking dinner and we were talking about what we were doing for dinners the rest of the week, and Michelle suggested we do a regular posting on here about how we feed our families every night without ordering pizza or resorting to frozen dinners or Hamburger Helper. Not that we're gourmets or anything, but we both try to have real food every night. I agreed it was a good idea, but -- like many things these days -- it got stuck on the "later" part of the to-do list. I'm declaring this later.
Here's how it goes in our house --
Step 1: Plan
On Thursday, during Kath & Kim, which is the horrible show between The Office and My Name is Earl, the husband and I make a week's menu and a grocery list. We have several favorite meals we tend to rotate through -- black bean burritos, spaghetti, quiche -- and we usually try to do a couple more complicated meals on the weekends, preferably things like roasted chicken that will translate into leftovers for lunches or other meals. I love sites like Smitten Kitchen and Cheap Healthy Good for finding new recipes.
Step 2: Shop
On Fridays, The Boy and I stop by the farmers' market near his daycare after work to pick up veggies and fruit. We all shop together for everything else on Saturdays. I know, we're weird, but the husband and I always have enjoyed grocery shopping together. It's almost like a date, and now it's one of The Boy's favorite locations.
Step 3: Cook
Over the weekends, we do a lot of cooking. For example, we grilled out this weekend and the leftovers from that will be a lunch for me this week. Today, we tried a new Italian recipe that made enough to throw the extra pasta and sauce together to become baked ziti later this week. We also cooked up chicken sausage and some swiss chard. Half the sausage went into a pie shell with the chard and leftover grilled asparagus for a quiche tomorrow night. The rest of the sausage will be part of The Boy's lunch later this week.
Some weeks I also bake for breakfasts or snacks, and I've been meaning to try a bread recipe. During the week, I try to do any serious prep work at night, so usually I can just toss dinner into the oven or onto a burner when I get home. Having salad greens and frozen or canned vegetables helps, so when I have to wing it, I can. Pasta, sauce and a green salad for us and some sort of veggie for The Boy constitutes homecooking, if it comes to it. Bottom line: I want us to eat dinner together and this allows us to do it.