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Monday, 17 September 2007

You know the drill… you run around all day taking care of the kids, the family unit and your job and before you know it, 6:00 is upon you and you have no idea what to make for dinner. That used to be me too. The answer was usually to sever everyone a bowl of cereal or call the pizza delivery guy. Not anymore. While I am still just as busy as ever, I also comprehend how significant it’s to prepare a genuine meal for my family. Not only is it much healthier, but we also end up saving funds we used to spend on takeout and we have come closer as a family. I would not operate dinner time for anything in the world and neither should you. Here’s my best information for getting dinner on the table even if you are as busy as I am.

Get each person drawn in.One of my main secrets is that I do not try to be super-mother and I do not try to get everything done by myself. Of course this includes making dinner. In our house, cooking is a family matter. My husband and daughter are in the kitchen with me, cooking, setting the table and cleaning-up afterwards. It makes every step of the procedure much faster, and when I am running late and do not make it home in time to get dinner started, the two of them can get started without me. Cooking together is also a great way for all of us to connect.

Shortcuts are okay. Do not feel like you have to make everything from scratch for it to count as a home cooked meal. It is ok to take shortcuts. Some of my favorites are to use bagged salad that’s already cleaned and ready to go, breadsticks and rolls that just need heating up and all kinds of canned soup or stews. There are also quite a few good frozen meal packs available online these days that you just cook in the pan or in your slow cooker. Whenever I do take the time to make things like soup, stew, casseroles or even meatloaf, I make quite a few batches of the dish and freeze the left over portions for another day when I am short on time. What counts is that you get a hale and hearty meal on the table, not the amount of time you spent in front of the stove-top.

Preparation of your meals. After everything else, but not least, let me share my principal secret with you – I plan my meals. It is so much easier to get dinner on the table, when you know accurately what you are going to cook ahead of time and have what you need at hand. Just sit down once a week with a pencil and a piece of paper and write down exactly what you are going to make for dinner each day of the week. Get your recipes out, and affix them to the list, then make a grocery list. It saves a lot of time only having to go to the store once a week and by attaching the recipes to the list of menus, other family members can get on track to getting dinner started when you are running late.

For a great free report on meal planning basics visit http://www.menuplanningcentral.com – the report goes into much more detail on how you can start planning your meals and also comes with a blank menu planning worksheet and shopping list that I use every week.

Posted by: Send a Meal AT 11:03 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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