What’s for Dinner?
It’s 3 p.m. and that time of the day has come to ask myself the same question for the millionth time … “WHAT’S FOR DINNER??”
I loathe cooking, mainly because I am not very good at it and also because … well, I am just not very good at it. And considering I don’t like to do it, it takes an awful lot of time and effort on my part.
It’s the same old routine: chicken and broccoli, lasagna, spaghetti, tacos, then back to chicken and broccoli and the list rotates again. Honestly, how much can one person do with chicken and ground turkey?
Bryan’s godbrother comes about once a year and he is a chef. I do my best to find inspiration while watching him cook up something very yummy in my kitchen, but then he leaves and, well, away goes the inspiration about three days later. I mean, who really makes homemade mayonnaise?
Then of course I’ve tried the Rachael Ray thing and well, honestly, most of her stuff does not sound that great to me. And while I love Paula Dean, her stuff is just too fattening. So the dilemma goes on… “What’s for dinner?”
I will say there is one show out there called Pantry Raid. Ever heard of it? The chef comes to your house and goes into your pantry and fridge and pulls things out and makes a few meals! I love that and I have most of the stuff in my own kitchen. All those other shows you have to go spend tons of money to stock your kitchen with the spices and rare foods they use. But of course I can never find that Pantry Raid show on TV and when I do it is the same silly episode I saw before! UGH!
I truly envy women who can cook and find pleasure in it. I long for the day when I find pleasure in cooking for my family and see the joy on their faces from a meal I made, instead of getting the usual “Chicken and broccoli again?”
I’ve got one thing going for me: My 3-year-old loves anything I cook and he always makes me feel good. Thank you, Lord, for that bit of encouragement.
So, what do I do? Well first I need to start looking for some easy, healthy recipes and then plan a menu for the month. Knowing what I am going to cook is half the battle. As far as enjoying cooking, well if anyone has any suggestions I’d love to hear them.
So enough of my ranting and rambling for today. It’s 3 p.m. (seriously), and I have no idea what’s for dinner.
Click here to see blogger Paula Dumas’ response to Korie’s dilemma. And if you’ve developed any strategies to conquering the daily task of dinner, please leave a comment below!
Get the Kraft Food and Family Magazine! It’s free when you sign up for it and comes once a quarter. A lot of great EASY to make recipes and they sometimes even have little substitution recommendations at the bottom of the recipe to make it healthier. There’s everything from easy kid food to more “adult” dinners and fancy desserts (still easy to make but tastes like you worked a lot harder). Almost everything I’ve made out of here has been dubbed “keepers” by my husband and friends!
Also, they have a website (www.kraftfoods.com) where you can pull up recipes based on the type of meat you are starting with or you can search for certain meals if you have something in particular in mind. There are always new recipes on here too! Good Luck and HAPPY cooking!
I feel your pain! I also have a hard time coming up with something different. One thing I’ve found helpful is to always have breakfast foods as a fallback – I do lots of eggs. Quiche is easy and feels “fancy” (and well tolerated by children if your put their favorite ingredients in), sometimes mixing bits of sausage into the scrambled eggs along with other bits of things like basil or whatever’s handy is fun. I also love keeping a few “fancy” (see a theme here?) cheeses in the fridge because putting a little blue cheese into the scramble or sprinkling feta on a basic salad just makes me feel like I’ve gone over and above, or a little fresh grated parmasan on some pasta… (and the cheese is easy to leave off for those kids or husbands who don’t like them). Sometimes (ok, most of the time) I’m very low on inspiration, so I like to try to keep the exact same “special” ingredients on hand because they are easy to throw into lots of basics – from potatoes, to pasta, to eggs. Those are: the above mentioned cheeses (sometimes only one at a time because of cost), fresh basil, fresh spinach, garlic, and tomatoes. Just having those few things to work with, makes the whole cooking experience much more enjoyable for me because it just feels gourmet.
I do have a few tricks that I sometimes do to help with the overall feeling of enjoyment of cooking. I find that late afternoon is the time I least like working in the kitchen, so I sometimes do things to get myself in the mood, so to speak – fake myself out into thinking it’s special instead of drudgery. They may sound silly, but they really do make me feel better. I have started trying to find cute little aprons – found a little vintage one in a pretty fabric at a shop – and that makes me feel all homey and oldfashioned (in a good way). I will sometimes pour a little half glass of wine (but if you don’t drink, a little sparkling water or juice in a facy glass with ice works great!) to drink while I’m cooking. Sometimes I put on music and kind of swing around the kitchen to a lively toon, or keep it mello and jazzy. And sometimes, just because it’s fun, I’ll put out pretty cloth napkins. I rarely do all of the above things at the same time, but any one or combination of a couple of them can make the “same old chicken and broccoli” feel like it’s been prepared by a top notch chef!
I hope that helps a little. I found that just writing them down gave me a whole new desire to get into the kitchen. I’ve been struggling with it a lot lately.