Monday, January 29, 2018
Simplify | Dinner
I hate to cook. Some may think that's a strong word to use. But it's mighty close to the honest truth. Cooking brings me no joy. I wish I could just hold it in my hand and say, "This does not bring me joy, it must go." But I cannot. And my amazing hubby, who is actually an outstanding cook works far, far, far more hours a week than I do, so it would be insane for me to expect him to take on the task of cooking for our family too.
Most days I am able to figure out something to do with the meat in the freezer. However, there are two days of the week that are particularly hard and I am more tempted than any other day to say, "Let's just go out to eat." Tuesday and Sunday, every week.
For the last month I have created a rhythm to help me avoid asking if we shouldn't just go out to eat. Every Tuesday we have the same thing. And every Sunday we have the same thing. The key for making this work for us was choosing something that was both sustainable and enjoyable to eat every week. To complicate things, I am back on Weight Watchers to take off the baby weight, again. (I didn't have another baby, I just gained back the baby weight I took off the last time I had a baby... almost ten years ago. Are you laughing? It's not funny. What? I'm not allowed to call it baby weight? But it's almost the same amount of weight I gained with my babies!)
Tuesdays Eric and I both usually walk in from work about the same time, dinner time. So I decided we should do Taco Tuesdays at our house. Tacos are great because they are so easy to pull together and I can turn it into a salad to minimize the Weight Watchers points (when I'm counting, which is every single minute of the week, of course).
Sundays we do homemade pizza. I put the dough together before we leave for church (about 8:45) and it's risen beautifully by the time we get home (1:00). I use The Pioneer Women's Pizza Dough recipe. It has never, ever failed me. Ever! It rolls out so easily and cooks up in ten minutes on my Pampered Chef pizza stone (one of the best small investments ever). We're eating within 30 minutes of getting home, a Sunday miracle. And if I am trying to be good, I mostly eat a salad with just a little pizza. (Who am I kidding, that never happens.)
These meals happen to be our family's favorite meals, so I think we'll be able to go a while without anyone getting sick of Tuesdays and Sundays. But now, even if I don't menu plan the rest of my week, I always, always make sure I have the ingredients on hand for these two meals. It's helped me simplify feeding my family.
And if you feel the need to point out that tacos and pizza are horrible meals to feed a precious family EVERY SINGLE WEEK, feel free. I'd like to point out that if it keeps my family out of a cheap fast food restaurant, we might be making a better choice, even if it isn't the absolute best. Remember I am looking to simplify my life this year, not perfect it. I'll save the word perfect for the year after my death.
The other thing I've done to simplify dinner the past month... I've stopped pinning a thousand recipes I am never every going to make.
What do you do to simplify dinner at your house?