Sunday, April 13, 2008

One Little Goal

I like the idea of one week goals. Just one thing to work on, one week at a time.

I'm setting a little goal to fix dinner every single day this week. (I should mention for the record that I do feed my children dinner. I do mostly fix real food, I'm just not doing as good of a job as I could.)

Dinners have been hard for me lately for a couple reasons:

My kids are picky eaters and it is a bummer when I fix a nice dinner and they don't eat it.

Nathan is deployed. With 4 kids to feed that shouldn't really matter, but it does. I have a hard time wanting to cook when he's gone.

Hannah is in the last couple weeks of play rehearsal so I am driving back and forth to the next town (15 minutes away) to take her and pick her up. The pick up time right at dinner time.

I heart Taco Bell

I am extraordinarily tired between 3pm and 6pm every day. I feel like I am swimming through molasses.

But I am going to fix dinner every single day this week. I can do it. I know I can.

I am going to think about dinner before 5:30pm. PB & Jelly and/or cereal does not count as fixing dinner. Mac and Cheese may count on Tuesday night because of mutual, but only on Tuesday.

I just need to remind myself that, yes, dinner-time really does come each and every day and the kids are going to be hungry. Be the mom! Make a plan. Just do it! rah rah rah....

I'm asking for your help here. What are some of your easy dinner tips? Do you start fixing dinner after you wash the breakfast dishes? Do you have a calendar full of menus? Do you eat Waffles on Wednesdays and Marinated Mushrooms on Mondays?

Motivate me!

Inspire Me!

Make me feel like I'm not the only one who has a little difficulty fixing dinner some days...


Tori :) said...

Oooh ooh ooh! I can help!! Visit the blog I started with a few other moms. The entire blog is EASY, KID APPROVED recipes!!
Clickety: Eazy Mealz
I get a recipe off of there 3-4 times a week. And they are all labeled by ingredients. There's about 20 with 5 or less ingredients. Go on... check it out. :)

Tori :) said...

And I forgot- yes, pancakes is a favorite meal of my kiddos and the crock pot is a fave thing of mine. Frozen chicken legs with some cream of mushroom soup, salt and onions cooked on low all day or on high for 5 hours. Yummy!

Tori :) said...

And I hate cooking. Period.

Ok- this is my last comment.

Good luck!!

You Rock!!

wendy said...

Tori - you crack me up! Thanks for the ideas. I'll be over at your foodie blog in just a minute!

Mrs. Staff Sergeant said...

I wish I could motivate you- but I hate to cook. Just hate it. When J is deployed or TDY'd forget it. It's all about grilled cheese and take out.

I'll join you in your little challenge though :) Lets see if I can actually make a decent meal every night this week for my family- leftovers don't count! (This will be even more challenging for me now that I'm 7 weeks pregnant and all food makes me want to wretch! haha)

M C said...

Great goal! I always set out to make good meals every day, but usually By Wednesday (or Tuesday) I start considering hot dogs as fine cuisine.

Did our kids inherit the same picky eater gene? Drives me crazy!

Some of our favorite fall-back and fastest meals the kids will (mostly) eat:

Spaghetti - noodles, sauce from a jar, a little cheese on top, quick salad (for adults, kids refuse), and french bread if you're being fancy. Or if you really want fancy, buy frozen cheese ravioli instead of using plain spaghetti.

Fajitas - some chicken and peppers on tortillas with your favorite toppings. Kids end up having quesadillas, but at least it all looks similar. Super fast.

Chicken Salad sandwiches - canned chicken, celery, grapes if we have them, on rolls. Lindsey loves the chicken, Rand likes the rolls and grapes.

Something in the crockpot - the easiest is one I had at mom's house - frozen chicken breasts, a package of Italian dressing mix and some water. Cook all day and serve with rice and salad or whatever you like.

Mom's home made chicken nuggets with a veggie and maybe tater tots.

Cook a whole chicken and use the meat in all of the above all week (or less since you have more kids)

Crock pot bean burritos. Dry pinto beans, cook all day on high with generous amounts of garlic salt, onion, etc. Serve on tortillas with favorite toppings.

Hmmmm....that's a lot of chicken meals. We don't eat a lot of beef since I don't love ground beef and don't do roasts very often.

Looks like I just planned my menu for the week. Gracias sista!


M C said...

Oh! Another idea - mini pizzas on those refrigerator rolls (or on wheat pitas, a new favorite of mine). Have the kids assemble. Yummers!

Valorie said...

You go girl!!!! I find that when I make a menu and a run to the commissary it makes it much easier. But let's be real, I think that's only happened once or twice since my hubby deployed. Best of luck with your goals, but don't feel too bad when you make them Mac-n-Cheese or stop at Taco Bell on a busy night. Hey, if my kids can survive all the McDonald's, Sonic and Wendy's, etc. I've thrown at them in months past, your kids will too!

Quick and easy meals at our house are little cheddar meatloafs made with hamburger, oatmeal, grated cheese, ketchup, a little mustard and whatever else you might like to throw in there.

My kids usually like chicken cacciatore. Probably not the real thing, but it's quick, easy and gets eaten. I saute' a can of chicken breast (I even cheat on that) with a little butter and onion then add a can of your fav spaghetti sauce, heat through. Serve with your fav pasta and top with shredded mozzarella or parmesean.

Now, I should take your lead and do a little planning of my own!!!

Boedee said...

You are not alone!! When Chris is gone or working swings I have a really hard time with dinner - And I love to cook. It just isn't the same without him. Your goal will be mine as well this week!! Here's to us!

orchard_girl said...

Hey Wendy, This is way too long. Maybe I should just call you.

I make a lot of stir-frys, Hana likes them as do most of my kids. They mostly pick out the meat and eat the rice and choke down a veggie or two. I use what ever meat I have on hand, chicken, beef, sausage, bacon, etc.

I also like to brown up double the amount of hamburger or chicken, so on those really lazy nights, I can grab out a package of already cooked hamburger and make spaghetti, sheppards pie, etc.

I also try to make enough for two meals. So we eat whatever for 2 nights. Sometimes I get carried away and make too much, I have a hard time eating something a third night.

For even quicker meals I keep a box of Costco batter dipped halibut. Cook it in the oven, serve with rice. ALL of my kids like that. I also buy canned turkey, chicken and roast, for my yr supply, but I rotate :)
love you sis

wendy said...

You guys are so fun! Why don't we just get together for dinner? that would be great!

Mrs. Staff Sgt. - Congratulations! Sorry you're not feeling good, though. Check back and let me know how you're doing this week.

M C (hammer) - just kidding - Hi Mary! I love your quick dinner ideas. I am going to put fajitas on my list and maybe a roast chicken...I like the leftovers from that...and the kids will eat it, I think.

Valorie - thanks for being like me. Some nights we have gone through both the taco bell and wendy's drive through (I wish taco bell had chicken nuggets on the menu) Ha! I am going to have to try your chicken cacciatore - sounds really yummy!

Boedee - it's like a contest - who can make it all 7 days... I'll be keeping track!

Heather - more excellent dinner ideas. I do like stir fry, I just wish I was better at a sauce, I seem to have rather bland stir fry...I am definately going to check our Costco for Halibut!

nikko said...

I like all these ideas! We do pita pizzas, too. And quesadillas, more Hamburger Helper than I'd like to admit, stir-frys (buy the sauce in a bottle), burritoes/tacos (which is super fast if you do like Heather and have already browned ground beef in the freezer.

I always plan a week's worth of dinners before I go to the grocery store, and then keep the list on the fridge so I can choose one (hopefully) before the dinner rush at the end of the day.

Suzanne said...

I'm the same as you. On nights that hubby won't be home, it's usually cereal or mac & cheese for us.

Even on nights I make dinner, I don't usually start until an hour before (unless I'm doing jello.) I figure if it takes more than an hour, I'm spending too much time! ;)

This is how we do dinner at our house for the week.

2 nights beef
2 nights chicken
1 night pork or seafood
2 nights meatless

The meatless nights are great because one of them is always breakfast food like pancakes or omlettes. The other meatless night would be pasta, potatoes, beans or soup.

I make menus around whatever is on sale. It's nice because the sale items change every week so it makes a good variety, plus it's cheap and I like cheap.

Rah rah rah, good luck! :)

A Soldier's Wife..... said...

Um, this will be my least contributing comment I will ever leave, sorry!

But what I did to my children with regard to dinner for the last 15 months, well 13 months of it....constitutes neglect. I made an attempt at it, I bought the food, but somehow, it never quite made it from point B, A being the commisary, to point C, the oven....point D would be my children's mouths, so I bought alot, and I mean alot of pizza, either from the commissary, or takeout, and speaking of takeout, I know every delivery service that delivers to our house.....and we love hot wings and cucumbers cut up as a meal, I mean its a fat, a meat and a vegie, throw in some cranapple juice and you almost have a fruit......

:D I know I SUCK!

But they are still alive, no one called CPS, although one neighbor threatened to, whatever, take care of your own kid (she drinks when you are not looking) kids are healthy (still not sure how they got there, but they are) and they still love me!!!!


orchard_girl said...

Peter was complaining about the stir fry for dinner, I gave him mostly meat and a few veggies. In Abby's prayer, she prayed that the food would taste better than we think it will taste. Maybe I should stop the stir-frys for a few weeks.

Amanda said...

Wow! You have gotten some great responses so far. I just echo the crock pot idea. I heart my crock pot big time. It does require a little advance planning which I am not good at sometimes, but I love coming home to dinner already made!

Another quick dinner I love is Sweet and Sour chicken. You can chop your veggies (red and green peppers, onions and carrots) ahead of time. Buy a bottle of sweet and sour sauce, a can of pineapple chunks. Cook the chicken in the pineapple juice and then add the veggies. Cook til tender and eat over rice. Very quick and easy, as long as I remember to take the chicken out of the freezer.

trying said...

i never have the desire to cook when flyboy is away. the elder little one wont eat anything besides, nuggets, grilled cheese, apples, toast and strawberries. How many neat dinner combos can you make out of that! so I cave and he eats his stuff, the littler one eats what he likes and I dine on lean cuisines. But im trying to do better. I don't have many tips but at least I can offer up to you that you are not alone. And at the commissary today I saw a lot of moms buying tv dinners! said...

what a great idea. one. thanks for the reminder :)