The headache of making dinner

You know the story: you get home at six, a little disheveled, exhausted and feeling achy all over. All you want to do is relax, right?

Forget it; it’s time to cook dinner to feed your small army of hungry kids. The temptation is strong to throw the towel and run for the phone to order dinner. If you managed to resist the urge, you often make the same recipes because they’re easy and not too long to prepare. The problem is: you’re tired of always eating the same thing!

Manage your time

If you tend to buy your food day to day on the spur of the moment, now would be a good time to start deciding on a weekly menu during the weekend and make all your purchases at that time. This will allow you to elaborate a menu that uses the same ingredients so you can avoid unnecessary loss of unused food and will also give you the advantage of knowing what you will eat in advance so you can prepare some things in advance thereby saving you some time during the week.

To make the experience even more interesting, why don’t you invite your friends over for a cooking day? Prepare some spaghetti sauce, shepherd’s pies or any other recipes that strike your fancy in large quantities. Besides giving you a well-deserved day with your girlfriends, you will have plenty of supplies to freeze and use over a longer period of time.

You can also stock up on frozen meals like the ones offered by M&M Meatshops who provide high-quality food at reasonable prices and more than 375 products that allow you to vary your menu and which will be super helpful on nights when you have nothing prepared and don’t feel like making dinner.

Ever used a slow cooker? I discovered this wonderful invention during my maternity leave and I use it regularly on the days I work. Just put your ingredients in your slow cooker in the morning and let it cook all day. When you get back home, your house will smell delicious and you will have a great dinner that will satisfy your whole family!

Expand your horizons

When planning your menu, think about what you want to eat. I think we are much more willing to cook something that makes us salivate when we imagine eating it than when we cook something mechanically because it was planned or because it was whatever was on special that week. If you do buy meat that is on special but you don’t feel like eating it that week, freeze it and keep it there for a week when you actually do feel like eating it.

You want to eat something but don’t know the recipe? It’s the perfect opportunity to search for recipes online and learn to make a new dish you might even add to your list of favorites! I like using sites like Kraft Canada, Food Network and All Recipes. You can also join a Facebook group to share your recipes with your friends and get their favorite recipes! Or you can do like I do: spend hours admiring pictures of a particular dish on Google until I find the picture that inspires me the most or when the recipe makes my mouth water!

How can you make the experience a little better?

Of course, some meals are more flavorful if prepared fresh the same day. To avoid the mad rush of trying to make dinner while your kids are running around you starving, why not invite them to join you? If they’re not really willing because they are too tired from their day, you can serve them some raw vegetables with a dip or a nice salad: it’s not long to prepare and it’s good for their health. In addition, they are more likely to be patient as they wait while you prepare the main course.

Also, you can try changing your perception of dinner. Make it a family thing and ensure you spend this time together. It’s the perfect time to turn off the TV, computers and cell phones and take the time to talk about your day and maintain that wonderful bond that unites you.

Image de Mariem Melainine

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