Dinner Blueprint – My Family’s Dinners The Week Starting April 8th

#MomsDinnerHacks #MomsSavingTime #LessDishesForMommy #KidFriendlyFood

Let’s save time making dinner for the family! Let’s reduce the number of dishes, avoid the ‘short-order-cookism’ of serving each person their own special meal that meets their every whim and desire… basically let’s make this communal, perhaps fun (okay depending on the age of your kids), nourishing family time without all of the complexity of making dish-intensive, complicated menus or worse, planning ‘dinner’ on the fly each night.

To quickly recap — I save considerable time, at least 1 to 2 hours (of prep, clean up, shopping and mental energy) each week by:

  • Repeating a basic ‘formula’ of how dinner works (protein + grain + 2 or 3 vegetables)
  • Choosing meals that are very quick to prepare (i.e. less than 30 minutes) during the working week (see previous post with my go-to list of weeknight vs. weekend grains, vegetables and protein choices).
  • Cooking at least 2 meals a week that feed my family two times (2X meals)
  • Making one dinner that works for everybody, with some minor variations to make the ‘grown up’ servings more interesting and the kids’ versions more ‘kid-friendly’ (i.e. nothing touches each other, no spicy sauces, de-saucing items cooked in sauce altogether, etc.)

I’m also a dish minimalist. I go to extraordinary lengths to reduce the amount of pots, pans, cutting boards, etc. required for each meal. I enjoy the cooking part and want to reduce the dish washing and clean up (the joyless) part. Most of my meals and menus are designed with this in mind.

Here’s what we had for dinner, starting April 9th. Continue reading “Dinner Blueprint – My Family’s Dinners The Week Starting April 8th”

Dinner Blueprint – My Family Dinner Menus The Week of April 1st

#MomsDinnerHacks #MomsSavingTime #KidFriendlyFood

I shared my ‘weekly dinner blueprint’, explaining the ‘daily dinner hack’ I’ve used for over a year to save at least one or two hours of time each week cooking family dinners and I’ve received several requests for more sample menus and recipes.

I’m delighted to share more, because after all, food is my favorite hobby!

The menu below is what I’ve been cooking this week. Once you learn the basics of the plan—what to keep in your pantry and freezer, what sized meals to make on the weekend vs. weeknights, you’ll find it surprisingly easy to ‘cook this way’ instinctively. I’ve documented my steps, but now I rarely cook with recipes, unless I’m experimenting with something new.

Most of the recipes are my personal recipes, however, there are a couple of dishes where I’ve linked to excellent recipes online from sources I trust that mirror the cooking processes I follow.

I like to ‘start’ the week of meals on a Saturday when I have more time to cook a ‘2X – feed my family twice’ meal and also grocery shop if I haven’t had time during the week (which happens often).

What we’re eating for dinner this week: Continue reading “Dinner Blueprint – My Family Dinner Menus The Week of April 1st”

My Daily Family Dinner Hack – How Moving to ‘A Dinner Blueprint’ To Satisfy My Children (and Schedule) Has Saved Me Time & Sanity

#MomsFoodHacks #MomsDinnerHacks #MomsSavingTime

How much time does it take you each week to put dinner on the table for your family? I mean the whole process — from thinking about what to cook, to choosing recipes, to visiting the virtual or real grocery store, making kid-friendly adjustments to said recipes, actually cooking and then the (never-ending) dishes that result. What about dealing with toddler and young child preferences?

Exactly. Family meals are kind of a part-time job. However, there are some workarounds.

There are not many subjects I give unsolicited advice in, but food – and hacks to make cooking family dinner work each day – for this, I’m your girl! I’ve been the unofficial menu, cooking and all-things-food advisor to family and friends for decades now.  My system saves me at least 1 to 2 hours per week.

So, before I explain my system for dinners I want to caveat a few things. Continue reading “My Daily Family Dinner Hack – How Moving to ‘A Dinner Blueprint’ To Satisfy My Children (and Schedule) Has Saved Me Time & Sanity”

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