**WARNING THIS IS A LENGTHY VENTING POST, YOU KNOW HOW I CAN CARRY ON
HOWEVER, SCROLL DOWN FOR SOME RECIPIE IDEAS!**
However, I do have to confess there is one part of my job I just do NOT enjoy and I have to do it at least 3 times a day.... it is time consuming and requires MUCH planning and preparation AND THEN at the end of it all.. major clean up time and for what? There is no reward. It may be enjoyed for a minute or two but then it is quickly forgotten. And then, when I'm all through, I have to start the whole process all over again.... yes, it is cooking and meal planning, UGH! I'd really, honestly rather clean toilets, showers, do the laundry, anything but cooking!
In fact, before I got married, I was very open with the fact that I HATE to cook. I guess I expressed that opinion quite a bit (feign shock,) cuz a year after I was married my mother-in-law told me how Danny was so relieved I ended up being able to cook so well after all the carrying on I did (still do) about how much I hate to cook. He thought he was going to have to sign up for a cooking class! I said I don't enjoy it, not I couldn't do it.
I mean really, think of ALL the time and effort that goes into it. First comes the hard part, we have to sit down and PLAN OUT what we're going to eat for at least 3 times EVERY day and that doesn't include snacks, which, like all good moms these days, involves a lot of brain power in trying to make sure they are NUTRICIOUS as well as convincing the kids they are DELICIOUS!
NEXT, we have to check all the sales at our favorite grocery stores and coordinate that with coupons. We have to find a time of day where we can go to the grocery store. That's not as easy as it sounds. To take the kids; Pros, I can do shopping at a reasonable time of day... not many other PROS to this. If I take the older kids, well, they have their own list they want to shop for which usually isn't anything on my list. Tyson, just HATES anybody else directing him or pushing him around. He does not do strollers, shopping carts, car seats, etc. very well at all. (Reminicent of Kierstin) Hence, most of the time you can find me at Stater Brothers on Saturday night at 10:00 doing all my major grocery shopping (no shocker to see at least 1 member of my ward there too).
First thing in the morning, figure out what to make for breakfast, eat in a rush so nobody's late. Then clean-up. Can I enjoy the clean kitchen? For about an hour and then, it's time for LUNCH! Granted, this isn't as involved when the kids are at school but when they aren't,another big MESS! Couple hours later... you guessed it.. the WORST meal is dinner. It usually is the most time consuming at a time when I have the least amount of time and then, more mess!!! UGHH!
Really the hardest part, is deciding WHAT to eat AND THEN hearing from at least 3 out of the 5 kids how they DON'T LIKE what it is you've spent all this time planning and preparing for them.
Unfortunately for my poor kids, they eat it or don't eat. For all those people that complain that they have to fix 3 different meals for everyone in their family cuz they don't like the same thing... I have to tell you... there is absolute TRUTH in the statement that you have to offer the same thing to a child at least 10 different times before they try it. I have found this true. Some of my kids' favorite things started off as "ewwww! Yuck!! NOT this again!" (especially true of my enchilada bake, now their fav.)
Think of all the worthwhile things I could do with my time if I didn't have to use it in meal preparation! I'd have hours! Sorry dad, I can't do my family history, I have to feed my family! Seriously, if they come out with a wonder meal replacement pill, sign me up and can it taste like chocolate?
HOWEVER, I know this is a fact of life and it's important to take care of our bodies so I do try really hard to make 3 square nutrious meals every day. AND I do really try to make lemonades out of lemons so the PROS: I do make sure that we eat breakfast and dinner together. Scriptures at breakfast and good, stimulating conversation at dinner. I DO see the value in that. We've had a lot of really great teaching moments at meal times. So I guess I will suffer through it.
So, I think it would be fun to hear from you what your family favorites & old stand-bys are. I LOVE it KRISTIN, that you post yummy new recipies you've tried. You've inspired me. I'm always looking for new ideas if they fall under the 30 minute prep time category. (I love 30 minute meals with Rachel Ray). Here are a few of my QUICK and easy stand bys...
Green Enchilada Bake
3 cups cooked chicken
16 oz. can green enchillada sauce
3 cups cheese, shredded (I use cheddar/mozrella combo)
1 can black olives
in 8 x 8 square pan layer as follows; half of chicken, tortillas, cover with some sauce, half of cheese, tortillas, cover with some sauce, rest of chicken, tortillas, cover with sauce, top with rest of cheese and olives. Bake at 350 for 20 - 25 minutes, until heated through. Serve with rice.
SUPER EASY & One of My kids Favorite dinners!
(this is a great starter fish for kids as it isn't super fishy tasting)
However many fillets you want
(I usually buy the flash frozen kind in freezer section, just as nutricious)
season salt OR Lawery's fish seasoning
1/2 cup O.J.
1/2 Cup water
Put fillets in baking dish. Mix O.J. with water and pour over fillets (the water helps keep the O.J. burning out) put little dabs of butter on fish and cover with seasoning. Bake at 400 for about 15-20 minutes depending on # and thickness of fillets. Fish is done when it is flakey and not milky. I serve it with red potatoes steamed with butter & basil & fresh steamed spinach with butter & lemon (no joke, my kids like this too)
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
YOSHIDA Terrikyaki sauce (not in asian section, usually by condiments)
Cut up the chicken into bite size pieces and cover in a saucepan with the sauce (this is the BEST teriyaki sauce). Cook until done and serve with sticky rice and brocolli.
Chicken Pot Pie
2 boneless chicken breasts, cut up or shredded
1 box refrigerated pie crust
3 peeled & chopped carrots
3 medium potatoes, peeled & chopped
½ bag peas
1 can corn
½ C onion
1/4 C butter
2 T chicken bullion
¼ C milk
Salt & pepper to taste
1. Steam potatoes & carrots. Add peas & corn for last 3 minutes.
2. While steaming, in large saucepan, sauté onion in butter, add flour & milk & chicken bullion. Stir into until creamy. Add milk until desired consistency (enough to cover veggies & chicken)
3. Mix veggies & chicken into cream sauce. Salt & pepper to taste
4. Put bottom crust of pie dough into a pie tin. Add mixture, cover with top sheet of dough. Pinch sides together. Cut 4 ½ in slits in top of pie.
5. Bake at 425 for 25 minutes or until browned.