Quick, what’s for dinner tonight? Time’s up. Did you mull over the question for more than five seconds? Have you even thought about what you will prepare?
If the answer did not easily roll off of your tongue, keep reading. With a little bit of preparation, dinner problems are soon solved, utilizing the following preparation tips:
Tip #1- Arm yourself: The key to solving nightly dinner preparation dilemmas is doing your homework. It takes all of one evening, a few cookbooks at your disposal with quick and easy recipes, and a bit of planning.
The ultimate goal here is to come up with 28 dinner ideas, charted out for each day of the week for four weeks. Don’t be alarmed. It may sound like a chore, but the two hours you take to complete this task will be worth countless hours of wasted time, money and food. Bear in mind the following tips in order to fully prepare:
Tip #2- Crockpot night: Think of your busiest evening; the one where your meeting runs late or you’re running the kids to and from soccer practice. Bingo! That becomes crock-pot night. My busiest afternoon has turned into my most relaxing dinner evening. I throw everything in the crockpot in the morning, and by the time I’ve returned home at 6pm, dinner is complete, with little preparation involved.
Tip #3- Main course: Peruse your cookbooks or ask your family for their favorite dinner ideas. Choose recipes which are both simple to prepare and tasty. Adding in the family favorites will keep moans and groans about dinner to a minimum. I fix a big ham or roast on Sunday evenings, and the leftovers make perfect sandwich fixings the following week.
Tip #3- Consider side dishes: Think about what side dish compliments your main course while planning your menu and write it down alongside the course for the main dish. This will help later on while preparing the weekly grocery list for your dinners.
Tip #4- You catch more flies with honeyÃ¢Â?Â¦: You don’t need to have dessert every night, but incorporating dessert on the nights that brussel sprouts will be on the table is an easy way to entice young mouths to partake. Again, make sure to chart in the dessert of the evening beside the main and side dishes. Orange sherbet is quick and easy. It compliments many meals and can be served ala carte or with a drizzle of chocolate sauce.
Tip #5- Chart it out: . Arrange and chart meals with the days of the week that best work for your family. Planning a full dinner for each day of the week and charting it out along with side dishes, desserts and cookbook page numbers is the final step in the dinner preparation. Do this for a four week span, or 28 meals. This allows for the occasional dining out rendevous, yet keeps you in-the-know for your nightly dinner preparation.
Tip #6- Preserve your grocery list: This is the lengthiest procedure of all, but well worth the effort. Write down all the ingredients used in each meal preparation and prepare a grocery list that correlates with each week’s dinner chart.
Now armed with dinner ideas for a month and a grocery list to boot, on Wednesday, you simply glance at your chart, knowing that tonight will be taco salad. With a weekly chart handy and a grocery list in tow, you’ll never again have to question “What’s for dinner tonight?” A one-time preparation session will keep your sanity, entice positive comments by kids and spouse alike, and leave you with extra time and energy for more important things… like catching up on your TIVO.