Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Feed me

I am not a cook. I don't mind cooking, I just haven't ever really had time or creativity to make it work. However with a growing family (and therefore shrinking budget), I'm always looking for new and creative ways to put a meal on the table. I work part-time, have two little boys, and I'm pregnant. Therefore, even though I have an incredible hubby who is awesome about helping around the house, we do not have a lot of time or energy for huge menus. We are not healthy nuts (as evidenced by the large supply of girl scout cookies currently in our freezer), but we try to eat a balanced diet. Anyone else out there that can relate to all of that?

I thought it would be good to put together a list of resources. I'm slowly gathering them as I go on this quest for menu help. Here are a couple of my current go-to's.

I love the Cooking for Slackers blog. It is a fairly recent discovery for me, but you must try it. I love that she puts up two week menus so you get some ideas and her menus always have a pretty broad range of selections. The meals are all fairly family friendly (but not always diet friendly). I also love that she provides recipes for each item. The recipes are categorized in the sidebar so they are easy to find. Best part, she usually has a review about whether her kids liked the dish or not. Last night we tried this baked ziti recipe and it was absolutely delicious (and nearly as good today for leftovers at lunch).

A couple of other great resources for quick and easy meals:
Ask Tara at "My Life". She sometimes puts recipes on her blog, but if you know her you should just talk to her. She is great about coming up with easy and kid-friendly recipes to pass along. Check out her recent update on croissant pizzas. YUM! She's also good at menu planning in advance.

Her sister also has a recipe blog "In the Mood for Food." I haven't tried any recipes from it yet, but I can certainly get on board with the title...and everything looks yummy.

Anyone else have any good suggestions? Provide me some links and I'll make a list to share. The links should have recipes that are EASY and require less than 1 hour to prepare, do not require any ingredients I can't pronounce or can't be found at my local grocery store, and should be kid friendly.

Thanks for the help!


Jim said...

And for those with iPhone or iPod touch (That's you, RRL):

Try Allrecipes Dinner Spinner.
"You can download Dinner Spinner directly to your iPhone from the Apple iPhone App store"... FREE

Papa Jim

Chad and Jennifer said...

That stuff looks really good. I'm going to have to try some of it! Makes me hungry already...but then again, that's a constant state for me! ;) I am not a fancy cook, either. I would do it if all the stuff magically appeared in my fridge, but I don't do the plan ahead, grocery list thing. In 2 months I'll probably never cook again! ;) Except dessert since my husband probably won't do that. need to email me your girl names since I'll never see them on the blog...and since Julie told you one of final decision yet. ;p

Wendy said...

I am right there with you, pretty much word for word! A favorite resource of mine is They have a huge number of recipes, and nearly all are simple and quick to prepare. To get you started, a few that we have really enjoyed lately are Creamy Chicken, Bacon and Tomato Pasta; Easy Shepherd's Pie; Foil Pack Taco Chicken, Gram's Chicken Pot Pie Updated; and Quick Chicken Teryaki. Also, they have a cool feature called "One Bag, Five Dinners" where it provides you with a grocery list and recipes for the week. The ingredients for the recipes are coordinated, so that you use them in multiple meals and then don't have to buy so much. Obviously, their recipes call for Kraft ingredients, but you can find store brand substitutes and save money that way too. Good topic -- I'm looking forward to what other have to add.

Kyla said...

Hey there! I have a great recipe for you that's so easy I can give it to you in a blog comment:
Orange Juice Porkchops!
In a small casserole dish, combine 1/2 c. brown sugar, 1/2 c. orange juice, 1/4 tsp. pepper, 1/2 tsp. dry mustard and pour over 4 pork chops.
Bake at 350 for about 30 min-1 hr. (depending on thickness of meat). Yum!
Serve with mashed or baked potatoes, green beans or maybe a salad, and there's dinner!