Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Cooking

Some of you know that I used to really enjoy cooking. I say "used to" because cooking is no longer the leisure activity it once was for me. This is one of the many new realities of life with baby. Unless I wait till 6 to start dinner when Jeff gets home, I'm juggling dinner prep and a hungry Evan and that really takes the fun out of cooking. These days I just want to get something on the table fast so we can eat and get on with our evening. I also don't go to the grocery store as much as I used to, but we always get a Super Target trip in once/week. So, we end up having a kitchen full of "convenience" food and nothing fresh to cook with even if I wanted to. And to top it off, if a microwave pizza isn't bad enough...we also "pick up" dinner way too often.

A couple weeks ago, I decided I'd had enough of this unhealthy cycle we'd gotten into and I was determined to return to my love of cooking. This is the plan I developed: I plan out meals for Mon, Tues, and Thurs with Tues being a crockpot meal. Plus I try to find as many overlapping ingredients as I can. I go to Marsh on Monday or over the weekend and stock up with everything I need to make the week's meals. Then I try to consolidate or make/prep ahead wherever possible. For example, last week Mon and Tuesday meals were chicken so I made all the chix for both on Monday. Tonight's side dish was roasted vegetables which I cut last night while I was already making dinner and then the leftovers will be used in a chix pasta salad for Thursday night.

I can't say that I completely love cooking again and I definitely don't attempt the "gourmet" meals I used to, but I'm happy with these small strides. It's amazing how important routines are when you have a baby. This new cooking routine has done wonders to make this time less stressful for me and that makes all the difference!

2 comments:

LadyStahl said...

Have you tried super suppers in Avon? They do all the prep and cleaning for you. You just prepare the meals you want and they have side dishes as well. I am not sure how expensive it is, but everything is able to be frozen, so it might be worth looking into if you enjoy healthy food!

Maya said...

Supper Thyme is another great one! But after putting the meals together I figured that I could do that at home and freeze things. Did it just this weekend and it's taken no longer than 20 min. of bake time to get a meal on the table. Awesome! And check out Robin Miller's cookbook too, lots of good ideas.

We all should get together and share meals and freeze them sometime! Because other people's cooking always seems to taste better than mine! :)