Confession: I LOVE to cook. I LOVE my kitchen. It is seriously my favorite room in my house. Cooking or baking is a huge stress reliever for me. However, after working all day it’s not something I want to spend hours doing. But I still cook dinner for our family nearly every night. Here are things that make it easier!
InstaPot or CrockPots
While different both serve a similar purpose to cook your meal while you are away or doing something else in the kitchen. They make your time in the kitchen extremely less and you can find a ton of recipes for either.
Five Ingredient or Less Recipes
These are my jam! On nights that I am exhausted I use one of my go to recipes. Homemade Mac & Cheese, Spaghetti, or even Quinoa Taco One Pot are quick, easy, and can be done in less than 30 minutes.
If you live in Central Texas, Central Market and HEB have great fresh veggie packs you can add to any meat or even by themselves to cook up for dinner. They come cut and ready, just need a rinse and a pan. These just make life easier.
I won’t lie, I am not the best in prepping. I really love my weekends to relax but I do at least make sure I plan for the week before I get groceries. I don’t always stick to it (some days I substitute one of the 5 ingredient or less recipes) but it does take a lot of stress off during the week to come home and not have to decide what to make. Prepping makes your life tons easier because you can cook your meat ahead of time which usually takes the biggest amount of time.
Usually not the day of, but when you want a change or inspiration this is the place to go. If you don’t know the glory that is meal ideas on pinterest, please embrace it!
Now why is it important to start cooking with family? Why even do it?
You Know What You’re Eating
In an age when we don’t even know all the side effects of boxed macaroni and cheese (I know it’s just not fair) it provides peace of mind to know exactly what goes into dinner for you and your family. Reading ingredients is a powerful thing and the more simple and real food in your dinner the better.
Use it to Bond with Your Kids
Making dinner doesn’t have to be just mom in the kitchen (is this 1950?), include your kids and make them love the kitchen. This can also be a great time to teach your kiddos basic skills. There are articles all the time about how younger generations don’t know basic cooking skills such as how to boil an egg. Empower your children!
Cooking dinner and incorporating more real ingredients into your family’s diet also provides you a great opportunity to eat local. Central Texas not only has great stores that support Texas farmers but we have Farmers Markets located all over the area. Take time to find out not only what is available but what is in season.
Some days, like me, you may want to just take some time in the kitchen with you, a glass of wine, and cooking. Finding time for yourself can sometimes be hard in a busy day and it can be nice to take an hour to yourself to create and relax.
Making dinner leads to eating dinner (obviously) and this is my favorite thing about making dinner. Every since our son was born we made dinner around the table a priority. We take time even if it’s brief to put down electronics, say prayers, and connect with each other. It is a tradition that I love and look forward to every night. Plus it makes those rare dinners in the living room with pizza a huge treat for our kid.