Monday, January 10, 2011

What's for Dinner?

Dinner Time. Those daunting words.

I never understood why my mom would get flustered with us kids when she would ask what we wanted for dinner and our reply would be, "I don't know."

For our first 5 years of marriage I rarely made dinner. If I did it was probably not done at a reasonable dinner time. Why? I never knew what to make. Then if I did know what to make, what were the chances I had all the ingredients or the meat unfrozen? On top of that, in the beginning we were both working and nobody was even home for dinner... but that's a different story.

Never ask a husband an hour before dinner what he wants to eat. He'll just say, "I don't know" or "whatever you want" or something along those lines.

When the cook doesn't know what to make either good food is rarely consumed!

What is my solution?

For about 6 months now I've been the super wife!

That's right! I have been planning dinners for 2 weeks at a time. Every payday I get my calendar out and start plotting which days we will have which meals. I'll get some minor input from the hubby on a specific meal he would like during that period (usually steak) and jot it down. Twice a week is leftovers as well so that helps. Also, I plan my new meal recipe once a month for my 101 in 1001!

It is all variable, to a point. Sometimes I'll switch around -- I mean, I'm flexible.

The reason this is so helpful is that when I go to the commissary I have a list of all the ingredients I'll need for those 2 weeks of meals and not scramble last minute to be sure I have everything. Also... I'll get my meat defrosted in time and know WHEN to start making dinner so that I have it done by 6 or 6:30.

Yeah, I have a deadline for my dinners. I can't always rely on hubby to be home at the same hour every day so I tell him when it's ready and if he's here he eats with us. If not, at least he has something good to warm up when he gets home.

Some people choose to cook on the fly... but if I don't plan ahead we won't eat. Hey, it works for me!

How do you choose what to make for dinner?



  1. I've tried to get hubby on board with meal planning but he's not buying it. I usually decide the day before or that morning. If I don't feel up to cooking I'll see if he is, since he's a great cook too. Often we'll just throw something together, as we keep a variety of staples (for us anyway) on hand. All I know is that for tomorrow I'm throwing something in the crockpot!

  2. I recently started "crockpot day" on Saturdays. That way we can have something super yummy but I don't have to slave away. And if we're gone most of the day there's something to come home to.

  3. I have been doing meal planning like that since I was 14 (that's when I started cooking full time for the family). I'm also a "planner" so it comes pretty easy to me. :) And it saves a lot of money. I usually ask Mike what meals he wants too. I have a crockpot day too - Sunday, so usually lunch is done when we come home from church, which we really like (Mike hates waiting for food). I do have a few "super fast prep" meals that I put into my meal planning in case there's a day where I don't feel like cooking, I can just fall back on those. And on occasion, I'll double a few recipes and freeze half, so all I have to do is throw something in the oven (usually pasta or stuffed peppers). When I'm getting ready to give birth, I do a lot of frozen meals so all I have to do is preheat the oven and pop it in. If I'm making similar dishes, I can make 4 or so frozen meals in a hour and a half. And when I'm making something like turkey dinner or roast, I automatically plan on freezing half of the meat to make a soup out of later, or plan to make a soup the following day. Soups are awesome for stretching too. :) And so delicious on a cold day! I only have a few soups in my collection, but I'm working on expansion!

    Great post! :)