As my oldest child went off to Camp last week, my son said “I feel bad that she has to eat cafeteria food for three days.” He is just 8. I was delighted that he could tell the difference in the quality of the food that he gets at home. My kids eat very little prepackaged foods. And one of my goals at Organizing Dinner is to help many other families achieve that level of purity in their dinners.
One of the strongest ways I can guide you towards achieving this for your own family is, simply put, to get in the game. Dinner, my friends, rears its head every night. Not having a game plan leaves you with that “ughh….. what am I going to make?” feeling. Think for a moment about how many nights of dinner are ahead of you in your lifetime. Wouldn’t it be better to face them with a plan for not only action, but winning?! And just a little bit of thinking ahead takes tons less time than the alternatives of writing out meal plan, cooking ahead and freezing for a month, or running out to the store every night for ingredients.
Here are some tips to get yourself in winning shape
Show up ready to play
Keep Smart Ingredients on hand. Build your repertoire from 2 – 3, to 10 – 20 “go to” recipes for which you have the ingredients, on hand, any night of the year. Read through some of our previous posts to get some ideas, or build on your family’s tastes. For me, I keep several boxes of pasta, yeast and flour to make pizza dough, black beans, tortillas, rice, chicken, eggs, spinach, chicken broth and canned diced tomatoes to mix and match for a good 20 easy go-to recipes such as Chicken Fried Rice, BBQ Chicken Pizza, chicken Caesar wraps, many kinds of pasta, chili, Chicken Pot Pie, quiche, enchiladas, and more.
Have good equipment
Cooking is a sport. And for any sport, you need the right equipment. If you were to show up for a tennis game with a beat up old wooden racket, you would first of all not be excited to play, but second of all not stand a good chance of success. Having one good pan that doesn’t stick, and one good knife that cuts like the wind can be just the difference it makes to make you feel like a winner. These days kitchenware is very inexpensive. Invest in one or two good pieces that make you ready for success in the kitchen. Visit www.brylanehome.com or Ikea.com for some well-made inexpensive options.
Home turf advantage (turn your kitchen into a place you enjoy)
Many of us end up in the kitchen for many more hours than we would have thought possible before we had families. Since it’s a place you often have to be, it should be a place you are happy to be in. Clean out the clutter, bring in some fresh flowers or fun decorations, brew yourself a cup of tea, and settle in for some cooking.