Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Simplify Supper

I am big on family meal time. I had it when I was a kid and we have it now that I am a Mom. We lead such busy lives these days that it is so nice to have some down time with each other that doesn't include the television.

I like to cook and try new things and I am blessed to have an adventurous family who will try anything once.

I am a cookbook and gadget junkie. But I also like to have a clean uncluttered kitchen. The two normally don't go hand in hand but I make it work. And, it is not as hard as it sounds. It just takes some work.

Marcia Ramsland is a wonderful author and speaker whose main focus is on simplifying lives. I recently got this e mail about simplifying supper and I thought it had some really good tips that I would pass on to my friends. :)

Here you go:

What's for Dinner Tonight?

Every day millions of women are asked the same question, “What’s for dinner?” That can be the worst question of your day if you don’t know the answer.

That’s because you are busy and cooking dinner is often the last thing on your mind. That’s why you might get caught in the rut of cooking the same three to five meals over and over.

10 Time-Saving Tips for Meals

1. Begin with a clean kitchen.

2. Make sure the clean dishes are out of the dishwasher.

3. Set the table before cooking to motivate yourself to get dinner going.

4. Estimate how long it will take to get a meal ready, and then try to beat the clock.

5. Prepare the longest part of the meal first.

6. Decide what can be done while another dish is baking.

7. Avoid traffic jams at the kitchen sink by keeping your wastebasket out while cooking.

8. Place a stool nearby so the kids can talk while you work.

9. Alert everyone five minutes before dinner so you can sit down together.

10. Remember, a good meal is more than the food. It’s also about the mood, so be cheerful when you sit down together.

Just because you’re done eating doesn’t mean you’re finished with dinner. Use some of the momentum from a good conversation and great food to carry you through the cleanup process.

With all the meals ahead in your lifetime, it is important to remember the brighter side of dinnertime. Sure, try new recipes, but also vary your menus, speed up clean up, and improve how you keep your kitchen counters clean. Make meals an easier task from start to finish.

If you are organized, prepared, and follow these systems, dinnertime will become more of a joy and less of a chore. You can do it. Bon appetite!

I'll leave you with a recipe for chili mac...my dinner tonight. Enjoy!




Cook Time: 5 hours
Yield: Makes 4 servings


-1 pound 90% lean ground beef
-1can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
-1cup chopped onion
-1tablespoon chili powder
-1clove garlic, minced
-1/2teaspoon salt
-1/2teaspoon ground cumin
-1/2teaspoon dried oregano
-1/4teaspoon red pepper flakes
-1/4teaspoon black pepper
-2cups cooked macaroni


Preparation:
Slow Cooker Directions

1.Brown beef in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, stirring to break up meat. Drain fat. Add tomatoes, onion, chili powder, garlic, salt, cumin, oregano, pepper flakes and black pepper to slow cooker; mix well.

2.Cover; cook on LOW 4 hours.

3.Stir in macaroni. Cover; cook 1 hour

8 comments:

Suzelle said...

GREAT tips Mo !!!!

We had family meal time growing up as well, and have also incorporated it with John and the kids. I know beofre we know it they will be few and far between....so we have to grab the time together while we can.

Dianne said...

I just copy/pasted this recipe -- looks YUMMY, and I love a good crockpot dinner.
Awesome post, Mo.

S. said...

Loving your blog! Been missing you! Head over to scrapjazz to pick up a PM that I sent you.

Reen said...

Thanks Mo. We have family dinners with our kids too and it's always a rigga-ma-roll to make it happen, but so worth the effort.

Thanks for the tips.

Jennifer said...

YUMMY!!!!!!!
I have to start with a clean kitchen!!! Good tips!

Karen said...

Great ideas, Mo!!! Gonna try that recipe soon. :)

Leslie said...

we eat together too Mo and I have to thank you for the great tips!
I am going to make that recipe you shared too, looks YUMMY!

Susan said...

that chili mac looks yummy.dinner together is a must. glad you've made it a priority for your family. Your kids will remember it, just as you have