Friday, January 18, 2013

What's for dinner?

I think this is one of the most common questions in every household: What's for dinner?!

Our house is no different.  Since we both have fairly unpredictable schedules, we never have a "set" menu for the week, as at our current stage in life this wouldn't be a practical solution.  Instead, last fall we started having a "What are the options for dinner" list on the refrigerator.  I write down different options for dinner that we have all of the ingredients for, and Luke knows what options are available if he's hungry or motivated to make dinner!

Typically we have options that are quick, as well as some options that may take a little longer to make/bake, but are generally pretty straightforward. We've also found that having this list makes it easier to say, "Hey, this and this sound good, which one of the two would you like tonight?"  By having a more limited option list, we don't spend half hour looking in the fridge, freezer, or pantry, then ultimately deciding on cereal because we are too famished to actually make something at this point.

Once we make something on the list, we cross it off.  Once we are down to a few options, I generally go back through the fridge, freezer, and pantry and see if there are any other options.  If we have no other options left - it's back to the store!

Sometimes I see that we have majority of the ingredients for a few meals and make a quick grocery store run for just those items that we need.  We end up saving money using what we already have and not going to the grocery store aimlessly.

Another perk?  We often have leftovers, which means a night off of cooking or an easy lunch option for the next day.  Living with Luke, leftovers typically don't last much past the next day ;)

Need some ideas for some easy meals? 
I love Pearls, Handcuffs, and Happy Hour's Easy Crockpot Potato Soup and her Hot Chicken Salad (to DIE for!).  I make minor modifications to both (i.e. fat free soups and light mayo, silvered almonds instead of potato chips, etc) but these two recipes routinely make their way into our dinner rotations!

Other websites I love for recipes? 
Has HUNDREDS of recipes that are all made more healthy and nutritious without sacrificing flavor!

Iowa Girl Eats
Down to earth Iowa girl with a wide variety of recipes that are easy to follow and offers variety without being difficult or too far out for the ingredient list!

All Recipes
The mecca of recipes.  Thousands of recipes with reviews and the option to save recipes to your digital recipe box.  Also has the option to search for recipes with certain ingredients.  A little overwhelming with the number of recipes, but I have found some FANTASTIC options on this site!

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