Thursday, October 28, 2010

Cooking dinner is not my favorite thing.

 Oh, Elliot, I get that same look on my face when I think about cooking dinner.

Here are some things about me and dinner:

Sometimes we eat dinner before 5:00. Most nights I make something really easy. Like 15 minutes or less easy. I try to cook things that are relatively healthy. I'm not crazy about it, but I do try to make as many things from scratch as I can. I always try to have fresh bread on hand. You can eat just about anything with a thick slice of freshly baked bread and call it dinner. And I always serve a vegetable on the side. My kids love broccoli and carrots and corn and that's about it.

Here are some of our favorite quick dinners:

scrambled eggs - We eat a lot of eggs for dinner. One time, Mike tried to make the kids scrambled eggs for breakfast. They said, "Eggs for breakfast?! That's dinner food." Ha!

egg burritos - See, more eggs. When the kids have egg burritos, Mike and I have huevos rancheros. I haven't been so great about it lately, but I like to always have fresh salsa or pico de gallo in my fridge.

spaghetti - My kids love spaghetti (just noodles and sauce). I use whole grain noodles and like to put ricotta cheese in mine.

grilled chicken - I don't cook meat very often, but grilled chicken tenderloins are so quick and easy. I serve them with rice and vegetables.

pancakes or waffles - It's like a party at our house when I make this for dinner. My kids love it! I use whole wheat flour so I don't feel quite so guilty about it.

tomato soup - My kids refuse to eat grilled cheese sandwiches. Can you believe that? So we have thick slices of whole wheat bread with our tomato soup instead.

quesadillas (last night's dinner, shown above) - I used to make chicken quesadillas, but my kids wouldn't eat them. So I started serving the chicken on the side. I make them a little fancier for me and Mike.

pizza - I make whole wheat pizza dough in my bread maker and cook the pizzas on our grill. It's a snap. Our favorite toppings are cheese (kids), bacon (me), and mushrooms (Mike).

mac n' cheese with tuna and peas - My kids call this "Daddy's Special Pea-O". And they love it.

Would you eat any of these things?
What do you make when you don't feel like cooking dinner?


  1. I am SO into simple dinners. Last night we had chicken fingers (that I make with Ritz crackers) and apple sauce and peas (which only me and one other person ate.) Sometimes I don't even have sides. Just grilled cheese. Or just grilled chicken sandwiches. It's all my brain can handle. We have spaghetti once a week always.
    I need to get out my bread's been hibernating all summer long. If I were you, I'd just eat and serve frozen yogurt for every single meal. :)

  2. Thanks for this post! Mealplanning and execution generally are not my forte. Seeing how another mom makes it easy is encouraging to me, so thanks for sharing! My picky crowd would like several of these.

  3. I would eat them all! :)

    I live in Germany and dinner is very different here. We eat a warm lunch and at dinner time we eat bread with cheese (swiss, french etc.) or cold cuts. Along with this we eat a salade, veggies, pickles etc. But dont think that we germans eat that white kind of breat (called toast bread here) our breads are really dark, have grains in them and seeds. You can google german bread and look at pictures of it. Germany is famous for the bread and everyone from here misses it when they go on vacation.
    It's a very easy dinner but you can "pimp" it with different veggies and dips on the side or different kinds of salade!
    It never gets old! :)

  4. I make eggs for dinner, too. My favorite way to fancy them up, is to fry up thin strips of corn tortillas to put over the eggs, then top with cheese ans red and green salsa.

    The other recipe that is a regular in my house is Pasta Florentine. Find it here:

    (Note: You don't have to necessarily cool the pasta and spinach before combining everything.)

    I also like to make baby carrots with balsamic vinegar, butter and agave nectar (although you could use regular or brown sugar or probably even honey). Just sautée the carrots in a bit of butter in a small pot for 5 minutes. (If they are fat baby carrots, you might need to half them, but I buy the super tiny kind.) Then I drizzle in a little olive oil, stir, and cover for 7 minutes. Then add some balsamic, agave nectar, and stir then cover again until the carrots are cooked (usually another 5-7 minutes). Salt and pepper to taste. Really yummy. Sweet with a kick.

    Favorite chicken is Ranch Chicken. I dice up tenderloin into chunks. Then I combine bread crumbs with a packet of dry Ranch Dressing mix. I put the chicken and bread crumb mix in a big ziploc bag and shake the whole thing until it's all coated. Then I bake the chicken in a pan coated in olive oil for 30 minutes at 350, or until cooked through. A hit with my kids.

  5. I love this post, I can't wait to see what everyone else says! Lately I've been tryint to do dinner really simple, because I hate the 1+ hour of prep, and 1+ hour of clean up! (I'm slow) Our favorite quick dinner is bean & cheese burritos with "homemade" red enchilada sauce. Tomato and cucumber salad with bread is another good one that most of the kids eat, spinach, chicken, pesto pasta salad. (with ready grilled chicken)

  6. When I really don't feel like making dinner the kids just find whatever they want (most of my kids are older than yours). Most nights I do cook, but I don't go crazy with it because I have a lot of kids, a small kitchen and not tons of time.

    We do cheese quesadillas probably once a week or so. I make homemade guacamole for the side. The 5 and 3 year old don't eat that, but everyone else does.

  7. I would eat those things!
    Pasta is a definite go-to when i don't feel like cooking. I also almost always have a green salad and I keep frozen dinner rolls on hand - just wrap in foil and toss in the oven!
    My mom makes a mean frittata - think baked omelette. so yummy!

  8. We do mango chicken quesadillas. My mom has this whole big recipe with a homemade mango salsa and a tomato sauce but I just do a normal quesdilla with chicken and mango in it ( you would be suprised).

    My go to quick dinner is taco soup.
    1-2 lbs of hamburger browned.
    1 big can of tomato sauce
    1 big can of diced tomatos
    1 can corn
    1 can kidney beans
    1 cup salsa
    Half a packet of taco seasoning.

    It is easy to have it all on hand and you can have it ready really quickly. We eat it with tortilla chips

  9. i do mac n cheese w/ tuna and peas all the time! they kids love it. it's my "shortcut" meal but they think its the best so i dont tell them.

  10. My kids love Macaroni and Cheese, tuna fish and peas. And sing song the title just like that. We also have egg burritos when I want a quick dinner, or pancakes/waffles.

  11. spaghetti or frozen cheese ravioli were two standbys that almost all of you would eat! poor Elliot still in the pink seat! mom

  12. Amen about dinner. I do a lot better if i have a list of things we can choose from off my shopping list so i know we have them at our house. I hate thinking up things. last night we had "meat" sandwiches (or ham sandwiches) carson hasn't eaten the last 2 nights of dinner so we went easy.

  13. What kind of bread maker do you have?

  14. refuse to eat grilled cheese?! grilled cheese is one of the best foods out there! scrambled eggs with toast and turkey bacon are a fav of mine, soup and toast or a bowl of cereal!

  15. Sounds just like dinner at our house. Well, except for the grilled cheese part. :)

  16. Hi ,

    If you have dinner at 5 , aren't the kids hungry by bed time?

  17. Generally I love cooking, but when I don't feel like it or don't have time we have "lunch stuff" (leftovers, sandwiches, man n' cheese, burritos, etc.). Tonight we had cold cereal. I think that was a first for the kids but they chowed down on their Kelloggs Raisin Bran:)


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