Monday, February 27, 2012

my a-ha moment

I think you know that I don't much care for cooking dinner. It seems like I never know what to make, the kids get hungry and grumpy, and it makes a mess of my kitchen. I love a good baking session, but when it comes down to it, getting dinner on the table is not easy for me.

I'm not sure why it took me so long to figure this out, but if I can cook dinner ahead of time, and have the mess all cleaned up, dinner becomes a pleasure. A pleasure! Who knew? Well, maybe you did. Do you do this, too? What are some of your favorite cook-ahead recipes?

Today I made my favorite enchiladas. They are chilling as I type, to be reheated later this evening. I can't wait.

Elliot kept me company at the sink while I fried the tortillas for the enchiladas. (The recipe doesn't call for fried tortillas, but I think it makes them so much better.) And can you believe that heart? It was a tortilla-frying miracle.


  1. Do you oil fry your tortilla's?


  2. I remember having that ah-ha moment also-getting it out of the way while I have the energy and motivation in the morning is the key for me. I never feel like cooking after the kids get home from school-but baking? I can do that anytime. :) Love that little guy at the cute.

  3. this is how I feel about lunch. dinner I can work out in my head, but llunch sneaks up on me daily and I hate, hate, hate it. I just spent way too much money on my kids' lunch a trader joe's today, because it meant I didn't have to think about what they were going to eat.

    Also, I don't know why I took my kids to trader joe's. worst plan ever.

  4. That is one reason why I find a slow-cooker really great. You can do the prep in the morning, and you don't have to think about dinner again.

  5. Those sound SO good. Why are enchiladas so delicious?

  6. I too feel the same way about dinner. It is so much easier if I have it done ahead of time. I was thinking about this tonight as I was loading the dishwasher and realizing that if I'd prepared dinner earlier I wouldn't have so many dishes to do at once. The nice thing about our small family is that I can usually make a big enough dinner that it can last for 2 dinners in a row. So that automatically makes the next days clean up easier.
    Enchiladas are one of my favorites to make ahead of time. If I had a BBQ I would make shish-kabobs and have them marinate all day. Yum!

  7. I like to do as much of the prep work in one day as I can. So, the past weekend I put together a pan of chicken enchiladas and a pan of shepherd's pie all ready to go. All they have to do is bake. I've also got some chicken in BBQ sauce in a gallon ziploc bag just waiting!! sometimes just getting all the chopping done saves a TON of time and cleanup.

  8. cooking for one or two is way way easier, but i still do so much cooking ahead. when i lived in new york and couldn't afford anything i'd make a big pot of soup and freeze it in portions for the week to take into work for lunch. i literally lived off soup and bagels for a year. ha! but even now with the tonester. we're all about cooking + saving + reheating. really helps the "i've been sitting in class/libraries for 6 hours and am SO DANG HUNGRY" when you can just reheat. love you steph!

  9. I went to a RS class one time and was advised to decide what you are having for dinner at 9:30 a.m. Even if you only think about it, your day seems to end better.(Nana)

  10. I almost always prep dinner early in the day and I agree, it makes dinner time so much better. Not a rush with stress and hungry little ones at your feet.

  11. This is something I am so not good at. I usually think about what I am going to make for dinner around 4:30. SOmehow it all works out. I should try this- sounds like a much better idea!

  12. to help with the fighting at what i just made for dinner and the kids not liking it. When i know I'm going to the store, the kids go around at the table and say things that they like that I make. It makes dinner a lot better. I still make things I like that they might not like as much, but they don't complain as much cause they know I will make the food they like sometime.

  13. i homeschool- so i'm home all day- i feel like my kitchen is constantly a mess- i love being able to prep dinner ahead- love the cookbook "favorites" with the italian chicken (1 brick of cream cheese softened, 1 can cream of mushroom soup, 1 packet italian seasoning- mix all together and pour over about 6 chicken breasts on hi for about 5 hours- shred chicken and serve over pasta- i do ww corkscrew) my kids love this- serve cooked broccoli or salad. also- in my head- i have theme nights- have you seen the food nanny on byu? her book and show are very inspiring- plan out 2 weeks of dinners at a time- really helps with the stress. :)

  14. Oh I love how you have Elliot working in the
    kitchen! This is KEY to having happy children,
    because productive children are happy children,
    because they realize they are a needed part of
    the family. Not to mention when you expect
    them to pitch in with household upkeep,
    they won't act as if you have two heads! LOL
    Keep on keeping on,dear!
    P.S. The heart is just adorable! :)


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