Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Dinner doesn't have to take long or be complicated.

I had a few blog readers comment that they don't have the time or energy (patience) to cook anything that takes too much time and effort.

Everyone's life is hectic and always changing so it is hard to plan or give too much time to eating.  It's so much easy just eating out or ordering in.  But it is also much more expensive to do this all the time.  I mention in the cookbook that cooking is just like life, it takes planning and organization.  Think about your job.  What would happen if you treated your job like you do eating.  Instead of planning how you where going to run an important meeting, you just said "let it happen."  You probably wouldn't be working there too much longer, would you?

Well cooking or meal planning works the same way.  There are a lot of things you can do to take the stress out of cooking.  Slow Cookers (Crock-pots) can be very helpful.  Many of the recipes just call for you to throw everything in the slow cooker, turn in on low and eat 8, 10 or 12 hours later.  Plus there are usually leftovers for another meal.  Sometimes they want you to brown the meat.  But even then, you can skip that process with many recipes.  The meat just won't be as dark as if you had browned it.

Another thing to remember about cooking your meals:  You don't have to make everything from scratch.  I talk about this in the cookbook too.  It's crazy to think that you need to do that.  But it is also crazy to go totally the other way too.

It's OK to cook some pasta, heat some jar sauce (add something to it if you want), make an easy salad or cook a vegetable (fresh are best) to go with it.  Make the "Garlic Bread" recipe from the blog to go with it and you have a quick easy meal.  The garlic butter for the bread recipe stores well and lasts a long time in the fridge.

An entree dinner salad can be quick and easy too.  The fresh "Rotisserie" chicken that you can buy everyday in the store is just great for this meal.  Add a little bread (the good stuff) from the store bakery and you can have that quick & healthier meal you're looking for when you get home.  I have a recipe I picked up in Mexico last month that would work great here.

The salad recipe and another quick favorite of my wife and mine are this week's recipes on the blog.  We will make a meal of a large baked potato that is topped with BBQ meat and other items.  Check them both out Thursday and Friday.

Remember, just get organized and plan a little.  Dinner doesn't have to be stressful and take all night.

Next week, we have a guest "Dietitian."  She will talk about "Egg Free Baking" because more and more people are coming up with allergies.

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