Family Meal Ideas

I have been asking my Mom Friends lately how they keep inspired about putting meals on the table every night. It is a challenge to do sometimes but I think we can really learn from each other as we share and are honest about what really helps us and what doesn’t. And for those of you who aren’t even near this point in your lives, you are just fine. There was a point when I was didn’t do so well at it either. But now my kids in school and there is a need for more structure in this area, I am totally on board.
Some tips that have helped me are:
1 The behind the cabinet door trick: This means have some go-to recipes of things you can always keep a good stock of at home. Then write the condensed recipe on a note-card and stick it behind the kitchen cabinet wherever you typically cook.  There are only 2 recipes pictured here because I am starting up my collection again. I threw away my previous ones because I am ready to start learning some new go-to recipes to change things up.
This is by no means rocket science. I am talking easy easy recipes that you feel good about serving your family and you enjoy, too.  I like to put a number next to the name of the dish to signify how many ingredients are in it. Then once I decide on a meal, I can get straight to work going through the ingredients in my head without reading it while I check the pantry to make sure I have the ingredients on hand. For example, I read  “Chili ‘5’”  then I open my fridge and pantry and see if I can recall all the 5 ingredients as search for them.  It is sort of a fun game I made up that helps me start to memorize the recipe.  Spaghetti is a pretty basic one so that is why it is one of my first ones but not always some of the other ones with 5 or more ingredients.
Pretty soon I will to have 8-10 dinner recipes I have on hand all the time again. Behind the cupboard where I keep the baking stuff I put “baking” recipes which are different than the dinner recipes.  It is nice to have those for go-to treats to make but the dinner ones are the essential ones.
This helps me a ton! These become the staples, the go-to trusted meals I can rely on that save me time, brain power, and effort that I can definitely use elsewhere in my life.
(Please excuse the phone pics!)

2 Every now and then we really don’t feel like doing dishes so we cheat and use paper plates.  I am not advocating waste so I don’t do this all the time but sometimes honestly, no guilt is allowed, just do it. I like to use the flimsy paper plates for this very reason and not the Styrofoam or heavy duty plastic ones.
3 When I am rocking it with meal planning, I like to use my Meal Plan System! This means following this easy to memorize mantra:
Meatless Mondays
Taco Tuesdays
World Wide Wednesdays
Think Ahead Thursdays (Slow Cooker meals)
Freezer Fridays (a go-to meal from my pantry or freezer)
Soup or Salad Saturday (a big yummy dish to last us through the weekend)
Sunday (Leftovers)
I have a lot of recipe ideas for these categories that I’ve pinned on Pinterest if it helps anyone out there.


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