Tip: Always make leftovers

Figuring out what to make for dinner is difficult for most moms.

It’s difficult for me. You either have an abundance of ideas, for which you have no ingredients, or you don’t even know what sounds good. And then you finally find a recipe. Then all you have to do is make a grocery list, drive to the store, keep the kid happy while finding and buying all the ingredients, get the kid home, keep the kid happy while putting everything away, prepping and cooking.

Now I’m hoping that this blog can help you decide what to make for dinner. And that it won’t break the bank.

But the rest of the process cannot be helped. So if you decide to make dinner yourself from scratch (a lofty goal for any parent) make it worth your time. Make leftovers.

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Tip: It just takes one, hand-crafted dish

I often find myself watching the Food Network during Jack’s naps, daydreaming over making a whole spread for brunch. And then leisurely enjoying it all on a Sunday at 11 with friends while sipping strawberry, lemon and basil mimosas.

And then Jack wakes up.

It isn’t to say that having kids ruins your day or your meal. It just changes everything.

And when Jack is off to college I’ll have all the time in the world to make several hand-crafted dishes for each meal. But I’ll miss him and wish I could instead spend a whole day just hanging out with him.

Yes, it’s best I find it best to instead sacrifice the entirety of my cooking plans to focus on one part.

If you see a lovingly prepared casserole with two handmade side dishes, a matching cocktail and dessert? Choose the one piece that you can’t buy or that you want to make and either buy or simplify everything else.

Sometimes, yes, I still try to make lots of little things and try to do everything. But I’m much happier, and I have more time to spend with family and friends, when I just choose one.