Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Breakfast for Dinner and other Tales

Yesterday I made the kids breakfast for dinner, an impressive spread of homemade pancakes, bacon, sausage and eggs with a little fruit so I didn't feel like I was clogging all of their arteries...the mom-guilt made me do it! It was a meal we can only have when Daddy is at the firestation because if there is anything he hates more in this world than Electrasol Tabs, it is breakfast for dinner.

"This is so good," raved my 12 year old.

"I want to eat this every day," gushed my 10 year old.

"You're a good cooker Mommy!" sang my 5 year old.

And as I was washing the layer of bacon grease from the electric frying pan long after they'd gone to bed, I felt . . . well, kinda happy.

Sure my house smelled like an IHOP, requiring me to leave the fan on and the kitchen window open during our March snowstorm, but I didn't care. Sure there was syrup spilled on the table. But, my kids liked their dinner. I sat down with them at the dining room table, instead of me standing at the kitchen counter and having them eat at the kitchen table (which only seats 3). I didn't run to Subway or order pizza because I "just didn't feel like cooking," which almost always happens when Daddy is at the firestation lately.

(No offense Subway, I worship the ground you sandwich on.)

You see I've been in a funk.

It's been hard to be inspired in the kitchen for, oh, let's just say the last 6 months to be safe. I used to be really good at sticking to a meal plan, writing out a weeks worth of meals, and only grocery shopping once a week for the ingredients needed to prepare those meals...

I used to be more organized.

I don't know what happened.

I think I lost my mealtime mojo.

However, the times, they are a changin'. The side of my refrigerator is covered in Post It notes with the weeks meals listed accordingly. I have everything I need to prepare these meals and anything I am lacking in, I can drop by the grocery store after I drop Katie off at preschool and pick up. Therefore, eliminating a random, spontaneous, I-feel-like-buying-every-flavor-of-Girl-Scout-cookie-ice-cream-you-have kind of trip, which does nobody any good, especially my backside, and my frontside, and my sideside...heck - let's just say all of me!

And I'm going to do it.

I not only want to stick to a budget, but I want to get that feeling back that I had while watching my kids stuff bacon into their mouths, and chase sausage links around in a pool of syrup on their plates, giggling the entire time.

I want to feel that way. Like I am in control, instead of the kind of mom that waits until the last minute for everything...which is what I've been doing.

And guess what? There is a blog out there that can help. A magic fairy godmother of a blog with just the tools to get those silly Post It notes off my fridge and replace them with something a little more pleasing to the eye and a little less wasteful - we need those Post It notes for more important things you know (like delegating whose turn it is to pick up the . . . take out the trash)!

Check out Amy's free downloadable meal planning sheets here (and no, nobody asked me to do this, I just happen to be her friend on Facebook, saw her link and just about screeched out loud when I saw how cute and practical her - not to mention FREE - downloads are):

Print out that meal planning tool and join me on my quest for more quality time in the kitchen and at meals with my family. Maybe it'll help you get your mealtime mojo back too!

Oh, and could you leave your menu ideas in the comments? I need some new ideas, that meatloaf recipe is getting kind of old.


Amy @ Living Locurto said...

Awesome post! Thanks for the shout out:-)

It does make you feel better to feel organized, that's for sure. I started my meal plans because I read that meal time is the most important part of a child's development. Not school or playtime, but meals with family. Crazy huh?

Check out my last 3 weeks of menus. I have printable grocery lists too:-) Good luck planning.


Ace said...

I love organized people. I am not one of them. I have also been in a cooking funk for a very long time. I can always count on spaghetti night and taco night though!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I posted this recipe not long ago--it's just what you're looking for.

Kevin Charnas said...


love. it.

And I wish, how I wish, oh how i wish i were organized.

I'm glad that you're determined, my friend! Go, get 'em tiger! RA! RA! SISS-BOOM-BA! TEAR OFF YOUR PANTIES!! RIP OFF YOUR BRA!!

or...something similar.

EASY recipe?

1) Pasta,
2) add baked chicken (slices of),
3) sundried tomatoes in olive oil (Trader Joe's has an awesome jar of them in olive oil with herbs)
4) and kalamata olives, if you're so inclined.
5) sprinkle parmesean cheese on top.

It's awesome, easy, and makes me want to rip off my clothes and run down the street because I'm so happy, after I've eaten it.

monstergirlee said...

oh I love breakfast for dinner (Or as they say on Scrubs - Brinne!). Especially since its my Husband who cooks it!

Why I don't do menu planning each week is a mystery, because my life is SO easy when I do. But no, most nights I come home from work and Wonder... what the heck am I going to make for dinner?

Thanks for the tips, I'll definitley go look, and may even try it.

monstergirlee said...

uh thats "Brinner" on Scrubs.

It's Just Katie! said...

Oh the smell of comfort. I enjoy fishing for sausage and the smiles that those breakfast for dinner bring. Thanks for the mealtime mojo download. Here's to gettin it back. Take care and enjoy,

wyliekat said...

It's entirely possible to lose your cooking mojo - it's very much about starting your planning well in advance of eating the actual meals, so yeah - if you don't have the mental wherewithal to start it early, it's difficult to catch up.

Conversely (and perversely), once you start it back up again, it's a lot easier to maintain.

Liz said...

You might also enjoy joining my menu planning group. Go to yahoogroups.com & do a search for MenuSwapping (all one word). That's the group! Everyone shares their menu each week & you can email to ask for recipes if you see something interesting. It used to be a really active group so there is a lot in the message archives. Now days it's pretty quiet (so no worries about an overloaded inbox). Hope that helps!

Little Miss Sunshine State said...

My standards are Baked Ziti (the Italian version and the Mexican Version), Chicken Pot Pie (made with leftovers from a roasted chicken, frozen veggies and a jar of gravy),Pot roast in the crock pot withb potatoes and carrots, Salmon Burgers (made from canned salmon) with Mac and Cheese (yes, it's Kraft Deluxe),
Spaghetti with chopped broccoli and cheese, Spaghetti and meatballs. Man, I sure cook a lot of pasta!

Grim Reality Girl said...

I completly agree that menu planning and family meals bring a sense of peace and comfort to the home. I'm working on this very same thing! Glad I am not alone... thanks for the link to the menu planning downloads. I will be sure to check it out! WE CAN DO IT!

Nadine said...

There is nothing wrong with your house smelling like ihop!

We do meal planning too. Actually, I should be doing it NOW. On Thursday night I pick one or two cookbooks and pick a meal for each day and write a grocery list. On Friday my husband does groceries. Works perfectly!

Missie said...

OMG I am totally laughing. At the post, but also because i wish i could manage to write so eloquently and i think you are my secret twin sister. All joking aside, my kids LOVE "BRINNER" as we call it..Breakfast for Dinner. I have the same feeling about making them something they LOVE to eat especially when my imagination come 5:30 is giving me NADA! Kudos to you!

Danielle (Life with the Hewitt Family) said...

I have been in a cooking funk lately and I need to get myself focused and organized! Let us know how you are doing! Good Luck!

Anonymous said...

Here's my newest Get-Dinner-On-The-Table-In-Twenty-Minutes Recipe

Fish Tacos!! Yum!! And Healthy Too (But nobody has to know that...)

Fish (flexible - can be a light fish like cod or more meaty fish like mahi mahi or red snapper) 1/2 pound per person


Red Cabbage - shredded, and sprinkled with white wine vinegar (I know, but it's good trust me.)

Cilantro - chopped

Red onion - chopped

Tomato - diced

Salsa - out of a jar :o)

While the oven/George Foreman is preheating, marinate the fish in 4-5 limes' worth of lime juice, cumin, chili powder, taco seasoning, grated garlic what have you (if using GF, might want to add a teaspoon or so of olive oil to marinade)

Cook fish until done in oven or on George Foreman

Assemble tacos with toppings in soft tortillas. We use the whole wheat low-carb mission tortillas (only 80 calories each!)

Muy Delicioso!!

Arlington, TX

Mrs. Chicken said...

We've been the same here. Having knee surgery and the pain that proceeded it meant lots of lame/take-out meals.

I think it is spring that does it for me, the idea of grilling gets me (heh) fired up to cook.

Great link, thanks!