Anyone who knows me knows I’m not a cook.
My three children have borne the brunt of this as I struggle to get something on the table each night. There is the rare occasion where I do pretty well (grilled mahi mahi, vegetables and rice), but many more when chicken nuggets, carrot sticks and a glass of milk are all I can manage. How do you manage it? What’s your family’s favorite? And what’s one of your quickest dinners?
Lilly Franco, mother of three: "You will totally laugh ... I love to make breakfast for dinner (my husband does not). When he is gone/out of town, it is a given that I will be making homemade waffles for dinner. The neighbor kids love to eat over, and the kids love it. We add bacon and cut up oranges. Then we have pancakes the next morning using the leftover dough!"
Erin Mundy, mother of four: "My best trick is to make dinner early, and I mean really early, especially if I know it's going to be a busy day. I'll get the kids off to school and then get some spaghetti and meatballs cooked to heat up for dinner later. Sometimes I'll cook a chicken. Planning ahead works best for us."
Ursula Schoenich, mother of one: "If my day is going to be busy, I cook ahead and freeze it. When I prepare spaghetti Bolognese, I use the sauce for lots of other lunch or dinner dishes. I always cook extra, freeze it and have sauce for another dish like a layer of noodles topped with cheese. It only takes 15 minutes to boil the noodles, and it tastes great."
Monique Geske, mother of three: "Quickest dinner is ‘breakfast for dinner.’ The kids like the change-up, and it's easy to whip up scrambled eggs and toast or an egg McMuffin. I usually cook to feed an army on Sunday (chicken tortilla soup, beef stew, ribs, lasagna) and then freeze leftovers to use during the week. I also frequent Trader Joe’s for quick weeknight dinners such as fresh turkey burgers or the ground turkey (not ground turkey breast—too dry) to make turkey tacos ... the kids also like when I make Philly cheese-steak sandwiches with the ‘quick to cook' sirloin. I always have a rotisserie chicken on hand that I can use for a variety of dishes such as soup, chicken Alfredo pasta, Caesar salad, as well as a couple of rib-eyes, porterhouses or fillets to throw on the grill (whatever is on special of those three ... my kids are total carnivores!) My kids prefer raw veggies, so we do a lot of side salads and guacamole or just raw veggies with dinners, as well as beans (they like beans—go figure!). I have not had a lot of success getting them to eat fish, so please let me know if you have any suggestions."