Monday, August 29, 2011

My Dinner Dilemma

Saturday's big batch cooking

I don't like making dinner. I'm not the biggest lover of cooking. Unlike some of my good friends, there's nothing in me that wants to spend all day making something that will be eaten in a matter of minutes. I like simple meals that don't take a ton of prep time. It's also a challenge with two toddlers roaming around, trying to take any opportunity to get in a cupboard, their toys strewn all over the floor and often needing attention. Because the boys are still napping twice a day, the late afternoon is often the best time to get out and go for a walk or play outside. Joel used to do a lot of the cooking. He enjoys it and he's good at it. But we like to eat dinner as a family so that means it now needs to be ready as soon as he gets home so there is time for baths and the evening routine before the glorious 7pm bedtime!

One of my goals for the fall is to make dinner less stressful. I have to feed my family so it's not really an option. Something I want to do more of is big-batch cooking... making large quantities of food to freeze so I can easily pull something out to defrost but it's still homemade. If you have the space I think a big freezer is a great investment. On Saturday I made five dinner's worth of one of our family favourites, chicken broccoli casserole. If you've hung around me long enough, I'm sure I've served it to you. Joel BBQ'd all of the chicken at once and I had a ton of broccoli from our trip to the farmer's market. The best part is that making large quantities doesn't require that much more work. I've also been pulling out recipes from magazines that I'd like to try and am hoping to attempt at least two a month. I'll let you know if I discover any good ones. My other ways to ease the dinner-time stress are to make a weekly meal plan. We brainstormed a list of all the meals we like to make so I can easily look at what we haven't had in awhile. And I want to do as much prep as possible earlier in the day. We'll see how it all goes.

In the mean time I'll share with you this weekend's recipe incase you don't already have it! Just double it, triple it etc. for several yummy meals. It's easy and freezes well.

Chicken Broccoli Casserole

3-4 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
1 head of brocolli, cut into small pieces
2 cans cream of chicken soup (use more if you like it saucier)
1/2 cup mayo (I use Miracle Whip)
1 t. lemon juice
1 T. curry powder or to taste (I use a lot more)
cheddar cheese

1. In a 9x13 pan sprayed with cooking spray, spread out broccoli and cooked chicken.
2. Mix together soup, mayo, lemon juice and curry powder. Pour over top of chicken and broccoli.
3. Top with shredded cheddar cheese and bread crumbs.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for approx. 45 minutes or until top is browned and bubbly. Serve over rice.

Let me know if you try it or have any dinner making tips!


Joel said...

Yum! Can't wait for dinner tonight...

cheryl said...

a fav here as well. i made it yesterday too! look forward to hearing about some new good recipes!

the smiths said...

Will be trying this one. Chicken and broccoli are faves. :)