Monday, October 29, 2012

The Great Dinner Debate

(Before I get into the Great Dinner Debate, let me quickly update my reasons for being so MIA on this blog. My father in law passed a little over a week ago. This has been coming for some time, but these things are still very difficult for families to deal with. Everyone is still adjusting and therefore, blogging hasn't been on the top of my list. I apologize. Things should line out soon.)

Now, on to the Great Dinner Debate.

When I was thinking what I would call this post, I immediately thought of the title the Great Dinner Debate. The more I continue to think and tell you about it, I guess it should be called The Great Dinner Portion Debate.

See when I was first married, a little over 10 years ago, It was always so difficult to cook for 2. It seemed like every meal that I fixed was for a family of 6, as I had been used to being in a large family. We always had many many leftovers. This worked out ok at times, as I have to bring my lunch into work, so I would just store some leftovers for the next day. I hate, repeat HATE throwing out food. Its like throwing money away. I do also however only will eat left-overs the next day. I might get 2 days out of a pot of chili, but beyond that, I get too nervous about if its still good and into the trash it goes. And since we already know about how much I hate to do that, I won't say it again. :) (I really need some good tips on storing leftovers and making them last longer with some peace of mind. Pinterest?)

So, now over the years until we had children, we would eat out alot. It just seemed easier than trying to fix meals for just the 2 of us. Now that I have 2 children to try and feed, I want to try and give them healthy options. (now these last two weeks of stress do not count. I have had more McDonald's that I would like to admit, and so have they. Thank goodness Livy at least loves the little apples they give you in the happy meals and they both love milk.) Where was I going??? Oh that's right, cooking healthier for my children. I have practically been a single mom for the last 2 weeks and its been very difficult to be supermom and cook every evening. Tonight that is going to change. I plan to cook a nice dinner, even if it is just for me and the kids.

Now whats this debate all about? Portions. Another great reason to cook at home is to save money. Another great way to save money is to take the leftovers in for lunch. (It always beats Ramen Noodles, Soup or a lunchable) But I have a difficult time knowing "how much" to cook because now that I have learned how to cook for a small family, it seems like there is just enough for everyone to eat and get full on and not nearly anything left to take in the next morning. For instance, 1 box of mac-n-cheese will fill our small family up fine, but 2 boxes is overkill. We have mac-n-cheese coming out our ears if we do that. Then there is plenty for me to take to work and 3/4 of a box in the trash. See where I am going with this? Its not too difficult if I am throwing and extra piece of chicken in the pan to bake in the oven, but its the sides. How do I get enough for dinner and leftovers for me without having to double the portions and throw half of it away? I guess I could just go to making everything from scratch and then I wouldn't need the already measured out box portions, but I am no Julia Child. I do very well to cook something as simple as baked chicken. I need some simple recipes that are yummy and easy, but when I google recipes or look for new things, I tend to get overwhelmed by all the ingredients that they say (are just in your cupboard already) apparently aren't in mine.

So what will I do about this great debate? Maybe I should just eat a little less for dinner and then I will have lunch. Dinner should be your smallest meal of the day after all.....OR maybe I should make up my lunch plate first and then split what is left between us. I mean I have scraped children's plates into the trash before in aggravation because I had no leftovers and it just went to waste.

Perhaps that's what I will try.

Any ideas?

Until Next time....

Keep Calm.....and Carry On....

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