Browsing Tag

family dinner favorites

Nest Building

Simple Meal Planning Solution (that Works)!

For the first seven years of our marriage, I cooked through cookbooks. I rarely ever cooked the same thing twice. If it was a big hit meal, I might have made it 3 times. I simply loved trying something new every time I cooked.

It can be tempting to look back on those early years of marriage and cooking and think I really set myself up for failure. The standard I set for myself in the kitchen was onerous. But I like to think of it as a season that was special. The season may have changed, but the things I learned in that process made me the cook and homemaker I am today.

A friend of mine came up to me at church last week and asked, “I was wondering – now that you have four kids, do you still cook something new each time you cook?” I kind of laughed and said, “Those days are long gone.”

Continue Reading
Nest Building

Filling the Freezer: Meatball Madness

preparing meatball recipes for the freezer

Somewhere in the past year, my 5-year-old girl has become obsessed, OB-sessed, with meatballs.  She can’t get enough.  When we go to the pizza place we love, she wants meatballs on her pizza.  She requests spaghetti and meatballs quite regularly.  And when I made our most recent batch of meatballs to fill the freezer for this fall, I had to give her some for lunch before freezing the rest.

But not everyone in our family is as mad about spaghetti and meatballs as she is.  Specifically, my husband.  Not because he doesn’t like meatballs.  He doesn’t like pasta.  I KNOW!  Something that, try as I might, I cannot remedy – yes, it is an illness.

Combining the need to get dinner on the table with the many-varied desires of my family, while trying to get through the day around here can be super-difficult some days.  Often I start to dread the moment when my husband asks, late-afternoon, “What’s for dinner?”  Ugh.

“Um…pasta?”

“Um…I don’t know.”

Instead of relying on the old standby of drive thru or convenience meals this season, I am working on filling my freezer with things I can quickly prepare in the early morning (slow-cooker) or afternoon (after-school) that will make everybody happy.  Or, at least most of us happy.

So, I found myself the other day taking 4.5 pounds of ground beef and making a serious amount of meatballs.  I got the ground beef on sale at our new Aldi store – I am so impressed with how much a homemaker can get there on a budget!  But before I got started on making those meatballs, I made sure I had some unique meatball recipes in mind to try this fall. Continue Reading