Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Lunch for two.

Lunch.  One of the main motivators for this challenge was the eliminating the convenience of "grabbing something quick on the road" for myself, for lunch.  

The last thing I want to do at lunch time is cook.  I don't even want to think.  I would really enjoy just sitting down and having delicious food placed in front of me.  So lunch feels like a daily struggle, what can I microwave or snack on that will feel enough like a meal that I can make it to dinner, but requires as little effort as humanely possible?  Enter photo above.

We had tacos for dinner on Sunday, and because it was Sunday, tacos were accompanied by cheesy Spanish rice, beans, fresh diced tomato and avocado. Luckily for me, no one in my house was interested in anything but the tacos so I have been enjoying this immensely satisfying leftover combo for lunch thus far this week.

Reed has even discovered a taste for beans (notice they are absent from the bowl save for the scrapes left behind from his little fork.). So delicious.  So easy.  And so frugal, one meal for four with two full lunches and then some of leftovers.  If only lunch was always this simple!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Hey you, it's me again!

Heyyyyyyyyy.  Sooo it's been awhile!    Brief update, the challenge is still ongoing but not nearly as strict as I had originally intended.  We are officially out of the "habit" of takeout and delivery, which means I have allowed the occasional "treat" meal to slip back into our lives.  Plus a new local coffee shop opened up in the neighborhood so it's obviously important to support them.

I know the year isn't over, but I have learned SO much in the past 9 months and one glaring lesson needed to be shared as I suffered through it today. 

Recipe books are ALL liars.  Or, to be fair, they present a veiled version of the truth. Think about it, have you ever once seen a recipe that includes clean up in its start to finish time?  I haven't.  And you know...those knives and cutting boards and bowls and whisks and measuring cups and pots and pans don't just magically dance into the sink and wash themselves all Disney style.  Then, there's the actual EATING of the meal, don't forget that ticking clock.  Set the table, serve the food, clear the table, package the leftovers, load the dishwasher.  Where are those minutes in the total count time?  Those minutes add up.  They add up hard.

We all know it isn't time consuming to throw some pasta in boiling water and  bake a piece of chicken with a vegetable.  But the cleaning of the pans, and plates, and serving utensils - that's the real evening killer right there.  And all of that is assuming you DON'T have an almost two year old who eats three or four happy bites and then kamikazes his slow cooked carnitas and cilantro lime rice all across the kitchen.  No.  There is no recipe book that includes the clean up time for that.  The most family friendly of all food blogs do not go into detail on how to not pull out your hair when said 4-5 hours preparing delicious, wholesome family meal promptly lands all over the table, chairs, floor, and dog underfoot.

This is the grind.  This is the day in, day out, dirty business of raising kids.  They eat three meals a day, plus snacks.  Every.  Single.  Day.  Sometimes, they have the gall to NOT eat those meals.  And we have to feed them anyway.

Yet people have the audacity to pretend they don't understand why KFC is so successful...

So despite my every instinct, when tonight's lovingly thought out and prepared feast landed where it would, I did not tear out my hair. I did not crawl into a hole and hide.  I did not even threaten that "I'll sell this house before I'll clean up this mess!"  I just took a deep breath and decided, maybe no more "complex" meals until everyone in the family can speak in complete sentences.  

Another day, another dinner.  Done.

(Mic drop)