Learning at a young age how to eat Ethiopian-style. She loves it, because it's very hands-on and messy!
This is by far the most work I feel like I do all day. Between the meal planning, prep, cooking, serving, serving some more (my kids are pretty big eaters), and cleanup...yeah, it's a lot of work. :)
In terms of meal planning and shopping, I go through spurts of being organized, but then I end up disorganized again (more often than not, darn). I'm so inconsistent! One thing that IS consistent though is that in a family of six, we have to have SOME sort of meal each night.
I do have grand plans to get a system going and get more organized (once I'm feeling a little better). Here are some of my random "meal habits":
--In general we typically don't eat red meat more than once a week. (And it's usually super lean ground beef in tacos or chili or spaghetti sauce.)
--We have a vegetable with every meal.
--I like to make Ethiopian food every now and then and am SO happy to live near an Ethiopian market where I can buy yummy injera to go with!
--Before we moved we were having fish about once a week, either tilapia or salmon. I've been so out of my routine that we haven't had it much since we got here. But I'm making fish tonight, yay!
--I will sometimes substitute tofu for meat, or make tofu recipes.
--I use ground turkey too--in tacos, spaghetti sauce, and chili. When it's seasoned you really can't tell the difference that much (in my opinion) between turkey and beef.
--We generally eat whole wheat pastas, and brown rice, because they're healthier than the non-wheat alternatives.
I'm not that great of a chef, but hey, we get by. :) I LOVE "Everyday Food" magazine and I also own the cookbook, which, unfortunately, I haven't used yet.
There are two big things about dinner that we live by, I guess. One is, I make what I want to make. No one has to eat it, but that's it until breakfast. (None of my kids are picky eaters so no one ever skips the meal, though of course some things are liked better than others). The second thing is, all six of us sit down to dinner together every night. I know in the years to come there will be sports and friends and activities from time to time, but I think in general, for us, it's really important for us to have structured, sit-down dinners where we're all together enjoying each other's company (and hopefully the food too!) Yes, it can make for noisy, messy mealtimes, but that's okay.
What are YOUR dinnertime routines? What kinds of things do you enjoy making? Do you have any tried-and-true recipes?