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Real Simple Cooking Challenge: Part One

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(Photo: Anna Williams – Real Simple)

Like a lot of working families, we struggle with dinner A LOT.   I attempted to write this blog several times and it just got too long with all the reasons and issues we face.  So I skipped that part because you know the reasons and you probably have a lot of the same things going on.

I’m always looking for new recipes and new ways to simplify the whole dinner process so we can eat one meal together.  But I feel like “weeknight” recipes offered up in magazine and cookbooks seem to fall into four categories:

  • Too complicated for a working family with limited time to prep.
  • Or conversely – too orchestrated to make it “easy.”  I’m not that into eating chicken four nights in a row, even if it was easier to make one big chicken on Sunday.  And let’s face it, that sounds like a great plan but how often do you really do the whole cooking all day on Sunday for the week?
  • Not good for you.  It might be easy but I’m not serving my family cheeseburger casserole or pork chops cooked in the slow cooker with cream of mushroom soup on a regular basis.
  • Not kid-friendly.  And my kids are not even that picky!

So, when I picked up this month’s Real Simple where they laid out 4 weeks of easy, “no-repeat” weeknight dinners, I thought, let’s try it and let’s challenge ourselves to try new things and see how easy the dinners really are.  At first glance, mostly everything looks delicious and pretty easy.  I’ll share what we made from their recipes and what I changed to accommodate for my family’s preferences.  But I am going to try and stay as true to the recipes as I can.

Part One: Already a timesaver from using a traditional cookbook: they give you the shopping lists!  I’m anxious to see how it may impact our budget.  This weekend, I will stock up and we will start on Monday.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

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