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Monday, September 29, 2014

The Dinner Project

I have a confession.

Our family has disastrous meal habits.

I'm sure it's probably a sin somewhere in the Old Testament.

Dave could very well be disqualified as a pastor.

And things have gotten progressively worse since the baby arrived.

I won't go into detail but let's just say there has been an unGodly amount of Chipotle involved.

And eating of separate non-Chipotle frozen items in the playroom.

It's piece and quiet and burrito bowls for Dave and I.

But it's not good for our family.

We're a culinary tragedy.

My sweet friend Laurie posted a meal plan on Facebook last week and tagged my Baked Ziti Recipe in her rotation.

A Baked Ziti I only make for friends with new babies.

Or when we have company over.

Because my kids look at it like it's laced with formaldehyde.

So I laughed.

And made a promise to myself to set this dinnertime ship straight.

I want my kids to remember meals around our table.

Conversations where we look at each other's faces.

I want them to have memories of favorite foods that are not store-bought, take-out and/or frozen.

My last post was a good reminder that we need to make the most of the afternoons that they are home with us.

This growing up time is short and goes by so very fast.

I want that extra hour.

And although there will be complaining and resistance and hidden vegetables behind the china hutch at first.

I know it will pay off in the end.

I know it's important.

I'm starting simple.

And I'm starting tonight.

Make your own pizzas.

And salad.

I'm having the girls choose a few more new recipes from my Kraft magazines and cookbooks.

I also have a few standard classics that I'm going to force them to eat.

Baked Formaldehyde, for example. 

I'm committed to cooking a FULL meal every weeknight even if no one eats more than one bite.

And everyone needs to try one bite.

And after I see what sticks,

I'm implementing Laurie's rotation.

She has 5 weeks worth of set meals.

I'm thinking we'll probably start with two weeks.

I found this cute Post-It printable made by my friend Mique.

That will go on the fridge.

My kids do better when they know what to expect.

I'm also bringing back dessert as an incentive.

Fun, easy desserts.

And kitchen will be closed after dinner.

I don't want dinnertime to be a fight.

And I don't want brussel sprouts hidden in my walls.

But I don't want there not to be dinnertime.

So I will do my best to find things we all like.

I want this to be fun.

Also, I find that when I confess, others do, too.

Any other dinner slackers out there?

It's safe here.



  1. love it. i'm excited for this. as one who had weird family dinner time habits as a kid, i wish we had more "around the table" dinners. :)

    i'm with you - made my dinner for the week (hello single lady perk, one meal lasts all week).

    also, the most important question here is, what are you cooking wednesday?

    1. Yes! Your comments last night inspired me even more. And Chipotle... ;)

  2. Not a dinner slacker but a same old meals week after week no variety!!

    1. Hi Darcie! And I feel like that works best? Hey - at least you're doing it!

  3. Jess, I am honored that I have inspired you :) My 5 week meal rotation came out of my own recognition of my weaknesses and failures. Cooking is not something I enjoy or am good at. Glad we are both making an effort at positive change in this area. And thanks for your Baked Ziti recipe that we love :)

  4. Every night someone cries, or chooses to not eat, or complains. EVERY NIGHT. But I still cook, they aren't wasting away, we sit, share about our day, and it's worth it. Even when it's hard. And we need you all at our table. Now.

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