HOW TO BEAT THE DINNER DOLDRUMS WITH FAST AND EASY RECIPES
How many of us feel as if we are on the run all day from our busy work life, to our chaotic homes, to our active nighttime social lives? Whether it’s your kids sports functions that keep you running or you’re heading to a professional event, dinner time can send even the most organized person into a panic.
Before the explosion of the world wide web, the person responsible for family meal planning actually had to (audible gasp!) open a cookbook or two and scan the pages for dinner ideas hoping to have at least some of the ingredients already in their pantries. I used to find myself in the same position before I discovered a few recipe filled and even meal planning websites that have helped to relieve the pressure of dinner planning for the family.
The category “Busy Moms” at Food.com will save the day when you’re running short on time rushing to yet another soccer practice. This is an excellent recipe site that has not only dinner ideas but also great articles that are geared for the specific time of year. During November you’ll find articles like 11 Genius Turkey Day Hacks You’ll Be Thankful For as well as leftover ideas in Your Thanksgiving Leftovers Reimagined that will put you out of your misery when struggling to find room in the refrigerator after the big meal. This website has a fantastic Toolbox with items like a measurement converter in case you’re struggling with how many fluid ounces are in 8 Tablespoons.
This is my “go to” website whenever I am looking for the “Best Ever Recipe for….” Whatever it is I’m looking to make that night. Filled with great articles such as Top 10 Chicken Dinners a quick search will open the door to recipes ranging from baked crunchy chicken to chicken pot pies so you’re sure to come up with an idea to fill the table tonight!
This site filled with useful info including easy to use category sections ranging from subjects such as “Recipes by Ingredients” all the way to a section with cooking videos. If I’m in a time crunch when I leave the office, I will click on a recipe and email it to myself so I have it on my smart phone and can hit the grocery store on my way home. One of the reasons this is one of my top websites is due to the “Reviews” section. I always read the reviews by others and often implement some of the changes they suggest. As they always say, “Learn from others’ mistakes!”. You’ll want to bookmark Taste of Home for sure!
(Photo by Taste of Home)
Another great website to go to when you’re in a dinner funk and you need to get those creative juices flowing again is Epicurious.com! If you already know what you’d like to make, you can start at the FIND A RECIPE search function but if you need some dinner ideas, scroll down and your mind will be filled with pictures of fun ideas like What To Do With a Can of Tomatoes. Short on time? Simply type “Fast” into their search engine and you are quickly directed to such great ideas as Super Fast Spinach Pesto & Cheese Lasagna or Quick Chicken Masala. This website is also filled with great blog posts in their “Expert Advice” section if you’re interested in broadening your culinary horizons or if you’re just looking for 14 Ways to Use Leftover Buttermilk.
After filling out a few short profile questions, this site customizes what you will see for recipe suggestions that fit your lifestyle, allergy requirements or dietary needs. Filled with great pictures to get your mouth watering, the ingredients tend to be some pretty simple and basic things you’d most likely have on hand. With categories ranging from “Seasonal”, to “Popular Now” to “Weeknight Dinners” this website has no shortage of dinner ideas to fulfill whatever you are craving that night. You can create your own recipe box if you want to save something to make again some day. You can even ask cooking questions from an expert on topics from ingredient substitution to the “best roast recipe?” in their “Ask a cooking question” section. Overall a great website that is visually interactive and very user friendly.
Of course, if all else fails, you can always give yourself the night off and pull up your local restaurant guide! While cooking can be enjoyable, don’t be afraid to swing in and stop for the always crowd pleasing Take Out!!!
Be sure to check our Area Guides for some of the Hardie Groups favorite neighborhood restaurants and hangouts at Hardiegroup.com/guides