Struggling with Home-Cooked Meals

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I hope you are enjoying our discussions about dining out so far. You can catch up here and here if you are new to the series.

My friend Rachel of Surviving the Stores has a very timely post about her struggles with making home-cooked meals. I’d encourage you to go read it, if anything for a good laugh. :)

In all seriousness, I can relate to her struggles all too well. When I got married in 2004, I had been a single mom for four years. Meals for one plus a small child were often quick, thrown together, and microwaved. Becoming an instant family, in theory, was a dream come true. But learning the ins and outs of homemaking has been and continues to be a challenge for me.

Although I had been cooking for many years, my struggle was creating real meals we could all sit down and enjoy together. I have come a long way in this department, thank goodness! My kitchen inspiration now comes from friends right here in the blogosphere.

A recent tweet of mine:

twitter-dinnerSeveral nights a week, my family enjoys a meal plucked right from the interwebz. Sure, there are thousands of recipe sites out there, but there is something special about preparing a meal that a fellow blogger and mom has already tested on her family. I have yet to try one that flopped!

A few of my favorite foodie bloggers who inspire me include: Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures, My Wooden Spoon, Stolen Moments Cooking and Food for My Family. I also have a few simple recipes of my own to share.

What inspires you to plan and prepare a home-cooked meal if you are not a natural in the kitchen?

Linked to: Works For Me Wednesday

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About Alyssa Francis

A thirty-something wife and mother of four! Two daughters by birth, one son by marriage, and a sweet baby boy born in April of 2009. Oldest sister of four girls raised by a single mom. California native. Grew up in Hawaii. Somehow ended up in North Texas. Once a single mom. Former agnostic. A survivor of abuse and addiction. Forgiven by a great big God. Married to my best friend.

Comments

  1. I don’t know if “natural” would describe me, but I DO love cooking for family & friends. I cook 5 to 6 days per week and often use family recipes/ideas OR use the internet for my weekly menus as well to “spice up” the meals I serve. SO thankful for the information & reading opportunities and I get to try some things I probably would have never come up with myself. Like you, I feel better about trying something someone else has prepared for their “real” families. :)
    .-= Jai@saltpepper-brownsugar´s last blog ..Weekly Menu 5/10-5/15 =-.

  2. You know what I think is the most important thing that a home-cooked meal (or microwaved-cooked meal) is? If you are sitting down at the table together as a family.

    It doesn’t matter what is ON the plates, but what goes ON around the table.

    Lyss, you do a great job at this… I’ve seen it first-hand.

    Love ya!
    .-= Amy@Amy Loves It!´s last blog ..Hanging out in the cellar with nothing better to do… {the post} =-.

  3. I used the various meal plans that people had published on Monday to fill in my monthly meal planning chart… it’s nice to have a resource for ideas when my brain isn’t working!
    .-= Ashley´s last blog ..Starting a series… =-.

  4. My House is full of gadgets but the one I have to say I use the most is my slow cooker. With our family mostly being my hubby and I dinner is the the only time we get to connect in the day as I work evenings and he works mornings more than just soups and stew we also enjoy BBQ pork ribs and sweet and sour chicken ^_^
    we can add to that a salad or some brown rice and Voila “Real Food” for less prep. ^_^ = more time 2 gether!
    .-= Tanya Ballard´s last blog ..Life Update and Easter Thoughts =-.

  5. Rebecca says:

    I love this website!
    http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/

    She did a crockpot pizza this week that I am gonna HAVE to try! I love my slow cooker too (around here it’s a crockpot). It’s a big time saver but we have great and healthy meals with it.

  6. i know how to cook really well but i rarely do it. The only time that i do it is when i had nothing to do most of the day. Also the monotony of meals sometimes make me get of my behind and make something nice and original
    .-= kt´s last blog ..robert kiyosaki’s conspiracy of the rich- my criticisms =-.

  7. I struggle too in this area. Ernie’s work schedule is so insane that it’s hard to know what to fix and when to fix it.

    I cook only about 2-3 times a week. We eat leftovers and go out to eat too. :)

    You are a fabulous cook!
    .-= Myra´s last blog ..Tuna Salad Extraordinaire =-.

  8. I love to cook, but life is very busy for us and I never know what our schedule holds. We don’t eat out very often so most meals are home cooked, and since we try to avoid processed foods, they usually take some time. My goal is to find healthy meals that can be made quickly on days when I’m in a hurry!

    I love all of those blogs too. I have a category for my favorite cooking sites and also several recipes, come check them out. I’m going to check out yours now .

  9. Jessica says:

    I love to cook and I agree that blogs are the best source. Back around the holidays you posted a mashed potato soup recipe and it was wonderful we now eat it all the time

  10. I’m a horrible cook and I admit it. But I try! It doesn’t help that my husband is the most observant crazy picky person on the planet. He can tell if I forget to put a “pinch” of salt in those no bake missouri cookies. I think that is CRAZY!

    Liked your strawberry ideas awhile back btw!
    .-= Kimberly´s last blog ..Entertainment book only $12 and free shipping! =-.

  11. Alyssa Francis says:

    @Jessica, Aww, thanks, Jessica, so glad you enjoyed it!

  12. Alyssa Francis says:

    @Kimberly, Oh goodness, my husband is horribly picky, too! He can’t stand onions in anything, but I love to cook with them. Sigh. At least you are trying! :)

  13. Fashion Cents Mom says:

    Surprised that no one has mentioned the Food Network! It is a great source of inspiration in the kitchen and even my kids enjoy watching it. :)
    .-= Fashion Cents Mom´s last blog ..Coach: 20% off Coupon =-.

  14. I’m the opposite. I learned to cook when I got married and got so good at it that my husband used to brag about my cooking. Now that it’s just my (picky) son and me, I find that I am cooking less and less. I have to relearn, adjust to cooking for less people.

    I agree with Amy though, it’s what goes on around the table that really matters. We may be eating cereal for dinner but we’re peacefully and joyfully eating that cereal, :)

  15. My (now 5-year-old) son and I love the Food Network show Good Eats. We used to watch it together all the time (back when we had satellite) and make the recipes. I bought my son a great cookbook made for kids, too, and he loves to cook. I love cooking with him. It’s fun and great productive time, especially because we use the time to learn kitchen science. We’ve talked about all kinds of different topics, like how yeast makes bread rise (and beer bubble! No, I don’t let him drink the beer!) or why boiling water bubbles or what acid and alkaline are and how they mix. Even if we’re making something simple, he can learn a lot from it, not to mention the skill of being able to cook, and it’s a great way to work cooking and spending time with your kids into a busy schedule. Or, at least, it works for us.

    We also use the slow cookers a lot. We have 3 of them, in different sizes. Some days, we have a main course in one cooker, a side dish in another, and a dessert in yet another. Don’t discount the power of the slow cooker!

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