With the onset of the holidays, we all are faced with frantic last minute baking, shopping, gift wrapping, and parties. Who has time to cook, right? I can honestly say that Kevin and I are guilty of visiting the local drive-thru quite often. Don't get me wrong, I would much rather cook than eat out. But, sometimes you just don't feel like cooking or you don't have the time. And that is ok! I just don't like making a habit out of doing that.
For me, cooking is the relaxing part of my day. To come home at the end of the day and chop vegetables or brown meat in a saute pan is my means of decompression. Now, don't get me wrong, I do not perform brain surgery or mediate at the United Nations. I just work in a college and sit at a desk all day. But, that can be stressful in its own way. Trust me! During the course of the day, thinking about cooking dinner makes the day go faster.
To aid in being more organized, I took a tip from Martha Stewart. Her latest cookbook is a 52-week menu. At the beginning of November, I planned out meals until the end of the year. I even went so far as creating a "leftover/go out" night knowing that sometimes cooking would not be in the cards. For the most part, we stick with the plan. I have to say, it truly helps with grocery shopping and waking up in the morning saying "What should we have for dinner tonight?" Do that a few times in a row and it gets a little overwhelming and you DO NOT want to cook!
On Saturday we will be going up to the cabin for the week and I have a few projects to keep me busy. One of which is planning out dinner menus for the next 3 months. I will continue to build in the "leftover/go out" night as before. During the week the grocery lists will get written and on the weekends we will do our shopping. The one thing I have found is I can never say " I don't have time to cook dinner." Knowing ahead of time allows me the opportunity to prep in advance!
So, be flexible in your plan and if the need arises to make a quick dash through the drive-thru, it is OK! But, remember take the time to relax and unwind while making dinner for those you love. The smile on their face as they eat will make it all worthwhile.