How Does She Do It?

I’ve often wondered that myself when I come across a woman who’s able to work a full time job, keep a clean house, take care of her husband & children, and still put a meal on the table every stinkin’ night.

Looking back on our first year of marriage, I have definitely slacked off on that last category. I do work full time, our house is relatively clean (thanks to a hubby that doesn’t mind pitching in to do laundry, etc.), and I manage to make sure Lucy is taken care of (she’s the closest thing we have to a baby). But when it comes to preparing nightly meals, I get a big fat fail.

I am not one of those people who can just whip up something off the top of their head using ingredients they already have on hand. I need to follow a pretty strict recipe for anything more complex than spaghetti. So when I’m done working at the end of the day, thinking about planning a meal and going to the store to get ingredients, makes my head want to explode. Luckily, I have a husband that is in no way picky and doesn’t mind having a bag of steamed veggies for dinner. But I always feel bad that I’m not providing a ‘real’ meal..and thinking down the line to when we have kids, I know I want to be able to sit at the table and have family dinners every night of the week. That was always a tradition in my parents house, and it’s something that I cherish today. I loved that 1-2 hours we spent around the dinner table every night, discussing each others’ lives and world news, etc.

So, last week I did some research on meal planning tools and came across some interesting options. The one that appealed most to me was a website called HowDoesSheDoIt.com.


It’s a site that allows you access to a bunch of recipes (uploaded by other members) and you can essentially choose what recipes you like and add them to your Favorites folder. You can also upload any of your own recipes as well, and you can choose to share them with other members or keep them private. Then you can start planning your daily meals. It allows you to plan breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. So if you have a bagel and cream cheese every morning, you can add a “recipe” for a bagel and cream cheese and then add that to your Favorites folder so that you can use that for your breakfast meal. {Sidenote: recipes like that one, where it might just be a single food or something that is specific to me, I chose to keep private so that no other members are confused by it when they’re searching for other things} And once you have every meal that you want planned, you can print out a grocery list of everything you’ll need. It’s pretty awesome! And the best part? It’s 100% free! Here’s a little tutorial video which explains it much better than I can:

For now, I started out by planning just dinners, as I always eat lunch at work and Jordan usually makes himself a sandwich. I planned for two weeks worth of dinners, and we went grocery shopping last week. Tonight will be the first official night of the plan, and I must say it feels pretty good to already know what I’m going to make and know that I have everything I need at home. I’m really hoping this works out well for us!

Do you guys plan your meals out in advance or do you just go with whatever you’re feeling on any given day? Do you have a different website or tool that you use? I’m open to suggestions!

{Sidenote: I was not paid to advertise this website. I just enjoyed using it and wanted to share it with all of you!}

August 22, 2011. Cooking, Life. Leave a comment.

Fiesta!

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, I decided to make a little mexican feast tonight. Olé! But because Jordan is trying to cut back on carbs, I didn’t want to do tacos or quesadillas or fajitas. So, I tried my hand at a mexican casserole, and it turned out to be pretty delicious!

I got the recipe from one of my favorite resources, AllRecipes.com. My only changes were that I left out the black olives (we’re not big fans), and I didn’t use as much sour cream as the recipe called for. Jordan has this weird thing about food with a creamy texture..whipped cream, sour cream, cream cheese. He hates all of them. So I just did a light layer of sour cream and he didn’t even notice..hee hee, I’m a cooking ninja!

And I also tried a recipe for mexican wedding cake cookies (also from AllRecipes.com). My mother-in-law makes them, and they are killer good! Mine weren’t quite up to par, but they weren’t bad for a first try. They tasted really good but they were a smidge dry. Ya win some, ya lose some. But I will not be defeated. Mexican wedding cake cookie: I will master you!

I also mixed up a little fruit punch concoction..equal parts Hawaiian Punch, ginger ale, and mango orange juice. Delish! And I finished up setting the table with…what else, our Fiestaware!

And I guess our party was pretty rockin’ because we even had a couple neighbors stop by.

Neighbors of the four-legged variety, that is. These guys live two houses down from us and when Lucy is in the backyard, they wiggle their pudgy little bodies under their fence and ours to get to her.

We love them like their our very own fur-babies. We don’t know their names, but we  call the white one Meatball and the little one Pudgy-poo.

*Sigh* Isn’t he adorable? Oh…I guess the puppy is cute too… 🙂

It absolutely cracks me up when they try to chase our long-legged Lucy. They don’t come even close to keeping up with her, but she loves it! Ignore the fact that it looks like she’s trying to perform a roundhouse kick in that picture.

All in all, we had a great time celebrating Cinco de Mayo and playing with the dogs. In the words of Ricky Martin, we’re just “livin’ la vida loca!”

May 5, 2011. Cooking, Life. 2 comments.