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Colorado Moms Recipes

Meal Planning ~ Tips & Tricks

Gnocchi with Chicken and Sun Dried Tomatoes

Dinner time, the most hated time of day for me. I never seem to know what to make. I need something that will appeal to five different people. The Picky Eater (my 7 yr old), The Pseudo-Vegetarian (my 12 yr old), The Allergic-to-Everything (my 3 yr old) and then my husband and I. I’ve tried the meal prep places like Dream Dinners and they were great for a while, but the hubby thought they were too bland and I couldn’t find time to go down to the store for 3 hours to prep. I also tried recipe apps for my phone and that was okay, but not enough variety. What was I to do?

Nowadays I surf Pinterest for great food ideas and also FoodNetwork.com. Over time I’ve found blogs that have great ideas and suggestions and I often poll our forums “What’s for Dinner?” Here are 5 tips/tricks I’ve found to help alleviate the stress of meal planning.

  1. There is an app/website called Food on the Table that you can input your own recipes or ones you find and it compiles a shopping list for you that can be sent to your phone and you can “check” off the items as you shop.
  2. Blogs. Surfing blogs is a great way to get ideas. One I love? Just-Precious has Menu Planning posts full of great ideas, recipes and links. AND she has a calendar on her blog dedicated to it! Another great meal planning writer is Musings of  a Housewife. Her blog is so pretty to look at too. Yet another blog that helps me? The Organized Cook herself, Toni Spilsbury.
  3. Pinterest – *WARNING* This site is majorly addicting and may result in you speaking in terms that your family doesn’t understand, such as “OH! I’m soooo gonna pin that!” and “WTH?! Why didn’t more people repin me?” 😉  BUT it’s a wealth of foodie love. you can search for just about anything and keep a board going of quick meals, crockpot meals, fancy food, etc. I have a board dedicated to nothing but cupcakes.
  4. Ask your friends. I’m sure 99% of you are on facebook, so post a status question like “what is your top go-to quick & easy recipe?” You will be surprised to see how many of your friends are hoarding some amazing recipes!
  5. Last but not least, the old pen and paper. Write down some ideas for meals as you think of them and poll the family. I never knew that the kids loved orange chicken so much until I asked them what their favorite dinner was.

Hopefully these tips will help ease the stress of your dinnertime as much as it has mine. If you have any tips (or found a great website of recipes) please share them in the comments!

Gnocchi with Chicken and Sun Dried Tomatoes

Gnocchi with Chicken and Sun Dried Tomatoes

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