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What's for dinner tomorrow night?

Updated on August 7, 2014

How to answer the age old question - what's for dinner?

I love cooking. I find it enjoyable and love seeing the results of my labour as I dish up food to my family. I cook a fresh meal every night trying to use fresh ingredients as much as possible. So what's the issue? Easy, I get frustrated cooking and making the same food every week.

When I first got married my husband worked away so I was only catering for myself most of the time. I worked full time and was able to go to the store every night to buy what I wanted to cook that night. Easy, one person to please.

After the birth of our first child my husband didn't travel, I didn't work so had all day to look after the baby and make a home. Wonderful. I was determined to feed our child healthy food. No jars or tins for him. Yes, the first few months were time consuming but I would get the stroller out in the afternoon and take a walk to the local grocery store and stock up on lots of fruit and veg. Sound quite idyllic doesn't it? It was we had fun, the baby was getting fresh air and I was getting exercise.

By the age of 6 months it was easy to feed baby. We had cut all salt out of our diet, which was good for us in the long run, and that meant baby could have any of the meals we ate, albeit, his were first liquidised, then after a few months when he could cope with lumps, mushed up.

Thankfully our baby ate everything and was happy with cucumber, breadsticks or rice cakes for snacks. Even when we ate out it wasn't a problem. Knowing that salt would be added when the chef cooked we just took along an avocado and a banana for the little one.

When baby number two came along things were a little bit more hectic, but we tried to keep to the same feeding routine. Both of our children were happy eating everything put down to them and were happy to eat what we ate. Even now about the only thing they are not keen on is cheese, and they will even eat that when it's cooked in a meal.

So what's the problem? Me? I'm now working so unable to go grocery shopping daily for the evening meal. I still love cooking but I find it difficult to decide what to make for dinner for tomorrow, when I've just eaten tonights meal. I ask the family what they would like, and the standard reply is "anything". A great lot of help that is. Why do I need to know the night before, well I have to take something out of the freezer to defrost and I like to give things plenty of time to defrost in the fridge.

I need meals that take under an hour to make, as my children have after school activities or homework and I like us to all eat together in the evening. I also don't like us eating too late as my youngest is an early bedder.

I've made schedules. I've made shopping lists to have ingredients for specific meals. I've cooked in advance and put meals in the freezer. My problem is not that side of the preparation, my problem is not knowing tonight what I want to have for my evening meal tomorrow.

Happy Mommy

=

Happy Family

Can cookbooks replace your new novel?

Please let me know your comments. Always welcome

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    • asereht1970 profile image

      asereht1970 

      4 years ago

      Right now I'm starting to like cooking so cookbooks are a big help.

    • Carashops profile imageAUTHOR

      Cara 

      4 years ago

      @Lynn Klobuchar: I agree with you on that one!

    • profile image

      Lynn Klobuchar 

      4 years ago

      Cookbooks are my new novels!

    • DeborahDian profile image

      Deborah Carr 

      4 years ago from Orange County, California

      I tend to make simple meals, since it is just my husband and me, now. However, I used to cook a lot when my children were growing up. Nice article!

    • profile image

      chat2vishakha 

      5 years ago

      Interesting post.I love to cook.Thanks for sharing this post.

    • shana273 profile image

      shana273 

      5 years ago

      I love to cook, and I love to make my favorite recipes a little healthier. Great lens!

    • ologsinquito2 profile image

      ologsinquito2 

      5 years ago

      We do quick, easy meals in our home too, ever since the children came along.

    • Carashops profile imageAUTHOR

      Cara 

      5 years ago

      @VeseliDan: I know what you mean. If my family mention that they like a meal, you can guarantee that we will be having it again the next week!

    • VeseliDan profile image

      VeseliDan 

      5 years ago

      Deciding about next day's meal is hard for all of us. You have to be careful not to repeat the same meals over and over again...

    • Carashops profile imageAUTHOR

      Cara 

      5 years ago

      @carolinarobin: I agree, I like lots of space to work in.

    • carolinarobin profile image

      carolinarobin 

      5 years ago

      I love to cook and dream of my perfect kitchen often with lots of counter and cabinet space!

    • artbyrodriguez profile image

      Beverly Rodriguez 

      5 years ago from Albany New York

      My husband took over the cooking after he retired, but I still have to help decide what to make for dinner!

    • Carashops profile imageAUTHOR

      Cara 

      5 years ago

      @Nadooa: I agree!

    • Nadooa profile image

      Nadooa 

      5 years ago

      I find this to be my issue... what to make for tomorrow night when I'm still washing dishes from tonight's dinner lol

    • Carashops profile imageAUTHOR

      Cara 

      5 years ago

      @RetroMom: Thank you. Very kind of you to say.

    • RetroMom profile image

      RetroMom 

      5 years ago

      Loved reading your lens!

    • profile image

      ChroniclesofaWa 

      5 years ago

      I totally agree with happy mommy=happy family. :)

    • LornsA178 profile image

      LornsA178 

      5 years ago

      I know how it feels to think what to prepare the next day. I just look what's available in my fridge and try to make an advance planning for few days.

    • pcgamehardware profile image

      pcgamehardware 

      5 years ago

      My wife will love this page, she is always looking for new ideas for dinner.

      Thanks for sharing this great page. :)

    • Carashops profile imageAUTHOR

      Cara 

      5 years ago

      @LaughingLady LM: I may try that.

    • LaughingLady LM profile image

      Helen Phillips Cockrell 

      5 years ago from Virginia

      Boy, do I feel your pain! I'm at home now that I've "retired" from the 9-5 and still have trouble with this...I love to cook, too, but like to do different stuff. I've found the allrecipe site to be fun because I can put in ingredients I have on hand then see what recipes I can make. Then I can tweak them for fun.

    • junecampbell profile image

      June Campbell 

      5 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      I am not always keen on cooking, but I always love eating, so thanks for the recipe ideas! LOL

    • mihgasper profile image

      Miha Gasper 

      5 years ago from Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU

      I try to plan meals for a wee ahead. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes not:-(

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      Great lens. Thank you.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      Yeah I have had plenty of days like this, those moment when I am indecisive doesn't help either or I am just too tried to worry about it! Here lately this hasn't been an issue, like everything in this Life, there are days like that when you have to ask... "What's for Dinner?! :)

    • Silver63 profile image

      Silver63 

      5 years ago

      Hi Carashops, 1st thanks for liking my lens and 2nd I'm new at Squidoo, so I will be looking and liking yours, too! This lens is right on...I'm always saying what's for dinner...I like the Quick and Healthy! Very Nicely done.

    • Carashops profile imageAUTHOR

      Cara 

      5 years ago

      @RuralFloridaLiving: Thank you.

    • profile image

      RuralFloridaLiving 

      5 years ago

      Love your lens!

    • KandH profile image

      KandH 

      5 years ago

      My kids were pretty easy to feed, one likes more fruit and the other more veggies these days but they both loved a potato-carrot mash (pureed when they were smallest) that I prepared fresh for them ... I didn't use the processed foods at all either but then again I didn't go back to work until my younger daughter was 2. Nice tips!

    • Carashops profile imageAUTHOR

      Cara 

      6 years ago

      @MariannesWhims: I know what you mean. My boys can taste the difference if I try to create a shorcut by using a tin or jar instead of cooking fresh.

    • MariannesWhims profile image

      Marianne Gardner 

      6 years ago from Pacific NW, USA

      That would be hard to not use any jarred or commerically canned foods. I can't do that. But, have tried to eat whole foods, organic, and fresh often. I like meals like chili or soups that can make more than one meal or making enough to freeze for a second meal. Thanks for liking my cabbage burger lens and easy blueberry breakfast lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      I love cooking and planning meals, but I agree that it can be really difficult sometimes.

    • casquid profile image

      casquid 

      6 years ago

      Yes, this all sounds so familiar! Great lens and nicely done.

      Thank you for visiting and liking my lens

    • pinkrenegade lm profile image

      pinkrenegade lm 

      6 years ago

      I can relate to this. Meal planning can be a difficult task. And there are days that I crave for a particular dish so I have to make some changes on the plan.

    • Carashops profile imageAUTHOR

      Cara 

      6 years ago

      @ICanDoThis LM: A great idea!

    • profile image

      ICanDoThis LM 

      6 years ago

      I know what you're talking about..

      My solution was cooking more, for to have portions for 2-3 days (today+tomorrow, rest into a freezer) - this way I have to decide what's for dinner every 2-3 days.

    • profile image

      marsha32 

      6 years ago

      I am really struggling with meal planning right now....which means mealtime is a struggle. If I have a plan it all feels right, without one I am clueless and my family doesn't get fed near as well as they should.

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