table manners

I am, quite frankly, stealing this post title from a blog I love: Dinner: A love story. Dang if the good names aren’t all taken. But then again, coming up with witty stories to post with recipes is a little more creative than my feeble brain matter can handle. I’ll just pat myself on the back, if I can reach around the love handles, for getting dinner on the table each night; take my word that the conversations I have with myself while cooking are hilarious. If you want documented wittiness, go to DALS.

Before I was such a cool web savvy mom (laughing at myself – join in) and read all of the studies that point to family dinners as the miracle preventative for everything from teen drug use, bad grades, pregnancy and who knows what else, I just thought it would be a nice to end the day together.

So every night by 6:15 PM the family gathers around our massive dining room table to break bread, chat and unwind.

 Let me just say that getting a meal on the table every night is challenging, given I do work full time and frequently have conference calls, interviews, etc. scheduled right to the end of the day, but not impossible.

How do we do it?

Plan ahead, my friend, plan ahead.

Every Thursday I plan for the coming week. I look at my work schedule and note what days my day might run over, days when Ed has an evening meeting, when we will have guests for dinner or Saturday Brunch. Meals are picked based on the amount of time I’ll have to prepare and the number of folks I’ll be feeding. One night a week is given to left overs. I love that night. Everyone is happy!

Crazy nights when I may be working late, we grill – fast easy and tasty.

When I have a bit more time, I’ll do something that takes time to build.

Here is this weeks plan:

Friday: Grilled Tilapia with bok choy, Tomato and basil salad, biscuits and fresh fruit

Saturday Brunch: Baked Apple French Toast, fresh fruit, bagels and cream cheese
Saturday: Chicken drumsticks with smoked paprika rub, roasted root veggies, caprese salad and home made cookies.

Sunday: Turkey Meatloaf (well-seasoned so it has a taste), cornbread, grilled veggies and cucumber salad

Monday: Marinated London Broil, corn, baby greens salad, broccoli, fresh fruit

Tuesday (working late): Left Overs!

Wednesday (working late): Pesto (made ahead and frozen), tomato salad, fresh fruit

Thursday: Balsamic Chicken thighs with fresh basil, new potatoes, green salad, fresh fruit

Organized Home has some great tips on meal planning.

What is your favorite meal to cook on a busy night?

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