I have come to realize that the way I used to cook when I was working full-time and didn't have any kids does not work for my current family situation. No, it does not work at all! I need some new ideas and also just some advice on being a domestic goddess or at least just not tearing my hair out or feeding Sawyer and Tyson popcorn for dinner (yes, I did that on Saturday). Okay, I fed Beck popcorn too. It was very labor-intensive because I had to break off all the dangerous pieces and tear the remaining soft parts into small pieces. Yeah, you would think I would consider it easier to just cook a normal dinner, but what can I say, popcorn is my favorite food!
So I used to do all the cooking when I got home from work. It could be simple or elaborate, but it almost NEVER involved the oven or the crockpot. Everything I cooked was done on the stove or the grill. This was just out of necessity - when you don't start prepping and cooking until 6pm, you don't have time for longer cooking methods like baking, roasting, braising, or slow-cooking. Everything was a rush, rush, rush of prep work and sauteeing, but it was fun and not at all difficult because Tyson and I would do it together and no little children needed attention.
This way of cooking became more difficult when Sawyer came along, but I kept it up. I don't think I even realized I could or should be doing things a different way, because this is the way I have been cooking for 20+ years. Now, with two kids, and at the ages they are, I realize I have got to change up my methods. I need to figure out a new way to cook. Things that can be prepped when the kids are less active (night before, during naptime in the afternoon), then baked, long-simmered, or crock-potted to emerge at dinner time, savory and delicious. This new way of cooking will give me time to set the table, toss a salad, etc.
So, any ideas, great recipes, or links to websites that cover this in a nutshell? Soups, crockpot stuff, enchiladas, baked main courses, dare I say even casseroles? The only homemade thing I really successfully make in my oven is my grandmom's lasagna. Yum! I can also make red beans and rice, and carnitas. That's it. I need everything else.