Someone call a tow truck

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Spaghetti

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Cuz I’m stuck in a rut!  A dinner rut, that is.  Can I just tell you how SICK I am of making the same meals night after night? My husband is very easy to please – as long as we have the same meals over and over and over and over. He’s a meat-and-potatoes kind of guy and he does not do well with experimentation. He hates it when I say “I tried a new recipe tonight!” and he is hard to convince that just because it’s healthy it can also taste good. And as far as my kids are concerned, well Howard Hughes wasn’t as particular as my kids are. Picky doesn’t begin to describe it.

I will be the first one to admit that I am not a great cook. I never EVER stray from a recipe and I just will never be the type that can throw in a handful of this or that and have it turn out good. On those rare occasions when I tried to experiment, well…let’s just say there’s a reason I don’t stray from a recipe.

I have been cooking the same foods for 15 years now and I think that’s one of the reasons I just don’t enjoy cooking. It’s hard to get excited about spaghetti…again. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the dinners we have on a regular basis:

  • tacos
  • spaghetti
  • nachos
  • macaroni and cheese (sometimes w hot dogs, sometimes w sandwiches)
  • steak tips and noodles w gravy
  • quesadillas
  • pizza (usually on Friday nights)
  • rice and bacon
  • grilled cheese/tomato soup
  • stew and chili (not together and mostly just in fall/winter)
  • fajitas
  • BBQ sandwiches (from a roast in the crock pot)
That’s all I can think of right now.  As you can see, we do a lot of Mexican-type meals because it’s something that we all like. The meals I make are easy and require little to no thought and I am just so unchallenged with it that it bores me to tears.  So I’m reaching out to you to see what meals are in regular rotation at YOUR casa because I need some new ideas. I often find myself perusing recipe websites but the ingredient lists are too long or are full of things that I’ve never heard of or just way too gourmet for my family’s simple tastes. So if you don’t mind, share with the world (me) what dinnery-type meals you cook regularly and maybe you’ll inspire me and some others to try something new for dinner! Wouldn’t that make you feel good? To know that you didn’t make me cry at dinner time? Again?
😉
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18 thoughts on “Someone call a tow truck

  1. dsbride

    I’m an Italian cook for over 40 years now and have I got some new ideas for you. Don’t know how everyone will like them but here goes:

    Eggplant casserole- (made like lasagne but instead of pasta use eggplant)
    pasta fazoole- ( elbow macaroni with either canaloni beans or chickpeas & sauce)
    chicken cutlets in sauce- side dish of potatoes and string beans
    spaghetti with either tunafish or crabmeat & sauce
    broccoli, Italian sausage and spaghetti in white sauce (bit of oil & garlic)
    Italian sausage, potatoes, onions and peas baked in oven
    Italian sausage, green peppers, onions in tomato sauce
    eggplant parmasain subs topped with mozzarella cheese toasted under broiler
    cabbage (manestra) with pepperoni, keilbasa, garlic&oil, (optional pork meat)
    all above stewed in water/oil garlic
    cabbage casserole with rice and hamberger meat filling covered with sauce
    chicken baked with potatoes, carrots, onions, peas or string beans
    fried dough with either sugar or sauce/cheese toppings
    pizza with broccoli & onions on top
    pizza with eggplant topping
    pizza wth ham and pineapple topping
    apizza gain- diced ham, diced basket cheese, romano cheese, eggs all baked in crust

    followed by dessert of either ricotta pie, Italian cream pie, or biscotti

    I could go on and on. If you want any recepes, just ask, I’d be glad to share. 🙂

  2. Some of my regulars are the same as yours but some are different – and I do try a new recipe at least once a month or more (I used to do a lot more inventive cooking before having kids). But firstly, what is a “steak tip”??

    *We have a roast every Sunday night. The meat varies, but always with potato, pumpkin, carrot, zucchini and broccoli – all roasted. Our favourite is probably roast leg of lamb rubbed with rosemary (fresh or dried), paprika, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon.

    *A current favourite is lemon chicken. Cook some long grain rice (I use Jasmine). Marinate some chicken breasts for half an hour in the zest and juice of two lemons, 4 crushed cloves of garlic and some olive oil (I used to do even amounts of lemon juice and olive oil but now I only use about a tablespoon). If you don’t have any high blood pressure issues, add lots of salt. Brown the chicken breasts in a frying pan then finish cooking in the oven or just put the lid on. Steam some vegetables. Take out the chicken and put the leftover marinade into the hot pan – cook a bit because it has had raw chicken in it. Toss the cooked vegetables in the lemony pan juices. Take out of pan. Then (the best bit), toss the cooked rice in the delicious lemony juices and a bit of chicken stock. Like a wet fried rice. My kids love love love this lemony rice.

    • Natalie a steak tip is just basically some form of steak cut up into bite size pieces. I brown it in the skillet until it is cooked through, then I cook some egg noodles, and serve the meat over the noodles and cover it all with brown gravy. Usually add salad and a veggie to go with it. Everyone likes it, and it is super fast and easy, but I don’t want them to get burned out on it.

      Love the lemon chicken recipe – sounds really good!!

  3. Amy

    Ooooh I can help here. We’re big into variety. We have the same meal about once every couple of months. Send me what you like and let me go to work. Chicken? Pork? Fish? Tell me about your picky eaters and turn me loose.

    • Oh girl, if you can hook me up with some good stuff, I’ll buy you the biggest vat of red pepper hummus I can find!! I’ll be emailing you soon. 🙂

  4. debby

    Ooh, sounds like you’ve got some great help going already. Can I just say YUMM to your list? Can I come over for dinner? That is all stuff that I love and never fix because it is not stuff that is convenient to fix for one person. You already know everything I eat. It is not conducive to picky husbands or kids, I’m afraid. I’m hoping Pubsgal will stick her head in and have some ideas for you. She seems like she has ‘real people’ food ideas.

    • The more I think about this, the more I really want to try it. I mean like, I want to try it NOW. I forsee a trip to the store in my near future!

  5. I love the blog by Roni, greenlitebites.com She has a lot of great ideas, simple ingredients, and 95% of the time I love how the dish turns out (I am not nor will I ever be a quinoa fan, so the majority of that 5% is from her quinoa recipes :). It’s even sorted by ingredient. She has a ton of recipes.

    I am exactly the same type of cook as you, except you cook more than I do!

    I’ve found some good stuff on http://www.about.com/food/ There’s a LOT on this website. It can be overwhelming, but everything is sorted in categories, which is helpful. Mostly the recipes are simple, plus there are usually reviews that often have helpful tips and ideas to make the recipe better, or tell you to steer clear if the recipe is blech.

    Cooking can be a real energy drain. I waffle between enjoying it and feeling like the life is sucked out of me. I wish my kids would eat what I cook. They are super picky, too.

  6. How did I miss this post? Sorry about that. I like the ideas, though.

    I’m actually in the process of trying* to make a 5 week meal plan because of the exact reasons you stated — we eat the same things over and over. I’m hoping this will help me be prepared instead of flustered, which usually leads me to take-out.

    Last year I didn’t know how to cook veggies and started a blog while I experiment. You can read some veggie recipes here if you’d like. I know it’s not a main-meal type thing, but maybe it will add variety. http://42veggiequest.blogspot.com/

    I like allrecipes.com because of the reviews. It helps me narrow down recipes.

    *It’s kind of agonizing, but I hope worth it.

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