Editor’s Note: Once again Sara B. breaks my brain with the easy dinner ideas that I’d never think of on my own. Hope you feel the same way!
I sat down to do dinner planning the other morning, and I got stuck. Now, I like cooking but after working in the kitchen all day, coming home to cook for my family is not something I always want to do. Also, I was in a dinner rut.
I bet this is the time when you’re thinking I am going to give you a TRGL sales pitch. While that is always a great option, I don’t like to order for EVERY meal. I need a go-to easy dinner solution that everyone will eat, but won’t cause me a headache.
Also, I try to avoid the oven in the summer, as you never know what the temperature will be like. Who wants to cook and eat a beef roast on a 90-degree day? Not me! Finally, trying to find something that everyone likes can be really tough.
Enter this brilliant easy dinner hack…
My husband is one of five kids, and one of the stories that stick out in my memory is of the kids’ favorite dinner. While my mother-in-law didn’t start this tradition, it is a favorite in the Cato family. She called it “all the things on a big plate”. She took whatever she had, slapped it on a big platter, and plopped it on the table. The kids were fed, they thought it was the most fun, and mom didn’t have to spend an hour over a hot stove.
So I took this and ran with it. We always have fruit, nuts, crackers, cheese, and I put some slider buns and deli meat on there too. I got everything ready right before my family came home. When they walked through the door, my daughter said, “this is going to be the most fun dinner ever!” After we ate, my husband said, “that really hit the spot. Not too heavy and not hot!” I will absolutely take this for a win.
So on the days you are struggling, dinner should not be one of the things to struggle over. Order from us, throw some stuff on a plate, or make pancakes out of a box. Sometimes the easiest and lowest stress meals are the most fun. You are doing great, and you got this!
P.S. We’ve got charcuterie from Driftless Provisions and Gran Cru cheese on the menu next Wednesday as this month’s Local Flavor meal. Stock up so you’re ready the next time the “all the things on a big plate” mood strikes!