Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Food for Conversation

"What's for dinner tonight?"

Does that question strike fear into your heart? There are times when it does mine. As much as I'm "into" dinner and family mealtimes, there are those days when I just don't know what to make. Maybe it's because I'm feeling lazy. Maybe I took just a little too much time for myself. Maybe an appointment ran late, a friend needed help, or I forgot to defrost food. 

Whatever the reason, there's a solutions! 

Not only that, you can make it a topic of discussion for dinner tonight, a conversation that might enlighten you, and lighten your "load" when it comes to meals.

The goal is to have list of 12 meal ideas that your family loves so you don't have to do a brain scan to come up with an idea. Then, when "What's for dinner?" catches you off guard, you can go to this list to figure out what's for dinner.

To get started, at dinner tonight, ask: what are some of your favorite meals that I make?

Have a piece of paper and pen at hand to write down the suggestions. Perhaps you could have some ideas in mind to get them to keep listing meals they really like until you have at least 15 (hopefully more). This list might surprise you. 

When my children were little it probably would have started with:

  • macaroni and cheese from a box
  • hamburgers
  • grilled cheese (withOUT tomato soup!)
  • burritos

Thankfully, I kept pushing veggies and a wider variety of meals, so today the list is more like:
  1. honey curried baked chicken
  2. parmesean crusted tilapia
  3. chef salad
  4. omelette
  5. vegetable and cheese foccacia
  6. pork roast
  7. pancakes or waffles
  8. sub sandwiches
  9. walnut chicken
  10. South African curried meat and vegetables
  11. baked potatoes with chili
  12. hamburgers
After you have your list, choose 12 that you enjoy making, you usually have most of the ingredients on hand, and are makable in an hour or less. The time limit would definitely remove numbers 6 and 10 from this list. Write out this list and tape it inside one of your kitchen cupboards.

Now you have an "emergency meal list" for those days when--for whatever reason--you don't know what to make for dinner. Just open the cupboard and scan the list to get a great idea for dinner!

(If you are interested in any of the recipes for foods I mentioned above, write the name in a comment below and I'll make it the subject of a future blog post.)

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Check out my Facebook page frequently. I'm going to start posting suggested conversation questions frequently. If you "like" the page, you'll see the questions in your newsfeed. They'll give you ideas to start meaningful conversations with others and help you connect with your family!
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Exciting things are happening in our family! Saturday night, our younger son, Samuel, took his girlfriend, Laurie, to a candlelit gazebo, sang a song to her while playing the guitar, and then got down on one knee to ask her to marry him. She said, "Yes!"

I am currently in Chicago with my other son and his wife awaiting the arrival of their son any day now. In the meantime, I'm having a ball playing with their 17 month old daughter!

Linking with: My Turn (for us)


  1. Hi Sharon,
    What a great idea to make a list of favorite meals that are easy to make. I would like to know the recipe to the South African curried meat and vegetables.

    There are times when I don't know what to make for dinner so I will try this idea..

    Thanks for visiting my page Get Well With Jo..

  2. I forgot to say congratulations that your son proposed and that you soon will have another daughter in law..ALso, I hope things go well with the arrival of the new grand baby..

    1. thanks for both your comments, Jo! I will do a future post with that recipe. It's rather labor intensive, but so good!

  3. Just dropping in from the hop to meet and greet you:) Love the idea of an emergency meal list:) Looking forward to following here and on your Facebook page:)

    I would also love to invite you to share any of your favorite posts at Freedom Fridays blog Hop (no rules and live now) So hoping to see you there. (and yes, you can bring a chicken, lol)

    1. Thanks, Evelyn, for stopping by. My desire is to inspire families to connect with each other, God, and others at mealtimes. Hope I've helped your family a bit!

  4. I found you on Women Living Well. This is a great idea. I like the idea of lists. See my post on the Family Dinner which includes a planner and shopping list here:

    1. Thanks, Ana. Your planner and list are a great idea!



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