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POPSECRET SparkPoints: (52,542)
Fitness Minutes: (57,894)
Posts: 1,776
9/10/13 9:49 A

Cooler weather always makes me want to cook homemade meals. If you have a crockpot, this is a great start. Isn't it a great feeling to come home to an amazing smelling dinner already done??

Also, there's so much more satisfaction when doing it yourself. One of my favorite meals is shepherd's pie, and even though it takes a bit of effort to brown and drain the meat, cook the veggies, make the gravy, boil then mash the potatoes, and then bake it all for 30+ minutes...its just SO much better than taking the easy way out. Most of the work you can do when you have time, then bake it the next day or whenever you're ready.

Oh...one more idea. Cook extra! For example, on Father's day I made my dad a lasagna. I doubled the recipe, made one full sized lasagna for him, then made a couple smaller sized ones in bread pans to put in my freezer. Not all that much extra work, and now I can have lasagna any time I want (...or anytime I remember to take it out to defrost haha).

DASHKATH Posts: 861
9/10/13 5:16 A

Making most things yourself will be cheaper than buying the prepackaged stuff. Start small. Don't try to overhaul completely right out of the gate.

KENDILYNN SparkPoints: (11,603)
Fitness Minutes: (16,588)
Posts: 754
9/9/13 9:01 P

I'm totally in a rut right now, and for me it comes down to lack of planning. If I haven't picked recipes early in the week, I can't make sure I have all the ingredients when cooking time rolls around each day. Plus with the hot weather, I'm not excited about slaving over a hot stove. It's also just my kids and me right now, so I can get away with a lot more basic meals. Tonight's dinner, by request? Random healthy things on a plate, please Mom! They have a choice of any raw fruits and veg/salad we have on hand (at least one of each), some type of protein (lunch meat, yogurt, cottage cheese, edamame), and maybe a carb. It's kind of like "left overs" night every night in my house when the kids pick the menu.

I'm really looking forward to my husband coming home and also for the weather to break. That's just the motivation I need to rediscover some of my favorite recipes that I haven't cooked in months.

MEGAPEEJ Posts: 732
9/9/13 5:32 P

I think we've all had those periods of just being too busy or tired to want to cook, even when we really enjoy it!

I keep a small rotation of about half a dozen "easy" meals that require less than 10 minutes of prep and that either cook themselves or that cook really quickly. If I throw something in the crockpot at 6 AM, I can't very well decide at 4 PM that takeout is a better option! Likewise, fish cooks in about 10 minutes and it's delicate enough that I have to eat it pretty much today or tomorrow.

Alternatively, I like scouring Pinterest for new ideas, and sometimes I just need a crazy, drawn out recipe to break me out of my rut! These are usually saved for weekends, but people are pretty impressed when you point out that even the dough was made from scratch. Doing something way outside the box can make cooking fun again, at least for me.

ICEDEMETER Posts: 892
9/9/13 4:43 P

My favourite inspiration this time of year is to hit a local farmer's market - the range of produce always kickstarts my urges to cook and experiment.

If it's towards the end of the day, then a lot of the farmers are willing to give some great deals on their produce, since they'd rather sell it for less than haul it home.

You can also look for the "not so pretty" produce to make soups from. Huge batches don't really take much time to prepare, and after that it's just simmering time while you're doing something else. The best thing (to me) about batches of soup is that you can take the same base stock and make it different every day by adding barley one day, quinoa the next, some different spices, some wild rice, or whatever you have on hand. Satisfying, tasty, and not overly expensive.

Hope you figure something out!

KATIEMAE10 Posts: 200
9/9/13 4:19 P

I am in a complete cooking rut. I think that it's partly because I have no time, but I really want to get back to cooking again! Anyone have some motivating words of advice? I used to be so good and spend a whole day making homemade granola bars, hummus, large meals and small pre made lunch food....and lately it has felt like I'm in a fight for survival and to keep within my grocery budget with not much room to explore food options!?

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