First, let me just say that this is not my kitchen or my food. My kitchen never looks that clean and organized and my food never looks that professionally put together. But it looked pretty tasty and made my mouth water as I'm working this morning, so it gets a place on my blog. haha!
I have recently discovered a secret that helps me to be more productive with dinner. I will admit that most of the time when 5pm rolls around, I'M TIRED! I'm not usually up for cooking a full dinner at that moment. Often times this resulted in fast food stops by hubby on his way home from work. We ended up eating fast food far more than I wanted to. As we all know, fast food is convenient but not healthy and definitely not helpful when it comes to calories.
I figured out a little secret that is helping me though. I found my cooking hour. What is a cooking hour you might ask. There is a certain time of the day when you feel the most productive. You have the most energy during this time and it's nothing at all to break out into a cooking spell. I have dubbed this time the cooking hour. For me, my most energetic time is typically 10am. I am full of energy and can take on the world...but only during this hour.
What to do when your cooking hour isn't at dinner time? Well, that's when I make meals that are easy to make ahead of time. I either utilize my crock pot or make a casserole during this time. That way I'm putting everything together and doing all of the hard work when I feel the most able and energetic. If I make a casserole, it just goes into the fridge until the time to cook it before dinner.
If you aren't home during your cooking hour, see what time you are home that is closest. If you're more energetic in the mornings and know you'll be drained after you get home, then cook during the morning hour. If you're a night owl and find yourself wanting to do things at midnight, go ahead and put together your casserole or crock pot ingredients then. Make dinner work for you instead of you working for dinner.
Of course there are some times when I have planned meals that need to be cooked just before dinner. But for the most part I try to find meals that work with me, my schedule, and my energy. This discovery has led to eating fast food less than once a week which is huge for us.