Friday miscellany: What I ate this week, links, etc.

I saw a post on Instagram earlier this week from a comedic parenting account about how the hardest part of parenthood was figuring out what to feed people over and over again.

I know it was part of joke, but I’ve been thinking about it because I also saw a trope referenced recently of someone not knowing what to make for dinner and looking through a cookbook at 5:00 p.m. for a quick 30 minute recipe. Unfortunately, I think if you’re getting to that point, then yes, meals might be stressful.

I’m happy they are not particularly stressful for me right now. There are some other aspects of parenting and life that are way, way more stressful currently — not food so much. Food is good!

For breakfast I almost always eat two fried eggs. If we have something else around (bread from a weekend meal, a banana a kid started to eat and then abandoned) I might eat that too. My kids eat various things — the 16-year-old often has a peanut butter sandwich. The 12-year-old likes raisin toast with cream cheese, or waffles. The 14-year-old might eat cereal or a bagel. All three of them can get free breakfast at school, too, so they sometimes supplement with fruit/yogurt/cheese or whatever is available there. The two little boys tend to have some combo of yogurt, cheese, fruit and waffles. This morning I made pancakes.

On Monday and Wednesday for lunch I ate a can of soup (low-sodium if I can), which I veggied up with a handful of spinach. On Tuesday I had Monday’s leftovers and on Thursday I had Wednesday’s leftovers. My older three kids purchased lunch at school. My 9-year-old packed his lunch.

For dinner on Monday we had pasta, as we almost always do. The adults had it with marinara sauce jazzed up with Italian sausage, red peppers, and spinach. The kids had various things on it, ranging from the sauce to butter. (People not eating red peppers and spinach had fruit on the side). My 14-year-old made a tomato and burrata salad for dairy-eating folks.

For dinner on Tuesday we had chicken with Rogan Josh sauce plus rice and corn. This is a ridiculously easy dinner that can be done in various forms: a jar of sauce (any kind!), two packages of chicken breasts from Costco, chopped up and cooked in a pan, and then boiled Jasmine rice-in-a-bag (usually 3 bags or so for all of us). We also buy bags of frozen corn and can then heat that up as a side in the microwave in two minutes. (We also cut up apples; people who don’t like interesting sauces can just eat plain chicken or plain chicken with a preferred sauce such as…ketchup.)

We outsource dinner prep on Wednesday and wound up with a Shepherd’s pie with extra veggies in it, plus a fruit salad. Kids who did not want Shepherd’s pie made their own pizzas from store-bought dough. This also requires pizza sauce and mozzarella cheese. (If we weren’t outsourcing dinner prep, I might make this a “delivery day” instead.)

Thursday night was breakfast for dinner: scrambled eggs, bacon, and pancakes (we’d planned to do some crescent rolls instead of pancakes, but these were forgotten in the process of cooking). This was served with cut up fruit. Lots of fruit around here!

Tonight my husband and I may wind up going out for something quick and local so the kids will likely have mac and cheese plus fruit. We will cook more elaborate meals on the weekend — or at least grill and grill some extra so anyone working from home can incorporate leftover protein into their lunches next week.

Anyway, it’s not fancy, nor is it all that exciting, but it’s fine for the workweek. And not very stressful! We just make sure to always have the ingredients for pasta, chicken + rice, make-your-own pizza, and breakfast for dinner (well, and mac and cheese and chicken nuggets for kids) on hand. So far no one has starved.

In other news: This week’s Vanderhacks covered a variety of topics. For instance, “You don’t have to take the first time offered,” and “Give yourself a window.” This week’s paywalled post was “12 ways to be more adventurous on the cheap.”

In my “Before Breakfast podcast I also shared several tips, such as “Last minute can work,” and “Anniversaries aren’t just for romance.”

As announced earlier this week, I am officially co-hosting this year’s Best Laid Plans Live retreat in Ft. Lauderdale November 7-9. Sarah and I will lead workshops on planning and time management and help attendees think through their 2025 goals. Last year was a ton of fun so I’m looking forward to this. Capacity is extremely limited (we are about 2/3 full already) and early bird pricing ends March 10th, so if this sounds like fun to you, grab your ticket here.

Photo: Not this season, but this is a tomato salad and a make-your-own-pizza plus fruit spread

2 thoughts on “Friday miscellany: What I ate this week, links, etc.

  1. Sounds like a delicious week! I have also found that repetition takes a lot of the stress out of menu planning, especially when trying to meet family members’ varying dislikes and intolerances. I like your approach of outsourcing one night a week too. At one point the repetition was getting me down so at a friend’s suggestion I signed up for an ingredient and menu box delivery service for some new inspiration. Most weeks I cancel it since the discounted period ended. But just knowing I have that option up my sleeve for when I need a change means I no longer resent the repetitive weeks!

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