June 27, 2012

Mealtime ~ An Author's Time

This summer I'm sharing some articles I wrote on An Author's Time. Today, I'd like to visit with you about mealtime. I don't know about you, but when I'm in the middle of a writing session, the last thing I want to think about is what I'm going to make for dinner. Dinner out is not an option, and we can only eat so many DiGourno pizzas in a month before my husband starts grumbling. So, what can we do to make this easier on everyone involved?

Full-WhiteKitchenTimer
I enjoy cooking, but cooking from scratch can be time-consuming. Here are a few tips for creating home-cooked meals for your family to enjoy:
ONE-DISH MEALS: What I've found works best when I'm in a writing-crunch is to combine the majority of the food groups into one dish. Usually, I can prepare the ingredients and pop the dish in the oven or crockpot and let it cook, allowing me to go back to my writing. If it's a dish that's cooked on the stovetop, it's usually fast and can be served up quickly. A few of my favorites for this is pot roast and vegetables, chicken and rice, shepherd's pie, or goulash.
PREPARE IN ADVANCE: While I've heard of people spending an entire day or weekend preparing foods and then freezing them, I've never been inclined to work that hard. There are times, however, when a recipe serves a large quantity, and I'll freeze half of the portion to serve another time. I've also done this when I know I'll be away at a conference or on a book tour. My favorite recipes for this are chicken pot pie, enchiladas, or lasagna. In doing this I feel less guilty, and my family enjoys the home-cooked meals while I'm away.
You can also prepare your week's menu in advance so you know what ingredients you'll need, and you won't feel pressured to come up with a dinner idea when you're trying to concentrate on your writing. 
HAVE SOMEONE DO IT FOR YOU: Sometimes I have my daughters make the evening meal while I try to get some writing done. Try is the optimum word, here, as it seems most times I end up in the kitchen overseeing what they are doing or answering questions. But it's a good idea, and in theory should work well. 
LAST MINUTE - FAST AND EASY - If all of these plans fail, then you can always resort to a fast and easy meal such as sloppy joes, tacos, spaghetti, or even shrimp scampi. Toss together a salad to go with it and Voila, you're done!
Along with the recipe links above, here are a few places online for mealtime inspiration. Bon Appetite! 
and my very own Country At Heart Recipes
What meal planning preparations work best for you? Care to share an easy recipe? Please leave comments below. Next week, we'll look at another important aspect of an author's time ~ family time. Until then, enjoy the moments . . . 
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