Growing up, I was blessed with a mom who enjoyed cooking up wonderfully delicious meals for my family each and every night. There were many that became our favorites that, to this day, I can taste if I just think about them. I love my moms cooking. She made it all seem so effortless and I always hoped I would one day be able to cook like that for my own family.
Many years later, and it’s no secret that my culinary skills do not come naturally. I’m so thankful my sweet husband married me anyway. It was obvious from the start that I was lacking in this area. I do try. I’m great with a recipe (usually) and when I have a meal plan for the week, it works out well. But often, there’s no meal plan. Life just gets busy. Add to that, the exhaustion I feel at the end of the day after taking care of and teaching our four boys and suddenly, the kitchen becomes a frustrating and daunting place for me to be.
So, when I heard about a little 30 page ebook called Simplified Dinners by Mystie Winckler and was given the opportunity to review it, I can’t tell you how excited I was. The title alone was music to my ears. I have the basic cooking skills, however, I’m learning that what I lack is the motivation, creativity and organizational skills to get dinner on the table. Can you relate?
Simplify Dinners addresses all of my frustrations and gives me hope for overcoming my lack of confidence in the kitchen and the grocery isles. I love that this is a book you can literally read in one sitting, as I did. The very first thing I noticed about this book was how well organized it is. As my family and I strive to simplify our lives in all areas, I am thankful for the way this book helps to show one that better stewardship in meal planning is possible.
Through this ebook, Mystie offers encouragement and solutions in creating healthy home prepared meals without a pantry full of specialized ingredients and prepared products. Her simplified process enables families to transition easily toward a lifestyle of eating more whole foods, easier menu planning, less time and money spent at the grocery store, a more organized pantry and a more joyful experience in the kitchen.
I want this. My family needs this.
In our home, we place a lot importance on gathering together around our table at the end of our day for dinner. It’s a time when we share our days with Dad and have great conversations with the kids while enjoying a good meal together. That is, IF a good meal makes it to the table and Mom isn’t filled with dinnertime stress. When I am ill-prepared for the dinner hour, I struggle to help create a joyful atmosphere for my family. Consequently, it has become more of a priority for me to come up with a plan to find joy in the process of making dinner for my family.
Simplified Dinners has two primary purposes:
- Simple and delicious recipes are provided, but the main purpose of them is to give reminders of the general methods of making typical family dinners. Often, we don’t need a recipe for making burritos or teriyaki chicken, we just need to be reminded of the steps involved, the “process” for each type of meal we make.
- This book provides a great Master Pantry List, which you can easily tailor to your family’s needs. I love the idea of creating a master list that includes every ingredient I would use for my weekly menu plans. This is helping me to shop smarter, spend less and keep the things we need on hand at all times.
I am also thankful that one of the goals of this book is to show you how to keep the pantry list basic while providing a wide array of meal options. This helps to maintain a lot flexibility so you can keep in mind the meats and vegetables that are on sale.
I am finally beginning to find joy in the kitchen and in the process of creating meals for my family as I strive to make dinnertime something we can all look forward to. I hope you find Simplified Dinners to be as much of a blessing to you as it has been to me and my family.
To learn more about Simplified Dinners, menu planning, time-saving kitchen hints, a list of recipes included in the book, even more recipes (not in the book) and the gluten free/dairy free version of this ebook, visit Simplified Pantry. While there, you can check out the author’s blog and also download a sample section of her book.
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Megan and her amazing husband, along with their four young sons live in the beautiful state of Washington. She is a homeschooling mom who shares in her family’s very active and adventurous approach to life. As often as possible, she and her family spend their time outdoors exploring and discovering the beauty of God’s creation. Megan is passionate about sharing her faith in God, encouraging moms, taking pictures of her family playing together outside and she even revels in getting messy with her boys. She writes about all this and more at House of the Rising Sons. She can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.
(Megan received a free copy of Simplified Dinners in exchange for an honest review.)