Pray & Cook the Damn Meal | Mankato Family Photographer | ID Photography

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I struggle. With a lot of things really. But I would say as a work form home mom, I struggle the most with cooking.

Ok. That's a lie. I am a decent cook. I struggle with meal planning. But my one New Year's resolution this year was to start cooking for the family more. Easy right?


Every weekend I grab a seat on the struggle bus and take inventory of the ingredients I have in the kitchen, the meals that were made last week, and try to filter our the easiest, most efficient way to feed my passel of boys on a pretty tight budget.

First rules of riding: Pour a glass of wine. Drink it up and pour another a settle in because determining what meals will pass the sniff test of your husband, a limited meat eater, and two endless pits who are more concerned about quantity versus quality, even though they differ in age about 7 years. #lifewithboys.

Second rule: Create a plan and pray. No, really. Pray. Because plans always go haywire, but a few weeks a go when I really buckled down and tackled my resolution I had an epiphany. I ride the the meal planning struggle bus because well, I don't plan for when my husband asks me: "Whats for dinner?" Yep, never really did that in the 6+ years of marriage. And when I don't have a plan and I am really unmotivated and am more likely to grab the easiest processed food to shove in the oven.

Which generally means happy kids but major disgust from my meat and potatoes husband. #winningwife. But I have fixed that with having at least two fully cooked meals planned a week, and maximize left overs. 

Third rule: You have the plan now just cook the damn meal already! What I mean is I would always procrastinate. I'd start cooking too late in the day because the kids were pulling me this way and that or business held my attention. But now I just jump right in and stay focused. Which may mean that the kids help me cook, or I ignore them creating a tornado of the rest of my house while I make a tornado of the kitchen, but what that means is that we are still creating family memories.

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But the biggest thing I have learned is: Stop making it harder then it is and stop trying to make every meal look like it come out of the Food Network's magazine. That's not real life or authentic, and I am all about keeping it real. 

Meal Pictured: Momm's Homemade Meatloaf, Cajun Zesty Green Beans, (sweet corn for kids), Sister Schubert's Dinner Yeast Rolls, Mashed Sweet Potatoes

The Oven Door Chronicles: Meals of the Week:

Grilled food (because the weather has been gorgeous!!): Steak, brats, hamburgers, Pasta Roni Fettuccine Alfredo, Baby Carrots, Homemade Apple Sauce. 

Tacos, Fries & Fixins, Homemade  Sweet Corn. Brownies & Ice Cream