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Feb 11

For the Love of Food

“The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.”  My husband, Chris, loves when I cook.  I mean, when I “really” cook.  As in, from scratch.

Sure, he’ll eat country-fried steaks out of a box from Sam’s Club.  He’ll eat them and he’ll like them.  But, if I breaded some cube steak and made white pepper gravy from scratch, he would love it.

He would eat them.  Then he would ask, “Do you care if I eat the rest of these?” and he would tell me how delicious are.  Then, he would take the leftovers to work to show off.  Then, he would tell everyone he met that week about his wife’s “amazing” homemade country-fried steaks.   He would tell you that the recipe is easy and he would name the a few ingredients, just to prove it.  “Try her buffalo chicken meatloaf.  It’s easy.  It’s just chicken, hot sauce, and an egg!”  Not quite, but okay.  Then, he would tell you to visit my blog and try my other recipes.

 

If you know anything about The Five Love Languages, by Gary Chapman, you probably can tell that my husband’s love language is “words of affirmation”.  If he loves you, or something you did, or a product that he bought, he’s going to tell someone about it.
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My love language, on the other hand, is “acts of service”.  To “tell” my husband that I love him, I clean up his desk, or organize the garage, or mow the grass, or make his favorite meal.

 

But it’s tough when I’m working almost full time with two little ones.  By the time the weekend is here, I just want to lay on the couch and watch a movie with my Valentine.  Or, I want to put away those stray toys littering the living room.  Or, vacuum the corners where cobwebs are starting to form.  Or, do anything but make a bigger mess in the kitchen!

 

I’ve found a few tricks that help me “love” my husband.  These things have helped me cook more—and they have led to a happier husband.

Make a menu plan.

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If I plan my menu, I share it on my blog.  My husband will check and see what is planned for the week.  If I have a favorite planned for that week, I get an email or text from him at work, “I’m so excited for General Tso’s Chicken tonight!”  I love that.

 

I don’t always follow my menu plans, exactly.  I leave myself some wiggle room by planning for a night out or leftovers.  I will plan more complicated dishes for days I’m not working.  We eat a lot of crockpot meals when we’re busy.  But, making a menu plan gives me more commitment to cook at home.  If I said I was going to do it, I am more likely to stick to it.

Make a list of your husband’s favorite meals (and yours too!).  Use that list to plan your meals for the next few weeks.  Do all of your shopping for that week’s menu at one time.

Prep ahead of time.

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The more I can get done ahead of time, the better.  That’s just less work I need to do when I’m tired after a day at work.  After that weekly shopping trip, I try to do as much of the prep work as I can.

Repackage meats when you buy them, so it’s easy to grab that night’s portion to thaw.  Make up breading mixes ahead of time and freeze those as well.  Mix up a meatloaf ahead of time and freeze it.  Chicken can be frozen in a marinade. 

Take shortcuts!

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Not everything has to be done exactly the way the recipe specifies.  My original General Tso’s Chicken recipe came with a full page of ingredients.  I have since shortened it, by at least half a page.  The first thing I did away with was “fresh grated ginger”.  I did it once.  It was an awful mess.  And, we don’t use it frequently enough, so the rest of the ginger spoiled.  I use ground ginger instead.  It’s so much easier.

I fry breaded chicken for Chicken Parmesan.  When we have company, and I can’t fry more than 3 pieces of chicken at a time, I bake it.  Then, I can do something else while the chicken is cooking.  And, there aren’t grease splatters all over the kitchen.

Try adjusting one of your recipes and see how it turns out.  Could you use garlic powder instead of fresh garlic?  Try using onion powder in your meatloaf instead of chopping all those onions.  Could you skip the breading on that chicken recipe?  Could you throw it all together in the crockpot?

I encourage you to try one of these tips this week as you love your Valentine.
kristen

 

Wanna know a bit more about Kristen? Check out her bio here

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  1. A Little R & R

    Wow – tons and TONS of great ideas here! I think I’ll be back to refer to this from time to time. Very helpful and practical post!
    A Little R & R recently posted..A Fervent, Holy ZealMy Profile

    1. simplyhelpinghim

      Aren’t they great ideas? I love it! :)

  2. Elizabeth

    Very practical suggestions! These ideas are helpful for all busy women! With these practical tips, we can all reach our husbands hearts via their stomaches! :) thanks for linking up for Marriage Monday!

    1. simplyhelpinghim

      Hubby’s hearts via their stomachs! OH YES! :)

  3. Janis Cox

    Hi,
    It is funny that I wrote for tomorrow at Family and Faith Matters – about “What’s for dinner?” I am going back to link this post to my blog.
    Excellent,
    Thanks,
    Blessings,
    Janis
    Janis Cox recently posted..CAN I JOY DARE YOU? – Week 6My Profile

    1. simplyhelpinghim

      Thank you so much! That’s great! :) Blessings to you!

  4. Becky

    I love this, such great advice for new cooksters!

    So glad you linked up with us today, hope to see you back next week!
    Becky recently posted..Finding Family Link up and GiveawayMy Profile

    1. simplyhelpinghim

      Isn’t it great? I love it! I added you to my link up corner, so I’ll be sure to be back! :) Blessings!

  5. Christy @ Love is a Verb

    Love your organization! Yep, working on it ;) I LOOOOVE to cook too, and have a pretty wide fan-base, starting with my family – but I’m more of a “fly by the seat of my pants” kind-of-girl…and I’m trying to break that. I even have a planner that has a place for me to do the menu planning…and I’m forever working on actually USING it. Thanks for the encouragement. Christy
    Christy @ Love is a Verb recently posted..5 tips to bring "The power of RANDOM"My Profile

    1. simplyhelpinghim

      Isn’t her organization awesome?! I am not so good at that part either! I started meal planning one week at a time though and I am loving that! :) Thanks for stoppin by! Blessings!

    2. Kristen @ Trial & Error Homemaking

      When I stop using my planner, I feel so lost!! I have never been a “fly by the seat of my pants kind of girl” :)
      Kristen @ Trial & Error Homemaking recently posted..Time Savers: Air DryingMy Profile

  6. Barefoot Hippie Girl

    Kristen, what a practical example of showing love. I think this is going to be a awesome series!=) Thanks for sharing links for your recipes. I will be looking them up.

    1. Kristen @ Trial & Error Homemaking

      Thanks :) I hope you like the recipes as much as my husband does!!!! :)
      Kristen @ Trial & Error Homemaking recently posted..Time Savers: Air DryingMy Profile

  1. WHAT’S FOR DINNER? | Family and Faith Matters

    [...] found an excellent post called “for the Love of Food” which goes into more detail on meal planning. I found it after I wrote this post. Thank you, [...]

  2. For the Love of Food: Making Cooking Easier | Trial and Error HomemakingTrial and Error Homemaking

    [...] Then, he would tell you to visit my blog and try my other recipes. To read the rest, stop by Simply Helping Him where I’m sharing as part of the Simply Helping Him [...]

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