Hello, dolls! Hello weekend!! What a beautiful week we had here in Maryland. The weather was so friendly so I was a bit more productive — anyone else go in full relax mode when it’s a hundred degrees out? Because I do! Thank goodness we got a little break from the summer heat this week because I needed to get a lot of things done (in fact, I am still working on it!).
After almost two weeks of going back and forth with everyone at home being sick (cold + flu only and nothing major thankfully), I am finally able to get back in the rhythm of my routine. To tell you the truth, life seems to be a little overwhelming lately between my day job, blogging, and growing food business. One year ago, I never anticipated reaching this kind of momentum. I could not be more grateful to be given the opportunity to see my financial goals take off sooner than I planned.
Life has been very hectic lately so I have resorted to simplifying daily tasks. I get everyone at home involved even Little A who is now 5. I am proud to say I do not spend more than 10 minutes cleaning up his toys — I think a big part of it is how he is aware that everyone has responsibilities and his are his toys. Baby C is slowly learning, not as eager when Little A was two but she tries…once in a while.
Anyway, aside from not spending more than 30 minutes doing one task, I make sure that we all sit down for dinner as a family over a good home-cooked meal. I am truly grateful that A took the reign on this because I could not imagine slaving in the kitchen on top of the million things on my list each day. We like to keep it simple on weeknights to save time.
Spaghetti and Meatballs
I am putting A’s spaghetti and meatballs first because it is my ultimate “prep ahead, enjoy later” meal! When A and I had our first Sunday night off together, he told me we should have spaghetti for dinner like a real Italian home (he is half Greek half Italian and I am half Filipino half Chinese). He made his grandma’s meatball recipe and it was the best thing ever! Now that our family is bigger I always ask him to make a big batch of meatballs and put some in the freezer for nights that we are overwhelmed with things to do.
Asian Noodle Dishes
Don’t be afraid to visit your local Asian store. The products may overwhelm you because of the labels but you can always find something easy to cook for dinner. Best part? They are inexpensive. A loves it when we get noodles from the Asian store. A bag of fresh Taiwanese noodles cost us about $2-$3 and each is enough for two dinners.
They are a way better option than ramen cups because there are no preservatives and truthfully with the right condiments in your pantry (that you can easily find in any grocery store) you can easily whip up a nice stir-fried noodle dish.
Chicken Cutlet with Salad or Pasta (maybe both!)
In case you haven’t noticed, my family lives on noodles! We stock up on pasta (our favorite are fresh noodles from Restaurant Depot or Trader Joe’s) because whenever we are in a rut, pasta is our go-to dinner. Garlic, good olive oil (see below for our current favorite), tomatoes, salt + pepper, and basil if you have it! That is truly all you need for a classic simple pasta dish that everyone will surely love.
With salad? rice? pasta? The possibilities are endless when it comes to roast chicken. If you are not comfortable cooking a whole bird, cut them in portions (it will cook faster too). There are plenty of rubs/seasonings in stores now that you can choose from. Season/marinade, put in the oven, done! I also love the fact that the only thing I have to clean is a roasting pan 😉
Use your grill when the weather is nice. Grilling takes little effort — marinade, grill, done! Did I mention there is hardly any clean up? Ever wonder why Dads love to grill? LOL!
Anyway, one of our spring/summer dinner staple is A’s chicken or lamb souvlaki (all thanks to my Greek FIL for passing down his delicious recipe!).
Ahhhh my ultimate favorite salad during the warmer season — watermelon salad with feta (YUM! currently drooling now as I type this). Arugula is my favorite leafy green for my salad so I always you that. You can always use lettuce (spring mix is best) if arugula is a little too bold for you. Toss the watermelon in a simple vinaigrette and you are DONE! Need protein? Shrimp goes well with this salad.
Okay, Momma! My husband considers it a treat when we order Chinese take-out — and I consider it the easiest solution when we are feeling beat from work. Ordering take-out does not define you as a Mom and should never be a reason why you should quit your job because you do not have “time” to cook. I’ve heard some people say “working Moms never have time to cook” and as annoying as that sounds, it’s honestly painful because we all try our best to do things in our own ways. You may not be slaving in the kitchen for hours but that time you are saving can be spent with your children — it’s always a win in my book!
As Chefs, A and I are very particular when it comes to our ingredients. We use brands that we are comfortable with. It all starts with a good base when you are cooking and oil we know is a part of any food. Le Stagioni D’ Italia is currently helping us achieve the layers of flavor that we want in our food at home.
Prior to using Le Stagioni D’Italia, I attended a virtual influencer event and I had a great afternoon watching aprominent Italian chef cook risotto in a beautiful outdoor kitchen in Italy.
Learning about Le Stagioni D’ Italia before using it made me trust it even more.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post by Le Stagioni D’ Italia . All photos are curated for the brand by riannagalvez.com .