And so does the amount of time we have in a day to cook.
I'm not trying to emulate either June Cleaver or my mother, but I do believe in a couple of things: making one meal for the whole family for dinner, feeding my kids healthy food for dinner, and feeding them (or at least trying to) before they are so hungry and have so many snacks that dinner is wasted.
This all presents a challenge. I suppose I could just feed my kids chicken nuggets and hot dogs and make things easier on all of us but then what kind of habits am I creating for my kids? We have an all time high obesity rate in this country and cheap fast food is partially to blame. In my opinion time and energy are also to blame. Who has the energy to cook a full meal at the end of a full day with kids? I don't always have the energy and not even always the desire. I've said before the trick is to plan ahead and while that also takes work, it does help and does make a difference at the end of the day. In the summer, I have an added bonus- my husband likes to grill. We've finally gotten to the point where I can prep ahead (something interesting and other than hot dogs and hamburgers) and he will just follow the cooking instructions I give him.
Last night we made Huli-Huli chicken. It's apparently a very common Hawaiian meal and as it turns out pretty easy to make according to the recipe in June/July 2009 issue of Cook's Country magazine. Here's what I liked about it. The recipe uses a whole cut up chicken (very inexpensive to buy at the store compared to something like boneless, skinless breasts), a brine (to tenderize and flavor), a glaze that can be made ahead of time and basically just sits on the stove, and then really easy grilling for 20-25 miutes per side that someone else does. :) At leaset in my case.
The meal turned out great. My kitchen wasn't a total mess after dinner. Lucky for us- this meal also works out really well for guests as it's very low maintenance for both prepping and cooking with great flavor. I had some leftover sauce (which will keep refrigerated for 3 days) that I'm sure to ue on something else over the long weekend. My thanks again to the people at Cook's Country and America's Test Kitchen for making my life easier and the food I feed my kids healthy.