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A Real Simple Dinnertime Makeover Part 1 of 3

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Real Simple Dinnertime Makeover Part 1 of 3

The following is part one of my experience with Real Simple magazine, and was written in July.

They're here....

I spent the afternoon with Dawn Perry, Staff Food Editor; Emily McKenna, Associate Food Editor and Chip, Organization Guru (not sure if that's his real title) from Real Simple Magazine.

Why was I meeting with all these people...well...

I was lucky enough to win the Take Back Dinnertime Makeover from Real Simple Magazine. (Insert loud squeal here).

Basically, thanks to Facebook I saw the entry and decided to go for it.

Here's what I submitted...

I'm a busy working mom, and I can't cook. I'd like to cook. I aspire to cook, but let's just say my hubby and I didn't have the greatest role models when it came to cooking. We were both raised in a single parent family and neither of us were taught how to cook. My dad's idea of dinner was mac and cheese or a TV dinner. YIKES! My husband's childhood wasn't any better...they basically made a "run for the border" every night for dinner. Without any cooking or meal planning guidance I’ve been flying by the seat of my pants when it comes to making meals, which means quick but most likely not healthy. Not only that, but since I don’t plan ahead or know what I’m going to do each night I just dread it. The “What’s for dinner?” question is like nails on a chalkboard to me, and often I’m stressed and defeated before I even begin cooking. Our biggest motivation is our kids. It's important to us that our children eat healthy, and eventually learn to cook for themselves. Our lives are CRAZY busy. I don't get home until 6:30 p.m., which doesn't give us much time to make a healthy dinner, and do the bedtime routine. Unfortunately many nights the kids are served PB&J and my husband and I will eat a frozen pizza after they go to bed, which isn't until 8:30. On the nights when I do attempt to cook, I make the same things over and over again, tacos, spaghetti, chicken (10 different ways, but still chicken) and of course pizza. My goal is for us to eat a healthy dinner as a family...oh, and maybe just maybe try to get my hubby to make us dinner one night. PLEASE HELP US, my kids need to experience something other than PB&J.

Along with this....


I guess they liked what they saw because I was asked to submit more photos and answer more questions. 

Three weeks later I was sitting at my desk thinking "Oh, they must not have liked my answers because they would have called by now." Then out of nowhere my cell phone rang and it was Lygeia Grace. Senior Food Editor, and she said we were one of four families selected for this exciting opportunity. 

That was three weeks ago, and between then and now it's been a whirlwind of emails and phone calls. Finding out what our dinnertime issues are, what foods we like and don't like and more photos of our kitchen. 

So, now I'm surrounded by people who want to help me! Me...the connoisseur of frozen pizza. Hurrah! Seriously, this is like winning the lottery for us. 

They stopped at the house and went over the itinerary, and then...

They entered the kitchen (or glorified hallway, as I call it). Well, I thought "Let's just dive in." You know how when you have guests you typically hide the clutter and clean up, well I didn't. I thought "Come on they are here to help, so don't sugar coat it." 

Then came the questions like...

Do you buy meat and freeze it? Ummm, no. 

How often do you use the (insert random kitchen appliance here)? Ummm, perhaps once in the last year. 

and many more. 

All in all I'm so excited to have them organize my kitchen and give me cooking tips. I can't wait to see what happens next. 

Bring it on!


At October 19, 2011 , Blogger Elisa Black said...

How exciting for you!!! Congrats!!! When you originally posted this, I was unable to read it, but after reading Virtual Coffee this am, I looked back in your archive and just read it now. I love your entry and the photo is too funny! Looking forward to reading parts 2 & 3 also!! I could use some new ideas for our famiiy menu!


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