Thursday, February 22, 2018

Mom Hacks: In The Kitchen: 3 Tips to Appreciate The Dinner Witching Hour

This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of PERDUE®; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
Chances are, if you’re a parent, you can’t remember the last time you actually enjoyed cooking dinner for your family. If your house is anything like mine, the evening rush hour is a circle of Hell that Dante forgot to write about. Perhaps during this time dinner prep is taking longer than expected, maybe you forgot an ingredient and in between raiding the pantry for snacks and singing an acapella version of “I’m So Booooooored,” your kids are beating the veritable stuffing out of each other. In fact, if your house is anything like mine, by 5:00pm you’re one “I’m-so-bored/hungry-he-won’t-keep-his-hands-off-me,” away from an unexpected visit to the Emergency Room. Like you actually have time for that.
Ever since the first of the year I’ve become acutely aware of how much I loathe the evening rush hour, how much more I raise my voice during that time and how much less time is actually spent enjoying my family. I’m sure it has everything to do with the fact that my days are consumed with errands, gym sessions, pick-up’s, drop-off’s and orchestrating swim lessons and music lessons. That as soon as we’re home and our feet hit the floor, it’s a crazy, chaotic dance of homework, reading logs and balancing the attention-seeking needs of little boys clamoring for just a bit of their mama’s undivided attention.
Meanwhile, dinner ain’t gonna cook itself.
I’m learning that with a little forethought and some pretty awesome mom hacks, I can kick the chaos to the curb and focus on what really matters during those early evening hours- being present with my family. That’s why I’m sharing with you today just 3 simple hacks to be used in the kitchen to help you hate the dinner witching hour just a little bit less.

  1. Simplify the Meal Plan
I used to think that I had to cook up these grand meals with fancy ingredients because that’s what stay-at-home moms did. After all, they were home all day! They have all the time in world! Very quickly I learned that’s incredibly untrue and when those fancy meals were made, someone always complained, refused to eat them and spent most of dinner time kicking and screaming on the kitchen floor. Stick with what you know and what your family loves. If that means you have the same 12 meals on rotation for the month, so be it. K.I.S.S (Keep It Simple, Superstar!)

  1. Less is More
Less time spent prepping means more time spent with your family. PERDUE® understands this with their new line of PERDUE® FRESH CUTSTM boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Available in diced, strips or thin sliced, PERDUE® FRESH CUTSTM  chicken helps busy parents skip the hassle of cleaning and cutting up chicken and later having to scrub cutting boards, counter tops and their hands over and over again. It might not seem like much but eliminating just those activities alone has saved me up to 30 minutes in the kitchen of prep and cleanup time per meal! Not to mention, I don’t have to touch any gross, slimy chicken parts.

  1. Stop What You’re Doing and Dance
You probably rolled your eyes just now but a good kitchen dance party has saved my sanity on more than one occasion and now that I’ve shaved up to 30 minutes from my normal dinner routine by using PERDUE® FRESH CUTSTM chicken, I have more time for family fun! Stop what you’re doing, turn on Alexa, your phone, the music station on TV and get your kids into the kitchen and dance. You’ll be giving them the undivided attention they so badly crave while letting loose and being silly. Two songs and ten minutes later, you won’t believe how much less your kids will resent you when you tell them you have to get back to cooking. Trust me on this!

One of the most popular (and easy) dishes in our house to whip up are these Buffalo Chicken Flatbreads. I put this together in less than thirty minutes on Super Bowl Sunday. Served with fresh veggies and a side salad, it made for the perfect pre-game meal. With the extra time I saved by not having to handle or prep the chicken, I was able to spend more time getting my fame face on with my boys!
Serves a family of 5

We all know that busy moms need real, simple meal ideas that work. Creativity and quickness included, PERDUE®  FRESH CUTSTM chicken  allows busy parents less time to prepare a meal and more time to enjoy it. Just look at how much more relaxed this Mom looks once she ditches her regular chicken routine for PERDUE®  FRESH CUTSTM chicken!
For additional PPERDUE®  FRESH CUTSTM chicken recipes, head here. The best part is that PERDUE® chicken comes with a “No Antiobiotics Ever” promise, so you can feel confident that you are feeding you family responsibly, and saving time doing so.
Be sure to enter the PERDUE® #30MinuteMeTime social media contest for a chance to win a $100 gift card to SpaFinder, Fandango or Amazon. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited and outside US. Must be legal US resident 18+ (19+ in AL and NE; 21+ in MS). For full rules, see here.
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Thank you for reading ILYMTC. If you have any questions about a post or want to get in touch with me (or any of the cast of characters here at ILYMTC) email me at iloveyoumorethancarrots(at)gmail(dot)com.

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