6. Don’t be afraid to “cheat.”
It’s OK to mix pre-made food with home-cooked food. It’s OK to use convenience foods. If you’ve never cooked a full meal in your life, no one expects you to start making everything from scratch tomorrow. Depending on where you are on the spectrum of making family meals, you can start off in your comfort zone and then try to improve.
Personally, I do make a lot of “home-made” food. It works for me because I think it's healthier, saves money, and just plain tastes better. Also, my husband is a great cook, so I’m not shouldering all the meals, everyday. But I use my share of frozen and convenience foods. I try to balance out our meals, or at least balance the week, using a combination of homemade and convenience foods. If we are short on time or energy, it might be broiled fish and macaroni and cheese for dinner tonight. The next day, I would try something more “ambitious,” but still simple, like sautéed chicken breasts, rice, and fresh broccoli.
There are lots of quick and easy cookbooks out there; ask for one for Christmas or or buy yourself one for Hanukkah (two more nights left!). Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything" is a classic.
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