Short List Meals
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So, I am not one to “whip” something up based on what I have in my refrigerator or pantry. It just doesn’t work that way. I don’t even salt something without instruction. I need to have a plan…a recipe…a step by step guide. This “need” only seemed to increase with the addition of children because while I can get away with not feeding my husband, I kind of have to feed the tiny humans I made….it’s part of the gig. Whether or not they eat what I cook…don’t get me started.
No surprise to anyone…Pinterest is my go-to. Every Sunday I choose 4-6 recipes, pin the recipes to my Weekly Meal Plan Board and then make my grocery list. Oh and I guess I will admit that I have succumb to the BuzzFeed Tasty videos on Facebook. Lastly, I follow @ShortListMeals on Instagram. Now I have to admit….the person behind Short List Meals is my closest, dearest, most beloved mom friend. She has two boys, Kai (Age 4.5) and Jace (Age 2.5). We met in Mom’s Group almost three years ago and she has been my rock ever since. When I went back to work after 3 months with my first born, traveled incessantly while trying to pump in airport bathrooms and construction trailers. When I changed jobs. When I decided to quit my job. She was the first person I told I was pregnant with my second. Literally….the first. She knew before my husband did. She is organized. She cooks. She works out every morning. Her kids are kind, well behaved and smart. She’s THAT mom.
MEET THE JEPSENS
(From Left to Right: Candice, Kai (4.5), Ryo, Jace (2.5))
Anyway, we spent many sleepless nights texting about night feedings, sore nipples and what we made for dinner. So when she decided to start logging her recipes via Short List Meals it quickly became a staple in my meal planning. The recipes are simple and delicious….and annoyingly healthy. How does she do it? I don’t know. She is always on time. She always looks beautiful. Her kids are awesome. So, in addition to sharing a great source for easy and delicious family friendly recipes, I thought I would shed a bit of light on how/why/when she does it.
Why did you decide to start blogging your meals?
My husband and I used to eat dinner after our first born was asleep. You know, that coveted adult time back when you only had one kid and life was still somewhat predictable? Yeah, back then. Well, when he was about a year and a half old we decided that we should probably eat together all as a family. So I set a goal of five meals a week, on the table by 5pm. Early, I know – but, toddler. And I posted photos to Facebook, to keep myself accountable (so, I was THAT mom too).
Fast forward a year and there was another kid in the mix and things got even more hectic. As a way to organize my recipes and meals, I started Short List Meals. I wanted a simple site that only featured recipes.
With two energetic boys, when do you actually do the cooking? AKA how do you keep them occupied long enough to get dinner on the table?
I have it easy in this regard. Most nights my husband is in the door by 5pm. So he is the one who keeps them occupied while I prepare dinner.
How do you plan your meals? Weekly? Monthly? Etc.
Weekly. I usually sit down on Saturday night or Sunday morning to do it – it’s actually my least favorite part of the week. It ranks even lower than that time last week that the 4yo flooded the toilet with too much toilet paper.
Where do you go to find new recipes?
Google. I’m not a Pinterest fan. I search google images, find an idea and then modify to our tastes. I don’t do mustard or ginger.
If you try a new recipe and don’t like it, do you adjust and try again? Do you still feature it with a disclaimer on Short List Meals?
Here’s my disclaimer: My husband will eat anything. There have been meals that I don’t make again – but mostly because I’m a picky eater. If it turned out a complete disaster, I don’t post it. For the most part it’s a collection of meals for myself to reference later – so I don’t want to clutter it with things I don’t like.
Any ingredients you absolutely will not work with?
MUSTARD. Ginger. And I typically avoid any premade sauces, marinades or spice mixes
How often do you go grocery shopping?
Once a week. We do a family trip to what my kids have affectionately named ‘Sample Sunday’ (at Costco). That’s where I get most of the meat and fruit. Then I also take a trip to the grocery store for veggies, dairy and misc items that I don’t need 5 gallons of from Costco.
Husbands favorite recipe?
Hawaiian BBQ Chicken http://shortlistmeals.com/blog/2016/3/13/hawaiian-bbq-chi
Your favorite recipe?
Baked Chicken + Veggies http://shortlistmeals.com/blog/2016/11/13/ddbpbnmcnarv9uj5wl65x89idkd62v
Kai’s (Age 4) favorite recipe?
The secret is pan fried taco shells. Heat oil in a small pan over medium/high eat. Place corn tortilla in oil, using tongs, and fold in half to create taco shell. Let side crisp and turn to brown other side. You’ll NEVER buy premade taco shells again.
Jace’s (Age 2) favorite recipe?
Jace eats anything. The kid even loves raw fish. But last week, he devoured half a BBQ Spice Rubbed Chicken breast in 30 seconds flat.http://shortlistmeals.com/blog/2017/2/19/bbq-spice-rubbed-chicken
If you take the night off from cooking, where can we find you eating out?
Our current favorites are a local restaurant with cuisine from Mexico City, Whole Foods or Chipotle.
So there you have it. My over achieving bestie and her kid friendly recipes are easy to follow, healthy and delicious. Although I will tell you….she grills even in the snow and rain….she would use her grill in a hurricane.
Oh and for the record: I LOVE PINTEREST, MUSTARD, GINGER & AM NOT ABOVE USING A PRE-MADE SAUCE. One of my go to easy meals is to grill chicken with Kikkoman Teriyaki Baste & Glaze and serve it with roasted broccoli and Trader Joe’s microwaveable brown rice or THESE sesame noodles.
Here are some of my personal favorite recipes from Short List Meals:
Do you have a favorite blog or cookbook you use to meal plan? Send us your recommendation – we need all the inspiration we can get!