Thursday, November 08, 2007

Big Boy Eli, a Nationwide Lack of Home-Cooked Meals, and Happy Birthday Davey!

Today's blog is a little random... I weighed Eli this weekend and he is up to 18 lbs at 5 1/2 months!! He is my cute chubby baby, that's for sure. My favorite of his features are his rubber band wrists, dimpled elbows, cute tummy, and squeezable thighs and bum. And of course his fun cheeks! I kiss and squeeze him ALL the time, poor guy. :) Here are some pictures from this week:
And the other topic I wanted to blog about came from this article I read today in the Chicago Tribune - apparently 46% of families confessed in a national survey that they eat a home-cooked dinner just two to three times a week. The article then asks what we are eating the other four or five nights of the week?

So that got me thinking. Ben and I were just talking about how when he was growing up, his family of 8 kids rarely went out to eat. And my family with 2 kids went out a little more often, but my mom made most of our meals (which was probably often torture since my brother and I are both picky eaters). Fast forward to today... I remember thinking when I worked full time that once I was a stay-at-home mom I would make a wonderful, well-balanced dinner every night. All I can say is, YEAH RIGHT!!

My excuses range from:
  • I am too busy with freelance projects
  • Eli doesn't stay entertained long enough for me to make a full dinner (or take long enough naps to give me time to do it)
  • His bedroom is right next to the kitchen, so even if there is time to cook during his nap, I usually wake him up when I'm clanking around
  • I'm too tired
  • I didn't have time to go to the grocery store during the day
  • It's too hard to take Eli to the grocery store because he screams in the car seat, but can't sit up on his own, so I tend to go late at night after Ben and Eli are in bed - but there isn't always energy for this
  • Raw meat grosses me out, so I'm always looking for a good vegetarian meal to make
  • I'm out of ideas of what to make for dinner
  • Everything I want to make is too complicated/takes too much time
So this brings me back to the article. It talks about a book, The Take-Out Menu Cookbook: How to Cook the Foods You Love to Order Out. I hope our library has it so I can check it out! Usually for our little family, Eli eats baby food and Ben and I often just fend for ourselves. Our easy choices usually consist of one thing for dinner - roasted potatoes or other veggies, spaghetti, sandwiches, homemade salsa with my current fav. tortilla chips, Xochitl (found here in the organic section at Jewel - they are DELISH!!), soup, salad, etc. Not too exciting! Otherwise we tend to order food from:
  • Dozika in Evanston (I love the mild curry chicken and honey garlic chicken, along with their sweet potato maki rolls)
  • Cozy Noodle in Evanston (I love the noodles panang, pad thai, and pad see ewe)
  • Joy Yee's in Evanston (I love the orange beef there)
  • Wholly Frijoles in Lincolnwood (I love the tortilla soup and Lincolnwood burrito)
  • Carmen's Pizza in Evanston (I get a thin pizza with pepperoni, no cheese and Ben gets a deep dish special)
  • Merle's BBQ in Evanston (It has $1 bbq pork/chicken/beef sliders on Monday nights... yum!)
As you can see, I like to take out more ethnic foods (with the exception of the bbq and pizza) since I don't know how to make them myself. I love the blog Pimp My Dinner because there is a variety of fun recipes. But somehow I still get in a rut, and we end up eating a real meal just a few times a week. Do any of you have a good system for making good meals for your families on a regular basis? If you're in Evanston, what are your favorite places to eat out?

And finally, (speaking of eating out... sorry that this is the world's longest post!) here is a picture from going out to dinner on my brother Davey's 23rd birthday - my grandpa and his wife Judy flew in from Utah (my aunt and uncle and cousins Abby and Natalie from Ohio drove in too - more pictures from our weekend get together is below).


The Yost Family said...

My favorite place in Evanston was KOI. We really didn't eat out a lot and we don't do it now either- Abby won't eat anything. I did freezer meals for awhile - switched meals with 5 others ladies. Really nice since I just made a lot of something, seperated them into the Glad 8x8 reusable freezer dishes. Pull out of the freezer and into the oven! It was great for nights I was too tired or busy to cook. I do it now myself when I make something, I just make enough to have another meal put in the freezer. Wow- long comment from me!

Mrs. Dub said...

I'm all about pulling out cookbooks, marking a few easy but tasty recipes and making a menu. When I have a plan ahead of time of what to make, I make it. If I have to think it up last minute, we end up eating out.

But Evanston did have some good (and close) food. So I say live it up!

Davis & Asialene said...

Eli is soooooo CUTE! Those pictures make me want to hold him!

I can totally relate to shopping late at night, but not having the energy to do so. Sometimes I wish I could just order my groceries online and have them delivered. I just can't get myself to spend that much though. Good luck with meals -- I have a hard time with it too.

Pete said...

Sarah, you should talk to Patricia. She is very good at getting the home cooked meals made everyday, and they are always tasty.

jcsev said...

I was just going to say "Order your groceries online" But it looks like you don't have that option where you live, bummer. makes life so much easier for me, because it is TORTURE going to the grocery store with four boys. It is kind of funny to think about though. The store is just around the corner from us (well within a short walking distance)and it is too much for me to get there!! But ordering online is SOO much easier, and most of the time it is free delivery or $4. Who can beat that?!?

Amber Robbins said...

Eli is such a cutie! It's funny that he is already 18 pounds. Emma is 17 1/2 months and weighs in at 19.5 pounds. She a little one.
I like to make double quantity of some meals and freeze them. Makes for a quick meal on a busy day :)

Abecka said...

I like a lot of the same resturants as you. I do also like Flat Top. (Marlee calls it my b-day resturaunt because we always eat there for my b-day). I like Stephanie's idea of freezer meals, But I think that I am sometimes too picky...Camie use to use her Sunday afternoons to cook up meat or put meal ingredients together for the week. Then I could quick throw something in the crock pot for her, or pull it out to defrost. i always thought that was a good idea. I also learned that in my cooking classes I took....
For the Honnolds, I would plan my menu for the next week every friday, order peapod for Monday deliveries. it made my cooking their meals so much easier... we'll have to talk about this later, i am not explaining it too well. it's late ...

OK those pictures of Eli, SO SO cute. I just love all his little rolls!!! I would want to just give him kisses all the time too. I can not believe that he is already 18 pounds...too cute

Kendee said...

I love that little Eli. He is so stinkin' cute. I hope he never grows into his cheeks. I think I need a nibble next time I see him.