7 mins read

Solving The Dinner Dilemma, Part II

Back in September of 2009, one of my earliest Blog posts discussed the question that comes my way every day around 4:30PM (from the little people living in this house) and it’s always sure to get me all riled up… the burning question….  “What’s for dinner?” And while I have been trying my hand at some new recipes lately, I am still at a loss (probably like most of you) for great dinner suggestions, on any given day.

what's for dinner

However, things changed this past weekend. I became inspired! What a beautiful thing! I swear, it was like I found a new hobby or unlocked another passion or something. We were invited to our friends’ house Saturday night with the boys to watch the Montreal Canadiens in the playoffs. And while the game was a complete disaster, the evening was not. All the kids were having a ball, with cozy blankets and pillows on the floor watching the game, the booze was flowing and the food was TO DIE FOR! And the husband did ALL THE COOKING.


Now keep in mind, I married my soul-mate and best friend. My husband has tremendous redeeming qualities. However, agility in the kitchen is not one of them. So to see a man so comfortable over the stove, oven and sink was a novel concept. So, here at our friend’s house, was this husband of 3, cooking up these appetizers, and preparing food for us AND the kids, that looked like something out of Emeril’s kitchen.

When my girlfriend said they were serving pizza for the kids, I didn’t think HE was the one making it. I watched his comfort, his ease, as he rolled out his own dough, on the pizza stone (which I just bought yesterday), and watched him apply things like rosemary, goat cheese (or blue cheese I can’t remember), sun dried tomatoes and other yummy ingredients. I watched him carefully sautee the mushrooms and place them freshly warm in our yummy arugula salad. And what he created with plain looking endives for appetizers was nothing short of an art. I was in awe.

solving the dinner dilemma

So what is the point in all of this, you may ask?  Cuz you know, I am not satisfied till you, my wonderful readers, take away a message. And the message is; anyone can do anything they set their mind to. I am no Julia Child in the kitchen. But I LOVE food. My husband’s famous line is, “I would rather clothe her than feed her.” It’s true. I live for food, music and fine wine, as a close second to my incredible family.

And what was interesting, is his passion has rubbed off on his kids. The daughter was showing me all HER own “Mommy and Me” incredible cookbooks. And I realized that this is something I could do with my kids. That it doesn’t have to be a chore (like it ALWAYS is for me). That cooking can become another creative outlet, and the final product is truly meant to be enjoyed… how rewarding.  So, while many of you may be thinking… yes… I already love to cook, and who is this Erica trying to preach to the already converted? But, that realization was important. Cooking is something that does not come easily to me. But the husband said, “Erica, if you can write, you can cook. It’s merely another creative expression.”And I think… maybe he could be right.

So, I am taking his advice? Well, the beautiful cookbooks in my kitchen that get dusted only during the kitchen cleaning and NEVER get used, got pulled out yesterday. I bought a pizza stone, and tonight, I’m making my own gourmet pizzas for the whole family. I’m gonna try the seared stuff, the rack of lamb stuff and the tasty chicken stuff. I’m gonna try it all. I truly understand now, after eating his food, when the husband said, “I’d rather eat-in than eat-out in a restaurant, because I prefer my own food, cooked the way I like it!”

So, I started slowly yesterday. The boys and I baked a healthy banana chocolate chip loaf to send to school for a snack, and it was great! The Ipod was pumping, the flour was flying, and the eggs were crackin’. It was incredible. So while I may not become the best chef around, I’m sure gonna bust my ass trying. I’m off the fence and inspired!

Here's my Banana Bread in the oven!

Here’s my Banana Bread in the oven!

So, if you are at a loss for dinner ideas, I found this list of 101 Things To Make for Dinner. Read them for inspiration!

1. Meatloaf

2. Tacos

3. Pasta Arrabiata

4. Fish and Chips

5. Tacos

6. Taco Salad

7. Chicken Salad Sandwiches

8. Stir-fry

9. Sloppy Joes

10. Chicken Roast

11. Beef Roast

12. Quiche

13. Pancakes

14. Waffles

15. Zucchini Soup

16. Goulash

17. Chicken Soup

18. English Breakfast

19. French Dip Sandwiches

20. Lentil Soup

21. Hot dogs

22. Hamburgers

23. Pork Loin

24. Pork Chops

25. BLTs

26. Schnitzel

27. Roast Duck

28. Roast Lamb

29. Chili

30. Chicken Chili

31. Enchiladas

32. Fajitas

33. Macaroni and Cheese

34. Shepherd’s Pie

35. Gnocchi

36. Ravioli

37. Chicken Marsala

38. Lasagna

39. Steak

40. Fried Chicken

41. Chicken Fingers

42. Beef Brisket

43. Tuna Noodle Casserole

44. Homemade Pizza

45. Corn Chowder

46. Quesadillas

47. Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

48. French Toast

49. Turkey burgers

50. Tortellini

51. Chicken Pot Pie

52. Minestrone

53. Cabbage Rolls

54. Pad Thai

55. Pasta Salad

55. Kung Pao Chicken

56. Fried Rice

57. Chicken Cordon Bleu

58. Chili Dogs

59. BLT Sandwiches

60. Pulled Pork Sandwiches

61. Pot Roast

62. Stuffed Peppers

63. Cobb Salad

64. Goulash

65. Spinach Pie

66. Rice Salad

67. Ribs

68. Philly Steak Sandwich

69. Hero Sandwich

70. Sausage Soup

71. Salisbury Steak

72. Beef Stroganoff

73. Grilled Shrimp

74. Gumbo

75. Paella

76. Roast Turkey

77. Salmon

78. Rabbit Stew

79. Buffalo Burgers

80. Vegetable Soup

Cream of Broccoli

82. Cream of Potato

83. Timpana

84. Chicken Parmesan

85. Pesto

86. Fettuccine Alfredo

87. Spaghetti alla Bolognese

88. Veggie Burgers

89. Frittata

90. Spanish Rice

91. Chickpea Curry

92. Sweet & Sour Chicken

93. Baked Rice Casserole

94. Taco Casserole

95. Stuffed Eggplant

96. Moroccan Tagine

97. Tilapia

98. Lobster

99. Swedish meatballs

100. Tuna Salad

101. Cannelloni

I’m not so sure about the Rabbit Stew, though.

Also, please take a look at this great book, from one of the upcoming authors in my 99 Book Series. His book is called Beer Belly Blues: What Every Aging Man and the Women in His Life Needs to Know by author Brad King. I totally love it! CLICK HERE to read more!!


And ladies tell us, have you ever been inspired to try something new? Tell us about it! Or just tell us about your own dinner dilemmas… MISERY LOVES COMPANY!

Ps – Don’t forget to tune into Dancing With The Stars tonight to see ModernMom.com’s fab dame Brooke Burke in action!

Until next time,



(101 Ideas from AMichiganMom.com)
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