I know lots of us have lost the will to cook, and warmer weather always has me thinking about every single restaurant in town with a porch. But one trick that always works to get me back in the kitchen is to make a meal plan I know my family will eat.
If you’re looking for some inspiration, here are the meals I’m planning to cook this week. They’re proven winners at our kitchen table, and I hope they will be for you too.
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Related: 5 dinners that feel like spring
When my kids slink in asking what’s for dinner, and I tell them chicken enchiladas from Isabel Eats, I always get a positive response. These are so easy, and I can even make them ahead of time to pop in the oven at the last minute. And I have to admit, it always makes me happy to pull out my Staub casserole for this recipe. Add some homemade guac with chips on the side…and maybe even some margaritas to round out the meal.
We’re meeting some friends at the park for dinner this week, so I’ll make these pressed Italian sandwiches at Seasons and Suppers at home before we go. A cold pasta salad, like one from this post on how to DIY the most amazing pasta salads, would make a great side along with some cold, raw veggies.
Tip: You can use a heavy cast iron skillet to do the pressing; no need for a fancy gadget for one use. But if you’re dying for a sandwich press, the Cuisinart Electric Griddle gets top ratings from food editors, or for one-at-a-time panini, the Dash Pocket Sandwich Maker (above) does a nice job at a really good price.
We featured this Tom Kha Gai coconut soup recipe from 40 Aprons last week, so I tried it with my own family. It was so good, I quite honestly haven’t stopped thinking about it! It’s perfect for warmer weather, because that coconut milk base makes it light and summery but it’s still hearty enough to satisfy for a full meal.
Burger night is about to get a serious upgrade with these Cheese-Stuffed Burgers from Chelsea’s Messy Apron. Wow, they look so yummy. We might even need to invite friends over to show off around the grill with these. And of course, feel free to substitute veggie burgers, turkey burgers…your family’s choice.
Lately I’ve been replacing pizza night with pasta night, and this One Pot Pasta with Peas & Bacon at Salted Mint looks really terrific for spring. Peas are perfect right now, and well, bacon is perfect any time. As are one-pot meals, especially on a Friday night when you’d rather do anything than clean up the kitchen.