An article recently appeared in the New York Times entitled What If You Just Hate Making Dinner? by Virginia Heffernan. You may be surprised to hear me say this, but sometimes I hate making dinner too – that’s why the Personal Chef Approach (PCA) is so important to me. I don’t have to cook dinner nightly to eat healthy homemade meals whenever I want!
Here are a few of the points Ms. Hefferman makes as to why she hates making dinner (which I’m sure most of us can relate to), and why the PCA is the answer to turning your dinner impossible into dinner accomplished.
“Where I ought to have a lively intellectual curiosity about food preparation, I generally have a despairing blank.”
Menu Planning Blank: Having to come up with ideas, shop, prep, and cook nightly, then clean up a messy kitchen after a long day at work is overwhelming. It is also most likely take you an average of 2 hours from conception to completion daily. Who has that kind of time today, even if we do find cooking fun?
With the Personal Chef Approach I’ve already done the planning for you with my Weekly Menu Plans, or you can streamline building your own menu plan with our Custom Menu Planning tool – choose from over 325 recipes in our recipe library to add to My Own Menu Plan, and both grocery list and heat to eat instructions will automatically generate. Then enter the number of servings you need, and the recipe scaler will automatically update your recipes and grocery list for you.
“A vague neural itch sets in around 5 p.m. when I recognize that something must happen, and soon, involving plates and macronutrients.”
Time: Once you have your menu plan, all you have to do is set aside a few hours to shop, prep, cook once a week. Okay, so you still hate cooking? I hate cleaning my toilets, but it has to be done! So, suck it up and focus on the many benefits which do outweigh the few hours of effort. You may even find you actually enjoy cooking when you no longer need to do it nightly!
“…I figure out who’s had enough protein or carbs for the day, who can bear eating the other’s favorite food, or whether I must figure out two meals”
Variety: When you cook multiple meals for the week ahead, you already have multiple meals to choose from! No more fretting over something for everyone, or playing short-order cook to keep your finicky eaters happy.
“In 1982, Jessica Lange as Julie, the glamorous single working mother in “Tootsie,” became my ego-ideal when she sexily told Dustin Hoffman’s character that she was a “born defroster.”
Convenience: Welcome to the best of both worlds, Virginia! You can defrost to serve your family real food (and faster than dialing for delivery) when you pull your PCA meals out of the fridge or freezer. Tip: I often double recipes to stock my freezer, so I get all my cooking done once or twice a month – perfect for those “born defrosters” who hate cooking. My favorite part? The pots and pans are already done, so clean-up is as quick as dinner is on the table.
“I hear you, but I like to cook,” said one feminist the last time I tried my bold association of foodism with rank misogyny.”
Sexist: I admit, I am guilty of sexism too. I do write mostly with women in mind because we tend to be more instinctually nurturing. Although, we did recently have a husband chip in when his wife fell ill. The PCA community is exceptionally supportive, so even though James had never cooked before, we coached him through the process in the Forum (evidence that even a novice cook can master the PCA). Here is what he had to say about it:
” Her training guides are FOOLproof, her cuisine is modern, inspired and innovative, for any occasion you can think of and all the days in between. Plus, she’s hot. Come on foodie men! It’s a week by week system that’s quite genius, actually. Even for the culinarily challenged.” – James Burkeen
So, it is possible to train our husbands and boyfriends to take over some of the cooking responsibilities! James took such pride in conquering the kitchen and providing for his family, that I have been trying to curb my sexism ever since.
“Not only are these women (or their trusty co-authors) ace home cooks, they have also figured out dinner once and for all and are extraordinarily self-assured about their axioms.”
True, I have been cooking dinner for families professionally for well over ten years, so I do know what works and what doesn’t, but that just means you have a shortcut to successful dinner making with the Personal Chef Approach. It really isn’t brain-surgery! If you can read, you can cook – recipes do list ingredients and instructions. I’ll even throw in my Salisbury Steak recipe below for free to prove my point. How often do you cook in your household?
The rich Madeira wine and mushroom sauce over tender ground sirloin, topped with crunchy bacon crumbles reminds me of my childhood. I suddenly woke up craving it one day, so I played around with what I remembered of the flavors.