70 Meals, One Trip to the Store

March 26, 2009 10:14:10 AM PDT
A weakened economy and higher food prices is forcing many American families to shop smart and get organized. Kelly Donlea of Organizing Dinner www.organizingdinner.com resolves this dilemma in her new cookbook, 70 Meals-- One Trip to the Store. The book shows readers how to make one shopping trip go a long, long way at dinnertime.

"This cookbook has helped people organize their lives by eliminating excess trips to the store," Donlea says. "Many people who have found solace in my system are tired of traversing the grocery store with screaming toddlers or sick of running out at the eleventh hour for that one missing ingredient."


Chicken Strata

Salisbury Steak

Parmesan Crusted Fish Fillets

Her time-tested cookbook provides more than just delicious recipes. The Organizing Dinner plan eliminates stress by introducing a prepared kitchen, providing long-term and short-term shopping lists, and integrating a flexible meal plan. With 70 Meals, One Trip to the Store, you will learn how to stock your pantry with a small and streamlined list of ingredients that will allow you to make dinner night after night without a trip to the store.

70 Meals-- One Trip to the Store was born out of a friend's plea for help after the birth of her first child. "My friend Cindy called me in a panic when her first baby was a couple months old," Donlea says. "She realized that the time she had to make a homemade dinner was completely diminished and she was at a loss. 'How do I make dinner... with a baby?' she asked.'"

Kelly taught her to boil down the entire cooking process and hone in on the essentials.

10 tips for organizing the dinner process

Does doing the "din?ner dance" night after night leave you with sore feet? To prep, make and execute a delicious dinner at the exact moment your whole family sits down to eat can be exhausting. And that doesn't even include clean up, Donlea says. Dinner can be a messy, tiresome affair. But it doesn't have to be. As with anything, planning ahead can lead to greater suc?cess. And practice can perfect your "din?ner dance" skills, Donlea adds.

Use these simple suggestions to help organize your dinner routine. You will surprise yourself with how quickly you can get dinner on (and off) the table.

1. Commit to the process. Just put it on your daily to-do list and by committing to it you are already one step closer to success.

2. Plan ahead. Any amount of planning will help the dinner process, whether it's following a full-blown meal plan, or simply taking some meat out of the freezer in the morning.

3. Organize your kitchen. Just because you have always kept certain things in a certain place, doesn't mean you should. Give your kitchen a good reassessment. Box or give away utensils or appliances you no longer use, and better organize the things you do. i.e. if the items that most often go in the dishwasher aren't in the cabinets closest to it ? move things around.

4. Keep a plastic grocery bag on the counter where you cook. All the garbage will end up in there without a second thought.

5. Put ingredients away after you use them. Take some time to clean up while you cook, and you will be surprised at the manageable state of your kitchen when you're done.

6. Buy in bulk. Keep dry goods on hand that you know you will use frequently to avoid last minute grocery store trips.

7. Always keep ingredients on hand for one or two of your good-old standby recipes. When dinner plans get cancelled or you are missing an ingredient for what you hoped to make, being able to whip up one of your favorites can bring needed relief.

8. Clean a dish here or there. Sure there will be dishes to clean after the meal is done, but if you can clean some of the prep dishes while you're simmering or in between stirs, there will be less.

9. Set the table early. If this task is out of the way it won't compete for your attention at mealtime.

10. Delegate. Make sure your family members know beforehand that what is expected of them is clearing their plates, doing the dishes etc. Clean up will be much more efficient if it's part of the everyday process.

For more information about Organizing Dinner call 847-302-1531 or e-mail: info@organizingdinner.com. To purchase 70 Meals, One Trip to the Store, visit www.organizingdinner.com