Episode 147 Transcript
Welcome to the feed, your family tonight, podcast. Do you dread hearing the question? Whats for dinner? Whether you spend your days, keeping up with toddlers, running kids to after-school, activities are juggling, a career and family getting dinner on the table. Can be a struggle for us. All I dont Rafi, Bok, a business owner wife, and mom of four. Im on a mission to build stronger families. One dinner at a time. And Im here with tips, tricks and inspiration. You need to feed your family tonight. Hello, friends, welcome to the feed, your family tonight, podcast episode 247. Im your host Marie fiebach. And today, we have a real tree. It is an on-air coaching call with Rita and Gina Rossini. They are so delightful Rita had filled out an application to have on are coaching then. Right before we were getting ready to record. She said to my husband, come on to actually does most of the cooking and meal-planning in our home and I said, well, yes, if hes the one whos doing the meal planning and a lot of the cooking, then he definitely needs to be on the call and it was so much fun to talk with them. One thing. I told them before we started recording was that sometimes Im not here to give really big huge life-changing answers. Im here to give a few small little tweaks that can make a big difference in your home. And when you listen to this episode, youre going to hear two or three small little tweaks that really real. Make a big difference in their house. So sit back and enjoy this great on your coaching, call with Rita and Gino grosshandler. Welcome to the podcast Rita and Gino Rossini. I am so excited to have you here today. How are you doing? It is such a joy. We were getting to know each other off. Are for just a minute and found out that our paths have crossed in crazy ways. So its always so fun to connect with listeners and it is such a joy to be with you today. Are you going to Dive Right In? And I would like you both to just take a quick moment to credit introduce yourselves and your family and let us know kind of what phase of life you are at. So I am Im on the 5 at Gina and I have five children, ages, 18, 17, 14, 12 and 10. So when its about to leave for college and then all the way down to the 5th grader, I am in my third year of nursing school and in some of the phase of life that we are in right now, is that our children and Gino have taken over much of the wealth. Gino has shared a huge amount of the burden of cooking dinner prep meal, shopping planning, all of that, as a as a way to kind of like my legs. So I can focus more on my studies. Its been tremendous. I can do this without his support in that way. Its so, thats where we are right now and she has said, you are doing a lot of the cooking. Do you enjoy cooking, or is it something that you do? Because you love Wife. Well, I do enjoy cooking but I actually dont do a lot of it. I do a lot of the meal planning and shopping and because of my work we basically have to either have extremely easy meals or rope one of our kids into quarterbacking the meal prep. Tolerate it. How are your kids on that Spectrum? Okay. Well, you know, our listeners. Know, I have four teenagers and some of them can cook, none of them like to cook. So, I totally understand that. Okay. So tell me what dinner, time in general is like, are you having to work around activities? Are you having to eat in shifts? I know. Read a, youre a student. What is your schedule like? Read. They do have activities are going to know theyre back in school. So we try to have fun at the dinner. Time around, 6:30. Very depending on the day of the week, is going to be less than 30 minutes if it takes longer than that, its its its not usually a good fit for us. If we foresee that its going to take longer than that. It ends up being what? Frozen pizza or? Yeah, thats kind of our fallback. Yes. We do. Have you. Do you keep frozen pizzas on hand for days when it happened? Yes, we have frozen pizzas. We have hot dogs. We have what else? Frozen lasagna? Yeah, cuz they take an hour to cook. Now are either of you working from home, where you can put it in an hour, early. Are you walking in the door and having to start prep at 6? So it depends on my sexual. Ill have three clinical days where, yes, Ill be walking in around 6:30 and then Ive got two days where Im in class and do those dates in early some of the last days when is surely one of them? Usually finishes around 5, so its pretty tight, you know, and then everybodys demanding your attention in and what not. And by the time you get around to it it sticks so its very its cutting it close. So Im not at home. Okay, usually come in right around 6. Okay. So you guys are out and then you are coming back in and everybodys hungry and dinner needs to get on the table Pronto. Okay. She know you said, you talk. What about that? You work with the meal planning in your family? Tell me about how youre planning and what your system is for grocery shopping. Are you using online shopping? Are you going to the store five times a week? No judgement. Either way. Im just kind of curious where youre at on those two things. Sure will. The routine when were in the routine? Is that one of our daughters? And I get together on Saturday morning planned a menu check and see whats in the cupboard in the fridge and we do a spreadsheet grocery list and then we go to a couple of different stores to pick up what we need for the Easley that covers Us for the week. Have a plan. So then what do you want most for me to help you with? Are you wanting meal ideas? Are you wanting how to prep and get these on the table faster? What? What can I help you with? Most? I think Im prepping and getting on the table faster because we all have really busy schedules. So somehow it to either shift the time of prep to the weekend or otherwise, it was very easy meal Solutions. 2 or 3 hours on the weekend prepping. Is that something you want to do or would you? Pockets of time during the week where you could do a little here and a little there. And some some people like to just kind of have a big Marathon session and no, everythings in the fridge and some people kind of like to just find little pockets of time, so it doesnt feel so overwhelming for them. Which do you prefer. Be honest with you. I want to be the sort of person who has the marathon prep session over the weekend, but it never works out. I talk to episode 144 about. Find time to prep and a couple of times that I have found that work for me, is when Im cleaning up, dinner dishes. I already have my cutting board out. I already have the kitchen a mess. Sometimes, I will do a little bit of prep, then to like if I am chopping veggies or if Im cutting up chicken, my cutting boards already out. Im going to have to sanitize the whole kitchen. Anyway, and so I might just take 5 minutes and cut up chicken for tomorrow nights meal. Is that something that youve ever tried? That systematically sometimes. Like, if were going to be making chicken, then well make chicken for the week and then use some for chicken salad for lunches and some, for your barbecue chicken. We might prepare the meat in bulk. Usually not the actual shopping of the veggies or something like that. Thats something that you might start thinking about is, before you clean up your dinner dishes. Is there something I can do today? To make my life better tomorrow or the next day. And just trying to start asking yourself that question because I cant when the kitchen wooden cutting boards out. The knife is out. The kitchens already going to have to be cleaned up. Youre going to save yourself time another little pocket of time that some people have and some people dont is just a little bit of time in the morning. My husband gets up and he has his 30-minute coffee ritual. He kind of likes to putz in the morning. It kind of is part of his wake-up routine, and for him being able to do just a little bit of something to make the day better. The morning works. Is that something that might work for you? I think so that could possibly work. To look at a specially. If I was looking at the kind of meals, that your family likes to eat in Rita, was saying that she likes you like salmon and you, like chicken salad and then he kind of a variety things. But your family is trying to eat a little bit lower carb. So a little bit heavier, on the proteins, have we are in the veggies? Is that kind of right? Do you know if your kind of trying to eat a little bit, lower carb and going heavier on the veggies and heavier on the meat? Then taking a little bit of time in the morning and getting the meat salted and cut into the right size, can be a game-changer come dinnertime and I really talk about that salting of the meat, because thats part of making things taste, delicious, and salt plus time equals magic, with almost every kind of neat that you are cooking. So, if youre cooking some type of a beef product, except for ground meats, and I dont like to over-salt Grammys. Mess with the texture, make it a little funky. But if youre having like a strip steak, and youre making a Mongolian beef, or youre having like a grilled meats or chickens, if you can get them cut into the right size and salted in the morning. And even if youre doing something with the marinated marinated in the morning, have it in the refrigerator so that when you get home, all you have to do is add heat to have you have you ever done that before gotten things? Prepped ahead of time. And then all you have to do is add the heat to it. When you walked out that I think could be a big game-changer for your family, especially when youre eating higher veggies. My other question is, do you have an electric pressure cooker? Like an instant pot? We have to what kind of people Okay, I have to as well because I usually use one for brown rice and one for whatever meat or protein. I am cooking and I will off and run them both at the same time. I have a couple of recipes in my instant pot that I think would work well for your family, especially the way your family eats and you can serve them both with any kind of rice if you eat rice, but if youre trying to go lower carb, serve it with a cauliflower rice or a giant bed of vegetables, and that is instant pot Mongolian beef and that is a really fun recipe, all linked to it in the show notes, but you have to kind of quickly Brown the meat a little bit and then you put it in with a little bit of soy sauce. And if youre trying to go to do gluten-free, you can substitute out gluten-free Tamarind for the soy sauce or coconut aminos those both work. Well a little bit of orange zest and some water and then you cook it for like 20 minutes in the instant pot. So that sounds That you can do when you get home. The other one. This one does have cars, but its brown rice, and its my instant pot, chicken and brown rice. It takes about 30 minutes start to finish, even though its only a 22-minute cook time on the instant pot. But youll are the brown rice in the bottom and you put frozen chicken breasts on top, which is great, because this is one of those meals when youre like, didnt saw the meat, I didnt prep in the morning. You can pull frozen chicken breast straight out of the freezer and put them in with a little bit of chicken broth, cook it for 22 minutes and you end up with its really basic food. Its not fancy. Theres not sauces, but I found in my home that simpler food in a busy phase of life is just better. How are your kids about being picky? Talk with me about the pic, Eunice level that youre facing, and your home always had a policy of this is, this is, Ive not really ever catered too picky eaters. So we dont really have a lot of that. We dont have time for you guys. Do not know how much a unicorn you are to have five kids and not be facing picky eaters. I am so happy for you that you dont have to face that thing that really helps with families because again, were in kind of the same life phase right now. Where we got kids that are teens and tweens and two working parents. It makes life really busy. Do you ever do like cook once? Eat twice wear whatever you make, you make double of and throw part in the freezer for another time. Its hard though. With growing boy, we plan to but then they could be eating up some Okay. Okay. So this is this is it this is a really important point at that. I think a lot of listeners are going to relate to is that expectations and reality have to match to not have frustration. Frustration happens when expectations and reality are not the same. And when you have kids that are physically eating more food, it takes a big mental shift to a budget for the amount of food that youre actually having to buy and then be buying the actual amount of food that your family eat. I have an 18 year old son who eats like two kids. He works at FedEx and so he is like heavy lifting like doing heavy lifting jobs. And so he eats a lot of food and it took a lot of time for me to realize that I had to budget for the amount of food, especially because I suspect you guys. Try to eat the same way we do where its a lot of Whole Foods. Just simple meat, simple vegetables, simple. Carbs in lots of lots and lots of veggies to try and eat as healthy as possible that can get expensive. But then also, when you are making taco meat like I make 12 pounds of taco meat at a time and like your average family with toddlers, thats 12 Meals in my house. Thats three or four meals. Maybe. Have you guys made that mental shift, know that when you do that cook once eat twice, you actually have to buy what? Feels like massive amounts of food. Im not sure that we have so we have another. What is an expectation versus reality disconnect, when it comes to leftovers? Because we will make leftovers with the intention that theyre the bill be eaten, but then our kids wind up making themselves a sandwich or a quesadilla or something. The Leftovers, dont get eaten. So I had to take to buy more when it seems like a really struggling to actually consumed all the food that were buying rather than having, you know, and I dont like to push the food off on people, like no you must eat this now. So its hard to hard to get that sweet spot of. Okay, if were going to buy it, lets actually make it. If we take the time to make it lets go ahead and eat it rather than making ourselves a sandwich or something else. And letting the leftovers in the fridge is not in your head. Do you feel the same way too? I guess were looking for a way to be more intentional with our leftovers, like having a specific plan. No way of knowing. When that food will be consumed. Whats your freezer space? Like, do you have, do you have a like a pool underneath? Do you have an extra deep? Freeze? Whats your freezer space? Like, I mean to refrigerators. And so yes, a pull out, freezer drawer. And then also weve got the side by side RZR. Okay, and with kids in school, do you think that do they eat School front school lunch, or do they pack lunches? Whats there was their school? Lunch situation, but they prefer to bring it from home. My kids do too. When they take lunch from home, do they take sandwiches or do they take leftovers? They actually do not like sandwiches at school. Okay, lets see. Their favorites would be they like tomato soup. They like pasta. You know, thats probably actually now that were talkin and kind of thinking through this would be a good place to put, little reminder to eat the leftovers in love in salad. Thats one of their favorite. I love chicken salad to tub. How do they like to eat the chicken, salad and crackers? So, well just have that some of our daughters would bring like a little bit of a side salad and put it with that. Thats what Ive done as well for clinicals. I think it depends on their mood. Like the type. They like to bring that. They wont hack. It wont make the sandwich before I could send it. I dont like the spiky bread. Okay. So then lets Circle back to this original thing that got us down. This is talking about cook once eat twice and the issue of having leftovers that are going to waste and that expectation reality not matching, when you go to cook extra. What would you think about cooking extra and putting it straight into the freezer for another dinner? And have no expectation? That that would be consumed as a lunch or a snack is a leftovers. How does that sit with you? We are serving the dinner like, okay. Were removing this makes talking to me. Spaghetti sauce or whatever it is and putting it aside and Rita that is key. That is so cute because my kids will eat whatever. I have cooked whether I have plans or not. So sure that you are expecting to save for another meal first and putting that aside and then serving the meal with what you expect for dinner that night and paying attention to your kids, Hunger cues and saying, is this enough is this too much and start kind of really paying attention and thats going to change from summer. Time to school in my house, the amount of food that my children eat during the school year. Often feels like more at dinner, but then theyre eating lunch at school. Notice as seasons, change and appetites change. And again, youre going to be losing one. So youre going to be down one feeding one too soon, you know, with one going off to college, thats going to make a difference to to start paying attention to the actual amounts. Pull out the portion that you expect. And then have that set aside for a another dinner. Let it cool down to room temperature before you put it in the freezer. Thats kind of my food safety person. Talking as I dont want anybody to get sick. Its never a good idea to put piping hot food straight into the freezer. You want to let it kind of cool down to room temperature before you freeze it and thats perfect cuz you pull it out. You said it in the container. You eat your dinner, you clean up your dinner by then. Its close enough to room temperature. You can throw it in the freezer and youre good on that. I know. Do you know you said that ideally think maybe you could do a little bit of prep on the weekends, but you dont really doesnt happen in reality. Very often, which I am not a fan of prepping on the weekend. Ill just let you know. I have very, very simple meals on the weekends because I know that I want to spend my time doing other things but I have a recipe for big batch takumis and thats one thing where I make 12 lb because 12 lb fits in my largest pots of 12. Lb is what I make and you can size up the pants and I will make 12 pounds and then I have three or four meals in the freezer that all I have to do is pull that out, thought open up some tortillas and a bag of shredded, lettuce, and some cheese and dinners on the table. Pretty fast are there meals that you already have in your repertoire that you could maybe do that, you know, once every 3 or 4 months, just make a giant batch of something, like, spaghetti sauce or tacos, are there things like that that you already have that you could really size up to make your life easier, Getty sauce. And the tacos. We usually have tacos. Because they can have it with the quesadillas and if I want to have no carbs, I just put it on a salad. So its a great. The great go to that. We usually have you no Taco Tuesday, so absolutely. Weve also gotten pulled pork so we will get a large size and cook. And then portion it out so that one can be either sandwiches or well put it on the side with some salad or thing that we like to have is soup chicken soup. Like a torch chicken tortilla called O type soup. So Im just kind of thinking it through, maybe what we can do is have all of the Everything, but the bra repaired and then just add the broth. When we thought, I dont know if that would work or not. Okay, you totally Segways into something that I was really thinking about for your family, because it sounds like you eat a lot of chicken. When you make your chicken salad. What kind of chicken are you using? Chicken parts are on sale. So then here is something that I think might be really, really useful for you. I did it just the other night. I was cooking something for dinner, but I was at the store. I was grilling chicken tenders. I was grilling chicken tenders, but I saw that, the store had chicken thighs on sale to. So I bought two packages of chicken thighs. And while I was, grilling my chicken tenders, I threw those chicken thighs in the instant pot, and I just cooked them up. And then when dinner was over, they were done. Theyve cooled down, I threw them into baggies, and I had them in my freezer and so I just had shredded chicken thighs, ready to go. It was cooking while I was making dinner. So it really didnt take any extra time except for a little bit of set up in a little bit of clean. Have you guys ever liked used? And you got to instapots and with the way your family eats? Have you ever thought of like going and buying 20? Lb of chicken when its on sale and using your to instant pots, getting it all cooked up and just having it cooked in your freezer ready to go for chicken soup and chicken salad and throwing and quesadillas. You have enough. Freezer space things. Like were always bumping up against the freezer space, even with two freezers. Make sure you check your freezer space. Watch the sales on your chicken. And when and when chicken thighs, or chicken breast, come on sale by a bunch of, I need to write up a chicken time. Instant pot cooking sheet because I think that that would be helpful in your situation. If the protein is already cooked dinner, gets on the table, 80% faster, or chicken tortilla soup is something that goes really well. In a slow cooker. The only issue is that most people over cook their chicken in the slow cooker. Because chicken in a slow cooker, really only takes three or four hours and people are trying to put it in the morning at 7:30 and then its toast by 9 at night, but if theres ever a day where, you know, that one of your teams is going to be home, then they can take That Crock-Pot insert. You can have everything in the Crock-Pot insert already. Just take the Crock-Pot insert and put it in the Crock-Pot and turn it on. Is that something that might be helpful or they ever home early in the day and asked if they could do that for you, but on Fridays they are they can be, it just depends on their activities and Thursday if I will be in so that might be a good meal for the one of those evenings. Think about that on Thursdays. Do you know when youre planning your meals for the week? Think about slow cooker, meals on Thursday? So it really only take three or four hours and you can prep it all in the morning or the night before and have it in your little Crock-Pot insert again. Im a food safety, kind of snob Im out. So you keep that insert in your refrigerator. But then all you have to do is take it out of the refrigerator and turn the slow cooker on and thats something that you can do when youve got a little tiny window of time at home on, on days like that. So start thinking about, For Thursdays. And then the other thing is, you find that that works for your family to start, keeping your eye, open for slow, cooker recipes. That you think your family might like, when you go to pick recipes, you want to not find recipes that are too far off from what youre already making. Ive talked with other families about this where you dont want to change the main ingredient or the flavors at the same time, which means you dont want to go from spaghetti and meat sauce to a Vegetarian chickpea Curry, you know, youre changing too many things for your family, but you could go from spaghetti and meat sauce to spaghetti and lentils. Thats it less of a wheat for your family. So as you kind of stumble on recipes, if you think of ones that are just one step off from things that your family already likes. Those are kind of recipes to hone in on as far as slow cooker and instant pot recipe. That sounds really good. Thats great. Thats great. I have a question about can roasted meals. We have found that those can get on the table pretty quickly, but it seems like some meats and vegetables go together better than others. Are you, you know, theres a right some take longer to cook and then it over cook something else. So do you have good suggestions for appearing or different pan-roasted type meals in one short cut that weve taken or Gino has taken, rather is buying the broccoli and cauliflower, for example, all of that already. So its a matter of just opening up that bag. And do you have any pairing do I have a couple of precut veggies from the grocery store are amazing. I am a big fan of them. So that is great. When you are doing sheet pan meals, you have to think about partier vegetables with Sticker pieces of meat. So let me give you an example. If you are doing butternut squash and potatoes and beets and sweet potatoes. Those are hearty vegetables that take a long time to cook and those pair well with bone-in chicken that also takes a longer time. Then you go with lighter meats and vegetables that take less amount of time to cook. So think about precooked sausage. I have a recipe for a sheet pan, sausage and veggies that has turkey kielbasa that is already precooked. So basically youre just heating it up with peppers and onions and cherry tomatoes and those all take about the same amount of time to eat, or you go somewhere in the middle. And you get vegetables, like, green beans, and broccoli, and cauliflower, and you pair that with pieces of chicken breast, like chicken, breast tenders, so its not a giant slab of chicken breast. But its not teeny tiny chunks either and those are all going to take about the same amount of time to cook. So you thinking about heavier, start your vegetables. Then you get down to your less starchy vegetables, like your peppers, and your tomatoes. And the middle is kind of that broccoli and cauliflower and your chicken breast to that kind of answer your question. So which so lets say Im trying to think through this if its Monday and were stopping up a bunch of onions and carrots and celery for something and Im thinking, okay. Were we want to have a tortilla soup later on the week. Is that something that I knife freeze. All that or is that something that I need to put in the fridge and do that? I need to keep an eye on that. So it doesnt go bad in the fridge and actually Circle back and use it on Wednesday or Thursday. The answer is both. So heres the deal. If you know that youre going to be using it within chopped veggies. I usually dont like to keep more than two to three days in my refrigerator. So, if you know that youre going to use it in 2 to 3 days, then you can just put it in a sealed container in your refrigerator, the onions, you want to be careful because itll make the everything else in your refrigerator smell. So you wanted probably double seal them. A lot of times when I have cut onions. Ill put them in a zip bag and then put them in the container. So that Ive got kind of two layers of protection for everything else in my refrigerator or mason jars work really well too, and you can get a really tight seal on a mason jar. So if you use them within two to three days, great, if the wheels fall off for the day that youre supposed to be using them to take him and throw him straight in the freezer. Theyll be fine. If you keep in the freezer for a couple of months and then you can just pull them out and use them when youre doing them another day. So could I cut up a cut up the meat? Thats a chicken cut up the veggies, if theyre all in a gallon Ziploc bag, throw it in the freezer. And then thats kind of an emergency meal. When the wheels go off. blog.com, have a lot of those type of Already done up. And if you all linked to it in the show notes, but you can go and they have really good pairing and directions of how to saw them safely and how to put them to either in your instapot. Are your slow, cooker safely? Cuz theres a big food safety issue when youre dealing with Frozen things, going into the slow cooker, check out my friends, Rachel and Polly a thriving home blog.com because they have a lot of really good resources on that and its not my wheelhouse. So I sent people for those for those, for those pre-packed freezing meals and for sure, theyre really, really handy and you absolutely can do that. Okay, anything else before I let you go go. We have some good plans to fall back on rather than the frozen pizza a couple of times a week. Frozen pizza every now and then, I really want families to know that that this is not about being Pinterest. Perfect. This isnt about having perfectly quote on quote healthy, whatever. That is to you meals. All the time about getting dinner on the table, so that you can connect with your familys more and trying to make life just a little bit easier in the everyday, because were all doing dinner 7 days a week. One form or another. And so, is it okay if theres frozen pizza here and there and I love keeping one in the freezer because theres a day when youre going to need it. So worried about that dinner, time has always been a huge priority for us as a family and its not been something that weve been willing to sacrifice inside of a meeting in a full-time student and you know, working full-time job and all of the business that goes on in our family. Its its a priority for us. And so these are very very helpful. So, thank you. Thank you for your time. The pleasure is mine. Thank you so much for joining us on the feature family tonight podcast, and I hope you guys do. Well, youll have to follow up with me to see how things worked in your house. Absolutely. Thank you. Bye, bye. Friends. Wasnt that so much fun, Rita and Gino are just the kindest people and it was so fun to talk with them and help them work through some of the small little things that they can do to make life easier in their home to recap. A few of those. The first one is that cook once, eat twice for them means that they cook double the amount and they set it aside immediately before they serve dinner. And those are not planned leftovers for lunches or snack because their kids are not eating those as much as your snacks but as a full dinner, which is going to make their life easier and theres no food waste. The other thing that we talked about was cooking up a large amount of chicken when chicken comes on sale, but be mindful of your freezer space before you go and buy that too. So thats a big tip that I do in my home that might help you and I really believe is going to help them. And their home as well. Thanks so much for joining us. Friends on the feed, your family tonight podcast. If you are interested in coming on air and having an on-air coaching call, its totally free. We meet over zoom, and if youre interested, still out an application, its at feed your family, tonight. Calm, apply. I would love to have more of you on here or on your coaching because I really think we can all learn that. Our experiences are not that different in small, little sweets, to make a big difference, in your house. I hope youre having a great week.