Another perk is it keeps me away from mommy burn out. You know what I mean, those days where even the idea of folding a single piece of laundry sounds too overwhelming. I personally suffer from anxiety. I have for many years. It isn't as bad now that I am a mom, but every couple of months I will just wake up and feel like I am drowning. I just can't figure out how I can go about my day. Every little thing feels world ending. Fortunately my husband is really good at helping me through these days. One thing to stave off this anxiety is lightening my load. I make dinner from scratch about 4 days a week. We go to my mom's house and my mother-in-laws house one night a week, which really helps. "Fake dinner" is my saving grace sometimes. It is really nice to have a few quick things in the freezer to pop in the oven. Very little prep and very few dishes. You could even eat on paper plates and use paper napkins. I always use real plates and cloth napkins, but that is just me.
We try to eat as natural as possible. This can be difficult on fake dinner night. When you want ketchup and ranch dressing to go with your waffle fries. Traditional store bought ranch has a lot of chemicals like MSG in it. Who wants to eat that? And better yet, who wants to feed their children that? Also, store bought ketchup has a lot of sugar in it. I thought I would compile a little list of my favorite alternative recipes for condiments. I try to make these in advance so that on fake dinner night my meal prep is as easy as possible.
Sugar Free Ketchup- I actually haven't used this recipe. I usually buy a sugar free ketchup, but I am very interested in trying this out.
Buttermilk Carmel Syrup- Often times fake dinner is brinner (breakfast for dinner). I love Aunt Jemima syrup as much as the next person, but this is delicious and doesn't have any weird preservatives in it. This is also fun to make with kids, adding the baking soda is pretty spectacular.
Homemade Ranch Dressing- This ranch is better than the store bought kind. I swear you won't want to go back. Seriously, just look at the ingredient list on the back of your dressing and see how many ingredients you recognize. I usually leave out the cilantro.
Sweet and Sour Sauce- This link also gives you a recipe for home made chicken nuggets. The sauce is really easy and tastes quite good.
Homemade Cream Cheese- This is so easy. I don't know why I ever buy it from the store. I usually just use my plain greek yogurt when it is about to expire. This link has a few great recipes to use up your milk before it goes bad.
Homemade Alfredo Sauce- I have posted this recipe on here before. It is great for dipping.
Anyway, try out "fake dinner" this week. Give yourself a break one night. It will also give your pocket book a break when you just make a simple dinner rather than going out to eat.