The Debut of Doctor Yum’s Cooking Club

This week I was pleased to attend the first gathering of “Doctor Yum Cooking Club.” The Lake of the Woods Chapter of MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) agreed months ago to pilot our spring debut of “Doctor Yum’s Cooking Club” To back track, I teach a free shopping class to help families to shop for healthy food and feed families better while saving money. Some of the moms that have attended my classed asked if we could put out a cooking assignment with some of my kid-tested recipes that they could cook with their friends on the weekends. They could then use the food they cook to feed their families during the week, and use the experience to expand their cooking experience- all while spending quality time with friends.  We have made this idea come to life-Doctor Yum’s Cooking Club! It’s a chance for friends to get together and learn to cook new healthy, family friendly, kid-tested seasonal recipes on a quarterly basis. I met this MOPS group when they invited me to talk about feeding preschoolers months agao. When they heard about the cooking club we were planning they agreed to be our pilot group for our Spring Cooking Club debut.  Tabitha, one of the members agreed to be the point person and organizer of the cooking day. Our assignment included several entrees, a few snacks and lunch ideas. The women were all responsible for bringing part of the shopping list and they picked 5 recipes to try that day. When I arrived at the kitchen at the church where they cooked it smelled heavenly and sounded much like...

What are you Paying for at the Grocery Store?

  Today was doing my Sunday morning grocery shopping run for the week. Often when I am waiting in line, I like to observe what other people have in their shopping carts, particularly those people shopping with kids. This morning there was a mother with three school-aged kids in front of me. It appeared that they were doing the same as me, stocking up for the week. On the conveyer belt, I spotted a lot of “kid food.” There was sugary cereals seen advertised on TV. I saw single servings of flavored yogurts with candy bits displayed in a clear compartments on top. There were A LOT of drinks, particularly sodas and fruit juices. A large box of individually packed potato chips in different flavors was stashed under the grocery cart. There were crackers, beef broth, frozen foods, and ground meat. What was curiously missing was plants. I’m a physician so I noticed both the mother and her youngest child were clearly obese, and the other two children appeared pale and sluggish. After they checked out, I moved up to the cashier and looked at the computer screen. The total of their bill was still up on the screen. I was shocked….277 dollars! In contrast I looked at my weekly selections. There were proteins like eggs, tofu, tempeh, beans, Greek yogurt and almond milk. I had grains like whole wheat wraps and bread. And there were TONS of plant foods-apples, avocados, bananas, peppers, greens, mushrooms, pomegranates and more. Many of the foods were organic. One might hear this list and think, “That sounds like a lot of expensive food!”...

Getting Organized-Planning Meals

Planning out meals for the week is so important with hectic family schedules.  I like to serve a home-cooked meal about 5-6 nights a week.  While this may seem daunting if you are not used to cooking, know that there is a way to do this without wearing yourself out.  I’m a big believer in “Cook Once, Eat Twice.” Having meals do double duty means that your family can eat your good home cooking even on busy nights (without having to hit the drive-thru!) Making one big list means less trips to the grocery store, too.  See my post from last week on making a grocery list. When I am deciding what I am going to make for the week, I first look at the calendar and ask myself: 1)   What days will I have less time in the evening, and when will I have more time? Stews, soups and casseroles make great leftovers for nights when we have a lot of activities.  Warm up leftovers and serve with a quick side salad and crusty bread for a 5-minute dinner. 2)   What does my husband’s schedule look like?  My husband works many odd shifts, and when he’s working at night I may not want to make a big dinner.  I will plan to have leftovers or quick easy meals for those nights when I’m doing kid duty alone. 3)   Which dinners can carry over into lunch?  If I don’t think I will have enough leftovers for a for dinner I might pack up them for the kids’ lunches the next day. 4)   How can I make sure that I...

Getting Organized-The Grocery List

People always ask me, “How do YOU have time to cook so much with all that you do?”  My answer is that I make the time because I feel it’s important, and I am always trying to find ways to get more organized. During this series I will share with you some time-saving tricks that I have learned over the years. I also am not a super organized person by nature, so I’m hoping many of you will share your time-saving tricks with me, too! First stop- the grocery list. I have struggled with the how to make a good grocery list. If I can get everything I need on a list, then I can make one weekend trip to the farmers market and grocery store and avoid many mid-week trips to the store (which suck up precious time). I have found that a system that lets me easily add items to a list throughout the week works best. If I can add things I need on the fly, then I’m lest apt to forget when I get to the store.  On Friday and Saturday I can start my meal planning for the next week (another post to come) and start adding more items to my list. I have tried many electronic list systems and apps.  The two I liked the most are from my own Grocery Store, Wegmans (wegmans.com) and another called “Grocery Gadget.”  Wegmans allows you to have a list of your favorites and then you can add other items as needed.  It then prints your list by aisle with a map of your specific store.  They...

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