It’s been almost a year since the seed of an idea was planted, when I began exploring the notion that perhaps my success in the kitchen wasn’t about my recipes, but about my process. I started to ask some questions…
Was there a process to unpack beneath my dinnertime routine?
Could my method work for other people?
The answers, to my great delight, are yes and yes. And thus, Dominate Dinner was born.
So what is Dominate Dinner? The words began as part of the subtitle to my (work in progress) book… Biscuits ‘n Crazy: The Busy Mom’s Guide to Dominate Dinner. And then they were the name of my beta test group (my lovely guinea pigs who affirmed my idea), Project: Dominate Dinner. Now, it feels like the words have taken on a life of their own; it’s more than my process, Dominate Dinner embodies a spirit of determination, pride, and perseverance to stop accepting the status quo when it comes to dinner.
Some of you may be asking, okay Jess, but what is the Dominate Dinner process? Alright, here goes. Dominate Dinner is a 6 step process that is more than just a meal plan. It’s a mindset shift that challenges you to get in the driver’s seat of your dinnertime, get organized, be prepared, and have a plan. It’s a state of mind and a documented process. Here are the steps:
Step 1 – Attitude Adjustment
We must start here! Taking control in the kitchen begins with the right attitude. Ditching the negativity and excuses, changing the way you approach the obstacles, and knowing your “whys” is what will set you up for success.
Step 2 – Kitchen Organization
This is what everyone knows, but most don’t want to tackle: clutter and disorganization causes anxiety and prevents peace in the kitchen. Having only the items you need, stored logically where you can find them, and having clutter-free counter tops, will free up the energy necessary to focus on your dinner goals.
Step 3 – Kitchen Tools
You must have the equipment necessary – the right kind of tools and the right amount – in order to cook effectively and efficiently. It’s not just about getting an Instant Pot (which btw, I think you should), it’s also about the simple stuff like having enough measuring spoons and cutting boards.
Step 4 – Stocking Your Kitchen
Having all the ingredients and supplies on-hand for not only your meal plan, but also your backup plan, is a critical component to cooking a frustration-free dinner. No more grocery trips for that one missing ingredient!
Step 5 – Meal Planning
Taking intentional time once a week to assess your upcoming schedule, make your dinner plans, pick meals, create a shopping list and purchase your groceries, will free up your week to simply focus on cooking. Y’all, once you’re in the groove, the planning part takes 30 minutes. Add grocery delivery and you have just given yourself back hours in your week. Documenting and publishing your plan will help hold you accountable.
Step 6 – Making the Meal
Starting your meal-making process by gathering all the ingredients, supplies, tools and recipes will allow you to execute the meal with ease. Printing your recipes will make them easier to follow. Knowing the optimal order to prepare each step will reduce your overall cooking time.
For some, the idea of “meal planning” feels too regimented and restricting. But I’m here to tell you it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. It’s a menu of tips and tools that can be used all together, or as they are appropriate for your lifestyle.
Ever have a hard time getting motivated to focus on dinner? Think about the last time you had something positive to say about the experience.
Ever wonder why your energy is zapped as soon as you walk into the kitchen? Chances are it’s cluttered and disorganized.
Ever been in the cooking groove, only to have to stop to hand-wash a bowl/knife/pan/or whatever that you need? Perhaps you need a spare.
Are you ever just one ingredient away from the meal you had planned? Being stocked is everything!
Ever have grandiose plans of the lovely dinners you’ll make throughout the week, only to realize that you didn’t account for working late or practice? Consider your calendar before you pick your meals.
Ever find that cooking the meal takes way longer than it should? Tired of endlessly scrolling Pinterest and blogs trying to pull up that recipe again? Being prepared with a plan, your ingredients, and a printed recipe could make all the difference.
What I’ve found through my research is that while the act of creating a weekly meal plan is helpful, it’s all of the other stuff that makes “meal planning” successful and sustainable. It truly is more than just a meal plan.
If you want a free copy of the Dominate Dinner process – complete with worksheets and templates, CLICK HERE.
If you’d like to be part of the Dominate Dinner community, CLICK HERE.
My sincere hope is that you find something in my process that will transform your dinnertime routine from a burden to a blessing. That the feelings of stress are replaced with accomplishment and pride. That your evenings will be a time of family and fellowship. My hope is simply that you will dominate dinner.