Yes! I really cook dinner ~ almost ~ every day!

The entire Homemade on a Weeknight concept was born of me returning to home cooked meals every night. I get asked all the time, “Do you really cook dinner every night?” The answer is YES! ~ almost ~ every night!

Estelle Forrest

I wanted to start eating healthier myself, as well as make that I was teaching my kids good eating habits from a young age. We stopped eating fast food (both from a drive thru and from a box) and started eating meals made from real ingredients.

Zuppa Toscana

A love of pretty plates

I also really started to enjoy making the plates beautiful. I had figured out that when the plate looked visually appealing my kids were willing to try things that they hadn’t eaten before. Then, I started to plan ahead on how I would plate the dishes. Then I started taking photos and posting them to my personal Instagram and Facebook. My friends and family started to comment on things and asking for recipes.

Creamy Asparagus Chicken

This was when the trouble started…because while I would look through several recipes on Pinterest for inspiration, I never really followed one recipe to a “T”. I usually took ideas from one and ingredients from another and added or subtracted what I had on hand or had access to. In the end it was a totally different recipe because maybe I changed it from ground beef to ground turkey or I used different veggies like sweet potatoes instead of russets.

Stuffed Shells

And a cookbook was written…

So then I found myself typing out a whole new recipe in the comments section of the post….crazy, huh? Now just over a year later I have written a cookbook with over 100 dinner recipes in it and I still cook – almost – every night. And people still can’t believe it. But cooking dinner has become my calm in the day. When I start making dinner it helps me ease out of my work day and into my home day. I’m not sure how, but it flips some switch for me. And even on the days when I think “I don’t have the energy for this”, once I get started I am relaxing and calming with each minute that passes. You can check out new recipes regularly by following along with the Homemade on a Weeknight Blog.

Homemade on a Weeknight: A Family Cookbook by Estelle Forrest

There is also just such a sense of accomplishment when you present you family with a pretty plate of delicious food that you crafted from real ingredients. Don’t get me wrong – I have days that I cannot even make a meal. Some days I plan for it – we plan to go out to dinner or order take out. Some days, the remodel business just takes it all out of me and I cave to takeout. But for the most part I really am able to make a home-cooked meal – almost – every day!

Published by Estelle Forrest

I am a lot of things – wife, mother, daughter, sister, niece, friend, business owner, volunteer, and a home chef. I have lived in the Pacific Northwest for most of my adult life and plan to stay forever – while traveling a lot. I am currently running a General Contracting business with my husband out of our home. Between us we have 6 kids in our blended family, 4 of which live with us full-time. We are a highly active family during the week – sports, bands, dance classes – as well as on the weekend – camping, hiking, car shows, and concerts. We like to go go go, but when it comes to dinnertime, we mostly like to dine-in! I love to create things with my hands and have probably tried almost every craft out there at least once or twice. Cooking is a huge part of my life. No matter what anyone says – you can taste the difference in the food if it was made with love. Some of the simplest meals can be elevated so much when they are cooked with care. Pouring love into the meals I create brings a feeling of fulfillment and satisfaction, not only to me, but to the people I care about.

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