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Please Support the Grill Canopy Kickstarter

The Grill Canopy is a KickStarter campaign for a better grill cover. Easy on, easy off, rests in a bracket that attaches to the side of your grill when it’s not in use.

Even better? It was designed by Canadians. I trust them design a cover that will work in the dead of winter. I hate wrestling with my frozen grill cover, trying to pry it off the grill.

Looking for a great cover for your grill? Please support the Grill Canopy Kickstarter [Kickstarter.com]. They have seven days left in their campaign. I want one of these covers. No, I NEED one of these grill covers.

FCC note: I am not being compensated in any way for this post – I want this KickStarter to succeed. I want one, now!

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Filed under: Ramblings


Hi! I’m Mike Vrobel. I’m a dad and an enthusiastic home cook; an indie cookbook author and food blogger with a day job, a patient spouse, and three kids who would rather have hamburgers for dinner.


  1. Brian, you’re right, preparing the night before always helps. On soccer nights, I would give the kids a quick snack (PB&J sandwich was my stand-by), and save a “sit down dinner” for after Soccer. That dinner would have to be something we could walk in the door and eat – pressure cooker or slow cooker were my standbys, so I had it ready to go when we arrived, hungry and cranky.

  2. Brian Thomas says

    It’s tough enough cooking dinner during the summer when our two boys are out of school, now with school about to resume and soccer practice/games 4 days out of 5 from Mon-Fri until mid October, the next 7 weeks are going to be even tougher. Why does soccer have to be at 5:30 anyway? If it were at 6:00 then at least there would a little time to get dinner prepared after picking the kids up from daycare at 5:00. Tues and Wed are going to be the hardest since with both of us working, there will be zero time to get anything ready for dinner prior to leaving for soccer. My wife is off on Mon and I’m off on Fri afternoon so those days are more manageable. I think for the middle of the week, we’ll have to prepare something the night before in either the slow cooker or the pressure cooker.

  3. Rebecca says

    I usually double the recipes and save half in the freezer for a busy night! It’s much less work than making up a whole new meal, and it tastes even better a few weeks later!

  4. Linda C says

    I just had to comment on this post, because as I read it, I kept thinking “that’s me!”. We don’t live anywhere near a place to get take-out, so if we want to eat…I have to cook. But I found a way to ease my burden. I realized it wasn’t so much the actual preparation of the meals that was tiring, but rather trying to figure out *what* to cook each night. So I spend a little time every weekend…I take a peek in the freezer to see what needs using up, and I surf around online for some recipes (which I’ll print out) or ideas. Then I write out a menu for the next 7 days, leaving it kind of flexible. I’ll leave one day off for ‘leftovers’ and one day for ‘bring something home after work’. Then I jot down what groceries I’ll need to pick up for the meals. Just having that plan already in place has really made it easier, I find.

  5. Jenny B @ Honey and Birch says

    Great post Mike! I struggle, even as a kid-less adult, to find the willpower to cook dinner every night. Especially kid-less, maybe. I am often just feeding myself and eating a bagel with cream cheese happens more than it should. Thanks for the inspiration to cook dinner more often. 🙂

  6. jlopez1020 says

    I feel the same way. Cooking dinner during the week, especially with school starting back up, is extremely difficult. I am exhausted at the end of my work day, at the same time my kids are at their hungriest. If I want to relax a little bit after work, I need to give the kids a snack to hold them over. A lot of times we don’t eat dinner until 8 pm unfortunately. I’ve gotten over the guilt with that though by convincing myself that a dinner together, cooked at home is best even if it is later than usual. We’ve gotten used to eating late.

  7. Any redskin or yukon gold potato will work, as long as you cut them into rough 1 1/2 inch cubes. I’m not sure if a toaster oven has the power for this – I’d do it in an oven at 400°F – but I know toaster ovens are more powerful than they used to be…

    Also, if doing it in the house, make sure you preheat the pan on the stovetop – the hot pan starts cooking the potatoes the moment they touch it; putting potatoes in a cold pan into the oven takes 45 minutes to an hour.

    …and, finally, have you tried my Quick Baked Potatoes, using the microwave to give them a head start?


  8. Hang in there, AB. It’s a marathon, not a sprint – over time, good things accumulate, no matter how small they may seem in the moment. (At least, that’s what I keep telling myself…and, when I look back, I can see that I was right.)

  9. Leftovers? Here are some ideas:
    Turn it into a main course salad- leftover chicken breast on Caesar Salad
    Taco night – shred the chicken, serve it with tortillas, shredded lettuce, salsa, beans, cheese, etc…
    Chicken Salad – shred, toss with mayo, pickle relish, mustard

  10. Bingo. As as Dad that Cooks Dinner for our family of 5 kids every night, you’ve hit the nail on the head. Why is it that one night all of the hard work to cook pot roast with scratch mashed potatoes pays off with a “coming together” dinner that we all enjoy…while the same thing a month later turns into disaster with nobody eating….just wanting to be excused ASAP to continue on with their days after the interruption of Dinner. But in the end…you’re right. We have come together–which most can’t say every day. I agree–sometimes the “do-the-best-you-can” dinner seems like a failure…but I’m glad you put it in perspective like this.

  11. Chris Lukowski says

    Do you think the same could be accomplished in a toaster oven with other small-ish potatoes if new potatoes aren’t available? I’m looking for a good weeknight roast potato standby that cooks faster than an hour-long baked whole russet.

  12. Chris Lukowski says

    I love it when you write articles like this. It’s also very timely because my wife and I just moved into our first home together since we got married last year. Since then we’ve relied on her mother half the time for dinner and shopping. I’m now finding myself in a situation where we have a tight budget and can’t go out to eat nearly as often as we used to. It’s going to be a struggle and an adjustment to develop the discipline to have all the ingredients for dinner bought and ready to go so I can cook 5 or 6 nights out of 7, and I’m grateful that you posted so many weeknight dinners that I can mine for ideas. Especially because I need variety in my meals to fight the urge to go out. “But we just had that last week!” has always been a chief complaint of mine. A topic of future blog posts that would also be helpful is how to deal with my other dread: boring leftovers. Things like chicken breast and pork chops aren’t that desirable after being in the fridge for a few days and zapped in the microwave.

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