dinner swap

Once upon a time, I was a club junkie.  Exchange Club ,Card Club, Book Club, and Lunch Club, to name a few.  Sadly, I came to the realization that these clubs weren't 100% advantageous to me or my family.  Not because they weren't fun and I didn't love them, but because they were taking too much of my time.  I decided if I was going to spend time away from my husband and kids, it REALLY had to be for a worthwhile cause.  So I dropped out of all of them and now I'm in recovery, belonging to only two clubs.  Project Club and Dinner Swap Club.

I absolutely adore {Project Club}, and every girl who is a part of it.  It helps me stay connected to my besties, and together we conquer tasks of epic proportion.  Dinner Swap comes in as a close second!  It has honestly changed my life, and it can change your too!  Meet Ashley and Bernice, my partners in crime.

Bernice is the mother of 14 (true) with four currently living at home.  She is one of the most incredible women I know.  She has more faith than I thought humanly possible, and is an incredible example of unconditional love.  I learn so much from her every time I am fortunate enough to spend time with her. 

Ashley is her adorable daughter, taking right after her mother with 5 kids, and counting!  She is a wonderful mom who is always on some high adventure with her little ones.  She amazes me with all she does, and she has mane gorgeous of hair!  Bernice and Ashley are next door neighbors (lucky!) and only live a couple miles away from me.

We each take one night a week, usually Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  On our given night, we prepare dinner for all three families.  Dinner usually consists of a main dish and a side, but sometimes we get crazy and throw in an extra side or dessert.

Tuesdays usually work the best for me, so I crank up Pandora and cook a good part of the day.  Believe me when I tell you that it is the MOST wonderful feeling in the world to not have to worry about dinner two nights a week. This way I can focus on the many other things that need my attention.

There certainly needs to be a lot of thought go into who you want to ask to team up, and it really helps if everyone involved is easy going.  Warning.....don't ask the drama queen next door to partner up with you, even if she does nothing but watch the Food Channel all day, it's not worth it.  The other tip that we have found works really well is that if you cook the meal, the other girls pick up.  

Please enjoy a few pics of the fajita dinner I recently whipped up for three families. 

Last week Bernice made barbecued flank steak, mashed Yukon gold potatoes with parmesan and swiss cheese (baked to perfection), glazed carrots, and a delicious salad.  Ashley made a bow tie pasta dish with grilled chicken and asparagus in a light cream sauce, toasted garlic pull-aparts, and then really outdid herself with a banana, caramel upside down cake. 

Instead of re-inventing the wheel each week, I have come up with 6 meals I prepare that everyone likes, and rotate through them.  A full meal for three families costs between $30 - $40.  If  you want any of these recipes, just email me at meandjilly@gmail.com. I'd love to share them with you.

Chicken Fettucini Alfredo with Fresh, Roasted Vegetables
Fiesta Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas with Spanish Rice
Chicken Parmasan with Thin Spaghetti and Ceaser Salad
Barbecued Ribs with Homemade Macaroni and Cheese
Chicken Fajitas (guacamole, sour cream, and fresh salsa) with Beans
Barbecue Ranch Chicken Roll-ups with Chips and Fresh Fruit

Call me old-fashioned, but it's really important to me that our family sits down to a nice meal together almost every night of the week.  So if it's important to you, and you're ready to simplify your life, trust me, this is step number one!

You can thank me by dropping a sample meal off on my doorstep.  The only things I don't like are liver and beets.


  1. Jill... It's me SUPER PHOTOGENIC Ashley! AKA the drama queen next door. Dinner swap has totally changed my life! I look forward to Chiken Parm. & your tres' leches. You're the BOMB DIGGITY & I'm lucky to have you as my friend & partner in crime.
    For all you strangers out there in blog land.. Let me just tell you that Jill truely is the sweetest.. nicest person you'll ever.. EVER meet! If you get suckered into watching your moms human-like-dog & it happens to get sick, she'll magically stop by in the nick of time & tell you that NO ONE should have to clean up massive ammounts of dog poop on their own.. & laugh uncontrollably as you dry heave! She is amazing & I ABSOLUTELY LOVE HER TO DEATH!!!!

  2. This sounds like such a great idea!! Wish I had someone to do this with!!!


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Mia & Jilly

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