It's been a hard day at work, the kids are acting up and the chicken needs defrosting.
Do you stay the course and tussle over a hot oven to perform a miracle at the dining table? Or do you grab your keys and head out the door to one of Watsonvilles's many restaurants? After all, it's not a life-or-death decision, right?
Or is it?
People who eat a home-cooked meal at least five times a week have longer life expectancy than those who opt to eat out, according to a study published recently in Cambridge University's Public Health Nutrition journal.
The 10-year study of 1,888 men and women over age 65 in Taiwan showed that subjects who cooked at home frequently were 47 percent more likely to still be alive after 10 years.
Dining at home is better for children, too, in a variety of ways, as the New York Daily News reports. Children are more likely to excel in school and foster healthy relationships when they have regular meals at the family table, according to research. They're also less likely to drink, smoke cigarettes, or dabble with marijuana.
So, how do you balance home cooking with a hectic lifestyle? Or overcome the temptation to order in, take out or be waited upon? Share your thoughts, ideas and quick-to-fix recipes in the comments below.