Did you read the article by food critic Necia Wilden in the Weekend Australian (Life section), 5-6 September? The article is titled Reality Bites. I'd give you the link, but you need to be a subscriber; which I'm not.
She pours scorn on (in her words) fabulous foodies who serve up suggestions for simple fare and invariably forget that vital ingredient: real life.
Restaurants are getting carried away with complex menus spurred on by critics. That's fine for the restaurants; they can and should manage the complexities of food preparation.
But at home it's a different story and people (especially women, and yes and before you hit me, they do more of the cooking for the family) do not have the time to prepare meals from complex recipes published by snobby food critics.
Necia Wilden talks about crazy suggestions of making your own tacos, julienne the vegetables and popping down to the farmers' markets to source dehydrated cumquats. If we had the time (and some do, but most don't) then a 2 hours complex cooking (and food preparation) session is on the cards.
We are time poor; at an increasing rate.
So when reading seemingly fantastic recipes, do a reality check about the complexity and your ability to dish up something that resembles the photo and the author's description. Double the quoted preparation time; that's my reality check.
During the week stick to the simple fare; and opening a can of beans or tomatoes is fine; you don't need to pop down to the Farmers' market. Budget a cooking time of 30 minutes.
With kids it is hard; you feel obliged to dish them up a hot meal (cooked with love) each night. Gourmet toasted sandwiches is fine.
Over the weekend you can spend more time labouring over the stove to create something more special; or you could go out and do something or just potter in the garden and get take-away.