It's 4:45 pm. Do you know what you're having for dinner? I sure as heck don't.

A mental scan of my fridge (Note: invent wifi-enabled fridge cam with light) tells me I have one leftover barbecued chicken breast, half a serving of pulled pork tenderloin, a few heads of romaine, pesto, and goat cheese. I remember a few boxes of pasta in the pantry, but not much else. Ah, the joys of returning from a long holiday weekend!

Now enters the math, you remember it. Not algebra, but the stuff if fifth grade we somehow figured out that now seems like Russian. "If one car leaves work at 5 pm and stops to pick up ingredients at the grocery store before day care closes at 6, how many items will the driver remember she forgot just as she pulls into the driveway?"

The answer, by the way, is always two--two very critical ingredients.

I was a paper list writer for a long, long time, but having two children has finally broken me, both of that habit and in general, in some ways, but that's for another post. Now, I turn to Cozi. Cozi is easy. It has a great display on desktop and is super mobile-friendly. Plus, it removes the possibility of leaving my list in the car or having to bring an extra pen and pad so that my helpers can cross off their lists, too, as we go, which basically everyone needs a bath at the end and I need stain remover for the ink on my dress.

Cozi lets me take my favorite recipes from Cooking Light and MyRecipes and add them to my Recipe Box, saving them for later. I can also add their ingredients to my shopping list, cross out any I don't need, and schedule the dinner for a set day, all from the app on my phone. I know, right?

First things first, I head to MyRecipes, where I use the Build A Meal tool to find a dish with the ingredients I know I have, in this case pasta and goat cheese.


It's already 100 degrees out, so I'm thrilled I don't have to look far. Cold Pesto Pasta Salad is where it's at for dinner tonight.

Cold Pesto Pasta Salad

I hit that red Save+ button to add it to my Recipe File.


Then I headed to Cozi, where I can see the recipe and add ingredients to my shopping list.


The list lets me cross out the things I already have, saving me tons of time in the store scanning up and down a list for things I may or may not need.


Since I only need arugula, pine nuts, and sun-dried tomatoes, that means I can skip the big grocery store and head for the market just down the street between work and school, saving me more time.

I can use the app in store to continue crossing things off, then check out, pick up the kids, and be home at a reasonable time. Tonight, I've really only got the time to boil pasta, so this recipe is perfect. I slice the grilled chicken breast to go over the pasta salad to give it a little extra protein for my crew.

Cozi is my go-to solution for an easy weeknight dinner. What's yours?

By Ashley Kappel and Ashley Kappel