POSTS WITH TAG: dinner

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    What mom doesn't love a shortcut? And there's nothing better than one that saves you time in the kitchen! 

    While take-out is always tempting, when you're hungry and in a hurry, before you reach for those menus, let me share my secret ingredient for whipping up a delicious dinner in half the time: the rotisserie chicken

    This classic staple, most often sold in that futuristic-looking plastic bubble, has become my best friend on busy evenings. As yummy as it is versatile, a ready-to-eat roasted chicken can give you a well-deserved head start when you need it most (like when your kids are chanting, "When's dinner?").

    Another thing I love about it: minimal clean-up. But here's a tip I learned the hard way: If you want your guests to think you spent the whole afternoon in front of the stove basting your bird, be sure to dispose of its packaging before they arrive!

    Here are 8 ways to jump-start dinner using a rotisserie chicken.  

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    Mashed potatoes are a comfort food my kids never knew. Before you gasp in horror, let me explain. I love mashed potatoes. As a matter of fact, they are the first side dish I’ll order in a restaurant. After all, potatoes are nutritious and filling and have absolutely no fat or cholesterol or sodium. They have more potassium than a banana and are a great source of vitamin C. I know all that. But shamefully, I was never able to replicate the creamy, scrumptious mashed potatoes that I loved so much as a child.  

    I tried. I really did. I’d spend a good hour in the kitchen trying to get it right. But still, my mashed potatoes took way too long to make and tasted way too bland. So I just kind of gave up and enjoyed them only as a treat when we were eating out.

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    Tired of the same old lettuce and tomato salads? Well, the good news is getting your greens doesn't have to be dull. 

    Feast your eyes on some flavorful ways to make the most of your produce. Anything but your garden variety salads, these mouth-watering meals are as filling as they are delicious.

    From fun-to-make taco bowls to steak and spicy shrimp, these five salads are so fabulous, you'll forget a single ingredient is good for you! 

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    In the fall and winter, I love puttering around in my kitchen creating a cozy, home-cooked meal. But right now it's summer, and I cannot be bothered. Cannot! It's too beautiful outside, and when I'm not working, I'd rather be out playing. Who's with me? Oh, but we still have to eat.

    Just because I don't want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen doesn't mean I want to feed my family junk, though. So here are a few of my favorite quick, no-work summer recipes.

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    Wouldn't you love to open up your freezer and find it stocked with prepared meals that are ready to pop into the oven? It's one of those things you hear about people doing, cooking several meals and freezing them to save time later. And it's a brilliant idea. But where do you get started? Can you just whip up a giant lasagna and plop the thing in the freezer? We spoke with three home cooking experts to find out everything you need to know to freeze meals at home.

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    I love, love, love corn season. When I see the piles of bright green and yellow ears at my local market, I feel compelled to buy a bunch on the spot ... and I usually do.

    While there's something oh-so-perfect about a simple ear of corn with just butter and salt, there are a slew of more interesting things you can do with it. Now that it's in season, it's the perfect time to celebrate the favorite summer staple and have a little fun in the process.

    Check out these 6 tasty ways to prepare your fresh corn:

     

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    Between after-school activities and late nights at work, sitting down for a family dinner is an art form forever being perfected. Enter Laurie David, producer of the film An Inconvenient Truth and the just-released Fed Up who wrote The Family Cooks. She says making family dinners a priority can change everyone's lives for the better. 

    David, a single mom of two, says a communal dinner is essential if you want to raise healthy eaters.

    "Bring them [into the kitchen] and be patient," she suggests, "so that someday you can send them out in the world capable of cooking for themselves and happy to do so."

    David, who split from actor Larry David in 2007, says she knew she was doing something right when her girls didn't run away from the table the second they were done eating. She found dinner was the perfect time to catch up. A time for her family, if even just the three of them, to get closer.

    Read on for David's 9 tips for creating the perfect family dinner:

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    Frustrated by brown sugar that seems to harden hours after you get it home from the grocery store? You're not alone. Watching the clock tick the precious minutes of your life away while you wait for butter to soften? So not necessary. Even if you're a domestic diva, you probably wish some of the things you have to do in the kitchen in order to make a great meal possible weren't such a drag on your time. I mean, peeling garlic? Boooring.

    But there are ways you can fly through some of the more tedious cooking duties in order to get to the really fun part -- you know, where you can decorate lots of baked goodies just to have an excuse to lick frosting off a knife. Familiarize yourself with a few good kitchen hacks and use them.

    More from The Stir: 10 Kitchen Shortcuts Every Mom Should Have Up Her Sleeve

    Here are 10 kitchen shortcuts you can use to save oodles of time and even money.

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    I do this all the time because I don't have much choice: Make dinner in 15 minutes or less. You too? Gone are the days when I used to lovingly labor for 2 hours on a Turkish fish stew with pomegranates. Now I need to get something in front of my son pretty much the moment I walk into the door.

    Here are 5 of my favorite go-to dinner recipes, things I can whip up in a jiffy but that are still definitely homemade.

     

     
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    We all know that eating at home and grocery shopping saves you money, but ... do you really know how much money you are saving?

    We’ve all been there; you’re sitting at a restaurant and thinking, “Why am I spending so much? I can make this at home!” So, the next time you get a craving, instead of taking the whole family out, just make the dish yourself and you will save a ton.

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