POSTS WITH TAG: family meals

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    Pizza is one of the most crowd-pleasing meals there is; you can customize it to deal with almost any diet restriction, individual preference, or degree of difficulty. However, it’s not especially impressive looking, but this twist on the pizza roll is.

    This recipe takes pizza ingredients like sausage, spinach, and cheese and wraps them in refrigerated dough, which you slice into pinwheels after baking. It makes a great-looking, simple appetizer or party nibble, or a fun family dinner (what kid doesn't like to dip?). It's as easy as making a traditional pizza, but with a fun visual twist.

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    I am always, always looking for healthy and tasty recipes that don't take much time to prepare. If I can get a meal ready ahead of time for our many busy nights, so much the better, and I prefer to use fresh ingredients instead of canned or boxed.

    Ta-Da! This lemon chicken and broccoli recipe could not be more perfect. It cooks in a foil packet, which you can assemble a day or two before and pop in the oven ahead of dinnertime. The combo of lemon, garlic, and salty-sharp capers and cheese is a perfect complement to chicken and broccoli. Boneless, skinless breasts cook quickly and deliver a hearty serving of protein with little fat, and cooking them in foil means they don't dry out and cleanup is minimal. Try some frozen, microwaveable brown rice as a healthy and fast side. You have a good-for-you dinner in the amount of time it takes to check homework and set the table!

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    If you've been feeling guilty about failing to serve your family a perfect, home-cooked meal night after night, I have wonderful news for you: According to a new study, the home-cooked meal is seriously overrated. Pass the takeout menu!

    For a year and a half, a group of sociologists looked at all the hassle moms go through to put a nutritious meal on the table. They followed women from all walks of life as they went grocery shopping and as they cooked (or tried to cook) dinner for their families. "Cooking is at times joyful," their report says, "but it is also filled with time pressures, tradeoffs designed to save money, and the burden of pleasing others."

    Well no kidding. I could've told them that myself. I used to be one of those moms who always put a home-cooked meal on the table night after night.

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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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    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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    I am not a camper, at least not a happy one. That being said, the only thing I really like about camping is the food. Something about a meal being cooking in the great outdoors is totally irresistible and is almost worth the dirt, the dust, the bug bites and outhouses.

    So what is a campfire foodie who doesn't like to camp to do? Why, to try to recreate a camping worthy meal in my own kitchen complete with running water, a ceiling and not a single piece of poison ivy.

    Here is my perfect outdoorsy meal to make at home, pine tree smell and mosquitos not included.

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    The following is a post from our sponsor, Success® Rice.

    I used to have a lot of guilt about family dinner. Or the lack thereof. When I was growing up, my mother had dinner on the table every single night at 5:30 p.m. She always served a meat, a vegetable, and a starch. And we always had dessert. 

    I have one less kid than she did, but I’m also three times busier. While I don’t for a minute doubt that she had her busy days, she was a stay-at-home-mom from the get-go. She kept a clean house and drove us around and managed to play bridge with her friends once a month, but she didn’t have the pressures we have today. We are all working mothers both in the house and out, juggling multiple kids with multiple activities. I couldn’t imagine having a set dinner time, let alone a last-minute meal that included more than chicken nuggets or sandwiches.

    Somewhere along the line, I realized something had to change. 

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    The only thing worse than taking cranky toddlers or surly teens to the grocery store is getting to the register and having a heart attack when the totals ring up. Money is tight and we need to make every dollar count. And while there are great ways to save, including store deals and printable coupons, you can also make your dollar go much further by following these easy-peasy tips. You’ll save cash, your sanity, and maybe even have some money left over for some chocolate. You totally deserve it.

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    Have you been to your local supermarket and had your child stop in her tracks to stare longingly at a box of her favorite cereal? Apparently, it's not a Pavlovian response to what's inside -- it's our kids being mesmerized by the characters on the package looking right into their eyes.

    Conveniently, these tantalizing boxes of breakfast goodness just happen to be at eye level, begging our children to pay attention to them. This, according to a new study, is all on purpose.

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    This recipe is kind of awesome. Completely unhealthy, but kind of awesome. This cheeseburger 'n' fries casserole recipe from Taste of Home only requires four ingredients and takes 10 minutes to put together (though it bakes for 50). Come on, anything titled "cheeseburger 'n' fries" most likely isn't all that good for you, but for a special, easy splurge that everyone will love, this will certainly do the trick.

    Of course, you could use tater tots or perhaps throw in a few vegetables in there to make you feel better about the whole concoction. You could even use some ground turkey to mix things up a little bit. Regardless, it's so versatile and simple, it will quickly become a staple your family will certainly love.

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