Food & Party What's For Dinner?

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    Mission Impossible: Feed your family dinner for under $5. Do you accept this mission? We actually think this mission is completely possible! That's why we pulled together this list of easy, inexpensive dinners your kids will want to eat. Because that's the real trick, right? We like saving money, but we LOVE it when our kids actually eat what we cook for them.

    Here are six kid-friendly recipes that should cost around $5 or less. You can put your own spin on each of them, too. And we have to tell you, just looking at these dishes is making us hungry!

     

    Image ©iStock.com/tanukiphoto

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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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    With autumn fast approaching, moms everywhere are switching gears from planning warm-weather meals like grilled burgers and summery salads to easy, hearty comfort food dinners that practically cook themselves on those cool fall nights.

    And let's face it: Whether you've been working all day or running around with the kids, nothing is better than coming home to a dinner that's pretty much ready to serve when you walk in the door.

    I don't know about you, but even with a busy schedule, I still love to sit down to a really good meal that didn't just slide out of a box coated in icicles. But, after a long day, as much as I crave that marvelous dream dinner, I don't always feel up for preparing it. And that's where my trusted old friend the Crock-Pot comes in!

    Take the chill out of a crisp autumn night with one of these super easy, super tasty Crock-Pot comfort food recipes. Your kids will love them all, and bonus: One of them is a dessert! (You're welcome!)

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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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    Hey! Drop the ketchup and back away from the French fries, lady! That's what you'd likely hear at a Florida restaurant where the chef has banned ketchup for customers over the age of 10.

    He doesn't even stock the stuff. Can you imagine?!

    Chef Xavier Duclos of Mad Fresh Bistro in Fort Myers just wants you to taste his food. He wants you to actually taste it.

    I think he's right. In fact, his ban doesn't go far enough. That nasty "red stuff" should be banned for all children, period.

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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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    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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    A Fourth of July celebration ended tragically after 47-year-old Walter Eagle Tail died choking on a sausage while taking part in a hot dog eating contest in western South Dakota.

    In recent years, extreme eating contests -- especially those involving hot dogs -- have become iconic American sports. After all, they honor one of our most popular foods and pay tribute to our two favorite pastimes: gluttony and the attempt to eat as quickly as possible.

    This is a horrible tragedy and it's one I'm surprised doesn't happen more often.

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    Back in the day (according to every Western movie I've ever seen), a fellah could mosey into any saloon with his gun in its holster and not expect any trouble. But nowadays? Most folks prefer their dining establishments gun-free. But for those who long for the wild, wild west, there's Shooters Grill, a restaurant where waitresses pack heat. And it's located in (wait for it ... wait for it ... ) a Colorado town called Rifle, of course! Here's what you'll find at this dining establishment.

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