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Dinner Dilemmas: Part 3

12 Apr
It’s Sunday, the day I figure out what I’m making for the week. 
How did your dinnertime go last week? 
 I did preeeetttty well. I made dinner about half of the week and scrounged things up the other half. 
I had a big flop — fish and Asian noodles — the kids did not love that one. 
And a big success — homemade macaroni and cheese.  
Here’s the recipe:
{Homemade Mac &  Cheesebreadcrumbs on only half for those picky eaters}
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons Worchestershire sauce
2 cups shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Crumb topping:
2-3 slices white bread
2 Tablespoons unslated butter. melted
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese.
  1. Prehead oven to 350 degrees and grease a 8 x 8 baking dish.
  2. Cook the pasta, drain well.
  3. Then melt the butter over medium heat in a saucepan and add flour. Whisk until ixture is bubbly, about 1 minute. Add the milk, cooking and stirring until the mixture is bubbly and thickens up. Add the salt and Worchestershire sauce. Stir for another minute/
  4. Remove the pan from the hea and add cheese. Cook and stir until the cheese melts. Then stir in the pasta. Pour it into your baking dish.
  5. To make the bread crumbs, tear the bread into pieces and pulse in food processor. Mix in the butter and the cheese. Sprinkle over the pasta mixture. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until hot and bubbly and the topping is brown.
https://i2.wp.com/www.palmerpletsch.com/foodnanny/FoodNannyBOOK_shdw.jpg
And, as you might know, I am trying to start the Food Nanny philosophy of a different dinner theme every night with each of us being in charge one night a week. It’s hard when we have soccer games at dinner time and I have a husband who works out of town during the week. But I am going to try harder this week. We met and decided:
Monday:  Comfort Foods — Homemade Macaroni and Cheese (oldest daughter)
Tuesday: Italian Night — Spaghetti and meat sauce (10 year old daughter)
Wednesday: Pizza Night — Margherita Pizza (me)
Thursday: Breakfast for Dinner — crepes (oldest son)
Friday: I think mom and dad are going out to dinner 🙂 So leftovers for the kids.
I also wanted to share a great idea from A Girl and a Glue Gun:
Magnetic/Dry Erase Monthly Menu Planner. 
Awesome! 
Then you can display your dinners by the month. I may have to make one of these soon!
So – what are you making this week? 
Do you have any great suggestions/tips that can help the rest of us? 
Do you have a favorite recipe that your kids just love that you can share
Let’s help each other make dinnertime less traumatic and more fun
You can link up your ideas at our Dinner Dilemmas Forum HERE. {there’s a linky}. 
I thought it would be nice to have one spot where we can collect the ideas – 
so when people come over they can find all of the ideas in one spot.

Check it out – there are all sorts of good recipes, a link on how to prepare an entire year’s worth of meals, and other helpful dinner ideas! 

Ok, I can’t wait to hear your Dinnertime Dilemma Solutions! 
XOXO
PS – The DownEast Clothing giveaway ends tonight at midnight. It’s on the sidebar if you want to enter.
PSS – A new giveaway will start in the morning!
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Dinner Dilemmas: Part 3

12 Apr
It’s Sunday, the day I figure out what I’m making for the week. 
How did your dinnertime go last week? 
 I did preeeetttty well. I made dinner about half of the week and scrounged things up the other half. 
I had a big flop — fish and Asian noodles — the kids did not love that one. 
And a big success — homemade macaroni and cheese.  
Here’s the recipe:
{Homemade Mac &  Cheesebreadcrumbs on only half for those picky eaters}
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons Worchestershire sauce
2 cups shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Crumb topping:
2-3 slices white bread
2 Tablespoons unslated butter. melted
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese.
  1. Prehead oven to 350 degrees and grease a 8 x 8 baking dish.
  2. Cook the pasta, drain well.
  3. Then melt the butter over medium heat in a saucepan and add flour. Whisk until ixture is bubbly, about 1 minute. Add the milk, cooking and stirring until the mixture is bubbly and thickens up. Add the salt and Worchestershire sauce. Stir for another minute/
  4. Remove the pan from the hea and add cheese. Cook and stir until the cheese melts. Then stir in the pasta. Pour it into your baking dish.
  5. To make the bread crumbs, tear the bread into pieces and pulse in food processor. Mix in the butter and the cheese. Sprinkle over the pasta mixture. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until hot and bubbly and the topping is brown.
https://i2.wp.com/www.palmerpletsch.com/foodnanny/FoodNannyBOOK_shdw.jpg
And, as you might know, I am trying to start the Food Nanny philosophy of a different dinner theme every night with each of us being in charge one night a week. It’s hard when we have soccer games at dinner time and I have a husband who works out of town during the week. But I am going to try harder this week. We met and decided:
Monday:  Comfort Foods — Homemade Macaroni and Cheese (oldest daughter)
Tuesday: Italian Night — Spaghetti and meat sauce (10 year old daughter)
Wednesday: Pizza Night — Margherita Pizza (me)
Thursday: Breakfast for Dinner — crepes (oldest son)
Friday: I think mom and dad are going out to dinner 🙂 So leftovers for the kids.
I also wanted to share a great idea from A Girl and a Glue Gun:
Magnetic/Dry Erase Monthly Menu Planner. 
Awesome! 
Then you can display your dinners by the month. I may have to make one of these soon!
So – what are you making this week? 
Do you have any great suggestions/tips that can help the rest of us? 
Do you have a favorite recipe that your kids just love that you can share
Let’s help each other make dinnertime less traumatic and more fun
You can link up your ideas at our Dinner Dilemmas Forum HERE. {there’s a linky}. 
I thought it would be nice to have one spot where we can collect the ideas – 
so when people come over they can find all of the ideas in one spot.

Check it out – there are all sorts of good recipes, a link on how to prepare an entire year’s worth of meals, and other helpful dinner ideas! 

Ok, I can’t wait to hear your Dinnertime Dilemma Solutions! 
XOXO
PS – The DownEast Clothing giveaway ends tonight at midnight. It’s on the sidebar if you want to enter.
PSS – A new giveaway will start in the morning!

Dinner Dilemmas: Part 2 — It’s ON!

5 Apr
Thanks to everyone who commented on my Dinner Dilemma post last week!
It was so amazing to read your comments. 
There were so many great ideas and suggestions that I thought it might be helpful to compile them here. 
I mean, I can’t be the only mom who struggles with this, right?

And, while I’m on the subject of “Keeping it Real”, I didn’t implement the Dinner Nanny menu last week. Jeff was out of town and I was lazy. But it’s ON this week!

https://i2.wp.com/www.omniswami.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/crockpot.jpg

Here’s some great tips you shared:

  • Some of you use one day as a food prep day. By buying meat and veggies in bulk and then freezing the meat in individual meal portions. Keeping the veggies in the fridge ready to use
  • Another great idea was to make a  jar of conversation starters. It makes for some interesting conversations.
  •  How about making a  big pot of sauce on the weekend and using it for a few different recipes during the week?
  •  Make pizza toppings bags to freeze.
  •  Some of you are big planners. Many commenters make a menu once a week and shop once. 
  •  A couple of people planned things out for 2 weeks.
  •  One commenter plans a month at a time and does a big shopping trip. 
  • And one commenter cooks once every three months and then just pulls out whatever is on the menu. She makes 80 meals at once. WOW!
  •  Food calendars were another great idea.
  •  Crockpots. What would we do without them? 
  • One commenter has 30 different Crockpot dinner meals that she put together and rotates through! She also has a 3-month supply all of the non-preishable ingredients on hand for those meals.
  • Another idea is Sat or Sun cook 3-5 meals to put in the fridge. Then just pop them in the oven when you need them.
  • I also had some other idea for theme nights:  crockpot/soup, salad/sandwiches nights.
  •  Did you know this? At Sams club in the Deli (where you buy a pizza or a hotdog in the front of the store) you can buy a box of frozen PREMADE pizza crusts. They are about $2 a piece and you get a huge box. I am going to check this out!

Sundays are the day when I meet with the family to decide on the menu for the week. So I thought it might be a fun theme to post about once a week where we can share ideas on making meal times easier. And since you guys are so much more knowledgeable than me on great meal ideas, I thought I would make a linky where you can share any related posts that have done that people would find helpful.

And, I also have started a BlogFrog community where we can share ideas. Right now I have the question — What is Your Favorite Easy Meal to Make? If you have time, will you go over to my sidebar and put in yours? I might be helpful for people stopping by!

Thanks – I can’t wait to hear more of YOUR great dinnertime ideas! Link up your recipes, time saving ideas and dinnertime-related posts.

And, the winner of the Emmie Kate Sterling Silver Mother’s Bracelet is:
 #179
Congratulations! Send me your contact information!

I have a fun new giveaway starting in the morning!
XOXO

Dinner Dilemmas: Part 2 — It’s ON!

5 Apr
Thanks to everyone who commented on my Dinner Dilemma post last week!
It was so amazing to read your comments. 
There were so many great ideas and suggestions that I thought it might be helpful to compile them here. 
I mean, I can’t be the only mom who struggles with this, right?

And, while I’m on the subject of “Keeping it Real”, I didn’t implement the Dinner Nanny menu last week. Jeff was out of town and I was lazy. But it’s ON this week!

https://i2.wp.com/www.omniswami.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/crockpot.jpg

Here’s some great tips you shared:

  • Some of you use one day as a food prep day. By buying meat and veggies in bulk and then freezing the meat in individual meal portions. Keeping the veggies in the fridge ready to use
  • Another great idea was to make a  jar of conversation starters. It makes for some interesting conversations.
  •  How about making a  big pot of sauce on the weekend and using it for a few different recipes during the week?
  •  Make pizza toppings bags to freeze.
  •  Some of you are big planners. Many commenters make a menu once a week and shop once. 
  •  A couple of people planned things out for 2 weeks.
  •  One commenter plans a month at a time and does a big shopping trip. 
  • And one commenter cooks once every three months and then just pulls out whatever is on the menu. She makes 80 meals at once. WOW!
  •  Food calendars were another great idea.
  •  Crockpots. What would we do without them? 
  • One commenter has 30 different Crockpot dinner meals that she put together and rotates through! She also has a 3-month supply all of the non-preishable ingredients on hand for those meals.
  • Another idea is Sat or Sun cook 3-5 meals to put in the fridge. Then just pop them in the oven when you need them.
  • I also had some other idea for theme nights:  crockpot/soup, salad/sandwiches nights.
  •  Did you know this? At Sams club in the Deli (where you buy a pizza or a hotdog in the front of the store) you can buy a box of frozen PREMADE pizza crusts. They are about $2 a piece and you get a huge box. I am going to check this out!

Sundays are the day when I meet with the family to decide on the menu for the week. So I thought it might be a fun theme to post about once a week where we can share ideas on making meal times easier. And since you guys are so much more knowledgeable than me on great meal ideas, I thought I would make a linky where you can share any related posts that have done that people would find helpful.

And, I also have started a BlogFrog community where we can share ideas. Right now I have the question — What is Your Favorite Easy Meal to Make? If you have time, will you go over to my sidebar and put in yours? I might be helpful for people stopping by!

Thanks – I can’t wait to hear more of YOUR great dinnertime ideas! Link up your recipes, time saving ideas and dinnertime-related posts.

And, the winner of the Emmie Kate Sterling Silver Mother’s Bracelet is:
 #179
Congratulations! Send me your contact information!

I have a fun new giveaway starting in the morning!
XOXO

Real Life: Dinner Dilemmas

29 Mar
 https://i2.wp.com/ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41WSWrlM8sL.jpg
Dinner time is my most dreaded time of the day. It seems like we are always rushing around trying to make it to a game, or a lesson, or some sort of practice. My kids are tired and fighting and since my husband works out of town so much, I can’t hand things off to him at night. Plus I have been wanting to get my kids more involved in the dinner-making process.
I recently found a really cool idea that might help my dinner time drama, I thought I would share it with you. {And no, I am not being paid to say this — I bought the book on my own}.
I found this cookbook:
The Food Nanny Rescues Dinner: Easy Family Meals for Every Day of the Week 

And I just love it! The concept is that each night of the week has a theme. There are:
  • Monday : Comfort Foods {like soups, casseroles, beef stroganoff..}
  • Tuesday: Italian Night: {lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs, penne pasta}
  • Wednesday: Hold The Meat: {fish recipes, linguini, homemade mac & cheese, breakfast for dinner}
  •  Thursday: Mexican Night: {enchiladas, fajitas, burritos, taquitos}
  • Friday: Pizza Night: {all sorts of pizza recipes}
  • Saturday: Grill Night: {Hamburgers, Sloppy Joes, all sorts of BBQ recipes}
  • Sunday: Family Favorites: {pot roast, crock pot recipes, chicken cordon bleu}
Of course, we’ll go out on the weekends sometimes too. But what I’m really excited about is getting my kids involved in dinner. What I’m going to do is:
  • Everyone in the family is going to be in charge of dinner one night a week.
  • On Sundays we are going to meet to decide who wants to do which theme night.
  • Each person will decide on a menu for their day and figure out what groceries they need to make their night’s food and make me up a list.
  • On their night, each person will be in charge of making the dinner, setting the table, clearing up the table and cleaning up the kitchen. 
I think it’s going to be really fun! And if someone knows they are having a test on a certain day and they need to study, they can choose a day that they will have time to make their dinner. I am hoping that it will help my kids learn how to cook, plus it will lighten my load and get them excited about dinner. 
Even Ella {who is 5} will have a night that she is in charge — I will help her. But she loves to make things, she knows how to set the table and I think she will be so proud to make the food for her night and serve it to the family.
Here’s the recipe I’m making for dinner for Pizza Night: 
ARUGULA PIZZA WITH FRESH MOZZARELLA
AND CHERRY TOMATOES
FRIDAY
PIZZA NIGHT
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Oil a pizza pan with olive oil.
2. Prepare the dough and place it on the prepared pan.
3. Slice the fresh mozzarella cheese and place it on the crust, or top with
shredded regular mozzarella.
4. Bake the pizza on the lowest oven rack for 12 to 15 minutes or until the crust
is brown on the bottom and the cheese is melted. Remove from the oven and
immediately pile the arugula pieces onto the hot melted cheese and top with
the tomatoes. Drizzle on a little olive oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
Serve immediately.
1/2 recipe Basic Pizza Dough (p. 135)
Fresh mozzarella cheese, or shredded regular mozzarella
Fresh baby arugula, torn into pieces
Fresh cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
Olive oil, for drizzling
Salt and ground black pepper (see Note)
One 12-inch thin-crust pizza
 What are your secrets for making dinnertime easier at your house?
I really want to know.
XOXO

Real Life: Dinner Dilemmas

29 Mar
 https://i2.wp.com/ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41WSWrlM8sL.jpg
Dinner time is my most dreaded time of the day. It seems like we are always rushing around trying to make it to a game, or a lesson, or some sort of practice. My kids are tired and fighting and since my husband works out of town so much, I can’t hand things off to him at night. Plus I have been wanting to get my kids more involved in the dinner-making process.
I recently found a really cool idea that might help my dinner time drama, I thought I would share it with you. {And no, I am not being paid to say this — I bought the book on my own}.
I found this cookbook:
The Food Nanny Rescues Dinner: Easy Family Meals for Every Day of the Week 

And I just love it! The concept is that each night of the week has a theme. There are:
  • Monday : Comfort Foods {like soups, casseroles, beef stroganoff..}
  • Tuesday: Italian Night: {lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs, penne pasta}
  • Wednesday: Hold The Meat: {fish recipes, linguini, homemade mac & cheese, breakfast for dinner}
  •  Thursday: Mexican Night: {enchiladas, fajitas, burritos, taquitos}
  • Friday: Pizza Night: {all sorts of pizza recipes}
  • Saturday: Grill Night: {Hamburgers, Sloppy Joes, all sorts of BBQ recipes}
  • Sunday: Family Favorites: {pot roast, crock pot recipes, chicken cordon bleu}
Of course, we’ll go out on the weekends sometimes too. But what I’m really excited about is getting my kids involved in dinner. What I’m going to do is:
  • Everyone in the family is going to be in charge of dinner one night a week.
  • On Sundays we are going to meet to decide who wants to do which theme night.
  • Each person will decide on a menu for their day and figure out what groceries they need to make their night’s food and make me up a list.
  • On their night, each person will be in charge of making the dinner, setting the table, clearing up the table and cleaning up the kitchen. 
I think it’s going to be really fun! And if someone knows they are having a test on a certain day and they need to study, they can choose a day that they will have time to make their dinner. I am hoping that it will help my kids learn how to cook, plus it will lighten my load and get them excited about dinner. 
Even Ella {who is 5} will have a night that she is in charge — I will help her. But she loves to make things, she knows how to set the table and I think she will be so proud to make the food for her night and serve it to the family.
Here’s the recipe I’m making for dinner for Pizza Night: 
ARUGULA PIZZA WITH FRESH MOZZARELLA
AND CHERRY TOMATOES
FRIDAY
PIZZA NIGHT
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Oil a pizza pan with olive oil.
2. Prepare the dough and place it on the prepared pan.
3. Slice the fresh mozzarella cheese and place it on the crust, or top with
shredded regular mozzarella.
4. Bake the pizza on the lowest oven rack for 12 to 15 minutes or until the crust
is brown on the bottom and the cheese is melted. Remove from the oven and
immediately pile the arugula pieces onto the hot melted cheese and top with
the tomatoes. Drizzle on a little olive oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
Serve immediately.
1/2 recipe Basic Pizza Dough (p. 135)
Fresh mozzarella cheese, or shredded regular mozzarella
Fresh baby arugula, torn into pieces
Fresh cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
Olive oil, for drizzling
Salt and ground black pepper (see Note)
One 12-inch thin-crust pizza
 What are your secrets for making dinnertime easier at your house?
I really want to know.
XOXO