I love to host dinner parties, but I really don’t like doing all the work. My husband is this huge foodie. I make a gourmet meal almost every day. To be honest, I like to eat well, and he does do his fair share of the cooking, but after a while, I’m over it! (Especially when he NEVER does the dishes, even when he cooks.) So over my many years of entertaining…
I have come up with a few tips and tricks to pull off an outstanding spread, while making my guests…
Added by Jennifer Weedon Palazzo on June 22, 2016 at 7:51am — No Comments
This past weekend, I helped my son make pancakes.
I phrased it that way on purpose, as this was the first time I let him take the lead in making pancakes while I supervised. Up to this point, I would only let him do the prep work and stir ingredients together. But this time I let him work with the batter on…
Added by Lauren Markman on June 21, 2016 at 6:17am — No Comments
At the beginning of every month, I plan out all the meals that we are going to eat. For the whole month. I do this for a few reasons (meal planning, to ensure we aren't getting repetitive with our dinners, and to allow myself a few nights off from cooking each week). And I am painfully aware that as I plan out the meals there will be a number of dinners my son will not want to eat. Chicken tikka masala? No way. Pulled pork sandwiches? Not…Continue
Added by Lauren Markman on March 7, 2016 at 7:12am — No Comments
I opened Lidia Bastianich’s “Mastering the Art of Italian Cooking” (which is the most incredible Italian cookbook I’ve ever owned), and I was ready to prepare one of her chicken dishes. Instead, a few of her recipes inspired me to try something of my own with a few of the ingredients I have in my fridge. The result…Continue
Added by Lauren Spagnoletti on February 22, 2016 at 9:00pm — No Comments
This recipe is an old favorite in the Betty Crocker Cookbook. My family and I have loved this for years. It was one of the first dinners that I made for my new husband, almost 8 years ago, and we have been cooking it at least once a month ever since. In the last year or so, I have been really trying to make my food a bit more “clean” and unprocessed. What I have changed about good ole Betty Crocker is making homemade whole wheat baking mix. You can find the recipe at …Continue
Added by Samantha Roberts on February 18, 2016 at 8:29pm — No Comments
I used to think that meal planning was for type A crazies with WAY too much time on their hands. I mean, who has the time or energy to think more than a day or two ahead about food, let alone a week or a month! But deciding on dinner has always stressed me out. Pulling something out of the freezer in the morning left my family with a very boring revolving door of baked BBQ chicken, baked shake-and-bake chicken, or (here’s where we get exciting…) spaghetti. Or I would tell my husband to pick…Continue
Added by Celeste on January 21, 2016 at 1:52pm — No Comments
When I was little we had a simple rule in our household: No eating in front of the television. We ate our meals at the tables in the kitchen or dining room. In nice weather, we ate outside on the deck.…Continue
At one point of my childhood, I stopped eating meat. It was a phase and didn't last too long, and my Mother just dealt with it by giving me lots of veggies. (Sorry, Mom!) When she tells this story today, she remarks that it was good timing because my brother was going through a phase of not eating vegetables and everything evened out.…Continue
Added by Lauren Markman on November 30, 2015 at 6:17am — No Comments
You come home from work and head straight into the kitchen. Within a few minutes, you are pre-heating, sauteing, chopping and seasoning. It's a Tuesday, you've put in a full day at work, and now you are cooking with purpose: You are trying to get dinner on the table before 7 pm.…Continue
I am spoiled. For several years I worked with my husband at the same company, and now we work only a few blocks apart. This means that I am used to being able to have lunch with my wonderful husband on a frequent basis and that neither of us has to go out of our way to spend time together in the middle of the day.…Continue
Added by Lauren Markman on October 7, 2015 at 6:41am — No Comments
My son is in Kindergarten, and he is excited. He is excited about all the new classrooms, books, children and fun to be had. But he is more excited about one particular part of Kindergarten, more than anything else: He can bring a lunch from home.
Up until this point, he has eaten the provided lunches at his…
Added by Lauren Markman on September 2, 2015 at 6:36am — No Comments
Breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack... Repeat. There are days when I’m not exciting about having to prepare another meal. Eating is important, I know, but its nice to have a break sometimes... even if its only for one meal. This is mini pizza recipe is one that the kids can completely make themselves! All you have to do is place it in the oven, set the timer, and take it out!…Continue
Added by Jazelle on August 27, 2015 at 11:00am — No Comments
My crockpot has become a dear friend over the past 6 years... Pretty much when I started having kids. Its so easy to throw all your ingredients in, cover, and the let magic happen. Whether you work outside the home or from inside the home, there's nothing better than to smell the wonderful aroma of your dinner cooking and to know that all you have to do is grab a plate and fork. Sigh. There are a plethora…Continue
Last night, the kids and I had the opportunity to pack some lunches for the West Suburban PADS (Public Action to Deliver Shelter) organization. This non-profit agency gives emergency food and shelter to individuals and families in the West Suburban Cook County area. They operate a shelter every Tuesday night and provide lunches for the next day. There are many PADS programs available all over with some even supplying permanent housing and supportive services for their…Continue
We are at a restaurant. We have just placed our order and my son is not interested in the activities on the children's menu. There is only one solution: The cards in Mommy's purse.
For the record, I carry two sets of cards in my purse. There is a regular deck, which we've never actually used, and an UNO deck…
Added by Lauren Markman on July 13, 2015 at 6:30am — No Comments
Father's Day is a special time every year that we can celebrate that wonderful father figure in our lives, whether connected by blood or love. Make the day extra special by planning a fun activity to do together. Even better- a FREE activity. With so many options to choose from, we wanted to help out by providing 12 free activities for Dad on Father's Day. Choose one or more!
Our dinnertime conversations have become quite formulaic: We talk about the events of our days and if we are close to a weekend, we share any upcoming plans. (If it is slow going, I will tell a fanciful story about my day that features a dragon just to see if anyone is paying attention.) Some nights this goes better than others. We ask a lot of specific questions about our son's day, but we find that he doesn't have a good recall for the…Continue
Added by Lauren Markman on April 28, 2015 at 6:33am — No Comments
I frequently find it difficult to come up with dinner ideas. I get so bored having the same meals over and over. Brandon doesn’t very often have input on dinner, so he is of very little help. To my surprise he came to me the other day and said….
Brandon: Hey mom, I really wished we could have those noodles we had in Colorado with Dad at that one…Continue
Added by Stacie Anderson on April 24, 2015 at 11:53am — No Comments
Looking for a fast, fabulous, DELICIOUS and healthy dinner for this evening? Look no further! This recipe will have your family begging for seconds and is so easy to make! Check it out and give it a try and than let me know what you think! My family LOVED this...did yours?Continue