The Mission of Meal Essence: Get families together around a table, laugh, eat well, and get re-acquainted with your kids.
This is an old blog but a great message…I hope it helps you through your summer!
Summer is here and if your kids are like ours – it gets boring day after day all summer long. Once school ends and summer sets in you have to work at keeping kids entertained and contained all summer long. Do you ever feel like the activity director instead of the mom?Read More
I got up on Monday with a plan to use the meat in my freezer. Most of it is grill-able so I took out a pound of tenderloin, for shish kabobs, and a small pack of country style ribs. I thought we could have the shish kabobs on Monday and Ribs on Tuesday.
This was my moment of truth…while my husband grilled the shish kabobs Monday evening, I gave him the ribs and said, “Would you brown these on all sides and then take them off? They don’t have to be done just grilled a little on every side!” I had no idea what compelled me to do this…but it turned out to be a very good idea!
I refrigerated the ribs Monday night, no extra preparation for Tuesday’s dinner, and at noon on Tuesday I placed them in the crock pot. I didn’t add water but I drizzled about 1/3 c. barbeque sauce over them (not covering them, just adding a little flavor). I also wrapped 2 sweet potatoes in foil and placed them on one side of the crock pot. Then I buttered and wrapped a couple ears of fresh sweet corn in foil and placed them on top. Let’s just say I spent less than 5 minutes on this little activity!
After about 5 hours on low/med heat, we ate the most delicious meal! I figured out the cost at about $2.75 per person. It was the best meal, and I didn’t work very hard. My sweet husband was so impressed with his previously browned ribs and the great meal we’d made with so little effort and practically no clean up.
When you grill… maximize the space on your grilling surface. Double the recipe or make two meals instead of one! Cook smart and eat well!Read More
Let’s test your St. Patrick’s Day knowledge – here’s a great TEST to see how Irish you may or may not be!
Now that you are a little more familiar with St. Patrick’s Day, it’s time to plan a fun holiday dinner. Most children don’t enjoy a hearty Corned Beef and Cabbage dinner so I chose some quick and easy Reuben Sandwiches. Our four year old daughter loved Rueben’s, so never assume they’re too young to eat this sweet and savory sandwich. Add one of these sides, a green 7 up Salad or Irish Potato Soup and you’ve got a meal!Read More
Celebrate every holiday with your children to teach them! President’s Day is a perfect example. A family discussion about the Presidents, past and present, may encourage your child in a number of ways…perhaps as a leader, or to grow their interest in politics or history. Try it…you may have fun!
Try a President’s Day Quiz. You can find them online …here’s a link for a very easy quiz to get you started! You can pick out a question or two that’s age appropriate for your kids. Start a day or two ahead and get them thinking.
You may even want them to choose a menu for the celebration and have them do some presidential research! When our children were young we went to the library and found a cookbook about the Presidents’ favorite foods and recipes. We would choose a president and then find his favorite meals. We learned that even though George Washington is said to have chopped down a cherry tree, he didn’t do it for the pie. Martha baked cakes, not pies, and George preferred Ice Cream.
Kids of all ages love to learn and where better to learn than your kitchen.
I was born on Dwight D. Eisenhower’s birthday, so I chose him this year. As I was looking through various websites about President Eisenhower, I found that Pancakes were one of his favorite foods. What an easy dinner in honor of our 34th President. Your children will love having Pancakes for dinner. Eisenhower was an unsung hero, Five Star General that led us to victory in World War II.
Pick another president if you like, there’s about 44 to choose from and so much to learn. This doesn’t have to be hard to be lots of fun!Read More
Iced Sugar Cookies can be made months ahead or at the last minute but be sure to make Iced Sugar Cookies. It is the #1 cookies choice for MealEssence Fans. So remember, it’s never to late to add this cookie to your list.
After years of searching – I believe this is the best Sugar Cookie Recipe! Sugar Cookies are not to be taken lightly – especially at Christmas. You will want to save this recipe for every holiday cut out…Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween, or birthdays.
The secret to a good Sugar Cookie Recipe is structure on the outside and soft on the inside. Lots of cookies taste good that fall apart when you’re decorating – but this recipe handles well when icing and decorating and it also stores well in the freezer so that you can decorate as you go. While sugar cookies can be iced and then frozen, I recommend icing them just a day or two before serving. I also find that icing a frozen cookie is easier – so I remove them from the freezer a few at a time, icing and decorating them before they thaw completely.
If you’ve never tried making Iced/Decorated Sugar Cookies for the holidays this is the one to try. With only six ingredients that most of us keep on hand and three simple steps you will please everyone on your Christmas list this year!
I will be posting pictures of this years decorated cookies and more tips for making Sugar Cookies!Read More
I recently read several articles tying the childhood obesity rate to regular family dinners. Studies have shown that more family dinners equal less obesity. You may be thinking that family meals do not guarantee nutrition and that is a valid concern. However, when you plan – you do eat better. Meals that are created on the fly are typically less healthy, often adding fat and sodium that derail our nutrition.
The study also showed that children that eat regular family meals eat more fruits and vegetables. With so many working parents, many children often return from a day at school to an empty house and head for the fridge. They snack in an unsupervised environment – often sitting while watching television or playing video games.
This is just one more reason to use MealEssence.com. MealEssence.com helps busy parents plan meals so that everyday dinner is served. Using MealEssence can actually involve your children more in the daily food choices. Planning is teaching your child that food matters and nutrition is important not an afterthought.
Since our family began using Mealessence.com we have practically eliminated snack foods. We eat healthy nutritious meals that don’t require lots of snacking. Additionally we are able to add healthy snack foods to our shopping list and avoid impulse purchases which may lead to unhealthy eating.
Start this year off right – make a decision to eat regular family dinners. Plan 5 meals this week, Monday – Friday, plan to eat dinner at the table with your family!
For more information about childhood obesity and family meals check out this article, http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/do-it-yourself/sns-health-family-kids-doc-dinners-obesity,0,6221559.storyRead More