Preparing meals for the family can be hard. We want our family to eat healthy but at the same time we want something delicious, something kids will like to eat and of course we want something easy to make. That’s why we decided to prepare menu plans! This will make planning easier. Hope you will like our chosen all gluten free recipes for this month’s family dinner menu calendar.
Disclosure:My family happily ate their fill of Idahoan® Premium Steakhouse® Potato Soups as part of the #IdahoanSteakhouseSoups and Mom It Forward Blogger Network Campaign. All opinions and full bellies are our own.
Do you have an item that you never eat at home but always order when dining out if it is available on the menu? Something delicious that you love but just don’t want to put forth the effort to make it at home? Maybe it is something that can only be done right by your favorite restaurant. For me that item is steakhouse potato soup. I absolutely love thick hearty chunky potato soup but I can’t quite seem to make it as good as my favorite restaurants and certainly can’t get it on the table quickly. Until now.
Lately because of all the snow my little one has been home with me more than normal. Don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with that little girl, but trying to find something for her to eat for lunch besides a sandwich can prove difficult when I’m still trying to get some work done. Recently our family has started doing Weight Watchers so I wanted to make sure I could make something for lunch that we would both enjoy, but not undo our day. Mac and Cheese is my daughters favorite thing to have no matter the time of day so I went in search of a Weight Watchers Macaroni and Cheese Recipe and found one that was easy to make and tastes exactly like “normal” Mac and Cheese. Your kids will love it and at only 4 Weight Watchers Points you will too! Let’s check it out!
This hearty soup cooks up in the Slow Cooker and warms you up from the inside out on those cold days.
If you don’t want the heat just omit the Cayenne Pepper and you have a hearty Minestrone Soup that everyone will love.
My family loves cheese tortellini but it gets boring eating the same pasta and sauce. I also find that with growing tweens and teens, I can’t ever seem to have enough. I have found that adding protein with my pasta helps stretch the meal. My children start complaining though when the protein is boring and my husband prefers a kick. After a day of visiting in the hospital,I came home tired and decided to mix two of my favorite recipes together. It was a hit with the kids and my father-in-law.
Looking for other tasty Chicken dishes check out our Delicious Recipes!
Topic: Tortellini Recipe
I am proud to introduce a new column to Madame Deals! I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!
Time at the Dinner Table…..
As I sit down to write I am surrounded by memories and mementos from my life as a child. My grandmother passed away in 1999 and left me her dining room furniture and china. I have a desk set up in the spare bedroom in the basement of our home, but I prefer to sit at the dining room table to write and prepare lesson plans. The dining room table, while not fancy or extravagant in any way, brings me a sense of peace and comfort that belongs to only me. As a young girl back in 1976 (I believe) I remember my grandmother showing off her new furniture and china and telling me that someday it would belong to me. Naturally at that age I thought my grandma would live forever; she did not. Ironically, I do not remember ever eating a meal at that table, because most of our family gatherings were at our house or that of my aunts and uncles. It seemed easier for my grandparents to come to us than for us to come to them for holidays and family celebrations. Even though we never spent a lot of time around that table, we did spend a lot of time together as a family at other dinner tables; something that does not seem as important these days.
When my husband brought the furniture home after my grandma passed away it was as if I was afraid to use it. Somehow in my mind I was supposed to keep it as she did. Our house did not have an eat in kitchen which meant if I wanted my grandma’s table in the dining room we HAD to eat off of it. We had to sit in her chairs and eat on her table. With young children at the time, I found it quite difficult to prevent messes at the table. Eventually I decided that messes were going to happen and that the table was no longer hers but mine and I had to stop worrying about it so much. Now, I use the table as my writing desk and find that sitting here with her picture on the china hutch behind me I somehow stay connected through memories of our time together. The table is a reminder of her which brings me great joy.
In my current home we have a bar area in our kitchen where most of our meals take place. Sitting at the counter and eating our meals seem more efficient for than dragging everything into the dining room to eat; until now that is. For the past few months my daughter and her girlfriend have been coming home from school for Sunday dinner and our family has been gathering around the dinner table to eat and share the experiences of the past week. At first it was more for the fact that when they are here we do not have enough bar stools in the kitchen to eat so we had to move into the dining room. But somehow that idea has taken a backseat to the idea that our family time at the dinner table has become a very important element in our lives. Before they arrive on Sunday afternoon I rid the table of my computer and all that has accumulated throughout the week and set the table. It is important I think to have all of my clutter put away so that nothing gets in the way of our time at the table. Last week the girls were on Spring Break and did not come home for Sunday dinner; I missed that so much.
As a preschool teacher I find myself working on meal time etiquette a lot. One of the most difficult tasks, it seems, for small children is to sit at the table and eat without getting up and down. Quite often when I share this with parents they tell me that they do not insist that their child sit at the table. It is easier for the parents, they say, for the child to come and go rather than fight with them to sit at the table. Furthering our discussion I share with parents that by the time their child reaches kindergarten they will be required to remain seated not only during lunch but also during class time as well. What I really want to tell them is that they are missing out on a great opportunity to connect as a family at the dinner table. Recently after having had this conversation with a parent in my classroom, the parent shared with me that they had been enforcing the stay at the table to eat rule and it is working beautifully and that they were actually have fun at meal times. As a matter of fact, they are realizing that their child has learned quite a bit of “stuff” this year because they are sitting down together as a family and talking at dinner time.
Time is a precious commodity and we find ourselves trying to cram dinner in between school, work, sport practices, scouts or whatever it is that takes our attention. We need to stop and make a conscious decision to gather around the dinner table at least a few nights a week to ensure that we are connecting with our family. With one child now not living at home full time and one who will be graduating from high school in a few short years I realize now more than ever that time spent together is priceless. All too often parents carve out time for date nights with each other hiring a baby sitter and enjoying time alone together without their children, I suggest carving out time and having family night at home without the distractions of everyday life. Making family time important will not only allow you to connect with one another but will also give you the opportunity to communicate with one another and allow you to really know and grow your relationships with one another. Time spent together is more of a gift to one another than the material gifts we give to one another. There are very few material gifts that I remember as a child, but there are lots of great memories tucked away in my heart from those special times when family was gathered together to enjoy a meal and celebrate one another.
Life is precious. Family is precious. Time is precious. Take time to enjoy all three; trust me you will be glad you did.
Topic: Thought for the Week