As a caterer, it is a rule of thumb that we plan, plan and plan more to avoid as many food related complications as possible. Since chaos can happen (especially in busy households) I have gathered some tips about planning, preparing and making food fun – that I hope will help you maintain your sanity while enjoying the school year and great food with your family.
Plan and Prepare Tips:
Get Organized: Go through your pantry, refrigerator, and cupboards and get rid of anything that has expired. Then take stock of the items you have and those your will need to buy.
Prep Ahead: For each recipe you intend to prepare, prepare ingredients earlier in the day, or while you are prepping dinner the night before.
Hide Veggies: If your Kid’s won’t dig into a big pile of greens, sneak broccoli or other vegetables into their favorite recipes. With so much flavor and deliciousness, your kids will never realize how much healthy foods they are eating, too.
Keep It Interesting: it’s easy to get into a dinnertime rut, making the same relied-upon recipes over and over again. To keep kids interested, surprise them with new recipes from time to time.
Stop the Morning Madness:
1. Set the breakfast table the night before and involve your children in the process.
2. Take breakfast orders the night before. Make it fun by have your children take the orders. They can pretend to be “Chef of the Night”!
1. Use cookie cutters to make cute shapes with vegetables and serve with hummus or bean dip.
2. Put last night’s dinner to good use and add your sliced chicken breast, meatloaf or roasted vegetables to small pita pockets for perfectly sized bites.
3. Making sandwiches into sushi is a great way to jazz up a sandwich – and it’s so simple. Use their favorite ingredients in a whole new way!
For more of our favorite kid friendly (and fun) ideas check out these recipes.
1. If you don’t have a crock pot, by all means GET ONE! It’s the fix it and forget solution to making great dinners!
2. Make Ahead Meals- Casseroles, Shepherd’s Pies, and baked pasta dishes are all meal ideas you can make healthy versions of ahead of time and heat up when you need them.
3. Double Up: Does your family have favorite meals they can’t get enough of? Save time by making a double batch and store the left overs for another meal and another week!
4. Make Your Own Pizza Night – Get ready made whole wheat pizza crusts, pizza sauce, shredded low fat cheese and pre-cut veggies and have your family make one large family sized pizza or individual pizzas.
5. Let Everyone Know the Menu for the Week – End your stint as a short order cook by posting up the week’s menu. Make it a family rule that what’s on the menu is what’s on the table! Have fun picking out a decorative chalk board and place it in the kitchen or family room with the weekly menu posted for all to see!
6. A rotisserie chicken can be your meal prep secret weapon! Combine it with a few simple ingredients and serve the family healthy, protein-packed meals in minutes. Here’s 10 things you can do with Rotisserie Chicken!
For those times when there are just not enough hours in the day to go grocery shopping, prep a meal, cleanup and have time with your family – call The Spot Gourmet with your Gourmet Mommy order. Our gourmet dinner comes ready to pop into the oven and serve in under an hour!
Until next time….