"The magic of family meal time comes not from the food on the plate but from who's at the table and what's happening there. The emotional and social benefits that come from family dinners are priceless."
- Elizabeth Planet, Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse Vice President and Director of Special Projects, Columbia University
Stories can happen anywhere and we feel that the dinner table is a prime location for storytelling. Here we will explore ways to get the stories flowing. From story starters to use as you sit around the table, to family recipes and meal ideas that will spark a memory or two, to family traditions that will stand the test of time, this is the place to visit! A study in the Archives of Family Medicine found that when families dine together they tend to eat more vegetables and fruits and less sodas and fried foods. This is particularly important because the latest research reveals that 20% of children aged 6-19 are overweight in this country, putting them at a higher risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, and other diseases later in life.
"All great change in America begins at the dinner table." - Ronald Reagan
When my daughters left home they spent countless hours writing down every recipe they had been raised on. Card file boxes were filled with all the directions for maintaining the tastes of home wherever they roamed. For the first few years after they left, calls would come in asking for more tips and tricks they’d missed to make the dishes just like their Dad or I had.
Ah, Christmas! The decorations! The music! And most especially, the tastes! The tastes of Christmas hold some of my favorite memories.
Ah, summer! Popsicles, swimming pools, long, lazy days; just thinking about it makes me smile. There is one part of summer that I could do without, though... intense heat. I'm not talking about your run of the mill summer heat, but those days when the thermometer registers over 100 degrees. Those are the days I could do without... especially in my kitchen!
Shantel Park shares with us her family's Easter tradition. She shows us that a tradition that started out pretty rocky, can make an amazing family memory!
For many of us, St. Patrick's Day is a day to dress up in green and get our "Irish" on! But how many of us really know the story behind the saint?
St. Patrick's Day has always been one of my favorite days of the year. An entire day for me to show my pride in my Irish heritage! What a great thing! My mother thought so, too. She would go all out every March 17th. Shamrocks decorated our windows, pots of "gold" coins were scattered throughout the house, and we always had a special meal to end the day.
Have you ever stumbled upon a gem of a story that was hidden away? My sister and I uncovered a box of old cassette tapes (anyone remember those) that had me and my siblings singing, telling stories, performing piano pieces, etc. A treasure trove of stories all waiting to be shared. Here is one of my favorites, and we end with pie!
Family gatherings are big in my family! We will find any excuse to get together. It has kept us close as a family. We've seen our children grow up, get married and begin families of their own, and we've managed to keep everyone close.
It's time to say "good-bye" to 2013, and I don't mind telling you that I will not be sad to see it go! 2013 has not been a good year for me, and I now know it's because of the food I ate (or didn't eat) last January 1st. Who knew that the food you consume on New Year's Day would influence your luck all year long?!?
What's Your Favorite Part of Thanksgiving?
Gather a group of people and ask them what their favorite part of Thanksgiving is, and you'll get a variety of answers: the turkey, cooked to a golden brown; the sweet potatoes, dripping with gooey marshmallows; the family gathered around the table, etc. There are am many "favorites" as there are people to ask. But, if you were to ask me, I would tell you that my favorite part of Thanksgiving is the pie.
A Pioneer Taffy Pull for the Modern Family
Last week was Fall Break in our school district. I took advantage of some non-school time and took my kids to visit my dad. Because great minds tend to think alike, my sister had the same idea, and we all descended on my dad's house. As usually happens when we all get together, we decided we needed a project to keep everyone busy. Sometimes we clean out a closet, sometimes we organize family photos, but this time we decided on a good, old-fashioned taffy pull.
If You Can't Make It To Disneyland This Weekend
This last weekend I had a house full of teenagers, and had to fill their very hungry stomachs with food based on a Disney theme. I rounded up a great Monte Cristo sandwich recipe that I'm ready to share with you. So if you've got a house full of hungry teenagers, or if you're just craving a world-famous Disney Monte Cristo, short of heading to Disneyland this weekend, here's the next best thing!
I love my house after the kids have all left for school. I'm at a very interesting time of life, right now. I have a Junior in High School, an 8th grader in Middle School, two in sixth grade at the Elementary level, and a pre-school aged little one.
To say that mornings are hectic around my house would be a HUGE understatement! But, when 8:30 a.m. rolls around, my house becomes blessedly still. Each day I take a few minutes in that stillness and just allow myself to enjoy it.
Not long ago I posted a photo on Instagram of some zucchinis that my sweet neighbor shared with me. Another friend of mine, that I know mostly through social media, sent me this in reply: "I'll send you my chocolate recipe!"
True to her word, Nicole sent me the recipe for some yummy chocolate zucchini bread. It's as wonderful as she promised – that is if you like your vegetables disguised in bread that tastes as good as Costco chocolate muffins.
(Don't worry, we have Nicole's permission to share the recipe with everyone....keep reading)
I was inspired by Glynis' article "Zucchini: Friend or Foe." I've decided FRIEND, especially after a friend shared this amazing "recipe" with me. It's not really a recipe, it's THREE SIMPLE STEPS! Don't plan on left-overs, your family will gobble it all up!