A Peek Inside My New Cookbook!

by Sally on April 15, 2014

Dinnertime Survival Guide by Sally Kuzemchak

Complete the following statement:

Cooking dinner every night…

A. Is really important and allows me to express my love for my family and communicate our food values.

B. Can sometimes feel like chore at the end of a very long day.

C. Makes me want to run screaming out the back door, jump into my minivan, and drive far, far away. Or at least to the nearest restaurant.

D. All of the above

If you answered D, Dinnertime Survival Guide is for you.

When I was writing this book, I wanted to be, first and foremost, honest about one thing: Getting dinner on the table every night is hard. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. Or has a stash of take-out containers hidden at the bottom of her trashcan.

Although this book can’t solve all your problems (that’s called a live-in chef), the goal is to make dinner a whole lot easier to pull off by tackling the 10 biggest obstacles standing between you and a home-cooked meal, like…

  • Maddeningly finicky eaters: That’s chapter 5, “I’m Not A Short-Order Cook!”
  • Crazy schedules that have everyone going in different directions: That’s chapter 7, “Nobody’s Around To Eat It Anyway”
  • A mean case of dinnertime apathy: That’s the final chapter, “Frankly, I Just Don’t Feel Like It”

It includes 150 recipes (from my own kitchen, some favorite bloggers, and the pros at Cooking Light) tailored to each particular challenge like Peanutty Stir-Fry, T-Riffic Tilapia Tacos, Cheesy Mini Meat Loaves, and Chocolate Awesomeness Brownies. Throughout the pages, you’ll also find “Crazy Tricks That Actually Work”, cooking shortcuts and tips, and seriously smart nuggets of hard-won dinner wisdom from Real Mom Nutrition readers.

If cooking matters to you, this book can help you make it happen more often—without losing your marbles. (And if every now and then, you cry “Uncle!” and serve everyone heaping bowls of cereal for dinner, well, you know me. I won’t judge.)

Dinnertime Survival Guide goes on sale next Tuesday April 22nd, but you can pre-order your copy on Amazon here.

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Stock Your Freezer in a Snap

Ever feel a 5pm wave of angst when you realize you have no idea what’s for dinner?

I do. It’s a lousy feeling.

Batch cooking and freezing is one of the best ways to replace that wave of angst with a wave of relief. Having a set of freezer-friendly recipes and expert instructions helps an awful lot.

Eila Johnson, blogger at The Full Plate Blog, created her “Stock Your Freezer in a Snap” coaching program after her years as a personal chef. She specialized in making meals that her clients could pull out of the freezer when that dreaded 5pm feeling came over them.

As a mom of two kids, Eila now cooks for her own family the same way: She spends a few hours here and there batch cooking and tucking meals away in the freezer. Then she takes days off of cooking at a time–creating what she calls the magical “Bonus Hour”. That’s the hour when dinner goes straight from the freezer to the oven or stovetop and she can get in a workout, check her email, play a board game with her kids, or just sit down after a long day and have a glass of wine.

The program, which comes as a downloadable e-book, includes 12 of Eila’s recipes. For each one, she includes photos, tips and kitchen shortcuts, weekly shopping lists, recommendations for packaging, and thawing and reheating instructions.

Stock Your Freezer in a Snap

Here are the recipes the program includes:

  • Baked Zucchini-Carrot Fritters (veg)
  • Cheesy Baked Taquitos (veg or chicken)
  • Creamy Pot Pies (chicken or root veggie)
  • Easy Comforting Lasagna (beef, sausage, turkey, or veg)
  • Simple Layered Butternut Squash-Black Bean Enchilada Casserole (veg or add meat of choice)
  • Mediterranean Beef Stew (a flavorful take on traditional beef stew)
  • Go-To Chili {That Always Gets Rave Reviews} (beef, turkey or veg)
  • Oven-Baked Meatballs (beef or turkey)
  • Power Green Pesto (veg)
  • Everyone’s Favorite Sloppy Joe’s (a modern take made with beef, turkey or veg)
  • Super Fast Mexican Posole Stew (chicken or veg)
  • Tahini-Flax Crusted Chicken Parmesan (chicken or eggplant)

Eila sent me a copy of the program to try, and I spent a few Sundays cooking with my husband. I loved how flexible the recipes were (I could tailor them to my family’s preference) and I loved having options for thawing the meals or putting them straight from the freezer to the oven/stovetop. I loved finding new family favorites (the pot pie was hands-down the winner and it’s become tradition to adorn it with our initials in puff pastry, see photo below). But most of all, I love that 5pm feeling of relief when I remember those freezer meals tucked away–and know that all I have to do is make a quick side or salad and then figure out how to spend my Bonus Hour.

I’m hosting a giveaway of Eila’s “Stock Your Freezer in a Snap” e-book for one reader. To enter, leave a comment telling me how you would spend a Bonus Hour. For one additional entry, “like” The Full Plate on Facebook then leave me a comment telling me that you did. Giveaway ends Friday April 18th at noon Eastern Time. 

This month only, Eila is also offering the program at 50% off ($24.99). Read more about the program here and go here to purchase. 

Disclaimer: I received a copy of Eila’s program to try for free. All opinions are my own.

Stock Your Freezer in a Snap

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{Book Giveaway + Recipe} Younger Next Week and a Refreshing Raspberry Salad

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When my kids were younger, it was easy to make excuses for my lack of self-care, like regular exercise or some mysterious thing I’d read about called “me time”. But as the kids get older (and I get older too) my stubborn refusal to put myself somewhere on my to-do list isn’t cutting it anymore. […]

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Too Much Of A Good Thing: Why Calories Still Count.

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When the FDA recently proposed changes to the food label–including calorie count in a larger, bolder font–there were people who said that if you’re eating a diet of mostly whole foods, you don’t even need to think (much less worry) about calories at all. That calories don’t really matter. Oh, they matter alright. I’ve learned that […]

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{Recipe} Homemade Barbecue Sauce

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At our house, we love barbecue sauce for dipping and brushing on grilled meats. I used to buy the bottled kind but wasn’t pleased with some of the ingredients, like preservatives and high fructose corn syrup. So I went searching for a simple homemade version and found this one from Aviva Goldfarb of The Six O’Clock […]

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Soccer Mom On A Mission…Watch It!

March 13, 2014

Two years ago, I tromped around the soccer fields in my community, snapping photos of the snacks I was seeing. I set the photos to music and turned them into a video slideshow called “Soccer Mom On A Mission”, with the hopes of raising awareness and mobilizing a new wave of Snacktivists to create change. After […]

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My Favorite Packaged Foods

March 10, 2014

In the last few years, I’ve made a conscious decision to make more food from scratch. But I still buy packaged food (read “From-Scratch Cooking Confession: I Can’t Keep Up!“). Several readers asked me for more details on the kinds of packaged products I buy, so I wanted to share some of my favorites. When […]

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{Recipe} Oats & Yogurt Bread Machine Rolls

March 6, 2014

I got my bread machine in the mid-90s at the height of bread-machine-fever. And I’m pretty sure I was supposed to denounce it several years later at the height of low-carb-fever. But I didn’t. My faithful Sunbeam bread machine just keeps on trucking. It takes up major real estate in my kitchen. But I love […]

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From-Scratch Cooking Confession: I Can’t Keep Up!

March 3, 2014

I believe that a diet based around whole foods is the way to go. I believe we should know what’s in our food, that we should strive to eat food that isn’t laden with preservatives and artificial flavors. Over the years, my suspicion about ingredients like artificial colors has grown, and I’ve become increasingly annoyed with […]

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