Dinnertime Survival Guide

I was over the moon when Cooking Light asked me to write a cookbook for busy parents. I’m pretty darn proud of the finished product, Dinnertime Survival Guidewhich officially launched this week. I set out to write a cookbook I’d want to read myself–one that was easy to scan, that had a line-up of recipes that sounded yummy to all of us, and that took into account the stress, time-crunch, and chaos that can be family dinner. A photo with every recipe was a must too.

Dinnertime Survival Guide

I spent many months cooking and trying out the recipes for my family. My boys rated each one with a thumbs-up, thumbs-down, or thumbs-in-the-middle.

We all had our favorites. I loved Salmon Cakes with Lemony Garlic Sauce. My husband still swoons over the Maple-Mustard Glazed Chicken every time I make it. Henry was a huge fan of the Easy Garlic Fries, crispy baked fries tossed in a garlicky butter sauce. And Sam, the toughest customer at my table, now happily eats fish thanks to the T-Riffic Tilapia Tacos. For more details on what’s inside, read “A Peek Inside My New Cookbook!

Dinnertime Survival Guide

As soon as the books were delivered to my doorstep, one immediately became my kitchen copy. It’s already got the requisite drips and spills on its pages, like any well-loved cookbook should have. Now I want to share it with YOU.

I’m giving away two copies of Dinnertime Survival GuideTo enter:

1. Leave a comment telling me your biggest challenge when it comes to getting dinner on the table every night.

2. For one additional entry, share this giveaway on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media and leave me a comment telling me that you did.

The giveaway ends Wednesday April 30th at noon Eastern Time. (U.S. residents only please.) 

To purchase a copy of Dinnertime Survival Guide, go here.


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.


{Giveaway} A Freezer Meal Cooking Program to Help You Reclaim the Dinner Hour

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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 […]

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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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6 Ways to Add Fun to Family Dinner

January 15, 2014

  On a recent Sunday, my husband and I were cooking together, and the boys were pretending we were on a cooking show. It extended to dinner time, when they wanted to judge the dish (a new-to-them chili). So we asked them to rate the chili on a scale of 1-5 for various categories like […]

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“Help! My child eats hardly any dinner…then wants a snack 10 minutes later!” Sound familiar?

January 10, 2014

This week, I reached out to readers on my Real Mom Nutrition Facebook page asking for their most frustrating feeding dilemma when it came to their kids–and promised that feeding expert and parent educator Dr. Dina Rose would address one of them on this blog. Dr. Rose, who is full of effective strategies for diffusing […]

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Feeding My Kids: What I’ll Be Doing Differently in 2014

December 31, 2013

I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions (beyond a flimsy promise to “drink more water” which always fizzles out by January 3rd). But recently, I read about a concept of assigning “themes” to the year instead, and that seems much more doable. Besides, thinking in broader concepts instead of narrow action items is a nice change of pace for […]

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My Pre-Dinner Snack Strategy

April 1, 2013

There’s nothing more maddening at mealtime than sitting down to a dinner you’ve spent 45 minutes to prepare only to have your kids push aside their plates because they’re already full. On pretzels. Navigating the hour before dinner is tough with children–especially young kids, for whom “dinner will be ready in 10 minutes” sounds more […]

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{Recipe} Homemade Pizza Dough

October 26, 2012

This is a guest post and recipe by my friend Citizen Mom. On a recent visit to her house, I tried her homemade pizza and knew it would be a hit with my kids. The crust was thin and soft — the kind you can slice into big, floppy triangles and fold in half. And I was right: […]

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Coming to Peace with a Not-So-Perfect Dinnertime

July 6, 2012

Last year, Sam went on a dinner strike that just about did me in. The wonderful Dina Rose talked me off the ledge and gave me some strategies that really worked. But even today, dinner is just not Sam’s thing. The same probably goes for many other young kids: It’s the end of a long […]

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