dinner

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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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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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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Starter Salads: Teaching My Kids to Love Greens

November 18, 2011

When I first started dating my husband, he didn’t eat anything green, except granny smith apples. (When he reads this, he will indignantly declare, “Also parsley!” but the rest of us know that does not count.) So I started making him salads in tiny bowls: just a few leaves with a whole bunch of croutons […]

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