I know I talk about the importance of the family dinner table, but I have had a lot of feedback from readers that the family dinner table looks different for everyone. This is a great point and I agree. As a matter of fact our dinner table looks different night to night sometimes. One family I know eats on TV trays watching TV in the living room and while this would be anti-social for some families it is very social for them. They discuss the show and also use this time to catch up. For them this works. For you it may be something else. My main goal for Bringing Back Dinner is to bring homemade meals to you that you can feel like you can do without stress and to encourage you to spend time together building relationships. How that looks will be different for each family. Here are some ways it could look:
1. Finger foods and games
2. Movie night and homemade pizza
4. A full dinner around the table
5. PBJ on a blanket in the living room
Any way you do it, do it so that you connect with someone and don’t just fill the hole and if it seems overwhelming just try one night and gradually add in more. Even one night a month can bring you closer together. You can do it and you can do it in your own style!
This Past week was for us was a busy one, but we managed to have a few good home-cooked meals.
Meatless Monday- Potato Soup
Potato soup is something that I rarely make the same way twice. This week I sauteed about 1/2 an onion in butter and olive oil until translucent and 1 small carrot. I added 1 tsp thyme and sauteed until fragrant then added the potatoes and vegetable stock. The amounts vary based on how much I want to make. I served 4 people and use 5 medium sized potatoes and one large box of stock.
Once the potatoes were tender I added salt and pepper to taste and pureed. I always pull out a cup or so, so that there will be some chunks in the soup and then I puree the rest until smooth. Add cream/milk until the consistency you would like. You can add cheese and serve with croutons if you like.
Time: 45 Minutes
One of my children won a bottle of Truly Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce and while I try to stay away from pre-made sauces and packages there are some great ones out there. Truly Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce only has 6 ingredients in it and it they are real food items! Soy sauce is one of the ingredients which does up the sodium, but otherwise a great item. The rest of the ingredients are brown sugar, water, lemon juice, garlic powder, and ginger. NICE!
I brushed my fish in the sauce and popped it in the oven until the fish was tender and flaky! Can’t get much easier. For a side dish I combined sweet potatoes, white potatoes, and red onion and tossed it in olive oil and rosemary and roasted them in the oven.
Time: 10 minutes for the fish and 45 for the potatoes
Review: This sauce is a very balanced sauce. I thought it was versatile and tasty and have used it on several things other than fish. I felt like it was made of basic ingredients that I might use at home if cooking from scratch. Cons: High in sodium and sugar. Pros: tasty, easy, versatile, and real food.
Squash Casserole – or otherwise known as Paula Deen looks like she’s healthy compared to this casserole!
Oh, we also had pork chops, but really…it’s all about the squash casserole!
My sister-in-law makes the best squash casserole, which is very similar to this. This is what she brings to our holiday dinners and we all eagerly anticipate it. It is special. When I told my mother I was making it she said “but, it’s not a holiday! Are you going to dress up?”
Why make it outside of a holiday? Well, for starters it is just plain good, but I did it because of my husband. My husband dislikes squash while I love squash. What’s a girl to do? Oh, wait! My husband loves cheese like no other! Hmmm, squash casserole has cheese. Eureka!!!! And there you have it, everyone is happy. And it worked too! He got seconds!
Time: 1 Hour 15 Minutes
Review: This is not healthy and sometimes you can spoil yourself, it’s ok! This dish is greasy, filled with cheese, and filled with butter, but oh so good! We love it! It is easy to make, but does take a little time.
Tell us how you connect. What ways have you found to connect over a meal?
You may add your suggestions and thoughts to the comment section or to facebook or twitter. Use hashtag #bringingbackdinner