Family Friendly Chicken Strips

As passionate cooks go, home based or otherwise, there is one thing in the world that irks us all beyond comparison….meal rejection.

Unfortunately, in my house, this happens a lot. Not that my food is anything but extraordinary and made with so much love it hurts, just that some people around here don’t appreciate the same things I do.

It irks me to no end to think that I have spawned from my own loins, a chef’s worst nightmare: the picky eater; however, I know I’m not alone in this.

This month on Simple Bites, we addressed this common dinnertime dilemma head on and many, many parents chimed in. [Read more…]

Planning a Party: 10 Questions that Help Define Your Menu

Easter is fast approaching and will be followed soon after by May with it’s wedding showers and graduation celebrations. Spring brings green leaves and new life and with the changing of the seasons comes plenty of opportunities for entertaining.

Will you be opening your home to guests in the near future? Do you ever deliberate over what to serve and wonder which direction a menu should go?

Each celebration is unique, just as each home is distinct, and there is no Party Template 101 that can be downloaded and executed for events across the board. Instead,  I’ve compiled these 10 questions to help you outline your party and define a menu that is perfectly suited to your guests, event, home, and budget.

Even a simple gathering can benefit from a little forethought and organization, and you may even discover along the way that planning is half the fun!

[Read more…]

Weekend Reading

A few of my little seedlings popped up through the earth in their trays by the window this week, and the last patch of snow is nearly melted from the snowbanks along our front walkway. Signs of spring are everywhere and are an encouragement to both the body and soul. We moved to our new property on a blustery day last December, and are looking forward to observing how Spring comes to our new home!

There was a wealth of interesting information around the web this week. Don’t you feel blessed to have so much inspiration at your fingertips? I am just in awe at the quality content that keeps popping up in my Google Reader.

Here are a few of my favorites: [Read more…]

10 Tasty Uses for a 4-Ingredient Tomato Sauce

Batch cooking starts with basic tomato sauce, I think we can all agree on that one. Having a few quarts of it in the freezer – or jarred up in the pantry – is reassurance of a quick hot meal in the future.

Tomato sauce is:

  • good for you – see ‘fun facts’ below;
  • versatile – I’ve listed ten quick uses, but there are many more;
  • seasonal year round – if you use canned tomatoes, as I do;
  • popular! Most children gobble up anything doused in it. This guarantee alone is worth a multi-quart stash.

The basic tomato sauce recipe I’ve included is ideal because of its down-and-out simplicity. I mean, four ingredients, folks! Canned tomatoes, extra-virgin olive oil, fresh garlic and salt, that’s IT. [Read more…]

Balanced Meals for Kids: Not Until You Eat Your Vegetables

A balanced diet is important for everyone when it comes to your personal health, but it can be doubly important in children. What your child is eating now is laying the foundation for later in life, and your behavior and attitude about food is making an impression on them every time you sit down at the dinner table.

Beyond offering up balanced meals and healthy options at mealtime, sometimes it can be difficult to get your child to actually eat them. Sure, you may be serving them up, but if they’re discarding or eating just a bite or two of their vegetables every meal in favor of the beef stroganoff or the turkey and cheese sandwich, their diet is still lacking.

If your kids are anything like mine, threatening them with the old “you can’t do that until you eat your vegetables” is only going to make them more stubborn about not eating their vegetables. Below I share what I’ve found works best in making sure that my kids are getting nutrition from all areas of the food pyramid and in the right amounts. [Read more…]