This past weekend I hosted my first make and take evening. What you may ask is make and take? It is another name for meal prepping. I had four girlfriends over to prepare three dinners and one snack. All meals were freezer friendly, cooking directions were either oven baked or crock pot. We began by having some grilled flat bread, veggies, fruit and a glass of wine. Then, I divided the girls into two groups and we tackled the recipes. My job was to find recipes, grocery shop, facilitate cooking and do the dishes. One group used the stove while the other group worked on non cooked recipes. Once done they switched stations. We ended the night making the snack together. Two hours later the ladies left with three delicious family friendly meals, and a snack that they could have for breakfast or give their kids after school. I was so pleased with how the night went, there was lots of laughs and strangers became friends. I am hoping to host another make and take very soon! If you were to host a make and take what recipes would you use? Let me know by posting on the blog.
It is always fun to make seasonal cookies. It is even more fun to include children in this tradition. Baking is a great way to get kids involved in the kitchen. Measuring, pouring, cracking and mixing are all things that kids can do. I was very excited to make some Easter cookies and include the pastel M & Ms inside the batter. I have made this recipe many times and shared it with you earlier in the blog. This sugar cookie recipe from @averiesunshine is simply the best! Follow exactly what the recipe says, and do not skip placing the dough in the fridge. Remove cookies from oven when they are just slightly golden around the edges. From the top they don’t even look cooked, but I promise they are soft and chewy. I added some pink, purple, green, yellow, blue jimmies and sprinkles to the batter. I love the crunch that it gives this soft buttery cookie.
During day-to-day life you can lose sight of the importance of spending quality time with the ones that you love. Today my son said, “Mom we are getting low on protein balls, we’d better find a recipe and make some more.” And just like that I was reminded to pause and spend some one-on-one time with my growing-up too fast little boy. We sat together and looked for a picture that appealed to him, and then together we gathered ingredients, measured, mixed and rolled. When we were finished he looked at me and said, “That was really fun!” In our busy lives don’t forget to take time and spend time with those that you love. Our newest protein ball recipe can be found here.
Enjoy your weekend,
I spend a significant amount of time in the kitchen, so much so that my husband refers to the kitchen as “my room”. As a working mom it is challenging to find the balance between family time and preparing nutritious and delicious nightly meals. The key to this balance is to include your children in the meal preparation process. Not only are you spending quality time together, but you are setting your kids up for a healthier future. They are learning skills that are not taught in school and will have a better understanding of where their food comes from. When children are involved in cooking their dinner they will be more apt to eat their dinner! You do not have to wait till your children are older to get them involved. Below is a list of ways that you can include your children in the kitchen.
- Pour ingredients into a bowl
- Mix dry ingredients
- Mix batter
- Wash fruits and vegetables
- Peel fruits and vegetables
- Roll out dough
- Crack an egg
- Cut soft foods with a dull knife
- Form balls for cookies or meatballs
- Wash dishes
- Set the table
- Fill and empty the dishwasher
For an amazing example of someone who includes their children in the nightly cooking process, have a look at mylovelylittlelunchbox.com or follow Kayla on Instagram @mylovelylittlelunchbox