Making Family Meals Simple

family cooking

When you have children, you’re going to find that you take on a whole lot more responsibility than when you were only catering to your own needs or your own and your partner’s needs. You suddenly become entirely responsible for another person’s happiness, health and wellbeing. This means that you’re going to find yourself focusing on all sorts of areas that can help your little one to lead a better life. You’ll spend time understanding parenting methods. You’ll spend time looking into good schools for their education. You can take time to make sure that they’re attending healthcare appointments like vaccines, dental checkups and more. You can ensure you’re helping them to invest themselves in hobbies and social activities. The list goes on. But one key area that you have to focus on is their diet. All people, including kids, need to enjoy a healthy balanced diet, but many parents find that they struggle for time when it comes to delivering on this front. Here are some suggestions that can make family mealtimes as simple and straightforward as possible.


Meal Planning


The first step towards making family meal times good and healthy is to take time meal planning. When you have a clear idea of what meals you’re going to enjoy throughout the week, the more likely you are to stick to the healthy meals you had in mind. All too often we turn to convenience food for – well, the sake of convenience. The issue is that convenience foods are often nutritional void and may contain excess salts and sugars. Meal planning doesn’t have to mean coming up with difficult to make options. Keep things simple, but keep them balanced. You may be able to find inspiration from recipes like Bacon Wrapped Smoked Pork Tenderloin. There are plenty of options out there and you’re bound to find a few favorites that will become a more regular part of your routine.


Meal Prepping


It’s all good and well having a meal plan in place, but many people will still fall off the wagon here. They’ll have good intentions, but won’t actually follow through with them. You can help to keep things on track with meal prepping. Meal prepping is when you collect and partially prepare your meals ahead of time. This means that no matter how busy you may be, or how little time you may feel you have on your hands, you will be able to put together healthy meals with minimal effort and time involved. Look at what elements of each meal you can prepare beforehand. This could be chopping vegetables, marinating meat or anything else. You may even want to fully prepare meals that can then be frozen or stored in tupperware for heating up at a later date.


Hopefully, some of the information and ideas above will help you to create healthier and more wholesome meals with less effort. Give them a try and see how you get on with them.

Looking to Spice Up Your Cooking?

Looking to shake things up in the kitchen? Check out these spices, rubs, and foodie finds.

steak rub

Rainier Foods

Price: $3.99 – $44.99

chicken rub

Rainier Foods is the maker of delicious premium spice blends. From vegetables to chicken, pork, beef, seafood, and snacks, they have the right seasoning for any recipe. Bulk rubs are also available. A family-owned business located in the shadow of Mt. Rainier in Washington, they source the finest ingredients, with all products made locally to ensure the best quality from the Pacific Northwest. The brand proudly donates 1% of sales to the Washington National Park Fund. Also available on Amazon.

Stemple Creek Ranch knows the importance of family time and brings folks together for a quality meal no matter the occasion. Add it to the menu for your next family meal. The family-owned brand is leading the way in regenerative agriculture while offering premium meats that are often served in Michelin star restaurants. Families nationwide can enjoy these delicious offerings delivered right to their doorsteps for them to easily prepare on their own. They are strong believers that grass-fed and grass-finished animals make the best selections for their customers. Making it the perfect meat to grill up with friends and family.
farm to table
Price: 16oz – $5.99 | 3lb – $14.99
Lefty’s legendary Fish N’ Chicken Mix fry batter adds some Southern flair to any meal. The ultimate spicy addition to your Super Bowl feast. The bold flavors marry perfectly with poultry, pork, seafood, and vegetables. Set out to make flavorful food made with quality ingredients, and once you try their fry mix you will be left wanting to indulge. Also available on Amazon and select Sam’s Club, Kroger, Publix, and Safeway retailers in the DMV region.
hot sauce rub marinade
Price: Varies
When Veteran Dennis Butterworth set out to compete in a BBQ competition just for fun, little did he know it would eventually lead to a brand that offers premium products with a touch of goodwill. Meet WarPig BBQ. Their BBQ sauces will leave you feeling good all-around. Be sure to add them to your favorite meat. A portion of proceeds from their BBQ sauces and rubs are donated to Veterans organizations.

How To Satisfy The Entire Family In The Kitchen

Ensuring that everyone in the family is satisfied after a meal is important, especially for children. Children can be fussy eaters throughout their maturing stages. Hence, knowing some simple tricks to make food enjoyable for everyone at home will ensure that they eat what is given to them, which will save you time and stress. 

If you are someone that lacks the knowledge of how to satisfy everyone at home in the kitchen, here are some useful ideas. 

cooking with kids

Create simple recipes

Most children dislike complex recipes. Therefore, it is a good idea to make simple and yummy recipes. 

For instance, following a simple oven grilled cheese recipe will help you make a delicious meal for the family while using up staples in the kitchen. No child can moan about such a yummy meal. Hence, the simpler you keep your cooking the less time and money you will spend cooking and the more satisfied everyone can be.

Get the children involved

Should your children often complain about what you make them, then showing them how to cook will help them experiment and find out what they love. 

To get started, it can be useful to get them involved with baking. Baking is fun for kids, so it is a great way to get them involved with cooking at home. Allowing them to get messy and choose a recipe means that they won’t moan and groan when you ask them to help. Instead, they will find it fun and they can start to learn how to cook, bake, and play with ingredients. 

Ask everyone their favorite meals and create a weekly plan

If you cook what you love every day, then how are you supposed to satisfy everyone at home? Asking your family what they love to eat means that you can make weekly rotas and ensure that everyone gets a meal that they enjoy. That way, the food preparation can be easy (as you can all eat the same thing) and everyone will be happy. 

When there are dietary requirements, it can be useful to create that person/people their own dish so that they can be fulfilled while everyone else eats what they like too. Or, you could change your usual recipes so that everyone eats the same. Hence, the people with requirements can be satisfied and your cooking time is reduced. 

Create themed nights

Although you won’t have time to have themed dinners every night, it can help to introduce them once or twice a week. Creating healthy meals for the family can be the plan throughout the week. Then, creating a themed treat night at the weekend can help everyone have something to look forward to. 

Creating a themed night will bring everyone together and spice things up in your kitchen, at least once a week anyway. You could opt for Mexican or Indian if that’s what your family loves. Then, you can alternate them each week. Or, go all out and introduce a new cuisine from around the world each week.

Corned Beef and Cabbage Recipe #StPattysDay #Recipe

Looking to get ready for the seasonal favorite, Corned Beef and Cabbage? We prefer a Dutch Oven, and that’s how we make ours, but you could use a crock pot as well if you prefer.


Corned beef was used as a substitute for bacon by Irish immigrants in the late 19th century, because it was much cheaper and easier to come by. Corned beef and cabbage is the Irish-American variant of the Irish dish of bacon and cabbage, which has long been a popular dish in Ireland. Of course, you mustn’t forget the potatoes! What’s an Irish dish without them, I suppose, lol.

corned beef

Prep time : 10 min. Cook: 2.5-3 hours

Makes 10 servings


  • 1 corned beef brisket (about 4 pounds) with spice packet
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3-1/2 pounds small potatoes (10-15), peeled
  • 8 medium carrots, halved crosswise
  • 5 stalks celery, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 medium head cabbage, cut into wedges


  1. Place corned beef, the contents of seasoning packet (that is typically included), and bay leaves in a large Dutch oven or stockpot; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 2 hours.
  2. Add potatoes and carrots; return to a boil. (Make sure that your potatoes are cut in small enough pieces that they will soften, but not so small they will turn to mush. I like to “cube” them.) Reduce heat; simmer, covered, just until beef and vegetables are tender, 30-40 minutes.
  3. If pot is full, remove potatoes and carrots before adding cabbage. Please reheat before serving.
  4. Add sliced cabbage and celery to the pot; return to a boil. Again, remember to make it all  into bite size pieces, or you will be slurping your cabbage like noodles, LOL. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, until cabbage is tender- about 15 minutes. Remove vegetables and corned beef; keep warm.
  5. Cut beef across the grain into slices. Serve with cabbage, potatoes, and carrots, as well as broth (if you like).

Enjoy, and Happy St. Patty’s Day!


Syosaku Japanese Knives #MothersDay

Is your mom the best cook around? If her happy place is the kitchen, she will love some fancy cookware for her big day. What better way to show you care then to show you know what she loves- as well as love to eat what she makes you? After all, food is love. Well, at least an expression of it.

One brand that has cookware down is Syosaku, one of Japan’s –and arguably the world’s– finest tableware brands. They specialize in creating Urushi Glass Plates and knives that are suitable for both home cooks and professional chefs alike.
syosaku knife

Urushi is a lacquer that has been used on wood in Japan for over 9,000 years including in building the Kinkaku-Ji (the Golden Temple). Syosaku’s innovative process allows them to create beautiful glass plates. Each plate undergoes a one-month process of layering the Urushi, drying the lacquer, and painting. Since each plate is made individually, they are all one-of-a-kind pieces. Syosaku is able to fulfill custom orders, featuring any size, shape, or design that can be desired, as well ready-to-purchase plates.  Urushi glass plates have incredible depth and provide vividness that cannot be found in china or porcelain.

These are truly beautiful, and one of a kind.

glass plates

Each plate is individually wrapped in a newly designed package that matches the beauty of the product itself. 

syosaku tableware

In addition to creating beautiful plates, Syosaku is one of Japan’s –and arguably the world’s– finest knife producers. Syosaku crafts knives that are suitable for both home cooks and professional chefs alike. 

Syosaku’s knives are made in Sakai, a port city in Japan that has a centuries-long history of creating knives, originating from forging samurai swords. Each part of the knife making process is divide among different artisans and small producers who specialize in each making each part of the knife, forging the metal, creating the handles, combining the knives and finishing them. Depending on the knife, it can take up to six months for the artisans to craft a fully finished product. each knife can be custom ordered to cater to the consumer’s preference in a variety of different wooden handles, handedness, and each knife can be engraved with a name in Chinese characters. Syosaku makes kitchen knives that can be used by professional chefs and home cooks alike, ranging from $50 to $3,000.

syosaku knives

Syosaku’s collection makes for a unique, one-of-a-kind gift for Mother’s or Father’s Day and all other celebratory occasions. There is a wide selection of ready-to-order designs and price ranges to choose from, as well as the ability to place a custom order.

Kid Friendly Cooking: Chocolate Macaroon Snowballs Kit with Kidstir

Looking for a fun family activity or a great gift for kids this holiday season? Get kids in the kitchen with Kidstir’s single or subscription cooking kits. Each month brings a new box with 3 step-by-step recipes, kitchen tools, and a brand-new, activity-filled Foodie Fun magazine. In addition to mastering tasty recipes, kids learn hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills, improve math and reading skills.
cooking with kids

This month’s theme is “Our Merry Table” and includes recipes such as vegan Spaghetti & Beetballs, a guide on how to make your own oat flour, a DIY dog
treat guide, delicious gluten-free Macaroon chocolate snowballs, and more. Please let me know if I can send samples or images for any stories.
cooking with kids
The items in the box include a small child size oven mitt, small spatula, and many recipe cards. This is not one of those kits that include the food and other items that you will need to cook the food and recipes, you will have to buy those things on your own.
Every months has a different batch of recipe cards, based on what time of year it is and holidays and things such as that. I have no idea if they change up the oven mitt and spatula- both boxes I got had them in it (Oct and Nov boxes) as well as recipe cards for the Day of the Dead and holiday themed things like latkes and eggnog. They might always have that, I’m not sure.
If you are looking for a monthly box of recipes to ty out, this is the site for you.  Check out this site or you can visit Amazon and pick one up. Enjoy!

Belgian Beet Rock Sugar & Himalayan Salt Stone Set

all natural sugar

Belgian Beet Rock Sugar

Ideal for sweetening tea or coffee, The SugarLab’s Beet Sugar is authentic Belgian brown rock sugar made popular in tea shops by Teavana. Distinctively packaged in an apothecary jar, this all natural rock sugar is gluten-free, Kosher and non GMO.

Made from sugar beets instead of sugarcane,the rock crystals get their brown colors from the natural presence of molasses.

Himalayan salt

Himalayan Salt Stone Shaver Set

Large Himalayan Pink Salt stones are distinctively packaged with a stainless steel shaver, ideal for gourmet cooks to add just theperfect touch of salt with foodie flair. Includes three or more stones weighing approximately 24 ounces along with a sturdy, premium stainless steel grater.Learn more.

To see the full line of all natural seasonings, salts, sugars and gourmet gifts, check out

5 Super Secrets to Make Fluffiest Cakes without Eggs

Cakes are proof that good still exists in this world. Young, teenagers, or adults, everyone wants a slice every now and then. That yummy, moist, fluffy slice that melts right in the mouth has a charm that no one could escape. The main ingredient that lends a cake its moist texture is an egg. It is considered to be a cardinal element needed to make a moist cake. But some of the most delicious cakes are available eggless too. If you are a baker at heart and wish to serve eggless cake to your family or guests, then you don’t have to fret a bit. This article will take you on an eggless ride in the world of cake. Every flavour that can be baked with egg, can be made available in eggless variety too and they will be as scrumptious as the one with eggs. Here how you can do it:

  1. Replacement of Eggs

First thing first, replacement of egg with soda and vinegar. Sounds strange? The main role of eggs in a cake is to bind the mix and lend a fluffy and airy texture. This strange-sounding mixture of soda and vinegar will play the same role in your eggless cake. It will give the cake rise and will be responsible for light texture. Make sure to use distilled vinegar, so that it doesn’t add to the taste. Without adding a lighter agent, your cake will become heavy, just like the cookie.

  1. Beat’em Up

You have to keep in mind to beat and blend smooth all the buttery and oily part of the batter. If mixing is forming bubbles and lumps, it will be best to whip them all while baking an eggless cake. After whipping, you will get a similar texture like a cake with eggs in it.

  1. Add Dry Ingredients

Once your mixture is whipped, fluffy texture of butter or oil is ready, add dry ingredients to it one by one and in smaller quantities. This way, the air in the mixture will not be lost and the texture will remain soft. Using a folding movement in a single direction will yield the best result for an eggless cake. Do not let the air escape by adding large quantities of dry ingredients else the baked cake will be dry instead of moist.

  1. Do Not Check the Cake

Wish to check the cake, how’s it coming up or whether it’s done or not? Whatever you do, do not open the oven to check on the cake until the baking is done. Every time you open the oven before the final product, you lose a certain amount of temperature and the cake will become stone-hard when subjected to cold and hot temperature alternatively. This wait will get you sweet results.

  1. Remove from the Pan Immediately

Once the cake is done, remove it from the pan immediately. This is one trick you have to follow while baking an eggless cake otherwise even a well-cooked cake will collapse and will become dense. It will affect the taste and will make the cake look bad too.

Follow these secrets to the core and garner appreciation from one and all.