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kitchen happy :: a leisurely dinner



:: mother’s day pretty with pictures of my mom and AP’s mom ::

we’ve all heard how very important eating together is.  i think it’s less true for a homeschooling family because we spend so much time together anyway.  but meals together are important. some time ago i read some suggestions on making dinner more leisurely.  and though the exact suggestions didn’t really fit my season of life, the vision that it cast–of people truly gathered–has stuck with me.

at our house, far and away the most important change in this regard has come from freezer cooking, using Jessica Fisher’s excellent book Not-Your-Mother’s-Make-Ahead-and-Freeze Cookbook as a guide.  i have made two complete batches of 20 dinners and 2 additional batches of 10 meals.  her work is different from other freezer meal plans.  you aren’t making and freezing 30 casseroles.  most of the recipes that i chose are simple meat marinades that create a flavor profile to build around–black beans + polenta to pair with  Spicy Southwest Chicken or green beans and rice to pair with Soy-Ginger Pork.

with some planning and a little extra work up front, my freezer has become my friend!  and it got me a few steps closer to a leisurely dinner hour!  over the next week, i’ll share the recipes that have been most successful at our place.

and guess what?!  you can win a copy of Jessica’s book for your kitchen!  details and an entry form can be found at her site Life As Mom.  woot!



  1. i think i owe it to our family to buy this book. i’ve come to dread dinner time. it takes at least 30 min to make dinner, 30 min to clean up the mess, but sometimes less than 10 minutes to eat. and my time at the table is spent persuading Jack to eat what i’ve made and discouraging Emmitt from throwing everything off his tray. by the time everything is cleaned up i’m completely spent, with no energy left to savor the last hour with the kids. have you seen this product http://www.tabletopics.com/Kids-Edition-ToGo ? id order them if our kiddos were older

  2. did you enter the drawing for one of five free copies of Jessica’s cookbook? you can do that here: http://lifeasmom.com/2014/05/win-a-copy-of-not-your-mothers-make-ahead-and-freeze-cookbook.html

    Jessica also has a great food blog called Good, Cheap Eats. there are lots of freezer tips and recipes there.

    i love the book, but would recommend getting it from the library before you invest just to make sure it’s something you’re interested in…because it doesn’t really help with picky eaters and 1 year olds!

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