Get Dinner on the Table – How Five Food Bloggers Do It

Getting dinner on the table for the family every night can be a tough job. I decided to interview five of my favorite food bloggers to see how they accomplish the task.

Stephanie O’dea – Stephanie has two blogs; A Year of Crockpotting and Totally Together Journal. Her Crockpot blog has become a staple for many of us. She took on the insane challenge of using the crockpot each day last year and she lived to tell about it. Totally Together Journal is a new blog that will help you get yourself together. Stephanie also has a planner coming out in May called Totally Together: An Organizational Journal for the Busy Household. It is available on pre-order from Amazon now.

What is your favorite go-to meal when:It’s 4pm, dinner is at 6pm. You haven’t started anything and have no plan. You have 20 minutes to prep dinner, not including any baking time.

“Fried rice/quinoa. Our basic meal plan includes steamed brown or white rice and quinoa as side staples, which leaves me with a few tupperwares of leftover rice by the end of the week. I like to throw it into a frying pan with some butter and olive oil, a bit of soy and worcestershire sauce and whatever leftover meat we have in the fridge. I also include an egg or two for some added protein, and a handful of frozen vegetables (peas, corn).”

It’s 6pm and everyone wants to eat now! You haven’t done any prep work and have no menu planned.

“Spaghetti, or plain pasta with butter and parmesan cheese. If the kids are absolutely DYING to eat and there isn’t time to boil water for pasta, I’ll get them a quesadilla on a brown rice tortilla or corn tortilla—I’ll microwave it. We’ve also done nachos for dinner, or chips and hummus with some fresh fruit. We seem to always have that stuff in the house.”

You’ll be coming in from a long day and want something cooking in the crockpot.

“Our hands-down go-to Crock-Pot meal is still Taco Soup. I’ve made a bazillion (or so it seems!) soups/stews/beany dishes in the crock, but the kids will hop up and down and clap when they know that I’ve prepared Taco Soup. We serve it with some shredded Cheddar and dollop of sour cream. http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2008/02/original-taco-soup-crockpot-recipe.html

TinaMommy’s Kitchen Tina shares fantastic recipes on her site for all kinds of comfort food, especially southern comfort food. I crave a glass of ice tea everytime I visit her blog! She also loves all things Paula Deen. You can’t go wrong with all of that!

What is your favorite go-to meal when: It’s 4pm, dinner is at 6pm. You haven’t started anything and have no plan. You have 20 minutes to prep dinner, not including any baking time.

“It would come down to two choices. One my sisters Quick Taco Salad. It is a recipe that I can just toss together in a pinch and please everyone.

Sissy’s Taco Salad

Or if I want to prepare a hot meal in a flash, then i would go for a good creamy dreamy casserole, like Mom’s Creamy Chicken Noodle Bake. Add some hot crusty french bread and maybe a salad and thats it.
Mom’s Creamy Chicken Noodle Bake

It’s 6pm and everyone wants to eat now! You haven’t done any prep work and have no menu planned.

“Corn dogs are a meal I know I can get on the table in a flash. I always have the ingredients on hand, not to mention they are so kid friendly in our house. If no one wants to wait for dinner I can just fry them up and dish them out one at a time. Add some fries and your quick meal is ready to go.
Homemade Corny Dogs

You’ll be coming in from a long day and want something cooking in the crockpot.

“My choice of meals would be a good old crock pot of hot homemade soup. There is nothing better.
Crock Pot Vegetable Soup

Katherine AucoinSmoky Mountain Cafe Katherine is originally from New Orleans, but now lives in Tennessee. Her recipes are full of flavor!

What is your favorite go-to meal when:

It’s 4pm, dinner is at 6pm. You haven’t started anything and have no plan. You have 20 minutes to prep dinner, not including any baking time.

“That’s an easy one, Spaghetti and meatballs Everyone loves it, it’s quick and easy and I always have 2 jars of spaghetti sauce in the pantry and cooked meatballs in the freezer. If I don’t have meatball, I will have ground beef or turkey in the freezer that I can thaw in a jiffy in the microwave. ”

It’s 6pm and everyone wants to eat now! You haven’t done any prep work and have no menu planned.

“I throw cookies or chips at them until I can think. Seriously, we will heat up soup and make grilled cheese sandwiches or make pancakes, eggs and bacon or ham.”

You’ll be coming in from a long day and want something cooking in the crockpot.

“This is a toughie. There are so many meals I love from the crock pot. If I know I am going to have a rough day which I don’t always know, I will chop up onions, bell pepper and garlic the night before and the next morning throw the chopped veggies in the crock pot and mix up an envelope of brown gravy mix with two cups of beef stock and pour that in the crock pot. Add 1 bay leaf, 2 tablespoons of fresh basil or 1 tablespoon of dried, 2 tablespoons of Lea & Perrins, black pepper…NO salt at this point, and throw the roast in the crock pot frozen! Yes ma’am, frozen. Cook on low and by 5:00 PM, it will be so tender and juicy! Add your salt at this point and adjust your seasonings. All that’s left to do is whip up some mashed potatoes or rice and a veggie and dinner is done!”

Laura - Real Mom Kitchen Laura is a mom of three who has always loved to cook. She also just celebrated her blogoversary. Congratulations, Laura!

What is your favorite go-to meal when:

It’s 4pm, dinner is at 6pm. You haven’t started anything and have no plan. You have 20 minutes to prep dinner, not including any baking time.

Easy Pasta Bake with Easy Cheesy Rolls This meal is a sinch. Get your pasta boiling and while that boils, put together the cheesy rolls. When the pasta is done cooking, you mix it with the sauce and dry italian dressing and top with cheese. Toss that in the oven for 15 minutes. When the pasta dish is done, toss the rolls in the oven at 375 for 10 min. You have a very simple and tasty Italian dinner. You can even add some bagged salad mix and dressing on the side.

It’s 6pm and everyone wants to eat now! You haven’t done any prep work and have no menu planned.

I would probably go to tacos for this situation. It’s really simple to brown some meat up, season it and microwave some flour totillas. And I always have pre-shredded cheese, salsa, and sour cream in my fridge. I have several ideas of things to mix up you regular tacos at this linkhttp://realmomkitchen.blogspot.com/2009/01/jacketed-tacos.html

You’ll be coming in from a long day and want something cooking in the crockpot.

I absolutely love my crock pot I use it all the time. If I had to choose just one recipe I would pick the recipe I have for Slow Cooker Italian Beef Sandwiches. I have some great soup recipe, but right now really isn’t the season for soup. These sandwiches are so tasty. You could serve them with chips and some fresh fruit or a great tossed salad.

Julie - The Sporadic Cook Julie is a busy mom with a fantastic sense of humor. She also has a husband who cooks and guest posts on her blog.

What is your favorite go-to meal when:

It’s 4pm, dinner is at 6pm. You haven’t started anything and have no plan. You have 20 minutes to prep dinner, not including any baking time.

If I only have 20 minutes to prepare, I’m gonna say screw it…we’re having PB&J.

It’s 6pm and everyone wants to eat now! You haven’t done any prep work and have no menu planned.

If everyone wants to eat now, I give them some popcorn to munch on, then make spaghetti.

You’ll be coming in from a long day and want something cooking in the crockpot.

My favorite crock pot meal is to throw a whole chicken in on top of some onion slices; rub it with a concoction of seasonings. Serve it with some steamed rice…YUMMY!

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Comments

  1. Katherine Aucoin says:

    I really enjoyed reading this. You did a fantsatic job getting a spectrum of ideas for your readers!

  2. What a great variety! Finding a good go-to meal is great when we are running from various activities with the kids. fast food is way too expensive!

  3. I definitely love crockpot meals!

    And spagetti-yup, that’s our go-to meal too!

  4. Moderate Sherri says:

    Great interviews, I’ll have to go check out their sites. Recipes sound yummy!

  5. Noah's Mommy says:

    Wow…some amazing blogs that I have never heard of….I’ve already found some fabulous recipes…thanks

  6. Crockpot Lady says:

    Tiffany, thank you so much for including me in your line-up!
    –steph

  7. What a great post! What a great idea :P

  8. What a fun, fun post.. terrific idea.

  9. Mommy's Kitchen says:

    Tiffany thank you so much for including me as one of your favorite fives. ~grins~ I had so much fun. I Linked this post on my site today. I have to go check out the other sites meals they all sound so good.

  10. I loved this! So many good cooks around the web…

  11. The Blonde Duck says:

    I loved this post! It gave me so many ideas and new blogs to check out!

  12. That was fun…and thanks for introducing me to some new blogs to drool over :)

  13. Thanks for adding me to your group. I hope your readers find some helpful recipes.

  14. Wow. I’m officially hungry. Loved this post. It took me 20 minutes just to keep checking out all the recipes. Thanks so much for the tips. I’ll be checking out the rest of your site soon.

    Happy SITS day. :)

  15. Published interview with Stephanie offering ‘Slow Cooker’ starter tips today titled Saving without Skimping on Taste, Slow Cooker Therapy Session with Stephanie O’Dea on ‘Serge the Concierge’
    Enjoy!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] months ago, I interviewed 5 food bloggers about how they get dinner on the table.  It was such a fun post, I decided it was time to do it again.  I asked five bloggers to [...]

  2. [...] the interest of full discloser, I don’t know any of these people personally (well, I have interviewed Stephanie O’dea here on Eat at Home, and I do follow Rea Drummond and Clara on twitter – yeah, not quite like [...]

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