Get Dinner on the Table – An Interview with 5 Food Bloggers

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Several 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 participate and they all agreed!  I’ll let them do the talking now.

Erin Chase at $5 Dinners:

I’m Erin Chase, also known as The $5 Dinner Mom. I’m a child of God, wife of an adorable, supportive and godly husband and mom to 2 precious little boys (almost 4 and 2) with another on the way.  Due Thanksgiving Day!

Do you always make a meal plan and stick to it? 

I make a monthly meal plan, as well as a weekly meal plan.  I stick to it about 90% of the time.  But don’t stress if I do something different!!!

On days when all the plans go out the window, what is your go-to meal?

My go-to meal is spaghetti or breakfast for dinner.  Something like scrambled eggs with toast and fruit.  Or pancakes with eggs and fruit.

Do you have picky eaters in your family and how do you handle that challenge?

Teaching kids to at least take 1 bite of a new food is important to us.  They can’t say they don’t like it if they haven’t tried it!  Since our boys were raised eating lots of fruits and vegetables, they really don’t know much different.  Start young, and bring them up eating what you want them to eat…and what you are eating.  No need to short order cook for toddlers and young kids!

What is your favorite crock pot meal for days when you’re gone all day and want to come home to dinner?

I love just about anything in the crockpot.  We eat a lot of beef and pork roasts, so I like to experiment with different sauces and flavors in the crockpot with the roasts!

Kristen at Dish and Dine and Culinary Snapshot:

My name is Kristen and I’m the 35 year old mom of 4 children. I have 1 son who is 7 and 3 daughters ages 5, 3 and a baby born May 11, 2009. I am a happily married and work from home as a freelance writer for various online and print publications. Besides my family, I am passionate about cooking, entertaining, photography, reading, and shopping.

Do you always make a meal plan and stick to it? 

I always have the intention of making a menu plan and sticking to it, but lately I haven’t been quite as consistent with sticking to is as I used to be. Instead of setting a set in stone menu plan in place I now write out 7-10 days worth of menus, shop for those ingredients, and then base what we are going to have more on time constraints and mood. Having the ingredients for the recipes on hand makes it simple to have dinner on the table, but I’m not “married” to having a certain dish on a certain night.
On days when all the plans go out the window, what is your go-to meal?

Our go-to meal is anything in a tortilla! When all else fails, I cook up a couple of chicken breasts, add some seasoning, cheese, black beans and veggies and make a wrap. My kids will eat just about anything if there is a tortilla involved!
Do you have picky eaters in your family and how do you handle that challenge?

I wouldn’t say my kids are picky eaters. I do have a three year old though who is just not interested in eating. It takes everything in my power to get her to sit thorugh an entire meal, and half the time she only takes one or two bites. If it is breakfast or lunch and she doesn’t eat, I make sure she knows that whatever is left on her plate is what is going to be her snack later in the day. Dinnertime, I try to throw in a couple of her favorite meals every week just so I can have the comfort of knowing that she has eaten at least one or two decent meals during the week. With her, I know if I just look at what she eats over time, it all balances out!
What is your favorite crock pot meal for days when you’re gone all day and want to come home to dinner?

This is one thing I need to use more… the crock pot. It is such a huge timesaver! My husbands family are beef farmers so we always get our beef from them and tend to get a large quantity of roasts. I like to throw a roast in the crock pot with some onions, potatoes, carrots and a can of Campbell’s French Onion Soup. I let it cook on low all day and by the time dinner rolls around, we have a delicious meal ready with little effort.

Katie Goodman at goodLife{eats}:

I’m a stay-at-home mom of two determined to make family meal time a priority while providing a variety of healthy and delicious food choices. My blog, goodLife {eats}, is about having a passion for tasty experiences and sharing those with the people you love. A mix of great recipes, family memories, and yummy photography is what I hope to share. I also enjoy writing about food for different freelance writing projects.

Do you always make a meal plan and stick to it? 

 
I feel so much more together when I do make a meal plan, but I can’t always stick to it with two little kids. Sometimes I’m really good about picking what we’re having for dinner and sticking to it. Other times I find it easier to choose a few meals that I plan to make that week and decided on what meal for what day as the week goes. That way if I have a particularly hectic day, I can pick the easiest meal. I at least like to have a general idea up front vs. winging it on a day-by-day basis.

On days when all the plans go out the window, what is your go-to meal?
During the summer Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes, Basil, and Mozzarella is my go to meal. We have tomatoes and basil growing in our garden and I like to keep Mozzarella on hand. It’s such a fast meal to prepare that really tastes delicious. These Zucchini Nachos are also really fast and great during the summer. Sandwiches and Paninis are also great for fast dinners.

Do you have picky eaters in your family and how do you handle that challenge?
Yes! My 4 1/2 year old is my picky eater. Take the pickiest eater you know and times that by 10. At this point I just cook for the rest of us. I give him choices between the different healthy & acceptable to me foods that he likes (i.e. yogurt or string cheese, oranges, apples, or grapes, etc.) to make a balanced meal for him. I still offer different foods, but I’ve given up on the daily battle because it makes meal time, which can be such a positive experience, really stressful.

What is your favorite crock pot meal for days when you’re gone all day and want to come home to dinner?
I clearly need help on this one, because after almost a year of food blogging, I don’t have a single crock pot recipe on my blog. I think that has to do with my love for fresh, homemade foods. I’m not a fan of the kind of recipes that tell you to take a can of cream of whatever and dump it in a crock pot with a., b., and c.

I do like to use my crock pot to cook chicken that will be shredded and used in a dish. I put boneless, skinless chicken breasts in with a cup or so of salsa, depending on how much chicken, seasonings (salt, pepper, cumin, cilantro if I have it, and garlic), and let it cook until the chicken falls apart. This is super easy and fast for anything that calls for shredded chicken, and works really well for burritos, quesadillas, enchiladas, or tacos. Or anything else that requires pre-cooked chicken, just change the seasonings based on what you’re making. Another plus? It cooks when you aren’t home and doesn’t require turning on the oven when it’s really hot.

Sherri at Everything in Moderation:

I’m kooky, optimistic, sensitive,love people, love to learn new things. I love to cook, ride on the back of Big AL’s Harley and anything to do with family.

Do you always make a meal plan and stick to it?
 I do make a meal plan, but I am flexible. Life can be crazy at times, and my plans aren’t always doable.
On days when all the plans go out the window, what is your go-to meal?

Pasta dishes.  They are usually quick and everyone likes them. One of my family’s favoirtes is  Bow -tie Pasta with Vodka Sauce. http://moderationrecipes.blogspot.com/2009/04/whats-for-dinner-bow-tie-pasta-with.html
Do you have picky eaters in your family and how do you handle that challenge?
 My sons are grown and living on their own, but when they were younger, I made them taste a food at least once, but wouldn’t make them take another bite if they didn’t like it. I cooked one meal  (not a seperate meal for the picky one of the day).  One son did not like casseroles, so when I would make one, I just seperated his food when I put it on his plate (separate the chicken, rice and brocolli).  He would eat it that way, just not all mixed together. I love cooking with onions, and  one son didn’t like them.  So rather than leaving onions out of a recipe, I would use dried onion flakes and he never knew they were in there! It’s all about smoke and mirrors.
What is your favorite crock pot meal for days when you’re gone all day and want to come home to dinner?
My favorite is my award winning Italian beef. Delicious, simple, and there are several recipes you can make from the leftovers. http://moderationrecipes.blogspot.com/2009/02/award-winning-italian-beef-smokin-pot.html

Kim at The Ungourmet:

Kim from the Ungourmet is a busy wife and mother of two. She enjoys cooking easy meals with healthy and simple to find ingredients. She also enjoys baking yummy breads, muffins, and desserts for her family. Her cooking philosophy is, “It doesn’t have to be gourmet to taste delicious!”.

Do you always make a meal plan and stick to it?

I usually don’t make a formal meal plan for the week. I will have a few meals in mind that I would like to serve and then have my staples on hand so that I’m able to mix and match to create different meals.
On days when all the plans go out the window, what is your go-to meal?
Mexican food is a favorite at my house so when we don’t know what to have I will usually go for burritos or soft tacos with beans and/or rice.

Do you have picky eaters in your family and how do you handle that challenge?

My son is very picky when it comes to meal time. The best solution I have found is to separate out the ingredients for my son before combining them for a recipe. For instance, if we are having a pasta dish with meat, veggies, and spices, I will save a bit of the plain meat, plain pasta and veggies for him. He doesn’t have to eat all of the spices and he can eat each ingredient by itself or combine it if he wants to. This seems to work really well for us.

 What is your favorite crock pot meal for days when you’re gone all day and want to come home to dinner?
We have been eating pulled pork from the crock pot quite a bit lately. I just put it with some rice, potatoes, or pasta and some veggies and we are ready to eat in no time.

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. Thank you for featuring me today. I enjoyed reading the others who were featured- we seem to have many similarities!

  2. Wonderful ideas! I enjoyed learning more about my fellow bloggers.

  3. Such a fun post – as a one day a week host of “Tasty Tuesday” food blogger, i think I am the only one who struggles with really sticking to my meal plan, but LOVE the crock pot. :)

  4. It was so much fun doing this and even more fun reading everyones responses :) Great interviews.

  5. Thanks for the interview opportunity, Tiffany! It was great to read all the responses and get new ideas.

  6. Thank you for doing this post. It was really neat to see “inside” the minds and kitchens of people who blog about food. And, it gave me some good ideas for “go-to” meals.

  7. It was fun being a part of this post ! Thank you for asking me!

    It’s nice to get an idea of how other families get dinner together for their busy weeks!

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