2012 25/10

Letting life get out of the way of dinner

I consider myself pretty lucky because our weekdays are not as crazy busy as some of yours. We have not entered the world of after school activities or sports, although my girls are chomping at the bit to get back in to gymnastics.  And yet, I still find that we are busy and getting dinner on the table — a dinner that I actually make and not just order in — can be a challenge!

On an average day, we are home from school by 4pm. Then we have about a half hour to an hour of going through school papers, hearing about school, and homework/reading. Even with all that, I shouldn’t have a problem getting a home cooked (or semi-home cooked) meal on the table for dinner. But 5:45 or 6pm rolls around and I’m staring blankly at my kitchen. How did dinner NOT magically appear?

After realizing the ‘Dinner Fairy’ was not going to magically make a delicious and nutritious meal appear, I started looking at what I could do to make dinner time a little easier.

Step 1: What is it that my family will eat & is easy to make?

My kids have a very simple palate and, like most kids, love pasta! The great thing about pasta is that it is relatively easy to make, which leaves me more time to be with them and less time cooking.

 

Step 2: Keeping it new and nutritious.

While my kids would be happy eating traditional spaghetti and mac & cheese on rotation throughout the week, I want them to branch out — get more variety in their diet, try new foods, eat nutritiously balanced meals.

This is where I’m loving “The Modern Family Cookbook“.

The Modern Family Cookbook” is a compilation of 10 delicious meals for the time-pressed family. From Whole Grain Penne with Cabbage & Mushrooms to Oven-Ready Lasagne with Marinara Sauce, Ground Beef, & Bechamel, all of these meals are ones that you can prepare and cook in under an hour. Actually, most of these meals are prepped & cooked in 30 minutes or less!

That is an amazing time saver for busy moms!!! Especially in a world where “88% of parents are reliant upon multi-tasking each day and more than half say their life is more hectic now than a year ago”!

I’m so looking forward to integrating some of these easy pasta meals into our weekly meal plan. This week, we enjoyed the tasty Three Cheese Tortellini in Sage Brown Butter Sauce!

Using Brailla’s Three Cheese Tortellini not only made making this dish so super easy, but it was delicious, too!

The girls thought it was pretty good. I think they would really like it with a cheesier sauce. And then this monster…

He ate four bowls of Three Cheese Tortellini!!! I think it’s safe to say he likes it!

Now, in honor of today’s World Pasta Day, I’m challenging you to try one of these fabulous pasta dishes from “The Modern Family Cookbook“! And then, with the extra time I just gave you {you’re welcome}, I want you to head over to the Barilla Facebook Page where you can help Barilla donate to Feeding America and receive a download of the cookbook and a coupon (while supplies last)! Look at that — in under an hour you not only fed your family, but others in need!!! 

Also, I’d love to hear what pasta dish you made! Share with me what you thoughts or any little personal touches you added!

I participated in a campaign on behalf of  Mom Central Consulting for Barilla. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank-you for participating. All opinions are my own.

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