In the last six months, getting dinner on the table every night has become increasingly difficult for me. Juggling school, my work, three kids, church responsibilities, friends, dance and art lessons has meant that many nights, dinner time arrives and I feel a lot of stress about what in the world I’m going to make everyone (happily, everyone in the family likes pancakes).
But having family dinner is really important to me. I love that time together as a family for us to play “185” (a random pun game Bart learned in one of his MBA courses), talk about our days, run through the next day’s schedule, make sure everyone goes to bed with a full stomach, and finish off with snuggles on the couch while Bart does the dishes.
I want my girls to have good memories of nightly family dinners. I want that time with them and Bart. I don’t want it to be something that is causing me daily stress.
I don’t know that I’ve been so happy to see a piece of food. While they cooked, I chopped up some fruit, and steamed some vegetables and ten minutes later, everyone was sitting down to dinner together. It was delicious, quick, and I wasn’t stressed about it.
Last week, when I was at Frys, I picked up a few of the new Bertolli frozen entrees which are on sale for the lowest price right now and just having them in the freezer gave me so much peace of mind. I knew that if I didn’t have time to make dinner from scratch or if I was driving in at 5:45 p.m., we could still enjoy dinner as a family.
We tried the Chicken Parm Bakes this week, and it was so great that while they cooked, I could toss together a salad and make some garlic bread (my favorite, super simple recipe is below).
It was a terrific meal, and it was so nice all day to know that I didn’t have to stress about what I was going to make and if I’d remembered to defrost something.
Quick and Crispy Garlic Bread
- 1 loaf of French bread
- 4 tablespoons butter softened
- 2 garlic cloves very finely minced
- 1/8 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice your loaf of bread in half lengthwise.
In small bowl, mix together the butter, garlic, sugar, salt and pepper. Spread half of it on the cut top of one half of the loaf, then the other half of the butter mixture on the other half of the loaf.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the edges are browning and the buttered top is golden brown. Slice and serve warm.