You may have plenty of easy family dinner recipes up your sleeve, but what do you use to make them? Sure, you may already have your trusty tongs, your Dutch oven, and a great saute pan, but there are plenty of other kitchen tools that can help you churn out dinner in a flash. Here are some kitchen tools that could make dinner and dessert a whole lot less stressful:
- Panini Press: The panini press can cook plenty of different easy dinner recipes, from chicken breast to vegetables. Clearly, the panini-maker’s strong suit is grilling sandwiches to perfection. If you’re in the mood for a low maintenance dinner, simply turn on your panini press, slice a baguette and some turkey, add cheese, and press, for a delightfully warm sandwich. You can also use your panini press for dozens of other dishes, including grilled chicken, vegetables, or even pancakes (if you invest in a griddle attachment). Make a dessert panini with hazelnut spread, bananas, and marshmallows on white bread for a wonderfully filling treat.
- Food Processor: A powerful food processor can help you blend soups, chop veggies, make smoothies, whir breadcrumbs, or blend homemade ice cream. Best of all, it’s more compact than a huge blender, so it doesn’t take up much counter space.
- Salad Spinner: Once you use a salad spinner, you’ll never go back. Spinners help you wash your greens and dry them to perfection, without wilting the leaves. Dry, yet clean, lettuce leaves are necessary if you want your vinaigrette to cling beautifully to the greenery.
- Slow Cooker: A slow cooker is a must-have for any busy mom or pop. Simply throw your contents into the crock pot and let the magic happen on its own. Invest in a slow cooker with a timer, so that you don’t have to watch your soup or stew at all.
- Mixer: Any cook or baker knows that you can’t live without a mixer. Make pie crust, knead bread dough, mix chocolate chip cookie dough, make frosting, or make mashed potatoes with this electric wonder.
- Cookie scoops: Cookie scoops aren’t just for scoopin’ dough on to your cookie sheet. This kitchen tool is great for serving guacamole, making fried cheese balls, or simply serving up a beautiful scoop of ice cream.
Next time you’re perusing the cooking aisle of the grocery store, make sure you keep your eyes out for these six great kitchen tools. Even if you already have the kitchen essentials, you can always use more help from great kitchen utensils. Each one of these tools will help you prepare easy family dinner recipes in no time.
Everyone loves a dish that integrates colorful and varied foods together for a beautiful presentation. However, researchers at Cornell University have also dictated that kids prefer a colorful meal, one with about seven different foods and six different colors! No wonder they love their Fruit Loops. Of course, there is (generally) a nutritional component to serving colorful dishes. The more colors you (and your children) eat, the more nutrients you’re taking in. Here are some family dinner ideas that will have your children licking their plates:
- Stews: Soups and stews give you the opportunity to implement a vast variety of vegetables and flavors in just one bowl. Try cooking up a pork-based stew with a tomato and chicken stock base. Then, add mushrooms, red onion, carrots, and butternut squash, with greens like cilantro and green onions as a garnish.
- Paella: Paella is the ultimate colorful Spanish dish. Garnished with precious saffron, this cast ironed rice dish has been making mouths water for centuries. Make your paella with chicken or seafood (depending on your kids’ tastes) and add some color with peas, tomato, paprika, green beans, and bell peppers.
- Breakfast hash: Take all your leftovers and throw them in the pan for a hearty breakfast hash. Served with either sweet potatoes or regular potatoes as a base, add white and yellow cheeses, bell peppers of different colors, green onions, turkey bacon, eggs, tomato, and black pepper for the ultimate breakfast treat.
- Pizza: Pizza is easy to make and personalize, giving you a blank canvas for any assortment of colors. Bake a pizza with bacon, artichoke, basil leaves, and onions, for a red, green, and yellow dish.
- Salads: While most children recoil at leafy greens, a salad with tons of flavors and colors may change their minds. A salad with cucumber, red onion, pinto beans, avocado, chicken, dried cranberries, and a lime-vinaigrette could make any family member clean their plate, presenting greens, reds, yellows, and pinks all in one dish.
We’re working up an appetite just thinking up all these family dinner ideas! Make your kids’ dinner menus more appetizing by implementing more color and variety into your meals.
We always see cookbooks with names like “Easy Recipes” or “Simple Cooking.” What makes a recipe easy, exactly? Is there a recipe for making an easy recipe? The truth is, it’s not only time but the amount of ingredients that go into a meal that makes the meal “easy” or “simple” to prepare and serve. Not only can you make a meal with a small amount of items in the pantry, but you don’t have to juggle scores of ingredients, either. At least that’s what Claire Robinson of the show “5 Ingredient Fix” says, explaining, “People get angry when they see 27 ingredients in a recipe and they’re trying to learn to cook,” the TV chef says. “I don’t have 27 ingredients in my kitchen right now and I’m a chef!” Instead of juggling huge numbers of ingredients, minimize the amount of ingredients you use in each meal to maximize your cooking time.
Scrumptious, Simple Dinners
You can easily make a delicious dinner for you and your family with five ingredients or less. Just take a glimpse at these six recipes:
- Crock pot recipes: If you don’t have a crock pot, get one! This inexpensive cooking tool can save you tons of time and the energy it takes to hover over a stove, boil water, cut and trim, etc. Then, you can create simple crock pot dishes with less than 5 ingredients, like this 4 ingredient crockpot chicken recipe
- Baked Herbed Salmon with Summer Squash: All it takes is a two pound salmon, sage leaves, cayenne pepper, and summer squash with a squeeze of lemon to make a refreshingly good easy baked herbed salmon dinner.
- Burgers: Burgers are satisfying and easy, especially if you like spending time out by the grill. All you need is lean ground beef, chipotle chile pepper, monterey jack cheese, hamburger buns, and salsa for an irresistible southern burger.
- Brisket sliders: Get a BBQ spice blend, ground coffee, brown sugar, black pepper, and dinner rolls and have a BBQ on a hot summer day. The bitterness of coffee mixed with the sweet brown sugar combines to make the perfect BBQ rub.
- Mac n’ Cheese: Everyone loves mac n’ cheese and all you need to make this dish is just five ingredients: macaroni, dijon mustard, onion, sour cream, cheese. That’s one gourmet serving of easy mac n cheese.
- Sausage and Cheese Casserole: With a little bit of creativity, you can cook a great casserole with only five ingredients. Try a sausage and cheese casserole with ground pork sausage, cheddar cheese, white bread, eggs, and milk for an easy dinner recipe that the whole family will enjoy.
See? Whipping up delicious, easy dinner recipes for your family is a piece of cake and only takes about 5 ingredients. Next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, try and prepare dinner with 5 ingredients to minimize your stress in the kitchen.