I absolutely love cooking and baking! It was something that I did as a kid with my mom & grandpa and something that I love to do with my kiddos now. It bring a sense of calmness and joy! Although we don’t get to do it as often as I would like, it still is something we try and fit in at least once a week- together as a family. Having little ones sometimes makes an easy 1 hour recipe (start to finish) take several hours of preparing, cooking and cleaning up. Not something we can do very often. Finding a way to bypass some of these steps, but still allowing my family the joy of cooking together, would be a huge time saver! In comes Dream Dinners….
Dream Dinners is the nation’s leading meal assembly service that has more than 100 locations nationwide. They promote keeping the family together, saving time, eating better and saving money- of course my favorite part. Each month Dream Dinners prepare recipes and ingredients for you to assemble and take home meals to freeze! No clean-up, just prepare your meal and head out the door! With an average serving costing around $4.25, our family of five could have a great meal for around $20!
Founders of Dream Dinners, Stephanie Allen and Tina Kuna with Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott, feel that family time is important and wrote a book to help families make dinner time an important role in our everyday lives. The Hour that Matters Most: The Surprising Power of the Family Meal is a great new book full of healthy ideas, recipes and meal planning to help re-engage your families at dinner time. Helpful tips on how to start a conversation and connect with your family as well as tips to just have fun.
Numerous studies have shown the clear benefits of family eating together at the dinner table – everything from a lower risk of diabetes in children, to higher performance scores among school aged children, and deeper feelings of family bonds and satisfaction. Though dinnertime is truly the most logical hour in a day to be proactive in gathering the family together, the authors don’t exclude the options of breakfast or 8 o’clock cookies and milk. Whatever it takes! The Hour that Matters Most: The Surprising Power of the Family Meal will teach readers how to reclaim important time in order to build relationships, draw closer to one another, and restore connectedness and peace in your home simply through mealtimes together.
My favorite part of this book has to be the step by step – how to start a Fix & Freeze Club! I have had on my to do list for over a year now to have a bulk cooking day. If you are not familiar with this idea, basically you pick a few recipes and buy items in bulk (preferably from your stockpile) and spend a day cooking 10-15 meals and then freezing them. This is a great way to have dinners ready in a very minimal amount of time (basically time to re-heat) on busy nights or when you know the hubby will have the kids to himself for dinner. But I never seem to actually pick a date and just do it! Something always comes up and I just don’t get it done! The Hour that Matters Most: The Surprising Power of the Family Meal gives you steps to start a club. A night of good conversation with a few good friends while you each prepare and cook meals for each of your families to take home and freeze! Doesn’t that sound like so much fun!
Now that I have added a new to do item on my list, I thought I would share with you one of the recipes I found in the book that is now apart of our family meal plan. I love using the slow cooker, it is a set and forget kind of meal planning for me! Here is a great recipe straight from the The Hour that Matters Most: The Surprising Power of the Family Meal book that I know you are just gonna love!
Slow Cooked BBQ Short Ribs
- 3lbs Boneless Country Style Beef Short Ribs
- 1/2 Chopped Onion
- 2 Tablespoons Oil
In a heavy skillet over high heat, add oil, onions and ribs, browning ribs by cooking 2-3 minutes per side.
Combine sauce ingredients in slow cooker:
- 1/4 cup vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/2 cup bbq sauce (any, your choice)
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 2 teaspoons salt
Add browned ribs and onions to slow cooker. Cook 6-8 hours (depending on your slow cooker). If you are pinched for time and/or do not have all the sauce ingredients, you can combine raw short ribs and entire bottle of bbq sauce in a slow cooker and cook.
Taken from Hour that Matters Most by Les and Leslie Parrott with Stephanie Allen and Tina Kuna. Copyright © 2011 by Les and Leslie Parrott and Dream Dinners. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.
Through the book, discover:
· How to overcome the time starved, working mom dilemma
· The secrets of a healthy home
· Ways to engage your family in meaningful conversation
· How to start a fix and freeze club
· The heart of great table talk and fun
· And much more!
· The Hour That Matters Most launched September 6, 2011
· For more information visit, www.thehourthatmattersmost.com
· Available for purchase on Amazon and Barnes & Noble The Hour that Matters Most: The Surprising Power of the Family Mealat $15.99 each