Saturday, January 7, 2012

family mealtime, my e-mealz binder & favorite cookbooks

Family mealtime is a big deal around here. The table is set and food is served with everyone pitching in. And we've been doing this pretty much daily for the last several months.

It's become a ritual, something we all look forward to - not just for the meal itself. Conversation centers around a game called "HIGH/LOW" where each person takes turns sharing a high and low point from their day. We have also recently added a bonus question each night from THIS tub of fun. (Similar questions are available HERE and HERE as well.)

And our 11-year old and 14-year old boys willingly share. [A miracle because hearing anything about their day was a rare occurrence before.] It has opened the door to some cool discussions and has allowed us to connect more deeply as a family.

My monthly subscription to E-Mealz has played an integral part in facilitating the family meal (I wrote about it HERE in an earlier post), totally simplifying what was once so overwhelming to me. I print up my menu/grocery list each week and tuck both into a 3-ring binder for easy reference. If you're an E-Mealz subscriber, be on the lookout for free recipes on both the website and blog (I add those to the binder as well).

e-mealz binder

Not every meal served in our home comes from E-Mealz. I'm still a teeny bit afraid of seafood (though I am becoming much more adventurous) and will occasionally sub out a meal with either an E-Mealz repeat or one from a favorite cookbook. Which is easy to do with a shopping list that is broken down like this:

grocery list

The meals are numbered so you can easily remove unnecessary items. Piece of cake!

cookbook stack

Perhaps the dinner hour is CRAZY in your household with everyone off and running in different directions. How about starting with one night a week? Or if dinner doesn't work, perhaps breakfast? If you're just not feeling it and need a little more inspiration, click HERE and HERE and HERE to find all sorts of compelling reasons to be more intentional about family mealtime. I promise you won't regret it!!!

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