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Our adaptations of the Family Dinner + Recipe

I was introduced to The Family Dinner book last year by my sister and Ali. I devoured the book – literally inhaled it in my first sitting. I have since probably read it 5 times. I’m passionate about spending time with my children and husband, knowing what is going on in their lives, and food. So this book was right up my alley.

I worked tirelessly trying to figure out a regular dinnertime schedule but became frustrated. Beyond frustrated. Then finally the guilt settled in and I felt like the worst mother in the world. You see, our schedule is different due to 2 things, my work schedule and the kid’s swimming/baseball schedules. (more…)

A Taste of Summer: Strawberry Spinach Salad

Summer is here. For my family that means visits to the water park, indoor trampoline parks, baseball, and fruit salads. It also means embracing (or tolerating) 100+ degree temperatures. So I try to seek in as many healthy and cool recipes that I can find to feed our family of 6.

I love this salad. I continuously modify this recipe and add additional ingredients depending what fruits are in seasons or on sale. Due to the addition of a small amount of sugar, my kids are willing to eat their fruits and vegetables without a fuss.
 

 
This recipe is also perfect for me as a working mom or on days where I know our schedule might be a tad chaotic. I make the dressing and wash and cut the fruit and spinach the night before. Assembly takes less than 30 seconds! I often pair this with grilled chicken and baked potatoes, sweet potatoes, or rice pilaf. Perfect for a summer night.

Strawberry Spinach Salad

In a food processor mix:

1/2 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
1 Tablespoon poppy seeds
1 1/2 teaspoon minced onion
1/4 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

Pour over 1 bunch fresh spinach and 1 pint sliced strawberries.

Optional: I used fresh pineapple and blueberries in this particular batch. I also have used nectarines, kiwi, mango, sliced grilled chicken, boiled egg slices, and fresh bacon bits.

What is your simple, go to summer meal?

Blessings sweet friends,

Jenny

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List – Cake Balls with the Kids (Special Holiday Edition)

Today in our household we are celebrating a national holiday…

After today, March 28th will forevermore be known as “No More Meyerson Children Day”!

That’s right, poor Jeff is having a little procedure this morning. So if you know Jeff and I personally, you know that we love to laugh. We love to belly laugh, love slapstick movies, and love witty people.

So I had to go buy frozen peas and boxer briefs for Jeff as that was suggested on the pre-procedure form. But I was determined to make Jeff something fun for after the procedure and for something to take to his urologist. We want to make sure that Jeff butters up his urologist since he is working on some prime equipment.

So what better gift for Jeff and Mr. Urologist than some balls of course. Cake balls to be precise.  So I let the kids make these and thus they look a little bit more like cake blobs than cake balls, but we laughed a lot and they taste great!

 

 

It’s been on my life list to make cake balls and to teach the kids how to make them. Know that when you let the kids make them, expect a bigger mess, imperfection,  and lots of smack talking like “My balls look better than yours!”
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Weekend Love

 

I woke up to a gorgeous Sunday morning and wanted to share some of what I’m dreaming about and loving right now.

I just love photobooths. I’m dreaming of owning one like this in my living room. It’ll happen. This wall of photostrips above is from one of my favorite stores, Smeeks, an old fashioned candy store. Doesn’t this wall just make you smile? I would love to take a photostrip of every family that comes to dinner. Wouldn’t that be an amazing minibook?

I just joined the instagram party. I know… where have I been, right? Was appreciative of this post about using Instagram by Becky Higgins. What are your favorite filters? Be sure to share your username in the comments so I can follow you. PS- I don’t even follow anyone yet…Why?…Because I don’t know how. :)

If you want inspiration regarding exercise and are feeling discouraged, read this.

If you want to laugh until you pee your pants, read this from Tyler at Blue Lily Photo.

Loving, loving this post from one of my internet favorite friends, Nicole Reaves. Isn’t that such a beautiful glimpse into her life?

Just love that my high school friend, John married this girl. I love the passion she has for her health, her 2 children, and John.

Continue to love my sister’s No Filter Friday posts. My niece Skylar has autism and often lacks a filter, and thus her brutal honesty is often refreshing. Check out her latest post here.

Budgeting to buy this in the next month. My friend, MaryAnn uses this to edit her photos…amazing.

Do you have a signature on your text messages? I had never seen them until I read this post.

So inspired by both Liz and Katie, food blogger extraordinaires but dedicated to running and crossfit. Is it wrong to read about them working out while eating a cupcake?
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39 List – Have 52 families over for dinner update (Host a pizza party)

I used to be the most hospitable person I knew. I had people over to my house for dinner 3-4 nights a week. I baked a new dessert every night. I always tried new recipes, became excited to clean my house, and treasured catching up with people and what was happening in their lives.

I recently ran into a friend who knew me at that period in my life and said to my daughter, “Your mom is the best cook and entertainer. Don’t you just love that?” Well thank goodness my daughter just nodded and smiled. And of course she brought it up to me in the car, 2 days before my 38th birthday, “Mom, Can you be like that again? It sounds like you were really good at it and people loved it. And I could tell by your smile, when that lady was talking, that it made you really happy.” Leave it to a child to convict you of what you know is right.

I lost my way. I became consumed with an attitude of discontentment and got lost in the busy-ness of life. I was concerned that people would think my house was too small, that my counter tops were out of date, and that I didn’t have the pretty dishes that I really wanted. Then with the financial hardship of cancer, the discontentment was off the charts. What I really lost though was my gift of hospitality and more importantly, the gift of relationship. What a tremendous gift I lost.

Then once we were building our dream home, I would constantly say,

“When we get into the new home, we will have people over”…

“When we get a bigger kitchen and kitchen table, we will have everyone over”…

“When I lose weight and feel better about myself, we will have so and so over”…

Well the wait is over. We lost our dream house. We are still in our less than 1500 square foot house and I’m not waiting anymore. So on my 39 list, I want to host 52 different families over for dinner. I have a few criteria for my dinners:

I want to try different recipes.

I want to invite different families over – include the kids, mix couples that don’t necessarily know each other, and include all. (For example, I’m going to ask my UPS man and his family over for dinner. I met his wife in the bagel store and thought she was darling. So the man in brown is probably coming over for dinner! :) )

I want to have dessert. Sometimes first. 

I want to be focused on building relationships with real people. No frills. No petty talk. Real, genuine people living life together and supporting each other during the good and bad times. I love REAL, AUTHENTIC people. I don’t have time in my life for any others.



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List – Make homemade donuts with the kids

I was a competitive swimmer and used to swim twice a day. My mom woke up every morning at 4 AM to make me scrambled eggs and 2 pieces of toast before the carpool would arrive at 4:20. Mom did this for me every morning Monday through Friday. Dedication. It still amazes me.

But every Saturday morning my dad bought us cinnamon rolls. Julie and I woke up every Saturday to an impending sugar rush, and our mom got a little more shut eye. It is a wonderful memory.

Fast forward 25 years later and my kids love donuts. Perhaps it is genetic?

I have always wanted to learn how to make donuts and this past month I bought my first deep fryer. I originally bought the fryer to make donuts for Hanukah. My mother-in-law told me that jelly filled donuts are often enjoyed in Israel during Hanukah. So I’ve decided to adopt that tradition for our donut loving family.

Today the kids and I made 2 types of donuts – vanilla glazed donuts and devil’s food donuts with chocolate glaze. The recipes came from this cookbook by Elinor Klivans. And if you don’t like the recipes (don’t worry, you will), then the pictures are pretty enough to be left out on a coffee table.

 

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Homemade Jam- Strawberry, Raspberry, and Blackberry

 

One of the simpler things on my life list is to make homemade jam. I know you are thinking… this is on your life list? And to state simply…yes. Yes it is. And when I finished this item, I was pretty proud with how it turned out. The other exciting thing is that this item was on my sister Julie’s list too. And so we decided to tackle this project together. And I’m so glad we did. Actually I suggest you have an extra set of hands for the first time you make this yummy goodness in a jar.

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Happy 4th Feast

 

Happy 4th of July! Our family is enjoying a time away with family in Albuquerque, NM. Last night, we celebrated early with a yummy feast. One of my items on my list is to celebrate holidays to the fullest and introduce my kids to the great traditions that I was blessed to be exposed to. The feast didn’t disappoint.

 

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Kiwi Strawberry Creamsicles

Does anyone remember Kool-Aid popsicles made from the old Tupperware popsicle molds? My favorite was anything red. No shocker as I love red anything. Mom made every flavor of Kool-Aid and she even made Tang popsicles. Yummy.

Fast forward and now I am the popsicle maker. Well I’ve noticed that we have had some trends in the baking world from cupcakes to macarons to cake pops and now popsicles. I love these trends. Everyone of them. None of them will be going out of style for me anytime soon.

So I saw this beautiful recipe for Kiwi Orange Creamsicles over on the Desserts for Breakfast blog. I showed them to my kids and Emily stated, “It needs something red.” A little girl after my own heart. So I decided to switch out the orange juice for a strawberry puree.

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  • 52 Cupcakes

  • Project Life

  • 39 Before I am 39

  • Jeff's Story