40 Meal Prep Recipe Ideas & Tips for Better Weeknight Dinners—& Lunches
40 Meal Prep Recipe Ideas & Tips for Better Weeknight Dinners—& Lunches
40 Meal Prep Recipe Ideas & Tips for Better Weeknight Dinners—& Lunches
40 Meal Prep Recipe Ideas & Tips for Better Weeknight Dinners—& Lunches

I don’t love to admit it, but before I joined the Food52 team, I was not a world-champion meal planner. I spent five years in an office where “lunch hour” meant: “pop out for quick takeaway.” And “weeknight dinner” meant: “the fantasy of an alternate universe where people leave work before 8:30 p.m.”

Accordingly, I struggled to get my act together when I first crossed the threshold of Food52 HQ. But, it turned out, all I had to do was look around. My new colleagues were like the Olympic Varsity All-Star Meal Planning team. (Is it too clear from that description that I’ve never watched sports?) They even wrote a book on it.

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* This article was originally published here

keeping a clean house with kids text

As we navigate the new normal of having our kids home all.the.time. we must adjust our systems and rhythms for tidying up as well. Keeping a clean house with kids around is no small task. I know I’m not the only one who feels like for every one toy, crumb, or misplaced item I pick up two are placed in its spot. Here are some of my tips for minimizing the daily mess and cleaning as I go.

5 Tips For Keeping A Clean House With Kids

1 // Teach them to pick up as they go

One of my house rules is that we must tidy up one room before we move to another. If we’ve been playing in the living room, we have to straighten it up before moving to the basement. Occasionally we leave toys set up (like our trains) if it’s something elaborate, but all small pieces must be picked up. I believe that modeling is the best tool here. This might take 10 years but every bit helps. I always offer to help the kids clean up their toys when they’re finished playing, but I don’t do it all for them. We sing the “clean up clean up” song as we do it, and I do think that helps Birch understand what’s going on. I’ve noticed he will tidy up a batch of toys (or tupperware!) after he’s splayed it all out on the floor. Mazen knows the only rule for building a fort is that he has to put the couch back together before the day is done, and he’s old enough now to do it by himself. 

2 // Have great storage bins and toy zones in your house

This post elaborates on our toy zones. As with any organization project, you must have more storage space than you do things. If you have too many things, you either have to donate some or buy more space! I try not to have our toy bins overflow. Toys do get moved from one zone or room to another, and when things start to overflow, I thin them out and tuck some of the toys away in the boys’ closets. I try to do some toy rotation too, to increase excitement when something “new” comes back out. As I mentioned above, we always pick up one zone before moving to the next. I LOVE these bins from Amazon – they come in a bunch of different designs and colors. They have held up well, and are lightweight enough that they can easily be moved. 

3 // Don’t let them carry around food

The number one way to have a disgustingly dirty house is to let kids wander around with sticky, buttery hands and drip food all over. I have a firm rule that my kids sit down while they eat. Occasionally I break my own rule and will let Birch have a dry food like cereal in a cup and I will find Cheerios for weeks. It only takes one grease stain on the couch to ruin it forever. Despite the rule, Mazen has ruined the arm of our couch closed to the dining room table. It killlllls me. I try to contain the grease as well as I can. 

4 // Get a cordless vacuum

Remember Dustbusters?! The first generation of cordless vacuums. When I think of the sound of my childhood, I can see my mom on her hands and knees dustbusting the house. Mom used to dust bust crumbs all.the.time. We are lucky cordless has evolved to high-power vacuums that you can stand up to usse. The Dyson Cordless Absolute vacuum I have will give you total sticker shock, but it gets used multiple times a day, everyday. Whether it’s crumbs under the high chair or grass tracked in from Mazen and Gus, there is always something to suck up. I love how fast it is to bring out, and I can do my whole main floor in about 3 minutes.

5 // Define some systems so you don’t get behind

Here are some of mine:

  • We run the dishwasher nearly every evening, and emptying it is the first thing I do when I get up while Birch is in his high chair having breakfast
  • We do one load of laundry per person per week. I usually don’t mix people’s clothes because it makes sorting and putting away much faster.
  • The kitchen counters and floors get wiped/vacuumed at the very least each evening before we close the kitchen and start the dishwasher. Usually this vacuum involves our whole kitchen + living area. The bedrooms and family room don’t track in that much floor dirt so we do those much less often.
  • Bed linens and towels get changed and washed once a week, usually on Mondays
  • Floors get mopped once a week, usually on Sundays

My cleaning lady is literally the best money I spend all month. She is a cleaning dream team and gets gunk out of cracks and brings a high power vacuum that gets everything I can’t with my daily cleans. Until recently, she took care of most of the deeper cleans. While we’re all on quarantine, she’s not coming to our house, and we’re doing the cleaning ourselves. It sure makes me appreciate her that much more! I will have to figure out some new systems for the deeper cleans for the time being. More on that soon! 

Look at that sweet post-nap boy!

Bonus: get a dog!

Gus licks up almost all of the food that Birch drops off his high chair. Game changer! 

More Home Neat Home Posts:

The post 5 Tips for Keeping a Clean House with Kids appeared first on Kath Eats Real Food.

* This article was originally published here

Grocery shopping is a necessity, but winding through aisles with a loaded cart and dodging other shoppers within a six-foot radius can feel like a dystopic version of Super Mario. It’s easy to go through an entire bottle of hand sanitizer in one trip, re-upping every time you touch a can… More »

* This article was originally published here

You might see a lot of sweet potato recipes on my blog over the next month. I want to put a patio in our backyard, so I am determined (determined!) to win the North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission’s No More Mallows Blogger Recipe Contest. So, having the eye of the tiger and determination and things like that, I decided to start things off big by making sweet potato caramels. When I did a Google search for “sweet potato caramels recipe,” all I found were a bunch of pages about Morinaga sweet potato caramels, which I happened to have bought when we were in Japan a few years ago. While they’re delicious, they’re not the buttery, gooey kind of caramels we’re used to in the US. They kind of have the texture of a Starburst with a very mild caramel flavor. I wanted to use sweet potatoes to make crazy decadent caramels. The kind that make you weak in the knees. Having never made caramels before, I figured it would take me a few tries to perfect them, but I surprised myself and got them right the first time by using the cooking instructions and proportions from this caramel recipe and […]

* This article was originally published here

The rind, or peel, of a lemon consists of two layers—the yellow zest (or the flavedo), and the white pith (albedo). The zest—where you’ll find all of the fruit’s aromatic oils—lends lemony fragrance to anything it graces, without the pucker.

Finding a suitable substitute for lemon zest in recipes can be tricky, but not impossible. Lemon oil, made from nothing but cold-pressed lemon rinds, is probably the most accurate substitute, taste-wise; but, if you’re unable to source a lemon, it’s probably also unlikely you have a stash of lemon oil. Here are some tips on how to utilize non-lemon lemon substitutes, to zesty effect.

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* This article was originally published here

Rosemary Focaccia

Rosemary Focaccia

Homemade focaccia is simply the BEST! It’s easy to make, but be sure to give yourself the afternoon. You’ll be rewarded with a rich, rosemary-scented bread that feeds a crowd. Serve as an appetizer or as a side with soup, roasts, or braises.

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* This article was originally published here

Chicken Fried Steak

Chicken Fried Steak

To make classic Chicken Fried Steak, pound steak cutlets thin, then bread and fry. Serve with rich country gravy. Chicken Fried Steak is a Southern favorite!

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* This article was originally published here

17 Canned Tuna Recipes for a Winner-Winner Pantry Dinner

Now more than ever, home is where many of us are seeking refuge and solace in light of the novel coronavirus. This is a tough time, but we’re here for you—whether it’s a new pantry recipe or a useful tip for your kitchen, here are some ideas to make things run a little more smoothly for you and your loved ones.


Throw open my kitchen cabinet doors and you’ll find a host of goodies: baking ingredients and dried goods on one side, a myriad of spices and tins along the other. My husband and I adore tinned things, especially those housing oily, briny, rich-in-flavor sardines, tuna, and shellfish. These have served their duty time and time again as easy weeknight “dinners” when we are just too tired to fire up the stove, or when we couldn’t go to the grocery store and needed to rely on what was already stocked.

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* This article was originally published here


Gooey, spicy, meaty mac and cheese: all it takes is four pantry-friendly ingredients and 10 minutes of your time.
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* This article was originally published here

Lemon Chicken with Pasta, Olives, and Herbs

Lemon chicken is the perfect meal for two! We marinated it in yogurt to make it tender, then served over pasta tossed with fresh herbs. This dinner is easy to prep, easy to cook, and loaded with flavor.

Continue reading “Lemon Chicken with Pasta, Olives, and Herbs” »

* This article was originally published here

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