Family Dinners: Easy Ways to Feed Your Kids and Get Them Talking at the Table


The benefits of a home-cooked meal shared by family at the dinner table can scarce be overestimated in today's busy world. Author Janet Peterson takes aim at our scattered modern lives by encouraging us to come back to the heart of our homes-the kitchen. With 280 recipes for traditional, comforting, and fast family meals, there will be no excuses left for not bringing everyone together around a hearty plate of food.

Research has shown that time together as a family is vital to ...

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The benefits of a home-cooked meal shared by family at the dinner table can scarce be overestimated in today's busy world. Author Janet Peterson takes aim at our scattered modern lives by encouraging us to come back to the heart of our homes-the kitchen. With 280 recipes for traditional, comforting, and fast family meals, there will be no excuses left for not bringing everyone together around a hearty plate of food.

Research has shown that time together as a family is vital to the overall well-being of children, especially when it comes to developing healthy eating habits, building communication skills and self-esteem, and forming relationships. Get committed to making family time a priority!

Family Dinners features 280 recipes, plus valuable tips for saving time during meal prep, money at the grocery store, and your own effort by getting your family in on the cooking and cleaning. Make dinnertime the highlight of the day for everyone involved.

Family Dining Tips

Make sure dinnertime belongs only to you. Let the answering machine respond to phone calls, turn off the television, and put away the newspaper.


f your children are grown or older, turn dinnertime into a forum for discussion of current issues and happenings in the area and around the world.

As a family, volunteer at a local soup kitchen or food bank. This will help family members to appreciate dinner at home even more.

Hold a "crazy hat dinner." Invite each family member to wear their favorite or funniest hat to the table.

Discuss books during mealtime. Ask family members to share their current and longtime favorites.

Time-Saving Tips

Instead of cooking meatballs in a skillet on top of the stove, place them on a greased broiler pan and bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.

If a piece of eggshell falls into your mixture, dip a larger piece of shell into the bowl. It adheres instantly.

Undiluted cream soups or cheese soup make easy sauces for vegetables or pasta.

Type your basic shopping list on the computer. Keep a copy in the kitchen to add to during the week. Add

specialty items for particular recipes.

Use instant potatoes to thicken soups and stews.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781586857646
  • Publisher: Smith, Gibbs Publisher
  • Publication date: 4/19/2006
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Author Janet Peterson takes aim at our scattered modern lives by encouraging us to come back to the heart of our homes-the kitchen. With 280 recipes for traditional, comforting, and fast family meals, there will be no excuses left for not bringing everyone together around a hearty plate of food.

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Read an Excerpt


Keep a wide variety of pastas in your pantry so you can be ready for many a splendid meal, including this one.

1 (8-ounce) package bowtie or penne pasta or fettuccini, cooked according to package directions and drained

2 to 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in bite-size pieces

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons butter

1 to 1 1/2 cups button or cremini mushrooms, halved

1 to 2 tablespoons flour

1 cup white grape juice or apple juice

1/2 cup half-and-half or cream

2 to 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley (optional)

Put drained pasta back in cooking pot. Sprinkle chicken pieces liberally with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat. Saute garlic. Add chicken and cook about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove to a bowl or plate. Add remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Put mushrooms in skillet. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Saute about 5 minutes, until tender. Mix flour and grape or apple juice in a small bowl or cup, stirring until smooth. Add to mushrooms. Cook, stirring, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Turn heat to low. Add half-and-half or cream, stirring until mixture thickens slightly. Add chicken mixture to pasta. Stir in parsley, if desired.

Serves 4.

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Table of Contents


Why Cook at Home?


Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Ham and Vegetable Soup

Bean and Bacon Soup

Hearty Bean Soup

Black Bean Soup

Burgundy Bean Soup

Pasta Fagioli

Split Pea Soup

Corn Chowder

Baked Potato Soup

Cream of Tomato Soup

Spicy Tomato Soup

Creamy Vegetable Soup

Cauliflower Soup

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Carrot Leek Soup

Butternut Squash Soup


Southwest Chili

White Chili

Tortellini Soup with Sausage

Mexican Minestrone

French Onion Soup


Spinach Mushroom Salad

Spinach Salad

Strawberry Spinach Salad

Green Salad with Apples and Pears

Green Salad with Creamy Raspberry Dressing

Greens and Fruit with Citrus Dressing

Salad de Maison

Bleu Cheese and Pear Salad

Orange Avocado Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

Citrus and Cilantro Salad

Carrot Raisin Salad

Christmas Salad

Layered Vegetable Salad


Broccoli Slaw

Oriental Salad

Updated Waldorf Salad

Mandarin Yogurt Salad

Raspberry Tapioca Salad

Cookie Fruit Salad

Lemon Pie Salad

Frozen Cranberry Salad

Berry Good Fruit Salad

Fruit with Maple Cream Dressing

Fruit with Cinnamon-Honey Dressing

Sweet Potato Salad

Red Potato Salad

Chicken Salad with Strawberry Dressing

Chicken Rice Salad

Tropical Chicken Salad

Chicken Dill and Pasta Salad

Grilled Chicken Salad

Santa Fe Chicken Salad

Southwest Steak Salad

Garden Macaroni Salad

Old-fashioned Macaroni Salad

Pasta Vegetable Salad

Tortellini Salad

Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing

Bleu Cheese Dressing

Creamy Cilantro Dressing


Orange Rolls

Potato Refrigerator Rolls


Oat Rolls

Wheat Rolls

Yummy Buns

Onion-Herb Batter Bread

Cheese Bread

Dilly Bread


Garlic Cheese Breadsticks

French Bread

Cheesy French Bread

French Bread with Onion Spread

White Bread


Parmesan Biscuits

Corn Bread

Flour Tortillas

Bread and Cheese Soufflé

Scones with Fruit Butter

Apple Muffins

Blueberry Muffins

Bran Muffins

Cheese Muffins

Lemon Muffins

Spice Muffins

Scones with Fruit Butter


Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Marinated Roast Beef

Pot Roast with Homemade Noodles

Spaghetti Pie

Sloppy Joes

Shepherd's Pie

Second Shepherd's Pie

Taco Casserole

Taco Stuffed Peppers

Mexican Lasagna

Stir-fry Beef with Ginger Sauce


Oriental Steak Rolls

French Dip Sandwiches

Barbecue Beef

Salsa Beef


Beef Tenderloin with Mushroom Sauce

Beef Tenderloin with Mustard Sauce

Rib-Eye Steaks

Mexican Steak

Slow-cooker Swiss Steak


Chicken Enchiladas with Tomato Sauce

Hawaiian Barbecue Chicken

Apricot Chicken

Chicken Enchiladas with Avocado Salsa

Honey-glazed Chicken

Southwest Chicken Rolls

Ranch Chicken

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Sesame Chicken

Chicken Breasts with Pineapple-Strawberry Salsa

"Fried" Chicken

Thai Peanut Chicken

Chicken with Mushrooms

Far East Chicken

Chicken and Rice Casserole

Chicken Stroganoff

Chicken Dijon

Oriental Chicken Packets

Chicken with Cherry Sauce

Honey Mustard Chicken


Barbecue Pork Chops

Pork Chops with Gravy

Monterey Pork Chops

Pork and Beans

Stuffed Pork Chops

Creamy Pork Chop Casserole

Pork Chops with Onions

Roast Pork with Rosemary

Cranberry Pork Roast

Roast Pork with Peach Sauce

Roast Pork with Cherry Sauce

Apple Strudel Pork Tenderloin

Pork Tenderloin with Mushroom Gravy

Sweet and Sour Spareribs


Halibut au Gratin

Halibut with Basil Sauce

Fish Cakes

Surf and Turf

Shrimp Fajitas with Salsa

Shrimp and Pasta

Baked Salmon with Dill Sauce

Salmon with Papaya-Mango-Pineapple Sauce

Ginger Salmon

Cajun Salmon

Salmon in Foil

Fillet of Sole with Gruyere Cheese

Mediterranean Fish

Parmesan Orange Roughy

Sour Cream Tuna Casserole


Macaroni and Cheese

Three-Cheese Jumbo Shells

Simple Lasagna

Spaghetti Pie

Garden Spaghetti


Ham and Broccoli Linguine

Chicken and Mushroom Pasta

Herbed Tomato Pasta

Pasta with Creamy Pumpkin Sauce

Angel Hair Pasta with Tomato Sauce

Pasta with Pesto

Orzo with Pine Nuts

Tomato Basil Risotto

Rice Pilaf

Garlic Rice

Mexican Rice

Southwest Rice

Coconut Rice with Mango

Baked Omelet

Egg Burritos

Potato Quiche


Apple Pancakes


Seasoned Asparagus

Asparagus in Orange Butter

Asparagus with Dill Sauce

Black Bean Casserole

Green Beans with Cheese Sauce

Dilled Green Beans

Colorful Green Beans

Green Beans in Sour Cream

Lemon Broccoli

Sesame Broccoli

Apple Cider Carrots

Gingered Carrots

Baked Carrots and Apples

Carrot Soufflé

Carrot and Cheese Scallop

Cheesy Cauliflower

Cauliflower and Broccoli in Cheese Sauce

Baked Corn in Sour Cream

Corn on the Cob with Parmesan Cheese

Peas and Mushrooms

Cashew Peas

Cream Cheese Potatoes

Ranch Potatoes

Potato Cakes

Onion Mashed Potatoes

Ranch Potatoes

Twice-baked Potatoes

Cheese Potatoes

Potatoes Parisian

Baked Sweet Potato

Spaghetti Squash

Marinated Tomatoes

Tomatoes and Zucchini

Marinated Vegetables

Vegetable Medley

Roasted Vegetables

Mustard Sauce for Vegetables

Cheese Sauce for Vegetables


Grilled Kabobs

Just Spareribs

Grilled Pork Tenderloin

Honey Mustard Salmon

Halibut with Salsa

London Broil

Honey Lime Steak

Marinated Steak

Rosemary Steak

Sesame Ginger Steak

Best Burgers

"Have It Your Way" Burgers

Chili Lime Chicken

Maple Chicken

Caribbean Chicken

Potato Packets

Grilled Veggies on Foccacia Bread

Grilled Vegetables

Garlic Bread


Chocolate Bread Pudding

Raspberry Bread Pudding with Vanilla Sauce

Lemon Pudding Cake

Chocolate Pudding Cake

Chocolate Mousse

Caramel Apple Bars

Peanut Butter Bars

Chocolate Caramel Bars

Black and White Brownies

Double Chocolate Brownies

Four-Chip Brownies

Rocky Road Brownies

Waffle Brownies

Berry Brownie Torte

Ice Cream and Cake Dessert

Pine Colada Cake

Ginger Cake

Chocolate Cake

Creamy Chocolate Frosting

Pineapple Orange Cake


Toffee Cake with Caramel Sauce

Lemon Pound Cake


Frosted Angel Food Cake with Fresh Fruit

Cranberry Apple Crisp

Caramel Apple Crisp

Fruit Cobbler

Pineapple Cream Dessert

Applesauce Oatmeal Cookies

Ginger Sugar Cookies

Honey Cookies

Pumpkin Drops

Homemade Oreos

Chocolate Treasures

Lots of Chocolate Cookies

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Cookies

Strawberry Trifle

Strawberry or Raspberry Delight

Berry Fantasy

Pumpkin Dessert

Pineapple Coconut Pie

Crustless Apple Pie

Cream Cheese and Apple Pie

Vanilla Ice Cream

Peach Ice Cream


Raspberry Sherbet

Substitution and Equivalency Charts

Shopping Lists

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 1, 2009

    Excellent Cookbook!

    Easy to follow recipes using ingredients I already have in the cupboard! I am a newlywed and find the recipes easy and delicious! Would recommend this cookbook to have on hand.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2007

    A reviewer

    This is an outstanding cookbook for many reasons, but mostly for it's convenience and adaptability. Forget the labor-intensive gourmet magazine recipes with 1,000 different ingredients. Janet Peterson writes a cookbook for real people with real schedules and real lives. I love it and so does my family!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2007

    A Culinary Cut to the Chase

    If 'family dinners' at times seem obsolete, Janet Peterson skillfully revives them with recipes easy to assemble, serve and taste great. The tips at the bottom of the pages for both the cook and family togetherness make this book a super buy.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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