A popular food blogger with 8.5 million page views, Tiffany King's debut cookbook is crafted for those nights "when life happens." This is the cookbook to turn to when all hope of a homemade, wholesome dinner seems lost: when the fridge is empty, when it's already 8pm, when one kid has soccer practice and the other dance, when there's no time for cleanup because homework has to get done. Just like her blog, King's book is tirelessly encouraging and realistic. The recipes feature bright vegetables and affordable pantry ingredients. The book, uniquely arranged by "excuses," includes sidebars with mealtime conversation starters and helpful cooking hints.
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|Publisher:||The Crown Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||7.40(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.80(d)|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
I love dinnertime, but it’s not always easy to pull off. Dinner comes with many challenges. From trying to cook while holding a cranky baby, to figuring out how to prep a meal while simultaneously driving a pre-teen across town to practice, this part of parenting stretches us and tempts us to throw in the towel on a homemade meal.
Most of those family dinners run together in my memory. There are very few that I have specific memories of, but they all worked together to build a strong bond between the six of us. Now that my kids are grown and nearly grown, we continue to see the benefits of all those dinners. We still start the meals by holding hands and praying together. We still gather around the table. Sometimes there are only three of us there, but about once a week we’re able to get all eight of us together—including the spouses of our two oldest kids. The young married couples have continued the dinner tradition in their homes too, building that habit with each other.
Despite the challenges, dinner offers benefits that no other hour can provide. In fact, I don’t think there’s any other time during the day that we can hit all five love languages for our family members. In his best-selling book TheFive Love Languages, Gary Chapman asserts that all of us have a primary love language, meaning we feel love best when it’s expressed in one of five ways: quality time, physical touch, words of affirmation, acts of service, or gift giving. Taking time together to sit and share with each other meets the love language of quality time. Holding hands around the table while we pray provides physical touch. Conversation during the meal about how our days have gone is a foundation for us to give words of affirmation to each other. Cooking the meal, clearing the table after dinner, or offering to clean up are all acts of service. While gift giving might be a stretch during a regular dinner, making a favorite meal for a family member is a gift to that person.
Dinner together makes all of us feel love in the way we feel it best. And isn’t showing love for each other one of the best ways to grow a strong family? There’s something special about knowing we each have a place at the table. Dinner provides a visual security of who each person is in the family and how they fit.
Dinner also gives us a built-in opportunity to pray together as a family. There’s something sacred about holding hands around the table and bowing heads together. Even though some nights this is done quickly and maybe with little thought, it’s such a special time together. Those few moments are a chance to practice gratefulness together as well as an opportunity to pray about things that weigh on our hearts.
My hope for you is that you will build the dinner habit into your family life so that your connections with each other grow stronger. I can almost hear you saying, “But there are so many challenges that come with this! Sometimes it seems our schedules and outside demands conspire against us.” That’s where this book comes in. Each chapter is designed to solve a different challenge you might face on any given night. From needing a one-pot meal because you lack time for dishes, to being out of the house all day without time for cooking, to only having fifteen minutes to pull dinner together, you’ll find recipes that will fit your busy days.
Make this book your own by writing notes in it as you try the recipes. Jot down how your family liked each meal and any substitutions or changes that you made or would like to make the next time you cook the recipe. Make notes on which meal worked well for after church on Sunday and those that you want to keep the ingredients on hand for quick meals when Plan A falls through. If you live in a high-altitude area, you may need to make adjustments to baking and pressure cooking times. Be sure to make note of those too.
Dinner together can be hard. It involves teaching toddlers to sit at the table, convincing kids to try new foods, and much juggling of schedules to carve out time for a meal together. But when we build the habit of gathering night after night together around the table, strong family bonds are forged. Those benefits carry on to future generations in ways we may never know.
I Only Have 15 Minutes Tonight
I started creating recipes that could be finished in fifteen minutes when my oldest kids were teens. Suddenly life got very busy and I more often found myself in the car taxiing to practice than in the kitchen making dinner. All those hours of shuttling to and fro don’t leave much time for dinner making or anything else.
I found we were often ravenous when we finally got home and if I hadn’t filled the slow cooker, it meant dinner would be a scramble. It didn’t take me long to put creative juices to work figuring out short cuts to quick meals.
A quarter of an hour isn’t much time, but I promise you that with a little strategy and some quick work, you can get dinner on the table for your family faster than the time it would take to run through a drive-thru. It will be a lot less expensive too!
Don’t miss the section on cooking chicken for the freezer. Having meat already cooked and in the freezer is key for 15-minute meals. I have included some recipes for meals that don’t require cooked chicken, but your options increase if you’ve got some stashed and waiting for you.
I also recommend a sharp knife. This is essential for any kitchen, but it becomes really important when you’re working in a time crunch. You need a tool that will work well for you, not one that will fight you with every cut.
The next time you find yourself rushing into the house with no time for dinner making, try one of these recipes. They’ll keep you and your family happy and keep you out of the fast food places too.
How to Cook Chicken for the Freezer
My favorite quick-cooking tip is to keep cooked chicken in the freezer. This one step can mean the difference between a meal that takes forty-five minutes or more to one that you can have on the table in just fifteen minutes.
If you’re really pressed for time, you can freeze rotisserie chicken by pulling it from the bones and chopping or shredding it with two forks, but it’s very easy to cook and freeze your own. Consider cooking a whole chicken and eating some for dinner, then freezing the rest.
You can use the oven to cook the chicken, but I prefer to use the slow cooker, and more recently the pressure cooker. Here are simple instructions for each.
Slow Cooker Chicken for the Freezer:
Use boneless or bone-in chicken breasts or a whole chicken. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Add water if you’d like to have chicken broth to freeze. Cook on high 5 to 6 hours or low 7 to 8 hours.
Pressure Cooker Chicken for the Freezer:
Use boneless or bone-in chicken breasts or a whole chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Add at least 2 cups water. Set cook time for 10 to 12 minutes for boneless, 15 minutes for bone-in and 25 to 30 minutes for whole chicken.
Freeze shredded or chopped chicken in plastic freezer bags in 1- to 3-cup quantities.
Excerpted from "Eat at Home Tonight"
Copyright © 2018 Tiffany King.
Excerpted by permission of The Crown Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
I Only Have 15 Minutes Tonight 1
My Refrigerator Is Empty Tonight 18
Everyone's on a Different Schedule Tonight 34
I'm Out of the House and Won't Have Time to Cook Tonight 48
I Don't Have Time for Dishes Tonight 62
I Want to Cook for Tonight and Tomorrow Night 82
I Want to Cook for the Whole Week Tonight 106
I Have a Bit More Time Tonight 134
We Can't Sit Down for a Meal Tonight 160
I Want to Make Something Extra Tonight 174
I Have a Sweet Tooth Tonight 192