Would you like to really know how someone feels or what they’re thinking? We ask the question, “How are you?” all day long, but do we really know how a co-worker, spouse, or even our children are doing? Just Observe, Wait, and Listen (OWL), it’s that easy!
We adapt this approach from Speech Pathologists who began using OWL in language development. It’s a valuable communication tool for us all.
OWL encourages us to notice what has captured other’s interest and to patiently wait as they communicate about it. Listening shows people their value. When we aim first to hear what’s on their mind, rather than dominating conversation with our thoughts and opinions, we’ll discover just how much we’ve been missing!
Tonight, at your family dinner, I challenge you to OWL.
In honor of National Burger Month, we want to share how to make some unconventional burgers with some of our favorite recipes. Follow these easy-to-follow instructions to create unique burgers that will have your family saying “WOW!”
Grilled Bruschetta Chicken Burger on Garlic Bread
- Grill chicken and heat marinade as directed.
- Bake Garlic Bread as directed, and then slice into approximately 3” pieces.
- Place grilled chicken* on bread, top with bruschetta sauce, mozzarella and fresh basil.
*These flavors would also work great with the Tuscan Steak.
It’s fun to see a renewed interest in nutrition, cooking, and canning in this generation of 20-somethings. Yet, many of this age group have been left behind in being taught how to cook. A generation ago 80% of Baby Boomers could cook from their pantry without a recipe; today 20% of their children can prepare a meal from scratch.
Teaching kids to cook isn’t difficult and provides them with lifelong skills. As the old adage goes, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” You’d be surprised what children can learn at a young age with a bit of coaching. Soon, they’ll have skills that will serve them for a lifetime.
Follow this model for a helpful way to train kids to cook:
- You show them, while they watch you
- Do it together
- They show you, while you watch them
Here’s what your budding chefs can learn:
Share Some Love, May 9th, with a Military Spouse you Know
When their loved ones are deployed or they are moving to a new place, military spouses can feel isolated, lonely and homesick. Why not widen your circle of friends and reach out?
Fun ideas to make their day:
- Invite, invite, invite… draw them into your social circle and introduce them to your friends. Invite them to play dates, parties, outings, Mothers of Preschooler groups, church, the gym… whatever you do, welcome them!
- Offer a ride. They may have only one family car and can’t get out a lot.
- Call and text to offer encouragement and friendship.
- Bring them a meal! If they are ‘single-parenting’ while their spouse is deployed, they will really appreciate a homemade meal. Dream Dinner’s makes it easy – fill an insulated tote with a frozen dinner along with some sides and sweets from our Finishing Touch Freezer.
- Offer babysitting. They might not have developed a list of safe child care yet, but, need a break or date night.
- Throw them a party! Baby showers and birthdays make great opportunities to do something for them that an old friend might have done back home.
Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed by the masses. Reaching out to just one person makes a difference! You don’t have to change the world, but, you could certainly change their world.
What mom wouldn’t love a freezer full of meals to make dinners nutritious and easy for a whole month?
Here are some fun options to make Mom smile with Dream Dinners on Mother’s day or any special day:
- Sit down at the computer together and let Mom select her meals while you pick up the tab.
- For a fun night out, take Mom to a Dream Dinners’ session and prepare meals together. Then, put them all in her freezer when you bring her home.
- Surprise Mom with a bag of homemade meals you deliver to her front door.
- If mom lives far away, purchase a gift card online and we’ll mail it to her or send her an e-card (your choice). We suggest $75 for our Introductory Offer (for first time guests) or $200 for ~ a month’s supply!
Wow, a freezer full of meals – this will be a gift she’ll remember!
The Battle’s On
Your child might be winning now, but, losing later to finicky habits and poor nutrition.
Picky eaters can turn rational parents into obsessed, battle-weary, rationalizing, bargaining, pleading, crazy people! Whew, I’m worn-out just from describing it! We’re afraid our ‘little darlings’ will never eat balanced meals and will become malnourished skeletons, vanishing away like a puddle on a sunny day. I know; I’ve butted up against my share of picky strong-willed wonders. Someone’s cornered, and it feels like me!
Tough Love is not Mean
If you’ve done your due diligence with the family MD and he’s assured you they’re not going to die, then maybe it’s time to heighten your strategy and offer a little tough love. Although very cute, picky eaters are typically masters of the power struggle. If this is your child, read on.
If you’ve spent time volunteering in a classroom, you’ll know how big of a responsibility our teachers carry. Keeping a classroom of kids organized and focused takes dedication, diligence, and a whole a lot of love. Education is a big accomplishment!
Dream Dinners is an easy and delicious way to spoil your teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week.
Gather some helpers and load up their break room with these wonderful lunches and snacks from our menus. (items change monthly)
- Parmesan Chicken Sliders (Great for a grab-and-go quick lunch)
- Santa Fe Shredded Pork Burritos (Easy to bring in a crock pot and dish up hot anytime).
- Coconut Shrimp and Sweet & Sour Sauce with Jasmine Rice (Serve these skewered shrimp hot or cold)
Let the appreciation begin!
Grilling this spring? Try these tips:
- Clean your grill. First rub the grate with a ball of aluminum foil. Turn it to high and burn off any remaining food residue.
- If your grill is prone to sticking, oil your grill when cool.
- Make sure your grill is hot when you place your meat on it to sear the juices into the meat.
- Pre-season steaks either with a marinade or with salt and pepper. Soak meat in marinade per cooking instructions (usually several hours), or for a steak, pat dry, season with salt and rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking to absorb the flavors. Use about 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt for 1 pound of meat.
- When forming hamburgers, shape about 3/4th inch thick, slightly thinner in the middle, to allow for swelling.
- To get a seared crust, pat marinated meat dry before cooking.
Preparing meals involve a lot of abilities from knowing how to cook to choosing what goes well together. The last thing you might be thinking about is timing. With a well-timed meal, your hot food is hot, cold food cold, and nothing is overcooked or mushy. This takes skill! Besides looking at your cooking times and counting backwards, here are some general principles that help me:
Living the Dream Foundation, something you can get excited about!
Tina Kuna, Dream Dinners Co-founder, leads a fun team of volunteers each spring to bike the beautiful Snohomish, Washington country back roads for charity. In its second year, the Living the Dream Ride is everything a woman could want: fresh air, friends, fitness and fun! This year, the proceeds will go to Make-A-Wish® Alaska and Washington.