I received a lot of compliments on my post about "24 Reasons to Gather Around the Dinner Table" - well, compliments and a challenge: come up with even more reasons families should sit down to dinner together.
But first, if you find the idea of family meals daunting, take a look at Dine Without Whine. It's a monthly subscription, which gives you weekly meal plans, recipes and grocery shopping list. Dine Without Whine definitely simplifies meal planning and preparation.
Ok, now back to my challenge. It's been hard, but here you go, 10 OTHER reasons to gather around the dinner table:
1. You'll have a ready audience for your jokes.
2. You can get instant feedback on new recipes you've been wanting to try.
3. You'll have a venue to plan family activities, such as your next vacation, or a child's birthday.
4. Your family members can help you stick to your diet.
5. Family mealtimes can teach responsibility. It's a natural time to give children chores, such as setting the table, clearing up, and washing dishes.
6. Enjoy your good china and silverware, instead of saving them for special occasions. Because any time you're together IS a special occasion.
7. Family dinners give structure and routine to your day, which is especially important for small children.
8. By having meals together, you can reduce the time your kids spend watching TV, playing video games or surfing on the Internet.
9. Family meals are good times to give each other props - talk about everyone's latest accomplishments, such as good grades, a new drawing, a new skill learned.
10. Family dinners remind you daily of your blessings: food on the table, a roof over your heads, and loved ones all around you.
Having family dinner every night may be hard for most families nowadays. But if you can manage it on most nights, then you'll enjoy the benefits.
Cut down and simplify on other areas of your life, so you can cook a meal and sit down to dinner together. Dine Without Whine provides a weekly menu of kid-tested recipes, as well as a grocery list to simplify your shopping as well. Go here now and try Dine Without Whine for only a penny.
Velvet Crumb Cake
Makes 8 servings
1 1/2 cups Original Bisquick® baking mix
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk or water
2 tablespoons shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Broiled Topping (below)
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped nuts
3 tablespoons margarine or butter, softened
2 tablespoons milk
1. Heat oven to 350°. Grease and flour square pan, 8 x 8 x 2 or 9 x 9 x 2 inches, or round pan, 9 x 1 1/2
2. Beat all ingredients except Broiled Topping in large bowl on low speed 30 seconds, scraping bowl
constantly. Beat on medium speed 4 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into pan.
3. Bake 9-inch square pan 25 to 30 minutes, 8-inch square or 9-inch round pan 30 to 35 minutes or until
toothpick inserted in center comes out clean; cool slightly. Prepare Broiled Topping; spread over cake. Set
oven control to broil. Broil cake about 3 inches from heat about 3 minutes or until topping is golden brown.
For Broiled Topping
Mix all ingredients.
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