This post is sponsored by Blue Apron. I can’t wait to talk about something that is extremely important to me and my family—> spending time together at the dinner table.
I have two amazing meals to share with you today from Blue Apron! All of the farm-fresh ingredients were delivered right to our door in all of the right proportions so we didn’t have to go to the store with three littles! Everything arrives in a refrigerated box. Each time I open the box from Blue Apron everything is cold and fresh.
Each week Blue Apron has eight recipes for you to choose from and here is what we chose for two of our meals this last week:
Mexican-Spiced Beef & Rice Bowls w/Sautéed Zucchini & Tomatoes along with Creamy Risotto with Summer Vegetables & Pecorino Cheese.
Both were so good and full of bright colors!
The more variety in colors that a meal contains the better in my opinion.
Skye enjoys being involved in everything these days.
Marathon training makes me love food even more than I normally do and trying brand new recipes and ingredients just makes me really happy. Each week Blue Apron adds new dishes to their menu and they offer a huge selection of recipes.
The kid’s perfected their surfing skills during the dinner prep.
Isn’t the finished product of this Risotto dish beautiful?! This was my first time eating Risotto at home and it was so creamy. The tomatoes and peppers were so flavorful. I felt so satisfied after this meal! We are trying to incorporate some vegetarian meals into our meal plan each week and this was a huge success.
For our second meal we made the Mexican-Spiced Beef & Rice Bowls w/Sautéed Zucchini & Tomatoes. This one was my favorite.
I could not get enough of the tomatoes that we had in both of these meals. They tasted like the ones right out of my sister’s garden. There was also a creamy lime sauce that we put on after the picture too that was perfect with the kick of spice in this dish. I am always very happy with how amazing the meat tastes from Blue Apron. I already want this dish again. Another win for Blue Apron.
Skye finished her sweet potatoes but wanted to dig in on our meal too;)
I was listening to Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations with Michael Pollan where they discussed conscious eating. He shared many things during this podcast that I really enjoyed. I typed it while listening to it. One thing that he said really hit me hard and it was all about how important it is to not give up cooking and eating together:
“The more I realized that so many of our problems owed to the collapse of cooking. That home cooking is not happening the way it used to. We only spend 27 minutes a day, on average, cooking. We are letting corporations cook our food and that is at the heart of many of the problems we face. The obesity epidemic, the epidemic of type 2 diabetes, these things are the result of letting industry cook for us because they don’t cook very well… We are not going to fix these problems if people are fleeing the kitchen. The meal is a kind of communion. The meal is a place where we take the world into our bodies, where we engage with one another. Think about what happens at the table. The kinds of conversations that happen, I mean it is the heart of our social life and we are giving it up. Cooking is an expression of love and energy. Meals are sacred occasions and that we should take them more seriously.”
I do not want to give up on the amazing connections and bonding that happens over a meal together with my family. My mom always made sure that we all ate dinner together at the table each night (except for Friday nights, that was my parents’ date night:) and I want to continue doing this with my family.
We have a few rituals that we love to do at dinnertime and I thought I would share ours with you. I would love to hear about the things that you do too if there are people that you share mealtime with!
*The kids are in charge of setting the table. That is their job and they have gotten pretty speedy at it.
*Skye is in charge of keeping Beretta entertained while we prepare the meal.
*We sit down and fold our arms and one of us offers a prayer to bless our food.
*Then we go around the table and each of us says something that we are grateful for (Brooke and Knox always try to be the first person to say what they are grateful for;). We used to go around just one time and say one thing but now we go around three times each night at dinner (the kid’s idea). This is my favorite part of the meal because they have the most random brains sometimes and I get a chance to hear what they are thinking about.
*Then we go around and everyone shares the best part of the day and the hardest part of their day. We used to just share the best parts of our day but realized that the table was the perfect time for the kids to share the hard stuff with us too. We want them to be able to talk to us about how to cope with the hard stuff. We also want to start at an early age to let them know they can talk to us about everything and that life isn’t just flowers and sunshine. We have to work through the rough spots too—> Even if at this point that is usually just something about losing their toy or stubbing their toe… we want them to know we care and we are listening.
*We do not use devices during our meals together. I snap a picture of whatever I’m eating or a picture of the kids with their food and then adios to technology. The only distractions I’m okay with during our time at the table is thinking about how delicious the meal is that we are eating. We have Knox for 50% of our dinners and Brooke is gone sometimes too so we work really hard to make the time at the dinner table a time of eye contact, laughing, sharing and connecting.
*We usually end up sitting at the table for about 30 minutes together (our kids are slow eaters) which I personally love. Skye is out of the newborn stage where dinner was her witching hour so it is a really great part of our day.
*The kids are in charge of taking the plates over to the sink and put away the place mats. I usually do the dishes. Andrew does most of the cooking and I do most of the cleaning because I have this weird DNA from my mom that enjoys cleaning up after a meal. I can’t go to bed at night without a clean kitchen thanks to her;)
And that is how our dinner usually goes… along with plenty of randomness thrown in by the kids depending on how much energy they have or how tired they are!
I hope that you are able to get in some good meals with the people that are important to you. I hope we can continue spending time in the kitchen together enjoying an amazing meal and that is what I love most about Blue Apron… they help us to do just that!
The first 50 readers to sign up HERE will get $50 off their first two weeks of Blue Apron! There is no commitment and you can skip or cancel Blue Apron at any time. Prices start as low as $7.49 a serving (and with the coupon here for the first two weeks it is even cheaper)! Blue Apron ships now to most of the country so try it out if you haven’t yet.
Are you a fast eater or a slow eater or somewhere in the middle?
What are some of your dinner rituals?
What is your ideal time to eat dinner?
-5 pm is our favorite time to eat dinner but we usually eat closer to 6.
Would you rather do the meal prep or the meal clean-up?