Kelly the Culinarian: New Traditions: Sunday Family Dinner

Sunday, January 18, 2015

New Traditions: Sunday Family Dinner

I've mentioned it in the blog before, but since I returned to Illinois, I've settled into a new normal filled with new routines. One of my favorite new rituals is a weekly open-house dinner. I started doing it for a number of reasons, including one of my post-divorce goals of wanting to be closer with my family. I also enjoy being social and cooking for my friends. When I keep things casual, it's easy and it's cheap, too. Here's how:

  • I keep it a regular thing - I make dinner at around the same time every Sunday night.
  • I keep it casual - the same guest list shows up most weeks, so I just shoot a text and let them know when food will be ready. 
  • I keep it scaleable - I either make a casserole or a crock pot recipe. If more people show up, I've got enough, and if some people are busy, I'll have leftovers for lunches for the week.
  • I keep it cheap - This is how I bulk cook for the week, as well as use up leftovers. If chicken is on sale, I'll make peanut Thai chicken. If I just made a turkey, I'll make a Tex-Mex turkey soup.
  • I keep it clean - I use crock pot liners, so there's no clean up, and I don't even have matching dishes, so you get what you get here.
  • I keep it potluck - if anyone asks me what they can bring, I always have ideas of things we can add - salad or rolls or tortilla chips or something. Never turn down an offer!  
Right now, I have my famous crock pot pulled pork sandwiches slowly simmering away in the kitchen (it smells awesome), but last week, we had lasagna courtesy of Red Gold Tomatoes. It's a family-owned company that has a whole campaign focusing on the idea of "Food Brings People Together." They sent me a lasagna kit, which I put to work making a veggie and Laura's Lean Beef lasagna for a complete meal in one. I fed probably eight people that night, then ate leftovers for another few days.

Red Gold is hosting a simple gourmet lasagna party on Facebook until Feb. 3 and will give away 750 aprons and six gourmet lasagna party prize packs, which include a Le Creuset lasagna pan (if you win, please share with me, I want one of those!).


Losing Lindy said...

I love this idea! I want to do this too.

Unknown said...

My Mother in Law got me that lasagna pan as a Wedding Shower gift. It's the best thing she's ever done for me.

Zenaida Arroyo said...

What a great idea on the Sunday dinners. And I said I will make it one day but it might have to be once I am done with school.