Which Are Your Favorite Fall Recipes? (Open Thread)

OK, ladies, let’s discuss: Which are your favorite fall recipes? Is it time to bust out your Crockpot or Instant Pot? Do you love oatmeal, soups, and stews? What meals do you make that the whole family eats, and what fall-centric things do you find easy to put in school lunches, either from a leftovers perspective or otherwise?

For our $.02, I don’t know what possessed me to buy pumpkin yogurt for my eldest to try (because I am definitely NOT a fan of pumpkin spice the way some people are), but he LOVES it, and it’s one of the few things he’ll eat right now. We just got an Instant Pot on sale at Amazon a few weeks ago, and coincidentally my beloved Crockpot lid just cracked — and after only 20 years, harumph (she said sarcastically) — so we’re probably going to be doing a lot of experimenting with the Instant Pot this season. A lot of the recipes that I listed in my easy weeknight dinners post (years ago, now!) are still favorites, and I also got a hot tip from someone recently that you can roast frozen veggies (freezer to hot oven!) so we’re going to be trying that. In terms of school lunches, my kiddo is still excited about oatmeal (I just make plain old-fashioned oats and add 1–2 Tbsp of a hot chocolate like Ghiradelli‘s*) so I’m curious to try that in a preheated Thermos jar* for him for lunch. (Hmmn, maybe with some peanut butter powder* for extra protein.)

How about you guys? Which are your favorite fall recipes to make for your families?

*This post contains affiliate links and CorporetteMoms may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post. For more details see here. Thank you so much for your support!

Picture via Stencil.

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Recipe Open Thread: Give Us Your Best Summer Recipes for Working Moms!

summer recipes for working momsWhen readers took the survey a while back, many of you noted that you wanted to see more recipes for working moms. Recipes aren’t really my forte (I cook a lot of the same, easy weeknight dinners on repeat) but we’ve started including recipes in our weekly news roundups. Today, let’s have a proper recipe open thread: Which are your best recipes right now, ladies? Which summer recipes work with your work schedule?

I always forget that I hate the oven in summertime, and every time the weather gets hot I’m left wracking my brain for new recipe ideas. We just made slow cooker Korean Tacos from this recipe on Hellobee (DELICIOUS! So happy we tried it!), and it’s definitely going into our summer rotation. The recipe calls for 8 hours on low, but you can easily add more time. (You can also start with frozen flank steak and/or try it with cauliflower rice — the dish pictured above has a mix of white rice and cauliflower rice, flank steak, cucumber slaw we made at the very last minute, and sriracha. YUM. Other summer recipes in heavy rotation now:

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Dinnertime Fun: Making Separate Meals for Kids

Making Separate Meals for Kids: Working Moms Talk Dinner Strategy (and Giving In) | CorporetteMomsI will not make separate meals for kids. I, like every other new mother, told myself that frequently while my first kiddo was starting solid foods.  I am not going to be that mom! They can eat what WE eat, or else they don’t eat. I don’t have time to do dinosaur nuggets! I absolutely refuse to raise a child who only eats macaroni and cheese! 

Cut to five years later, and almost every night the boys get a separate meal from what we eat. Dinosaur nuggets, no, but they do get the Dr. Praeger fishies pretty often. On our very best nights, the boys eat disaggregated versions of what we eat. If we’re having Mediterranean Stew with stew meat, tomatoes, and zucchini, the boys may get a bowl of broth (strained so there are no “green pieces”), shredded stew meat, and — if I’m feeling really crazy — a zucchini or two on their plate, perhaps coated in cheese. (It’s a crutch, I know! I’ve started splurging on real Parmesan cheese after reading about how many wood chips are in the shelf-stable versions, though.) Another version of a “win” for me is when I can use the same oven temperature (and, dare to dream, time) for the boys’ food as for ours.

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Meal Planning Apps for Working Moms

meal planning apps2017 Update: We still stand by this advice on our favorite meal planning apps — but you may also want to check out some of our newer stories on tech for working moms.

Ladies, do you have any favorite meal planning apps?  Have you tried and abandoned any? Reader M wonders:

Are there any resources that you have gathered/written about for meal planning for working moms? I am looking for a good app or system that will help!

We actually have talked about this in general, rounding up 5 family dinner strategies better than delivery, as well as having a nice discussion about how to share dinner duties between two working parents — but we haven’t talked directly about apps (and I have a good one!), so let’s discuss — I’m always curious to hear what people are using!

We keep trying different things here at Casa Griffin.  We fell off The Fresh 20 because the meal prep was just too involved for the time we wanted to invest — we also don’t eat at home reliably 5 nights a week, and adjusting the shopping list to only 4 nights took a surprising amount of thought.  Prior to that we had a system of just cooking 10 easy meals “on rotation,” but we got bored with that.  I, too, was seeking an app that would help with meal planning, shopping lists, and also hold the recipe so I could consult it if I needed to in the store.  (Or am I the only one who, when faced with a food item I can’t find, consults the recipe and says, “well, screw it, they only want 1Tbsp of shallots anyway!” and moves on?)  I really like the free app we’ve found: Pepperplate. It has a web version, as well as an app for my iPhone and my iPad, and I’ve set it up on my husband’s phone as well (which gives him ready access to the recipes and shopping lists as well).  The program can import recipes from some of its partner sites (allegedly), but it’s also easy enough to add recipes manually.  (I like that you can add a picture — they’re always my favorite part when looking for recipes!) When you’re sitting down to do the meal planning for the week you add a specific recipe to a calendar, making it easy for your partner or a helpful third party (nanny, au pair, whomever) to know what the plan is for that night.  And one of the things I like best is that you can add all of the recipe ingredients to a single shopping list where items are grouped by general grocery store section (dairy, meat, etc) and consolidated.  (You can also pick and choose which ingredients to add to the shopping list, which is always helpful when you already have 60% of what you need in the house.)

One tip: I keep a backup of all my recipes in B-Folders (which doesn’t have an iPhone app, so it can’t quite serve the same purpose). Both in Pepperplate and in B-Folders, I organize recipes by putting the meal in the title of the recipe, so if I’m sorting by alphabet I see all of my BF (breakfast) or MD (main dishes) together.  I also put notations like MD:CP in the main title (so all of my crockpot main dishes are together), and I tag them with words like “slow cooker, clean, low carb, etc” since I sometimes go on and off different eating regimens. (Pictured: Spicy pork posole, from Self magazine many moons ago!)

This Lifehacker article rounds up some other apps, including the Lifehacker reader favorite, CookSmarts (currently $6-$8 a month).  Ladies, what meal planning apps do you use? If you’re still on the hunt, what are you looking for in one? If you’ve found a system other than an app, what do you use? 

Social media picture credit: Pixabay.

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5 Tips for Eating Out with Kids

tips for eating out with kidsBefore J was walking a ton, we went out to dinner… a LOT. Not only was this expensive, but we both wound up gaining about 10 pounds. Still, it was great to have what we realize now was our last hurrah for at least a few years. So I thought I’d round up my five top tips for eating out with kids. It’s worth noting at the outset that a lot of this comes down to frequency and training — the more often you go out, the easier it will be to have a well-behaved child. Here are my TOP FIVE tips for eating out with kids:


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Five Family Dinner Strategies Better than Delivery

working-moms-dinnersFamily dinners can be a constant headache for busy parents. Before we had kids, my husband and I either ate out, ordered, or made fairly intricate recipes that were fun for both of us to make together — lots of chopping and prepwork. After we had Jack (our firstborn), a lot of things changed. While it’s always easy to just order dinner from Seamless, we’ve tried a number of different ways to actually cook food for the family — so I thought I’d round up five strategies for family dinners that are better than ordering food for delivery…

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