Category Archives: Cook-In

Planning A Cook-In: The 5 X 3 Way

picture of pork meal.

Pulled and diced chicken with rice and veggies are three key ingredients for many 5 X 3 meals. ‘K-Bobs and Stuffed pepper are pictured here.

by donR  October 14, 2016

Choosing meals for a Cook-In is made easier by creating a 5 X 3 chart. It is just a list of featured ingredients which you cook and package to use as a base for three future meals.  A well-stocked pantry provides additional ingredients to complement the featured items 

Previously, we described how pork loin roasts can be cooked  and packaged for use in many different ways. Chicken and turkey, are featured in this article. Read more about these and other versatile ingredients to  use when planning 5 X 3 Cook-Ins. Continue reading

The Family Cook-In Part 5: How To Carry On A Meaningful Conversation

Families use good listening skills and add to the conversation

Families use good listening skills and add to the conversation

by donR    March 6th 2016

The Family Dinner Project website has “tons of conversation starters” appropriate for any age level and on a variety of topics. These prompts can be written on cards and shared during the family dinner. This is just one of their many strategies  for promoting thoughtful conversation and this is the easy part. Yes, I repeat: “Starting a conversation is easy” …compared to “Carrying On A Meaningful Conversation.” Read more about how to keep a conversation going. Continue reading

The Family Cook-In Part 4: Having Fun With Games & Challenges

Kids young and old love mentally challenging games.

Kids young and old love mentally challenging games.

Playing games is one way to have fun. Creative elementary school teachers use them to fill in time or give kids a break from the regular routine. They are equally useful on long trips in the car and at the family dinner table while food finishes cooking. Visit The Family Dinner Project website and download game ideas categorized  by age levels.

Another way to have fun is to challenge your family with riddles, mental tasks and  interesting puzzles. Here are three types of challenges I used while teaching at all levels:

Riddles:  Browse the internet to find interesting scenarios like the

Man In Apartment 5C”

“On rainy days a man grabs his umbrella and hat, leaves his fifth-floor apartment at 7:30 AM, rides the elevator to the first floor lobby and walks to work. He returns at 5:00 PM, rides the elevator to the fifth floor and retires to his room.

However, on sunny days he grabs his sunglasses, leaves his fifth-floor apartment at 7:30 AM, rides the elevator to the first floor lobby and walks to work. He returns at 5:00 PM, rides the elevator to the third floor, takes the stairs to the fifth floor and retires to his room.

Challenge: What does the man look like?.

Procedure: One family member can keep asking questions until getting a “no” answer. Then it’s the next member’s turn and so on until they solve the challenge. (The answer is somewhere on page.)

Riddles: ” How far can a puppy walk into the woods?” or

“What do they call a home for several puppies?”

Puzzles: 

  1. Find an interesting photo and  cut it into six pieces with the most interesting part completely on one of the 6 pieces.
  2. Number each 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 and save 6 for the interesting piece.
  3. Place each piece in separate numbered envelopes.
  4. Procedure. Place part #1 on table and ask your family: “What is the whole picture about?”
  5. Put #2 with #1. Now what’s the big idea?
  6. Place #3 on the table and so on.

d and d gameHere is the whole picture and you “Now know the rest of the story.”

answers: Man: He’s very short. (needs the umbrella to reach the 5th floor button)

Puppies:  A)   an apupment or pup tent

B: half way  when the middle is reached the puppy is walking “out” of the woods,

Note: It’s often  more fun to encourage any answer for a week or two to prolong the discussion and find better answers.

 

 

The Family Cook-In: 25 Tips For Quick Meals

Slicing & dicing is fun but food procesor saves time while bagged produce saves $. It's your choice

Slicing & dicing is fun but a food processor saves time while bagged produce saves $. It’s your choice

by donR March 2nd 2016

Preparing the meal during a Family Cook-In is fun. However it is just one of several activities planned for the gathering. Prep and cooking needs to unfold in a short amount of time to allow for lots of game activities and meaningful conversations.

There are ways to assemble a nutritious meal without resorting to highly processed foods like Uncle Ben’s Instant Rice or Jello Instant pie filling. Here are 25 ways to cut prep and cooking time: Continue reading

The Family Cook-In Part 3: Food.

Freshly steamed veggies and chilled fruit are favorites with most children.

Freshly steamed veggies and chilled fruit are children favorites.

by donR February 29, 2016

Okay, you’ve set goals and the agenda for your “Family Cook-In, aka Family Meal Series.” Now it’s decision time as you plan the food menu, a fun game, and age-appropriate conversation starters. Let’s start with a simple food menu and save games and conversation for another day. Choosing the right food for a Cook-In can be difficult but here are a few tips to make meal planing easier. Continue reading

April’s Cook-In: Do-It-Yourself Month

Biscuit pot pies are easy to make during a cook-in

Pizzas are easy to make during a cook-in.

With the nice weather approaching, the FMP will wait until September before hosting our next Cook-In. So, we declare April as “DO-It-Yourself Month” Spring is a perfect time to host simple Cook-Ins from your home, church, park or community kitchen. Here are some ideas for keeping your first one simple, short and fun. Continue reading

Who Said You Can’t Host A Cook-In? Not Me!

By DonR  12-20-2014

 

Peeling apples can be fun when making pies with friends.

Peeling apples can be fun when making pies with friends.

When I ask people if they would like to host a cook-in, I’ve heard “I don’t have the knowledge (substitute skill, experience, ability, time,  expertise,  training).” Actually anyone can host a Cook-In with the understanding that they do not need to lead it. Here are more ideas for hosting one and picking out leaders: Continue reading

Pork Shoulder: Economical, Delicious and Healthy

Gabriel Claycamp itroduced us toIntroduced us to boneless pork shoulder cushions. These 3 1/2 to 5 pound are roasts cost $1.90 per pound at Cash and Carry in Bellingham when purchased in 12 to 15 pound packages.

Gabriel Claycamp introduced us to boneless pork shoulder cushions

Pork shoulder cushions were the centerpiece for December’s Cook-In. Several people commented that they would start using more pork in their meal plan because these boneless roasts cost just $1.90 per pound at Cash & Carry in Bellingham when purchased in bags of four roasts. Pork, the other white meat not only fit their budget, they found it to be versatile and delicious. But in order to be tasty and tender, it needs to be cooked properly. Read more about two simple ways to prepare pork shoulder cushions. Continue reading

One Small Food Bank Chicken=Three Meals

12/11/2014  By donR

Chicken Thighs

Three meals from one chicken is possible when it complements the side dishes. Read more…

The Ferndale Food Bank is slated to receive small whole chickens this month. Most would consider this to be barely enough for one family meal. But, if you follow the FMP core principles, you most likely  have ideas about carving one whole chicken into three chicken-based meals for a family of four. Continue reading

Preparing For A Cook-In: Pork, The Other White Meat

plate with pork roast

Tuesday’s cook-in features roasted pork loin and veggies. Join us and take enough home for several meals. (iclipart photo)

The hardest step in preparing for a cook-in is selecting a menu. If you think about it everyone has different tastes, health considerations, and budget. Therefore when selecting our menus, we ask the participants what they are interested in, then take a middle of the road approach. Here’s how we selected the menu for Tuesdays cook-in. Continue reading