More Menu Ideas Picks
Baby back ribs are meaty pork ribs taken from the lower back of the pig. They're a staple of backyard cookouts, Fourth of July parties and tailgate grilling. Baby back ribs can be marinated in sauce or rubbed with spices before baking or grilling. Baby back ribs are typically served with potato salad, coleslaw and other cookout sides, but those are by no means the only menu possibilities.
In a busy family, you may often feel you don't even know what is happening tomorrow, much less one week from now. Yet when shopping day rolls around, you nonetheless have to cobble together a grocery list to cover one full week, complete with its uncertainties. Smart planning can help you reduce your stress at mealtime and let you take surprises in stride.
Crab cakes are equally welcome at a table of young picky eaters or at a grown-up cocktail party. While fresh crab meat makes a delicious cake, canned crab meat is a quick, inexpensive and readily available tasty alternative. Traditionally fried in oil, crab cakes can also be baked in an oven.
Bratwurst, a mild German sausage, calls to mind the hearty fall dinners of Oktoberfest celebrations and lazy summer afternoons by the grill. Bratwurst is not a low-calorie food. Eaten occasionally, it fits in with a balanced diet when served with healthful, veggie-packed side dishes and a light dessert. To appeal to younger diners, try serving bratwurst hot-dog style in a bun with kid-friendly toppings or sliced with a favorite dipping sauce.
Cooking and eating outdoors is one of the true joys of summer, and certain foods just taste better when they're grilled. Buy your ingredients from a farmer's market or other local merchants so they're as fresh as possible. The fresher the ingredients are, the less work you'll have to do to make each dish taste delicious. Special foods are part of the fun family times that make your cookouts memorable.
Crepes are often associated with dessert, but when stuffed with a variety of savory fillings they make a meal that's fun and versatile. Kids will love the idea of eating pancakes for dinner, while crepes are also elegant enough for adults. You can make crepes ahead of time and store them in the freezer for quick and easy meals on busy nights.
A warm pot of chili makes a hearty centerpiece for a comforting, versatile meal. You can make chili with just a few relatively simple and inexpensive ingredients, which makes it a great meal choice for family dinners and buffet-style parties alike. Customize your chili dinner menu by choosing breads and side dishes that complement your favorite chili recipe, along with a tasty dessert. Serve any leftover chili the next day with new sides for a whole new meal experience.
Pork and sauerkraut are a traditional German combination eaten on New Year's Day. The pork promises good luck and the cabbage greens symbolize money. The dish is easy to prepare and lends itself to a multitude of side dishes. Getting kids to appreciate this dish with strong flavors is a matter of serving sides that are familiar or fun.
Lamb chops are often served on special occasions or as part of an elegant dinner, but they are also a great option for an everyday meal. They are high in protein and low in fat. Their flavor is mild, so it's easy to cook them in a variety ways to introduce new tastes and flavors, adding your own flair to a meal. One chop is just the right size for a child's portion. Lamb chops cook quickly, so they are a good choice for a family dinner on a busy day.
While the end of summer can be bittersweet -- heralding the coming chill of winter and kids' return to school -- a celebration provides one last hurray for the season. Incorporate quintessential summer dishes, ingredients and flavors into your end-of-summer party menu. Tweak the menu to include regional favorites and local produce, thus encapsulating the one-of-a-kind essence of your summer.
No matter how delicious a meal is, a bland or overly sweet dessert will leave everyone with a bad taste in her mouth. The trick to making a successful dessert is to buy high-quality ingredients and let them sing, rather than coating them with sauces and garnishes. Serve dessert on plain white dishes so everyone can focus on the beautiful creations you've whipped up.
Barbecue ribs pair easily with just about any dishes that are suitable for a family cookout or picnic. Choose and prepare simple finger foods -- suitable for kids -- rather than elegant, complicated dishes. Whole fresh fruits and vegetables and simple salads go perfectly with barbecue ribs. Add one or two side dishes, and the menu is complete.
Just about any side dish that belongs at a barbecue or picnic also goes well with pulled pork. Salad, grilled vegetables, fresh fruit and a light dessert are perfect items to add to the menu. Put a twist on these dishes to create your own menu by adding unusual spices and flavors.
Constantly coming up with nourishing meal ideas that don't take a lot of time to prepare can quickly wear out the joy of cooking when it's just the two of you. Yet healthy, balanced meals are a big part of healthy, balanced lives, so your small family takes on the challenge even when there's a time or budget crunch. Give yourself a menu make-over to bring more fun, flavor and variety to the table. With a few shortcuts in the kitchen and a watchful eye on nutrition, the pair of you can settle in for enjoyable mealtimes.
Cooking for a dozen people can feel intimidating, but it's not bad if you plan ahead. Take advantage of the casual feel of summer and fresh seasonal vegetables to craft a family-friendly menu. Choose dishes that don't take long to prepare in the midst of all of your family's summer activities.
Overnight guests give you a chance to visit and spend time with family or friends who live far away. As you're planning their visit, spend a little time thinking up tempting menu ideas for your guests. When you're hosting families with children, there are many reasons for keeping the menu manageable. Because children usually have basic tastes, disliking new and different foods, everyone will be happier if you stick to simple fare.