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Sunday is not only the start of Advent, it is also Dine In Day. A day to encourage families to come to the dinner table and enjoy a home-cooked meal with each other.
There are many benefits of families preparing and eating healthy meals together. Depending on the ages, the kids can gather the ingredients, measure, mix, set the table, "many hands make light work." Include them somehow or someway. If your kids have aprons, have them put them on. It makes their role and involvement official!
Just think back a generation ago when most meals were eaten around the family dinner table. In order to reap the benefits of breaking bread together, here are some recipe ideas taken from our Pinterest page picked for you all.
Angel Hair Carbonara
The portions serve 3-4 so you may want to double it if you have more family or if you want extra for lunch the next day.
4-6 strips of bacon
3/4 lb. angel hair pasta
1/4 t. black pepper
1/2 t. sea salt
1 T. butter
2/3 c. Parmesan
1/2 c. reserved pasta water
1. Cook bacon, chop, then set aside.
2. Cook pasta according to package directions.
3. Combine eggs, 1/3 c. cheese, and butter in bowl.
4. Temper egg mixture with the reserved pasta water while stirring.
5. Pour egg mixture over warm noodles until the noodles are well coated
6. Stir in bacon or use bacon as a topping.
7. Top with remaining cheese.
Pick any veggie for a side dish - broccoli or peas would be nice with this main dish.
Some people like to have garlic bread with their pasta. However, if you really want to keep with the angel theme, here's a recipe for Angel Biscuits (also on our Pinterest page).
The bread takes an hour to make so you will want to start the bread 1st before making the main meal.
This recipe says it serves 40 (!) So cut the measurements in half and whatever your family doesn't eat over the next few days, freeze for next time.
1 package dry active yeast
1 t. baking soda
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. shortening (cut into 1/2" pieces)
3 T. warm water
1/2 c. salted butter (cut into 1/2" pieces and room temp)
2 c. buttermilk (room temp)
5-6 c. self-rising flour
1. Dissolve yeast and sugar in bowl. Set aside.
2. Wisk 5 c. flour, salt, and baking soda in large bowl.
3. Add shortening and butter to flour mixture. Use your fingers to form balls (think feta cheese).
4. Make a well in center of flour and shortening mixture.
5. In separate bowl stir together the yeast mixture and the buttermilk.
6. Pour yeast mixture into the well of the flour mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon. Mixture will be slightly damp.
7. Divide the dough in half. Set aside one of the halves. (It's easier to handle. If you decide you don't want to make both halves, you can refrigerate the other 1/2 for up to a week before baking.)
8. Roll dough into 1/2" thick rectangle.
9. Fold dough and roll out to 1" thick.
10. Dust your biscuit cutter in flour. If you don't have a biscuit cutter use a glass (or mini glass for smaller biscuits).
11. Place biscuits on a greased baking sheet. Cover with a hand towel and let sit for 30-40 minutes.
12. After biscuits have risen, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake biscuits 10-12 minutes rotating half way through.
13. Brush warm biscuits with melted butter and dust with powdered sugar if you choose (angel dust!).
Any leftover biscuits can be for breakfast with some honey, jam, or preserves on them. Yum!
No meal is complete without dessert. So, for the sweet tooths reading this, here's a treat to top it all off.
Since we are encouraging kids in the kitchen, our dessert is going to be cookies.
Pioneer Woman's Angel Sugar Cookies
1 c. canola
2 sticks softened butter
1 c. sugar (plus extra for the top)
1 c. powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla
4 c. + 2 T. all-purpose flour
1 t. salt
1 t. baking soda
1 t. cream of tartar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
(although my Executive Chef husband says 325 is the best temp for cookies)
1. In large mixing bowl, cream together eggs, oil, butter, sugars, and vanilla.
2. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
3. Refrigerate for one hour. (Although if you are in a time crunch, you can bake after mixing - for best results refrigerate.)
4. Using cookie scoop, drop balls into ungreased cookie sheet.
5. Smear a dab of butter on the bottom of a clean drinking glass. Dip the glass in granulated sugar. Flatten ball of cookie dough onto the sheet. Repeat for each cookie.
6. Bake for 9-11 minutes.
Eat, enjoy, repeat!!
Happy Advent and Dine In Day!
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