Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The BFF Project!

Meal time has always been family time at our house.

It's a time we all look forward to, however over the last few months I've been feeling like I could improve my homemaking skills in the dinner area...thus I've committed to the

BFF Project!

Better Family time and Food around the dinner TABLE
My goal is to find some new recipes my family will love and to eat around the dining room table at least 4 times a week.

With the exception of Sunday brunch and dinners and date night, we all gather around our kitchen counter for dinner. (Little disclaimer: this picture was taken about 6 months ago on a Saturday where the family is eating Ramen for lunch. I draw the line at serving Ramen for dinner.)

Sunday brunch and dinner are my favorite family meals and I think one of the main reasons is because we eat around our dining room table. Everyone just seems to relax more, and I actually sit down for more than 5 minutes to eat.

The Excuses: 1-I am too lazy to move our morning scripture study materials off the table every day (who am I kidding, I am too lazy to tell the children to move the scripture study materials off the table) 2-I get in a hurry and just figure it's faster and easier to set the counter instead of the table

The Procedure

I stopped making excuses, started looking for new recipes and cleared the dining room table.

Today was the first day of school for most of the family...with a schedule back it was the perfect day to start the BFF project.

THE RECIPE: Parmesan Ranch Chicken
2/3 cup Ranch Dressing (I used homemade)

1 cup bread crumbs

1/4 cup parmesan cheese

1 tsp garlic salt

2 pounds chicken breasts

1/3 cup butter


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease 9x13 pan

2. Pour the ranch dressing into a shallow dish or pie plate. Mix the bread crumbs, parmesan cheese and garlic salt into another shallow dish. Dip each piece of chicken in the ranch and then cover both sides of chicken with the bread crumb mixture to coat.

3. Arrange the chicken in the prepared pan. Melt butter and pour over chicken. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the chicken is no longer pink. Sprinkle with salt to taste.
I served the chicken with peas, pasta and marina sauce.

It was a great meal! We discussed the events of the first day of school...how the daughter tripped 3 times at the high school, one of those times she tripped UP the stairs...the son who just started Jr High said the highlight of his day was walking home with his friends, stopping at the grocery store and buying a strawberry milk...another daughter was so excited to find out there was a mistake on her class list and her BFF was supposed to be in her class...etc etc. It was the best!

FYI--The big boy is NOT in the habit of wearing his sun glasses to dinner. You can read why he's wearing them today HERE.

The best part of the dinner? The whole family gave a THUMBS UP for Ranch Parmesan Chicken! Woo Hoo!

Actually I lied--this was the best part of the dinner! Thanks to Grandma Linda for the delicious homemade strawberry pie!

D says Seriously, it really isn't too difficult to be a good cook. I'll always remember the advice from a friend who said that if you can read, you can cook--provided you read the right recipes. It's smart to constantly upgrade your recipes, have a good cookbook collection, and be alert to new ideas in magazines and newspapers.


  1. Excited for the new project. I am going to try your recipe on my family, thanks.

  2. I just finished reading your blog (all of it) two nights ago--wow! Thanks for the great motivation.

    My favorite parts were your family commentary and what you were going to use as a splash of yellow. It has been fun starting my own year.

    Also--how cool is that, that you actually met Daryl and had her visit you at home!!!! She is a personal hero, and I totally use her books to inspire me--I have for years.

  3. Hold on. You didn't say why "The Help" was in two pictures. I imagine it was for the splash of yellow. And I could eat the strawberry pie through the computer! Yummy! Good mama for all that you are doing for your family. You are truly inspirational.