Celebrating Family Dinner Night In July - Celebrating Life with Paula Blog at Allrecipes.com - 307537

Celebrating Life with Paula

Celebrating Family Dinner Night in July 
Jul. 29, 2013 2:15 pm 
Updated: Aug. 5, 2013 3:47 pm

When my son and his family moved back to this area, my daughter said we should resume Family Dinner Night. So we try to get all the family together once a month. That sounds as though it would be easy, right? Well, let me tell you, it's not! Working around school, work, and chemo schedules has proven to be a juggling act. Add in summer vacations, and it has been even harder this summer. But I've decided it's always worth the effort! I absolutely adore my family, and I love spending time with them, especially when we are ALL together. 

We decided when we started this that we were not going to make dinner really elaborate and super hard. What we wanted was to be together, and food would be included, but it would be secondary. So we all bring something and try to make it fairly easy. This month I decided Family Dinner night would be the perfect time to make some of the recipes I needed to make for my ALLRECIPES PROJECTS. I usually make more dishes than the others mainly because I'm not the one trying to juggle littles ones.

I wanted to make an appetizer and chose HERDEZ THREE PEPPER CHEESY STUFFED JALAPENOS. As you can imagine, the men really liked these. Even though I removed all the seeds, they were still pretty hot and spicy, but delicious. My husband loved them and didn't find them hot at all (but I think his taste buds were burned off years ago :)

The weather was perfect this night. The kids were able to play and run outside all they wanted

I decided to grill SAVORY BEEFY BURGERS as the entree. The sides were HERDEZ CREAMY TOMATILLO AVOCADO SALSA with Roasted Garlic and Black Bean Artisan Tostitos, Hot Corn Dip served with Fritos, Cheetos for the kids, and Watermelon. 

What kid can't resist a Cheetos mustache? As you can see, Ava's hair is growing out from the radiation, and she is doing well even though she is still getting chemo.

For dessert, we had Oreos and VANILLA ICE CREAM V.  Papa let the oldest lick the ice cream paddle. That's one of the best parts of making homemade ice cream!

Mmm. Good ice cream!

Papa decided that after dinner each child should plant his own pot of flowers. We just happen to have 6 large pots on our patio, so we lined the children up from oldest to youngest. They did a great job planting. The oldest one did his pot all by himself!

And at the end, Papa supervised the clean-up.

Family Dinner Night...with the emphasis on "Family." A time to slow down, if only for a 2-3 hours, time for cousins to play with each other, time to catch up on each other's lives, and time to nurture each other with hugs, conversation, and good food. 

(I am an Allrecipes Allstar Brand Ambassador (a voluntary position) and I’m not compensated for my work with Allrecipes.com. 

Products received from Herdez/Birds Eye are only used for experienced-based reviews on Celebrating Life with Paula. The reviews, content and opinions expressed in this blog are purely the sole opinions of Paula.)

Jul. 29, 2013 2:21 pm
And, yes, all those kids have parents who were at Family Dinner Night, but for some reason Granna went crazy taking pics of the grandkids, not their mommies and daddies :)
Jul. 29, 2013 2:25 pm
Wonderful blog and beautiful pics of an amazing family. Thank you for sharing your day with us Paula!
Jul. 29, 2013 2:32 pm
What a wonderful story Paula, Ava looks beautiful. Family is very important, you are so right. Very happy for you that you and your family can get together for dinners. All the children in your photos are blessed to have this.
Jul. 29, 2013 4:19 pm
Thanks for reading, mauigirl and manella.
Jul. 29, 2013 4:35 pm
Paula, this brought tears to my eyes. My fondest childhood memories are of the family get togethers. Sadly, I can not remember the last time my entire family was under the same roof. Time changes everything just not always for the best. Someday your grandchildren will be able to look back on your family dinners and remember them with a smile. I know they will treasure their memories, just as I treasure mine.
Jul. 29, 2013 8:17 pm
Paula: I applaud you and your family for insisting that these events will be carved into everyone's busy schedule. Nice job!
Jul. 29, 2013 8:23 pm
kdiddle - Your comment brought tears to my eyes. Memories are wonderful, aren't they? So glad you have good ones that you treasure. I hope things will change for you and you can get your family together sometime in the near future.
Jul. 29, 2013 8:24 pm
Thanks, bikerfamily. It's hard but well worth it.
Jul. 30, 2013 7:46 am
Sounds like a a great time! I love the idea of letting the grand-kids plant the flowers in pots. Will have to try that with my grand-kids.
Jul. 30, 2013 8:22 am
Hi, Paula! I love your huge backyard. I am so glad to see Ava's photo. I hope she continues to get better. My kids come over for dinner at least once a week. I let my kids take turns choosing something they want me to make them. When the kids were younger, I used to say Saturdays is pick your dinner day. Every other day was -you eat what I make days. So, it has carried on into their adulthood. I think having everyone bring something would be a great idea! Of course, on their birthday-it is a special menu of all their favorite foods.
Jul. 30, 2013 12:27 pm
mimi - We had waited quite late to plant flowers this year. So much going on. So my husband came up with the idea to let the Grands plant the flowers. Now when they come over, they can check THEIR flowers out. And be sure, they will remember which pot is theirs!
Jul. 30, 2013 12:31 pm
Lela - Our huge backyard served us well as our children were growing up, and the Grands love it. Not sure it will be what we need after my husband retires and we age more. I'm seeing my mother have a hard time getting her yard mowed, shrubbery trimmed, and housework done. So I'm thinking ahead of time about our situation. I love that your children come once a week! What a blessing for you and them as well!
Jul. 31, 2013 8:45 pm
Paula, sounds like a wonderful gathering! Best to you all, for sure! Times, though, it's difficult to get two people together, let alone a "family." You "RULE!"
Aug. 1, 2013 6:02 am
Happy Birthday, Paula. You are blessed with a beautiful family.
Aug. 2, 2013 12:31 am
Thanks so much, Stevie and Baking Nana.
Aug. 3, 2013 12:39 pm
Your family nite looks like a lot of fun. I don't have hardly any of those Herdez products here glad you AR brand ambassadors had those as a product to showcase. The salsa I could find was really good.
Aug. 4, 2013 5:55 am
Cat Hill - Yes, I love family dinner night. And, yes, the Herdez products are really good. I haven't bought the salsa, but plan to.
Aug. 5, 2013 3:47 pm
Paula, my children might never have the family experiences I was able to have but we have our own traditions in place. Someday (sooner than I'm willing to admit), I'll have grandbabies to start new traditions with. In the mean time, FaceBook is making the world a smaller place and I've been luck enough to reconnect with some of my family. All in due time ;) Again, thank you for sharing with us and thank you for giving such wonderful memories to your family.
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About Me
I'm a wife, mother of 2, and grandmother of 6. I love to cook. I especially like to cook new and different recipes. I don't like to have the same meals week after week. My husband has decided it really doesn't matter whether he likes a new recipe or not because he won't see it again for a very long time anyway!
My favorite things to cook
I like to cook entrees and desserts. I like preparing good, down-to-earth cooking. I also decorate cakes, mostly for the grandchildren now.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Holidays bring out the traditions: chocolate chip cheese ball; crockpot chicken and dressing; and broccoli salad, sweet potatoes and butterscotch pie handed down from past generations. Another thing that must be tradition in my family: we all make new recipes when we have company! My mother, sister, daughter, and I all do this. My daddy never understood why we would risk making something we had never made before. Actually, none of us has ever served company a new recipe that didn't taste good.
My cooking triumphs
Cake decorating: wedding cakes, bridal and baby shower cakes, birthday cakes: Little Pirate, Cinderella, Elmo, Strawberry Shortcake. My friends call me Betty Crocker. When my daughter got married, she had a bridal shower where the guests were asked to write something on an apron. My best friend told her if she needed a recipe or help in the kitchen to ask her mother. If she needed a good place to eat out, ask her.
My cooking tragedies
A 4 tier huge wedding cake that fell apart at 2:00am. Thankfully, I still had time to salvage the cake.
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