Episode 34: Breaking Up With Brunch

Way back in episode five, we revealed the inconvenient truth about eating out with kids. Take all of that — dealing with the mess, feeling obligated to tip more to compensate for your children’s behavior, worrying about that any-second-now-meltdown, setting your money on fire because holy expensive to eat out — and let’s do it early in the day so that you can go home buzzed and have to CONTINUE PARENTING FOR HOURS.

Sound fun? We don’t think so either. But if you insist, we have some tips for how to survive brunch — or maybe even make it fun. Or at least easy and delicious.

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Episode 33: Spice Up Your Family's Food with Chief Spice Mama, Kanchan Koya

“What is the best way to teach the world of spices to young ones?” is not only a question we ponder often, but an actual question that came from our listener’s group a few weeks ago. Luckily, we’ve got an in with the Chief Spice Mama. This week we explore the spices in our kitchens with renewed vigor and insight after talking with Kanchan Koya.

Spices — dried and ground or even fresh herbs and aromatics — are actual magic ingredients just sitting in our cabinets ready to make vegetables taste better, to add flavor without extra fat or sugar, and more. Here’s how we’re spicing up our families food with just a handful of ingredients and without a bunch of fussy recipes.

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Episode 32: The After-School Snack Problem Solved. Sorta.

The hellish few hours between school and dinner, marked with relentless begging for snacks, might break us! Figuring out snack time is hard enough — how to keep our pantry stocked with healthy, kid-friendly options that work at home and on-the-go without breaking the bank — but also walking the line between keeping the kids sated, while not ruining dinner is enough to drive you mad. So we go over ALL the tips, ideas, recipes, and products to help you figure snack time out once and for all.

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Episode 31: The Magic of Meatballs

What can be served plain or in soup, with pasta or in a sandwich, covered with sauce or with dip on the side, packed with vegetables or even leftovers… shall we go on? We can. Because meatballs? They’re magic for a family cook. We know that making them can end up a production, but we have all the tips to ensure that it doesn't. Follow them, and meatballs will become a weeknight go-to. You'll even have leftovers.

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Episode 30: The Art of Intentional Leftovers

Intentional leftovers, dubbed nextovers by our guest David Tamarkin, digital director of Epicurious and author of the Cook90 cookbook, are extras that you make intentionally while cooking one dinner, with the express intention of turning them into a different dinner on another night. Cooking the 1st night takes the usual amount of time, but cooking on the nextover night takes a fraction of the time. How’s that for a busy parent game changer? In this episode, we talk about everything from how to stock your pantry to choosing the right recipes to become a nextover master.

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Episode 28: Maybe the Slow Cooker Isn't So Great?

Listen: We know you love your slow cooker, and we use ours frequently too. But we’re not sold on the idea that the slow cooker is the answer to every parent’s dinner woes. In fact, we’ve got some major issues with crock pot cooking and a bunch of slow cooker recipes too.

But here are some dishes, ingredients, and circumstances for which the slow cooker is perfect. And once we’re done telling you all the ways you can do better than your slow cooker, we also tell you how you can maximize it. Because, damn, if you’re going to wait six or more hours for your food, it’d better be good.

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Episode 27: Reclaiming Chicken Nuggets from the Kids’ Menu

Chicken nuggets have become a vilified symbol of “kid’s food” in America, yet nearly every cuisine has a version of this simple dish, from Italian Chicken Milanese to Japanese Chicken Katsu, and these dishes are not considered just kids’ food in other countries.

This week, Stacie and Meghan are reclaiming chicken nuggets… or strips, or fingers, or cutlets. We go over everything from the merits of keeping frozen nuggets on hand to pro-tips on how to make yours homemade as quickly and inexpensively as possible. Because we’re taking back this “kids food” to restore peace and equilibrium at the family table. And because, yea, we want to eat some crispy breaded chicken too.

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Episode 26: Easy Classroom Treats, Because Valentine's Day

Classroom celebrations have nothing on us: We share ALL the ideas for how to make the easiest classroom treats for any holiday celebration. From clever kitchen shortcuts to store-bought hacks, we'll help you score points with the kids (and their classmates!) and still keep your sanity. Or with Valentine's Day coming up, still have time for some kid-free hanky panky — or you know, alone time on the toilet (which is not to be underrated).

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Episode 25: How to make nachos a legit family dinner

This week is all about nachos — but not for the reason you might expect. Because would we ever dedicate a whole episode to game day food just because of the World Series? (We kid. We know it’s a super white Maroon 5 concert.)

No, we’re talking nachos because they are one of the most underrated family meals around. We’ll tell you why, fill you in on all the gloriously easy ways you can use nachos to make a fast meal packed with good stuff your kids will actually eat & give tips on how to build them perfectly. Because soggy, structurally unsound nachos suck for everyone.

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Episode 24: Which "Healthy" Foods Live Up to the Label.

Ever heard of the “health halo”? This week, we break down the idea that a food is healthy just because a single claim of healthfulness can be made about it. Are those cookies healthy because they’re made with organic sweet potato? Maybe — but also maybe not. It depends on a lot more than just the sweet potato.

Dietician Katie Morford of Mom’s Kitchen Handbook weighs in on issues like how to quickly read food labels & whether hiding veggies is worth it as we try to figure out which foods live up to the labels they’re given. Not to determine if they’re “good” or “bad,” but to figure out their rightful place in our families’ diet — and in our grocery budgets too!

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Episode 23: How to save money on groceries with The Budget Mom

Over the last few months, both Stacie and Meghan have taken a long, hard look at their families’ finances and were shocked to discover how much they were spending on groceries. As it turns out, they’re not alone. After talking to Kumiko, aka The Budget Mom, they learned that food is the biggest expenditure for most families.

Whether or not you thought you were looking to save money on groceries this year, this episode is for you — because who doesn’t want to save money?! Sure, we go deep with hardcore tips for people who are ready to get serious about their budgets. But we also talk about practical ways that anyone can save money by being more mindful and less wasteful: a worthwhile practice in more ways than one.

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