If I'm not blogging you'll find me on various social media sites, facebook, twitter, pinterest and instagram. I'm my own marketer, so sometimes it can all seems never ending. There are some days that I look up at the clock and realize it's 2:00 pm, and I'm still in my pajamas.
I used to feel bad for being on the computer so much, but I told myself this is your career, and your contribution to helping our family financially. This is how it's suppose to be, but is it really suppose to be this crazy?
Honestly I love what I do, but technology can sure get the best of me at times, and the best of my family as well. Sadly these photos are all too familiar in our home and on the go.
The other night it was very quiet in our house that I decided to do a walk through. If you knew my family than you would know quiet does not describe our house. I popped my head into my daughters room to find her sitting in her chair responding to text messages, snap chatting, and checking in on Instagram.
Next to Mackenzie's room was Carson sitting by his desk watching Full House and playing flappy bird on his iPod. Off to the main bedroom where my husband was checking emails from his iPad and watching a movie. I couldn't believe how everyone was separated as a family, and so consumed by technology.
Growing up my mom always made sure we ate dinner together as a family, and it was always at the table. It was never spread out in the living room eating off of TV trays or around the coffee table. Eating together as a family is the one childhood memory that I remember very clearly.
Sadly that isn't how it's been in my home lately. We used to eat dinner every night at the table, but then we moved to a new home, and never really got back into the routine.
Recently I was invited to team up with the Power of Family Meals and J.M. Smucker Company for an initiative that emphasizes on the benefits of eating together as a family.
Disconnect to Reconnect is a movement to get families to unplug at the table for at least one meal, once a week or more. We don't always have the chance to eat together as a family, but when we do the one rule we have is no electronic devices or phones at the table. Family meal time is all about focusing on each other and reconnecting as a family.
When I want to gather my family around the table I can always depend on a good pasta meal to do the trick. This easy No Boil Classic Lasagna is a family favorite in our house (recipe below).
Family meal time opens up the line of communication more than you realize especially with teenagers. It gives us time to chat about our day, see how everyone is doing, catch up on school activities, and listen to who my daughters new crush is for the week. Before we know it everyone is giggling and having a great time.
My son is one of the pickiest eaters, so lasagna is the one meal I can make with no complaints.
This recipe is simple to make and you don't have to cook the noodles first. I love that part.
No Boil Classic Lasagna
1 - pound lean ground beef, ground turkey or Italian sausage
1/2 - cup onion, chopped
1 - clove garlic, minced
1/2 - cup water
1 - 28 ounce can red gold crushed tomatoes
2 - 14.5 ounce cans red gold diced tomatoes with Basil, Garlic & Oregano
salt and pepper, to taste
Italian seasoning, to taste
pinch of sugar
1 - 16 ounce box traditional lasagna noodles, uncooked
1 - 15 ounce container low fat ricotta cheese
3 - cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 - cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown ground beef or ground turkey in a 12 inch or larger skillet. Add the chopped onions and garlic and cook until the meat is brown and the onions are translucent in color; drain any grease.
In a large mixing bowl combine the water, crushed tomatoes and diced tomatoes; mix to combine. I used my immersion blender to chop up the tomatoes (we like more of a sauce).
Add the tomatoes mixture and a pinch of sugar to the meat mixture and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste the sauce and add additional garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper if needed.
Cover the bottom of a 13x9x2 inch baking pan with 1 1/2 cups sauce mixture. Arrange 1/3 of noodles on top of sauce, slightly overlapped. Top with ½ of ricotta cheese, 1 cup of mozzarella cheese and 1 cup of sauce.
Repeat layers and top with last 1/3 of noodles and the remaining sauce. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. I did three layers.
Cover tightly with foil and bake for 1 to 1½ hours; until noodles are cooked. Remove the foil and cook for additional 5 - 10 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
adapted from: redgold.com
Cook's Note: You can divide this into two 8x8 inch or 9x9 inch baking dishes and freeze one for a second meal. Freeze lasagna unbaked. Cover with plastic wrap and then foil. Date and freeze. To cook remove from freezer, thaw and cook.
I recently took the pledge to Disconnect to Reconnect and were starting out slowly. My family is finally getting back into our routine and I couldn't be happier! Now it's your turn. Are you ready to Disconnect to Reconnect? I challenge you to put down all your electronic devices, cook a home-cooked meal and enjoy dinner together and reconnect as a family. Trust me your children will appreciate the time you spend together gathered around the table. I know I did.
Another favorite meal my family loves is Breakfast for Dinner! We love it so much that I add it to our menu at least twice a month. Now it's time for a giveaway!!!! The generous folks over at Smuckers are offering one lucky Mommy's Kitchen reader a Breakfast for Dinner Prize Package.
The Prize package includes the following:
- Presto Jumbo Cool Touch electric griddle
- 7-piece kitchen utensil set with stand
- Family Talk conversation game
- Smucker’s Strawberry Natural Squeeze jam
- JIF Creamy Peanut Putter
- JIF Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
- Folger’s Classic Roast
- Hungry Jack Breakfast Syrup
- 2 packs Hungry Jack Complete Pancake and Waffle Mix
- 2 packs Martha White Banana Nut Muffin Mix
- Crisco No-Stick Cooking Spray
- Martha White All-Purpose Flour
This Giveaway is now Closed! A Winner has been chosen.
How to Enter:
To enter the giveaway just leave a comment on this post letting me know what your family’s favorite dinner meal is? (mandatory comment)
1) Take the Pledge and come back and leave an additional comment and letting me know.
n additional comment saying that you did.
2) Tweet the following for a second bonus entry:
Take the Pledge #Disconnect2Reconnect with the @PowerofMeals at @mommyskitchen Win a Breakfast 4 Dinner Prize Pack http://tinyurl.com/lgrwxnb
Contest starts today and will run until midnight on Sunday May 18th 2014. If you leave an anonymous comment please include your email address in your comment. Contest open to US and Canadian Residents only due to shipping charges. I will choose a random winner and contact the winner via email. The winner will have 48 to reply or a new will be chosen.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of #DisconnecttoReconnect Campaign; however, all thoughts and opinions stated above are 100% entirely my own.