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Posts Tagged ‘family

This recipe is so delicious and hearty that the whole family will love it! And what makes it even better is that it’s inexpensive and uses the ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen.

Shepherd’s Pie Recipe
Ingredients
1 1/2 lbs ground round beef
1 onion chopped
1 cup peas *we prefer fresh diced green beans (1/4 inch) instead
1 cup diced carrots
1 can corn
1 1/2 – 2 lbs potatoes (4 big ones)
8 tablespoons butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup beef broth
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Peel and quarter potatoes, boil in salted water until tender (about 20 minutes)
  2. While the potatoes are cooking, melt 4 Tablespoons butter (1/2 a stick) in large frying pan
  3. Sauté onions in butter until tender over medium heat (10 mins). If you are adding vegetables, add them according to cooking time. Put any carrots and/or green beans in with the onions. Add corn either at the end of the cooking of the onions, or after the meat has initially cooked.
  4. Add ground beef and sauté until no longer pink. Add salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce.  Then add half a cup of beef broth and cook, uncovered, over low heat for 10 minutes, adding more beef broth as necessary to keep moist
  5. Mash potatoes in bowl with rest of butter, season to taste (you can add sour cream or cheese to the potatoes if you’d like)
  6. Place beef mixture into baking dish. Distribute mashed potatoes on top. Rough up with a fork so that there are peaks that will brown nicely. You can use the fork to make some designs in the potatoes as well.
  7. Cook in 400 degree oven until bubbling and brown (about 30 minutes). Broil for last few minutes if necessary to brown.

Serves four.

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According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, eating dinner together as a family every night keeps the doors of communication open between parents and children.  Furthermore, family dinners are also a perfect opportunity for moms and dads to teach children about eating healthy and making good food choices.
 
“Although hectic schedules have made family dinners a thing of the past, there is compelling evidence that sitting down at a table to share a meal is an ideal environment for family interaction,” said Laura Olson, vice president of education for Kiddie Academy International.  “In addition to discussing the school-related events, dinnertime is the perfect time to talk about healthy eating topics, such as the five food groups and the importance of having different colors of food on your plate.”
 
Olson notes that families should aim to sit down to a meal most nights of the week for a minimum of 30 minutes.  A home-cooked meal is not necessarily required; families can connect just fine over takeout served at the family dinner table.  For those parents wondering how they can make the most of family dinners, Olson offers the following tips:

  • Be curious – Showing an interest in a child’s likes and dislikes can result in the child feeling appreciated, respected and emotionally secure.  Ultimately, the child experiences a surge in self-confidence, which can positively shape his or her developmental progress in the classroom.
  • Get creative with conversation – Lively dialog is crucial to getting your kids to listen and share, so have all family members tell their favorite part or biggest challenge of the day.  Not only will this give everyone a glimpse into each other’s routine, but it will also help kids expand their vocabulary with new and intriguing words.
  • Be specific in your questions – Instead of just inquiring about the day at school, ask about a particular book the child may be reading or an art project he or she may be crafting.  This will help the child foster ideas and opinions about the assignment that he or she may not have previously considered.
  • Let kids plan the menu – Getting children involved in the planning aspect of dinner gets them accustomed to thinking ahead and following step-by-step directions.  Additionally, cooking is a great way to have them practice their math skills, such as adding fractions.

For more information about Kiddie Academy, visit www.kiddieacademy.com.

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Happy Birthday to all our marvelous readers!  Check out all the free stuff you can get just for turning one year older. Great deals and activities on your birthday:

Hollywood Video – free rental on your birthday, no sign-up necessary
Sephora – lip gloss trio or vanilla cupcake bubbles (in-store or online)

Have a sweet tooth on your Birthday…..
Baskin Robbins Birthday Club – free ice cream
Caribou Coffee – free drink
Cold Stone Creamery Birthday Club – free ice cream
Dairy Queen– free Blizzard when you buy one
Dunkin Donuts – free ice cream
Krispy Kreme– free dozen when you buy one
Marble Slab Creamery – free ice cream
Starbucks – free drink on your birthday

Great Restaurant Deals!
Arby’s Extras – free food w/purchase
Famous Daves – P.I.G. Club – free food, kids included
Fuddruckers – free shake w/purchase
Houlihan’s – free entree
Joe’s Crabshack – free appetizer w/purchase
Lone Star Steakhouse – $15 gift card
Mimi’s Cafe – free food, free breakfast with sign-up
On The Border – free food
Red Lobster – $5 coupon
Red Robin – free burger
Ruby Tuesday – free burger w/purchase
Schlotzky’s – free sandwich
Subway – free meal w/purchase
Sweet Tomatoes – free meal
The Melting Pot’s Club Fondue – free dessert with purchase
T.G.I.Friday’s – coupon 

Let’s not forget about the kidos.  Sign them up to get free stuff too!
Applebee’s – free meal for child, fill out postcard at restaurant
Burger King – free kids meal
California Pizza Kitchen – free meal (10 & younger)
Chuck E. Cheese’s – free tokens (12 & younger)
Denny’s – free meal (10 & younger)
Geoffrey’s Birthday Club – Toys ‘R Us coupon value varies (ages 2-10)
Marble Slab Kid’s Club – free ice cream (12 & younger)
Sonic Wacky Pack Birthday Club – free meal (13 & younger)
Target Birthday Club – sign-up to get some treats
The Old Spaghetti Factory Kids Club – free meal (12 & younger)

If you know of something that is not on this list, we would love to hear about it at marvelousgirldeals@gmail.com.  Happy Birthday!!

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michael-jackson-kids A&E reality showIt has been reported that Michael Jackon’s three children, Prince, Paris, and Blanket, will appear on the new Jackson reality show, The Jacksons: A Family Dynasty.

The show was originally intended just to follow the remaining Jackson brothers, but now it has been opened wider to encompass the most successful Jackson sibling still alive, Janet Jackson, as well as the children.

The only family member against it is the oldest daughter, Rebbie Jackson, who flat out refused to do the show and now “feels Michael would spin in his grave if he knew his kids would be on this show.”

You may be wondering where Katherine is when all of this is happening?  A source said she “is just going along with things.” 

 So sad.

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Jaycee Lee Dugard

Jaycee Lee Dugard

Jaycee Lee Dugard, who was abducted 18 years ago, has been found alive and well and her captors are in custody.

The now 29-year-old woman walked into a police station in tiny Antioch, Calif., Wednesday, her stepfather Carl Probyn told ABCNews.com.

“I had personally given up hope,” he said. “I had just hoped for a recovery and to find the people responsible.” He added, “I’ve actually won the lotto.”

Not too many details have been releases, as the authorities are waiting for a press conference at 6 p.m. ET, but court records show that a search warrant was issued for 1554 Walnut Ave., Antioch, the address of Philllip and Nancy Garrido.

The Garridos are in police custody, charged with kidnapping to commit rape and bail was set at $1 million.

Jaycee was taken on June 10, 1991 as she tried to catch the bus to school, and her stepfather could hear her screams. “I saw them pull her in and I tried to get her,” Probyn said.

When asked about Jaycee’s mother, Terry Probyn, he said, “She’s in shock.”  He added that the FBI told his wife that “they have Jaycee and the people she was with.”

“She sounds like she’s okay,” he said. “She had a conversation with my wife and she remembers things. I hope she’s been well treated this entire 18 years.”

There has yet to be a DNA test to confirm the woman’s claims, but the Probyn’s said that she remembers her childhood.

Update:  Apparently Jaycee’s abductor, Phillip Garrido, is a religious freak who kept the girl imprisoned in the backyard.  He is also said to have fathered two daughters with Jaycee, aged 15 and 11-years-old.

average cost vacationWith the recession restricting budgets, families are trying to spend less while still enjoying a summer vacation. But what is the cost difference between getaways? Industry research firm IBISWorld investigated the average cost of roughing it outdoors versus a more luxurious alternative for a family of four vacationing:

Camping & Driving Your Own Car:  $158.33 per day

– Driving Your Car & Renting A Folding Travel Trailer:  $241.77 per day

– Rent A Type-C Motor Home:  $397.33 per day

– Drive Your Car & Stay At A Hotel:  $398.88 per day

– Air Travel, Car Rental & Hotel:  $575.11 per day

“Aside from wanting to save money, families are increasingly showing a desire to enjoy the simple pleasures of the great outdoors,” said George Van Horn, senior analyst at IBISWorld. With camping being the number one outdoor vacation activity, and with over 14,000 government and commercial campground and RV parks, families have an excess of destinations to choose from.”

The two major segments in the industry, RV parks and campgrounds, are getting the most hype lately.  The research shows the RV holiday to average in at $3,576, making it the third cheapest type of vacation. Although RV sales have expectedly gone down this year (to 155,000 – from a peak of 390,500 units in 2006), the RV rental and lease market, on the other hand, has gone up. The $2.14 billion dollar sector has increased by 3.3 percent this year.

With a growing number of franchised resort-type campgrounds sprouting across the nation, roughing it in the wilderness does not necessarily entail getting down and dirty. Operators of camping chains have been upgrading their facilities and amenities, such as introducing wireless Internet access, health and fitness centers, playgrounds, and even restaurants and cafes.

“Camping appeals to families of all income levels,” said Van Horn. “Whether it’s boating, fishing, or soaking in some fresh air with your laptop at hand, modernized campgrounds can accommodate just about every need.”

Janet Jackson spoke on behalf of the Jackson family last night at the BET awards. 


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