Family time is so important to me, and some weeks it feels like we don’t get enough of it. I know that rings true with most families this day and age, so how do you maximize your family time?
What is most important to our family is that we sit down together every night for dinner. Dinner is a no-outside-distraction type of event. No TV, no music, no cell phones, just us. As far back as I can remember, my oldest daughter Sydney has been like pulling teeth to get any information from. So, our dinner rule is that everyone at the table has to tell us two good things that happened in their day (and the answer has to relate to someone, or something that made their day better…not just recess, or lunch.)
Now don’t get me wrong, we don’t get to do this every night – the reality of life happens between the rush of taking kids to rehearsals, lessons and play dates. But, even in the car between those things, we don’t turn on the music. We share stories of our days. This makes sure that we get to know what is really going on in each others lives!
Our favourite dinners are comfort food dinners. One of the faves is Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Manicotti. Now, I am vowing to eat healthier (which is eliminating my carbs) so I made an adaptation of this recipe that I can eat too…I call it Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breasts.
Cheese and Spinach Manicotti
- 1 pkg Manicotti Tubes
- 1 tub of Cottage Cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 bunch fresh spinach
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- fresh basil
- 1-2 cups of Tomato Sauce (your favorite one or homemade)
Boil the Manicotti tubes as per the directions on the box – once complete drain, cool and set aside
Heat the olive oil up in a frying pan. Once hot, add the 3 cloves of garlic finely chopped and allow to cook for 1-2 minutes
Then add the spinach and toss it until it wilts but remains bright green. It should reduce by about half. Set aside to cool
In a bowl, mix the Cottage Cheese with the mozzarella, parmesan and basil and once cooled add the spinach and mix together until blended
Stuff the cooled Manicotti with the cheese mixture and put single layer in a casserole dish and top with your favorite pasta sauce. Bake in the over at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes
Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breasts
- Take a couple of fresh chicken breast and butterfly slice them. Pound them out slightly to make them easier to fill.
- Stuff them with the above cheese mixture and some extra spinach
- Fold them closed and place in a casserole dish. Bake at 400 degrees for approx 30-35 minutes.
These are two great recipes that will please the entire family and help to encourage those great family dinner moments!