The Best Dinner Conversation I’ve Ever Had (with my kids)

We love family dinners at our house. Even if they sometimes don’t last very long (due to evening activities, homework, or dinner accidentally being ready kinda late – oops), we almost always make time for this important ritual.

For the last few years, we’ve gone around the table and asked each other questions from my childhood dinners such as, “What was the best thing that happened to you today? The worst thing?” But then I got the idea that our family dinner conversation might also be a good time to discuss something even more meaningful, like character traits. So then I scribbled this sticky note list along with a little newspaper clipping containing some other thought-provoking questions.

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Kiran’s (Realistic) Quest to Cut Out Processed Foods – Part II

By blog team member, Kiran. To learn more about Kiran, check out our team page!

I’ve never been a resolution person, but I do think there is value in self-assessment and realizing both the positives you’ve accomplished and areas that need improvement. Notice I didn’t say negatives. Last year I wrote about my family’s quest to cut out processed foods. And though I feared daggers would be sent through my computer, the exact opposite happened. What I learned is that, as in my case, making this change is not an overnight thing for most. It takes time, and it may mean sometimes taking two steps forward and one step back. Maybe even a few times.

With that being said, I want to share some of the changes we’ve encountered, and also where my family still needs improvement. I don’t know that we’ll ever be 100% (my guess is we’re now about 90% of the way there), but I do know that we’ve made progress since last year. And I’d love to share some our recent accomplishments.

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Real Food Tips: How To Organize Your Kitchen

This is a guest post by Andrew Mellen, author of Unstuff Your Life!: Kick the Clutter Habit and Completely Organize Your Life for Good. I met Andrew at a blogging conference and thought it would be fun to hear some of his ideas that relate to our kitchen (because we all know that’s where we spend most of our time at home!). – Lisa

Whether you love to cook or do it out of duty, a well organized kitchen will make the task easier and faster and more pleasant for everyone.

If you’ve ever worked in a restaurant, you already know what a functional, zoned kitchen looks and feels like. If you haven’t had that experience, these tips and suggestions will bring you up to speed.

 Likewise, if you’ve ever been in a workshop, similar activities are grouped together near the machines needed for each activity.

So as pretty as you want your kitchen to be, first and foremost you need to think of it as a food shop. These tips will help you organize your kitchen like a pro.

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Top Recipes and Posts of 2014

It was a record year on the blog with over 45 million page views in total – WOW! I love to see so many people taking an interest in kicking highly processed food to the curb. So, in case you’re wondering, the list below summarizes what recipes and posts our readers were most interested in this year.

Also, I’d LOVE to hear from you in the comments on what you’d like to see more of (or less of – no offense taken) in 2015. Would you like to continue seeing new simple recipes? Or are you anxious for more complex ones? Are you in need of more resources and guidance (or maybe the CliffsNotes version of some of what I’ve shared so far) when it comes to living a real food lifestyle? I am here for you and would love to bring you more of what you want and need in the New Year, so please share your thoughts with me below! :)

Top 5 Recipes of 2014

1. The Best Pulled Pork in a Crock Pot

Top Recipes and Posts of 2014 (The Best Pulled Pork in a #CrockPot) on 100 Days of #RealFood

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Real Food Tips: 10 Unique Hostess Gifts

As you hop from party to party this month I do think it’s nice to bring along a little something extra for the party host – entertaining is a lot of work after all! And you could always resort to that good o’l bottle of wine (or champagne – ooolala), but if you like to stand out and do things your own way here are some ideas for more creative hostess gifts. I know I’d love to be given any one of these (although I’ve certainly never turned away a bottle of wine either – ha)! :)

Hostess Gifts on - 100 Days of #RealFood

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Video: A Tour of My Kitchen!

I’ve posted a few cooking videos on the blog, and it seems like every time I do someone always asks if they can get a full tour. Our kitchen is certainly not perfect or up to model home standards, but we have worked hard to organize and stock it with just about everything we need to make real food. So just for fun here’s a look inside some of our cabinets including our kitchen’s best kept secret …the back pantry! With the kids back in school it’s the perfect time to work on getting organized, so hopefully this will give you some ideas.

Also if you want to see more detail about any of my kitchen tools that you saw in the video be sure to check out My Kitchen Essentials page.