Salsa Stories

3 Set It And Forget It Dinners

3 Set It And Forget It Dinners

It’s difficult most weeknights to find time to prepare a healthy and nutritious dinner your family will not only eat but enjoy. Add in the pressures of work, errands and picking up the kids from practice, and most of us won’t have much time to eat let alone time to cook a meal. At Mama Flasch’s Gourmet Kitchen, we get it and are here to help! Try one of these set it and forget dinners that you can make quickly in the morning, turn on the crockpot, then come home to a ready and delicious meal! Crockpot Enchiladas 1.5 pounds ground turkey 1 cup chopped yellow or white onion 1 chopped green pepper 1 16-ounce can pinto or kidney beans, rinsed and drained 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained 1 teaspoon chili powder 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 1/4 teaspoon pepper 1 jar Mama Flasch’s Gourmet Salsa 1/2 cup water 2 cups shredded cheese 3, 6-inch flour tortillas 1 cup sour cream The night before, cook the ground turkey, onion and green pepper in a large skillet until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add beans and spices; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Refrigerate overnight in a covered glass dish. In the morning, layer about a one-fourth of the mixture, cheese and salsa in a 5-quart slow cooker. Top with a tortilla. Repeat layers and top with remaining mixture, cheese and salsa. Add water around the edges. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until heated through. Top with sour cream. Shredded Chicken Salsa Over Brown Rice 6 boneless chicken breasts, frozen 1 jar Mama Flasch’s Gourmet Salsa 1 green pepper, diced 2 boil-in-bags brown rice Add chicken breasts to a 5-quart slow cooker. Add water until chicken breasts are submerged. Add peppers. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Drain, leaving in the crockpot. Cook rice according to package directions. Using two forks, shred chicken. Add salsa and mix well. Serve over rice. Slow-Cooker Pork Tacos 4 pounds boneless pork shoulder 1 tablespoon ground cumin 2 tablespoons minced garlic 1 diced yellow onion 1 jar Mama Flasch’s Gourmet Salsa 1 lime 8-12 6-inch flour tortillas Favorite taco toppings such as lettuce, cheese, hot sauce, green onions or cilantro Trim excess fat from the pork and cut into four pieces. Coat with lime juice. Season on all sides generously and place in crockpot with onions, spices and salsa. Combine well. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours in a 5-quart slow cooker. Shred with two forks. Stir well. Add to warm tortillas and top with your favorite taco toppings. At Mama Flasch’s Gourmet Kitchen, we believe a strong family bond gives everyone a solid foundation for happiness and success. Our dinner table is where we shared what was going on in our lives and had a safe space to enjoy the love and support of our family. We hope you can taste the love in every jar of Mama Flasch’s salsas, made in small batches with Mama’s original recipes and packed with fresh ingredients. Check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn or Instagram for our latest updates and recipes!
Easy One-Dish Dinners

Easy One-Dish Dinners

Ready for an easy, one-dish dinner that your family will love, and that won’t have you cleaning the kitchen for hours? Try one of these delicious meals that will leave your family satisfied. Mexican Chili Skillet 1 pound ground beef or turkey 1 cup chopped onion 1/2 cup chopped green pepper 1 tablespoon minced garlic 1 16-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained 1 jar Mama Flasch’s Gourmet Salsa 1/2 cup water 4 teaspoons chili powder 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1/2 cup uncooked, long-grain rice 1 cup frozen corn 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese Thinly sliced green onions, optional In a large skillet over medium heat, cook beef/turkey, onion, pepper and garlic until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add the next six ingredients; simmer, covered, until rice is tender, about 25 minutes. Stir in corn; cover and cook 5 minutes. Sprinkle in cheese; cook, covered, for about 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Skillet Chicken Burritos 3 fresh, boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces 1/8 teaspoon pepper 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided 1 cup uncooked long-grain brown rice 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained 1 jar Mama Flasch’s Gourmet Salsa 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 small diced yellow onion 1-1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese 4-6 8-inch flour tortillas 1/2 cup sour cream 2 green onions, chopped Toss chicken with spices. In a large cast-iron or another heavy skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat; sauté chicken until browned, about 2 minutes. Remove from pan. In the same pan, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat; sauté rice until lightly browned, 1-2 minutes. Stir in beans, salsa and broth; bring to a boil. Place chicken on top (do not stir into rice). Simmer, covered, until rice is tender and chicken is no longer pink 20-25 minutes. Remove from heat; sprinkle with cheese. Let stand, covered until cheese is melted. Fill warm tortillas, roll into a burrito and top with green onions and sour cream. At Mama Flasch’s Gourmet Kitchen, we believe a strong family bond gives everyone a solid foundation for happiness and success. Our dinner table is where we shared what was going on in our lives and had a safe space to enjoy the love and support of our family. We hope you can taste the love in every jar of Mama Flasch’s salsas, made with Mama’s original recipes and packed with fresh ingredients. Check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn or Instagram for our latest updates and recipes!
6 Easy School Lunches

6 Easy School Lunches

Mornings are hectic enough as it is, making sure everyone has everything they need for the day and getting ready yourself all as you’re racing against the clock. As parents, we are always looking for nutritious school lunches that are easy to make, and that they’ll actually eat and enjoy. Here are six ideas for easy-to-make lunches that’ll leave you with plenty of time to spare. Mama Flasch’s Favorite The easiest lunch to make is salsa with chips and celery. Pour some of Mama Flasch’s salsa (mild, medium or hot) into a small plastic container and add three small Ziploc bags: one of reduced-salt tortilla chips, one of washed and halved celery, and one of washed grapes. Simple, easy and nutritious, this lunch was a mainstay for our school lunches, and still something we pack today! Hummus Wraps Spread a thick layer of hummus onto a tortilla wrap. Add shredded lettuce, cucumbers, sprouts, onions, carrots, and any other vegetable your child enjoys. For an added kick, drizzle with a little Balsamic vinaigrette dressing and wrap tightly. Throw in a small Ziploc of washed strawberries or sliced apples and your child will have plenty of energy to last the rest of the school day. Pasta Salad If your child loves pasta (we know we do), pack a portion of any of these great pasta salads with a fork and some fruit on the side for a tasty and easy lunch. Peanut Butter Pita Pockets Spread all-natural peanut butter inside a pita pocket and stuff with thinly sliced apples, dates, bananas or all three. This combination tastes great, is healthy, and has enough vitamins and healthy fats to keep them satisfied and ready to head back to class. Fruit Salad with Cheese and Crackers Oh, the trusted Ziploc. Where would we parents be without it? Grab one and fill it with grapes, berries, apples and orange slices. Pack a small one with Club or Ritz crackers, and another with cubed cheese. Lunch is served. Circles and Sticks Sounds fun, right? You’ve had this lunch plenty of times and didn’t realize it was called this by parents trying to make it sound more fun than it is. And while the name is a bit of a trick, it tastes great and is packed with protein. Pack a hard-boiled egg with some pretzel sticks, and serve with a side of honey mustard. For more great tips and recipes, check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Instagram!
Recipes for Meal-Prep Sundays

Recipes for Meal-Prep Sundays

It’s tough finding time to have a home-cooked meal during weeknights, but during the school year, it’s even more difficult. One way to make things easier is by preparing a few meals on Sundays. The whole family can spend time together Sundays preparing and freezing or refrigerating meals that are easy to reheat for two or more weeknights. It’s not as daunting as it sounds! Here are a few of our favorite make-ahead meal recipes to try. With any of these meals, plastic or glass storage containers, and even Ziploc bags of all sizes are a necessity, so before you start cooking, make sure you have plenty on hand. Salad Bar One of the best parts about salad bars at the grocery stores or at restaurants is that everyone can put exactly what they want into the dish to make their dream salad, and there’s no reason why you can’t have one of your own at home. Dice or slice your favorite fixings in bulk and no one will have an excuse that a healthy meal will take too long to make. Prepare a selection of greens and diced red onions, peppers of all colors, Roma tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, grilled chicken breasts, shredded turkey, beans, peas, mushrooms, carrots, and sliced or dried fruits. Be sure to have plenty of croutons, seeds or nuts available, as well as a selection of shredded cheeses and salad dressings. If you are planning to take a salad for lunch, it might be a good idea to order individually-portioned salad dressing packets from Amazon. This way you don’t have to worry about your salad wilting from the dressing. Chicken Salsa Wraps 6-8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts 1 jar Mama Flasch’s salsa (mild, medium or hot) Diced onions and other items from your salad bar (your choice) Shredded lettuce (from your salad bar) 1 pack of your favorite tortilla wraps Shredded cheese Sour cream Add thawed chicken breasts to your crockpot. Add enough water to well-cover the chicken. Add a little bit of garlic salt and pepper. Remember, spices amplify in crockpots. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Drain water, keeping chicken in the crockpot. Shred the chicken using two forks. Add salsa and let cook on low for 30 minutes. Turn off the crockpot and let cool for 30 minutes with the lid off. Put the mixture in a refrigerator safe dish and refrigerate for up to 6 days. When you’re ready for dinner, microwave desired portion and heat for about 2 minutes, or until hot. Fill your wrap and add the toppings, with sour cream and additional salsa on the side. Veggie Burgers (makes 8) 2 cans black beans, rinsed 2 cups Mama Flasch’s salsa (mild, medium or hot) 1.5 cups Panko bread crumbs 2 eggs, beaten 1 tablespoon dried coriander or 6 cilantro leaves, chopped 2 tablespoons vegetable oil Buns In a large glass bowl, mash the beans. Mix in bread crumbs, 1 cup salsa, eggs and cilantro/coriander. Shape into eight patties and refrigerate for up to 6 days. When you’re ready to have the meal, cook the patties in a large skillet with two tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium heat for 3-5 minutes on each side. Serve on buns and top with additional salsa and your choice of toppings from your salad bar. For more great recipes and tips, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Instagram!
6 Easy Games For Backyard Family Fun

6 Easy Games For Backyard Family Fun

Your family’s enjoyed eating your easy grill out recipes, but you want to keep the kids away from screens and get a little exercise in to boot. You might not be able to convince your family to join you in the latest cross-training circuit, but there are plenty of fun ways to get some aerobic exercise. Try playing one or two of these family games to work off that meal and get the kids exhausted and ready for a great night’s sleep! Water Balloon Baseball This game is a ton of fun and an easy way to cool off during those hot summer nights. Instead of a softball or baseball, play with water balloons instead! If your kids are younger, add a precursor to the game by hiding the water balloons around the yard and have them fill their buckets with the balloons they find during their hunt. Pool Noodle Field Hockey Bring two plastic laundry baskets outside to use as the goals. Divide into teams and use pool noodles for the hockey sticks as each team tries to use the noodle to guide a large beach ball into the opposing team’s laundry basket. Water Relay Race For this game, you’ll need two buckets and one disposable cup for each team. Fill one bucket with water and space the empty bucket however far apart you think your kids can handle. The goal is to fill the empty bucket to a pre-determined fill line by running back and forth trying not to spill. You can also switch up the game by having the adults hop, skip or run backward between the buckets. Crab Crawl Soccer Bring two plastic laundry baskets outside to use as the goals. Divide into teams and crab crawl (head up, using your arms and legs to move) a large beach ball into the opposing team’s goal. Squirt Gun Water Race Each player uses a squirt gun to propel a large beach ball past the goal line. You could use pool noodles, buckets or plastic laundry baskets as the goal line. Adjust the goal line depending on your squirt gun sizes. Pool Noodle/Water Balloon Tic-Tac-Toe This is a great game to use as a cool-down exercise after all that running around! Use the pool noodles to create a simple tic-tac-toe board. Each player has to move around the board and roll their color of water balloons into place to win. Be sure to stomp the water balloons after someone wins! We hope you and your family enjoy playing games together after your delicious dinner. These games and simple and inexpensive to play, but these are the types of family activities that strengthen your bond and build a lifetime of memories. At Mama Flasch’s Gourmet Kitchen, we believe a strong family bond gives everyone a solid foundation for happiness and success. We hope you enjoy our salsas, made in small batches and packed with the natural vitamins and minerals from our farm-fresh ingredients. For more about our family, great recipes and tips, check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn or Instagram!
3 Salsa Pasta Salads Perfect For Summer

3 Salsa Pasta Salads Perfect For Summer

In the heat of summer, it’s great to have chilled pasta salads on hand for quick meals packed with protein, vegetables and plenty of flavor. These three pasta salads take about 20 minutes of prep time and are ready to eat after chilling for a few hours, but they’re even better the next day or two. Gather the family and prepare any one of these great salads together! Spicy Southwestern Pasta Salad 2 boxes tri-color rotini pasta, cooked al dente 1 jar Mama Flasch’s InCindyary salsa 2 husks sweet corn, boiled and sliced from the husk 1 red pepper, diced 1 green pepper, diced 6 jalapeños, diced 5 leaves parsley, diced 5 leaves cilantro, diced 1 tablespoon lime juice 1 teaspoon cumin 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning Freshly ground pepper to taste Combine all ingredients into a large glass bowl. Mix thoroughly. Chill for at least 2 hours. Serve cold. This pasta salad is spicy, but if you want it spicy but not too hot, use only three jalapeños and Mama Flasch’s Scottsome Heat (medium) salsa. Salsa Ranch Pasta Salad 2 boxes small shells (Conchiglie) pasta, cooked al dente 1 jar Mama Flasch’s Gregular (mild) salsa 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained 10 green or black olives, diced 1 cup peas 1 red pepper, diced 1 green pepper, diced ½ small red onion, diced 1 cup fresh spinach, diced 5 leaves cilantro, diced 1.5 cups Ranch dressing Freshly ground pepper to taste Combine all ingredients into a large glass bowl. Mix thoroughly. Chill for at least 2 hours. Serve cold. To kick up the heat, use Mama Flasch’s Scottsome Heat (medium) salsa instead of Mama Flasch’s Gregular (mild) salsa and add a few diced jalapeños, green chilies or poblano peppers. Taco Pasta Salad 2 boxes bow-tie (Farfalle) pasta, cooked al dente 1 jar Mama Flasch’s Scottsome Heat (medium) salsa 2 green peppers, diced 1 small red onion, diced 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained 5 green onions, diced 2 tablespoons taco seasoning 1 tablespoon cumin 1 small container sour cream 1 avocado, thinly sliced 1 head Romaine lettuce, shredded 1 pack shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese Freshly ground pepper to taste Combine all ingredients except sour cream, avocado, lettuce and cheese into a large glass bowl. Mix thoroughly. Chill for at least 2 hours. Before serving, top with remaining ingredients. All of these salads are vegetarian-friendly, but if you’d like extra protein, grilled and diced chicken breasts or shredded beef can also be added. If your family doesn’t like a certain ingredient, leave it out, but also ask for their requests of ingredients to add in. The more involved your children are at making the salads, the more they will enjoy the meal. At Mama Flasch’s Gourmet Kitchen, we believe a family that cooks together, stays together. Read more about our family on our website, where you can also order our small-batch salsas made with farm-fresh ingredients. For more recipes, check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn or Instagram!
5 Best Food Subscription Boxes

5 Best Food Subscription Boxes

Food subscriptions are all the rage right now, but if you’re not careful you could wind up with subpar products or food full of additives. To help you get the most of your subscription buck, we’ve compiled a list of our five favorite subscription services. UrthBox UrthBox is a great way to discover the latest healthy foods, beverages and snacks made by many different companies. At Mama Flasch’s Gourmet Kitchen, we’re all about eating healthy, so we think these boxes are great. You have the choice to select which type of box you’d like, including classic, gluten-free, vegan and diet options that are NON-GMO, organic and all-natural focused. Each box contains from seven to 30 full-sized products, depending on which size box you order. Prices range from $27-$57 dollars per month. NatureBox NatureBox also focuses on healthy snacks. Many people find having these boxes delivered to your office helps you stay on track while you work, helping to avoid the dreaded vending machines. Its snacks are all made by NatureBox, and have no artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners, corn syrup, hydrogenated oils or MSG. Membership costs $30 per year, and from there you choose how many and which items you want and pay per snack. Love With Food Each month, the Love With Food team curates a collection of emerging snack brands and delivers 7-15 snacks, all of which are either all-natural, GMO-free or gluten-free. Prices range from $7.99-$24.99 depending on which size box you order. What we love about this service is that with each box ordered, Love With Food donates at least one meal through its partnership with Feeding America. Since 2012, the company has donated more than 1 million meals. FoodStirs Baking can be intimidating for many people, but FoodStirs has taken the guesswork out of the equation. With a Baker’s Club subscription, you’ll receive one kit of organic mixes, chemical-free decorations and all the supplies needed to make a great treat. What we love about this subscription service is that all the instructions are kid-helper friendly, and each kit is meant to be made together as a family. The kits even include holiday-themed treats. Each kit costs $24.99 (excluding shipping), and discounts are available for multi-kit purchases. Mama Flasch’s Gourmet Kitchen Salsa Subscription Looking to eat healthier? Look no further than Mama Flasch’s salsa subscriptions! Mama Flasch’s salsas are all-natural, heart healthy, low in sodium and calories, are fat-free and made with no added sugar. Naturally packed with vitamins, we offer three delicious salsas perfect for any palate. Unlike those mass-produced brands, our salsas are made in small batches from only farm-fresh ingredients. And sure, they’re great with tortilla or pita chips, but they’re also great with healthier options, like celery, sliced peppers, carrots, cucumber. And they’re a delicious way to add veggies into meals like scrambled eggs or on top of grilled chicken or fish. For those who enjoy a flavorful salsa that won’t set your mouth on fire, our Gregular mild salsa is perfect for you. If you want to kick it up a notch, our Scottsome Heat medium and InCindyary hot salsas are sure to wake up your taste buds. Our monthly subscription is available in 2, 3, 6, and 12-jar options with prices ranging from $13.28-$75.49. For more great tips, recipes and updates, check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn or Instagram!
Easy Grill Out Menu

Easy Grill Out Menu

Summer is here and for most of us, the thought of cooking in the kitchen and heating up the house makes us want to pick up the phone and order pizza. But there are plenty of ways to enjoy cooking with your family without turning your kitchen into a sauna. Try our recipes for this easy and healthy meal you can enjoy preparing and eating with your family! Here’s a grocery list, although you probably have most of the ingredients in your pantry! 1 pint of raspberries 2 pounds boneless pork chops 1 fresh pineapple or a can of pineapple chunks 1 orange pepper 1 red pepper 1 red onion 1 pack skewers A small bottle of BBQ sauce 2 cans of corn 1 jar Mama Flasch’s salsa (your choice of mild, medium or hot) 1 small watermelon (enough for about 4-8 slices) Lemonade The morning of your grill out, wash raspberries and place one or two inside empty ice cube trays. Add water to fill and place in freezer. The prep time for the rest of the dinner is about 20 minutes. There’s something everyone can do to help prepare this meal! Lemonade With Berry Ice Cubes You could go old-school and make a delicious fresh lemonade, but the fun in this is adding those raspberry ice cubes made earlier. The colors look beautiful in a serving pitcher, and the raspberries are a delicious complement to the lemonade. It’s also an easy way to sneak more fruit into your children’s diet! Corn Salad 2 cans of corn 2 tbsp. diced red onions 1 jar Mama Flasch’s salsa (your choice of mild, medium or hot) Add all ingredients into a large bowl and stir well. You can also make this earlier in the day and let the flavors marinate. Now you’re ready to move outside and prepare the entrée. If you’re eating outside, have the kids set the table and bring out the rest of the meal from the kitchen. BBQ Pork and Pineapple Kebabs 2 pounds boneless pork chops cut into 1-1/2 inch pieces 1 cup pineapple chunks 1 cup BBQ sauce 1 green bell pepper cut into 1-inch pieces 1 orange bell pepper cut into 1-inch pieces 1 red bell pepper cut into 1-inch pieces 1 red onion cut into 1-inch pieces Salt and pepper to taste Assemble all ingredients except BBQ sauce onto skewers. Your older children can help with the cutting and assembly. Feel free to add more veggies if you like, Zucchini also works well with this dish. When the grill is medium-hot, place skewers on brush on BBQ sauce and add salt and pepper to taste. We typically rotate the skewers every two minutes and add more BBQ. By the time you finish each side for 2 minutes, they’re finished. You can also rotate them again for 1 minute on each side if you like your sauce to have a nice caramelization. Grilled Watermelon This is a great dessert that is easy to make. Brush slices with a very thin layer of olive oil and grill on each side for about 1 minute. When you see slight grill marks, it’s ready. The grill caramelizes the natural sugars in the melon and gives it a subtle smoky flavor. Some people prefer to add a dash of salt, but that’s up to you. And there you have it. A delicious and healthy meal the whole family can enjoy preparing and eating together – without heating up the kitchen. At Mama Flasch’s Gourmet Kitchen, we believe a strong family bond gives everyone a solid foundation for happiness and success. Mama and our family would spend hours preparing meals and making our salsa together. It’s where we shared what was going on in our lives, where we learned teamwork and had a safe space to enjoy the love and support of our family. We hope you can taste the love in every jar of Mama Flasch’s salsas, made with Mama’s original recipes and packed with fresh ingredients! Check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Instagram!
Date Night Recipes

Easy But Impressive Date Night Recipes

At Mama Flasch, we’re all about family meals, but every now and then parents need a date night to strengthen their relationship. Whether you’re cooking for your spouse or preparing your meal as a couple, we’re betting you’d rather spend time enjoying the date instead of prepping for it. Here’s an impressive menu that tastes delicious without spending hours in the kitchen.  Bacon-Wrapped Dates Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice 8 pitted dates in half and stuff with blue cheese crumbles. Take 4 slices of thick-cut brown sugar bacon (you can order this exact amount at your local grocery store’s butcher counter) and cut each slice into halves. Wrap bacon around dates, securing each with a toothpick. Place on a cooling rack, and place the cooling rack on a foil-lined cooking sheet. This makes for easier clean-up! Bake for 20 minutes, remove and turn over. Bake for an additional 20 minutes. Remove and serve. Caprese Salad Elegant and easy, this salad is the hit of any dinner. Wash 8 Roma tomatoes and pat dry. Slice each tomato into 1-inch thick pieces. Arrange on a salad plate. Add a few balls of Bocconcini or Ciliegine mozzarella. Roll three leaves of fresh basil. Slice into tiny pieces and add to the top of salad without unrolling. Top with Sturkey’s creamy balsamic dressing, or your favorite vinaigrette. Baked Sea Bass and Salsa Coat a baking dish with olive oil and preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place two 6-ounce sea bass filets in the dish, and season with coarse salt. After 15 minutes, gently press on the filets to ensure they’re fully cooked. Remove from oven and add 4 tablespoons of Mama Flasch’s Gourmet Salsa to the top of each filet. Since it’s date night, we’d suggest Scottsome Heat, but the heat level is completely up to your preferences. Serve with steamed asparagus, broccoli or your favorite vegetable. Ricotta Stuffed Strawberries Wash 4-6 strawberries and pat dry. Slice off the tops and use a small spoon or paring knife to empty the insides. Spoon in about a teaspoon of ricotta cheese, and top with a dash of crushed pecans. If the mood strikes you, top with a drizzle of balsamic dressing or honey. Add in your favorite bottle of white wine and your perfect date-night dinner is ready with less than 30 minutes of prep time. Impressive and oh so easy! For more ideas and recipes, check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Instagram!
Guide to a low-stress family picnic

Guide To A Low-Stress Family Picnic

It’s a nice day and you’re thinking about taking the kids and the dogs to the park, but you’re not sure if you should go before lunch or after. Why delay the fun? Family picnics are a ton of fun and shouldn’t require any more time than it takes to make lunch at home. With just a little bit of planning one time, you’ll be ready for a low-key day of fun the next time the mood hits. Prep Your Go-Bag First, grab any kind of sturdy bag you don’t mind getting dirty, and that you won’t miss all spring and summer. Bonus points if it is water resistant. Pack your bag with items you would need while you’re at any park, including a blanket or two. Most parks offer water fountains, so be sure to pack a bowl for Fido. This COMSUN collapsible dog bowl from Amazon is inexpensive but durable, and it folds up easily. As a parent, you know you’re never fully dressed without a backup, so throw in a full set of play clothes for each child. Add in a few toys like a jump rope, Frisbee, basic water guns and sidewalk chalk as back-up in case the park’s usual attractions fail to inspire. Finish the bag with sunscreen, a pack of paper plates, hand sanitizer and a pack of wet wipes. Place your go-bag in the trunk of your car so it’s on-hand whether you’re driving or walking to the park. Menu Planning Sure, a gingham-lined picnic basket with real silverware and plates is great, but the fun for kids is getting to do something different. That PB&J you were planning to serve for lunch tastes a lot better during a quick break from the playing with friends on the swing set. Grab some apples and baby carrots and that’s a lunch any parent can live with. And the best part? No clean-up is necessary. Need more options? Try the kid-approved ants on a log. Wash and slice a few celery stalks, then add peanut butter and top with raisins. Celery also makes a great conduit for Mama Flasch’s Gourmet Salsa and is a lot healthier than chips. Our salsa is also delicious with sliced peppers or cucumber. With no added preservatives or sugar and made in small batches with fresh ingredients, our salsa is a great way to sneak veggies into your child’s diet. It’s important to stay hydrated, especially when you’re playing outdoors, so don’t forget to pack plenty of water and your reusable bottles.  We hope you’ll look at picnics as easier outings now that your go-bag will help reduce day-of planning time. Check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Instagram for more great ideas!