Cook Up Some Family Togetherness

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Family too focused on texting, surfing and gaming? Are they interacting more with a keyboard then with each other? Cooking is not only a great creative outlet, but the simple acts of mixing and measuring even have the potential to help families reconnect, creating opportunities for amazing conversations and memories that last a lifetime.

The Family Dish... A Recipe for Fun is a new program, created by Unilever Foods, to inspire families to connect through the joys of cooking together. The Web site thefamilydish.com combines budget-friendly and palate-pleasing recipes from The Family Dish Cook Book made with popular pantry staples; hands-on stories and videos from trusted mom bloggers; and the professional knowledge and personal experience of Unilever Consumer Kitchens’ experts, offering insights such as:

• Pique Their Interest. Start by thinking about your family’s food preferences. If they love Italian or Mexican food, ask if they want to surf the Web together for an interesting recipe they would enjoy cooking. You can even download episodes of their favorite cooking shows to watch together.

• Learn as you go. For Moms who are still fine-tuning their own culinary expertise, use this as an opportunity for you and your family to learn together. Seeing that Mom is still open to learning new things may open the door to conversations that may not have ordinarily occurred.

• Don’t mind the mess. Instead, go with the flow, have fun, turn on some music and share in the clean up. Show your family that dirty pots and pans and a sink full of dishes are no match for your clean-up crew!

Here are some recipes from The Family Dish cookbook your family can use to get creative — and connected — in the kitchen today.

Fettuccine Primavera

Makes 6 servings; preparation time: 20 minutes; cooking time: 15 minutes

1, 1-pound, 10-ounce jar Ragu Old World Style Pasta Sauce

3 tablespoons olive oil

6 cups assorted cut-up fresh vegetables (broccoli florets, red and/or green bell pepper, onion, zucchini and/or yellow squash)

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves

1, 12-ounce box fettuccine, cooked and drained

In a 2-quart saucepan, heat pasta sauce until heated through; set aside and keep warm.

In 12-inch skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat and cook vegetables and basil, stirring occasionally, 6 minutes or until vegetables are tender. To serve, spoon sauce over hot fettuccine, then spoon vegetable mixture over pasta. Sprinkle, if desired, with grated Parmesan cheese.

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Family Features photo

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwich

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Makes 10 servings; preparation time: 10 minutes; cooking time: 4 hours

1, 3-pound boneless pork shoulder

1 envelope Lipton Recipe Secrets Onion Mushroom or Onion Soup Mix

1 cup ketchup

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce

10 Kaiser rolls or hamburger buns

Arrange pork in slow cooker. Combine remaining ingredients except rolls and pour over pork; turn to coat.

Cook covered on LOW for 8 to 10 hours or HIGH for 4 to 6 hours until pork is tender.

Remove pork; reserve juices. Shred pork with fork, and then stir into reserved juices. Serve on rolls.

Cheeseburger Dinner

Makes 4 servings; preparation time: 5 minutes; cooking time: 10 minutes

1 package Knorr Rice Sides - Cheddar Broccoli

2 cups water

1 tablespoon I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! Spread

1 large tomato, coarsely chopped

1 pound lean ground beef

Prepare Rice Sides with water and spread according to package directions, stirring in tomato with contents of package.

Meanwhile, brown ground beef in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally; drain. Toss with hot Rice Sides.

Top, if desired, with tomato slices.

Rotisserie Pulled Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Makes 8 servings; preparation time: 25 minutes

4 cups shredded rotisserie or leftover chicken

1/2 cup Hellmann’s or Best Foods Real Mayonnaise

2 tablespoons barbecue sauce

1 cup finely sliced celery

1/2 cup shredded carrots

8 potato buns or soft hamburger buns

8 slices American, cheddar or pepper Jack cheese

8 lettuce leaves

Combine chicken, mayonnaise, barbecue sauce, celery and carrots in medium bowl. Season, if desired, with salt and black pepper. Spoon chicken salad onto rolls, then top with cheese and lettuce.

Note: Recipe can be halved.

Marbled Peanut Butter Brownies

Makes 16 servings; preparation time: 5 minutes; cooking time: 35 minutes

1, 18- to 32-ounce box brownie mix

1/2 cup Skippy Creamy, Super Chunk or Roasted Honey Nut Peanut Butter

Prepare brownie mix according to package directions, pouring batter into 9-inch baking pan.

Microwave peanut butter in microwave-safe bowl at HIGH for 30 seconds or until melted. Stir, then drizzle peanut butter over batter and swirl with butter knife to marble.

Bake according to package directions. Cool completely on wire rack. To serve, cut in squares.

Source: Unilever - From Family Features

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