We have started something new at our house that has made a significant difference in mealtime. It has been one very small change that has made a huge impact.
We have started serving our meals family style. See, mealtimes prior, my husband and I would get all of the plates filled and ready before we sat down to dinner. We’d cut up meat, spoon on the veggies, butter the bread…all before we even sat down at the dinner table. It just seemed easier, or so I thought, to get everything all ready for the six of us so that when it was time to eat, that’s what we did.
What I didn’t realize was that by getting the plates ready, I was first of all causing dinner to be rushed. We were missing out on the meandering part of passing the food around the table. I was also taking the control out of the hands of my children. Now, they serve themselves which means they are responsible for taking only the amount that they will eat, knowing that they can usually later get seconds if they are available. They are also learning some very good new table manners…how to pass the food, how to wait until everyone is served before they begin eating and the great lesson of politely asking someone to pass something across the table.
I know it sounds so simple, but this change has truly turned what was once a hectic, rushed, chow fest into a longer, enjoyable, conversational meal. We’ve reached a place where mealtime is finally what I had always hoped for as a mom – a gathering place for my family to laugh, eat, converse and enjoy.
In virtual family style, this past Sunday I joined some fellow bloggers in “Sunday Supper” where we all cooked something from the wonderful cookbook Perfect One-Dish Dinners by fellow blogging friend, Pam Anderson. If you are thinking Baywatch, switch gears and think Pam Anderson from the Best-Selling cookbook The Perfect Recipe. Pam has been cooking for her family and friends for many years and has created some wonderful recipes perfect to pass around your table. In her newest cookbook, Perfect One-Dish Dinners Pam “serves up dozens of one dish wonders perfect for every occasion and any time of year.”
I made the meal that instantly caught my eye upon first perusal of Pam’s book… Shells and Cheese for Everyone, Pulled Barbecue Chicken Sliders and the PLT Salad (Prosciutto Lettuce Tomato). (The Chocolate Rice Krispies Treats will grace our table on another day.) I’m going to share the Barbecue Chicken Sliders recipe with you, but will only tempt you with a photo of the mac and cheese which has to be one of the best shells and cheese dishes I have ever had. I strongly encourage you to go pick up Pam’s book so you can get this recipe and try it out for yourself. Amazing….
For a list of other bloggers who have participated in the Sunday Supper, please see below the recipe for a list. You’ll get several chances to sneak a peek at the other wonderful recipes in this must have cookbook!
Recipe: Pulled Barbecue Chicken Sliders from Perfect One-Dish Dinners by Pam Anderson
I followed Pam’s recipe except omitted the pickles as we aren’t big pickle eaters. Since I absolutely love King Hawaiian rolls when I use them for the Oven Ham Sammies recipe I love, I used them in this recipe and it was a huge hit! I can imagine passing these out the next time the guys are over watching football.
- 1 package (24) small party rolls
- 2 cups shredded rotisserie or other cooked chicken
- 3/4 cup your favorite barbecue sauce
- 24 dill pickle slices
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Break rolls into individual buns and split in half horizontally. Mix chicken and barbecue sauce in a medium bowl. Top each roll bottom with a heaping tablespoon of pulled chicken and a pickle slice and cap each with roll top. Place rolls on a baking sheet and bake until warmed through, about 8 minutes. Serve.
Sunday Supper Participants – Check them all out for a glimpse of other great recipes from Pam’s book!