Around Our Table (Perfect One-Dish Dinners Barbecue Chicken Sliders)

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!

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  1. says

    What an amazingly simple change – and I can see exactly why it caused the mealtime experience to alter drastically too. I just love this mac and cheese recipe. It is TO DIE FOR. And those pulled chicken sliders saved me when I had both vegetarians and carnivores to feed on a Sunday. Also, have I mentioned that your kids are TOO stinkin’ cute!?

  2. says

    Great post, Kristen! Your change in your dinnertime routine is fantastic! It is the way I was raised, and although it is a very simple concept, it is incredibly important on so many levels for your children. Good for you! Thanks for the cookbook recommendation, too…I’ll have to check it out!

  3. says

    Love your post. We started the same change here, with 4 and 6 year-old. More dishes, messier table and floor but worthy. Kids do like to feel independent and I like the idea of them controlling their own portions. Thanks for the PAnderson referral…I’l check her books and for the Sunday Supper’s. I’m new to the blog world and it can be overwhelming. I’m stumbling you and subscribing to your blog. Cheers!

  4. says

    Really lovely! If we ever get the baby to stay up late enough to eat dinner with us, I love the idea of serving family-style. Plus, any excuse to buy new serving utensils, right?

  5. says

    I loved it when we switched over to family style meals, too. The hard part for me is when they don’t want anything on the table. I have to work super hard to keep my mouth shut – and trust that if they are really hungry enough they will eat something. Easier said than done! I love this book and was thrilled when my kids saw many recipes they wants us to make together!

  6. says

    OMG! I totally plate and serve. I’m going to have to switch to the family style since I’m always trying to get everyone to stay around the table longer. Love it!

  7. Anne says

    We always have family style dinner and it creates strong bond between each member of the family. Anyway, the shells and cheese seems to delicious. Mind if I ask the recipe?

  8. says

    I love passing the food around at the table, but my boyfriend and his family like to ‘plate’ the food because they are restaurant owners plus have worked in kitchens and feel that food should be plated.

    Those little sliders look soo tasty

  9. says

    Every recipe I’ve seen made from this book sounds fantastic and like one that I would absolutely adore. It has officially been Amazon Wish-Listed!

    My mom picked and chose which meals she would serve family style and which she would dole out pre-sitting down. Usually it depended on the mess factor. But as a kid it was definitely more fun to be able to take my own!

  10. Pat Wogan says

    Yes, we did it family style. My mom did, too. And she tried to teach us to take the one nearest us when we were served cookies, pieces of meat, etc. It worked until I was old enough to figure out how to turn the plate so the biggest piece was the one nearest to me. Ha Ha.

  11. says

    Gosh, I’m loving this book already! Thanks to you lovely ladies. All the recipes look SO good and of-course you’re an expert :-)
    Thanks Kristen for visiting my space and for your kind words. I’m glad you liked whatever I put forward!

  12. says

    Those sliders look marvelous!! And I love your new family dinner philosophy. It makes total sense!! And I bet it’s teaching your kids a lot :)


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