Make Sunday dinner for your family a special time each week where you all sit down to connect with each other. It is important to establish the Sunday dinner tradition with your family, especially if schedules don't permit family dinners during the week. Make comfort food that the entire family looks forward to but that won't knock you out during preparation.
Soups and Stews
For ease of preparation, you cannot beat one-dish meals, such as chili. Hearty soups and stews are filling and a welcome warm-up on chilly winter evenings. Make soups or stews with leftovers; these dishes also make for great leftovers themselves. Assemble all the ingredients early in the day and simmer on the stove for a few hours before dinner. An even more convenient option is to cook the one-dish meal in a slow cooker. Serve these kinds of family dinners with bread and side salad tossed with creamy salad dressing.
Make Sunday dinner economical by using chicken for your main course. Bread chicken breasts with crushed croutons and fry, or bake them in the oven on a cookie sheet. Or, season a whole chicken with dried salad dressing seasoning mix and roast it in the oven. Warm leftover chicken with vegetables, like corn, carrots or peas in a cream sauce. Bake it in a crust in an iron skillet for an old-fashioned chicken pot pie. Remember that most dishes that call for chicken can also use turkey.
Many casseroles can be made in advance, leaving you time to play with the kids or take a few moments for yourself on Sunday afternoon. Lasagna, eggplant parmesan, macaroni and cheese and the classic tuna-noodle casserole reheat well. A cold pasta salad made with creamy ranch dressing in place of mayonnaise is a tasty side. Combine almost any kind of pasta with tomato sauce, ground beef and two or three kinds of cheese for a filling dish. Make quick garlic bread by spreading slices of Italian bread with melted butter, dusting it with garlic powder and topping with grated parmesan and fresh black pepper.
The Dinner Table
Set aside a special time and place for Sunday dinner. Turn off the radio and television during dinner hour. Remember that bringing the family meal together is the goal of Sunday dinner, not what you serve. Make the food easy to cook and easy to serve so you can sit at the table and relax with your family. Plan a few interesting conversation topics to keep the kids interested, or rotate who chooses the topics.