The Scramblog

Making Healthy Family Dinners Happen with Less Time, Money and Stress.

Want to Get Your Kids Cooking? 5 Mistakes We’re Making that Drive Kids out of the Kitchen (And How to Fix Them!)

Want to Get Your Kids Cooking? 5 Mistakes We’re Making that Drive Kids out of the Kitchen (And How to Fix Them!)Do your kids make you crazy in the kitchen? Or conversely, do you want to get your kids cooking and they express little to no interest?  Better yet, do you wish they will someday be able to prepare meals for themselves and the family? Here's how to get kids cooking. Most parents want kids to help in the kitchen and to learn how to cook so they can save money and eat healthier when they are on their own someday — at least in theory. But many of us are unintentionally driving our kids away from the kitchen with our words and actions.If you want to get your kids cooking, avoid these five common mistakes:1. Being overly critical. Constantly correcting kids or telling them they didn’t do something right likely sucks all the joy right out of cooking for them. When I first taught our daughter, Celia, how to make an omelet, I corrected her technique too much...

Best Picnic Recipes (Our 10 most popular recipes for a picnic)

Best Picnic RecipesThe grass is green and the flowers are once again in bloom.  We’re kicking off outdoor weather and the unofficial start of summer this weekend with ideas for Memorial Day picnic recipes.  We’re sharing 10 options that we think are the best picnic recipes and also perfect for other outdoor gatherings.  These recipes are highly rated by The Six O'Clock Scramble meal planner members, can be served at room temperature (and sit out for at least an hour if out of direct sunlight), are pretty to look at and are seasonal crowd pleasers. Broccoli and Chickpea Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette Teriyaki Noodle Stir-Fry Lemon Basil Summer Pasta Salad Mediterranean Couscous Toss Shrimp, Mango and Avocado Salad with Lime

Japanese Ginger Dressing (Japanese restaurant-style ginger dressing recipe)

Don't you love Japanese ginger dressing, that delectable orange colored gingery salad dressing they serve on little crispy salads in Japanese restaurants?  It looks so simple but the ingredients seem like a mystifying concoction.  Here, we reveal how to make Japanese restaurant style ginger dressing. Super easy to make, this dressing/sauce is also very versatile.  Use it on a salad with crispy lettuce, carrots, purple cabbage, etc, but also great with baked or sautéed tofu and roast or grilled chicken or beef, even tossed with Japanese soba noodles! Watch the video and subscribe to the YouTube channelJapanese Ginger Dressing1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar 2 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped 2 tablespoons peeled and roughly chopped fresh ginger 2 tablespoons lime juice (about ½ lime) 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons honey (or try 1/4 apple instead to make sugar free) 1½ teaspoons toasted sesame oil 1 Tbsp. reduced...

What Moms REALLY Want for For Mother’s Day

What Moms REALLY Want for For Mother's DayAs Mother’s Day has approached over the past few years, I have posed a question on The Scramble Facebook page to determine what moms REALLY want for Mother’s Day.  I always love reading through the comments—some are funny, some are sad, and some remind me of just how exhausted we moms often are. Some moms just want “quiet”, “sleep” or “don’t want to be touched by little hands for the entire day.” Depending upon the ages of their kids, moms’ answers vary widely, from those with little kids just wanting a day without changing diapers and cleaning baby bottles, to those that have older children just wanting some time together, and those with grown children being excited for their son or daughter to come home for dinner or video chat with them from wherever they are.  (Celia, my 18-year-old “baby,” is heading to college next year, so I will likely fall...

Easy Shrimp Recipe: Cilantro Lime Shrimp

This refreshing easy shrimp recipe is low in calories, high in flavor and is so versatile. It can be served hot or cold, and it’s great for a picnic (if you can keep it cool or it won’t be sitting out for too long), and could be wrapped in tortillas as easily as served over lettuce or rice.   It also makes a great appetizer at parties -- just provide toothpicks!Watch the video:Easy Shrimp Recipe: Cilantro Lime ShrimpPrep + Cook = 10 minutes 4 servings 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil ½ tsp. minced garlic, (about 1 clove) 1 lb. medium or large shrimp, peeled and deveined 1 lime, juice only, 2 Tbsp., or more to taste ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped, or more to taste ¼ tsp. salt 1/8 tsp. black pepper In a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the garlic and cook it for 30 seconds or so until it is fragrant, then add the shrimp and cook it, turning once, until the shrimp are pink and cooked through, 2 - 3 minutes per...

Rice Salad Recipe: Mango, Brown Rice and Black Bean Salad with Lime and Cilantro


This rice salad recipe is inspired by a dish served at the Genesis retreat in Ek Balam, Mexico.  It’s spa-healthy yet satisfying enough for hearty eaters. Serve it with sliced avocados with lime.

Watch the video (and subscribe to Aviva's YouTube channel!)

Rice Salad Recipe: Mango, Brown Rice and Black Bean Salad with Lime and Cilantro

Makes six servings

1 cup quick-cooking brown rice (about 2 cups prepared) 15 oz. canned black beans, drained and rinsed 1 fresh mango, cut into 1/2-inch chunks, or use 1 ½ cups frozen 1/4 sweet yellow onion, such as Vidalia or Walla Walla, finely diced (about 1/2 cup) 1/4 cup scallions or chives, green parts only, finely chopped 1 lime, juice only, about 2 Tbsp. 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (optional) 1/4 tsp. salt, or more to taste Cook the rice according to the package directions and when cooked, remove it from the heat. DO THIS IN ADVANCE IF YOU CAN SO IT’S COOL (If you want to serve...

New video: Grilled Portobello Mushroom Burgers with Grilled Peppers

Our daughter Celia, who is a vegetarian, raves about the grilled portobello mushroom burgers that her friend Claire’s dad, Greg Ivers, makes for her when they grill burgers at Claire’s house.  I encouraged Celia to make her own version so we could enjoy them at home, too.  These burgers are so flavorful and juicy and are ideal for vegetarians when you are grilling burgers—but even the meat eaters will love them.  Check out Aviva's video demonstrating how easy it is to prepare these delicious burgers. Watch the video and subscribe to the YouTube Channel for weekly cooking videos with Aviva Goldfarb:Grilled Portobello Mushroom Burgers with Grilled Peppers

Makes four servings

1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce (use wheat/gluten-free if needed) 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning, or use a combination of dried basil and oregano 1 Tbsp. minced garlic, (4 – 6 cloves) 1/4 tsp. black pepper 4...

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash in the Microwave AND a Spaghetti Squash Recipe with Basil, Garlic and Parmesan Cheese

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash in the MicrowaveThe hardest, most terrifying thing about making spaghetti squash is trying to cut it when it’s uncooked! I was terrified of chopping off a finger so I found a solution. The key to how to cook spaghetti squash is to poke some holes in it with a skewer or knife, cook the squash whole in the microwave, let it cool, and then cut it in half and scrape out the seeds. Use a fork to scrape the strands into a bowl to top with your favorite sauce or just use butter, herbs and Parmesan cheese to season it. You can even clean and rinse the spaghetti squash seeds just like you do with pumpkin seeds! (See our tip below.) I haven’t had an easy relationship with spaghetti squash. My mom used to make it for us when I was young, and I was fascinated by the yellow squash that she would transform with a fork into golden pasta-like strands, and it certainly is much lighter and healthier than wheat-based spaghetti. However, every time I tried...
  Apr 10, 2017  Everyday Environmental

Happy Earth Day (April 22nd): Top 5 Ways to Reduce Your Environmental Impact at Home

Did you know that the US population is 4% of the planet but generates 15% of greenhouse gas emissions? I know we can do better as a country and as individuals, starting in our own homes and lives.  If you're wondering how you can contribute, there are many ways you can reduce your environmental impact. What better time to start than this Earth Day, April 22nd? Read below for some simple steps we can take in our daily lives to reduce our environmental impact.5 Ways to Reduce Your Environmental Impact at Home1) Eat less meat: Am I the only one that gets dismayed every time I see another steak or burger joint open in my neighborhood? By eating a vegetarian diet, you can cut the contribution to CO2 emissions from your diet by 50%! If your whole family of 4 goes meatless even 2 days a week, you can have the same impact. We could use more tempting veggie-centric restaurants like Beefsteak by Jose Andres instead of more...

Easy Chicken Breast Recipe: Mexican Chicken Packets

Mexican Chicken Packets is an easy chicken breast recipe that you bake in a packet in the oven with vegetables, salsa and cheese.  Your whole family will love Mexican Chicken Packets, an easy and flavorful baked chicken recipe to make with boneless chicken breasts. Watch the video and subscribe to the YouTube channel for weekly cooking videos Easy Chicken Breast Recipe: Mexican Chicken PacketsPrep (15 minutes) + Cook (35 minutes) 4 servings Sometimes it’s a fun change to serve the family a meal in a packet.  This easy chicken breast recipe is great for grilling, campouts, or simple dining at home.   We love how the chicken stays so moist and flavorful. You can assemble the packets in advance and cook in the oven, on the grill, or by the coals. Serve with guacamole and carrots.   For extra-fast clean-up, just do a quick rinse of the foil and put in your recycling bin! 1 tsp. chili powder 1/2 tsp. garlic powder 1/4 tsp. ground cumin 4 boneless,...