The Scramblog

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

4 Tricks to Establishing a Back to School Dinner Routine with The Scramble

I don’t know about you, but I have a love-hate relationship with Back to School time. It is always a relief to have a regular schedule again and to have more time to get things done while the kids are in school. And yet each year I find that I am taken by surprise by the busy-ness that fills our afternoons with soccer practices, music lessons, back-to-school nights, PTA meetings, and other school year activities.

With all of the back to school craziness, it feels even more vital that we protect our family dinners as important time to have together—time to reconnect, to catch up, to share the events of our days. So each fall, during back to school time, I make it a priority to focus on getting our dinner routine back on track.

Here are the 4 things that I do to get our family dinner routine ready to go for the fall:

1.  Meal Plan: Plan out the meals for the week. Yes, The Scramble can do a lot of this for you, but my second step is to take 5 minutes to look at the...

Mediterranean Sunset Salad

This Mediterranean Sunset Salad looks as good as it tastes! A wonderful combination of lettuce, tuna (or hard boiled eggs or chickpeas if you want to make it vegetarian!), artichokes, red peppers, olives, feta, and almonds it has got a little something for everyone. Check out Jessica making it on Facebook Live to see how simple it is to make.Mediterranean Sunset SaladPrep (no cook): 15 minutes 4 servings, about 2 1/2 cups 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped 15 oz. artichokes in water, drained and halved 6 oz. chunk light tuna in water, drained, or use hard boiled eggs, chickpeas, cooked chicken, or shrimp ½ cup roasted red peppers (sold in jars), drained and chopped ¼ cup pitted Kalamata olives 4 oz. crumbled feta cheese ½ cup sliced almonds 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar ½ tsp. dried oregano, or 1 ½ tsp. fresh 1/8 tsp. black pepper Scatter the lettuce in the center of a large shallow bowl or round platter. Put the artichokes,...

10 Best Simple Recipes to Soak Up Summer Flavors

One of my favorite childhood memories is of visiting my godmother’s family house in New Hampshire. Each summer we would head up for a weekend visit that was packed with summer fun like hiking, swimming in the lake, and a cookout. The house had a vast garden with rows upon rows of raspberry bushes. My brother and I would dart in and out of the rows, scratching up our arms and legs, collecting as many raspberries as we could find, placing some into a bowl, but mostly just stuffing them into our mouths. In the afternoon we’d shuck fresh corn and wrap it and some potatoes in foil. Then, as evening arrived, my godmother, parents, brother, and I would hike up a hill on the property and visit the fire pit that we had perfected over the years. We would make sure that the stones were well placed, collect kindling, and start a fire. On that fire we would cook fresh corn, potatoes, and burgers. As my brother and I (impatiently) waited for dinner to be ready, we would rush...

Protein-Packed Oven Pancakes and Our New Make-Ahead Breakfast Feature

When I was six-years old my parents got called in to talk to the teacher because I was getting in trouble a lot during morning recess. The teachers couldn’t figure out why I was so cranky and they were wondering if something was happening at home or if I wasn’t sleeping well. As my mom sat there, undoubtedly feeling worried and embarrassed, it suddenly occurred to her: maybe I was hungry. So she decided to try an experiment—for one week she made sure that I had a protein-packed breakfast and then checked in with the teacher again to see how things were going. By the end of the week she knew her answer: I needed a protein-rich breakfast every morning to tide me over until lunchtime. My mom was an endless source of creative solutions for protein-rich breakfasts (and let me tell you, I gave her a run for her money with my pickiness!) and made them from scratch every morning, but as much as I wish it could be, that is not a realistic option in our house with our busy...
  Aug 1, 2017  News 6

HUGE (Kitchen-Splattering) News from The Scramble Founder Aviva

I am THRILLED to announce that, after an intense selection process, The Six O’Clock Scramble has a new CEO, Jessica Braider! See below for more info about the fabulous Jessica and why she’s such a perfect fit for The Scramble and you! THE SCRAMBLE’S BACK STORYI did something CRAZY in 2003. After a thriving career in media relations, I had become a cookbook author and stay-at-home mom of two kids, ages 4 and 6.  I was—and am—a solution-oriented person, and what I was doing to get dinner on the table for my family wasn’t working. Family dinner was important to me, and I knew it was to so many other people.  But I also knew there had to be a better way for busy parents like me who just wanted to get a quick and easy, healthy, homemade dinner on the table and enjoy it with their families. So, I decided to launch an online meal planning site before such a thing was common—in fact business experts considered it inadvisable. You could call my...
  Aug 1, 2017  News 6

A Hello from New CEO Jessica Braider!

A New CEO at The Scramble?!I know that many, many of you have grown to know and love Aviva, just as I have, and that this change may be a bit of a surprise to you, so I thought it might be helpful if I told you a little bit about myself. My Family First, I’m a mom of two boys, ages 7 and 9. They are wonderful kids who you will inevitably hear a lot about, as they’re often my companions in the kitchen and my most loving (and harshest) recipe critics. In years past they’ve challenged me with picky eating, not eating enough, eating non-stop, and making insane messes in the kitchen. They have also given me huge amounts of joy by becoming increasingly curious and adventurous eaters, recipe idea generators, and enthusiastic French toast flippers and vegetable choppers. You will also sometimes hear about my husband, Flavio, who is my biggest supporter and has a passion for white rice, eggs, and coffee. My Connection to Cooking and...

Healthy Green Smoothie Recipe: Cucumber Lime Mango Green Smoothie

Whether it's summertime and you want to fill yourself with something nutritious before putting on your bathing suit and heading out to the pool, or there's a chill in the air and you're trying to fit into those jeans from a few years back, this healthy green smoothie is a perfect option for a quick breakfast, a grab-and-go snack, or even a light meal replacement.  Chock full of fruits, veggies, and herbs (and no added sugar!) you'll feel satisfied and virtuous after drinking this delicious, healthy green smoothie. Watch the video and subscribe to the YouTube channel: Healthy Green Smoothie:  Cucumber Lime Mango Green SmoothiePrep Time: 10 minutes 4 servings 2 cups plain kefir (or use almond or coconut milk) 1 Tbsp. chia seeds 1 banana 1 cucumber, cut in thirds 1 - 2 cup baby greens (kale or spinach work well) 2 cups frozen mango chunks 1 cup frozen pineapple chunks 1/2 lime, juice only, about 2 Tbsp., or use 1/4 lime with skin if your blender is...
  Jun 26, 2017  health food, Recipes

Keep Your Cool with Refreshing and Delicious Flavored Water Recipes

Keep Your Cool with Refreshing and Delicious Flavored Water RecipesNow that the summer heat has arrived, it’s important to stay hydrated. The best (and most obvious) way to do that is to drink water. Ugh…”Not more water,” you may say…”it’s boring, uninspiring and flavorless.” You may prefer the fizziness of soda, the sweet taste of juice, or even the caffeine jolt you get from coffee. While it’s okay to have all of those drinks in moderation, they aren’t as hydrating, healthy or beneficial to your body as Mother Nature’s creation. If you fall into the category of people who find regular water to be, well, a little dull, there’s hope for you. When I refer to flavored waters, I’m not talking about the bottled stuff that you’ll find on grocery store shelves (that often has artificial sweeteners and chemicals), but rather to water that you flavor yourself. It’s easier than it sounds and you can get creative and quench your thirst at...

Easy Zucchini Recipe: Amazing Zucchini Pie

So many Six O'Clock Scramble members and cookbook owners and friends are crazy about this easy zucchini recipe.  Zucchini Pie is mild and simple enough to appeal to the palates of many different tastes. Kids love this easy zucchini recipe because it tastes a little like pizza! Watch the zucchini pie video to see how easy it is to make! For more easy zucchini recipes, try our Ravioli Soup with Grated Zucchini and Spinach, Raw Zucchini Pasta with Pesto, and our Stuffed Zucchini Gondolas. Easy Zucchini Recipe: Amazing Zucchini PiePrep (15 minutes) + Cook (30 minutes) 8 servings 1 Tbsp. butter or extra virgin olive oil 2 zucchini, or use yellow squash, thinly sliced (4-5 cups) 1/2 large yellow onion, diced 1 tsp. minced garlic (about 2 cloves) 1/2 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. black pepper 1/2 tsp. dried basil 1/2 tsp. dried oregano 1 prepared 9-inch pie crust 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard (use wheat/gluten-free if needed) 2 eggs,...

Israeli Couscous Salad Recipe with Tomatoes, Cucumbers and Feta

You can make this Israeli couscous salad recipe ahead of time for dinner and pack it for a picnic or pack leftovers for lunch. Pulling flavors from across the Mediterranean and Middle East, but the salad remains kid-friendly.  It’s also good served with grilled shrimp or chicken. Watch the Video (and subscribe to the YouTube Channel) Israel Couscous Salad Recipe with Tomatoes, Cucumbers and FetaPrep + Cook = 25 minutes, plus time to cool or chill 6 servings, about 1 3/4 cups 8 oz. Israeli couscous also called pearl couscous, whole wheat if available, or use orzo or farro (1 1/2 cups) 8 oz. cherry tomatoes, quartered 1 English or Persian cucumber, quartered lengthwise and chopped (2 cups) 1/2 cup shelled unsalted pistachio nuts 1/2 sweet yellow onion such as Vidalia or Walla Walla, finely diced (1 cup) 1 cup crumbled feta cheese 1 ½ cups cooked chicken breast, diced (optional) 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 1 lemon,...