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The Scramblog

Bare Minimum Cooking: 4 Tricks for Easy Meals During Busy Times

Over the past few days I have been having a lot of conversations with people about how overwhelmed they are feeling. I have come to think that for many of us, September is a month of unexpected overwhelm. Here’s my best guess as to why this month can be so brutal: for many of us September is a time of transition—a new school year, work commitments start up after summertime lulls, and other communities we are involved with start to kick into high gear with fall activities—and this we expect. But for some of us, September is also a time of playing catch up on all of those pesky tasks we put off over the summer (or maybe that is just me). So suddenly we find ourselves trying to get into new routines, take care of long lists of things that really should have been done months ago, and snap out of the slower pace of summer. It can be rough and oftentimes something's got to give… and for a lot of people that something is cooking. But what if you don’t want cooking to be...

Italian Sausage Linguine with Grated Carrots

This dish is great for a hearty family dinner or a casual gathering. You can easily expand it to feed an army. Thanks to Scramble member Sarah Burke for the recipe! Check out Jessica making it on Facebook Live here.Italian Sausage Linguine with Grated Carrot2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 1/2 yellow onion, diced 8-12 oz. sweet or spicy Italian-style chicken or meatless sausage (use wheat/gluten-free, if needed), diced into 1/2-inch pieces, or use mushrooms 16 oz. whole wheat or regular linguine (use wheat/gluten-free, if needed) 2 carrots, grated, or 1 1/2 cups pre-shredded carrots 1 tsp. dried oregano, or use fresh 28 oz. whole tomatoes with their liquid, or use 6 - 8 fresh tomatoes, diced 1 Tbsp. sugar 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional) In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat and sauté the onions and sausage for 3 – 5 minutes, until the onions are translucent and the sausage is starting to brown. Meanwhile, cook the pasta...

10 Ways to Make Meal Planning Work Smoothly (So You Can Slash Time, Money, and Stress)

Are you frustrated with the way meals are going in your house? Too much takeout or cereal for dinner? Eating the same things over and over? Family complaining about what you make? Then maybe it’s time to turn things around with meal planning! There are so many reasons to meal plan, from saving time and money to making healthier choices (you are more likely to stick to dietary goals if you plan your meals) to less panic and tension as dinnertime approaches. But getting over the hump and actually doing it is a big struggle for a lot of people. Over the years I have found some ways to help to make meal planning less intimidating and more doable that I want to share with you.1. Keep It SimpleThere are all sorts of meal planning approaches out there from the classic weekly plan to two-week rotations, to even monthly systems. In my experience, the longer-term plans can be daunting, while weekly plans are more accessible. If you want some more structure you can try a...

7-Minute Granola

Granola is one of my favorite go-to breakfasts because it is quick, easy, and infinitely variable. I like to eat it with a lot of cut up fruit (half a big apple, a whole peach, half a mango, or berries fresh or quickly defrosted from the freezer), a big dollop of plain yogurt, and a sprinkling (probably about 2 Tbsp.) of granola for crunch. My kids like it with cut up fruit and milk. This 7-Minute Granola recipe has been a life saver for those moments when I just don't have time to wait for a batch to bake. Check out Jessica making the granola on Facebook.7-Minute GranolaCook + Prep Time: 7 minutes 6 Servings Ingredients 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter 1 cup rolled oats (use gluten free, if needed) 1/4 tsp. salt 1/4 tsp. cinnamon 1/4 tsp. cardamom (or use more cinnamon) 1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped 3 Tbsp. maple syrup 1/2 cup dried currants or dried cranberries Melt the butter in a large skillet on a medium-high heat. Add the oats, salt, cinnamon, and...
  Aug 22, 2017  lunch, News, Time Saving Kitchen Tips

4 Tricks to Unpack the Stress of Packing Lunches (for School or Work!)

As much as I don’t want to admit it, the summer is rapidly coming to an end. For many of us, this means a return to “real life” and regular routines. It is also a time that many of us choose to focus on getting back into good habits after summertime indulgences. One of the best ways that you can help yourself get back on track is by packing lunch, whether it is for school or work, because while we often focus on a healthy dinner (and sometimes breakfast), a lot of us depend on convenient food options at lunch that are harder on our bodies and our wallets. For example, a typical salad at Cava (a fast casual restaurant in Washington, DC, where I live) costs over $9 and has over 700 calories! A lot of people I talk to dread packing lunches for their kids and/or themselves. I hear all the time that it feels time consuming, stressful, and even boring. I get it, I really do. While I am someone who grew up always bringing a lunch to school and then to work, there are still...

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.  For more hearty salads, try our Israeli Couscous Salad Recipe with Tomatoes, Cucumbers and Feta and our Fresh Corn, Tomato and Avocado Salad with ShrimpMediterranean 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...

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...
  May 30, 2017  News

Refer Friends to our Meal Planner and Get Free Months—Now on Facebook and Twitter, Too!

Refer Friends and Get Free Months—Now on Facebook and Twitter, Too!We are so grateful for your referrals! If you love The Six O'Clock Scramble meal planner, please take a few moments TODAY to refer friends.  Send your friends a coupon for $3 off our meal planner—you can now share your referral code right on Facebook and Twitter as well as email. Try the new feature now! (Let us know what you think—we always welcome your feedback.) If your friends need some convincing about the importance of dinnertime, encourage them to take a peek here.  Also, point them to our sample menu so they can see the kinds of delicious, easy meals they'll be preparing with our meal plans.  If your friends would like to hear what other Scramble members think of the service, feel free to share some testimonials:This is our first week as members of The Scramble. We made three dishes and we loved each of them. The...