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iStock 541305426 CroppedThe holiday season can be crazy between planning parties, getting together with relatives and running around to every store to find the perfect gift for each special person on your list.

But don't let that stop you from creating simple culinary magic for your family and visitors alike! With the use of a large pot or slow cooker, your pantry arsenal of spices, herbs and seasonings you’re set for an evening of culinary indulgence.

Spinach Tortellini Soup

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder or 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup frozen or shelf-stable cheese tortellini (about 3 ounces)
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped fresh spinach leaves

Directions:
1. Heat the broth, garlic powder and black pepper in a 3-quart saucepan over high heat to a boil.
2. Reduce the heat to medium. Stir in the tortellini. Cook for 10 minutes. Stir in the spinach. Cook for 5 minutes or until the tortellini is tender but still firm.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
*TIME SAVING TIP: Use 1 cup frozen cut leaf spinach for the fresh spinach.

Pumpkin Soup with Bacon and Parmesan

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk
  • 2 (15oz.) cans pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 tbsp. packed brown sugar
  • ½ tsp. dried sage leaves
  • 1 oz. parmesan cheese
  • 1 and ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. coarse black pepper
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 strips pre-cooked bacon

Directions:
Place large pot on high heat or set crockpot to high heat. Add chicken broth, evaporated milk, pumpkin puree, sage, garlic powder, salt, pepper and brown sugar and stir.
Reduce heat to medium then cover and cook, stirring often until base comes to a simmer. Turn heat down to low.
As soup comes to a simmer, grate Parmesan cheese and chop bacon. Mix.
Preheat a nonstick skillet over medium heat then drop bacon and Parmesan into pan in small piles. As they melt and bacon begins to brown (30 seconds-1 minute), flip them over with a spatula.
Flip often until mixture is golden brown (about 1-3 minutes), then remove from heat and let cool.
Ladle soup into serving bowls, top with Parmesan and bacon mixture and serve!

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

Sensational Turkey Noodle Soup

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup uncooked medium egg noodles
  • 1 cup cubed cooked turkey or chicken

Directions:
Heat the broth, 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, carrot and celery in a 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat to a boil. Stir the noodles and turkey in the saucepan. Reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 10 minutes or until the noodles are tender.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

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Kids are not the easiest customers when it comes to dinner. Most moms would love to say nutrition comes first when it comes time to eat, but more likely it comes third, somewhere behind getting kids to actually eat and the amount of time it takes to cook. That's where stir-fry recipes are your new best friend. Kids love them, here's why:

Participation

Whether you are trying to please a little kid or a big one, kids of any age want to feel like they are being heard. This meal is perfect for that! Stir-fry dishes are some of the most forgiving, so let the kids pick what they want to throw in the pan. Little kids love the feeling of being able to do something mom can do, and the older kids like being in control. Win-win! The hard part for you may be hiding your feelings if they pick something you think might not have the best flavor for mi in a meal. Use stir-fry sauce and a flavor-packed protein to help take the pressure off of their choices.

Individuality

17880-kid-parents-cookingLittle kids want to prove they can do it while older kids want to be allowed to make their own decisions. Take the kids to the grocery store or farmers market and let them each pick three things they like. When it comes time to head into the kitchen, cook the main ingredients at one time. You can then divide them out into bowls with each kid's produce picks and take turns tossing them into the skillet. One way to cut cooking time is to use a protein that's already cooked, like sausages or leftover rotisserie chicken. Using these flavor-packed proteins with a minute-style rice means each family member can toss them in with their own ingredients before heating and eating. Splitting the cooking to individual dishes for stir-fry doesn't add much time to the dinner prep. You get some great family time and everybody will clean their plates!

Adventure

17880-mom-kid-wokKids love the idea of adventure and this is one time where you can easily go along for the ride. Ask your kids to think outside of the box, but you should too. Instead of going with plain chicken and noodles, mix things up by trying a more flavorful protein, like sausage. If you need a thought-starter recipe, we have one. Try this Asian-style "Sausage Stir-Fry" which pack a hot and spicy punch to the meal. This stir-fry is part of our 5-5-5 series, which means it has only 5 ingredients and a simple 5-minute prep time. If you want to raise kids who will eat anything, you have to show them how to cook and eat with lots of different flavors. 

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The winning ingredient in any stir-fry recipe is flexibility. This is a perfect dish to turn to when you haven't had time to get groceries or when "nothing sounds good". So bring the whole family into the kitchen for dinner and let them pick and choose what goes in the wok! 

For more weeknight meal inspiration that only require five ingredients, check out Womensforum's 5-5-5 Meal Planner!

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Every kid - and adult - loves chicken nuggets and chicken tenders, especially with a great dipping sauce. We partnered with and Tyson to show you how to think beyond ketchup and ranch with these and healthy sauces that your kids will love! 

Find these Tyson chicken nuggets and more at , , , , or . 

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Mojitos are so delicious, but they can be such a pain to make with all the muddling and mi involved. What if we told you that we had a recipe that makes a mouthwatering mojito using only a blender? That’s right, no more muddling! Well, you are in luck! This might be the perfect springtime cocktail. 

This tasty berry mojito recipe is great for any occasion. This recipe is built for two so if need be cut the recipe in half to make just one personal berry mojito.

Ingredients

  • Fresh lime juice
  • Mint
  • Berries of your choice
  • Sugar
  • Ice
  • White rum

Directions

  1. First, take the mint leaves off their stems, making about ½ to quarter cup depending on how minty you want drink to be. Add the leaves to the to blender.
  2. More, put 2 tsp. lime juice (or half of a lime fully squeezed) to the blender.
  3. Then add 2 tsp. sugar to blender. Depending on how sweet you want your mojito to be, you can add a little more or less sugar.
  4. Put in your fresh berries, and ice.
  5. And you can’t forget the run! Put two shots of white rum into the blender.
  6. Blend 30 sec to 1 minute and serve over ice or as is!

It’s as simple as that! If you want, you can substitue tangerines or any other fruit instead of berries. Get creative with it! Either way, this berry mojito recipe is fast, easy and tastes great!

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Imagine getting dinner on the table and lunch for the next day done at all once - sounds amazing but impossible, right? We partnered with and Tyson to show you it's done. 

Find these Tyson chicken strips and more at , , , , or .