America Makes Dinner Launches

America Makes Dinner kicked off yesterday, with new family dinner selections each week from celebrities, chefs and food bloggers including Tom Colicchio, owner of Craft Restaurants; Laurie David, producer and author of “The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids, One Meal at a Time;” and Sierra McCormick, from the Disney Channel Original Series “A.N.T. Farm,” all of whom have shared their healthy and affordable family recipes.

Families across the country can visit to find simple, nutritious meal ideas and, by preparing each week’s featured recipe and sharing their feedback, help choose recipe finalists. Once America’s favorite recipes have been chosen, the America Makes Dinner campaign will culminate with America Makes Dinner Day on Oct. 17, when families across the country will sit down and enjoy the winning recipes.

Now, you can also can enter your favorite family-friendly dinner recipes too!  Three finalists will be featured during one week of the America Makes Dinner challenge, and the winning family will win a private cooking lesson from chef-preneur Allison Sosna, former executive chef of DC Central Kitchen, a competitor on Food Network’s “Chopped” and a passionate advocate of healthy food for children. During the three-hour cooking lesson, Sosna will teach the basics of preparing quick and easy dinners, and leave the family with a full week’s worth of delicious family dinner ideas. The winner will also receive an All-Clad sauté pan, perfect for large families who like to cook one-dish meals.  Families are encouraged to submit a recipe that helps them get a healthy meal on the table, even on a busy weeknight between doing homework and playing bingo on your computer. To be eligible, dinner recipes must be simple, original and appropriate for families with children. The final recipes also will follow federal MyPlate guidelines for a healthy meal.

America Makes Dinner partners who will be sharing their favorite family dinner recipes include:

  • Daniel and Shauna Ahern, authors of “Gluten Free Girl: How I Found the Food That Loves Me Back” and “Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef”
  • Kristy Bernardo, personal chef and blogger for “The Wicked Noodle”
  • Floyd Cardoz, chef and Top Chef Masters winner
  • Tom Colicchio and Maria Hines, James Beard Award-winning chefs
  • Laurie David, producer and author of “The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids, One Meal at a Time” and her co-author, Kirstin Uhrenholdt
  • Cara Eisenpress, author of “In the Small Kitchen” and a Meatless Monday blogger
  • Sierra McCormick, of Disney’s “A.N.T. Farm”
  • Holly Smith, chef and James Beard Foundation Medal winner, and her son Oliver
  • Allison Sosna, chef and contestant on Food Network’s “Chopped”

“Most everyone agrees that eating dinner together is a good thing—good for our health, our families and our wallets,” said Cozi CEO Robbie Cape. “But things get in the way—like homework, soccer practice and not knowing quick and healthy recipes. Both Cozi and PHA are committed to helping build healthier futures for children, and we hope that families across the nation will join us to promote the importance of sitting down together as a family to have dinner and talk about their day.”

Betty Crocker Potato Buds Giveaway

This giveaway is now over. The winner is Pamela S. Congrats!

Whether you prefer your mashed potatoes topped with butter, sour cream or cheese, the Betty Crocker Potato Buds that you’ve come to know and love has a new and improved taste that is sure to please even your pickiest eaters. And ready in just five minutes, they’re perfect for busy weeknights and last minute dinner ideas!  I like real mashed potatoes just as much as the next person, but with two little ones (and a puppy), I just don’t have the time nor the patience to make them.

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you’ll remember a few of my recipes that use mashed potatoes: Cheeseburger Mashed Potato Bake, Italian Style Meatloaf, and Italian Sausage Mashed Potato Pie.  Betty Crocker Potato Buds would work perfect in all three of these recipes.  Betty Crocker has a few of their own recipes that this can be used in too including Beef Pot Pie with Potato Biscuit Crust and Italian Hamburger Deep Dish.

Did you know that Betty Crocker Potato Buds are gluten-free?  If you are looking for some gluten-free recipes, make sure you check out Potato-Crusted Salmon and Cheesy Broccoli-Potato Soup!

Since my family has enjoyed this so much, I’ve arrange for one lucky reader to get a Betty Crocker Potato Buds prize pack.  The prize pack  includes a box of Betty Crocker Potato Buds, a serving bowl, a trivet and a serving spoon.  Who couldn’t use that?  For those who don’t win, I have a 55 cent off coupon you can download, so you can try these yourself!  Here’s what you need to enter:

Tell me what you would use the Betty Crocker Potato Buds for?  A side dish?  Do you have a favorite recipe that calls for mashed potatoes?  Did you find something on the Betty Crocker website that you want to try these with?

These will give you one additional entry (for each thing):

1. Twitter about this contest. I’ve added a Tweet button at the top of this post to make it super easy to do too! Just let me know in the comments that you did. Also, you can do this daily!

2. Add this post to social media sites like Stumble, Digg, Kirtsy, Blogging Zoom, Reddit, Propeller, Etc. (1 extra entry per site)

3.  Like this post on Facebook (There is a like button at the beginning and the end of this post you can use).

4.  Add this to any forums you belong too. Please give me the URL, so I can verify.

5. Comment on any other post on this blog. Let me know which one and you’ve got an additional entry. (One entry per post you comment on, so if you comment on 5 post, you’ve got five extra entries! Comments must not be spam.)

6.  Follow Betty Crocker on Twitter.

7.  Like Betty Crocker on Facebook.

Each of these will give you 5 entries:

1. Blog about this on your blog. Please give me the URL, so I can verify.
2. Subscribe to this blog using either my email or RSS feed
3. Add my badge to your sidebar:

Lisa Cooking

For 10 bonus entries:

Subscribe to my blog using your Kindle!

Good luck! This contest will end November 1st, 2010 at 11:59 PM CST.

The product, prize pack, information and additional prize pack to give away were all given to me from Betty Crocker through MyBlogSpark.