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Bring Dinner Time to Life with Guest Linda Lederman
Episode 312nd March 2022 • The 6570 Family Project • Nellie Harden
00:00:00 00:39:36

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In this episode, Nellie and Linda go beyond the meal planning and mundane feeling so many parents get with dinner time and find the magic in it.  Linda Lederman is a genius when it comes to how to bring a family together, and actually looks forward to meals together each night, with loads of laughing, conversation, and good food!

About the Guest: 

Linda’s cooking skills were so bad, her own family banned her from cooking when she was a teen. Happily, her skills have dramatically improved. She now has over 1000 cookbooks, is a graduate of Rouxbe Cooking School and the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, and has countless cooking courses from the International Culinary Center and Natural Gourmet Institute under her belt. She is a kitchen confidence coach and owner of Balaboosta’s Secret where she helps busy moms with meal planning, prep, and cooking lessons as well as coaches them on how to serve their delicious dinners with side dishes of games and clever conversations with their family. Stress-free cooking tips for maximum flavor, fun, and yum. She can be found at BalaboostasSecret.com, on Facebook at Easy Weeknight Dinners for Busy Moms as well as on Instagram @balaboostas.secret.

About the Host: 

Nellie Harden is a wife of 20+ years, mom to 4 teen/tween daughters, dreamer, adventurer, servant, multipreneur, forever student, and a devoted teacher, but her ride-or-die passion is her work as a Family Life Coach & Mentor.  

Coming from a career background in marine mammal sciences, behavioral work, and a host of big life experiences, both great and not some not so great, she decided that designing a life of purpose and freedom was how she and her husband, along with their 4 daughters, wanted to live.  

Her work and passions exist in the realms of family and parent mentorship because she believes that a family filled with creativity, fun, laughter, challenge, adventure, problem-solving, hugs, good food, and learning can not only change a person’s life but is the best chance at positively changing the world. 

 She helps families build Self-Led Discipline™ & Leadership Into their homes, sets their children up for a wildly successful life on their terms, and elevates the family experience with big joy, palpable peace, and everyday growth!

With a lifelong passion and curiosity in thought, choice, behavior, and growth she has found incredible joy in helping families shift perspective, find answers, and a path forward.

(Nellie has been coaching families for over 10 years and has degrees in Biology, Animal Behavior, and Psychology. )  

 

LINKS:

6570 Family Challenge- https://www,nellieharden.com/challenge

Website- https://www.nellieharden.com

Online Community- https://www.facebook.com/groups/the6570project

Instagram- https://www.instagram.com/nellieharden/    

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/nellie.harden/

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Transcripts

Nellie Harden:

Hello and welcome to the 6570 family project

Nellie Harden:

podcast. If you are a parent of a tween teen or somewhere on the

Nellie Harden:

way, this is exactly the place for you. This is the playground

Nellie Harden:

for parents who want to raise their kids with intention,

Nellie Harden:

strength and joy. Come in here all the discussions, get all the

Nellie Harden:

tactics and have lots of laughs along the way. We will dive into

Nellie Harden:

the real challenges in raising kids today how to show up as

Nellie Harden:

parents and teach your kids how to show up as members of the

Nellie Harden:

family and individuals of the world. My name is Mellie Hardin,

Nellie Harden:

big city girl turn small town sipping iced tea on the front

Nellie Harden:

porch mama, who loves igniting transformation in the hearts and

Nellie Harden:

minds of families by helping them build self love, discipline

Nellie Harden:

and leadership that elevates the family experience. And sets the

Nellie Harden:

kids up with a rock solid foundation they can launch their

Nellie Harden:

life on all before they ever leave home. This is the 6570

Nellie Harden:

family project. Let's go

Nellie Harden:

Hi, everyone. Welcome to another episode of the 6570 family

Nellie Harden:

project podcast. You guys I have got a gem for you today. I'm so

Nellie Harden:

excited to welcome Linda Letterman to our community

Nellie Harden:

today. And I'm going to get her on in just a second. But you

Nellie Harden:

guys she is a kitchen confidence coach. I didn't even know those

Nellie Harden:

existed. I know I could definitely use one. I tend to

Nellie Harden:

just eat raw because honestly, what is the the meme? I ain't

Nellie Harden:

got time for that. Right? But she brings so much truth and

Nellie Harden:

honesty and fun to the conversation not just about what

Nellie Harden:

you're making in the kitchen, but what you're doing with it

Nellie Harden:

right at the dinner table. I can't wait for you to listen to

Nellie Harden:

her. You guys. She specializes in meal planning and prep and

Nellie Harden:

cooking recipe development and fun family dinner conversations.

Nellie Harden:

You're gonna love it. Her story is so funny, and you'll hear her

Nellie Harden:

talk a little bit more about it. But she was actually so bad at

Nellie Harden:

cooking that her own family banned her when she was a

Nellie Harden:

teenager. And happily, her skills have dramatically

Nellie Harden:

improved and she now has over 1000 cookbooks. Every time I

Nellie Harden:

hear something like that I'm like where do you put them all

Nellie Harden:

right, but she has over 1000 cookbooks. She is a graduate of

Nellie Harden:

a prestigious cooking school and the Institute of Integrative

Nellie Harden:

Nutrition and has countless cooking courses through the

Nellie Harden:

International Culinary Center and national gourmet Institute

Nellie Harden:

under her belt. She is like I said a kitchen confidence coach

Nellie Harden:

and the owner of get this fun name. Bella boost does secret

Nellie Harden:

where she helps busy moms with meal planning prep and cooking

Nellie Harden:

lessons as well as coaching them on how to serve the delicious

Nellie Harden:

dinners with side dishes of games, clever conversations with

Nellie Harden:

their family. So many great gems you are going to get out of this

Nellie Harden:

you guys. It is stress free cooking, maximum flavor, fun and

Nellie Harden:

just yum factor, which I could always do with some fun and

Nellie Harden:

young factor myself. So without further ado, let's go ahead and

Nellie Harden:

get started. Hello, everyone. Welcome to the 6570 family

Nellie Harden:

project Podcast. I'm so excited to have this incredible guest on

Nellie Harden:

today. Linda Letterman. She is so amazing. I know I already

Nellie Harden:

told you all about her. But welcome to the show, Linda.

Linda Lederman:

Oh, thanks so much. I'm thrilled to be here.

Linda Lederman:

Oh, yay.

Nellie Harden:

Well, you guys like I said before she is a

Nellie Harden:

foodie right. And then all the absolutely confidence. I love

Nellie Harden:

those words together because frankly, I don't have very much

Nellie Harden:

kitchen confidence. My kids have a lot more than I do. So I often

Nellie Harden:

snack off of their creations and I wish I had a little bit more

Nellie Harden:

of that myself. But we you know the kitchen is the main focus of

Nellie Harden:

so many homes so many families I know it is for us even though I

Nellie Harden:

will you know probably raw broccoli before I make anything.

Nellie Harden:

But my kids make a lot of stuff. And but we still we hang out in

Nellie Harden:

the kitchen. And that's where a lot of our dance parties and you

Nellie Harden:

know a lot of our conversations, all of the stuff at the end of

Nellie Harden:

the day. It always starts and ends in the kitchen. So tell me

Nellie Harden:

a little bit Linda. So you're obviously a food and family

Nellie Harden:

leader when it comes to this space. Can you tell me kind of

Nellie Harden:

your road in order to get here and how did this all transpire

Nellie Harden:

for you?

Unknown:

Absolutely. When I started my cooking career, I was

Unknown:

in high school and did not start off very well. I told my mom she

Unknown:

was the most boring cook I had ever met. And she was I mean

Unknown:

there was It wasn't debatable. I probably have that title. Right?

Unknown:

Okay, smart out, you know what you're gonna do better. And she

Unknown:

bought me at the time, a book called The Joy of Cooking, which

Unknown:

is huge, almost like an encyclopedia of recipes, but no

Unknown:

pictures, which was really a drawback. And she said, once a

Unknown:

week, you're gonna pick a recipe, tell me the ingredients

Unknown:

we need. I'll get them for you. And you cook, you think you can

Unknown:

do better? You're on. So now the pressure was there because I had

Unknown:

to do something that wasn't boring. And I knew nothing,

Unknown:

literally nothing about cooking, because my mom wasn't really

Unknown:

very good teacher. So I would pick out what I would think

Unknown:

would be the most exotic recipes. And the first one I

Unknown:

tried was something called Swedish meatballs. What on earth

Unknown:

do I know from Swedish meatballs? I know nothing.

Nellie Harden:

That's my favorite dish.

Unknown:

No kidding. It is. I'm gonna take lesson for you on

Unknown:

this one. So I said, Okay, I'm gonna make Swedish meatballs.

Unknown:

Well, needless to say, it came out awful. I made a huge mess in

Unknown:

the kitchen. And I had no idea what I was doing. And my family

Unknown:

tried to be tolerant, tried to be nice, but you know that we're

Unknown:

gonna go out and eat ice cream or something afterwards to fill

Unknown:

themselves up. So the next week, I said, All right, I'll do

Unknown:

something else. And I tried veal cord on blue. I don't know what

Unknown:

it was. I didn't even know how to say it. I still don't know

Unknown:

how to say it. But it sounded different. So I was gonna try

Unknown:

it. Well, the reviews were even worse. By the third week when I

Unknown:

was making dinner, my family said enough. You are now

Unknown:

officially banned from making dinner. And that's how my

Unknown:

cooking career started. I was banned from cooking in my house.

Unknown:

I'm not wanting to take no for an answer. So to me, I viewed it

Unknown:

as a game on now I have to be really good at this. And so I

Unknown:

studied cookbooks, I went to cooking classes. In between, I

Unknown:

became a lawyer and had a very different career. But during

Unknown:

that time, I really want to improve my cooking. And my

Unknown:

parents were great entertainers. They didn't always cook the

Unknown:

food. But always, always, always had people at the house. It was

Unknown:

filled with laughter and camaraderie. And to me, that's

Unknown:

the way a house should be. And so I really wanted to recreate

Unknown:

that I didn't have the wherewithal to have things

Unknown:

catered. So I had to learn how to cook. And I did take all

Unknown:

kinds of lessons. And I got to be not to be modest or immodest,

Unknown:

but I got to be really good at it. When I had kids, um, you

Unknown:

know, you'd go to after school activities, kids would come to

Unknown:

your house and have dinner or we'd have sleepovers. And we'd

Unknown:

have homemade dinners. We play games at the dinner table. And

Unknown:

their friends would say, My mom doesn't do this. We don't we

Unknown:

don't have food like this. We don't have fun at the dinner

Unknown:

table. You know, we're eating a Subway sandwich in the car going

Unknown:

to the next Soccer Soccer game. And it occurred to me that

Unknown:

that's not really the way things should be. And there's a lot of

Unknown:

studies that talk about the importance of family meal time,

Unknown:

and how your kids do better in school, they're better

Unknown:

socialized, and less likely to abuse drugs. I mean, the list is

Unknown:

tremendous. And I said, you know, I think there's a real

Unknown:

need here. And so my business is valuables to secret kitchen

Unknown:

confidence coach blossomed.

Nellie Harden:

So where does that name come from? I love it.

Nellie Harden:

So Bella

Unknown:

booster is an old fashioned Yiddish term. And it

Unknown:

means a woman who makes a fine home. And my definition of a

Unknown:

fine home is the anti Martha Stewart, I you know, you have to

Unknown:

be able to put your feet up, you have to be able to eat with your

Unknown:

finger sometimes. But you want your guests to be comfortable

Unknown:

you want them to be you want that laughter in your house, you

Unknown:

want that conversation, you want that abundance of warmth, and

Unknown:

camaraderie. And to me, that's what a good home is. So I teach

Unknown:

people the secrets and how to do that with ease and speed. And a

Unknown:

whole lot of human fun.

Nellie Harden:

Oh, I love that. So when it comes to your own

Nellie Harden:

kids, and before we started recording, we're talking so you

Nellie Harden:

have two kids that are both teens, right? Yes. Okay. So when

Nellie Harden:

it comes to them and your family home, how has this kind of

Nellie Harden:

transpired and and made a new generation of what food is and

Nellie Harden:

what kitchen time is for the next generation?

Unknown:

You know? That's a great question. Because one of

Unknown:

the reasons I do what I do is, I think it's so important for you

Unknown:

as an individual to learn this skill so you can provide this

Unknown:

for your family. But while you do that, you're modeling it for

Unknown:

your family, so they'll know how to recreate it for theirs. And

Unknown:

if you're giving your family just fast food and takeout and

Unknown:

frozen food, where are they learning the skills where are

Unknown:

they what do they see is the right way to feed their family

Unknown:

or even themselves as they grow up. So I have always

Unknown:

incorporated my kids and my cooking since they could stand

Unknown:

on a stool to reach accountant and I'm at this point I had my

Unknown:

daughter who is 16 is enrolled in a culinary program in high

Unknown:

school. And my son is a wrestler, and he likes to make a

Unknown:

lot of his meals because obviously, weight is a very

Unknown:

important factor when you're a wrestler, and he's learned all

Unknown:

about nutrition. And he makes dinners for us in the kitchen.

Unknown:

And so it's really a wonderful family affair.

Nellie Harden:

Oh, I love that. So it's interesting. So with

Nellie Harden:

with myself, it was just my mom and I growing up and then so it

Nellie Harden:

was like the frozen dinners, right and choosing a mama's you

Nellie Harden:

know, all we could do McDonald's, Denny's, and frozen

Nellie Harden:

Salsbury steak like those and Oh, mac and cheese. Can't forget

Nellie Harden:

the mac and cheese like those were my staples, and I still

Nellie Harden:

crave those today. Sometimes even though so I've been a

Nellie Harden:

vegetarian since 1996. I still sometimes crave frozen cells

Nellie Harden:

very stick with those like dice cubed, or those tiny cube

Nellie Harden:

dungeons on top. It's so funny. But anyway, when I had kids,

Nellie Harden:

then I really had no idea what to do with food. And I just tend

Nellie Harden:

to eat raw a lot of time, just raw veggies and things like

Nellie Harden:

that. But my kids I homeschooled them. I still am. I'm in my

Nellie Harden:

seventh year now. And my oldest was with us for four years. And

Nellie Harden:

then I still have the three youngest at home now. And when

Nellie Harden:

they they have to take care of their own lunches they always

Nellie Harden:

have since day one. And so they just got really creative. And

Nellie Harden:

they started just getting recipes. And they would just

Nellie Harden:

grab things. And sometimes those concoctions work and sometimes

Nellie Harden:

they don't but I think it's so cool that they can they've just

Nellie Harden:

been able to have free reign over the kitchen. And whatever

Nellie Harden:

you want to do do Just please don't set it on fire. I've been

Nellie Harden:

through one kitchen fire before when I was little, which might

Nellie Harden:

be why we did frozen cells very steaks, I don't know. But yeah,

Nellie Harden:

just giving them free rein over that has exploded their create

Nellie Harden:

their food creativity. You know, especially a couple of them. My

Nellie Harden:

16 year old one of my 14 year olds, they make these elaborate

Nellie Harden:

dishes. And they're like got like three burners going or what

Nellie Harden:

have you. And I'm like, What are you doing? And they're like, Oh,

Nellie Harden:

I'm we're just making this or I'm just doing this? And I'm

Nellie Harden:

like, great. Can I have some

Unknown:

you want your kids to have those skills. And a lot of

Unknown:

the women that I work with say that their kids are picky

Unknown:

eaters. And one of the things that I suggest is, well take

Unknown:

your kids grocery shopping and have them pick out something and

Unknown:

get them invest in what the meal is going to be. And if the meal

Unknown:

flops, and we all have had meals that tanked Sure. I don't say

Unknown:

Oh, I'm sorry, that was terrible. I'm a horrible cook. I

Unknown:

say things like, Okay, would you rate this a thumbs up or thumbs

Unknown:

down? And if it's a thumbs down or thumbs in the middle of say,

Unknown:

Okay, well, what should I do differently next time when I

Unknown:

make it, so I'm not giving up? I'm not telling them Okay, you

Unknown:

win. I'll never make broccoli again. I'm making them think

Unknown:

about what tastes they like, right, what tastes they don't

Unknown:

like, and I get them thinking in a very creative way. And it

Unknown:

helps me out how to make a meal that they might like better next

Unknown:

time.

Nellie Harden:

Yeah, absolutely. And food is so it's so cultural.

Nellie Harden:

It is so socio economic to you know, it's so funny because I

Nellie Harden:

don't I grew up in, you know, just with my salisbury steak and

Nellie Harden:

Kraft mac and cheese. And then today as an adult to go out with

Nellie Harden:

some friends that might have had a higher socio socio economic

Nellie Harden:

state or whatever, and they're eating fancy food. And I'm like,

Nellie Harden:

I don't even know what I'm eating what this fancy food is.

Nellie Harden:

And it's like, got a little drizzle on it. And I'm like, I

Nellie Harden:

Where's my food, food, you know, and it's just so funny, but it's

Nellie Harden:

worth always exploring, right? Because you never know if

Nellie Harden:

there's going to be something there that you love. So, anyway,

Nellie Harden:

I just I find that I find food so fascinating in so many

Nellie Harden:

different regards. spiciness, non spiciness, you know, you're

Nellie Harden:

going past a house and you're like, Whoa, that smells good. I

Nellie Harden:

wonder what's in there, you know?

Unknown:

And I actually stopped and it's interesting. You said

Unknown:

that you're a vegetarian. I don't eat meat. I eat fish, but

Unknown:

I don't eat me. But my family eats meat. They eat every thing

Unknown:

under the sun. I have somebody in my family who's gluten free

Unknown:

somebody who's lactose intolerant all over the board.

Unknown:

And I don't need 50 Different dinners at night cooks. I don't

Unknown:

really believe in that. But if you learn how to use your

Unknown:

flavors, and you ask people, even if you're in a restaurant,

Unknown:

you can say, Wow, can you tell me as a chef how he made that or

Unknown:

what he put in it? So you start getting familiar of ingredients.

Unknown:

Or if you're traveling to a different location, whether it's

Unknown:

another country or another part of this country, go into markets

Unknown:

that you're not familiar with, you can ask a butcher, you can

Unknown:

ask the fruit monger. Now, tell me something here, that's

Unknown:

unusual. And what would you do with it? You go to a farmers

Unknown:

market, I do it all the time and say, What is this? And how would

Unknown:

I cook it? Yeah. And that's how you can easily expand your

Unknown:

repertoire from people who actually know what they're

Unknown:

doing.

Nellie Harden:

Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. And that goes along

Nellie Harden:

with. So in the 6570. Family Project, we really talked about

Nellie Harden:

the one thing being self discipline leadership. And that

Nellie Harden:

comes down to discipline of vulnerability, having vision,

Nellie Harden:

right and building resilience in there. And it really is kind of

Nellie Harden:

the one umbrella for everything we need in life. And that

Nellie Harden:

includes having that vision of what you want to go into in the

Nellie Harden:

kitchen. Right? And putting things in the pot having the

Nellie Harden:

resilience in case it does flop. Like you said, we've all done

Nellie Harden:

that. And my my kids love to make crepes. Well, it took them

Nellie Harden:

like, I don't even know 20, not 20, probably 10 tries before it

Nellie Harden:

was, you know, edible and good. Eggs. Yeah. And so. So yeah,

Nellie Harden:

just having that resilience of not giving up in the

Nellie Harden:

vulnerability of trying something new and the discipline

Nellie Harden:

to keep going. So

Unknown:

I'm trying to figure out what went long to Yes. You

Unknown:

know, yes, it's, and that's a lesson that you use in every

Unknown:

part of your life. You know, you just don't say, Oh, I failed,

Unknown:

and never try again. You know, you become a success by

Unknown:

analyzing what you did, what you could have done better, what

Unknown:

maybe went wrong, and what needs some tweaking? I mean, that's a

Unknown:

formula for success in anything you do.

Nellie Harden:

Yes, I completely agree. So in your specialty, and

Nellie Harden:

what you do, first, let me ask, how do you help your clients in

Nellie Harden:

I love the idea of kitchen confidence, and you're just

Nellie Harden:

really helping them? Get in there and how and build that,

Nellie Harden:

you know, discovery and vision and resilience, right?

Unknown:

Absolutely. So I take a client, where they are some

Unknown:

people I work with are really good cooks, but they're tired of

Unknown:

the same routine they have. They're limited in their recipes

Unknown:

are limited in their seasonings they use, or the techniques and

Unknown:

they say, help me expand. Other people say, I don't know how to

Unknown:

boil water. So, you know, I take them where they are. And I

Unknown:

started the basics, you know, let's see what you have in your

Unknown:

pantry. Let's see what kind of seasonings you have. What do you

Unknown:

have in your refrigerator? What do you have in your freezer,

Unknown:

because, you know, you don't want somebody to have to go out

Unknown:

and spend hundreds of dollars on things that they may or may not

Unknown:

use. But let's learn what you have first, and see what we can

Unknown:

expand it. So we start there. We start with how to meal plan. And

Unknown:

everybody's definition of meal planning is different. And

Unknown:

everybody's lifestyle is different. Some people love to

Unknown:

meal, plan everything for the weekend on Sunday and cook

Unknown:

everything. Personally, I can't do that. But I can help you if

Unknown:

that's what your lifestyle wants, you know, and needs.

Unknown:

Other people say, I just need to know two days. Fine. I can I can

Unknown:

teach you how to do that. I even do meal plans for people with

Unknown:

recipes and shopping lists for people who just say, just give

Unknown:

it to me. I don't want to learn, right. But if you learn how to

Unknown:

cook, you learn how to do things like batch cooking, because

Unknown:

nobody wants to be cooking from scratch every day, you don't

Unknown:

have the time. There's other things you'd rather be doing

Unknown:

with your time and life is pulling you in a million

Unknown:

directions. So one thing I teach people is how to batch cook. And

Unknown:

an example of that is making more of something than you need

Unknown:

at any one given meal, but that you can use another time. Now if

Unknown:

your family is like my family, they don't want to be eating

Unknown:

that same excess meal for the rest of the week. Because you

Unknown:

just have to shoot yourself you'd be bored out of your mind.

Unknown:

So what I do is I teach people how to repurpose that leftover.

Unknown:

So I'll give you an example of that. You said you don't eat

Unknown:

meat, so I'm going to give you a non meat. So for my meat eating

Unknown:

kids, I would make agent spicy turkey meatballs for you. You'd

Unknown:

make Asian spicy tofu meatballs, okay, and it takes maybe 15

Unknown:

minutes to prep. And I baked them in the oven on a sheet pan

Unknown:

so there's no grease splattering anywhere and they're healthy.

Unknown:

And then I would put them with let's say a pad tightening and a

Unknown:

pad time goes on. Wow, that's really exotic. It's a rice

Unknown:

newbie to buy in the grocery store to cook it you pour

Unknown:

boiling water over it. Not hard. And then if you want to make a

Unknown:

peanut sauce, you can take whatever peanut butter you like

Unknown:

a little orange juice and fresh ginger garlic soy sauce. If

Unknown:

you're gluten free a little tomorrow Boom, you got a peanut

Unknown:

sauce, you got your noodles, and you've got your tofu meatballs

Unknown:

to go on it. Now that's dinner number one. Dinner number two

Unknown:

later on in the week is you can take those tofu people's

Unknown:

crumbled them up, take some poison sauce, you can buy that

Unknown:

in any grocery store or Sriracha or whatever kind of even

Unknown:

barbecue sauce, whatever you have put it on the lettuce leaf,

Unknown:

but the crumbled tofu meatballs on it. And now you have a

Unknown:

lettuce taco. With your toppings you're not cooking again, you're

Unknown:

just reusing it and because you're using a different

Unknown:

seasoning or sauce on it, it doesn't taste like you're eating

Unknown:

leftovers anymore. You can make if I like to make a my kids like

Unknown:

a chicken tikka masala, you can make it with tofu, you can make

Unknown:

it with 10 pay. And if you don't want to cook from scratch, you

Unknown:

can buy Tikki Masala sauce from Trader Joe's for pennies. And so

Unknown:

I'll tell you your your protein at some onion, garlic, ginger at

Unknown:

the sauce, 15 minutes, your dinners done, and you're gonna

Unknown:

make a big thing of rice to go with it. You can even put

Unknown:

spinach in the dish, you know, and just have your a one pot

Unknown:

meal with your side of rice. So if you have a big thing of rice,

Unknown:

and you have leftover rice, the next day, you can take that

Unknown:

already cooked rice stuff some peppers with it. You can add

Unknown:

whatever protein you want you to stuffed peppers, you can take

Unknown:

that same leftover rice and make fried rice because the secret to

Unknown:

making fried rice is the rice is going to be a day old. So

Unknown:

instead of saying, Oh, I'll never remember to make rice the

Unknown:

day before. No, make a big batch. And you use the leftovers

Unknown:

for totally different meal the next day. So now your cooking

Unknown:

time has been reduced tremendously. Your family's

Unknown:

thinking you're a genius. You're kind of like so proud of

Unknown:

yourself, because you've saved yourself all this working time.

Nellie Harden:

Wow. I love that. That's ingenious. Yeah, that's

Nellie Harden:

ingenious, because we do get into these meal ruts, you know,

Nellie Harden:

where we have the same thing every single week, the same day.

Nellie Harden:

And Taco Tuesdays, you know, we have Taco Tuesday, every single

Nellie Harden:

Tuesday. But we all look forward to it for now. But it during the

Nellie Harden:

pandemic. I know a lot of people got into some big food ruts too.

Nellie Harden:

And even especially with going out when the pandemic first

Nellie Harden:

started, we were ordering Papa John's on Friday nights ordering

Nellie Harden:

some pizza. And little did we know we would be doing that a

Nellie Harden:

year later because everything was still going on. We're like

Nellie Harden:

Okay, wait, no, that's 50 times. We need to not do this.

Unknown:

So here's her here's, here's some some help with those

Unknown:

routine Taco Tuesdays. So I said you know, sometimes it's very

Unknown:

easy. If you want to make a plan to have theme nights. So Taco

Unknown:

Tuesday would be a really great theme. But instead of making

Unknown:

that same taco every Tuesday, one night you can make poke, not

Unknown:

for you necessarily but a pulled pork taco, or chicken taco, or

Unknown:

tilapia or shrimp taco. So it's still Taco Tuesday. But you're

Unknown:

jazzing up the proteins and the proteins or you can change it

Unknown:

and make your taco Tuesday the way you like, but maybe you'll

Unknown:

make a Mexican Coslada put on the tacos instead of salsa and

Unknown:

guacamole. So there's little things you can do to keep within

Unknown:

your comfort zone. But make something very different.

Unknown:

Something with your pizzas or Pappajohn pizzas. One thing that

Unknown:

I would suggest is and this is my family loves to do this. I

Unknown:

buy pizza dough, you can buy pizza dough, or you can even

Unknown:

make a buy a pizza crust, whatever you want. And we make

Unknown:

make your own pizzas and I have all the fixings on my counter.

Unknown:

And everybody rolls out their pizza dough or whatever crust

Unknown:

they're using a cauliflower crust, it doesn't matter. And

Unknown:

then they put it on a sheet pan with your own toppings bake it,

Unknown:

they make crazy shapes. And nobody says it's got to be

Unknown:

round. And everything's individualized. So somebody

Unknown:

wants pepperoni and you just want mushrooms and onions. Go

Unknown:

for it. You know, now you're not spending a minute on 50

Unknown:

different pizzas, and you're having your kids participate in

Unknown:

the kitchen. And you can make it into a contest who can make the

Unknown:

funniest shape. Who can guess what shape you're trying to

Unknown:

make? You know, there's a million things you can do to

Unknown:

make it fun.

Nellie Harden:

Yeah, no, I agree. And we've done that one

Nellie Harden:

before. And it is so fun in order to everyone can just make

Nellie Harden:

whatever they want. And yeah, we've had some pretty

Nellie Harden:

interesting creations happen before. Okay, so the importance

Nellie Harden:

you touched on it a little bit earlier and about the family

Nellie Harden:

dinner table and what that looks like and how it's made a

Nellie Harden:

priority and why it should be such a priority to at least have

Nellie Harden:

this time every day. And a lot of people find meal time because

Nellie Harden:

you usually sit down in order to eat. That is an easy time to

Nellie Harden:

pick that everyone can get together but Tell me a little

Nellie Harden:

bit about how you work with families with the dinner table.

Unknown:

Sure, you know, oftentimes by the time you sit

Unknown:

down for dinner, you as a parent, your spent, you know,

Unknown:

you've done whatever you had to do during the day, whether

Unknown:

you're working, volunteering, doing things in the house,

Unknown:

flipping your kids, whatever you're doing. And then you said,

Unknown:

Oh, my God, now I got to figure out what to make for dinner, and

Unknown:

then you make the dinner. And the last thing you want to do is

Unknown:

be nice. Sometimes you just want to I. So that's not a really

Unknown:

good way to have a successful dinner, I just have to say. So

Unknown:

you could think in advance what you can do to have a successful

Unknown:

dinner, you know, I always tell my kids, if you're going to have

Unknown:

company over, if you're going to go over somebody's house, it's

Unknown:

always a good social skill to think of things you want to talk

Unknown:

about, or games you want to play or do something like that. So I

Unknown:

give that same advice to the people that I work with. And I

Unknown:

say, there's so many ways that you can have a conversation that

Unknown:

doesn't start with, how was your day? What did you learn in

Unknown:

school? Because inevitably, your kids are going to say, it was

Unknown:

fine. What did you learn? Nothing? What did you do?

Unknown:

Nothing. Eight hours, my tax dollars that work? Nothing, you

Unknown:

know, it's not a good way to have a meal at any stretch,

Unknown:

imagine. So I teach parents how to play games at the table. And

Unknown:

there's tons of games you can play that people of any age can

Unknown:

play. I also tell them that you can tie in a food theme to your

Unknown:

meal. An example of that is there used to be a marketing

Unknown:

agency in California. And on top of their building, they had this

Unknown:

hideous, huge, maybe 1050 foot tall statue, the body of a human

Unknown:

like a lumberjack body. And the top was a chicken head from

Unknown:

miles around, you can see just as it is that well, the town

Unknown:

eventually started to really like it because it was so

Unknown:

hideous. And then one day, you know, the marketing company

Unknown:

there moved or went belly up and somebody bought the building.

Unknown:

And they wanted to take down that statute of the Chicken Boy,

Unknown:

and the town was incense you can't do that. That's our

Unknown:

beloved Chicken Boy. And they actually rallied to get the

Unknown:

funds to take it off the building and put it in a park, a

Unknown:

local park, so it could be celebrated. And they made

Unknown:

Chicken Boy day an official local holiday, like September

Unknown:

five Chicken Boy day. So one of the things I do with my clients

Unknown:

is I find out what interesting holidays are coming up for the

Unknown:

week. And they're all stupid, you know, they're fun. That's

Unknown:

the whole idea is to have fun. And so let's say was Chicken Boy

Unknown:

coming up and say, okay, chicken boys coming up. Let's think of

Unknown:

like two or three chicken recipes you want to make. And

Unknown:

now let's think about the conversations you could have

Unknown:

about Chicken Boy day. And you know, you're going to explain

Unknown:

what Chicken Boy day is. And then you could have

Unknown:

conversations like, well, if you are half boy or girl, whatever

Unknown:

you are, and half animal, what would that other half be? Hmm.

Unknown:

And why would you have any superpowers? What could you do

Unknown:

that you couldn't do as a kid? Now you're sparking creativity

Unknown:

of thought process, you're making dinner really, really

Unknown:

interesting, because nobody's talking about what they learned

Unknown:

in school. But you're learning about your kid, and how they

Unknown:

think and what they aspire to. You could change the

Unknown:

conversation, you could say, well, these people just saved

Unknown:

their money to donate to get this as part of a park. What in

Unknown:

your childhood is so precious, that you'd never want to part

Unknown:

with? And why? And it may not be the obvious in today think it

Unknown:

is. So now you again you're talking about conversations,

Unknown:

you're getting things going. So I when I when we talk about

Unknown:

things to do with the table, in addition to games, I give

Unknown:

examples of what they could be talking about. It could be food

Unknown:

related. It could be current events related.

Unknown:

April is National Poetry Month. And so one day I told my family

Unknown:

you know, April's National Poetry Month, and you know,

Unknown:

grown because you've got teenagers less than they ever

Unknown:

want to hear about was National Poetry Month, even my husband

Unknown:

Oh, please, she's added again. But you know, the human me

Unknown:

because it always ends up fun. So you know, they have to

Unknown:

participate. So I said, so when you come down to dinner tonight,

Unknown:

I want you to bring a poem. Oh my god, you could have heard the

Unknown:

groaning in Peoria. So it's like, don't be so limited in

Unknown:

your thinking. A poem doesn't have to be Roses are red,

Unknown:

violets are blue or Shakespeare sonnet. A poem could be rap

Unknown:

lyrics. Yeah, it could be any jingle. It could be anything

Unknown:

songs to whatever you like. It's all poetry. If you come down and

Unknown:

think about it. I said, you can write your own. You can bring

Unknown:

down whatever you want. Just please come down to dinner with

Unknown:

a poem. So my son came down on my I wrote my own phone. It was

Unknown:

a poem on I hate poetry and cracking up It was hysterical.

Unknown:

My daughter came with some silly little jingle because you know,

Unknown:

she couldn't be bothered. But she came down with something. My

Unknown:

husband wrote a rap song that was so hideously obnoxious and

Unknown:

funny that when people come over and says, Hey, did you know I

Unknown:

wrote a rap song? Can I sing it for you when he takes out a

Unknown:

sheet of paper, and he's still proud of it? Oh, you never know

Unknown:

what comes out of these kinds of things. And it makes dinner

Unknown:

memorable. You know, my son bought a girlfriend home for

Unknown:

dinner recently. And I said to her, did Max tell you that we

Unknown:

play games at the dinner table? And she said, Yes, he did. And I

Unknown:

said, Did he tell you that we expect you to play too? And she

Unknown:

said, Yes. So we played these games, and it broke the ice. And

Unknown:

it wasn't like looking at her and saying, and what do you want

Unknown:

to be when you grow? It was a great way to laugh and get to

Unknown:

know somebody and feel comfortable. And my kids always

Unknown:

say, even, you know, the teenagers now and they still

Unknown:

say, what are we gonna play at dinner tonight? Can I pick the

Unknown:

game. So they want to come they want to be part of the meal,

Unknown:

they want to be part of the family experience. It gets rid

Unknown:

of all the stress you have during the day. Now, sometimes

Unknown:

you want to talk about serious things. And they obviously feel

Unknown:

more comfortable doing it at a dinner table, because it's a

Unknown:

safe place. And everybody needs a place where they can vent

Unknown:

where they can feel relaxed, where they can be themselves,

Unknown:

whether it's being foolish, or being serious, and the dinner

Unknown:

table is an ideal place for that.

Nellie Harden:

Yeah. Wow. I think that is a tremendous

Nellie Harden:

takeaway are games at the dinner table? I think that's fantastic.

Nellie Harden:

Well, is before we get going, because I think you've shared so

Nellie Harden:

much wisdom on here today. But before you get going, is there

Nellie Harden:

any like quick tips or meal prep ideas that you have that our

Nellie Harden:

listeners can go ahead and take from this right away? Besides,

Nellie Harden:

I'm going to go find a game for the dinner table tonight?

Unknown:

Oh, absolutely. My big advice is stop putting so much

Unknown:

pressure on yourself. It's only food. You know, it's really only

Unknown:

food. And instead of feeling bad about a meal that you make, if

Unknown:

it doesn't come out, right, make a family story about it. It's

Unknown:

okay to be the butt of the joke, if you're willing to have fun

Unknown:

with it. So if you take the pressure off of preparing family

Unknown:

meals, now you feel more empowered to be creative. Start

Unknown:

small, nobody says you have to make those Swedish meatballs,

Unknown:

because God knows what I was thinking. But you could take a

Unknown:

piece of chicken and you could say, How can I flavor it a

Unknown:

little differently. You could learn the trips are cooking that

Unknown:

chicken faster. So instead of cooking a whole chicken breast

Unknown:

and waiting your 3540 minutes, if you slice it will cook much

Unknown:

faster. And dinner will be done in 15. So if you can learn the

Unknown:

tricks to make it faster and more enjoyable, learn some new

Unknown:

seasonings, learn how to make spice blends in advance. So you

Unknown:

just have to take it out of your pantry and put it on your main

Unknown:

dish instead of where's that garlic and where's no oh my god,

Unknown:

I bought 70 Things have uninstalled because I keep

Unknown:

forgetting I own it. You know, when you add a little bit of

Unknown:

organization, a little planning, life becomes easier cooking

Unknown:

becomes more of an adventurous fun thing to look forward to

Unknown:

instead of the don't ask you what's for dinner time kind of

Unknown:

attitude. So start small, start little little changes and get

Unknown:

your confidence. And as you get more confidence. You can

Unknown:

experiment, experiment, a little bit more things will come

Unknown:

quicker to you because you start to know what you're doing that

Unknown:

become easier for you. And they'll become more delicious

Unknown:

and more fun.

Nellie Harden:

Oh, I love it. All right. Well, thank you so

Nellie Harden:

much for being on here. And before you leave, I want to I

Nellie Harden:

want you to be able to tell the listeners where we can find you.

Unknown:

Sure. I have a Facebook group called easy weeknight

Unknown:

dinners for busy moms. And I share recipes and humor and all

Unknown:

kinds of wonderful things that everybody needs to have as part

Unknown:

of their routine. I have a Facebook page Malibu's to

Unknown:

secrets I have a website valuables to secret calm. You

Unknown:

can reach out to me if you have any kind of cooking questions,

Unknown:

either notes to this podcast or send me an email at Linda at

Unknown:

balluta secret.com. And I do have an offer for those who are

Unknown:

listening. There is a an e book you can get called. I'm drawing

Unknown:

a blank. It's been a long day. Something like time, Saturday

Unknown:

saving tips for busy moms. So in that you'll get some sample

Unknown:

pantry lists to have some simple quick games to play at your

Unknown:

table. And a couple of quick tips, cooking tips and wonderful

Nellie Harden:

and All of that will be in the show notes. But

Nellie Harden:

for someone listening, I just want to hear you spell Bala.

Nellie Harden:

boosa real quick.

Unknown:

Sure. BALAB o s t, a apostrophe s secret.

Nellie Harden:

All right. All right. Well, thank you so much

Nellie Harden:

for being here, Linda, this was amazing.

Unknown:

A lot of fun. I wish everybody happy cooking. And

Unknown:

please send me pictures of what you cook in and join my groups.

Unknown:

And you're not alone. Let's make it a nice community and have a

Unknown:

lot of fun. Oh,

Nellie Harden:

absolutely. All right. Thank you so much. Bye,

Nellie Harden:

bye. Thank you so much for listening today. And I hope

Nellie Harden:

you're able to take something from our discussion that you can

Nellie Harden:

use to build the foundation of self love leadership in your own

Nellie Harden:

family. If you are a parent with children, 17 or younger, and

Nellie Harden:

especially those around nine and up, I would love to extend an

Nellie Harden:

invitation to you to the best club in town. The family

Nellie Harden:

architects Club is a private club where intentional parents

Nellie Harden:

go that want to love support, connect or reconnect, and really

Nellie Harden:

truly help guide their kids and teach them how to self lead in

Nellie Harden:

discipline and leadership. This is an online community and the

Nellie Harden:

you are welcome to it. Parenting is a project and you are the

Nellie Harden:

architect of this one. You plan you design and oversee the

Nellie Harden:

construction of the beginning of someone else's life. And that's

Nellie Harden:

what goes into these first 6570 days. And it will be the

Nellie Harden:

foundation for the rest of their lives. So come join the club.

Nellie Harden:

You can find your invitation on the front page of my website,

Nellie Harden:

Nelly hardened.com. That is ne ll ie H AR D n.com. Thank you

Nellie Harden:

again for being a part of this conversation today. And if

Nellie Harden:

something really resonated with you, or if you have a question,

Nellie Harden:

please don't hesitate to connect with me. You can find me on

Nellie Harden:

Instagram at Nellie Hardin. And lastly, if you love the

Nellie Harden:

information, please please leave a five star review and a comment

Nellie Harden:

so more and more families can be impacted by harnessing the

Nellie Harden:

strength of these ideas and tools in their own families. So

Nellie Harden:

thank you so much. Happy building you guys and I'll see

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