A Week of Dinners: Jessica Merchant — A Week of Dinners

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Welcome to Kitchn's new series A Week of Dinners, where we show you how people put dinner on the table for their family, thanks to the five weeknight recipes they rely on.

Jessica Merchant lives with her husband, Ed, and 2 1/2-year-old son, Max, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she writes and develops recipes. "I'm madly, outrageously, inexplicably in love with food," Merchant explains enthusiastically. She is the author of bestselling cookbook Seriously Delish and upcoming cookbook The Pretty Dish. Since 2009 she's been the blogger behind How Sweet Eats, a wildly popular food blog with the most gorgeous photos. (Do yourself a favor and follow her on Instagram immediately. I'm serious.)

Today Jessica shares how she gets food on the table for her family (even when she's 9 months pregnant right now!) and what weeknight dinners look like for them.


Why My Family Decided to Give Up Eating Beef (for the Most Part) — Life in the Kitchen

A couple of years ago, I started to have beef with beef. Even though it had been a staple in my diet from the time I was a little kid, it was getting harder and harder to feel good about eating it. Not only was I concerned about hormones and antibiotics in cheap, mass-produced meat (which led to seeking out grass-fed, organic alternatives), or the poor living conditions of these animals (which led to seeking out locally farmed, grass-fed, organic alternatives), I was surprised to learn that our collective consumption of beef was hurting the environment more than our driving habits.

Whoa! Cows are hurting us more than cars? Beef was beginning to feel so not worth it.


5 Tips for Dealing with the Biggest Stressor of the School Year — Make More Good

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You've mastered the school lunch. You have your after-school snacks down to a science. And you already know what you're going to make for your kid's classroom birthday party in October. The one thing that has potential to stress you out? All those activities!

Your kid has a ton of soccer matches, plays, rehearsals, field trips, etc. Whether you have an office job or you're a stay-at-home mom, the calendar gets pretty stressful. Follow these smart tips, however, and you will crush this school year.


8 Things to Do for a Good Morning Commute — Make More Good

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Mornings! Right? Very few of us pull into our office parking lot looking as happy as this girl pictured above. It's understandable: There are so many things that happen to us between waking up and walking into our office. A lot of these things are out of our control (the torrential downpour that came out of nowhere, the inexplicable traffic you hit on the highway, your toddler's meltdown over his socks being orange).

Luckily, though, there are a few things you can control. One of those things? How enjoyable your morning commute happens to be! Try these tips for a better getting-to-work experience.


9 Things to Keep in Your Car to Always Be Picnic-Ready — Family Vacation

Picnics and outdoor movies are some of the best parts of summer — and we like to be ready for them at a moment's notice. You can take care of all the food you need with a quick 15-minute trip to the grocery store, but it's best to have a few essentials tucked away in the trunk of your car so you can be ready to head to the park whenever the mood strikes.


The Grocery-Store Tea That Changed My Life — Tea Tonic

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Growing up, I associated my period with pain — and not just aches, but the kind of sharp, excruciating pain that makes you want to spend all day in the fetal position. I'd have to miss days of school, and eventually work; sometimes I threw up.

In my attempts to relieve the pain, I tried it all: Tylenol, Ibuprofen, hot packs, exercising, wishing for a quick and painless death. After years of struggling to find a solution, I had basically given up — until I discovered relief in a common grocery-store tea.


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